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Title: Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885
Author: Various
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 "Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885" ***

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  LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE.

  _NOVEMBER, 1885._

  Copyright, 1885, by J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.



THE LADY LAWYER'S FIRST CLIENT.

TWO PARTS.--II.


What with Mrs. Stiles's ankle and the law's delays, the case was not
tried until September. But at the September term Stiles _vs._ The
Railway Company was reached, and stood at the head of the list.

On the morning of the fated day Mrs. Tarbell could have proceeded to the
court-room in state, for not only did the entire Stiles family present
itself at her office three-quarters of an hour before the time, but Mr.
Mecutchen, the tobacconist, also dropped in, with an air of always being
early at trials.

"I couldn't keep ma at home, Mrs. Tarbell," said Miss Stiles briefly,
but with some little shame. "She would come. She thought it would take
an hour and a half to get here from Pulaski Street; didn't you, ma?"

Mrs. Stiles gave an agitated groan and looked about helplessly for a
chair. She was walking with a cane, and had on a miraculous black silk,
the seams of which were like the ridges of a ploughed field. Miss
Georgiana Stiles, the younger daughter, was almost invisible under a
straw hat with feathers waving from its pinnacled crown. Miss Celandine,
by no means a bad-looking young lady, wore her best black jersey,
buttoned at the throat, over her cambric body, her best piqué skirt,
trimmed with torchon lace, her white silk mitts, and her blue-and-white
bonnet. After settling Mrs. Stiles in a corner with Georgiana, Tecumseh
Sherman, and Augustus, Celandine and Mr. Mecutchen disappeared, to go
and stand on the door-step. Mrs. Tarbell guessed where they were going,
and would have liked to hint that the door-step was not a dignified
place for her client, but, if the truth must be told, she was afraid to
do so. For Miss Stiles had by this time utterly and completely
subjugated her, and Mrs. Tarbell hardly knew which of them was the
attorney of record in Stiles _vs._ The Railway Company. There can be no
doubt that Miss Celandine was an admirable young lady. She was paying
the expenses of the case out of her own savings,--savings which had been
the secret result of secret labors with the pen and type-writer. As soon
as the accident happened she quitted the High School, put aside her
books, and divided her time between nursing her mother and keeping the
books of a successful but illiterate milliner, who offered her a place;
and she gave so many other evidences of good sense and determination
that Mrs. Tarbell felt it would be hopeless to try to resist her. Her
decision did not seem to have altered in the least, nor was she at all
discouraged by Mrs. Tarbell's warnings; and Mrs. Tarbell found that in
every conversation which took place on the subject Mrs. Tarbell began as
a philosopher and ended as a disputant. All that could be done was to
give Miss Stiles her own way and try to improve her taste in dress if
possible. It was practically understood between them, though Mrs.
Tarbell had as yet refused to commit herself, that as soon as the trial
was over and the damages had been pocketed, Miss Celandine should be
duly installed, enrolled, and accredited as a student in the office of
Juddson and Tarbell. In the mean time, Augustus had been made an
office-boy through Mr. Juddson's interest.

The Stileses having been sent on before, Mrs. Tarbell, attended by the
office-boy bearing a bag full of books and papers, slipped quietly over
to court, whither Mr. Juddson said he would follow her in a few moments.
The room was crowded. Judge Measy had not yet appeared.

Mrs. Tarbell looked about her. It was the first day of the autumn term,
and, for one reason or another, the bar was very fully represented.
There was ex-Judge Dingley, with his frills and his snuff-box; Mr.
Moddison, with his shaggy eyebrows and square jaw; Mr. Brileson, almost
as long and thin as his nose; Mr. Eakins, looking as much like Oily
Gammon as ever; and, besides the leaders of the bar, any number of the
rank and file, especially of the junior members of the profession; and
with some of these young gentlemen's elder brothers Mrs. Tarbell had
danced, once on a time. There was a stir as Mrs. Tarbell came in; the
lawyers made way for her, and the jurors, witnesses, and spectators
craned their necks to get a look at her. Among the spectators, of
course, were Mrs. Pegley and the Pegleyites. Mrs. Tarbell knew that they
were there, but did not look at them. Mr. Pope rose magnificent and
shook hands with her; several persons shook hands with her. Mrs. Tarbell
felt that she was going to acquit herself commendably. She had gone
over the case three or four times with Alexander, she had rehearsed her
speech until she knew it by heart, she had joked about the case with her
friends (not her Pegley friends) at Cape May until she was no longer
afraid of it, if she ever had been, and she was quite able to feel that
Pope was insignificant. She had at first been filled with an
apprehension that he would become very intimate with her on the strength
of their mutual antagonism; but when several days passed by, and he had
done nothing more than bow courteously, she reflected that, after all,
it was not a very uncommon occurrence for him to have a jury case; and
when he privately came and offered to compromise she wondered what there
had ever been to frighten her in the man. She refused the compromise, of
course: if her case had been only half as strong she would have refused
it.

Rap! rap! Silence, please. His honor appeared, wiping his learned brow,
for it was an oppressively hot day, and the clerk proclaimed that all
persons might draw near and be heard by the honorable court. The jurors
answered to their names. Mr. Juddson, seated by his sister's elbow,
pushed the jury-list towards her, with a slight nod of encouragement.
Mrs. Tarbell did not need encouragement: she knew the names of the
objectionable jurors by heart, and she was quite ready.

The court-room settled down into a hush of subdued expectation, and
Stiles _vs._ The Railway Company was called. Mr. Pope and Mrs. Tarbell
rose, bowed to each other and to the court: they were ready to go on.

Mr. Pope drew first blood. Eight jurors were already in the box, and the
clerk called out, "John Ewing." John Ewing took his seat; there was no
cross against his name, and Mrs. Tarbell had no challenge to make, when,
before another name could be called, he leaned forward and called out,
in an easy voice, "Mrs. Tarbell, ef I have to swear in this case I mout
as well tell you that I used to work for the railway company."

"Ah!" said Mrs. Tarbell calmly, after a moment's hesitation. "Take your
seat, Mr. Ewing. I have entire confidence in your impartiality." She
waved her hand as if to include the whole of the jury, so far as
completed,--nay, the whole of the panel,--in the compliment, and the
jurors appeared to be suitably impressed.

But Mr. Pope rose. "Wait one minute, Mr. Ewing," he said, in a voice
which breathed rugged honesty and uncompromising determination. "I shall
have to ask you to withdraw." He shook his head sternly. "I cannot,
whatever may be the generous toleration of my learned opponent, I cannot
knowingly allow anybody who has any connection with my client to go on
the jury."

"That makes four challenges for him," whispered Mr. Juddson. Mrs.
Tarbell shook her head impatiently, and as Mr. Ewing left the box he
smiled a faint yet unmistakable smile at somebody in the crowd, and Mrs.
Tarbell became instantly convinced that the whole affair, even to the
drawing of Mr. Ewing's name by the court clerk, was a neatly-arranged
plot of Mr. Pope's, and, in her resentment, she challenged the next
juror out of hand, though he had an eye so humid and sympathetic that he
looked good for not only sentimental damages, but punitive damages of
the most revengeful description.

But she opened her case admirably. There was a slight hum as she rose;
her attitude was dignified, and she might have been called handsome.
Though every one else was stifling with the heat, she looked cool and
self-possessed, and her first sentences won her the respect of the bar;
for she made the matter-of-course explanation in a fairly novel manner.

"Gentlemen of the jury," said she, "you know without my telling you that
when my client, the plaintiff, Mrs. Stiles, comes here and says that she
has suffered at the hands of the railway company damages to the amount
of ten thousand dollars, she is not exaggerating her sufferings for the
sake of enlisting your sympathy. It is not that she comes to you with
feminine weakness, displaying her injuries, and, with feminine
resentment, overstating them and their effects, to rouse your pity. You
know, and I only remind you of it, that the rule of law forbids you to
give her more than she asks for: so I, on her behalf, take care that she
shall not ask for less than you might give her."

This was very well, and the jury probably understood as much.

Mrs. Tarbell paused a moment, and then proceeded in an impressive voice:
"But Mrs. Stiles's injuries, gentlemen, are not slight; she does not ask
you for a mere nominal sum in compensation of them, nor, in view of the
facts, will any sum that you do give her seem excessive. I shall show
you, gentlemen, that Mrs. Stiles, a widow, left almost penniless by her
husband, who has by her own efforts brought up and educated four
children, two of whom are still entirely dependent upon her, was, on the
ninth day of April last, through the negligence of the defendant,
injured in such a way as to give her seven weeks of the most painful
suffering and to render her unable for the rest of her life to do the
work upon which she has hitherto mainly depended for the support of
herself and her family. I shall show you that Mrs. Stiles attempted to
get on one of the defendant's cars; that while she was so doing the car
was started and she thrown off; that she sustained a sprain of the right
ankle and a fracture of the fibula; that the accident has resulted in
laming her for life and incapacitating her for the use of a
sewing-machine; and that it was by her sewing-machine that she supported
herself. Mrs. Stiles will now tell you her own story."

With this Mrs. Tarbell sat down. She had not the keen penetration which
years of practice give to a finished advocate, but she had feminine
instinct, which served her in quite as good stead; and, short as was the
time she had been addressing that jury, she felt that she could answer
for it as certainly as fifteen years before she could have answered for
one of her admirers. If Mr. Juddson had only been another woman she
could have told him this, but a glance would have been wasted on him: so
she kept her triumph to herself. She looked at the bullet-headed young
juror, at the benignant old juror, at the fat-faced and dropsical juror,
at the preternaturally-solemn negro juror, at the lantern-jawed foreman
with the black moustache; she was on a perfectly good understanding with
them, and knew what to say to each one of them. She felt that she could
have afforded to be a little less brief. However, Mrs. Stiles would
not-- By the way, where was Mrs. Stiles?

"Mrs. Stiles!" cried Mrs. Tarbell, half rising. "Mrs. Stiles, will you
please take the stand?"

Mrs. Stiles rose from her seat against the railing, and, after confiding
her second daughter to the care of Miss Celandine,--a ceremony which was
performed by her with evident anxiety,--hobbled to the witness-stand on
the arm of Mr. Mecutchen, who had been sitting beside her.

Mrs. Stiles on the witness-stand was a very different person,
apparently, from Mrs. Stiles in an every-day situation. It may have been
the effect of the crowd or the effect on her system of her long and
painful illness, but she was agitated and nervous to the last degree.
She looked steadily at Mrs. Tarbell, except when, every now and then,
she looked uneasily about the room, and she gave her answers in so low a
voice that the judge two or three times asked her to repeat them. But
otherwise all went well enough. Mrs. Stiles knew who she was, where she
lived, and what she had been doing on the day of the accident. When the
critical moment came, Mrs. Tarbell caught her breath, but Mrs. Stiles
avoided the difficulty in safety.

"I held up my umbereller for that there car to stop," she said; "and it
stopped. And I went to git on; and then the first thing I knew I was
falling."

This was highly satisfactory. For the rest, Mrs. Stiles described the
manner in which the doctors had vainly endeavored to cure her injured
ankle, told how she had passed sleepless night after night in spite of
the morphia and sweet spirits of nitre, how she had been confined to her
bed for three weeks and had only got up to be moved to a chair, how she
suffered _tortures_ and lost her appetite, how it was months before she
could walk without crutches, and how every step she took gave her the
most excruciating agony, and so forth, and so forth. She also, at Mrs.
Tarbell's request, gave to the jury several interesting details
concerning, first, her sewing-machine; second, the income she had been
used to make by it; third, the effect of the accident upon her power to
propel the aforesaid engine.

(Bill shown to witness.)

"This is my doctor--Dr. Laycock's bill: it is not paid yet."

(Offered in evidence. Another bill shown to witness.)

"This is the apothecary's bill. It has not been paid."

(Offered in evidence.)

"Cross-examine," said Mrs. Tarbell; and Mrs. Stiles slowly turned and
began to hobble away from the witness-stand.

"Mrs. Stiles!" cried Mrs. Tarbell; and Mrs. Stiles turned round aghast.

"Come back, my dear madam," said the Honorable Pope blandly. "We are not
quite through with you yet,--not for a moment or two."

Mrs. Stiles looked more overcome than ever. "My goodness! I forgot," she
stammered, and clutched desperately at the front of the witness-box.

Mr. Pope ran his hand through his flowing locks and smiled at her
reassuringly. After asking her one or two sympathetic questions about
her ankle,--she was _quite_ sure she had obeyed all the doctor's orders?
she was certain she had not begun to walk too soon, or injured herself
by any carelessness of her own?--he suddenly opened upon her.

"Now, madam," he said, "is it not a fact that that car was in motion
when you tried to get on it?"

"I--I--how do you mean, sir?" faltered Mrs. Stiles.

"Was not that car moving when you got on it?"

"Moving?"

"Yes, madam! _Moving!_"

"Why, ye--yes," said Mrs. Stiles. "So far's I remember, it was."

"Ah, I thought so," said Mr. Pope, with a peculiar intonation; and after
that he proceeded with great suavity to cross-examine her into a state
of utter bewilderment. As to what had happened after the accident she
contradicted herself six or seven times over, eagerly accepting any
suggestion which he held out to her; and Mr. Pope glanced triumphantly
at the jury,--neglecting, however, to remind them that Mrs. Stiles had
fainted as soon as her ankle was fractured, and that she was now only
expressing an opinion that his suggestions were probably correct.

Miss Stiles and Mr. Mecutchen plainly betrayed their agitation, but Mrs.
Tarbell preserved her equanimity. When Mr. Pope had finished his
cross-examination, she addressed her client again. Mrs. Stiles, pale,
agitated, trembling with fright, was leaning against her railing, almost
bending double over it; but at the sound of her lawyer's voice she
appeared to take courage.

"You said just now, Mrs. Stiles," said Mrs. Tarbell, "that the car was
in motion while you were getting on--"

"I beg your pardon," said the Honorable Pope, interrupting her.

"I think it is so," said Mrs. Tarbell, turning upon him with a very
haughty air. "I don't think Mrs. Stiles ever said that she tried to get
on while the car was in motion. Pray look at your notes, Mr. Pope."

"You are right," said Mr. Pope, sinking back into his chair. "I remember
now. It is quite the same thing," he continued, waving his hand
carelessly. "It makes no difference whatever."

"If you _think_ so," said Mrs. Tarbell loftily; and she reiterated her
question to Mrs. Stiles.

Mrs. Stiles fumbled with the lilac-silk tie about her neck, and
said,--Mrs. Tarbell hung upon her words,--"That car--"

Pause.

"That car had stopped before I went to git on,--I know _that_. And I
_went_ to git on; and after that I don't remember."

And when Mrs. Stiles finally hobbled back to her seat, a more woe-begone
and wretched-looking object it would have been hard to find anywhere.

"Why, ma, what's the matter with you?" cried Miss Celandine, as Mr.
Mecutchen went to take the stand. "Don't you see it's all right?"

Mrs. Stiles shook her head and rubbed her damp brow with her
handkerchief. "I don't feel no certainty about it, Celandine," she said.
"I wisht Mrs. Tarbell had let me accep' that compr'mise."

"Mamma!" cried Miss Celandine, in warning tones.

"Well--I think I would have been better satisfied. Because--because
mebbe I was the one to blame, you know."

"_Ssh_, ma! After you have come into court! It's ridiculous! Plenty of
people saw you. Listen to Mr. Mecutchen, if you want to know what
happened to you."

"I wisht," said Mrs. Stiles, "I wisht Mrs. Tarbell would say something
to the jury about how the railroad offered to compromise. That would
show 'em 'twas true about my accident."

"_Mamma!_ Be careful! If they hear you talking about that compromise
they'll stop the trial right here and turn us right out of court."

"Well, but they _did_, Celandine: they offered me six hu--"

"Ma, will you hush?" said Celandine; and when her daughter spoke in that
tone of voice, Mrs. Stiles knew that she must obey. She relapsed into
silence again, helpless and despairing.

Mecutchen testified, Vickers testified, Parthenheimer
testified,--Stethson had gone to Baton Rouge, according to
Mecutchen,--and all were as strong as could be. Dr. Laycock identified
his bill, swore that his treatment of Mrs. Stiles was in accordance with
the most recent discoveries in medical science, that Mrs. Stiles had
suffered unheard-of agonies, and that she had obeyed all his directions
to the letter.

Miss Celandine also swore to her mother's agonies, and described the
condition to which the household had been brought by Mrs. Stiles's
accident.

Then Mrs. Tarbell bowed to the judge, and said, "That is my case, your
honor."

"And a very good case, too," she thought, as she sat down.

Pope's cross-examination had effected nothing, and the judge was against
him. Alexander, with his thumbs in his waistcoat, looked entirely
satisfied; Judge Measy, fanning himself and gasping under the heat,
appeared to be anxious for Mr. Pope to get through his flimsy defence as
quickly as possible.

Mr. Pope rose, flung back his hair, paused a moment, and then began. He
thanked his learned opponent for kindly putting the jury on the track of
a suggestion which he himself might have been delicate about making to
them. He would have been unwilling to dwell upon the--hem--peculiar
_status_ of his opponent; but she herself had seen fit to take it for
granted that he intended to advance a certain class of arguments, and he
consequently considered it only fair to her to do so. He should not,
however, call them arguments: they were rather considerations which
would serve to explain the arguments which Mrs. Tarbell herself had
used. "My learned opponent," said Mr. Pope, "told you that you mustn't
think of her client as a woman who comes here and asks for your
sympathy; you mustn't, she says, suppose that there is any feminine
weakness or resentment about Mrs. Stiles, nor, for a stronger
reason,--such is the unexpressed conclusion,--is there any feminine
weakness about Mrs. Stiles's eloquent counsel. Well, gentlemen, if Mrs.
Stiles is not a woman, what is she? Is she a white elephant? Is she a
female suffragist? which, I have heard, is neither man nor woman."
(Immense laughter in court, indignation in the cheeks of Mrs. Tarbell, a
lofty and contemptuous frown on the forehead of Mrs. Pegley.)
"Gentlemen, with the greatest possible respect for Mrs. Stiles, whose
painful sufferings I greatly deplore, and to whom I wish to tender my
entire sympathies; with, too, the greatest respect for my friend Mrs.
Tarbell, in admiration for whose talents and determination I yield to
nobody, I feel it my duty to say to you that this accident having
happened through the negligence, excusable perhaps, but still the
negligence,--carelessness, haste, if you will,--of Mrs. Stiles,--and
that this was the case I shall show you in a moment,--Mrs. Stiles and
her counsel, neither of them being for a single instant anything but a
woman, took the--what shall I say?--the romantic view of the matter
immediately. Romance, gentlemen, breathes its tender and refining
influence about the domestic fireside, chastens and sanctifies the
atmosphere of home, leads us, we all know, gentlemen, to holier and
purer views of life, and nerves us for the bitter struggle of the world.
But romance outside of the home-circle cuts but a sorry figure; it is
very dangerous for it to stray out of doors into the rough arena of
life,--into the street, gentlemen,--where there are street-cars. We must
look at the evils of life from the strictly legal point of view when
they come into court, gentlemen; and when his honor shall have laid down
to you the doctrine of contributory negligence, the bearings of which on
this case you have already thought of, I don't doubt,--when you come to
apply that rule to this case, you will make short work, I am afraid, of
romance."

Mr. Pope then proceeded to say that the case was in a nutshell. The
plaintiff had called a car; the driver of the car had pulled up his
horses; it was a wet day, the wheels would not stop quickly, and Mrs.
Stiles was in a hurry to get on; she tried to board the car while it was
in motion, and was thrown off. Was there any law to make a railway
company responsible for such accidents as this? or any railway company
that would not go out of business immediately if it _were_ to be held so
responsible?

Then Mr. Pope called his witnesses. He was a very short time examining
them; he bit his lips when he heard their answers. Mrs. Tarbell's
cross-examination was also short. Alexander whispered to her to cut it
short,--that the testimony was almost an admission of her case by
itself. But to Mrs. Stiles all these things were terribly significant of
victory for Mr. Pope; and the very fact that Mrs. Tarbell offered no
rebutting testimony was somehow twisted into another evidence of
approaching disaster by her poor stupid old mind. She hardly heard a
word of Mrs. Tarbell's speech to the jury. She was looking forward in
agony to what Mr. Pope would say. For she knew he was right. She knew
that Mrs. Tarbell had been carried away by her sympathies; she was sure
of it. Oh, why had she not gone to a gentleman lawyer? He would have
advised her not to bring suit; at least he would have allowed her to
accept that compromise. She was all alone. Celandine and Mr. Mecutchen
had gone away somewhere,--gone to get some ice-cream: they would be
back. Should she go and fling herself at Mr. Pope's feet and confess
everything?

When Mrs. Tarbell sat down there was a hum of applause, and the judge
stopped waving his fan for a moment to give Mrs. Tarbell a
scarcely-perceptible nod of approval.

"If I know anything, it'll be a two-thousand-dollar werdick," mumbled
one of the tipstaves.

Then Mr. Pope got on his legs. He passed his hand over his face, and
there was a countenance for you!--luminous, inspired, magical; a face
one moment like to a running brook for poetry and liquid sentiment, the
lines and wrinkles on it shifting about and rippling sweetly down into
his chin, where they cascaded off, so to speak; the next moment like a
mighty and rugged rock, a stronghold of security and protection, on
which he presently smote, Moses-like, and the brook of which I spoke
gushed out again.

"You know already, gentlemen," said he, "my view of this case. I think
that by this time it must be yours also."

Mrs. Stiles moaned. Then Mr. Pope proved to the jury that it was utter
nonsense for Mrs. Stiles's witnesses to pretend that they had seen the
accident, because the ordinary pedestrian looks at his nose when he is
walking, and not at the car-track. The jury smiled, the room grew hotter
and hotter, and the judge whiter and whiter.

"Mr. Mecutchen?" cried Mr. Pope. "Mr. Mecutchen never laid eyes on Mrs.
Stiles until he saw her lying in the middle of the street. I don't say
he is intentionally prevaricating. Of course he thinks he saw all that
he says he did. I grew up in the firm conviction that I had known Judas
Iscariot. I was ten years old before I could be persuaded that it was
only a sweet delusion,--a dazzling dream of childhood, too bright to
last."

The jury roared.

Then Mr. Pope talked of his own witnesses, and the virtues with which he
didn't invest those remarkable beings may exist in heaven, but are
certainly not to be found on earth, nor even in any of the intermediate
planetary paradises known to the Spiritualists.

And then--then he descended on Mrs. Stiles herself.

"What," he cried, suddenly, turning with an outburst of indignant
impatience from the petty arguments into which his love for the
exhibition of the whole truth in all its details had led him, "what are
you told by the most respectable and conscientious witness who has
appeared here to-day? What is the testimony of the one person who ought
to know _everything_ about this case? What does Mrs. Stiles say?
Nothing. She says nothing. She doesn't know what happened. If this were
a strong case, she would describe to you with minute particularity the
manner in which she put her hand upon the rail of the car, stepped on,
was jolted, tried to save herself, was thrown off. But not a word of
this have you heard from her. All that she remembers, as she confesses,
is that the car was in motion when she got on it."

Oh, where was Celandine? Had she gone out only to get ice-cream, or
because Georgiana was so hot that she couldn't stand it any longer? Mrs.
Stiles could not remember. Maybe it was Mr. Mecutchen that had spoken of
the ice-cream, and Celandine was going to put Georgiana in the cars and
send her home. It would have been better to send Augustus home with her.
And where were Augustus and Tecumseh Sherman?

Mrs. Stiles looked about the room. She saw no friendly faces, nobody to
encourage her, nobody whom she could apply to in her distress. How hot
it was! Could she not go over to the window and get a breath of air? The
room was very crowded. Mrs. Stiles hesitated, half rose, hesitated
again, and then got up and limped outside of the railings. People made
way for her, and when she reached the window a dark-faced man gave her a
place, and she went through a sort of parody of putting her head out
into the air.

The dark man looked at her thoughtfully. "Shan't I get you a glass of
water?" said he. Mrs. Stiles accepted his kindness with immense
gratitude. The dark man went and brought the water, and watched her with
a pair of very keen eyes while she was drinking it.

"Mr. Pope is making a good speech," he said presently.

Mrs. Stiles groaned. "Do you think he'll win?" she asked.

"Win?" said the dark man, with a pleasant smile. "Well, I should think
so. Just listen to him."

"But I'm not saying anything to Mrs. Tarbell's discredit," said the
Honorable Pope. "Not a bit of it. Not a bit of it. Her feelings do her
infinite honor. In her appearance on our wordy and contentious stage I
see the commencement of a new era of things. Let her be guided by her
feelings. Let her still preserve that beautiful sympathy which is one of
the chiefest ornaments of the female sex. It will bring to her a
thousand cases of injustice and oppression which we hardened lawyers of
the other sex have lost--if we ever had it--the instinct to detect. It
will lead her and her sisters to find justice and consolation for
innumerable victims of wrong-doing, whose hopes of obtaining redress
might have seemed poor and empty to us less inspired practitioners. No
one, no man, however jealous and crabbed in temper, will be sorry to see
the law vivified by a spark of that genius, that inexplicable instinct
by which women know what is right and make right to be done, where men
fail and fail again." Here Mr. Pope paused, and his features were those
of an angel. Then his expression changed to one of the most remarkable
sagacity and wariness. "But no one, gentlemen, will fail to recognize
the danger, easily avoided, which accompanies the lubricating, so to
speak, of our legal machinery by this sometimes superabundant sympathy.
Even genius errs, even instinct may be mistaken. Take the present case.
My learned opponent would be acting strictly within her duty by bringing
this case before you to ask for your decision. A man would do that. A
casehardened lawyer like myself would do that. But a man would take it
for granted his client was wrong, if he were beaten. Perhaps my learned
opponent will do the same thing. But if she does I shall be mistaken. In
all her subsequent career, which will be marked by more generosity,
charity, and enthusiasm than can now be boasted of by any man at the
bar, she never will believe that the verdict which I am asking you to
give was just to Mrs. Stiles. But she will be wrong. Right in a hundred
other cases, perhaps,--let that stand for the proportion, if you
will,--but wrong in this. And nothing but her misapplied sympathy and
tenderness of heart could have lent her the vigor and earnestness which
she has displayed to-day.

"Now, gentlemen, one thing more."

"That'll fetch 'em," said the dark man decidedly.

"Oh," moaned Mrs. Stiles, half aloud, "why didn't Mrs. Tarbell let me
accept that there compromise?"

"Compromise?" said the dark man quickly. "Why, are you Mrs. Stiles?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Stiles, drawing back in great alarm.

"And you say you were offered a compromise by the railway company which
your lawyer didn't let you accept?" said the dark man, in lower tones.

"Why, yes," said Mrs. Stiles hesitatingly.

The dark man struck his hand against the window-seat. "Well, upon my
word!" said he.

"Do you think I ought to have took it?" said poor Mrs. Stiles, in a
stifled voice.

The dark man eyed her pityingly. "You've lost your chance now," said he.

There was a sudden cry, a great bustle in the court-room, a rush toward
the judge's bench. Mr. Pope stopped short in his speech, looked up, and
hastened to follow the court clerk, who had sprung over the desk, though
Mr. Pope went round by the side-bar. The judge had swooned in his chair,
falling forward upon his desk. The heat had at last got the upper hand
of him, after a severe fight of two or three hours. Jurymen, witnesses,
spectators, all stood aghast. The judge was brought to and assisted to
his room, and the court clerk, presently returning to the disturbed and
excited forum, announced that, his honor being unwell, all parties would
be dismissed until to-morrow morning at ten o'clock,--and there was a
general rush for the door.

So it happened that when Miss Stiles and Mr. Mecutchen came back to the
court-room they found it closed, and neither Mrs. Stiles nor Mrs.
Tarbell anywhere to be seen.

The next morning, at ten o'clock, Mrs. Tarbell was wondering what had
become of the Stileses. She had missed Mrs. Stiles the day before, after
the sudden adjournment of the court, but she had been detained by Pegley
and friends, and thought it not unnatural that her client should have
decided not to wait for her. She was rather glad the accident had
happened,--that is, she was not sorry on her own account,--for the
delay had given her time to prepare one or two witticisms in answer to
Mr. Pope. She greeted Mr. Pope with a pleasant smile as he came into
court, but Mr. Pope seemed rather surprised to find her in such a serene
frame of mind.

"I assure you, my dear madam," said he, coming up to her instantly, and
speaking in his most earnest tones, "I assure you that I had nothing to
do with it whatever. I had no idea that anything of the sort was going
on; I knew absolutely nothing of it until they sent word to me from the
railway-office in the afternoon, and I really most sincerely regret that
I am forced to take advantage of my client's--and your client's--improper
action."

"What--what do you mean?" said Mrs. Tarbell, very much perplexed.

"What? Haven't you heard?" cried Mr. Pope.

"Heard? What should I hear?"

From the depths of his green bag Mr. Pope extracted a stiff pasteboard
envelope, bursting with papers and confined by an india-rubber band.
From this envelope he drew out a folded document, which he handed to
Mrs. Tarbell; and when Mrs. Tarbell clapped eyes on the document's
contents her face wore an expression before which Pope ought to have
blushed for shame. The document was a release, given by Mrs. Stiles to
the railway company,--a printed form, with blanks to be filled in as the
individual case should demand; a devilish engine of cozen and covin,
constructed in cold blood by the railway company, and supplied to them
(as a small line of print at the bottom of the paper showed) by
Detweiler, the Blank-Book Mfr., Irving Ave. and Prime St. Mrs. Stiles
had sold herself. For one hundred and twenty-five dollars she had
released to the railway company all the claims she might have, or could
have, upon it at any time, past, present, or future, on account of her
accident. There was Mrs. Stiles's hand, there was her seal; the date was
yesterday. Mrs. Tarbell read the release, and then looked at Mr. Pope.
But he did not blench.

"I regret this extremely, Mrs. Tarbell," he said. "It places me in a
very unenviable position. It was done," he continued, with a brazen
front, "it was done without my knowledge. My advice was not asked: the
company acted on their own responsibility and of their own motion. It
is, at best, a poor compliment to me as an officer of the road."

"Pray, how did Mrs. Stiles happen to go to the company's office?" asked
Mrs. Tarbell.

"I have not had a very clear account of it myself," said Mr. Pope,
clearing his throat and putting one foot up on a chair in front of him.
"It seems, however, that Mrs. Stiles was--hem--very much frightened by
my speech, and in some way got into conversation with an agent of the
company, a sort of bailiff to the corporation, in fact,--a man who
serves their subpoenas, and looks up their witnesses, and so on, in
addition to other work. This man is a sharp fellow, and, finding out
which way the cat was jumping, he decided, I suppose, that he would try
to make it jump as far as possible. Mrs. Stiles herself spoke of the
compromise, and said she regretted she had not signed it. That was
enough for my man; and when Judge Measy fainted he suggested to her to
take advantage of the delay by going round to the railway company's
office with him, where, he said, of course, he would see what he could
do for her, as he had friends in the office. At the company's office he
represented that he was acting under orders from me, the fact of the
matter being that the rogue knew that the case was going against us, and
Mrs. Stiles was virtually allowed to name her own sum. She took it, and
signed the release. The ingenious bailiff is in disgrace, but the
company think they have a good thing in the release, and I, as their
servant, can't refuse to obey them. _You_ understand that, of _course_,
my dear madam. But I must repeat that I'm sorry, and sorry for my own
sake, that this has happened, for I should be very unwilling to have
anything occur to interrupt or cloud the very pleasant professional
relations in which I have had the good fortune to find myself standing
toward you. But clients are queer cattle, as you'll soon discover. I can
assure you I have been treated much worse in my day."

Mrs. Tarbell tapped the slender paper against her open palm. Her lips
were compressed. Mr. Pope gazed at her with a queer look in his eyes.
The court-room was beginning to fill up; the jurymen were taking their
places in the box; the public interest in Stiles _vs._ The Railway
Company had not in the least diminished.

"Your bailiff seems to be a person of extraordinary acuteness," said
Mrs. Tarbell, at length.

"He used to be a sheriff's officer," said Mr. Pope blandly. "If you
like," he continued, "if you choose to attack this release on the ground
of fraud, I won't say a word. I think you're entitled to try it.
Possibly you might prove that the company took an unfair advantage of
your client, that misrepresentations were made to her. Still, I am free
to say that she seems to have signed it with her eyes open."

Mrs. Tarbell, her lips still compressed, raised her head and looked
about the room. As she did so she caught sight of Celandine standing by
the railing. Miss Stiles's face was anxious and downcast: she gave Mrs.
Tarbell an appealing glance.

"Excuse me one moment," said Mrs. Tarbell. She walked over to Miss
Celandine with a rapid step. "Did your mother know what she was doing
when she signed this?" said Mrs. Tarbell.

"Mrs. Tarbell," cried Miss Stiles, "I don't know what I can say to you.
I don't know how I'm ever going to beg your pardon. Ma she's in a
dreadful state; and I'm sure she ought to be, the way I've been talking
to her. She didn't dare to come here this morning; she was ashamed to
have you see her. And, if anything, I'm more ashamed than she, for I
really feel it more. I wonder you have the patience to listen to me."

Here Mrs. Tarbell interrupted. "Never mind that," she said. "Did Mrs.
Stiles do this of her own free will, or was she tricked into it?"

"That's the worst of it, Mrs. Tarbell, that's the worst of it. I can't
get her to say anything but that it was her own fault. To every question
I ask her, she says, 'No; it was my own fault. I just went and did it.'
I can_not_ understand it. Is there no way out of it? It's really, if you
don't mind my saying so, it's on your account I ask. I haven't slept a
wink all night. Ma was taken remorseful before she'd got two steps with
the money. And, do _you_ know, she was late for tea. We were in an awful
state about her; she never came home to dinner. We hunted high and low
for her. She went to Everett Square, and sat down on a bench there,
just--just--penitent. Oh, I _wish_ you could _see_ her! Indeed, if it
wasn't so right down dishonest it would be funny. But is there nothing
to be done? Do you know how it all happened? Do you know that a man in
the company's _em_ploy--I'm sure he was--got hold of ma and just twisted
her round? Couldn't you show that? And I know Mr. Pope got that man to
talk to her; I'm sure he did. Ma ain't fit to be trusted alone, that's
the amount of it."

"But can you get your mother to say that she was imposed upon?" said
Mrs. Tarbell, a faint gleam of hope asserting itself.

Celandine shook her head sadly. "After all," she said, "it ain't so much
that she was imposed upon, but that she imposed upon herself. They took
advantage of her, true enough, that's certain; but she let them do it.
Why, Georgiana--you couldn't make her give more than five cents' worth
of lemon taffy for five cents if you talked to her all day; but any
three-year-old baby on Pulaski Street can persuade ma that she's giving
short weight. I do feel so bad about it, Mrs. Tarbell. And ma lost three
buttons off her black silk yesterday, and won't have them sewed on. You
might think she was a Catholic, doing penance."

Mrs. Tarbell turned away without saying a word.

"Mrs. Tarbell! Mrs. Tarbell!" cried Celandine.

Mrs. Tarbell turned back. A few minutes later she was walking away
again, leaving Celandine very red in the face and beginning to cry. Mrs.
Tarbell had refused to accept the hundred and twenty-five dollars, or
any part of it, in payment of her fee.

As Mrs. Tarbell was coming out of the court-room--a juryman had in the
mean time told her that he hoped she had got a good round sum by her
compromise: "You would have had, say, eighteen hundred from us," he
said,--as Mrs. Tarbell was going down-stairs, having just told Mrs.
Pegley that she--Mrs. Tarbell--did not think it necessary to communicate
all her private affairs to her friends, there was Celandine waiting for
her in the passage.

"Mrs. Tarbell," said Celandine hesitatingly, her eyes still red,--"Mrs.
Tarbell--"

"Well?" said Mrs. Tarbell.

"About my studying law, please, ma'am. I just wanted to say
that--that--"

Unpropitious moment. The storm gathered on Mrs. Tarbell's brow.

"I just wanted to tell you that I shall have to give it up, ma'am," said
Celandine hurriedly. "I'm going to marry Mr. Mecutchen."

"I wish you joy," Mrs. Tarbell said, and went on down-stairs.

THOMAS WHARTON.



QUEEN ANNE OR FREE CLASSIC ARCHITECTURE.

     "If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had
     been churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces."

     _Merchant of Venice_, Act i., Scene ii.


Of all the recognized styles of domestic architecture the position of
modern Queen Anne, or so-called Free Classic, is perhaps the most
difficult to determine. The nomenclature will assist us but little in
investigating its art-history and constructive laws,--the term Queen
Anne being as much too narrow as Free Classic is too broad. If we ask
the professors of architecture and the more learned practitioners of the
art for information on the subject, we shall get vague and
unsatisfactory replies. Many of the younger and more enthusiastic
architects, and the devotees of spinning-wheels, blue India teapots, and
green crown glass will, on the contrary, unhesitatingly tell us that
Queen Anne, is "high art;" forgetting that art had reached its lowest
ebb in England when William and Mary ascended the throne left vacant by
the Stuarts.

With such diversity of sentiment and reasoning, how shall we elucidate
the truth? When did Queen Anne architecture originate, who were its
great masters, under what influence did it spring up, what causes led to
its decline, and to what source may we trace its sudden and aggressive
renaissance? To the student who looks beneath the surface of fashionable
art-culture the Queen Anne and Georgian periods seem almost like a
mirage, where he sees dimly reflected vistas of city streets lined with
tall houses built of red brick, with tiled roofs, long and narrow
sash-windows painted white, and outside shutters painted green. If he
goes to the academies for information, he will be told that early Queen
Anne was a feeble application of Palladian rules designed for palatial
works in marble to smaller edifices built of brick, and that late Queen
Anne is simply a craze that must run its course and then sink into
obscurity, as did its prototype.

This lack of historical data is the more remarkable when we consider
that the style now known as that of Queen Anne is but of yesterday. We
can follow the gradual development of styles and systems of construction
and their transitions into other and later styles, from the Egyptian,
Syrian, Grecian, Roman, and Byzantine, and the wondrous science of the
Middle Ages, to the wealth of Continental Renaissance, but of the style
of Queen Anne we can find little more than the name. England gradually
remodelled her feudal castles into the noble and picturesque
manor-houses of the Tudor kings, and her architects during the reign of
Elizabeth carried this somewhat fanciful, but at the same time
dignified, system of construction to its utmost development. All this
will be clearly and logically explained by the professors of the
academies. They will further add that after the accession of the Stuarts
the building art gradually declined, with only a few flashes of
brilliant light in the works of Inigo Jones and Wren. The Commonwealth
was prudish in art as in manners, and the Restoration was a reign of
revel and wild license. The social worlds of William and Mary and of
Queen Anne, stiff, starched, and formal, left their impress upon the
buildings of their day, which were mostly of a domestic character. The
Free Classic of the Georgian reigns followed,--more refined in
sentiment, delicate but severe in outline, aristocratic, but lacking
strength and boldness in composition. With the advent of the Victorian
Gothicists the worn-out and debased Free Classic passed into obscurity,
there to remain until the passage by Parliament of the Elementary
Education Act in 1870 brought it once more into prominence.

So much for the teachings of the academies, hampered by conservatism
and constructive traditions. They see little that is good in
architecture which cannot be traced through a long line of precedents,
gradually developing, as did the Gothic from the slender lancets and
bold buttressing of the earlier examples to the delicate tracery and
wondrous carving of Lincoln and of York. But, for all this, Queen Anne
has a history, architectural as well as political. Her short reign
witnessed the erection of a class of manor-houses and city dwellings
which, gradually improved under the two succeeding monarchs, have formed
the basis for a revival of a remarkable character. The sudden
renaissance of Queen Anne or Free Classic architecture is the growth of
but fourteen years, and yet all classes of society have been alike
filled with aspirations for Queen An-tic houses, and for domestic
appliances, and even dresses and garniture, associated with that period.
The extremely low art of the last decade of the seventeenth century has
become the "high art" of to-day, and bids fair, after outgrowing the
eccentricities of plan and detail with which many designers have loaded
it down, to develop into an honest, home-like, and thoroughly domestic
style, in consonance with the requirements of nineteenth-century culture
and refinement. England and America alike have felt the pulse-beat of
the reformers, ready and longing for a change that will be radical and
honest in its workings. Let us, then, attempt to define the position of
Queen Anne architecture, historically, constructively, and æsthetically.
Let us endeavor to penetrate beyond the superficial investigations of
the "high-art" amateur and see what may be the real value of the Queen
Anne revival as a basis for the architecture of to-day, and wherein lies
the germ which may be utilized as a stepping-stone to greater
excellence.


HISTORY.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the different phases of Free Classic
will be to group the reigns of William and Anne in one period of a
quarter of a century, half in the seventeenth and half in the
eighteenth, following the Stuart, or Jacobean, and preceding the
Georgian. At first sight there appears to be little promise of finding
any genuine art in English works of this period. The Mediæval
Ecclesiastical style had died out nearly two hundred years before, and
during the interval the revival of classic architecture had steadily
advanced from small and rude beginnings to a respectable position, with
an academic system, so to speak, which, although it never attained in
England the appreciation which led to its luxurious development on the
Continent, found expression in many works of dignity and excellence.
During the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. a domestic style for
manor-houses had sprung up, based upon Gothic traditions of the Tudor
type, with an admixture of the Renaissance of that day. This
transitional manner struggled through the Commonwealth comparatively
undisturbed, losing by degrees all traces of its mediæval origin. It
maintained, however, partly perhaps by the intention of its designers,
but chiefly through accident, a character of picturesqueness and
homeliness.

The great fire of 1666 desolated two-thirds of London, destroying
thirteen thousand two hundred houses and eighty-nine churches, including
St. Paul's Cathedral. Down to this time the architecture of London had
been mostly of the timber, brick, and plaster type of the Tudors. The
houses were crowded closely together, covering every available piece of
ground, and overhanging story above story until in many cases the
daylight was almost excluded from the narrow courts and crooked alleys.
Many of these houses were built of slight materials, covered on the
exterior with painted planks and on the interior with plaster. During
the reign of James I. it was enacted that the fronts of city houses
should be of brick or stone. In many cases, however, a compromise was
made in favor of heavy timber fronts, which were often richly carved and
moulded, the panels filled with bricks and plastered, the sides away
from the street being still built of wood. In these houses we find
numerous instances of the picturesque oriels and windows adopted by the
designers of the modern Queen Anne school.

The fire wrought a complete change in building-construction and in the
health of the city. The plague, until then a constant visitor,
disappeared. The streets and courts were widened and much improved, and
an entirely new class of buildings arose above the ruins of ancient
London. Immediately after the fire a proclamation was issued by the
king, giving instructions for certain reforms in building-construction.
This may be called the birth of the movement which later on developed
into the Queen Anne or Free Classic style of the early eighteenth
century. In this proclamation the king commands as follows: "In the
first place, the woful experience in this late heavy visitation hath
sufficiently convinced all men of the pernicious consequences which have
attended the building with timber, and even with stone itself, and the
notable benefit of brick, which in so many places hath resisted and even
extinguished the fire; and we do hereby declare that no man whatsoever
shall presume to erect any house or building, great or small, but of
brick or stone; and if any man shall do the contrary, the next
magistrate shall forthwith cause it to be pulled down and such further
course taken for his punishment as he deserves; and we suppose that the
notable benefit many men have received from those cellars which have
been well and strongly arched will persuade most men who build good
houses to practise that good husbandry by arching all convenient
places." By an act of the Common Council, passed on the 29th of April,
1667, in furtherance of the king's proclamation, it is ordered, among
other details, that the purveyors "do encourage and give directions to
all builders, for ornament sake, that the ornaments and projections of
the front of buildings be of rubbed bricks, and that all the naked parts
of the walls be done of rough bricks neatly wrought, or all rubbed, at
the discretion of the builder." Permission was at the same time given
to enrich buildings by variety in the forms of roofs, balconies, etc.

The urgent demand for new edifices to replace those destroyed by fire,
and the necessity for observing strict economy in their erection,
precluded picturesque grouping and well-studied designs. The quaint but
dangerous architecture of 1666 was rapidly replaced by rows of plain,
monotonous brick buildings, devoid of artistic merit. In Cheapside and
some of the more important thoroughfares the houses erected during this
period were of a somewhat better character, taller, and more elegant in
design.

While improvement in the character of domestic architecture was thus
hampered by economic considerations and an intricate system of
land-tenures, public and ecclesiastical architecture was greatly
improved. The rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral and fifty city churches
by Sir Christopher Wren marks an epoch in the history of the English
Church which should not be overlooked. For the first time since the
Reformation the planning and general features of church edifices were
made to conform to the exigencies of the Protestant faith and a
simplified ritual. Rarely has such an opportunity for distinction been
vouchsafed to any architect as that which fell to the lot of Wren; and
he proved himself equal to the task. Fergusson is my authority for the
statement that during the last forty years of the seventeenth century no
building of importance was erected of which he was not the architect.
Had his design for a complete rebuilding of the burnt district been
carried out, London would have risen from its ashes one of the most
convenient and beautiful cities in the world. The edifices erected by
Wren are models of their kind. A thorough constructor, he was not less
an artist in his feelings, and boldly adapted the systems of the
Renaissance to the requirements of the times, modifying his details to
meet the exigencies which arose. The "Free Classic" of Wren was
certainly very different in conception and execution from the stiff and
formal expression which we note in the works of his immediate
successors, several of whom were, however, men of marked ability. It
was, moreover, immeasurably superior to the classic attempts of the
architects of the middle Georgian period, who, carried away by the
enthusiasm awakened by the perusal of the newly-published "Antiquities"
of Stuart and Revett, attempted to adapt Doric porticos, hexastyle,
octostyle, etc., to modern domestic architecture.

With the accession of William and Mary, England and the Continent became
more closely united. French, Spanish, and Florentine styles of dress
became the fashion, and furniture designed in the Flemish and Dutch
workshops succeeded to the heavier examples of the preceding reigns. The
opening of the China trade and the importation of Delft porcelain
exerted a marked influence upon the tastes of society. An affected
admiration for Dutch topiary also became a fashion. It flourished for a
time, and reached its utmost limit of quaint absurdity in the reign of
Queen Anne.

Architecture also felt the influence of the Dutch school: brick was by
law and custom the vernacular building-material of London, as it was of
the Netherlands, and high-stepped gables with wavy lines became
frequent. Broken pediments with volute terminals were placed over doors
and windows; while a slight admixture of wrought and moulded bricks was
often added to give some degree of elegance and richness to the façades.
This use of moulded brick had played a prominent part in the old Tudor
works; but Parliament had placed heavy and almost prohibitory taxes upon
its manufacture and that of glass, thus vitiating the taste of the
designer by the necessity for studying strict economy in construction.
The manor-houses erected during the reigns of William and Anne are of a
different type: they are bold and massive, picturesque in outline, and
semi-classic in detail.

Through the Georgian reigns and that of William IV. the taste for Free
Classic continued, gradually becoming more debased, with a few feeble
attempts at a revival of mediæval work, as shown by Walpole at
Strawberry Hill; while in the cities the schools of Nash and Wyatt were
stuccoing the honest brick-work of their street-fronts into bad
imitations of Roman palaces. This called forth such epigrams as,--

  Augustus of old was for building renowned,--
  For of marble he left what of brick he had found;
  But is not our Nash a still greater master?
  He found London brick, and will leave it plaster.

The earlier years of Victoria's reign were marked by aspirations for a
better state of things, and discussions between the rival schools of
Classicists and Mediævalists. The latter carried the day, and, after an
heroic struggle and many failures, England awoke from her long lethargy,
to find herself the possessor of a noble architecture, a true exponent
of ecclesiastical art and tradition, although confessedly far from
perfect when applied to domestic buildings. For these latter edifices
the old manor-houses, with their many mullioned windows and Tudor
arcuation, formed the basis for design, and machicoli, turrets, and open
timber roofs became the fashion for country-houses; but the city
dwellings were erected in a style that was a compromise between the
Georgian and the semi-Gothic, the most difficult problem being to
reconcile the double hung sash with the pointed arches of mediæval
precedent.

English architecture was in this uncertain and transitory state when, in
1870, Parliament passed the Elementary Education Act. This was an
opportunity long waited for, and the architects seized upon it with
avidity. The natural desire was to give to the school-buildings a
character distinctively their own, simple in plan and construction, with
but little architectural display, and built of the vernacular
constructive material of English cities,--red brick. Moulded brick could
now be procured in abundance, the tax having been removed by Parliament
in 1850. Such was the beginning of modern Queen Anne architecture. From
small beginnings it has developed into an harmonious and well-defined
system of domestic building, very different in its better phases from
the stiff and starched appearance of its prototypes, being marked by
breadth and freedom of treatment, and in many cases by great richness of
detail.

The architects of the United States soon caught the enthusiasm of their
English brethren, and the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 served to
intensify the feeling of patriotism. If Queen Anne architecture is dear
to Englishmen, it should be doubly so to us. In England the history of
building may be traced back for centuries, style following style in
regular sequence, one growing out of and interwoven with another. With
us the case is different. The early colonists landed in America when
Jacobean architecture was at its best, but they could give little
thought to style or detail. Protection from the elements and savage foes
was their first requirement. Later, when they could give more attention
to architecture as an art, Queen Anne ruled the popular taste, and our
colonial mansions were built and decorated under the influence which
surrounded the thought and literature of the time. Queen Anne or early
Georgian is, therefore, our starting-point in architectural history. It
is well to revive a taste for its quaint and home-like character, not
merely for its own sake, but as a stepping-stone to something better and
more enduring in the future.

Let us now briefly glance at the various constructive systems embraced
in what is to-day known as Queen Anne architecture.


CONSTRUCTION.

In the sudden renaissance of Palladian detail and Dutch planning, known
under the generic title of Queen Anne, we can distinctly trace the
influence of three systems of construction. First in dignity, as in age,
stands the cottage or old English style, claiming descent from the heavy
Tudor mansions of rude stone, rough hewn timber, and white concrete
filling, usually termed "magpie work," from the startling contrast
between their white panels and tarred timbers. Of these old mansions
numerous examples still remain: they were, for the most part, erected
during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but in a few instances a
much earlier date may be assigned. Their construction is of the most
substantial character, and consists in great part of oak frame-work of
large scantling, tenoned and pinned together, the spaces between the
timbers being filled in on both sides with a composition of well-beaten
clay, straw, and chalk, which has become almost as hard as stone.
Embedded in this composition are stout oak laths, held in position by
cross-sticks, to which they are bound by hazel withes, no nail being
used in any part of the work. Second, Queen Anne proper, founded on the
domestic architecture of the Netherlands,--a thoroughly appropriate
system of construction for a country where brick is the vernacular
building-material, and one which perhaps of all others is the most
easily adapted to the requirements of city streets, narrow fronts, and
lofty façades with but little projection to interrupt light and the
various needs of traffic. Third, the style without a name, which during
the last decade has gathered to itself a heterogeneous mass of details,
both English and Continental, combined with picturesque groupings of
parts to form a well-defined and pleasing whole. This system may
certainly be called "free," but, as it appears to be simply a
stepping-stone to something better and more in consonance with the rapid
development of art and the sciences applied to domestic life, it might
perhaps be well termed the Victorian Transition.

The originators of modern Queen Anne were men trained in the Gothic
school, and their watchword was "true construction." This term seems to
be the most elastic and enduring of all the "short and easily-applied
rules" of the profession of architecture. It is, however, applied more
exclusively to the works of revivalists, and is frequently used in
advocacy of new methods and in condemnation of the old. The architects
of the Victorian School had had it impressed upon their minds by Pugin,
Eastlake, and others, that true construction did not exist after the
Middle Ages,--the period of massive timber framing, heavy tables,
mantel-trees, and settles, put together with wooden pins and disdaining
all curves and wavy lines. For a time these professors of artistic truth
were implicitly believed, and architects came to look upon stucco,
plastering, glue, veneers, broken pediments, and applied ornamentation
as monstrous emanations from diseased brains, bewildered and carried off
their balance by the great upheaval of the Renaissance.

The rapidity with which a change of sentiment was achieved is one of the
most remarkable phenomena in architectural history. The worshippers of
"truth" and the rest of the "Seven Lamps," the plaster-ornament-breakers
of 1860, became ten years later the loyal subjects of Queen Anne,
accepting without question the tenets of Stuart and Revett, the Adams,
and even of Nash and Wyatt, who carried the use of stucco and applied
ornamentation to the extremity of extravagance.

In studying the constructive features of the Queen Anne renaissance, we
find many examples of richly-ornamented façades, combined with affected
picturesqueness and quaintness unthought of two hundred years ago. How
are we to account for this change in favor of greater richness and
profusion of detail in a professed revival of the pure and simple forms
of the past, and for the well-established fact, easily recognized by the
student of architecture, that the Queen Anne brick-work of to-day owes
much of its effectiveness, constructively and æsthetically, to the
teaching of an earlier school,--that of the Tudors?

Decorative brick-work, as we find it used in English architecture, is
not simply the outgrowth of the Dutch school, introduced at the
accession of William of Orange. For centuries it had been employed with
success, particularly in Norfolk and other brick-districts. Under the
Tudor sovereigns, moulded and carved brick-work attained a high standard
of excellence. The buildings erected during this period were frequently
enriched with delicately wrought string-moulds, gable-ends, and
cornices, sharp in outline, crisp and spirited in detail. Even under the
Stuarts, Inigo Jones and his great successor Wren executed some noble
works in this material. Unfortunately for art, Parliament in 1625
established the rectangular dimensions of bricks, which thenceforward
were moulded on one dreary model,--a block of clay nine by four by two
and one-half inches. In 1784 Parliament again interfered, and levied
heavy taxes upon all bricks modelled, whether such bricks were spoiled
in the baking or not. This tax was in its action almost prohibitory of
any attempt at establishing a higher grade of workmanship. In the long
interval between 1625 and the repeal of the tax in 1850, workmen in clay
forgot their cunning, and all desire for improvement in design had come
to a stand-still.

The Victorian architects made strenuous efforts to reform so
discreditable a state of things, and, after struggling against the
ignorance of labor and the conservatism of brick-masters, attained their
end, and when, in 1870, the School Board Act went into operation it
found them ready, with well-trained mechanics at their command. In 1850
the revival and expansion of semi-classic architecture wrought in brick
would have been impossible; in 1870 the building world was ripe for the
change. The architects themselves, after receiving their early education
under the leaders of the stucco and plaster school of the later Georgian
reigns, had had their ideas purified and refined by the art-teachings of
the Victorian Gothicists. The result was a spontaneous movement to
develop a new system of construction, with lintelled openings and square
fenestration,--Queen Anne modified and elevated by mediæval teachings
and traditions. A traditional manner, but a sensible one; a sudden
fashion, if you will; a craze, but a craze upon which the architects of
the future will probably look back with satisfaction, as a bold and
successful step toward the solution of the vexed problem of domestic
architecture,--how to make every man's house his proper dwelling, how to
combine Sir Henry Wotton's three conditions of the art of well
building,--"Commodity, Firmness, and Delight."

Leaving England, with its highly-developed and well-understood systems
of construction as they existed in the seventeenth century, let us turn
to the colonial work of the early settlers of America, keeping in mind
the difficulties which surrounded them, and which not only influenced,
but determined by absolute necessities, many of the constructive
peculiarities which we note in their domestic buildings.

In the English colonies of North America we find, between the first
settlement and the opening of the Revolution, three distinct periods or
types of domestic building following each other in regular and
clearly-defined sequence, from rude and massive structures of stone and
timber to carefully-constructed and artistically-designed mansions.

The first period of colonial architecture embraces the greater part of
the seventeenth century. Numerous edifices of this period may still be
seen in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, as well as in the western
portions of the State. In Newport County I may instance the Governor
Henry Bull house, built in 1639, the Sueton Grant house, built about
1650, the Governor Coddington house, erected in 1647, and the "Captain
Kid" house, so called, on Conanicut Island. These houses show all the
peculiarities of the constructive science of their day, which aimed
simply to attain solidity and protection from the elements. The chimneys
and end-walls were generally built of stone, laid up as random rubble,
with mortar composed of shell lime, sand, and gravel, and flakes of
broken slate pounded fine. The sides of these buildings, and the ends
above the line of roof-plate, were of frame construction, made of heavy
oak timber, rudely squared, put together with treenails and boarded
with oak, usually at an angle of forty-five degrees, thus making of
every board a separate brace. This boarding was sometimes covered with
coarse stucco, as on the Bull house, or with split shingles, as on the
Governor Coddington house, put on with wrought nails.

"Whitehall," the home of Bishop Berkeley, and a group of old houses on
Thames Street at Newport, may be said to represent the second period of
our colonial architecture,--_i.e._, the first quarter of the eighteenth
century. They are entirely of frame construction, covered over the
boarding with thick clap-boards, with beaded edges, put on with wrought
nails, and the roofs covered with split shingles of a better class than
those previously used. In houses of this period brick began to take the
place of stone for chimneys, and the gambrel roof--a form of
construction whose history so far has eluded the researches of the
student--seems to have originated in the colonies: it continued in favor
for a hundred years or more, and gradually developed into a
well-proportioned architectural structure, with richly-moulded cornice
and well-designed dormers. It had many advantages: the framing was
simple and strong, and the attic rooms possessed all the height and
floor-space obtainable in the modern French roof, so called, while
avoiding the disagreeable box-like appearance of the latter. The
window-frames of these early eighteenth-century houses were made of
plank, mortised and pinned together, the sills and caps being often
moulded and a bead run around the inner edge of the frames. The sashes
were heavy and glazed, with small squares of very inferior glass set in
wide muntins.

In one of these old houses we find an attempt to modify the gambrel into
the hipped roof, a type which became highly developed in the latter half
of the eighteenth century. In the earlier examples this roof, instead of
being truncated and hipped in all around, with a railing above the crown
moulding, was simply hipped in on the lower part, being turned up at the
ends, forming small gables. The dwellings of this class form a
connecting-link between the second and third periods, which may be said
to have commenced about 1730, when the growing commercial importance of
the seaport towns and the rapid accumulation of wealth induced a more
lavish and elegant style of living.

Prominent among the buildings of this period may be noted in Newport the
Hazard house on Queen Street, now Washington Square, the Vernon house
(Rochambeau's head-quarters), the Ayrault house on Thames Street, the old
Hazard house on Broad Street, and the Gibbs house on Mill Street. But
these are only a few representative buildings taken from the many of the
same class to be found scattered through the seaboard States. The
interior arrangements were extremely simple, but the architectural
details and ornamentation are often rich and marked by great delicacy
and refinement in treatment, the _motif_ being based upon the Free
Classic of the Queen Anne and Georgian reigns. The framing of these
buildings is more systematically put together than in the earlier
examples. The great beams crossing the ceilings, and the
supporting-posts and hanging knees, are surfaced and beaded, instead of
being rough-hewn with an axe. The fireplaces are often surrounded with
Dutch tiles held in place by brass bands. The locks and door-trimmings
are of brass. The window-glass is larger and clearer, and is set in
well-made sashes with light muntins carefully wrought by hand. The
truncated roof is fully developed, with moulded cornices of good
section, the modillions being frequently carved with acanthus-leaves.
The entrance door-ways became the central architectural features, and
are often richly carved and moulded, with pilasters surmounted with
Corinthian capitals, and pediments wrought with a wealth of Palladian
detail, cut with much feeling, the muntins in the headlights being often
carved into quaint and fantastic interfacings. In a number of instances
I have found that when glass panels were required in doors the glass was
set as a panel and the doors framed and built around it, the moulding
being wrought on the stiles and rails. Fortunately, the old crown glass
of the period was of the toughest description, and much of it still
remains. The crystal sheets of the present day would not be equal to
such rough usage and the cross-strains of warping wood-work, even if
they did not break in the putting together. The old Hazard house shows
one of the best examples of a moulded and panelled chimney with which I
am familiar. The roof is of a most peculiar section when viewed from the
gable-end, and the cornice is heavily coved with stucco still in good
preservation.

The public buildings of the colonial period were mostly erected during
the era of commercial prosperity between 1730 and the passage of the
Stamp Act and the Boston Port Bill. Well-known examples are the Newport
City Hall, the Redwood Library, and the Jewish Synagogue, all designed
by Harrison; the State-House, by Munday; Trinity Church, the oldest of
all, built in 1724-25, and the Seventh-Day Baptist Church, built in
1729. These buildings bear the stamp of the best English work of the
time, and evince the cultivated taste of their projectors and the skill
and professional knowledge of their architects. With the exception of
the Seventh-Day Baptist Church, they are still in good condition. The
lines in some places have become curved where they were originally
straight, roofs have become hollowed, and floors have settled; but the
white-oak frames bid fair to outlive several generations of the more
ambitious but more slightly constructed edifices of to-day.

The colonial buildings of Providence, like those of Newport, Salem, and
other New-England towns, are mostly of frame construction and of one
general character. A few edifices of brick, showing the details of
Free-Classicism, may occasionally be met with, but the latter material
seems never to have become popular or to have been generally used in
ordinary street-architecture. Among the more characteristic buildings
of Providence and its vicinity may be enumerated, as belonging to the
first period, the Cæsar house and Green's stone castle,--the latter, at
East Greenwich, having been erected in 1660. In the Cæsar house the
peculiar section of the roof recalls the Hazard house at Newport,
although the latter clearly belongs to the intermediate stage between
the second and third periods. The Witch house at Salem, 1690, recalls
the Sueton Grant house at Newport, notably in the overhanging of the
front at the line of the second floor. The Baptist Church at Providence,
erected in 1774, and the Congregational Church, erected in 1816, are of
the third period. The latter edifice is post-colonial in date, but, like
many other buildings of its class, shows the conservative methods of the
early builders and their immediate followers trained under their
instruction and example.

With the early domestic edifices of Providence I am not familiar enough
to allude to them by name. Many of these houses are extremely rich in
semi-classic detail both exterior and interior. The old John Brown
house, built of brick in 1786, and now owned by Professor Gammell, is a
fine specimen of the dignified and aristocratic type of the Georgian
school. The panelling, mantel-pieces, carvings, etc., are of the richest
colonial character, and are wrought with much feeling, and the doors are
crowned with pediments, a feature not generally adopted in the colonies,
although frequently met with in contemporary English work.

We should naturally look to New York for representative works of the
Dutch William and Queen Anne schools, but the march of improvement and
demolition has been so universal in that city that few examples remain
of the domestic architecture of New Amsterdam. Philadelphia will,
however, supply us with much valuable material to reward our
investigations. In the latter city the Dutch-English school became
firmly established. Many of the old buildings of the colonial period
still remain, and our attention is frequently drawn to some interesting
example while strolling through that portion of the city lying to the
east of Tenth Street. These edifices, both public and domestic, are
generally of brick construction, showing all the marked peculiarities of
English work of the period. The bricks are in nearly every instance laid
up with the Flemish bond. The gable-ends are stepped, as in the
Netherlands; string-moulds and base-courses made of moulded bricks of
good section are often met with; while the whole character and aspect of
their façades are in unison with the conservatism and early training of
the mechanics who erected them. This conservatism and respect for the
ways of their predecessors still exert a powerful influence upon the
building-industries of Philadelphia. The masons of that city still cling
with reverence to the Flemish system of bonding,--the strongest known to
the bricklayer. The planning of the dwelling-houses is different, so far
as I am conversant with them, from the system in vogue in any other
American city. The varied levels of floors in the "front" and "back"
buildings has been tenaciously adhered to by the designers of each
generation. This variety in levels gives a rambling, homely effect which
is very pleasing, and which is capable of being developed into the
highest expression of domestic convenience and artistic elegance of
which our modern Queen Anne is capable.

Of the public buildings, Christ Church, St. Peter's Church, Independence
Hall, Carpenters' Hall, and some others, represent, I think, the best
type of Queen Anne or Georgian architecture to be met with in colonial
work. Their designers seem to have been thoroughly in earnest, and the
details are marked by conscientious adherence to the established
precedents of the time. It was this thorough knowledge of precedent as
applied to mass and detail which enabled their designers to grasp boldly
the problems before them, and, while not departing from the academic
system in which they had been trained, to infuse into each separate
building which they erected a dignity and an individuality of its own.


ÆSTHETIC QUALITIES.

Having thus followed Queen Anne architecture through the various phases
of its development, it remains only to refer to its claim to artistic
excellence, and answer, if possible, the question frequently asked: Is
Queen Anne "high art"?

As a basis for the discussion of so intricate a subject, I will first
endeavor to establish the underlying principles of good architecture,
using the word style in its broadest sense, expressive of elegance,
fitness, and artistic truth,--style proper and style as defined by the
antiquarian being two distinct things. It has been argued, and with some
show of reason, that the origin of all beauty is in utility; but in
architecture, which has other objects besides the gratification of the
eye, or even of the understanding, it must be conceded that art holds
the second place.

Two thousand years ago, Vitruvius laid down the basis of good
architecture: First, order, method, and regularity; second, fitness of
arrangement, general disposition, and contrivances adapted to locality
and other circumstances; third, uniformity; fourth, proportion,--being
the relation of parts or quantities by which harmony and grace are
obtained; fifth, character,--which dictates the special aspect of the
work according to its purpose; sixth, analogy,--consisting in those
resemblances and ideal significances which assimilate the works of man
to those of nature; seventh, economy,--not merely the vulgar economy of
the purse, but that which combines utility with beauty, admitting
nothing superfluous and allowing nothing to be overlooked. Sir Henry
Wotton tells us, in the quaint old English of his day, that in
architecture, as in all operative arts, "the end is to build well."
Other writers have alluded to architecture as the "politeness of
building," and as "the art of building with expression." The fundamental
law which should govern the preparation of an architectural design is
thus happily expressed by Roscoe: "Utility and beauty are bound together
in an indissoluble chain; and what the great Author of nature has
joined together let no man put asunder."

Will the "Free Classic" of the Queen Anne reformers bear the test of a
critical comparison with the "seven lamps" of Vitruvius or the dictum of
Roscoe? are such designs true exponents of "high art," and do they meet
the requirements of the complex and artificial life of to-day? I propose
to confine my investigations to the style of domestic buildings,
ecclesiastical and municipal edifices being usually and by general
consent designed in a broader and more masculine manner, their _motifs_
being deduced from mediæval sources or from the rich and dignified
Renaissance of Continental Europe.

We have seen that America received her colonial methods of building
directly from England; but here the connection ceases, except in
sentiment; and a careful comparison of a number of English and American
designs for country-houses will, I think, sustain the assertion that in
reviving a taste for Queen Anne composition the architects of the two
centuries have adopted different ideals as to the logical present and
future development of their eclectic system. In short, the situation may
be summed up in the query, How "Free" may our Classic become and not
offend good taste and common sense?

The Englishman, naturally conservative, clings rigidly to the old
systems of domestic planning, and, although varied and often enriched in
detail, the exterior of his Queen Anne houses is, in the generality of
cases, simply a reflection of earlier works designed for the School
Board of London. The planning of these houses is irregular in the
extreme, symmetry and balance of parts are ignored, and the
communication between the various apartments is complicated and often
tortuous. Their long and narrow corridors, and the infrequent use of the
furnace or steam-coil as a means for procuring an equitable diffusion of
heat, necessitate the screening of doors by placing them in
out-of-the-way angles and around corners, to prevent draughts. The
humid climate of England renders the veranda objectionable, and the
windows, rarely fitted for blinds, are grouped together and divided by
light and graceful mullions,--a relic of Tudor practice.

The American architect starts upon his revival with less precedent and
conservatism either to assist or to hinder him. He can therefore adopt
any system he pleases, or, by combining several styles, compose a
thoroughly eclectic design; and he is apt to take full advantage of his
opportunities, for his "Free Classic" is free indeed.

No style of domestic architecture can be good or partake of "high-art"
qualities that cannot be claimed as a true exponent of the family and
social life of the period to which it owes its birth and development. A
whimsical fashion in dress, in equipages, or in the etiquette of society
may be tolerated without injury to the national advancement. Such
fashions are transitory, springing suddenly into notice and as rapidly
passing into oblivion. With architecture it is different: here follies
are wrought into durable form. We see an ultra Queen Anne house of
to-day, and its quaintness and odd conceits attract our fancy. We put up
with its manifest incongruities and inconveniences, and for a time all
goes well. But when we tire of four-by-four-inch fenestration, glazed
with rough cathedral-glass, the lines of the tower several inches off
the vertical and bulged in the centre to give the effect of age, the
rough and massive walls--of lath and plaster--glittering with broken
glass, the ceilings so low that we are unable to have chandeliers to
light our rooms, rendered gloomy by artificially-darkened walls and
panelling, what are we to do? If the house is well built, it should be
in better heart and condition one hundred years hence than the colonial
mansions erected prior to 1760 are to-day. These colonial mansions,
planned and built for the wealthy merchants of the seaboard towns, may
well command our admiration and careful study, but, as a rule, they are
entirely unsuited to the domestic life of to-day, and their construction
is faulty and badly conceived when viewed in the light of modern
practice. They should be respected and studied, because they are true
exponents of art-building, in that they show in every line and moulding
good common sense,--the use of materials according to the best ability
and knowledge possessed by the artisans who erected them, and a sturdy
manhood which wrought by main strength artistic works out of crude
materials with slender mechanical appliances. A study of these old
buildings seems to bring before us something of the mental strength of
the men who erected them,--men who were fully up to and even ahead of
their time, who aimed to do their best, and what they did was good. Such
being the case, are we to suppose that had the colonial architects and
builders continued in practice down to our own time they would have gone
on in the old way, or, rather, behind their own best period of
construction to the time when beams were hewn out with an axe and left
as large as possible, to reduce the labor to a minimum? No; they were
too advanced in sentiment for such weakness, and would no doubt ere this
have developed a sensible and correct national style of domestic
building, founded upon colonial precedent, but taking into consideration
all the advances in science and art and, above all, machinery, which,
although decried by the "high-art" amateur, has done much to improve the
art and science of American building.

The advanced Queen Anne designer takes a different view of the case. He
tells us in all seriousness and with much enthusiasm that the domestic
building of the colonists was far in advance of modern work, both in its
picturesque aspects and its home-like comfort. He points to the huge
beams and hanging knees which support the floors, their rudely-chamfered
edges dubbed into shape with an axe, as evidence of the thought and
skilful manipulation of the artificer, the sashes with muntins an inch
and a half in width, glazed with coarse and greenish glass, and the
mouldings, all hand-made, showing the wavy lines and irregular sections
inseparable from rude hand-work, and then triumphantly asks, "Can your
boasted machinery turn out such work as that?" I answer emphatically,
No, it cannot; and for this we should be thankful. The colonial
mechanics well understood the spirit of Sir Henry Wotton's apt saying,
"In architecture, as in all other operative arts, the end is to build
well." Would such men have spent their time in hewing out beams of oak
ten or twelve inches square by main strength and patience if they had
possessed the circular saw driven by steam-power? The weight of these
huge beams, of badly-proportioned section, forced to support an overplus
of width with comparatively small depth, wrought serious injury to their
buildings,--settling floors, irregularly hollowing roofs and
ridge-lines, and doing far more than time in rendering these old
mansions picturesque and quaint "suggestions" for a revival of "high
art." It seems probable that the workmen of the past would have been the
first to welcome the advent of machinery and make use of its wide
adaptations. At all events, they would never have stooped to the level
of the ultra Queen Anne revivalists, who, in striving after the
picturesque, have often set well-studied construction at defiance.

In this search after quaintness and picturesque effects roofs and
ridge-lines are hollowed out with great labor, walls are made to bulge
by nailing on furrings beneath the boarding, clear sheet-glass, easily
procured of any dimensions, is voted "so inartistic," and the green
crown glass and bull's-eyes are taken from some venerable farm-house,
where they fitly belonged, to fill the irregular fenestration of a
modern parlor.

What is the logical sequence of so anomalous a state of domestic
architecture? Shall we sand our floors, and design chairs with high
backs to break off the draughts from our rattling sashes, from which we
have removed the cords and weights? abandon the equable temperature
throughout our dwellings for individual fires unassisted by the furnace
or steam-coil? revert to the moderator or carcel lamp, casting a dim
light over a radius of a few feet and entirely below the level of the
eye, and place on our outer doors the old brass knockers to awaken the
denizens of a whole square with their noisy reverberations?

I think I may safely assert that such designs and architectural fashions
are not the exponent of "high art;" and, while they may please for a
time a people always alive to novelty, they will ultimately be set
aside, on the ground of their unworthiness when measured by the standard
of common sense. It has been said of common sense applied to building
that "when and wherever architecture has been practised as a living art,
as an outgrowth of the wants of the people who practise it, especially
in those periods which are generally reckoned by the educated as the
purest, this quality is everywhere recognized. From the rock-hewn cave
and rude hut to the stateliest edifice, this principle will be found to
exist; and, though a common-sense building may have no artistic beauty,
a building which sets common sense at defiance will fail to please the
intelligent observer."

  Something there is more needful than expense,
  And something previous e'en to taste,--'tis sense,
  Good sense, which only is the gift of heaven,
  And, though no science, fairly worth the seven.

Critical writers, in reviewing architectural publications, have
frequently remarked that the authors of such works, particularly those
which profess to deal with the æsthetical side of the profession, while
severely censuring the prevailing taste for what they term "debased
art," and denouncing all methods adopted since the birth of the
Renaissance, rarely offer us any formulas by following which we may
advance the tone and sentiment of architecture. When they do offer any
advice, it is too often in vague terms, scarcely to be understood by the
general reader. Thus, one tells us that to follow taste alone is a
delusion, and that architecture, to be worthy of its name, should be a
logical development of the constructive sciences based upon man's
necessities and the requirements of social life. In short, instead of
offering a grammar of architecture suited to the wants of the general
and unprofessional reader, these authors offer theoretical reasoning of
an advanced order; instead of art-instruction, severe censures upon
existing forms. The system by which architectural students are educated
and prepared for the duties of professional life has much to do with
their lack of readiness in formulating in after-years practical theories
for the improvement of their art.

But the establishment of architectural schools at the Boston Institute
of Technology, at Columbia College, and at Champagne, Illinois, with
well-trained and enthusiastic professors at the head of each, and
carefully-selected corps of assistants, is already doing much toward an
improvement in students themselves, and in raising the standard of
American architecture as a profession in the eyes of society. This
student-system must in time create a body of men, well educated,
enthusiastic, and bound together by an _esprit de corps_ hitherto almost
unknown among the great body of practising architects. The dictum passed
by such a body upon the art and science of building will be received
with respect by the laymen who employ them, and American architecture,
in its better phases, will receive an impetus and a nervous strength in
construction and composition which at present we find exemplified only
in the scattered works of a few highly-trained practitioners. So far we
have had in this country no fixed standard by which the educated
architect may be tried and his professional position established. Unlike
the practice of law and medicine, the field is free to all, and previous
training is not required. In France, where the educational probation is
long and severe and the rewards of success certain, the graduates of the
schools are few in number compared with the lists of new names
constantly appearing in the columns of our city directories with the
designation of "architect." In America, young men, ambitious and anxious
to succeed, after a few months spent in study and in copying drawings
in some prominent office, set up for themselves. They naturally drift
into the ranks of the Queen Anne designers, for the reason that their
art is "free," and they can jumble together

  A patchwork of Japan,
  And queer bits of Queen Anne,
  All mixed upon the plan
  Of as you like or as you can.

One of the most zealous of the English Queen Anne revivalists has made
the candid confession of the real weakness under the apparent strength
of the movement, in stating that "it is a bad style for students to cut
their teeth upon." If it is a bad foundation for the education of
students, certainly it must be bad for the stability and beauty of their
future works.

Nothing that I have seen so cleverly portrays the young and "high art"
architectural aspirant as the delineation of a character in a novel
published in England under the title of "The Ambassador Extraordinary,"
and said to have been written by an eminent architect. With unsparing
pen the author sketches a character, Georgius Oldhausen by name, F.S.A.,
professor of architecture of a very advanced order. The work is well
executed, and we can almost see before us the architect who, disdaining
such insignificant matters as good planning, stability of construction,
and convenient disposition of parts, claims to be an artist pure and
simple, and, leaving practical matters entirely out of the question,
goes in heavily for the picturesque and pure mediæval, Queen Anne, or
Jacobean, as the case may be. Let us follow him as he conducts a friend
over a church and conventual establishment in course of construction.

"Your rooms," says Monsignore, "seem to me to be made almost as
uncomfortable as they possibly can be."

"Why, of course!" exclaims the astonished artist, fixing his glass
somewhat indignantly in his eye. "What you call uncomfortable I call
quaint."

"Very possibly I should call it the same; but, my dear sir, _cui bono_?"

"_Cui bono!_" answers the architect contemptuously. "That's what all
modern people say; that's the horrible mistake of the whole modern
world. We shall never recover the tone of the old men till we get rid of
such jargon. Now, just for an instant, imagine the fathers of this abbey
of ours going in for wash-hand-basins!"

He drops his eye-glass in sheer dismay at such an idea. They next visit
the refectory. Master Georgius here excels himself. "I'm going in for
doing it inside in red brick, and vaulting it in red brick too, with
black diaper-patterns all over, you know."

"How pretty!"

"I hope not," (dropping his glass.) "The diapers will be quite
irregular, and full of what you would very likely call mistakes."

"A sort of intentional accidents, George."

"Yes; not a bad term. And then the joints will be all raked out roughly,
and the brick-work smeared, you know. I have quite a new idea about
that. I mean to go in for letting the workmen have the use of all the
rooms, with liberty to smudge them as much as they like; and so at the
end we shall have a sort of antique effect, you know."

"They will be dirty."

"You may call it dirt," says Georgius, refixing his eye-glass. "I call
it art. And there will be marks here and there where the fellows have
lighted fires, you know."

"And caricatures on the walls, I suppose."

"Of course. I shall go in for that very much. I shall offer a prize for
the quaintest. I'll have them done with a brush of paint, you know, or
scratch them with a screw-driver, and so on. I call that real art."

"So it is, George."

"And smudges of candle-smoke everywhere, and grease, and all that sort
of thing. Well, here's the dormitory; that's in yellow brick, with white
ones, and red ones, and so on, intermixed at random. Magnificent!"

The tower he proposes to treat in an equally artistic manner. "I shall
go in for building it quite rough on purpose, and have it washed over
with something--that's a matter of detail, you know--to produce fungus,
or moss, or lichens, or whatever you choose to call it; and I shall
plant things in the crevices as we go up,--wall-flowers, and houseleek,
and ferns, and couch-grass, and all that kind of thing, you know."

"But what is all that for?"

"What is it all for?" says Master Georgius, dropping his glass. "Why,
what could it be for? To give authenticity to the tower, of course."

With all this so-called æstheticism and crude speculation upon the
proper development of architecture as a fine art, I believe the
reformers of the Queen Anne school have honestly attempted to improve
and elevate the standard of our domestic buildings. At all events, they
have brought into the ranks of the profession life and nerve, elements
absolutely necessary to an honest development of art-methods. The
sentiment for art pure and simple will gradually expand into a greater
veneration for the scientific elements of their professional career, and
the necessity of clearly demonstrating to the uneducated comprehension
of mechanics the practicability of their designs will induce those
habits of thought and investigation which, if honestly pursued, will
elevate the standard of professional attainments. As a natural result,
their designs when executed will give us edifices artistic in conception
and detail, well planned, and built by the best-known methods of
construction.

The Queen Anne revival, viewed apart from the incongruities which have
been engrafted upon it, is a movement of great interest to the
architectural fraternity. Although a worn-out and debased art was the
foundation of this renaissance, the movement has given to us, in the
works of its best masters, much that is beautiful and honest in theory
and in real domestic comfort. It may be said to be the picturesque art
of a hitherto unpicturesque time and people. Let us, then, cultivate the
principles of Free-Classicism honestly and logically, striving to
secure the best results from our studies and the works of our
predecessors; but do not let us be carried away by our love for
archæology and attempt to make our Queen Anne houses of to-day simply a
reflex of those of the early eighteenth century. If we attempt such
purism we must fail signally as constructors and as artists.
Architecture, to be a living art, must press forward and keep pace with
the advance of civilization, combining and utilizing all the varied
resources at its command, and aiming to meet all the public and domestic
requirements of a complex and artificial state of civilization. To
Americans, Queen Anne or early Georgian is the starting-point of
architectural history. Let us, then, take it as our standard, the Alpha
of our profession, and aim to emulate the old masters in their endeavors
to do their best with the small means at their command. Let us so design
our modern buildings as to obtain the best results from diversified
industries, almost human machinery, and the refined taste and superior
cultivation of our clients, and we shall be carrying out the Queen Anne
revival more logically and with more common sense than by aiming simply
to attain the quaint and picturesque aspects of earlier work, forgetting
the necessities which compelled the builders of the eighteenth century
to stop short in their aspirations for a better and truer art. Let us
build strongly, honestly, and conveniently,--eclectically if we
will,--and our modified and beautified Queen Anne will become the
logical expression of American domestic architecture. It contains the
germ of greatness and artistic truth: let us endeavor to secure that
germ, and our dwellings, enriched and beautified, will realize the idea
of Skelton, who tells us of the early masters who, centuries before the
advent of Queen Anne or Free Classic architecture, were

  Building royally
  Their mansions curiously,
  With turrets and with toures,
  With halls and with boures,
  Stretching to the starres;
  With glass windows and barres;
  Hanging about the walls,
  Clothes of golde and palles,
  Arras of rich arraye,
  Freshe as flowers in Maye.

GEORGE C. MASON, JR.



MORNING.


  I woke and heard the thrushes sing at dawn,--
    A strangely blissful burst of melody,
    A chant of rare, exultant certainty,
  Fragrant, as springtime breaths, of wood and lawn.
  Night's eastern curtains still were closely drawn;
    No roseate flush predicted pomps to be,
    Or spoke of morning loveliness to me.
  But for those happy birds the night was gone!
  Darkling they sang, nor guessed what care consumes
    Man's questioning spirit; heedless of decay,
  They sang of joy and dew-embalméd blooms.
    My doubts grew still, doubts seemed so poor while they,
  Sweet worshippers of light, from leafy glooms
    Poured forth transporting prophecies of Day.

  FLORENCE EARLE COATES.



NOS PENSIONS.


They have been many and of a widely various character. We tried them in
England, in France, in Italy; we tried them likewise in Germany, Sweden,
and Spain, but the result of that trying was, in these last-named
countries, far more trying to our digestions and tempers than rich in
such recollections as would add to the interest of this paper.

Our first European _pension_ was, naturally, a London one. It was one of
the innumerable host in the pale realms of Bloomsbury. Like others of
its kind in that region, it prided itself upon its "connexion,"--or,
less euphemistically, its _custom_,--and made a specialty of an
Australian "connexion," as the next number upon the right made a
specialty of Germans, the one upon the left of South Americans and
Spaniards, the one opposite of Russians, and uncounted ones all over
London of our countrymen. Although our house was largely frequented by
Australians, it did by no means confine its privileges to them. Like
every other London boarding-house, it was a perfect caravansary of
foreigners of almost every nation and every shade of color. At one time,
with a Danish landlord and an Irish landlady, we were Norwegians,
Swedes, Russians, Spaniards, Germans, Italians, and East Indians. Also
we were several Americans, as was proved one notable day. That day we
heard the arrival of new-comers in the hall below. We saw not their hue,
but we recognized their cry as that of our countrypeople. We are not
madly enamoured of our countryman in foreign climes. There his least
adorable qualities--his bumptiousness, his provincialism, his strident
tones and "_costume de Yank_"--are always more strikingly conspicuous
than the chivalry toward women and the self-respecting manliness we
always recognize so emphatically in him when we return to our own land
after a prolonged absence. Hence we panted not for the dinner-hour, that
should show us the faces whose voices we recognized as to our own manner
born. That hour came, however, as all hours come to those who know how
to wait. We descended to the showy table, with its floral decorations of
paper, muslin, and gay paint, the ladies in the evening dress of
flowers, trains, and _décolletée_ bodices which is the absurd custom of
pretentious London _pensions_. We glanced along the table to note the
new-comers. They were there, neatly and stylishly dressed in
walking-costumes. They were three quiet gentlemanly and lady-like
persons, but their faces were Medusa-like to almost every American who
gazed upon them. The foreigners looked intensely amused at this collapse
of the American contingent,--all save our Danish landlord, who stared
with amazement. Next day our new-comers disappeared.

"How in the world did you _congédier_ them?" somebody asked.

"I told them my Americans admire enough coppery Turks, South Americans,
Japanese, and East Indians, but they turn to stone at sight of niggers,"
answered Mr. Nodskou.

The line was certainly not drawn at color, for our Parsees were dusky
enough, goodness knows, and them our maidens found very captivating.
Several of them spoke no English, and it was the fascinating pastime of
our English, Australian, and American girls to teach them our common
language. But the result was, alas, not a little confusing to our
Parsees.

"Don't fancy you are learning English from those Americans," warned
Britannia. "Their accent is horrible: they say the weather is 'fair'
when they mean 'fine,' they call their luggage 'baggage,' and when they
speak of their travelling-boxes talk of their 'trunks,' like
elephants!"

"Don't be fooled by English English," advised Columbia: "the accent is
like a mouthful of pudding, and when they mean to say the weather is bad
they say it is 'nawsty;' they call their rubbers 'galoshes,' their
dépôts 'stations,' and when they start on a journey they get their
'boxes' together, like sweet-biscuit-peddlers."

"Don't mind what either of them say," quoth Miss Melbourne. "Both are
wrong. It is only we Australians, living between the two branches of the
language, as it were, who select the best and gobble it."

"What must it to say when I have such a fear, _such_ a fear, that I
speak not?" asked one of the Parsees.

"Say you're dickey on your pins," laughed Australia.

"Say you feel all of a goneness," spoke up Columbia.

"No; that is Americanese," flouted Britannia: "say you're in a beastly
funk!"

That our Parsees improved under such tuition was somewhat remarkable.
The lingual advance of one of them was quite startling. Our young ladies
had striven to teach him "good-by." One day, therefore, as the ladies
were departing from the dining-room, leaving the gentlemen to their
wine, our Parsee opened the door with grave, Oriental courtesy, and,
bowing to the rustling covey, said solemnly, "By god, ladies, by god!"

During a political discussion in which English and Australians took
chief parts, a Melbourne girl exclaimed excitedly, "Thank goodness,
_I'm_ not English!"

"Not Engleesh!" exclaimed her neighboring Parsee. "What are you but the
small little brat of the mother-country?"

Not until we laughed did our grave Oriental remember that "brat" and
"child" are not strictly synonymous.

Said one of our English girls afterward to me, with tact and taste
pre-eminently British, "_She_ glad she is not English! Really, _I'd_
almost as soon be American as Australian."

Our Parsees were not our only peculiar people. We Americans found quite
as much food for sly laughter in the queerness of our English _habitués_
as they did in ours. Our English contingent was largely feminine,
therefore, as goes without saying, very High-Church, very _dévote_, and
excessively Tory, worshipping the English aristocracy vastly more than
that of celestial courts. Everybody knows the two diseases that
virulently assail young Englishwomen,--"scarlet fever" and "black
vomit,"--maladies provoked by association with red-coated officers and
black-coated curates.

One of our fair Britons had the darker malady. She fasted regularly on
Fridays and Tuesdays. We always recognized her _jours maigres_ by the
quantity of cakes and pastry we saw carried to her room just before
dinner, to which dinner she came in nun-like gray silk, saintly
coiffure, with ascetic pallor on cheeks wont to bloom with roses de
Ninon, to dine, _à la_ Sainte Catherine or Sainte Something else, on a
few lentils or a lettuce-leaf.

One Sunday somebody asked this fair devotee to give us a certain popular
but profane piano-arrangement. She was shocked beyond measure. A few
moments' temptation, however, brought her to a compromise.

"I think there will be no harm if I play it slowly and make it as solemn
as possible."

We smiled at the æsthetic piety of our Saint Catherine. But she did more
than smile at our national practicality when, one evening, from the gay
drawing-room we heard the clamor of a feminine arrival below:

"I won't see any rooms till I know your price. I won't stir a peg till I
know what's to pay. I've come from Chicago, where folks know what's
what, and I'm going to do Yoorup on the cheap!"

Saint Catherine worshipped her country's aristocracy. One day Jonathan
happened to be putting on his coat in the hall, when somebody knocked at
the front door. Forgetting that the act, so natural to an American, is
ungentlemanly and menial in England, he opened the door himself. A
couple of young swells inquired for Saint Catherine.

"I just saw her go out," answered Jonathan.

"Tell her that the brothers of Lord Verisopht called," said the
spokesman.

"I'll tell her," spoke Jonathan; "but, good heavens, young man, don't
lords' brothers have any names of their own in this country?"

Another day came a gorgeous individual with a bouquet to the door.

"What skion of the British nobility is that?" asked Jonathan.

"That is Lord Blank's footman," replied Saint Catherine.

"My! Well, whose footman is _that_?" continued her interlocutor,
pointing to a less gorgeous person holding the reins.

"That is Lord Blank," answered Saint Catherine loftily.

"Sakes alive! Does that goose of a lord think he will stand any chance
with the girls when he takes such a howling swell as _that_ around with
him?" asked simple Jonathan.

To this question Saint Catherine deigned no reply, having, perhaps,
remarked the wicked twinkle of Jonathan's eye.

One of our _pensionnaires_ objected very much to the American language.
"It is principally slang," she said. This lady, no longer young, had
been three times upon the eve of marriage, had had three bridal dresses,
had countermanded three wedding-feasts. She was heiress at that time to
the fifty thousand pounds she has since inherited, and the persistent
failure of her matrimonial endeavors surprised us all.

"It is because Monsieur mon Père is perfectly addled on the matter of
settlements, and rowed with every one of my _fiancés_," she explained.

She said one day, "The gov'nor has done me out of a guinea of my
allowance this week. He's a first-class _Do_!"

Another time, "The mater and I prefer to live in our own house, but the
gov'nor won't hear to it. He prefers 'diggin's' where he can always have
his whist."

Some time after our sojourn in Bloomsbury "diggin's" we found ourselves
in a Continental _pension_, the very reverse of this in every respect.
It was a Parisian _pension bourgeoise_, but one entirely away from every
haunt of foreigners as well as from foreign influences,--a _pension_ as
French as French could be, where we were not merely the only foreigners
present, but the only ones who had ever penetrated there.

It was a large white house, standing in its own grounds, not far from
the Bois de Vincennes, pre-eminently a _pension bourgeoise_, and without
pretensions higher than the widows of shopkeepers and the relicts of
small government employees that formed its support. Not counting
ourselves, there were twenty Relicts and one Maiden, all with handsome
incomes and diamonds, but with the habit of running far and wide upon
the open boulevard in caps, loose sacques, and list slippers, and of
boasting of the cheap bargains they made in stockings and gowns. Their
toilets were always _tout ce qu'il y a de plus bourgeois_, their
conversation ran upon public scandals, private gossip, and fluctuations
of trade (almost all of them had kept shop with their departed
consorts), their reading was Paul de Kock's novels and the _feuilletons_
of "Le Petit Journal." The youngest widow was fifty, the Maiden
ninety-and-nine. The latter was daughter of a man who had been
_concierge_ of the Tuileries during the reign of Charles X. She was
dusky and shrivelled as any daughter of the Pharaohs, but her faculties
were marvellously preserved and her memory rich with interesting
personal gossip of a former period. We Americans should have delighted
to draw upon that memory, but one thing hindered us: that was the
insatiable, indomitable, unparalleled coquetry of our ancient Maiden.
She would never talk with any woman when any man was in the room. She
descended to the stuffy little _salon_ only in the evening, when the
Relicts were gathered to their gambling for sous and the atmosphere was
an imitation of the Black Hole of Calcutta. She descended _en grande
tenue_, the grandest ever seen there, frizzled, jewelled, and muffled
to the throat in fleecy clouds of white wool. She came all quirks and
quivers, all flutters and smiles, for there she met our only
Monsieur,--Monsieur Boulanger, our landlord. She invariably took her
seat beside him, and devoted quirks and quivers exclusively to him,
tapping him with her fan, calling him "_Méchant! méchant!_" "_farceur_,"
or "_quel diable d'homme!_" twittering and carolling in her old broken
voice, like a senile canary dreaming of its far-off youth. M. Boulanger
was of peasant origin and appearance, gray-bearded and gray-haired, and
clumping always in _sabots_ over the stone floors, except in the _salon_
in the evening. But her eyes were only for him; and the only occasion on
which any of her own uninteresting sex had her attention was when Madame
Boulanger pouted and pretended to be jealous, or some Relict showed
pique that our only Monsieur was monopolized by our only Maiden. Then
she smiled archly, cooed sweetly, and arched her ancient neck with
visible triumph.

Before we left the _pension bourgeoise_ our front door was hung with
heavy black curtains, and our Maiden passed forth into the broad day for
the first time in ten years. She went out unsmiling, uncooing, without
flutter or quirk, and no date upon her pine coffin, for with her last
breath she had forbidden it.

"Nobody need know that I have lived more than fifty years," she
murmured; "and don't let Monsieur Boulanger look at me when I am dead."

One of our widows--Madame Notte--was almost stone-deaf. She was a
dwarfish creature, passionately fond of cards, waxing into terrible
tempers over them, and with only one interest in life,--worshipful love
of her only son, a not too beautiful _citoyen_ of fifty. This son fell
ill and died. Poor Madame Notte knew of his illness, but not of its
danger and final end. It was thought best to keep from her the knowledge
that she was childless, lest the shock should be too great for her frail
strength. She was told he had gone to Italy for his health; and when
his widow and daughters came twice each week to visit her, they left
their weeds at home, came in a close carriage in their gayest attire,
and laughed and talked to her blithely with heavy hearts. All about the
poor old mother we talked openly and freely of her loss and our pity,
and she sat as unwitting as stone of it all. But when we put our mouths
to her ear and asked for her son, a beautiful change always dawned upon
the leaden countenance. "He has gone away," she invariably
smiled,--"gone to a better country, where it is always summer. When I
see him again he will be well, quite well." She, too, passed under the
heavy black curtains that winter; and from our hearts we prayed that all
was well with them in that better country where it is always summer.

One of our Relicts prided herself upon her English, and criticised ours.
"They speak English fairly well: I can _understand_ them," I once heard
her say of us to a group of Relicts in the garden; "but of course they
speak only a _patois_: they are Americans."

"Why say you always to your infant, 'Hurry, my darling'?" she asked one
day. "The pure Englishes says always, ''Urry, me darlink.'" Madame had
acquired her English from her defunct lord, a commercial traveller from
Lancashire.

One day, glancing at an envelope I had just addressed, she remarked,
"_Eh bien!_ you Americans are very like English, after all. In England
the last name of almost every monsieur is 'Esq.'!"

Another day she sweetly remarked, "This knife has very bad bladders."

As knives in our country are not generally endowed with that physical
possession, I could only stare my astonishment.

"Eh, I see! It is an _English_ word, and you do not understand it. It
means _lame_."

By which I discovered that had she spoken our transatlantic _patois_ she
would have said "_blades_."

Every one of our Relicts had her private sitting-room attached to her
bed-room, the house having been built expressly to suit the demands of
_bourgeois_ widows with fortunes. Thus our _salon_ was of very little
account until after dinner, when our widows, instead of returning to
their own rooms, the garden, or the boulevard, where they spent the day,
herded together around card-tables almost as closely as sheep in a pen.
The _salon_ was not intended for daytime use; in the bitterest weather
it had no fire until evening, and it had but a single window, which
looked out upon the pavement of a well-like court arched over, three
stories above, by a handkerchief bit of sky. Very little light or air
ever entered the box-like place; during the day its atmosphere was stale
and heavy, at night almost fetid. Whenever we ventured to pass an hour
there our struggle was always against fate. Slyly we would leave the one
door an inch ajar, or surreptitiously unclose the window a fraction as
much. Scarcely, however, had we begun to congratulate ourselves upon
success when half a score of antique roses flaunted and flared, and the
death-knell of sly hopes sounded with echoed and re-echoed cry: "_Mon
Dieu!_ I smell air!" "_Mon Dieu!_ Smell you not air?" "_Mon Dieu!_ Smell
we not air?" "_Mon Dieu!_ Smells she not air?" "_Mon Dieu!_ Smell they
not air?"

Almost all our _veuves_ had children and grandchildren in Paris, and we
were continually surprised to see the mundane elegance of these younger
branches of our withered old trees. It showed the usual history,
however, of _bourgeois_ parents who had worked steadily, lived humbly
and economically, to gather _dots_ for their daughters and open careers
for their sons, to see them thus rise to positions in life far above
their parents. Every day some of these younger branches came to our
house in handsome carriages and toilets; and indeed on some days the
number of elegant visitors who rang at our door gave the impression of a
gay reception _à la mode_ rather than of the ordinary visitors of a
_pension bourgeoise_ at Saint-Maudé.

One of our Relicts was decidedly less _bourgeoise_ and more _paysanne_
than any of the rest. She was round as a ball, seventy years of age, and
dressed always in short gray petticoats, black short-gown, and close
white cap. Madame Boulanger kept close watch upon her, and tried to
confine her to the sunny, high-walled garden set with a number of round
little iron tables, where our Relicts took their after-_déjeûner café_
on sunny days. But Madame Boulanger was not Argus-eyed, and thus we
often saw Madame Leroy escape through the front door and roll like a
huge balloon along the boulevard, bent on what she called "collecting
her rents." The way she did it was to enter every open door and accost
every grown person she saw with the stern reproach that he was
behind-hand with his rent, and if he did not pay up by to-morrow she
would send the _huissier_ to sell him out. The poor creature was so well
known in the neighborhood that she never received rough treatment, and
was generally so thoroughly tired out by her rent-collecting as to be
quite ready to return without resistance whenever one of our servants
sought her. When she did not escape, and mingled with the conglomerate
widowhood of the garden (she was never permitted in the _salon_, and
went to bed with the chickens), her time was spent, hour after hour, day
after day, month after month, going from Relict to Relict, telling
always the same story,--always the same, and always a true one:

"Are you in trade? I am. My husband and I came to Paris from Normandy
fifty years ago, on foot, with one hundred francs. We kept a
green-grocery on Rue des Saints-Pères. When my husband died he left me
one hundred thousand francs. I go to collect my rents: will you go? Are
you in trade? I am. My husband and I came to Paris on foot," etc., etc.,
etc.

One of the most elegant of all our visitors was to this poor old Madame
Leroy. She always came in an elegant landau, with liveried coachman and
footman. Her toilets were of incomparable luxury, but likewise of
restrained and cultured taste, being usually of black velvet,
duchess-like laces, and queenly furs. She always went directly to this
old peasant-woman's handsomely-furnished rooms, and we never saw her
except as she descended from her carriage before the windows at which we
sat. She was a tall, finely-formed, aristocratic-looking brunette of
thirty-five or forty, artistically gotten up as to complexion and hair,
and always smiling affectionately at the tea-kettle old figure waiting
at the door to greet her. This aristocratic lady was known in the house
as Madame la Princesse, and was the daughter of our ancient _paysanne_
and green-grocer, whom a Slav noble had taken from a _café chantant_ in
Constantinople to endow with his name and fortune.

Another of our _veuves_ filled her private _salon_ with cats. There were
seven of them, and the odor of her premises was ancient and cat-like.
Three of these cats were sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything, and had
lived with their mistress in these very rooms years before, when booming
shells sped hot over the house, and fell sometimes close beside it,
during the siege of Paris.

"How did you manage to feed them?" we asked.

"I bought slices of cat in the market and stewed them in wine," answered
Madame Pognon. "Wine and rice were the only things we were not stinted
in. Thus I could always make a ragout for Pierre, Jean, and Jacques, and
they throve on it. But I had to keep them shut up, or they would have
made ragouts instead of eaten them."

A characteristic of our Relicthood _en bloc_ was its idleness. I never
saw one of them with a piece of knitting or any other work in her hands
during all the weeks we were there. In fine weather they loitered and
basked in the garden, gossiping or amusing themselves with novelettes
cut from the penny papers and passed from one to the other in turn. The
front door stood almost always open, and the suburban neighborhood
about it was during pleasant days largely flecked by the grave gowns and
white caps belonging to our _pension_. Nearly all were Bonapartists (for
was not trade good during the Empire?) and found the present times sadly
out of joint. Nearly all had stood behind counters or at cashiers'
desks, and had thus never learned more strictly feminine employments,
and now, retired upon their _rentes_, they found time heavy upon their
hands. None were conspicuously _dévote_: they had never been so in their
younger days, and they were not of natures to be spiritualized by long
familiarity with life. Death could not be far off from most of them, but
they never spoke of it, never seemed to think of it; and, although life
was dull, they clung to it as by monotonous habit that _is_ but knows
not why.

       *       *       *       *       *

Still another of our well-remembered _pensions_ was on the bright
Vesuvian Bay. The flaming mountain overlooked us, Naples floated beyond
us like a dream-city, before us the Mediterranean shimmered and shone
like a sultana's satin tunic. We could drop a stone from our windows
into the sea; we ran dripping from our sea-baths up long stairs, across
tiled balconies, into our vast rooms; all day and all night the swish
and lisp of the soft tides mingled with our voices and dreams.

As somebody said of us that summer, we were a "cosmopolitan mess," a
hotch-potch of nationalities, such as is always found in so general a
rendezvous as Italy. We were rather less of a hotch-potch, however, than
in London, but somehow it seemed to us that our peculiarities were more
salient than they could ever appear in proper and conventional
Bloomsbury. We were largely German, as the travelling population of
Italy is. In Bloomsbury our medium of expression was the English
language, and English was the language at table, no matter how foreign
our company. But in this Italian _pensione_, where the faces were
continually changing, the languages changed as often. One day only
English was the rule, and those who could not unite with the majority
remained mute. Another day, with a tremendous incursion of Teutons, who
always seem to travel in hordes, only German gutturals held the table,
and we who had no facility with them muttered meek French or sullen
English to our neighbors. The next day French would be the rule, and
Teuton must mumble in it and Anglo-Saxon stammer or hold its peace.
Curiously enough, although we were in Italy, Italian was rarely, almost
never, spoken among us, our only use of it being in orders to the
servants. Our landlady was English, with an Italian husband, but they
both held only upper menial places in the establishment, and never
dreamed of sitting at table with us or of meeting us upon any terms of
equality. This want of familiarity with Italian proves how little mere
travellers and haunters of _pensioni_ ever know of the middle-class
inhabitants of the country. The Italians themselves stir from home very
seldom; they almost never admit foreigners into their own houses, and
when forced abroad seek cheap Italian inns rather than the innumerable
boarding-houses infested by the outer barbarian. Italian peasant life is
open to all foreigners, but not that of the middle classes.

Our landlord had a daughter whose cheek was pale and whose garments hung
loosely upon her. When first we remarked this and her heavy eye,
everybody laughed.

"The usual story,--loves and rides away," was remarked in various
languages.

It was heartless to laugh, but we could not help it. For wan and
drooping landlords' daughters had become so familiar to us in Italian
_pensioni_ that we needed only to glance at the set of each one's gown
and the tint of her cheek to know if HE were still present and wooing or
had faithlessly ridden away. The race, however, was not always to the
rider.

One evening under our window, when the air swooned with languid scent of
lemon- and orange-blossoms, we heard a sobbing and a sighing that
reminded us of the Mock Turtle in "Alice in Wonderland." Glancing out,
by the soft light of the summer moon, enhanced by the shimmering water,
we saw two persons who seemed to be weeping in each other's arms under a
shuddering ilex. The stouter one--he was not the taller--we recognized
as a young Teuton for whose sake we had seen a gown very loose and a
cheek very wan afar off among the Alban Hills only a month before.

"I love you, Tita, I love you. I have thought I loved a dozen times
before, but I was mistaken. I never loved any girl before," he boohooed.

"_Dio mio!_" laughed the girl. "All the _Tedeschi_ say that who come
here. I wonder they are not tired of the old tune. I--I am _fiancé_ to a
_bel Espagnol_ who rode away a month ago, and who ought to have been
back before now."

We found our Teuton fellow-_pensionnaires_ to have tastes more unnatural
than for landlords' daughters. One of them we had remarked for his
extreme beauty, not entirely of feature and rich olive hue, but of
pathetic, dreamy expression,--as we said, like an ideal St. John. At
first we never spoke of him except as "St. John." We gradually ceased to
call him so, however, when we had seen him several times at table, and
we grew finally so coarsely irreverent as to call him "_Mange-tout_."

Our meat was brought from distant Naples, making the journey without
ice, under a broiling Italian sun. Often it came to table so shorn of
its pristine freshness that not the hungriest of us could condone its
odor. One sultry night everybody's plate went away untouched, save two
or three. Flesh and fowl were "high,"--yea, "twice high," as the British
gourmet prefers his game. St. John's plate was _not_ sent away. That
ideal being was served three times, after which he rose and helped
himself from the side-table, remarking half apologetically as he did so,
"The cook has really surpassed himself to-day!"

"Ja! ja!" echoed our Teutons.

We saw our St. John next morning sucking raw eggs before his coffee.

"Because the _nourriture_ is poor. I do it to strengthen me," he
explained.

"When I am well I eat all I can hold," he confidentially imparted to the
_table-d'hôte_. "When I am ill I eat more than I do when I am well."

One of our _pensionnaires_ was a swarthy Brazilian, living upon a
colossal and mysteriously-begotten fortune and spending what remained to
him of life upon the Mediterranean shores. He knew every _pensione_ of
the whole wide region, and in strident, barbaric tones--continually
reminding us of the savage aboriginal blood betrayed by narrow eyes and
high cheek-bones--flooded our _table-d'hôte_ with the gossip of
_pensioni_ at Capri, Castellamare, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Salerno,--the
giddiness of all the widows, the cunning of the young girls, the
wickedness of the wives, and the barefaced or clever intriguing of
husband-hunting mammas. All that year, as we quietly slipped from one
Mediterranean _pensione_ to another, we met and recognized the heroes
and heroines of our Brazilian's _chroniques scandaleuses_, and we
breathed many a thanksgiving that we were slipping east while he slipped
west and thus were not known of name and evil fame in advance of our
coming.

Our Brazilian was a devout Catholic, which led to his giving great
offence at our table. Nobody could endure to pass him anything or to
take anything from him, and the hideous bird-of-prey-like rattling of
his right hand at any service turned many a delicate appetite away and
made our Brazilian of almost Gorgon-like effect upon all new-comers. The
finger-nails of his right hand were vowed to the Virgin: for two years
they had been uncut, and now, like fiendish claws, extended two inches
beyond the withered and dusky fingers.

"Why am I not liked by _ces belles dames_?" he asked one day. "They
never ask me to their excursions; they seem to shrink from taking my
hand."

"Because of your talons," somebody ventured to explain.

"Oh, no! the Blessed Virgin would never allow _that_," he asserted
confidently.

Before the end of the summer, however, he seemed to lose confidence in
the Virgin's tampering with natural law for his sake. One day we saw
that the talons were sacrificed, and were told that the Mother of God
had announced to our Brazilian in a dream that she would accept a vow
never to cut his hair in place of the devoted nails.

A few days later our _divoto_ came upon the loggia, where sat a bevy of
ladies of many nations, in a screeching aboriginal rage.

"I sacrificed my vow to you _belles dames_, although I refused it to
Madame la Duchesse de B----," he screamed, "and yet you avoid me. Am I
not an _homme fait_" (certainly our sixty-year-old Brazilian had never
read "Pendennis"), "and better than any of these boys you admire? Do you
imagine the Blessed Virgin will not pay you off for this? Do you think
she will go back on a man like me,--of whom Victor Emanuel himself was
jealous when I rode on the Pincian with Madame la Princesse della
Gr----?"

       *       *       *       *       *

We thus found many peculiar people in the varied experiences of _nos
pensions_. We found often learning and often culture, but more vulgarity
than we did refinement, more splendor than delicacy of habit, more
blatant ignorance than culture, more _sans gêne_ than dignity of manners
and character. It is always thus in any mere "cosmopolitan mess," any
"hotch-potch of nationalities." For the eccentric and obnoxious types
are always and everywhere those most largely _en évidence_, while the
gentle and refined nestles closest to the cool, still, mossy ground,
leaving sunny flaunting to wider blooms and stronger perfumes.



A RANDOM SHOT.


An existence, if even a dull one, in a large and busy city full of life,
when contrasted in the mind of a romantic young lady of eighteen summers
with an enforced captivity in an isolated cottage by the sea-shore,
grows to possess charms and an excitement which, until so considered,
may have remained totally unappreciated.

Could anything be more depressing than the knowledge that this latter
condition must be endured with no other companion than a hypochondriacal
papa, whose ailings so monopolized his time and attention that a
daughter's happiness sunk into insignificance? Little wonder that she
should melt into tears at so undesirable a prospect, that she should
pity herself and her luckless fate, and that, when fully realizing the
depths of loneliness into which she was to be precipitated for five
long, weary months, she should jump at the dismal conclusion that her
doll was stuffed with the most inferior variety of saw-dust and wish
with lachrymose sincerity that she were dead and buried and out of this
world of sorrow. Papa might then wish that he had been more considerate.
Perhaps; but at that particular moment he was contemplatively
assimilating his fish, and that process admitted of no consideration
whatever beyond that of the fish itself. So when his daughter raised her
tearful eyes to his saffron countenance across the board she found no
signs in it of the sympathy she felt so much need of. What could she
expect, anyway? Dr. Nevercure had been consulted, and this time felt
that something desperate must be done. His patient had persistently
refused to pronounce himself in any degree benefited by the long course
of physic which he had prescribed, and in fact had become an elephant
upon his professional hands; and thus, as a last resort, he had
recommended an entire change of air and perfect quiet, with a periodical
harmless dose for the sake of appearances. Nevercure must be obeyed; the
patient himself, since it seemed to be his delight to fancy himself an
invalid, must naturally be supposed to find a pleasure in the remedies
for his sufferings, and therefore evinced no regret whatever at the
leaden prospects, but, on the contrary, made a most exasperating
exhibition of saintly resignation, very galling to the young lady, who
considered herself the only one really injured.

"And when must we go?" she asked, continuing a series of questions which
her sudden burst of tears had interrupted.

"Friday morning," replied Mr. Moreley curtly.

"Friday morning! And this is Tuesday night! Why, papa, I--"

"Mabel, I said Friday morning. My arrangements are made, and I will not
hear another word about it."

And he didn't. Mabel left the table as soon as decorum would permit, and
betook herself up-stairs to her own sanctum to nurse her grief in
solitude.

She sat long by the open window, pondering over her hapless lot, her
chin upon her hand, her dark eyes far away in thought,--sad thought,
judging from their expression,--the wind playing in her light, wavy
hair, her full red lips parted slightly, showing the interest which her
theme awakened, and the fresh bloom upon her cheeks now going, now
coming, following in some subtile way the quick movements of her mind.
An hour slid by, and then she started from her revery with a sudden
thought. The sadness in her eyes gave way to mirth and a twinkle of fun;
the color came faster, the lips broke into a most roguish smile.

"I'll do it!" she whispered. "I _will_!" she added, with convincing
emphasis and a countenance brimming over with mischief.

It was a foolish project,--a most insane and inexcusable one. It had,
however, the spice of romance, and it might afford her some amusement
and a little excitement during the coming months of misery. It was
suggested by some demon of mischief, and was all the more attractive
coming from such a source. It came about naturally enough, too. On the
morning of that same day her particular intimate, Anna Desbrough, and
she had fallen upon the college catalogue which Anna's brother Tom had
sent for to guide him in his preparatory studies. The names of the
students had proved interesting reading-matter, and the two girls had
speculated as to the probable appearance of this one and that, and had
even gone so far as to select the one whom they thought they would
prefer among those mentioned. They had indulged in a vast deal of
imaginative nonsense, and had finally thrown the book aside and returned
to more rational topics; but the recollection of the morning's pastime
had not quite faded from Mabel's mind. The name was still fresh in her
memory,--Mortimer Granville Dudley: how grand! how musical!

"I will!" she had exclaimed, with determination; and, being a young lady
of her word, she hastily collected pen, ink, and paper to carry out her
threat.

     "MY DEAR MR. DUDLEY," she wrote (she had hesitated long between
     "Mr. Dudley" and plain "Mort," with the result shown), "how long
     ago it seems since those days when we were playmates together! I
     hardly think it probable, though, that you can have forgotten me.
     My position would certainly be a very awkward one if you had. But,
     remembering as I do so well those happy times, and particularly
     your juvenile vows of constancy at the moment of our parting, I
     cannot believe that I am mistaken in trusting in their sincerity
     and truth.

     "By a mere accident I heard the other day of your whereabouts, and,
     as I for one still feel the same interest in my playmate that I
     used to, I resolved, I think I may say courageously, to discover
     whether he still gave promise of fulfilling all the hopes I then
     entertained for him.

     "I wonder if some of our early experiences are still as fresh in
     your mind as they are in mine! Do you remember that day you made me
     stand guard while you 'blew' old Jones's eggs in retaliation for
     his having turned informer against you? I think it was the time he
     told about your having promoted a fight between two dogs. And do
     you remember the day on the skating-pond when you broke through the
     ice and frightened me into fits by disappearing three times below
     the surface, while all the time you were standing, as you afterward
     confessed, on solid bottom? I thought then I should never forgive
     you for causing me in that unguarded moment to betray my feelings.
     And then the telegraph scheme by which we communicated that time I
     had the measles. It all seems to have occurred in some other world,
     looking back at it now; and yet what happy times those were! I
     believe I could go on forever with these reminiscences; but perhaps
     they are not as sweet to you as they are to me; perhaps I am only
     boring you with them. It would be a great disappointment to me,
     though, to know that you never looked back with a sigh to those
     days and never gave a thought to your once so devoted playmate.

     "I am going to a place called Stillton this summer. I dare say you
     never heard of it: it is in Maine; and I must confess I anticipate
     a very stupid time there. Perhaps I shall have nothing else to do
     but reflect upon the days of my early youth. Am I _quite_
     forgotten?

      "Your playmate of old,

         "JANE JENNINGS.

    "BOSTON, June 10, 188-."

The _nom de plume_ was borrowed from Mabel's faithful servant,--nurse in
earlier days, a description of maid now,--and was a safe one, as old
Jane proper was never known to receive letters, and, moreover, could not
have deciphered her own name on the envelope had one arrived for her.

The conflict on the following morning as to whether it should be sent or
destroyed, the tremble of the little hand that finally dropped it
irrevocably into the iron post-box, the vain reproaches and unanswered
longings for its return, the subsequent prayers that it might by some
providential interference be intercepted or miscarry, all followed in
due course, as well as later a revulsion of feeling and an anxious
watching for the mails, hope deferred, and sickness of heart.

Friday came. The journey, miserable as was its object, was accomplished,
and Stillton, in all its tomb-like silence and drowsy do-nothingness,
with its few glaring white houses and its one dusty road, offering no
apology or explanation whatever for its purposeless existence, at last
was reached, and Farmer Galusha Krinklebottom, in accordance with Dr.
Nevercure's arrangements, met the jaded travellers at the station in his
rickety shay, prepared to take them over to the cottage.

"'Tain't more'n three mile," he said consolingly. "The roads ain't none
too good this season, an' Kittie--that's _her_" (pointing to his
mare)--"don't feel over-skittish; she's nigh onter fourteen year, an'
right smart, too, fur her age, but sorter broken-winded latterly; but I
guess we'll make it afore dark.--Go 'long, Kittie!"

The ancient mare started off. Her fore-legs were stiff and jointless,
her hip-bones painfully prominent, her ribs sadly bare, and her nose
hung dejectedly toward the ground; but she still possessed some
mechanical power of locomotion, and the "shay" began to squeak and
rattle in her wake. Galusha was proud of his native hamlet. "That
there's our meetin'-house," he said, but its whitewash and green blinds
did not seem to excite the travellers' admiration. "An' that longish
house yonder's Pincus's."

"Pincus's?" asked Mabel, with a yawn.

"Pincus Sass's, mum. 'Tis the hotel, mum. That's him in the door.
Hulloa, Pincus!" he shouted, shooting a line of tobacco-juice over the
dash-board.

"Haow, Galusha!" came in nasal accents from the door-way. "Who ye got in
the phayton?"

"The folks as has took the cottage yonder!" called back Galusha.

"Humph! I'll be dummed!" was Pincus's audible comment as the shay
rattled on.

"Yonder's the store," presently added Galusha, pointing with his two
feet of whip-stock to a place placarded with patent-medicine
advertisements, and apparently the rendezvous for all the
tobacco-chewers of the neighborhood.

"And the post-office?" asked Mabel timidly.

"In the store, mum. Barton Bump's our pos'master. Some'at of a man,
Barton is. He was 'p'inted by the Pres'dent 'imself. Barton fit in the
war, yer see, an' I 'spect Gen'ral Grant took a powerful shine to him.
He made him pos'master fust thing."

The greatness of Barton Bump did not seem to impress the party as much
as Galusha anticipated. "Git 'long, Kittie!" he said, retiring into
himself and seeking solace in a fresh mouthful of tobacco. He couldn't
contain himself long, though. He soon exclaimed, "So you's the folks as
has took the cottage yonder. Well, I want t' know!" He paused again to
chew awhile, and then continued, "Yer ain't bin much hereabouts, I
reckon?" Another reflective cud. "Well, 'tain't so durned 'citin' here,
maybe, as 't might be up to Bosting, but we 'casion'lly gets up reels
an' sich for the young folks an' 'joys erselves.--Go 'long, Kittie!--You
heard tell, I reckon, on Farmer Manton, lives down 'longside this here
cottage of yourn. No? Well, I want t' know. He's 'sider'ble of a man in
these parts, Manton is. His gals is great on's on flare-ups, an'
powerful smart gals they be, too.--Go 'long, Kittie Krinklebottom!--But
durn me if he ain't got the cussedest boy as ever stepped! He don't do
nothin' but mope about an' ac' silly. He didn't never do no chores about
the yard nor nothin', an' one fine day he come to Manton an' says,
'Dad,' says he, 'I want to go to college,' says he. Well, the old man
was that cumflusticated an' took aback that says he, 'John,' says he,
'yer ain't no durned use on the farm,' says he, 'an', if yer got the
notion, go, an' God bless yer!' An' John went,--that's nigh onter four
year ago,--an' he ain't got ter be perfessor nor nothin' yet. I guess as
he's cracked; an' one day says I, kinder kind-like, 'Farmer Manton,'
says I, 'John's not right,' says I. 'Galusha,' says he, kinder hot, 'you
mind yer own business,' says he. 'I ain't father to no idjots.' An' I
ain't said no more sence."

Galusha laughed long and heartily over this reminiscence, while Kittie
jogged on along the road to the sea. Presently they turned a sharp bend
in the road; a pretty little Queen-Anne cottage came in sight, backing
upon a thick wood and overlooking the ocean, and Galusha, reining in the
mare, just as though she would not have come to a halt unassisted,
exclaimed, "Here yer be!"

It required, of course, three or four days for Mabel to become
accustomed to her new surroundings. There was the prettily-furnished
house to make acquaintance with, while she wondered all the time what
ever induced its owner to plant it so utterly out of the world; there
was the little forest of pines to explore, and its most romantic nooks
to be discovered; and there was the sea, a thing of never-failing
beauty, to gaze upon from the rocky cliffs, as it dashed itself in fine
spray against their base, or from the broad crescent beach beyond, as it
rolled its crested billows up the sandy slope. Yes, all these things
were very pleasant,--far more delightful than she had anticipated. She
thought during those first few days that she would like to live on there
forever, until the novelty wore off and her father's ailings crushed out
the new life which the change had given birth to and kept him locked in
his own den with his miseries; and even then nature began to pall as a
constant and sole companion, and her mind turned with ever-increasing
anxiety to the one event which could possibly break this spell of
monotony. Had her letter _in fact_ miscarried? or could it be that the
favored recipient had treated it with cold contempt, ruthlessly
destroyed it or cast it into the wastepaper-basket? Many were the
painful, blush-provoking thoughts that each terrible possibility
suggested. She had long since decided that she had been a little fool,
and that of course Seniors in college had better things to do than to
answer silly girls' more silly letters, when one day on her regular
visit to Barton Bump's store she overheard the following:

"It's bin a-kickin' round this here store three days, an' I ain't goin'
ter be bothered no longer. Hiram, jes' you stick the dratted thing in
one o' them 'ficial en-_vell_ups, an' 'dress it to Wash'ton, D.C."

"Ain't ye goin' to advertise it, dad?"

"'Tain't no good advertisin' it, Hiram. There ain't nobody as calls
herself Jennings in the hull county, an' I know it."

But Mabel interrupted him. "Miss Jane Jennings, is it? Why, that letter
is for me!" she exclaimed eagerly.

"Fur you, miss?" asked Barton, glancing at her suspiciously over his
spectacles. "Ain't your name Moreley?"

"Yes," she answered, in some embarrassment, "but--but Jane Jennings is
our servant, you know. Give me the letter. I will take it to her."

Barton hesitated. He hadn't had any communication with the government
for some time, and liked to remind them in the capital now and then of
his existence. "Well," he said finally, and with reluctance, "ef you're
sartin', why, here ye be." And Mabel took it, and bore it away with a
palpitating heart, quite forgetting to purchase the supplies which the
cook had commissioned her to bring home for dinner.

In the most secluded spot in the dark pine wood she broke the seal and
read as follows:

     "MY LONG-LOST JENNIE,--Remember my charming little playmate?
     Remember the one object that makes my childhood a bright picture
     to look back upon? Of course I do, with all the pleasure in the
     recollection that her presence used to inspire in those happy days.
     Remember the diabolical exploit with Jones's eggs? Distinctly. And
     the telegraph system? I believe I could go through the alphabet
     now. And I remember, too, that day on the skating-pond, with
     contrition, however, and a prayer that my heartlessness may be
     forgiven. How can I ever have been unkind to my faithful Jennie?
     Nor have I forgotten--how could I?--our tender parting. You said
     that you could never forget me, and now your letter proves that you
     were sincere; and I hope my answer may convince you that when I
     told you of my never-failing constancy I spoke the truth.

     "It is a delightful surprise to me to have heard from you at last.
     The years that I have been thinking and dreaming of you and wishing
     for news of you are over, and now I have at last found the idol of
     my boyish admiration.

     "But you must have changed as well as I in all this time. I should
     like very much to have a likeness of you as you are now, to compare
     with that which is indelibly stamped on my memory. Won't you send
     me one?

     "It surprises me that in recalling those experiences of ours you
     should have omitted the one that is most vivid and most delightful
     to me. Can it be that you have forgotten the little house we built
     under the old chestnut-tree, where you prepared the supper on your
     best doll's china for the weary hunter who used to return laden
     with green apples, currants, strawberries, and other wild beasts,
     the spoils of his chase? How generous and self-sacrificing you used
     to be with the slender provisions, and anxious lest the foot-sore
     huntsman should not get enough to sustain his toilsome existence!
     What an example you were of domesticity! and I cannot believe that
     you are anything else to-day but the same good pattern for
     womanhood.

     "Do let me hear from you soon again. Although I have existed so
     long in ignorance even as to whether you were still alive, the
     knowledge now that you are so, and that you have still a corner in
     your memory, if not in your heart, for me, has revived all my old
     feelings and keeps me in constant hope of further news of you.

    "As ever, your affectionate playmate,

    "MORT."

Notwithstanding all the hopes and fears of the past few days, there was
the reply, after all, and Mabel, after reading it through three times,
concluded that "Mort" must be "splendid," and that this sort of sport
was far ahead of anything she had yet attempted. It combined, so she
argued, all the spice of a heavy flirtation with the advantage of a
strict incognito, and, with judicious management, she thought that it
might be carried on in perfect safety for some time to come.

Mr. Moreley was worse than usual that evening; dinner, without the
articles which Mabel should have brought from the village, was not a
success, and such a catastrophe always aggravated his disease. Having
learned who was to blame for it, it was many days before he could
forgive or forget his daughter's inhuman treatment of her much-suffering
papa, so that she was left even more than usual to her own devices, and
spent a deal of her time either with novels or her writing-case in the
romantic corners of the pine wood or on the rocks and along the beach by
the sea.

Dudley's letter had been answered one afternoon, when the late sun was
throwing long shadows and touching the distant sails upon the ocean with
a shade of delicate pink, when a gentle breeze was only rippling the
surface of the water and the waves were only murmuring soft music upon
the sand; and if but half of the tender emotion which these surroundings
gave birth to were transferred to her paper, Dudley, if his heart were
at all as he had represented it, must have found in her reply an ample
reward for his strange constancy. Circumstances, at any rate, went to
show that it had been very welcome and pleasing to its recipient, for it
was scarcely three days later that a second missive for Miss Jane
Jennings reached the Stillton office and was duly claimed by Mabel
before any possible accident could throw it into other hands. She had
perused it with marked pleasure; it had contained many fresh allusions
to "childhood's happy hour," many additional and very original accounts
of doings in their fancied youth, several frank compliments, and a
reiterated and very urgent request for a photograph. She had allowed
several days to pass in considering what notice to take of this somewhat
impudent demand. At one time she almost concluded to let Mr. Dudley drop
altogether. What right had he to call upon her for her likeness? At
another she was quite as firmly resolved to send him one. The whispered
vanity which told her that he would not be disappointed in it was not
easily resisted. At last, however, a simple middle course--an easy way
out of the difficulty--suggested itself, and, as it promised, too, to
throw another puzzling veil of mystery over her identity, she seized it
eagerly, and that very afternoon put it into execution. Seated on the
rocks that overlooked the sea, gathering thoughts in long gazes toward
the distant horizon, and allowing imagination to roam as freely as could
her eyes over the unbounded ocean, she wrote her answer. After touching
upon the episodes of their earlier days which his last letter had
brought to light, and adding the details of a few more experiences which
her fertile mind suggested, she turned to the subject of the photograph.
"I wish it were better," she wrote. "It is a shockingly poor likeness, I
know, but may serve as a reminder of your little playmate, if not as a
perfect representation of her." She sealed the envelope, enclosing the
picture, and, seeing Galusha Krinklebottom drive by just at the moment,
hailed him, and sent photograph, letter, and all in his care to the
mails.

It is strange how, even after bitter experience, many of us persist in
putting the cart before the horse,--doing the deed before taking the
proper consideration of its consequences. When the letter had gone, and
not before, Mabel fully realized that she had done something positively
wicked and unpardonable. Her terrible sin kept her awake all that night
and preyed upon her mind for days afterward. "I hardly know the girl,"
she pleaded in self-excuse to her injured conscience. "What of that?"
exclaimed the voice sternly. "I don't like her, anyhow," she added,
almost in tears. "What of that?" persisted the voice angrily. Oh, well,
it was done and could not be undone now. It was mean, perhaps, to send
him another girl's picture, but, considering that the whole world
acknowledged that Mabel Moreley was far the better-looking of the two,
did not this sacrifice of vanity palliate the offence? It seemed, after
all, a very remote possibility that any harm could come to the other
girl through this freak of hers. She could not, of course, have sent her
own picture, and this was the only one in her collection that had seemed
at all passable: so, eventually, the iniquity of the proceeding faded
before these convincing arguments, and she soon found herself much more
interested in looking forward to the receipt of the likeness which he
could not fail to send in return than with reproaches over a hasty piece
of folly.

The reply arrived in due course, and with it the photograph of a
handsome face, with fine, bold eyes, a prominent nose, an expressive
mouth, and a moustache in the springtime of its existence. It was
captivating, but, after her own deception, she was naturally in doubt as
to who the true owner of that very attractive physiognomy might be. If
indeed it were Dudley, her random shot had hit the mark. To her
imagination he had always been handsome; whether he were so in reality
had never before seemed at all a matter of importance; but now, with a
picture before her from which a lasting impression might be derived, it
became necessary either to accept it or reject it. Should this face,
then, be hereafter regarded as that of her playmate in his maturer
years? After careful scrutiny she decided that it should, and from that
time, when it was not in her hands undergoing admiration, it lay in
secure repose among the treasured notes, faded flowers, and
sweet-smelling rose-leaves in her writing-case. Not many days later she
felt impelled to acknowledge its receipt, and, taking her materials in
this precious box to a shaded corner of the pine wood, spread them out
before her and was soon deep in her pleasant task. She was necessarily
obliged to draw heavily upon imagination in tracing the points in the
photograph which she asserted recalled vividly his youthful countenance,
and, when at last she had finished, lay back exhausted by the effort,
and soon fell into a condition of dreaminess bordering closely on sleep.
Suddenly, however, the sound of approaching footsteps aroused her, and
before she had time to gather together all her sacred belongings, the
figure of a tall man, in a slouch hat and with an unprepossessingly
cadaverous cast of features, appeared from behind the rocks, which until
then had hidden them from each other's view. He stopped short on
discovering her, raised his hat in some confusion, muttered something in
apology for his intrusion, and was just planning a hasty retreat, when
she asked, with some nervousness, "Do you wish to see my father?"

"No," he answered, with equal embarrassment. "I--I was going down to the
beach. I forgot for the moment that--that this place was occupied: this
is a short cut for me. I hope you will excuse my trespassing. I live
just back of here," he went on, in an explanatory way, as she made no
reply. "My name is Manton."

"Oh!" Mabel exclaimed, remembering Galusha Krinklebottom's story of the
young man who was "not right," and concluding that this must be he. "I
am sure there can be no objection to your taking this way to the beach,
Mr. Manton," she answered, smiling sweetly, in the hope of averting a
possible outbreak of lunacy.

He thanked her with a grave, formal bow, and started to pass on, when
his eye fell upon the recently-arrived photograph as it lay on a rock by
her side. He stopped, and looked quickly from it to her face and then
back at the picture.

Mabel's face grew scarlet. Could it be that he recognized it? Was her
secret discovered? Or was this merely a madman's strange idiosyncrasy?

"We have a mutual friend, I think," he said, rather bluntly, though in a
gentle tone.

"Indeed?" asked Mabel nervously.

"That must be Mort Dudley," he went on, half to himself, and still
gazing at the photograph.

("Then it _must_ be his own likeness!" inwardly exclaimed Mabel.)

"I beg your pardon if I am mistaken," Manton added apologetically; "the
picture caught my eye and reminded me very strongly of a college
classmate of mine."

"Then you know Mr. Dudley?" she asked, deeply interested, and forgetful
now of the stranger's reputed mental unsoundness.

"Yes, indeed," he replied, looking at the photograph more closely. "This
is his class-picture. I have one like it. It is an excellent likeness of
him; don't you think so?"

Mabel said that she thought it was, and blushed again as she said it.

Manton concluded from this that there must be something thicker than
mere friendship between Dudley and his new acquaintance, and an awkward
silence ensued.

"Yes," continued Manton presently, "Dudley was the warmest friend I had
at college. I hadn't many," he added, in a tone that struck Mabel as
being somewhat sad. "I hadn't time to make many friends, or even
acquaintances. The work was rather harder for me than for most of the
men, I think; but Dudley, from the very first, helped me when he could,
and I think was the only cheering influence I met with during the entire
course. He was always so full of life and so jolly, and at the same time
sympathetic, and never depressed and in the blues, as I frequently was.
I never could understand why he was so good a friend to me, unless
perhaps because there may be a force of attraction between two
extremes."

"Yes; I should not fancy you at all like him," Mabel said, trying to
impress him with her intimate knowledge of Dudley's nature.

"No, not at all. In the first place, he has been so differently brought
up: he has travelled, seen a great deal of the world, and profited by
this experience, and I don't believe has ever had to take a thought of
dollars and cents: thus he is naturally liberal both in his ideas and
with his money. I am not,--not because I don't wish to be, but because I
cannot be. Secondly, he is another animal physically,--an athlete born;
while I have never engaged in any sport, know nothing of such matters,
nor could I learn them. And then there is such a vast difference
mentally between us: his mind is as quick and nimble as his muscles,
while mine is much like a muddy stream, I'm afraid,--opaque and
sluggish. Yes, I have often wondered over his friendship for me."

"I think you are detracting from your own virtues in order to flatter
his," said Mabel, smiling, but rejoicing inwardly over the happy
selection she had made in the college catalogue.

Manton protested that he had said no more than the truth, and continued
to sound the praises of his friend until the hour for Mabel's luncheon
arrived, when he departed for his solitary stroll upon the beach,
delighted, though by no means as much so as Mabel was, at having found a
friend of Dudley's.

After this it happened, if not by actual design, at any rate with
suspicious frequency, that Manton took the short cut to the beach and
that Mabel read her books and wrote her letters in the pine wood. One
day when they met thus, and after their acquaintance had grown to be
some three weeks old, Manton found the young lady (whom he had never
regarded in any other light than that of Dudley's betrothed) very
abstracted and apparently little inclined to lend the customary willing
ear to his tales of their mutual friend. This troubled him sorely. That
there had been some lovers' quarrel he could not doubt, and it pained
him to think that any cloud should have arisen to darken the brightness
of his friend's existence.

"Have you heard from Mort to-day?" he asked suddenly, in his blunt
fashion.

After a moment's hesitation, Mabel acknowledged that she had, but
further than that she vouchsafed him no information, and he soon
concluded to continue his journey to the beach, his presence seeming
only to add to Miss Moreley's nervousness and evident irritation.

What was she to do? How could she save herself now? Why indeed had she
done this foolish thing? She took the letter from her pocket to read it
once more, hoping that some suggestion might spring from it, some
possible means for her escape be brought to light.

"Miraculous as it may appear to you," he wrote, dating his letter from
Newport, "I have met the image of my early playmate! It was at a
garden-party, yesterday. At first it seemed impossible that two such
faces could exist. I was on the point of rushing to her, clasping her in
my arms, and hailing her with all the warmth that would only be natural
upon discovering my long-lost Jennie, but some prudent voice suggested
asking for an introduction first. I did so. To my astonishment, the name
was not Jennings at all, but Bathersea, and her acknowledgement of my
impressive bow and more expressive smile was as chilly as a winter
morning. I took occasion to introduce my name into the conversation,
fearing that she might have misunderstood it. No light of intelligence
beamed from her lovely eyes. I referred to my college days (and I
suspect she took me for a Freshman), I hinted at Stillton, I even
suggested that we had met as babies; but she only said that her
recollection did not extend to that early period, and left me--for what?
it is humiliating, but I will acknowledge it--for another fellow. This
at last convinced me that she could not be my Jennie. Her resemblance to
the photograph, however, was perfect,--really startling. In justice I
must add that she was lovely. It is the face that has captivated me, not
the girl; she rather snubbed me,--but that face! I never saw half so
much beauty in one face before."

It was bad enough that he should have actually met the girl whose
picture she had been cowardly enough to send in place of her own, but
what followed literally chilled the blood in her veins. He was coming!
Coming to Stillton! Coming to find her! Was actually on the way at that
moment to claim her acquaintance,--perhaps to show her letters and
reveal all her deceit to that inexorable papa of hers should she
disclaim all knowledge of him, or to make matters even more difficult to
explain should she confess the truth of their relations. "Heavens!" she
exclaimed, in fright. "What shall I do? what shall I do?" Her time for
action was fast growing short. The afternoon was rapidly advancing. Ah,
might not Manton be her saviour? But how explain to Manton her deceit
toward him during all this time of their acquaintance? No, she could not
tell him: he would not understand. Could she not boldly confront him,
implore him to forgive and forget her thoughtless foolishness, beg him
to spare her, to leave her before this terrible secret should reach her
father's ears and bring everlasting woe and disgrace upon her? This
seemed to call for even more courage than was required to face the awful
alternative. Should she, then, confess all to the father whose ire she
so greatly feared?--go to him now with tears of repentance and cast
herself at his feet, praying for mercy and for protection? There was the
cliff, with its terrifying height and its sharp, ugly crags: she would
almost rather throw herself into the swashing, roaring waves at its base
than tell the tale of her folly. Yet--oh, what _was_ she to do? Quick!
Time was flying on its swiftest wings. He might be there at any moment.
Oh, would no one save her?

While she was still hoping and praying and despairing, no conclusion
reached, no aiding hand outstretched for her deliverance, the day
advanced toward its end; the sun sank lower and still lower upon the
ridge of those long, darkly-wooded hills to the westward, shed its last
red rays upon the ocean, reflected its dying brilliancy upon the fleecy
clouds above, and soon left nothing but a fading twilight to show men
their way about the world. To a man seeking unknown objects in a
hitherto unexplored vicinity this condition of affairs is unpropitious;
but Dudley, having tied his hired steed to a neighboring fence,
concluded nevertheless not to be daunted, and proceeded on foot in
search of the "new-fangled, sorter yaller-and-red, p'inted-roofed
house," where the village postmaster had told him the lady whom he
sought resided. It was not difficult to find: it was the only thing for
miles around that laid any claims to "new-fangledness," and he
recognized it at a glance. From behind the hedge that bordered the place
he scrutinized each window. No smiling face appeared to welcome him. He
scanned the lawn, the shrubbery, the dark shade beneath the trees: no
girlish figure could be seen to answer to the one he carried in his
mind.

"Perhaps my letter hasn't reached her," was his disappointed soliloquy.
Then followed a few moments of silent thought. Suddenly he pulled
himself together, put on a bold front, stalked manfully up to the porch,
and rang the bell determinedly. When a man in brass buttons appeared to
answer his summons, Dudley felt decidedly more reassured, and his
previous fears of being greeted with a countryman's heavy boot were
agreeably dispelled.

"Is Miss Jennings in?" he asked, feeling for his card-case.

James stared. "Beg pardon, sir?"

"Miss Jennings,--Miss Jane Jennings," he repeated, with emphasis.

James surveyed the visitor from his jaunty straw hat to his neat
patent-leathers, cast a queer look at the crocodile card-case, replied,
"Humph! I'll see," and shut the door in his face.

"Infernal impudence, by Jove!" exclaimed Dudley, in wrath. "Does the
dolt take me for a tramp?" There was nothing for it, however, but to
wait where he was, which he did with bad grace enough until he heard a
hand upon the inner knob and saw the door slowly open, to disclose the
generous proportions of Mabel's maid.

"The old woman, by the gods!" he whispered, in dismay.

"I called--" he began.

"Yes, sir," replied Jane, in a flutter of excitement.

"I called--er--I have the pleasure of addressing Mrs. Jennings, I
presume?"

"_Miss_ Jennings,--Jane Jennings," she corrected, and blushing at the
title.

Dudley stared open-mouthed. "_Miss_ Jennings! Jane Jennings!" he
repeated, in astonishment. Then a terrible possibility dawned upon him.
A cold perspiration broke out all over him. Oh, god of love, was this
his precious Jennie? Had he made an irrevocable ass of himself over this
lump of ancient human flesh? A hue of brilliant scarlet suffused his
countenance. Oh, what an imbecile, a simple, drivelling idiot, he had
been!

"Was it me that you wished to see, sir?" she asked, wondering at his
strange manner.

"No!" he answered fiercely. "I think there must be some mistake," he
added more calmly, struggling to repress his feelings. "Very sorry to
have--er--Good-day." He turned suddenly, and, without another glance at
his long-lost Jennie, quickly gained the road and the welcome cover of
the hedge.

His uppermost feeling was undoubtedly that of anger mixed with
mortification, and he swore with sublime eloquence at his own folly as
soon as he was out of ear-shot of the house; but the ludicrous side of
his situation could not but strike him before he had gone many steps,
and he laughed grimly in spite of himself while repeating the
undeniable assertion that he had been a lamentable fool.

As he swung himself into his saddle prepared to shake the dust of
Stillton that very night from his feet, a voice came to him through the
semi-obscurity:

"Hold on, there! Hold on, I say!"

He gave his nag a good kick in the flank and urged him to the top of his
speed.

"Hold on there! Dudley! Hold on!"

He was recognized--caught! That cursed photograph of his! "Go on, you
brute, go on!" he cried to his sorry beast. There was not much speed in
him, however, and a minute later footsteps were quickly overtaking him.

"I say, Dudley! Don't you know me?" panted his pursuer.

He turned for an instant in his saddle. Why! Could he believe his eyes?
Surely it was Manton! He reined in.

"Why, Manton, old boy, what--"

"Dudley, what on earth brings you here?" gasped Manton.

"That's just what I've been trying to find out, Manton. Take my oath I
don't know."

"Humph!" ejaculated Manton, fixing his eyes curiously upon his friend.

"I don't," reiterated Dudley.

"No girl in the case?" suggested Manton significantly.

"Girl!" He laughed uneasily. Could Manton be in the joke? "No," he
answered, "I can safely say that there is not," the figure of the old
nurse clearly in his mind.

"Come, now, Dudley," said Manton; "perhaps I know more about your
affairs than you think I do. She was frightfully cut up this morning,
and I think your letter did it."

"Cut up, was she? Ha! ha! Cut up! She appeared to be in one pretty
substantial piece just now, notwithstanding."

"Look here, Dudley; get off that horse and come over to the farm for
supper. There's something wrong. I want to have a talk with you. Now,
there has been some misunderstanding, hasn't there?"

"Well, I confess I was rather taken in."

"Taken in! Nonsense! Do you imagine she would take you in?"

"It struck me that she might, boots and all," replied Dudley, with a sad
grin.

"Do talk sense, Dudley. It's a pity that this should have occurred."

"A d--d shame, I call it."

"I would swear that she loves you, Dud."

"Really, I suppose I ought to feel flattered; but, somehow, Manton, I
can't get up much enthusiasm over _her_. She's not exactly my style."

"You're very fastidious, then. Here, come this way through the wood:
it's a short cut. I confess my experience has been very much more
limited than yours, but _I_ never saw a girl more--"

"A what?" asked Dudley, with a sneer.

"A young lady, then,--more charming, more lovely in every respect, than
Miss Moreley."

"Miss who? Moreley? (I believe he has got one of those wandering fits,
poor fellow!) Well, Manton, old boy, I won't dispute that for a moment,
because--"

"Yet you say that she is not 'your style.'"

"Oh, I must get him home immediately," sighed Dudley inwardly,
commiserating his friend.

"She talks of you incessantly, Dud, and only seems happy when I am
answering her thousand and one questions about you."

(A young lady hidden among the rocks and pines blushes crimson as this
speech is wafted to her on the still evening air, and stamps her little
foot in vexatious indignation.)

"Her manner to-day," continued Manton, "showed plainly that your letter
this morning hurt her exceedingly."

"Miss Moreley! Letter this morning! _My_ letter! Come, now. By Jove!
Stop a moment. I believe-- Tell me, did you ever chance to see her
handwriting?"

"Yes: I've mailed several of her letters to you."

"You don't say so! Is that her writing?"

"Yes."

Dudley muttered something incoherent about "little wretch!" "Jane
Jennings!" and, pointing excitedly to the scene of his recent
discomfiture, asked, "Lives there, doesn't she?"

Manton, too astonished at his friend's remarkable conduct to speak,
nodded assent, and Dudley hastened away toward the house, shouting back,
"I'll see you later, old fellow!"

"Oh, don't! don't! don't!" came a shrill voice from among the rocks.

Both turned. "Why, here she is now!" cried Manton.

There was an awkward pause. The blush upon her face detracted nothing
from her beauty. Dudley felt drawn toward her as a needle is drawn by
the North Star. He walked quickly toward her, hesitated as she drew
back, stopped as she cast her eyes upon the ground, and presently said,
"Life would be a very sad thing, would it not, if we had no pleasant
memories of the past? I believe the thoughts of those happy days of our
childhood are the sweetest I have ever had. It brings them back to me
very vividly to find you now after so many years. Won't you even shake
hands with your old playmate?"

She put out her hand shyly and reluctantly, and he took it in both of
his.

"I'll walk on, Dud, and put this horse of yours in the barn," said
Manton. "I'll come back presently." And he left them, feeling that
perhaps the reconciliation which he was looking forward to between them
would be more complete if they were left alone.

"Are you angry with me for coming?" asked Dudley softly, when he had
gone.

"You should not have done it," she answered.

"Were we never to meet?"

"Never."

"Then I am glad I took matters into my own hands," said he, laughing.

"But you must go to-night--now."

"Impossible."

The subject gave rise to considerable argument, at the end of which,
however, Dudley remained as determined as before, and, as a matter of
fact, he did stay, accepting Farmer Manton's hospitable invitation to
make his house his home. He would stay a week, he said; he had no
immediate pressing engagements, and his delight at being with his old
friend Manton once more was too great to admit of his leaving
immediately upon finding him.

The week proved to be a delightful one. Farmer Manton's buxom daughters
got up one of their celebrated "flare-ups" in his honor, and all the
female population of Stillton was set by its ears. Mabel was not
present, of course,--fortunately, too, perhaps, for her state of heart
and mind was strangely and unnaturably irritable at that time, and his
promiscuous attentions to the various country belles might have provoked
a feeling of which she would afterward have been very much ashamed.

The week was over, yet he lingered. The sea-breezes, he declared, were
just the sort of tonic he needed, and the quiet country-life the very
thing he had been longing for for years.

One day, after an introduction by Farmer Manton to Mr. Moreley, he
enlarged so eloquently upon the benefits of such an atmosphere, and
spoke so feelingly about the ailments to which the latter considered
himself a martyr, that the old gentleman's heart actually warmed toward
him, and he violated all the laws of his monotonous existence and one of
Dr. Nevercure's most specific instructions by inviting him to dinner.

"How did you do it?" asked Mabel, with an incredulous smile, when he
told her down on the beach that afternoon of his unexpected success with
the much-feared parent.

"Oh, it's my fatal fascination, I suppose," he answered exasperatingly.

The weeks that followed were passed much as all of us have passed some
happy weeks of our own lives, and the rest of their story is but the old
one once more repeated.

Dudley persistently maintains to this day that there is much more in a
name than is generally conceded, but his young wife ridicules such
nonsense, saying that it was nothing but a random shot that chanced to
hit the mark. A significant fact is that the boy has been named plain
John, after their never-to-be-forgotten friend John Manton.

  C. W. WILMERDING.



THE PEABODY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ARCHÆOLOGY.


In respect to her facility and opportunities for advancing the cause of
scientific knowledge, Harvard University certainly stands pre-eminent.
She has a splendid astronomical observatory, and laboratories for
chemistry and physics unexcelled elsewhere. Her botanical garden is the
only one for instruction of any consequence in the Union, and its
director, Asa Gray, is the chief of American botanists. In the Museum of
Comparative Zoology, founded by Louis Agassiz and sustained by his son,
Alexander Agassiz, Cambridge possesses the most productive, and in some
respects the completest, museum of animal life in the United States,
while it offers to the laboratory student of natural history advantages
which he can find equalled nowhere else in the whole world. Last, and
most modern, it has a museum of anthropology which in point of material
is rivalled only by the National Museum at Washington, and in point of
instructiveness is probably in advance of anything yet attained in the
United States, despite its youth and small resources. This school and
storehouse is the Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology,
whose merits deserve a wider recognition than they have yet received.

When, in 1866, George Peabody, of philanthropic fame, was distributing
his bequests among the educational institutions of the Eastern States,
he was desirous of giving to Harvard a certain sum of money, but was
puzzled as to its proper application. It was suggested to him to endow a
department of archæological research, and his proposition to that effect
was considered by several friends of the university. The institution had
peculiar needs at that time. Its finances generally were weak. The
library and the zoological museum especially needed money, and the idea
of a special department of prehistoric science was entirely new. It was
decided, however, not to attempt to influence Mr. Peabody away from his
own plan. President Walker saw that European minds were eagerly turning
toward studies of primitive man, that the interest in the subject would
grow from year to year, and that, as the first museum in the country
devoted to this branch, it would have the best chance for securing
collections rapidly going to destruction or distributed through private
cabinets. More than all, the fittest man to take charge of it was at
hand, in the person of Professor Jeffries Wyman. On the 3d of November,
1866, therefore, the arrangements were completed, and Mr. Peabody
delivered to a board of trustees one hundred and fifty thousand dollars
as an endowment. On the first of the following month Dr. Wyman began his
curatorship.

As yet, of course, there was no museum. As a nucleus, Professor Wyman
contributed some Indian implements and crania, the nooks and corners of
the college were ransacked for stray skulls, stone axes and arrow-heads,
pottery that had been ploughed up in the suburbs, and relics of
colonial days, all of which, when brought together, served to fill a few
empty cases in a room of Boylston Hall. Soon afterward, printed
circulars were issued, and gifts began to flow in from the neighborhood,
illustrating the life of the native races at and just before the time of
the Pilgrims' landing. Several societies in Boston made permanent
deposits of ethnological accumulations in the infant establishment; Mr.
E. G. Squier, the Peruvian explorer, sent a Peruvian mummy of great
value, with seventy-five crania, and promised larger gifts; the
Smithsonian Institution gave a lot of duplicates, many of which were
gathered by the great Wilkes Exploring Expedition; the Honorable Caleb
Cushing forwarded antiquities gathered by his command during the Mexican
war; and several famous collections were bought in Europe, illustrating
the stone and bronze ages. Thus public interest was stimulated, and even
at the end of the first year a very presentable sketch of a picture of
the aboriginal people of the world was to be seen in that small room in
Boylston Hall. It was accessible to any interested visitors, and began
to receive attention from the scientific world, particularly after the
first annual report appeared in January, 1868, containing an original
essay by the curator and a full statement of the growing importance of
the museum.

From this beginning the work went steadily on. Contributions from
private and public sources came without stint. The fund of the museum
available for explorations and the purchase of collections was
judiciously expended year by year, and each annual report contained news
of great interest to _savants_. The amount of material gathered speedily
outgrew its original quarters, and a new story was added to Boylston
Hall for the reception of the museum. At the end of seven years the
catalogue showed over eight thousand entries, one entry in many cases
covering a series of objects. Then a great calamity happened: Jeffries
Wyman died.

Wyman had been the soul of the whole enterprise. At the founding of the
museum he gave up those studies in anatomy and natural history which had
made him famous and furnished him so sure a foundation as an
anthropologist, in order to devote himself entirely to the new
enterprise. His death occurred in September, 1874, closely following
that of his great associate in Cambridge, Louis Agassiz.

Dr. Wyman had found an eager companion in his studies and excursions,
during several years preceding his death, in Frederick W. Putnam, who
was almost the only man in the neighborhood of Boston having either
interest or capability (not to speak of opportunity) for such pursuits.
A Salem lad, he was one of that group of students whom the elder Agassiz
gathered round him when he began teaching at Harvard,--a group
comprising Alpheus Hyatt, A. E. Verrill, J. A. Allen, Edward S. Morse,
N. S. Shaler, A. S. Packard, Jr., and others now of worldwide
reputation. Putnam was an all-round zoologist, but his specialty was
fishes. Accident, nearly thirty years ago, turned his attention to the
shell-heaps and the primitive implements of his home-neighborhood. The
only man to whom he could go for guidance in studying these was Dr.
Jeffries Wyman, at that time his instructor in comparative anatomy. Thus
the two men were drawn more and more together, and when Wyman organized
the new museum Putnam found much time for helping him, although at that
time he was in charge of the Salem Museum, an editor of "The American
Naturalist," a publisher, and the permanent secretary of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, a position which he still
retains. It happened, consequently, that upon Dr. Wyman's decease Mr.
Putnam was the only man suitable and available to become his successor,
and he was quickly appointed to fill the vacancy.

Sixty thousand dollars of the original fund had been set aside by
Peabody as a building-fund, but he decreed that this sum should be
allowed to grow until it amounted to at least a hundred thousand
dollars. This limit was attained in ten years, and in 1876 a building
was begun for the accommodation of the museum. The college gave the
ground,--a lot on Divinity Avenue, nearly opposite the old Divinity
School, and close to the great structure occupied by the Museum of
Comparative Zoology. Surrounded by green lawns and avenues of old trees,
it is the pleasantest spot in all that charming city. The building was
completed and entered in 1878. It is of brick, four stories in height,
thoroughly fire-proof, simple in design, and tasteful in ornamentation.
The present structure is only a fifth of what the whole building is
designed ultimately to be. Two rooms yet remain to be opened to the
public, but their fitting will not long be delayed. Its spacious doors
open on Divinity Avenue, and there let us enter and glance at its
treasures.

The entrance-hall is a square well in the centre of the building,
accommodating the broad stairways and galleries, and affording room for
many large objects, such as carved figures of stone and the models of
the ruined houses and present pueblos of the village Indians of the
Southwest. The walls are of finished brick.

On the left a large room is devoted to the office, to the reception of
new specimens, and to the library, which is intended to include only
works pertaining to this special study. On the right opens the room
where naturally and properly begins our survey of the museum. Like the
other apartments, it occupies the whole of one side of the building, and
is about thirty-five by forty feet in dimensions. Its ceiling is
twenty-two feet in height, but a broad gallery runs around all four
sides, which adds almost as much exhibition-space as would a second
story, without spoiling the open and well-lighted effect of a lofty
room. Glass cases cover the walls above and below; upon the floor stand
combined upright and table cases, resting upon long cabinets of
interchangeable drawers, and the gallery-rail supports a line of
narrow, flat cases. In each room is a fireplace, while all are well
heated in winter and comfortably ventilated in summer, so that they are
attractive to visitors.

This first room holds what is regarded by the curator as the most
important series of objects ever brought together illustrative of that
ancient people who built the mounds and the singular stone graves of the
southern and central portions of the United States. The contents of each
mound and grave are arranged by themselves, so that as one passes from
case to case a picture of the human life of the past is presented as
nearly perfect as can be constructed out of that part of the handiwork
of the people which has escaped decay. Here can be seen and studied the
many singular results of the potter's art, simple and complex in form
and varied in style of ornament; carvings in stone, shell, and bone;
implements and ornaments of stone, shell, bone, mica, clay, copper, and
other substances; fragments of cloth and twine twisted from vegetable
fibres, which have been preserved through charring. One case in this
room is devoted to a collection of objects from caves in Kentucky and
Tennessee, and contains many interesting fabrics, including a large
piece of cloth woven from bark-fibre, shoes formed by braiding leaves of
the cat-tail rush, and many other things kept for us in the dry air of
the caves through uncounted centuries. In the gallery are grouped
several collections from Mexico and Central America, which are
especially rich in pottery.

In the room, on the second floor, over this one are stored the most
ancient--most primitive--evidences of man's presence yet discovered in
the Atlantic States,--evidences in the shape not only of chipped stones
of his fashioning, but relics of his very frame, which incontestably
extend the period of human occupation along our Atlantic coast back at
least to the glacial era. I refer to the palæolithic remains exhumed by
Dr. C. C. Abbott from the terraces of river-drift in the valley of the
Delaware at Trenton, New Jersey. These deposits of pebbles and sand owe
their origin to the continental glacier, whose front reached in solid
mass almost to that locality; through them was worn the bed of the
present river, and whatever is contained in their undisturbed mass can
belong to no more recent date than the later days of the glacial period.

In these gravels near his home, when cut through by railway-building and
the wearing of the river-bank, Dr. Abbott found his palæoliths under
such circumstances as left no doubt that they were quite as old as the
formation of the bed itself. If you are inexperienced, and take in your
hand one of these specimens by itself, it may seem to you simply a
small, broken boulder or a fragment from some ledge; but the trained eye
sees (what observation and experiment confirm) that fractures like those
on these specimens are not such as are made by accident; and when a
hundred specimens are displayed before you, all doubt as to their origin
vanishes at a glance.

Some of these relics are deeply eroded by the weather, others much less
so; some are pebbles that have required only a slight chipping to adapt
them to their owner's need, others sharp-edged, elaborately flaked,
"turtle-backed" weapons, similar in shape to much of the more modern and
finished work in flint. With few exceptions, however, these are made of
argillite, and in many cases they have lost the fineness of edge and
angle by weathering and by attrition against the gravel in which they
were rolled under glacial floods. They bear about the same relation in
their roughness and shapelessness to the carefully-worked relics of the
red Indian found on the surface, or in the accumulation of soil
resulting from the decay of countless generations of forest and herbage
which everywhere covers the old gravels, as the matchlock of the Pilgrim
Fathers bears to our target-rifle. But they are of human origin, and
assert the presence of humanity on the Atlantic coast of America at the
close of the glacial period just as logically as the teeth in the
green-sand argue sharks in the Cretaceous sea.

In these gravels are entombed scattered bones of the mastodon and other
extinct mammals, but it was long before there appeared any relic of a
human frame concerning which there could be no misapprehension. At last,
quite recently, Dr. Abbott exhumed a tooth, worn and washed and sunken
deep in the undisturbed drift,--a tooth of a contemporary of the
mastodon and of one of the makers of the argillite implements that
presupposed him; a man who never got beyond the palæolithic stage,--the
earliest rudiments of a culture far beneath any savagery of historic
times in the Atlantic States. This silent witness of man's antiquity in
America is among the treasures of this museum which are unique and
priceless.

Who were these earliest men? and what has the museum to show similar to
this from other parts of the world? are questions that naturally present
themselves.

The only attempt at an answer to the first, with which I am acquainted,
is suggested by Dr. Abbott in chapter xxxii. of his "Primitive
Industry." After showing that during the last glacial epoch there were
no climatic conditions southward of the actual ice-cap which would
preclude the existence of men, since they would gradually become used to
the slow change (as did so many surviving forms of animal and vegetable
life), Dr. Abbott further clears the way by demonstrating that a strong
line of demarcation exists between the remains of these people and the
earliest traces of the "red Indian" race which Europeans found in
possession of the body of the continent; this gap is not one of
stratification, or, perhaps, of time, but is shown by a strong
distinctness in the character of the worked stones forming the weapons
and implements of each people in respect to both material and degree of
perfection. Considering further the probability (from known evidence)
that the Innuit (Eskimos) once occupied all the interior of the
continent, together with the ascertained fact that on the Atlantic
coast this people quite recently extended as far south as Cape Cod, and
comparing the drift-implements with the exceeding rudeness of the stone
implements possessed by the Eskimos when first seen by the whites, Dr.
Abbott concludes that in the palæolithic men we have the ancestors of
the Innuit, who were driven to Arctic fastnesses by a new and more
powerful race of invaders, who retained possession of the great mass of
the continent, and whose descendants remain among us yet.

Now, to examine what the Old World has to show, if anything, similar to
these rudiments of civilization, we must go to the opposite gallery,
where we shall find, in the collections from the river-drift of England
and Southern France, implements equally rude and old-looking, but made
of flint instead of the inferior argillite with which the American
autochthones contented themselves. Next, a little better on the whole
than these, we shall see the relics of stone and bone--the latter not
only whittled and broken, but often ornamentally carved--which came from
caves in England and Southern Europe: some have been dug from beneath
thick layers of stalagmite.

In Europe, then, palæolithic man is separately considered as the
River-drift man and the Cave man, the former believed to be much the
older people, and known by the series of simplest patterns of stone
implements found in the late Pleistocene river-beds. This River-drift
man wandered over the greater part of Europe and Asia, leading a
nomadic, feral life,--a hunter of very low order, like the modern
Australian. The Cave man, on the contrary, seems to have been restricted
in his range, which of itself is considered indicative of different age
and race, and he was far in advance of the River-drift man in the
variety and workmanship of his weapons and implements. Between both, or
rather between the era of the latter and that of the men who made
implements of polished stone and chipped flint, there is just such a
broad distinction as obtains in the United States between the traces of
palæolithic and those of neolithic man.

The exact parallelism of the palæolithic ages in the Eastern and Western
hemispheres is still more or less disputed by anthropologists, but the
general opinion seems to be this: If not two peoples, the River-drift
men and the Cave men were certainly distinct sections of the same race
which found their way into Europe at widely-separated times, the former
having far the higher antiquity. It is believed by Dr. Boyd Dawkins
(from whose celebrated cave-explorations in Great Britain has been
derived a representative series of specimens for the museum) "that the
River-drift man is as completely extinct at the present time as the
woolly rhinoceros or the cave bear" which he fed upon; but all authors
identify the men of the caves with the Eskimos, who there, as well as
here, were forced to retreat by the pressure of a race of new-comers,
superior in prowess and cultivation, whose traces we call _neolithic_.

In America, however (where the Atlantic coast, at least, does not afford
caverns like those of Western Europe), the evidence all goes to show
that palæolithic men were in continuous possession of the region from
the time when they first appeared until driven northward by the Indians,
perhaps close upon the retreat of the great glacier. Returning to the
Abbott collection, we shall find that it contains a large quantity of
rude arrow-points, scrapers, and other forms of stone implements, some
of which are much better than any of the "turtle-backs" or other
palæoliths from the lower gravels. These are found in the upper part of
the drift, resting upon them and buried in the humus _above_: in the
latter position they are, of course, more or less intermixed with the
jasper and quartz relics of the modern Indian; but these are always made
of argillite, are ruder, are much weather-worn, and never occur in the
"open-air workshops" of the Indians, where quantities of flint-flakes
and unfinished implements of jasper and quartz and of superior pattern
are found lying together within a limited space. These argillite points
and scrapers seem to belong to the palæolithic man toward the end of his
"age," manifesting a higher stage of culture reached by gradual
improvement. It thus appears that while in Europe the rude-stone age was
divided into two eras,--the River-drift and the Cave,--in Eastern
America the aboriginal Eskimos held sway without interruption, and
slowly bettered themselves through unnumbered centuries, until at last
they were driven into icy exile by merciless conquerors, where, no
doubt, they lost much of the advancement they had gained under more
gracious conditions.

It will be observed that we were obliged to go to another part of the
building in order to see what remains came from palæolithic Europe and
make our comparisons. This is in accordance with the plan of the museum,
which arranges its treasures according to locality, and not according to
shape, utility, relative age, degree of finish, or any other style of
classification. All the objects found in a particular spot--taken from
one grave or a single shell-heap, or, in wider range, belonging to the
same geographical region--are kept together, no matter how dissimilar
the associated articles may be. Arrangement on any other plan must
necessarily become to a greater or less extent the exponent of the views
of the one man or clique that controls the matter,--must involve a
theory, and hence prove an obstacle to the student who seeks an
unbiassed interpretation of the truth. If it does nothing more, it
destroys the proper perspective. For example, one of the cases in this
museum contains the contents of graves opened in an Indian cemetery on
Santa Catalina Island, California, comprising native work, mortars and
pots of stone,--for no native pottery occurs in the Californian
graves,--beads, flint arrow-heads, etc., together with Spanish swords,
stirrups, glass, and other articles of European manufacture. Separate
these associated articles,--put the arrow-heads and stone pots with a
vast number of other arrow-heads and stone pots,--and there would have
been nothing to show, except at the expense of long study, that their
date of use was no older than the Spanish invasion of California, or, in
the case of the iron-ware, that it had belonged to Indians who yet clung
to many of their native customs and manufactures. Shown together as they
were collected, one perceives at a glance, and the brain appreciates in
true perspective, the picture of life on Santa Catalina Island when
those graves were dug, perhaps three centuries ago. The importance and
value of this plan become more and more apparent as the student
advances. In the publications of the museum, and elsewhere, the curator
draws such conclusions as seem to him just from the materials he
possesses; but he regards it as due to the public that the specimens
themselves shall be exhibited as found, for the verification of his
explanations and the investigation of those who come afterward. The
first and foremost object of this museum--as it should be of every such
institution--is the preservation of historical evidence; the second, the
making it accessible in its original aspect for study. Ornamental
display, when in the least degree inconsistent with scientific uses, has
no place in any of the rooms. Nothing is put up because it is pretty;
and if the history of any specimen is at all doubtful, it is kept out of
sight, or else its label contains the proper cautions and queries.

Having scanned the relics of that far-away time which seems to have
preceded the coming even of the red men into the United States, let us
now see what the museum has to show of the arts and industries and
amusements of those "Indians" who were found in possession when
Europeans came to the New World.

The whole continent was inhabited by what was substantially the same
race of men, divided into many language-stocks, subdivided into a still
greater number of more or less cohesive tribes, and segregated into
innumerable bands or villages. As they varied in dialect, organization,
and environment, so were they greatly diversified in mental
accomplishments and in outward customs and belongings. In subordinate
points the characteristics of some divisions contrasted most pointedly
with those of others; yet in certain cardinal aspects the whole
population known in historic times from Tierra del Fuego to Eskimo-land
was a unit. All were red-skinned Americans, "tarred with the same
stick."[1] Moreover, it has been supposed that no race other than these
red men has ever permanently occupied any portion of the United States
between the departure of the palæolithic Eskimos and the advent of
Europeans,--the "Mound-Builders" not excepted.

To the prehistoric relics and the modern manufactures of these natives
of America the Peabody Museum is chiefly devoted. The material preserved
was obtained by its original collectors in a variety of ways. Much of it
was gathered in farm-fields, where it had been turned up under the
plough one piece at a time. All parts of the United States are
represented, but some regions more plentifully than others, not only
because one district may contain more persons interested in the matter,
but because of the comparative scarcity of relics in some parts. One of
the most densely populated districts in the whole Union in Indian life
was the Atlantic slope of the Alleghanies; and the valleys of the
fishing-rivers draining this slope have yielded an enormous quantity of
examples of primitive wares, in the shape of architecture, pottery,
weapons, tools, and ornaments of stone, shell, horn, and metal.

No one point, probably, has yielded more than the farm and immediate
neighborhood of Dr. C. C. Abbott (heretofore referred to), at Trenton,
New Jersey. This farm occupies a bluff and wide meadows facing the
Delaware River. It was a location unexcelled in advantages for the
mild-mannered, sunshine-loving Leni-Lenapé. On the dry high ground they
could build their lodges underneath great trees and find themselves upon
the highway of travel, while the rich bottom-lands gave them
never-exhausted planting-ground for their fields of maize. Better than
all, they could overlook not only these fields, but far away down the
river, and scan the approach of strangers, or watch the approach of the
returning parties of hunters and fishermen, whose canoes came up the
creeks to moorings at the very foot of the bluff. That this spot was
long tenanted by an Indian village there seems ample proof. Almost every
species of Indian handiwork, in stone, bone, and clay, known to the
Atlantic coast has been found in and about this farm during the past ten
years, and the total yield of a square mile in that locality has been
nearly twenty-five thousand specimens. The great majority of these are
now in the Peabody Museum, and they have furnished Dr. Abbott with the
material for our most valuable book on the stone age in North America,
entitled "Primitive Industry" (George A. Bates, Salem, 1881). They
consist of varied series of axes, celts, hammers, bolas, knives, drills,
scrapers, mortars and pestles, food-vessels and agricultural tools,
fishing- and hunting-implements, spear- and arrow-points, club-heads,
daggers, and other weapons, pipes and gaming-stones, ceremonial and
ornamental objects,--all of stone,--besides a deal of pottery (chiefly
in fragments), bone-work, and implements of copper, probably procured
from other tribes.

Then there is another source of supply,--the shell-heaps. It was the
custom of all the aborigines who lived anywhere near the sea to go to
the shore in summer--the whole band or a group of families together--and
camp there for weeks or months. Certain spots were resorted to annually,
just as we go year after year to our favorite sea-side hotel. The time
there was spent chiefly in catching and eating salt-water food, and,
most of all, oysters and clams. Our "clam-bake" is a survival of their
feasts on the beach. Of course under such circumstances extended heaps
of castaway shells and fish-bones would accumulate, and become of
dimensions which seem extraordinary only when we forget the lapse of
time since they were begun. Many objects, some castaway, some lost,
would become intermixed with the loose surface shells and be rapidly
buried beyond further disturbance. Thus an exploration of these heaps of
refuse might be expected to disclose, and really does show, a great
variety of indestructible indications of the people around whose
summer-lodges they were formed,--how they lived, what they fed upon, and
the degree of skill and culture to which they had attained. Scores of
these shell-heaps from Maine to Texas have been excavated by private
persons or by the agency of the museum, and the yield of each, however
miscellaneous, is accessible to us. We may make out from the bones a
list of the animals upon which the makers fed, we may tell from the
stone implements how the men hunted and fished, from the awls, needles,
skin-dressers, etc., of bone and horn with what skill the women worked,
and largely what materials they used, while the bits of baked clay mark
their position in the ceramic scale,--a well-accepted standard of
progress. Nor are these things mixed and confused when deposited in the
museum. All from each shell-heap are kept together, and specimens may
thus be compared with one another all along the coast-line; or the
visitor may go to another room, where the great Rose collection from
Denmark is displayed, and compare them with the relics from the
shell-heaps (_Kjoëkken-moedings_) and village-sites of Jutland, where
a parallel life was lived and the monuments of savage homesteads line
the Baltic beaches.

Similarly the sites of villages, towns, and cities have contributed
largely to this collection of native antiquities. This is especially
true of the Southwest, of Central America, and the Andean region, where
the Aztec, the Maya, the Quichuas, the Aymaras, and other
highly-organized nations held sway over wide regions. The greatest
remains of these people lie in their architecture, the ruins of which
astonish the traveller in Mexico, Yucatan, and Peru. Beyond fragments of
carving, this, of course, is unavailable to a museum; but beside the
images and fragments of representative ornament engraved in stone that
have been brought from these ruins hang pictures of the entire building
or city, so that the visitor's memory is refreshed, and he is enabled to
place the relics in their proper relation to the whole.

In regard to the remarkable remains of the ancient "cliff-dwellers," who
inhabited the cañons along the south-western boundary of Colorado, and
are considered the ancestors of the pueblo-building Indians whose
terraced community-houses crown isolated buttes in the midst of the
Arizona deserts and along the Rio Grande, a more effective mode of
representation has been adopted. Upon several of the large hall-tables
will be seen, under glass, models in plaster, colored with exactness, of
those great houses and all their externals. These models were made by
Messrs. Jackson and Holmes, of the United States Geological Survey, and
are wonderfully truthful and instructive. A similar plan has been
adopted in a few other cases to show savage architecture, and it has
proved so effective and interesting that its use should be extended. The
little model of a lacustrine village restored from the vestiges
discovered in the Swiss lakes gives one a better notion of how the
lake-dwellers really conducted their peaceful life and guarded
themselves against their savage enemies of the forest and mountains
than any amount of verbal description could do.

Beyond any one of these in importance as a source of mementos
illustrating the life and art of the aborigines is the burial-place. Not
only do well-recognized graves and cemeteries yield valuable material
whenever explored, but a large part of that gathered in ploughed fields
and on ancient town-sites was undoubtedly put there with the dead, or as
a subsequent offering. Nothing is more fortunate for the science of
archæology than that the primitive Americans held the notions they did
respecting death and the hereafter; for through these theories and the
practices to which they gave rise an enormous amount of material has
been preserved to us which otherwise would have been lost. It is not too
much to say, I feel sure, that were all other traces of prehistoric
America obliterated from our knowledge and possession save that which
has been and may be derived from burial-places, we might still
reconstruct nearly as complete a picture as can now be outlined.

The modes of disposal of the dead were various among the native races of
America, and most of them may be matched by customs obtaining in the
Eastern hemisphere or the Polynesian islands. The commonest method was
some form of _inhumation_ in pits, graves, or holes in the ground, in
stone graves or cysts, in mounds, beneath or in houses, or in caves.
_Embalmment_, to a limited extent, was also practised, the corpse being
wrapped in garments and made up into a bundle before being placed in the
earth, a cave, charnel-house, or in a box mounted on a scaffold.
_Surface-burial_ was in use in some districts, the corpse being placed
in a pen, a hollow tree or log, or simply covered with loose earth, or
bark, or rocks forming cairns. In several regions, at various times,
_cremation_ was the rule, or at least a partial burning, the resulting
bones and ashes being preserved by some tribes and scattered by others.
_Aerial sepulture_ is the name given to another method, where the body
was left in the cabin or wigwam, deposited on scaffolds or trees, in
boxes or canoes, sometimes supported by posts, sometimes resting on the
ground, placed in baskets perched on pinnacles of rock or hung to the
branches of trees,--the last being the mode often adopted in the case of
children. Lastly, some nations were accustomed to sink their dead
beneath the water, or turn them adrift in canoes.

It is manifest that many of these practices could not be shown, from the
nature of the case or the limits of space, except by pictures or models;
but certain forms are represented in the great stocking-foot-shaped jars
of coarse earthenware which served as coffins in the Nicaraguan region,
in cinerary urns, in bones and skulls prepared to be kept as a sacred
heirloom in the family, and in various descriptions of mummies, swathed
and unswathed, chiefly from Peru and from caves in Mexico.

It has always been the habit of savage and semi-barbarous people, the
world over, to bury with their dead or destroy at the grave more or less
property which may or may not have belonged to the deceased persons.
Among some of the American Indians this was carried to such an extent as
utterly to impoverish all the relatives, who, in fact, seem to have
accumulated wealth solely for the purpose of funereal display. By a few
tribes, like the Natchez, human sacrifice--forcibly of slaves,
voluntarily on the part of relatives--was enjoined whenever a prominent
man died. In most nations, however, the sacrifices were limited to
horses, dogs, and food-animals, ornaments and implements. It was
believed that in the spirit-land to which the soul was going this
property would be of service and these slaves and wives and various
objects would be necessary in order that the dead man might be well
fitted to pursue his immortal journey. Therefore, when a grave is opened
or any form of burial-place is found by the archæologist, he is almost
sure to obtain a quantity of imperishable property,--weapons and
ornaments of stone, bone, or metal, clay food-dishes, and the
like,--the history of which is identified with that of the deceased and
tells his story.

Two classes of burial-places have been the subject of special
exploration and study by this museum, generally under the personal
supervision of Professor Putnam, or of Mr. Lucien Carr, his assistant.
One of these are the strange stone cysts of Tennessee, which occur in
thousands in the Cumberland valley. They were from two to four feet
below the surface, and were made of large slabs of stone, placed
edgewise to form the sides and ends, on which other flat stones rested,
forming the top of the grave. The bottoms of these cysts were sometimes
lined with small stones, oftener with large potsherds, while in some
instances the lining was probably of bark. While most of the cysts
contained only a single body, two, three, and even five skeletons were
found together in a few instances. Each grave held a greater or less
quantity and variety of articles of native manufacture. Stone implements
were rarer than is customary elsewhere, but those present were unusually
fine. One of the skeletons had a stone arrow-head embedded in the spine.
The pottery was more abundant, and consisted for the most part of
well-made water-bottles and food-dishes, ornamented by incised lines or
designs in color. Implements and ornaments of bone, stone, and shell,
beads of terra-cotta and shell, small mollusks perforated for stringing,
a few carved pipes of pottery, stone, etc., were also gathered and
brought to Cambridge.

While cemeteries of this character are known to have extended over wide
areas of lowland, stone graves were also built into low pyramids by
placing one tier on top of another until from four to six had been laid.
Each tier as completed--probably each grave as added--would be covered
with earth, so that the whole formed a burial-mound fifty feet or more
in diameter and eight or ten feet high (the bottom tier of graves being
sunken), containing perhaps two hundred bodies. Not only within the
cysts, but on and around the stones throughout the mound, were exhumed
many relics, especially of pottery, showing that food and offerings had
been laid upon the graves after they were closed. Nowhere was there the
least indication of any contact with Europeans; and these cemeteries
undoubtedly antedate the coming of the whites.

Among the most strikingly interesting discoveries made during the past
few years is the burial-place in the Miami valley of Ohio, with its
hundreds of singular pits dug in the hard clay below the leaf-mould in
which the skeletons are found. This place was discovered by the members
of the Madisonville Literary and Scientific Society, which, during three
or four years, carried on an exploration under the personal direction of
Dr. C. L. Metz. In 1880 the Peabody Museum was invited to join in the
exploration, and Professor Putnam visited the locality soon afterward.
The result of this co-operation is apparent in the large collections
brought to the museum, where the contents of several of these strange
pits are shown, as well as thousands of objects obtained from others or
occurring with the skeletons in the leaf-mould. More than fifteen
hundred pits and a thousand skeletons have now been uncovered and
examined, several acres having been dug over, foot by foot, with
painstaking completeness.

The pits, hollowed out of the underlying clay, are from two to seven
feet in depth, and about four feet in diameter, hidden under a stratum
of slowly-accumulated leaf-mould two feet thick. The majority of them,
evidently, had been made previous to the burial of the bodies, though
some were more recent than a few of the graves. The labor expended in
digging them, and the peculiar character of their contents, render it
not improbable that they were made in pursuance of some superstition or
as part of a religious rite. This is an unsatisfactory generality, but
more cannot yet be said with safety.

The average pit may be said to be filled with ashes in more or less
well-defined layers. Near the top there may be a mixture of gravel, but
underneath are found only fine gray ashes to the depth of one or two
feet, in which often occur thin strata of charcoal or sand, while at the
bottom burnt stones have often been found. Throughout the whole mass of
ashes and sand, from top to bottom, are bones of fishes, reptiles,
birds, and mammals. The larger bones, such as those of the elk, deer,
and bear, are broken; and all, apparently, are those of animals used for
food. With the bones are always many shells of fresh-water mussels
(_Unionidæ_), the more massive of which have a large circular piece cut
out near the centre. Fragments of pottery (rarely a whole vessel) also
abound in each pit, quantities of implements made of bones and antlers,
some forms of which are unlike anything known elsewhere, implements of
chipped and polished stone, pipes carved in various shapes from stone,
and objects of copper. In some pits several bushels of charred corn,
which had been covered with bark matting, lay underneath the ashes; and
in three instances human skeletons, or parts of skeletons, have been
found in the pits,--a fact which seems to have no special significance.

On the hill-side near this great cemetery is to be seen what doubtless
is the site of the permanent village of the people who made the
ash-pits. This site is indicated by several earth-circles, the
explorations of which, prosecuted by means of trenches, revealed in the
centre, upon the hard clay, beneath about two feet of accumulated
leaf-mould, fireplaces made of large stones, enclosing beds of ashes
mingled with potsherds, flint-flakes, burnt bones, and perforated shells
like those in the pits. The few things disclosed within the circles, and
the abundance of household-utensils and refuse found in the ashes in the
pits, suggest the possibility that on special occasions all the articles
in the house, with ornaments, weapons, and other personal property, were
partly destroyed by fire, gathered up with the ashes, and deposited in a
pit dug for the purpose, while the great number of broken bones of
various animals indicates that at such times feasts were held. A custom
like this, which is quite consistent with the Indian character as
manifested within the historic period, would account for the character
of the contents of the pits, while their great number would indicate a
long-continued occupation of the village.

Another phase of American archæology remains to be considered. It is
represented in the museum by a unique and most interesting series of
specimens illustrating every detail with the greatest particularity and
exactness, so that future students need lose no essential feature of the
picture that lay before the original explorers and describers. In the
northeastern part of Anderson township, near the Little Miami River, a
group of earth-works exist which are among the most remarkable of all
the thousands scattered throughout the Ohio valley. The owner gave to
the museum the exclusive right of exploration, and the locality was
mapped and investigated with that scientific care which alone can give
the results entire credibility and value. Several of the thirteen mounds
within one of the encircling walls contained basins or "altars" of
burned clay, on two of which were literally thousands of objects of
interest, embracing forms unlike anything known before, and exhibiting
an unsuspected degree of cultivation in their makers,--cultivation
which, it is fair to suppose, could have been arrived at only after a
long period of peaceful and prosperous life in the community. I have
space to mention only a few of these articles.

One altar contained about two bushels of ornaments made of stone, mica,
shells, pearls, and the teeth of bears and other animals. Pearls were so
plentiful, indeed, that as many as sixty thousand are in the possession
of the museum. They seem to have been derived mainly, if not wholly,
from the fresh-water mussels, and are of all shapes and sizes, out of
which might be selected hundreds of perfect spheres, from the size of
bird-shot to that of a cherry. What splendid necklaces must the latter
have made! But, alas for the mercenary collector, all are ruined by
fire,--a fact advantageous to science. Like nearly all the other
objects, every pearl is perforated for suspension.

Articles of copper are none too common anywhere, and the collection of
relics hammered from that native metal (which must have been obtained,
through barter, from the tribes that mined it on Lake Superior, showing
how extensive were the tradings of those days) has not only thrown much
light on this branch of ancient art and craftsmanship in America
generally, but added some peculiar forms to the museum's stock, chiefly
in the line of pendent ornaments. One of the forms procured, represented
by many specimens, was a spool-shaped ear-ring: something like it had
been seen heretofore, but its purpose had been a mystery. Several of the
ornaments of copper were covered with native silver, which had been
hammered out into thin sheets and folded over the copper. A few were
similarly covered with gold; and this is the first time this metal has
been found in the mounds.

This would show that beauty was highly appreciated by the natives of the
Little Miami valley, say, a thousand years ago. That they had a real
regard for art, in advance of what has usually been accorded to the red
men of the Northern States, is evident from other contents of these two
altar-mounds. One altar contained several sheets of mica and thin plates
of copper out of which had been cut some designs in scroll-work which
for symmetry and elegance of curve merit a high place; also heads of
animals and a grotesque human profile, which are of less worth, but
notable in the dearth heretofore of things of that sort among _relicta_
from the mounds.

Far in advance of these, however, are the figurines of terra-cotta found
on another altar. They had all been badly burnt, and many of them seemed
to have been broken purposely before being placed upon the altar; but it
has been found possible to unite many pieces, and enough remains to
show at a glance the great importance these small and graceful human
images will have in the study of early American art. They are from four
to six inches in height, partly nude, and carefully moulded in regard to
anatomy. The method of wearing the hair, the use of the button-like or
spool-shaped ear-rings, the expression of the features, etc., are all in
the highest degree instructive, while the whole effect is pleasing and
artistic. Associated with them were two remarkable dishes carved from
stone, in the shape of animals, showing an unusual degree of skill and
taste.

A discovery in the same mounds which interests scientific men even more
than this, or than anything else has done for a long time, is the
finding in these mounds of quantities of meteoric iron. It was said by
Hildreth ("Archæologia Americana," i., 1820, page 163) that traces of
iron-work had been found in a mound at Marietta, Ohio; but a
re-examination of the specimens preserved at Worcester showed that they
were of oxidized copper. The present discovery was therefore the first
of its kind, and excited so much interest that chemists and
mineralogists have been called into council with the archæologists on
the subject. This is the only kind of crude iron that is malleable; and
that the people who built the mounds, or any other of the native races
of the United States, had any knowledge of working iron-ore, yet remains
to be shown. Some of the iron was in its original shape,--unworked
nodules; a part in solid bars, etc.; but much of it had been treated
like silver,--that is, hammered into sheets and used in thin plates as
an ornamental covering for ear-rings and pendants. The mixture of nickel
in this meteoric iron has not only preserved it, but caused a polished
surface to gleam white, as though plated with silver, while tarnishing
less easily than that metal. No doubt it was among the most highly
prized of all the treasures of those old days, and nothing more precious
than this could have been offered as a sacrifice, when, with lavish
hand, pearls and silver and gold, weapons and tools, household furniture
and products of the chase and the farm, were heaped upon the funeral
pyre or contributed to the sacrificial flame.

In materials illustrating the life and crafts of the Indians during the
last century and at present, this museum is not yet so well supplied as
some others,--that at Washington, for example, which has been
constituted the depository for the collections of scores of government
expeditions into the West and North. Nevertheless, some things of great
value and completeness in this way are already owned. Thus, in the South
American room may be seen a series of specimens illustrating the whole
operation of pottery-making among the Caribs of British Guiana. This was
obtained several years ago by Professor H. A. Ward, who bought the
entire stock of materials of a woman of that tribe whom he found at
work. These consisted of a mass of clay ready for the potter, a number
of vessels ready for the fire, others which had been burned, and several
ornamented in colors. The gourd scrapers of several shapes, with which
she smoothed the vessels, small, smooth stones used in polishing the raw
colors, and other appurtenances, are included, together with toy vessels
which the woman hastily pinched into shape and gave to her children as
playthings to amuse them while she worked, the forms of which help to
explain many similar articles found in ancient graves.

With like completeness, when Dr. E. Palmer was exploring for the museum
the nitre-caves in Northern Mexico, anciently occupied as places of
human sepulture, he sent with the "mummies" extracted from them a full
series of such natural products of the vicinity as would enable the
museum to exhibit the leaves, fibres, and other vegetable productions
from which the cloth, baskets, and so forth were constructed by the
people who placed their dead in the caves. Dr. Palmer also sent a full
set of the rude apparatus by which the present Indians of Mexico make
their cactus-cakes and syrup, from the thorn-tipped pole with which the
prickly fruit is gathered to the great earthen colanders through which
it is strained; also all the implements and utensils, the native still,
etc., used in making _pulque_ and in preparing and weaving the fibre of
the agave.

To go with greater detail into the treasures of this remarkable
collection, whose value is so great, not only historically, but in an
educational aspect (since it is readily accessible throughout and
instructively presented), is forbidden by the limits of space; but the
temptation to transgress is strong. I have said nothing, for example, of
the great series of crania, now many times larger than when Wyman
printed his papers in the early reports. A portion of this collection
has more recently been described by Mr. Lucien Carr, whose voluntary
services as an assistant at the museum have been of inestimable
advantage to it. I have alluded only incidentally to the department of
ceramics, which contains what is unquestionably the most important lot
of material ever brought together for the investigation of the history
and progress of the potter's art on the Western continent, from the
"cord-marked" potsherds of the shell-heaps to the fanciful creations of
Mexico and Peru.

It will be seen, then, to summarize briefly what this essay has said,
that the trustees of the Peabody Museum have secured to the public a
fire-proof building containing nearly four hundred thousand specimens
illustrating human progress in the "childhood of the world;" and these
have been placed under proper care and arranged in accordance with the
demands of modern anthropological science. An instructive and attractive
museum has been formed in this way, where, from time to time, free
descriptive lectures are given by the curator, and whither students may
go for special investigations with the assurance that, so far as America
is concerned, they have access to the most important collections that
have been brought together, while material for comparison with the
antiquities of other parts of the globe is not wanting.

ERNEST INGERSOLL.



A NORTH-RIVER FERRY.


Did the reader ever realize how important a part the ferry and the ford
have played in human affairs? How differently would history read without
its Cæsar crossing the Rubicon, its Xerxes crossing the Hellespont, and
its Washington crossing the Delaware, its Paul Revere wherried across
the Charles, and its Burr and Hamilton ferried over to Weehawken,--not
to speak of the Hebrews going over Jordan, Jacob at the brook Jabbok,
and John the Baptist at the fords of Bethabara! The ancients conceived
of death under the figure of a ferry, and transmitted it to us with such
vividness that we are still half pagan in our imagination. And I can
easily believe that the battle of life may be essentially influenced by
having a river to cross each day. The change from land to water, from
narrow and stony streets to the wide, free outlook and uplook of a great
river, the varied life of a crowded ferry-boat and of a busy harbor, the
magnetic sympathies of a multitude let loose from toil and perforce at a
stand-still for the time,--all this insures a transition of mind as well
as transfer of body. I could appreciate the exclamation of an impulsive
English girl while waiting one sultry day on a North-River pier, as she
spread open her arms and rushed to the edge of the dock: "I feel as if
I'd like to take a barth!" It was not the dirty scum under the piles
that set her longing, but the general sense of refreshment which the
broad and breezy river suggested to her imagination. Why should not
those tides wash out some of the lines which a day in the city has left
to deepen on a man's mind and brow?--especially if he pushes on to
"sweet fields beyond the swelling flood" and enters "that dear hut," his
home, under a vine-wreathed porch and along a gravel walk through a
grassy lawn, and not down "area steps," or even through the ponderous
and marble jaws of some city "palace." Therefore it is that the suburban
hath the promise, above his mewed-up fellow-citizen, that his days shall
be long in the land which the Lord God giveth him. And hence even the
narrow-neckedness of land which distinguishes New York and pushes most
of its population over the sides may have its compensations.

The ferry makes itself felt long before one gets there. There is a sort
of undertow in the city tides far up from the river-front. There is a
greater tangle of travel as you approach the streets leading to the
ferry. There is a perceptible assimilation of trade to the supposed
demands of householders living out of town. The retail Mammon dethrones
his proud wholesale rival. The sidewalk- or gutter-stand thrusts itself
out in advance of the store. The peripatetic dealer in small wares, the
newsboy, the apple-woman, the bootblack, and the mendicant marshal you
the way. The whole vicinity acquires the look and stir of a bazaar.
Baskets and paper parcels and travelling-bags are conspicuous and
general. Perhaps you find yourself on the greasy edge of some huge
market. The hacks accumulate like croton-bugs about a kitchen sink. You
feel as if you were being sucked into some valve or vortex.

There is a test of character in the mode of going to the ferry. It is
almost impossible not to be in a hurry, such is the swirl of the tide in
which you find yourself. In my three years of almost daily transit I
never ceased to revere the moral superiority of the admirable few who
day after day could proceed with leisurely step and serene brow amid
the heated, breathless, tugging, anxious multitude. It seemed to
indicate a steadiness of nerve, a systematic habit, a wise and
deliberate forecast, a self-control and self-confidence, and a belief in
their watches, to which I never hope to attain this side of Old Charon's
ferry itself. And yet somebody is nearly always late. Quite as likely,
however, it is somebody who is too early,--because he really belongs to
the next boat, and not to the one which is just leaving the dock as he
tears into the ferry-house.

There is a good deal of condensed life and human nature to be found at a
ferry by one who himself is in no hurry to cross. Take your stand just
where you can see up the street and at the same time can command the
whole interior. The waiting-room is deserted, except by some such
lounger as yourself, or a passenger left by the last boat or "too
previous" for the next. Well for you if you are sufficiently respectable
to pass muster with the official whose duty it is to see that no one
secures a day's lodging for two cents. There is a slow dribble of
wayfarers, who seldom spend their time in the dismal and dingy
waiting-room unless in very cold weather or to stand guard over their
parcels which they have piled upon the seats. But all at once
(especially if the next boat is to connect with some train on the other
side) you observe a thickening of the living current far up the
sidewalk, as when the gutters are swollen by the turning on of a
hydrant. Down comes the hurrying mass, fretting at the manifold
obstructions, its component parts struggling together and almost seeming
to go over each other's heads. No time now for the small courtesies, or
even charities, of life. The sturdy and malodorous beggar knows too well
to run alongside with his "Help a poor boy; I'm a stranger in the city."
And the man whose abridged and distorted legs are his stock in trade
waits for the return-tide to enact his shrewd and pantomimic
morality-play by a hurried shuffle up and down the pavement. The
news-dealers--even the enterprising female who summons mercy to the aid
of commerce by her absurdly lugubrious visage--have the paper and the
change all ready to thrust into their customer's hand. The scene at the
crossing of the street baffles description. Talk of the day of miracles
being past! One who can watch this scene of scare and scamper and
hair-breadth escape and not believe in a particular Providence must be
incorrigibly heterodox.

The tide reaches the outer gate in a state of lively congestion. The
person in front of you as you pass the toll-taker's booth is quite sure
to have forgotten his ticket, and has to set down his parcels while he
fumbles through all his pockets for it. You are sure you hear the inner
gate closing. You dash through the ferry-house in the most undignified
manner and unphilosophic mood--to find that you have five minutes to
spare! And you take your stand beside your double, who has been all this
time enjoying the little woes and absurdities of others,--including
yourself.

The current has hardly slackened when the long gate begins to roll to.
The last passenger has to edge himself through sideways, at some peril
of his packages if not of himself, and at the tender mercy of the
gate-keeper. Not the last would-be passenger, however; for a frantic
form is seen to dart through the narrow and tortuous pass from the
street and fling itself upon the closed barrier, appealing in eloquent
indignation to the inexorable Cerberus, and then gazing, with face
against the lattice, in imbecile despair at the receding boat.
Simultaneous with the thud of the shutting gate is the clank of chains
and the rattle of clamps and clogs, as of the striking off of fetters
and handcuffs, an asthmatic jingle of a bell somewhere in the body of
the boat, a slight slush of revolving paddle-wheels, and the great
brute, as steady as a spirit-level and as powerful as a battering-ram,
separates itself from the dock like the opening blade of a penknife. You
recall the good old days when there were no cruelly-humane gates, and
when this stage of the proceeding was marked by a wild leap of belated
forms across the widening chasm, with now and then the souse of a
miscalculating passenger into the yeasty brine. The scene is less
picturesque and exciting now, but it is decidedly more satisfactory.

If you have a wise regard for your sanitary well-being, you will remain
on deck, alike to saturate your lungs with torrents of oxygen and to let
your weary eye and mind disport themselves like sea-gulls on the broad
waters of the bay. What so fresh and cool and clean and still and
sparkling and in perfect contrast to the stern and stony and resounding
streets! As you lean over the taffrail, looking down into the clear,
gliding wave, you can readily conceive why the poor unfortunates to whom
life has become a stern and stony street are so often tempted to bury
their sorrows in that great calm grave.

I never grow tired of watching the wake of the vessel. It revives some
of my earliest impressions,--all the more if it be upon the venerable
Wiehawken, or James Rumsey, or some other veteran of the Hoboken line,
that used to convey me across the Hudson in my childish days. A
ferry-boat then meant to me a country boy's visit to the great city, or,
a little later, a city boy's holiday-excursion to the Elysian Fields.
The long vibrations of the laboring boat bring back the old thrill of
excited expectation. Even the discordant clank of the dock-gear is
musical in memory's ear. And at any time of life there is a real
fascination in watching the smooth and soapy track unrolling behind us,
with its sharp division-line in the centre and its upturned depths of
glossy green.

Every harbor has its characteristic features. The harbor of New York
gives, first of all, the impression of amplitude. This means not only
plenty of "elbow-room" upon the water, but of shore-room. The dépôts of
a continent could be conveniently clustered here, and its fleets perform
their tactics. There was nothing mean in Nature's mood when she planned
the harbor of New York. And, after all that mellow time and
consecrating tradition, the traveller's enthusiasm, the poet's fancy,
and the painter's sleight have done for the beauties of the Bosphorus,
the Bay of Naples, the harbor of Rhodes, and other "fine old ports" and
"gems of the first water," I know of few more picturesque effects,
whether of color or of grouping, than that which the North-River
ferry-boat affords its passengers as midway in the stream they look up
the broad palisaded river, or down the islanded bay, or across on either
side at populous and steepled shores, on a golden October afternoon or
in the breezy light of a winter morning. Here is, at least, none of the
monotony of charm, like the stereotyped features of a placid and
passionless beauty, which characterizes your standard harbor-scenes. New
York may not be as classic or correct as her languishing rivals on the
Hellespont or the blue waters of the Mediterranean, but she has the
fascination arising from mobility of feature, endless variety of
expression, and vivacity of mood. One who daily crosses the North River
for a year will have seemed to belt the globe and voyaged through all
zones. He will have danced upon the sparkling waves of the Ægean, groped
through the fogs of Liverpool, sweltered in the sultry glare of Tunis,
skirted the ice-clad shores of Scandinavia, sickened in the surges of
the Channel, lain glassed in the watery mirror of the China Sea. And he
will have observed striking features peculiar to this latitude of the
Atlantic coast. I recall an atmospheric effect in springtime resembling
a light pearl-colored mist, which had none of the qualities of a fog,
but rather lent a weird transparency to the air. It gave the impression
of sunlight faded or washed of its golden particles, or of a picture
drawn on pearl. There was a statuesque stillness about the water, a near
and yet a far look about the entire scene, which imparted a sense of
unreality, almost of the supernatural.

I have spoken of fogs on the river. Their prevalence differs greatly in
different years, also their density and darkness. The East River, from
its narrowness, its crowded condition, and its rapid current, is far
more obstructed by them; but the Bridge has changed all that. The fogs
are to be charged to the serious discount of suburban life; still more
the snow-storms, which are more deadening to sound and less capable of
illumination. But the use of electric light and the vast capacities of
the steam-whistle and fog-horn, not to speak of the more than Indian
expertness to which a pilot's eye and ear can be trained, have reduced
the inconvenience to a minimum. There is, however, to the imaginative
traveller a compensating, albeit an awful, charm. It is like exploring
some dim and echoing cave resounding with an organ-concert played by
Titans on the very instruments of Æolus himself. The whole river makes
one think of a vast shell, full of the boomings and sighings of an
infinite sea.

But such experiences on the North River are rare, even in times of fog
or snow. For the most part the climate of New York harbor is singularly
clear, and its autumns are beginning to be recognized as a
meteorological masterpiece. And its vast and varied commerce offers
exhaustless entertainment for one who has an eye for the picturesque or
a sympathetic imagination for the living freight.

As we look up and down the bay we realize how thoroughly steam has
cleared the water of sails, sadly to the sacrifice of beauty. Here and
there, however, there is a lingering sloop or schooner, engaged in
river- or coasting-trade. Decidedly old-fashioned they look, like the
white turban and neckerchief of our grandmothers. As they lie off there,
nestling so confidingly in the arms of the great river-god, we seem to
get a glimpse of a simpler and serener age, when life glided rather than
pushed, waited on the heavenly influences and trusted not its own
impulse. I know that the life of a deck-hand will not bear a very close
examination for æsthetic purposes. But, as I watch these vessels
drifting down through the golden afternoon, or cheerily beating up
against the tide on a breezy morning, the man at the wheel is a very
model of unconscious grace and almost effortless ascendency; and his
shipmates, grouped about him like floating lotos-eaters, have ever a
touch of the fine old Ulyssean vagrancy. Now and then there stands out
before the breeze and the sunlight a great canvassed ship, like some
living thing fluttering and glowing and careering under their thrilling
touch. And sometimes a fleet of sailing-yachts, more beautiful and swift
than sea-gulls, will hover on the horizon.

It is with something of sadness, if not of regret, that we turn our eyes
from these lovely and now almost phantom forms to the monstrosities of
steam navigation. I think we are passing through a sort of saurian epoch
in this age of steam. When we have outgrown this clumsy, noisy, perilous
agent, and have adjusted ourselves to electricity or some still more
subtile and commodious force, we may be able to restore somewhat of the
graces of form and motion. And we shall then look back upon the hideous
and awkward craft of this day very much as we now gaze upon a
reproduction of the misshapen and unwieldy monsters of the palæozoic
ages. The river swarms with ferry-boats. Was ever utility attained at so
great a sacrifice of taste? Their model must have been a toad with a
stick thrust through it (three of which, so impaled and hung up in the
sun to dry, Luther recommended as the best cure for all manner of
"pestilent humors"). At any rate, the difference between their aspect
and that of the sail-boat is that of a beetle and a butterfly. The acme
of ugliness is reached in the freight ferry-boats, floating fragments of
railroad, whose cars look like the joints of a monstrous creeping worm.

No one, however, can complain of any want of variety in these
steam-craft, whether in size or in shape, from the rather stately
steamships to the little tug-boats that shoot to and fro like gnats upon
the surface of a pool. I say _rather_ stately, for the high and graceful
hull of the steamer comes to a lame and impotent conclusion in its squat
chimney, like a large-faced man with a mayhemed nose, and in its toy
masts and rigging, like a stout woman with curl-papers or a thin wisp of
ringlet. When two or three of these steamships are together down the
harbor, their white volleys of smoke often present quite a lively
picture of a naval engagement. The little puffing pilot-boats have a
trick of getting in the way of us ferry-voyagers, like fussy
custom-house officers among the newly-landed passengers from the
ocean-ferries. There is generally a tug, perhaps with a slow convoy, to
be waited for or circumnavigated ere the "slip" can be entered. And they
run so close in-shore that the pilot has to be wary, and in some cases
to emerge with a series of unearthly steam screeches, lest he step upon
one of them with his great "horseshoe" of a ferry-boat. The steam-yacht
is the most graceful as well as agile of the species, as certainly it
ought to be when as much money is sometimes put into one as would buy a
Raphael or build a Grecian temple. The steam-yacht has doubtless a
thousand comforts for the owner above the sailing-yacht, but we, whose
interest in them is an outside and æsthetic one, cannot help saying, "O
Utility, what crimes are committed in thy name!"

There is no beauty, but a deal of attraction, in the great flotillas of
linked barges and canal-boats which slowly pass like floating and vulgar
Venices. If, as is often the case, they lie across the track, we shall
have plenty of opportunity to observe at our leisure their still life. I
have always thought that canal-life--by reason of its amphibiousness,
its phenomenal slowness, its monotony amid endless change, its solitude
amid busy and peopled scenes which it is always touching but never
entering--must be a unique existence, a _modus vivendi_ quite apart from
other human experiences by land or sea. A distinct type of character and
of habit cannot fail to be evolved, which it might be well for ingenious
novelists at their wits' ends to study, even though it required a trial
of patience and a tribulation of stomach and cuticle for a voyage or
two. Dickens saw its possibilities, and made it an episode in Little
Nell's wanderings, and I am rather surprised that he did not work the
vein farther.

The river-barge is freighted for me with pleasant memories. Like
Cleopatra's,

          From the barge
  A strange invisible perfume hits the sense.

There are not many of them now that carry passengers, but in my boyhood
they were a common vehicle of travel on the Hudson, several of these
shapeless and unwieldy tubs being lashed to the sides or dragged at the
stern of a tow-boat. They are identified with summer vacations in the
country, than which a boy's memory holds no more honeyed recollections.
The hours before "turning in" (the very fact of an abnormal night and
bed was a joy to the juvenile mind, despite the incessant and unearthly
noises of the live-stock on board) were spent in wandering among the
mountains of "produce," inhaling the savor of Orange County butter and
baled hay and meal-bags, and listening to the plaintive bleat of
comfortless calves and desolate sheep. As night drew on, I would select
some snug little nook, where I could lie and dream as we glided along
the still and starlit river, through the Highlands, perhaps, or the
Palisades. The charm was mainly, of course, in the spell of youthful
fancy and expectancy, which touched and transfigured the homely scene,
as the moonlight touched and transfigured the silent river. But I
associate it all with the barges, and shall ever see in those uncouth
craft

          Argosies of magic sails,
  Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales.

In summer the excursion-boats add picturesqueness and a festive air to
the river, with their gay bunting and bands of music and salutes with
bell or steam-whistle, and, above all, their eager throngs of
Sunday-school children or the liberated denizens of foul and narrow
streets. At times the shipping along the docks and over the bay will
blossom with the flags and streamers of all nations, hung fore and aft
and extending in fluttering lines down the rigging, imparting a gala
aspect to the scene and perhaps thrilling one with patriotic or historic
memories. Perhaps we are crossing at the moment when the great
Sound-steamers are pushing out from their piers. We feel quite
humiliated on our lonely ferry-boat as these leviathans of nautical
architecture sweep past us with an imperious curve far out into the
stream, and then move steadily and statelily down the middle of the
river, like an "ugly duckling" of mammoth proportions. One never gets
over the sensation of that sight, nor its impressions as a type of our
century,--a vast floating hotel, carrying the population of a village
and the luxurious appointments of a palace, gliding as smoothly and
noiselessly as an Indian's canoe, and propelled by an internal force
apparently as vital and secret as that which moves the Indian's arm.

Yonder comes an ocean-steamer, long, low, and black, with a tri-color
flag at the stern, slowly and puffily tugged by a little pilot-boat. The
decks literally swarm with figures in all sorts of outlandish
garb,--gray and blue stuffs, long shaggy ulsters, Scotch caps and
plaids, gay kerchiefs on the women's heads and necks. Some lounge,
smoking or gibbering, over the taffrail, other groups sit picturesquely
on their large rude boxes, but most of them are suggestively silent and
statuesque. And well they may be, for it is the moment of fate to the
poor emigrant as much as for Columbus when he approached the shore of a
new world. A new world, indeed, in far more than the geographical sense;
a new life, or at least a new attempt to live; old things passed away,
and all things to be new--except himself. A great wave of homelessness
in the wide world, and perhaps of sickness for the old home, sweeps over
the poor exile's heart. All is so strange, and so sternly independent of
their forlorn and insignificant selves. Perhaps they are being unladen
from the ship, shunted down the gang-plank along with their chests,
packed on a transfer-boat like so many imported cattle, only not with
the care or tenderness with which a drove of Holsteins or Jerseys would
be handled. A squad of emigrants, just landed on the wharf and waiting
to be transferred to the emigrant-train for another week's voyage by
land to the ends of the continent, is one of the most pathetic sights in
this world, especially if they are foreign to our speech and dress and
modes of life. How wistful and helpless and strayed they look!--a bit of
still and stranded life in the sweep and roar of a world that must seem
to them as wild and as soulless as the ocean they have just left. How
unconsciously they group themselves in picturesque attitudes, which no
artistic eye could improve upon! Their staves, their dangling bundles of
coarse canvas or of tied-up handkerchiefs of various colors, their
quaint and often grotesque attire, their silent posture and vigilant
eyes, their sheep-like dependence on their guides, combined with a
watch-dog solicitude for their miserable traps, their household
groupings and varied ages, from the baby born on shipboard to the old
grandfather come to lay his rheumatic bones in the soil of a strange
land,--I have stood and watched it all many and many a time, ere I
hurried on to my day's business or to my happy home; and the work has
seemed more significant, and the home more sweet, for that sight. Surely
one need cut only a little way into life here in order to touch its
profoundest mysteries and its most far-reaching suggestions.

One who has known New York for a generation or two cannot fail to be
struck with its changed appearance as seen from the ferry-boat. It used
to lie as low and flat as a whale's back, with perhaps a harpoon
sticking out here and there,--to wit, a steeple. The steam elevator has
proved quite an Aladdin's Lamp in its magical feats of architecture, by
developing a vertical in place of a lateral growth of buildings. The
best building-lots are now in the air, and to be had without
ground-rent. Troy had to raise its successive Iliums, Ilioses, and
Trojas, at intervals of ages, and tear or burn each one down before
erecting the next. But we propose to save the Schliemanns of the future
a world of trouble by building our various New Yorks simultaneously, one
on top of the other. Accordingly, the city is becoming crowded with
towering and clumsy structures, especially on the elevated ridge which
runs along Broadway from the City Hall to the Battery, giving it the
appearance of an uncouth acropolis. All over the town manufactories and
public buildings of colossal size stand, like megatheria, knee-deep in a
jungle of houses. The campaniles of modern industry rise slim and tall
into the air. The great buttresses and towers of the Brooklyn Bridge
loom above the house-tops. Grain-elevators, which "take the wind out of
the sails" of Noah's Ark, lie stranded on the docks. The poetic and
picturesque "forest of masts" has fallen before the march of progress
and the axe of steam almost as thoroughly as the primeval woods. The low
and open piers have been enclosed, some of them with considerable
architectural effect, giving a trim and bandbox look to the river-side.

The transformation is even more marked on the adjacent shores. As I
remember Jersey City and Hoboken in my boyhood, they were only small
clusters of buildings, with a ferry-house at the water's edge. Now they
have crept along from the Palisades to the Kill van Kull, overflowed the
Bergen Hills, reared giant structures which rival New York's in
monstrosity, and extended their railroad-wharves and steamship-piers
over the Arcadian haunts of the Elysian Fields and the primitive meadows
of Communipaw and Paulus Hook. And on the East River Brooklyn, joined to
New York by its Siamese ligament of the Bridge, seems the bigger twin of
the two. The contrast at night is still more striking. The river and the
town are brilliant with electric lights, where formerly twinkling lamps
or gas-lights made darkness visible. These have the effect of stars of
the first magnitude; and the great Bridge, seen on a dark night from
the South Ferry, with its lights at regular intervals, suggests that
Orion must have slipped his belt.

Crossing the ferry by night was always a favorite experience with me. In
sultry weather one can nearly always get a whiff of freshened air,
perhaps from the sea; and the quiet is not less reviving to the heated
brain. Nowhere does the night seem more "stilly," or the sense of
seclusion more profound, than in the middle of the broad bay on a
midsummer night before or after the theatre-goers have crossed. The
cities, veiled in moonlight or dim in the star-light, seem to be
breathing peacefully in giant slumber. The prosaic features of the scene
are hidden, the ragged outlines softened, and the smoke and din
indistinguishable. It seems hardly possible that these dream-like
masses, with their sparkling lights, like reversed heavens, are the
rude, restless, discordant gehennas which they sometimes seem to us by
day. And yet I realize the awfulness and vastness of these great living
creatures far more than in the belittling and disillusionizing daylight.
The anchored or passing vessels only add to the sense of seclusion,--the
former with a solitary lantern at the stern, the latter perhaps a galaxy
of many-colored lights. On a dark night it has the effect of a discharge
of Roman candles arrested in mid-career. The other ferry-boats have a
comical appearance as they whirl and whiz past us. If in the daytime
they are deplorably like pumpkins with a stick thrust through them, at
night they remind us of grotesque lanterns made out of those same
pumpkins with illuminated slits and slashes.

I find no small entertainment and suggestion in watching the
manoeuvres of the skilful pilots. A novice might hastily conclude that
it was a simple matter to steer a boat from one side of the river to
another. But let him try, and see where he will bring up. The process is
as nice a one and as scientific as a game of billiards. The exact stage
of the tide and volume of the current, the velocity and direction of the
wind, the ice on the river, the approaching or anchored vessels, and
all of them in their mutual relations, have to be calculated with
mathematical precision, especially in entering the narrow slip: so that
the directest way is often the longest way around. Is there not here an
object-lesson for those who would live wisely in this narrow transit
which we call life? Keep your eye upon the one point to which you know
the higher powers call you; but do not think that you are going to march
straight there by force of will, or straight there at all. You are in a
world full of cross-purposes and counter-currents and side-winds, of
accumulated conservatisms and masses of mere inertia and oppositions
which straddle or shoulder themselves across your path. You will
probably wreck your undertakings, and will certainly waste your strength
in needless collisions and shovings aside, unless you take all these
things into account. The capacity to do this is wisdom, as distinct from
knowledge or right intentions, in any sphere of life. Herein is
practical statesmanship, effective reform, everything which has to do
with human wills and the course of this world.

But it is not always practicable, even to the most stalwart and seasoned
passenger, to spend his time on the open deck. To stand out on the front
(one can hardly call it a prow, where the periphery is that of an
average wash-tub) or at the stern is to be drowned by rain or sawn
asunder by icy winds or broiled like an oyster, and to cower under the
upper deck is to get a lively sense of the Cave of the Winds. One with a
healthy sense of smell and an instinct for oxygen may well shrink from
entering the cabin, and prefer the perils and discomforts of too much
atmosphere to those of a depleted and poisoned one. David may have been
wise in choosing to be punished for his sins by pestilence rather than
by famine or the sword, but he put it on very doubtful ground when he
thought he was thereby falling into "the hand of the Lord" in some
special manner. For I am confident that bad air is the devil, and that
it is this "power of the air" of which he is "prince." And he has no
more impregnable stronghold than the cabin of a ferry-boat in winter. In
the cars one can brave public opinion and elude the brakeman's eye so as
to open something in his "Black Hole." But the cabin windows are
hermetically sealed and the doors jealously guarded by an unsleeping
dragon. On some of these boats they have an ingenious method of
intensifying the sickening odor by anointing the floors with a rancid
oil, which affords the tender stomach all the advantages of the famous
crossing of the English Channel.

The entire code of the cabin is still to be rescued from the
civilization of the cave-dwellers. The essence of politeness has been
shown to be self-sacrifice in small things. The average American is
naturally as unselfish a being as dwells upon the planet, but he often
appears to disadvantage beside far meaner races by reason of an insane
haste which tramples politeness under its feet. "After you, sir,"--a
phrase which contains in a nutshell the very kernel of all
courtesy,--puts the thing in a shape which is almost a physical
impossibility to the American temperament. Our fellow-citizen will go
ahead of you with the utmost gallantry, though it be to storm a Malakoff
or grapple with a mad dog; but to stand aside and let you get on or off
a ferry-boat before him is a strain upon his manners enough to dislocate
their every limb. Well, remembering that the passive mood comes after
the active in grammatical sequence, we will not despair of a development
of the passive virtues even in the "go-ahead" American. And then the law
of the cabin will no longer be mob-law, nor its motto, "Every man for
himself, and ---- take the ladies."

It is really ridiculous to see the uneasiness and prematureness of most
persons as the boat begins to approach the shore. Though conscious that
it will not bring the boat and the dock any nearer together, there is a
hunger of the eye to seize the latter from afar. Sometimes the movement
of an asphyxiated passenger for the door, or the momentary stoppage of
the boat in mid-stream, will bring half the cabin to its feet. It is the
same impulse which leads passengers, when waiting in the ferry-house, to
glue their faces to the gate for five minutes before the boat arrives,
which throngs the platforms and aisles of a car long before the dépôt is
entered, which in church varies the closing hymn with an overcoat drill
and causes the benediction to be pronounced amid a rattling discharge of
hymn-books into the book-racks.

Having entered the cabin, it is always an interesting question on which
side we shall sit,--not to say at which end of the boat. I think that
temperament has much to do with the decision of these questions. And it
might be well for some psychologist and sociologist to investigate why
it is that certain persons will instinctively select the rear of the
cabin and others advance to the front; also why some will invariably
take their seats on the outer and others on the inner side of the cabin.
This being with myself not a matter of instinct but of reason, perhaps
my experience is of little value, but I freely and confidentially offer
it in the interests of science. I choose the inner row of seats for the
following reasons: first, they are warmer in winter by reason of the
steam-pipes which run underneath them, and cooler in summer by being
more directly in the draught from the open doors; secondly, because the
boat is steadier there, and one can read one's paper, if so inclined,
with less painful adjustment of the eyes to the shaking type; but
chiefly because in that position one has before one the panorama of the
river, which is the next best thing to being out on deck. One of the
mysteries of human nature is that so large a proportion of
ferry-passengers appear to take no more notice of the glorious scenes
through which they pass twice a day than if it were a tunnel. They will
hurry into the cabin in all weathers, seat themselves with their backs
to the river, and spend the voyage buried in the newspaper or gazing
into vacancy. They do not seem even to appreciate the study of life
afforded by their fellow-passengers. I am sure Dickens would have
revelled in the opportunity and found no end of Quilps and Chadbands,
Swivellers and Turveydrops, Little Nells and Mrs. Nicklebys, Pickwicks
and Artful Dodgers. I have found splendid models for almost every type
of civilization and not a few types of barbarism. And the eccentricities
of dress are hardly less noteworthy.

One learns to enter heartily into the joys and sorrows of the groups,
and even of the individuals, whom he thus watches perhaps from day to
day. He comes to be a mind-reader, and works out many a little
life-story, as did the ingenious Silas Wegg concerning the people who
passed his corner or lived in the houses of the neighborhood. Among the
more familiar types are college-students cramming for the day's
recitation, giggling school-girls, dapper clerks, pert messenger-boys
improving the time by reading a blood-and-thunder story-paper in the
very smallest of type, business-men, all nerve in the morning, and in
the afternoon chatting affably or half asleep, ladies keen for a
shopping-"meet" on Fourteenth Street, housewives with market-baskets,
and workingmen with tin pails. Each hour of the day develops its own
tide and type of travel, beginning with the lowest class of laborer and
ending with the belated reveller. There is a still hour in the morning,
awhile before noon, when the idlers and the dissipated begin to dribble
into or out of the city, and studies of the odd and the sad alike abound
for the Hogarthian pencil and imagination.

The "basket brigade" constitutes a large and regular detachment of the
trans-Hudson army. Pleasant it is (I can hear the parody-fiend murmur),
when things are green and price of meat is low, to move amid the
market-scene, where gourmands stout and housewives lean with baskets
come and go. Tempting too, alike to the dainty and the thrifty. Like
Robinet in the "Evenings at Home," it adds much to the relish of one's
little supper to have selected it one's self out of a whole marketful
and to inhale its imaginary savors all the way home. Then, it is so
nice to surprise the wife with the earliest of the season, or to pour
out upon the table a dozen golden oranges, or to bring a little light
into the invalid's eye by a basket of grapes or a fragrant bunch of
flowers, or to delight Tiny Tim with a trinket, or to let little Jacob
"know what oysters is." Especially on Saturday afternoons does the
basket brigade come out in force, and many a homely little idyl may be
conjured out of the family groups or the purveying parents who throng
and cumber the boat at such times. The capacities of the market-basket,
as then and there revealed, are prodigious, rivalling those of the trunk
of travel; and yet out of the cover will still protrude the legs of
unadjustable "broilers" and the green fringes of garden-stuff, and all
this not counting in the oyster-pail, or the great watermelon which has
to be carried separately by its wooden handle. The epicurean prospect of
the Sunday dinner reflected in the restful face as well as materialized
in the basket can hardly fail to elicit a gentle thought from the
sternest Sabbatarian's heart.

With the excursion-season comes another phase of our little idyllic
studies, as we watch the groups and couples intent upon a picnic at the
sea-side or among the Jersey villages. Here is a representative family
party which I followed with my eyes, and still farther with my
imagination, on their way to Coney Island on a fine, fresh summer
morning. There was the grandma, a bright-eyed, beaming old lady,
beginning to bend somewhat with years, but as pleased with the day's
outing as any of them. There was the mother, sharing her responsibility
with the neat and pretty young-lady daughter. There was a youth,
somewhat of the Abel Garland type, who might have been the young lady's
brother, but who was a happy man even if he was not. There was a small
boy; and who need be told what a day that was for him? Lastly, there
were two charming little ringleted girls, who walked hand in hand in the
prettiest way, with eyes that fairly danced and feet that could hardly
help doing so. There was no baby to utter a discordant note or to hang
as a Damocles' sword of apprehension over the heads of the group. But in
so affectionate and well-regulated a family I am not sure that its
presence would not have constituted a new source of happiness. And by
and by, as the afternoon waned, I could imagine the father meeting them
at the beach, with perhaps the real brother (or would it be the real
not-brother?), and coming home with them in the cool evening and the
sweet moonlight.

On Saturdays there is an earlier current of home-going working-people;
and it is easy to detect a quite different air about them from what they
wear on other days. There is no shadow of next morning impending over
them. One realizes anew the Sabbath as made for man,--the man who
works,--and blesses the Son of Man who is "Lord also of the Sabbath."
This is the evening when they carry home their reading for the week, as
well as their Sunday dinner. I wish more could be said for the general
quality, intellectual or moral, of this literature. But most of it is
better than mental vacancy, and a great advance on the illiteracy in
which these classes were sunk not so very long ago. And it must be borne
in mind that the transient and sensational reading which so many of us
carry in cars and cabins, or buy at news-stands, or take out of
libraries, would misrepresent us if supposed to be all we had or loved
to read. There is in more of these homes than perhaps we suspect a shelf
with its well-thumbed "Pilgrim's Progress," its "Robinson Crusoe" with
one cover gone, its odd volume of Waverley or Dickens, its copy of Burns
or Longfellow, its row of school histories and science, and its pile of
magazines.

At certain hours, when the trains are due, the basket brigade is
reinforced by the carpet-bag battalion; and a crowd of home-coming or
out-going travellers is a never-ending source of sympathetic and
imaginative study to the leisurely looker-on. What an anachronism that
word "carpet-bag" has become, by the way! I saw not long ago on the
ferry-boat a genuine and literal specimen, which carried back my
thoughts for a generation to the day when bags were really made of
carpet and the most fastidious social Bourbon did not disdain to carry
them. They flourished in the age of shawls, and came in not long after
the epoch of "gum" shoes. They were of every conceivable pattern, from
the sober symphony in brown to a gorgeous wealth of color that might vie
with the most audacious wall-paper of an æsthetic age. This "belated
traveller" of a carpet-bag had all the appearance of a faded and
bedraggled gentility,--was, in fact, a veritable tramp among luggage. It
sagged down as it stood on the floor. It ran here and there into
strings, as of shoes untied and coat fastened together by twine in lieu
of buttons. And it was trampy with mouldy discoloration and
travel-stains. It was of vast dimensions, and, as was always the way
with carpet-bags, bulging in all directions with its contents. I was not
surprised to discover, through its orifice, that it had long ceased to
be a receptacle for clothing and was filled with honest workman's tools.
Burglars, the police-reports tell us, affect the carpet-bag for their
jimmies and the like, but in such case it may be depended on to be as
reputable in appearance and as close-mouthed as the last defaulting
treasurer or trustee. The modern luggage is a type of advanced thought,
if not civilization, whether we consider the Saratoga trunk, the
Russia-leather satchel, the school-boy's knapsack, or the commercial
traveller's double-locked valise. There is "nothing like leather:" men
live now in their trunks, and America's proudest contribution to the
world is the railway-check.

But my boat bumps on the shore, and I must pass out, to the marching
music of the rattling chains and the swashing tide, to my
business,--perhaps a "better" one to be "about" than writing these idle
observations on a North-River Ferry.

F. N. ZABRISKIE.



THE ART OF READING.


Statistics as to the number of men and women of good standing in the
world who cannot read might have a certain interest. There are probably
more persons laboring under that disability than is usually supposed,
and this with no reference to unfortunates who in early life have missed
the opportunity of learning their A B C, but thinking only of those who
have never found the way to utilize a knowledge of letters,--of persons,
in short, who do not know what to do with a book. Trustworthy
statistics, however, would not be easily obtained: there is too strong a
prejudice in favor of books for any one to be very forward in confessing
a distaste for them. Now and then such an admission is made, but, for
the most part, people like to think that under auspicious conditions--if
they had time, or quiet, or health, or what not--they should be great
readers. It is a point on which it is quite possible to deceive one's
self and almost impossible to deceive others.

You are acquainted, perhaps, with some lady on whose table lies the book
that every one is talking about: it is not a novel, we will suppose.
"Ah, you have that!" you say to her. Yes, and she expects to enjoy it
_immensely_. She lifts the cover and casts a caressing glance upon its
pages, for all the world as if she could not wait to be at it. You know
the feeling, and sympathize with her. The next time you are there,
seeing the book again reminds you to ask how she liked it. "Why,
positively," she says, "I haven't had _a single minute_ in which I could
take it up!" But she still cherishes the same agreeable anticipations as
before with regard to it. After a considerable lapse of time, on the
occasion of another call you may notice a mark protruding in the region
of the first chapter, and if mischief or malice or any other inborn
propensity to evil prompts you to allude to the subject once more and
inquire if the book pleases her, on the whole, she will probably say
that it does _as far as she has read_, only there is an unconscious
plaintiveness about this statement which betrays that enthusiasm has
waned: the fact is, everybody is talking of another book now, and she
has the uncomfortable feeling of being behind-hand. But all the same she
may be just as intimately persuaded that it is only a concatenation of
adverse circumstances which has prevented her finishing the book long
ago, as you are that she will never finish it.

However, as already said, there may sometimes be found among non-readers
a clear apprehension of the state of their case. Thus, a lady once
avowed, when a conversation had turned upon the profit and pleasure of
reading, that she had not the least liking for books and never had had.
She regretted it extremely; she felt when she saw any one absorbed in
reading that she had missed something; there were times when if she
could forget herself in a book she should be very glad, but she could
not; she had never been taught to care for reading when she was a child,
and it was too late to learn now. Still, on being persuaded to think
that she might at least try, she expressed an ambition to enjoy
Thackeray, and asked to have his best novel recommended. "Vanity Fair"
was accordingly suggested as most likely to please her, and, it being
procured, she announced on the following evening that she had read
_thirty pages_ that day, and meant to continue at the same rate. Her
admiration, alas! was plainly more for her own achievement than for that
of her author; nevertheless, the literary adviser talked encouragingly,
as the medical adviser often must, in spite of bad signs, and for a few
nights the number of pages kept pretty well up to the mark, then
steadily declined, and, after an hiatus or two, "Vanity Fair" was
mentioned no more. It was, as the lady herself had thought, too late.
But on another point also she may have been right,--namely, in the
implied belief that childhood was the time when she might have learned
to like reading.

There is certainly a wide-spread impression that children ought to
display some taste for literature, so that to say a child does not care
for his book is rather a damaging statement: it is made with reluctance:
one is "_afraid_ Charlie does not like to read;" one always adds, if
possible, that "he likes to be read to, however," and in any case the
obliging by-stander hastens to say, "Oh, well, perhaps he will take to
reading as he grows older," which remark, on the principle that one
never knows what may happen, is incontrovertible as far as it goes. No
one would wish to assert dogmatically that Charlie will not ripen into a
reader, but at the same time no one very seriously supposes that he
will. "As the twig is bent the tree's inclined" is felt to be peculiarly
applicable in his case.

And still one ought not to be fatalistic about the twig: for the tree,
indeed, it is too late, but that means nothing, if not that for the twig
it is yet time. In certain ways this idea is recognized and acted upon,
as, for instance, when a taste for music is to be cultivated children
are held to practise daily on the piano, even though they hate it; if
dancing is necessary to secure a graceful carriage, they must learn to
dance, notwithstanding that they might prefer to swarm up and down the
sidewalk on roller-skates. And so, when a relish for books is to be
awakened, why should it not follow that children must read? Why content
one's self with anything short of that? To read to a child, otherwise
than occasionally and with the occult purpose of giving a lesson in ease
of utterance, is evidently pernicious. It may sound well to say that
Charlie likes to be read to, but the real sense of the statement is that
he considers reading laborious, and that we are doing our best to
strengthen him in that opinion. To be sure he is right,--reading _is_
more or less laborious at the outset; but then the obvious deduction
from this would seem to be that the more seriously he applies himself to
it the better.

To some persons such an axiom will have a brain-feverish sound: children
are heard of who are devoted to books to the injury of their health, and
so it is assumed that to incite any child to read may be a tempting of
Providence. This is a groundless supposition. Even in the few authentic
cases of precocious development efficient parents may easily take
measures to check the ravages of intellect, while in the far greater
number of instances where the mental and physical qualities are pretty
evenly balanced, parental efficiency would be well displayed in
cherishing rather than in repressing a love for literature. If one
thinks what a companion a book may be in hours of loneliness, what a
comforter in weary illness or in sorrow, and, above all, what a blessing
in the temporary escape it offers from the every-day trials of
existence, which tend to take on huge proportions if one settles down
among them, but will look of a very reasonable size to one who comes
back to them with sight refreshed after a judicious absence,--if one
thinks of all this, the art of playing on the piano or of dancing sinks
greatly in importance as compared with the art of reading. Even
considering only the respective duration of advantage, one would have to
decide for reading if a choice must be made, for girls generally give up
music when they marry, and at some not quite so definitely fixed period
dancing is renounced by both sexes, while books remain appropriate to
every age and condition of life.

Happily, however, there is no need to choose: reading may be cultivated
side by side with more florid accomplishments. To provide an interesting
book and appoint an hour for its perusal may just as easily be done as
to set apart an hour for the piano,--indeed, in some cases more easily,
since there would be no bills coming in for the reading-lessons. And who
will say that a child might not learn to like reading, might not
insensibly get into the spirit of the art, by this simple method when
duly insisted on? Perhaps it would fail sometimes; there may be persons
absolutely incapable of the prolonged attention required for reading;
but one cannot help thinking that in most minds this power of attention
could be aroused and fostered, and that, therefore, if a child does not
like books at the start, that need not be accounted a fatal sign. People
who have detested their music-lessons at first have been known to come
finally to the enjoyment of music through those very means.

When children should begin to read, and how they should learn, are
questions which lie rather outside the scope of this paper and concern
those who "take to reading" as well as those who "like to be read to;"
but, stating the case broadly, one might say that they can begin at any
time and learn anyhow. It has been seriously advocated that children be
not taught to read until they are ten years old; and certainly it would
be quite possible to prevent their reading before then. On the other
hand, as an actual fact, they do read at seven and eight years of age,
and used to read at five or even earlier. Regarded by the light of
modern theory, what they used to do was, of course, deplorable; still,
the fact remains, and is mitigated by circumstances, for the children
were not considered prodigies at that time, and a due proportion of them
lived to grow up, and may be seen to-day, as men and women, walking
about the world in tolerable health and spirits.

With respect to methods of learning to read, the difference must appear
even greater to one who has ever seen or who dimly remembers an
old-fashioned _primer_. There was the alphabet to begin with, then some
syllables and little words neatly arranged in columns, and directly upon
that the reading-lesson, introduced, it may be, by the picture of a
child in long pantalettes contemplating a shrub which, figuratively
speaking, lent color to a few conventional remarks upon the rose,--as
that it is red and smells sweet. Such was the whole system. We are
aware now that to storm the citadel of letters in that fashion was
absurd; that, on the contrary, it should be scientifically approached in
the taking of outworks; and nevertheless here also is the fact to be
reckoned with that children did learn by the old system, and that they
learned with what looks in these days like marvellous celerity is a
mitigating circumstance which has even yet a certain charm for some
minds. There was a precision, too, about acquirements under the ancient
method which is not always found under the new. At present the very
mother of a child of eight years may not be quite clear as to her
daughter's attainments; she _can_ read, but still, "you know, they teach
them now to write first," and it appears eventually that Nellie writes
so well and reads so ill as to be obliged to copy off her lessons for
the advantage of learning them from her own handwriting.

But all this is simply in support of the proposition that children can
learn to read anyhow, and, assuming thus much to be demonstrated, we may
pass to something else. _What_ is a weightier consideration in the
matter of reading than either _how_ or _when_. As a question, it would
be differently answered in different ages of the world. We know that Dr.
Johnson once took a little girl on his knee and put her directly down
again because she had not read "Pilgrim's Progress." The great
lexicographer might take up and put down a good many children nowadays
before he found the right one; and we need not think the worse of them
on that account. We feel that even a child who had the advantage of Dr.
Johnson's acquaintance ought not to be required to comprehend the
Immortal Allegory. It is true he may have expected her to enjoy it
without comprehending it, and that gives the case a different aspect.
Considering how few books the little maid had of her own, and especially
if it was an illustrated edition of Bunyan's works which, lying on the
table, prompted the good doctor's question, one is half inclined to
agree with him that the demons in the Valley of the Shadow of Death and
the angelic forms which meet the Pilgrim as Two Men of the Land of
Beulah ought to have enticed her imagination into reading, whether she
understood or not.

Certain it is, at all events, that comprehension is not necessary to the
appreciation of masterpieces. In an age less remote than Dr. Johnson's,
although still antediluvian with respect to the now prevailing flood of
juvenile literature, children often read and liked what they did not
understand. There were fairy-tales, to be sure, even then, and tales
popular and moral, also a few such books as "Amy Herbert" and "Laneton
Parsonage," but children who were fond of reading soon had those by
heart, and would then browse, perchance, in their elders' pastures, by
which means it happened that one child used to derive no little
satisfaction from the "True Account of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal to
Mrs. Barlow." Told as it is with Defoe's inimitable circumstantiality,
she was so far from understanding it as to rather more than half believe
it. She knew well that ghosts at night-time, robed in white, were
fabulous and never to be thought of, especially when one was alone in
the dark; but a ghost that paid visits in broad daylight, dressed in
bonnet and shawl like anybody else, and whose proceedings were gravely
chronicled for grown persons and labelled _true_,--what were you to
think of that? It may be remembered that when Mrs. Barlow asks Mrs. Veal
any question the answering of which would seem to be inconsistent with
her ghostly state, Defoe says, "However, she waived that;" and, _waive_
not being at that time in the vocabulary of the young reader, she always
imagined Mrs. Veal putting the question away from her, as it were, with
a motion of her hand, and gazing the while in stony silence at Mrs.
Barlow. This dramatic situation was calculated to have a certain effect
upon the nerves, and in fact it was then that the profound silence of
the room, accentuated by the ticking of the clock, used to seem fraught
with the possibility of a ghost abroad with her visiting-list, who
might presently be _waiving_ such courtesies as even an unwilling
hostess would feel constrained to offer.

Rather unhealthy reading, one would say, but yet not so bad as it
sounds; for the book was no sooner shut than the whole impression
dissolved, though it might be renewed at will, as it often was. It was
in the same family that all the children at an early age took possession
of "Oliver Twist" as a juvenile book. They wept over little Dick's
farewell to Oliver, and shuddered when Nancy saw coffins, enjoying it
all extremely, and taking in so little of it that it has appeared to
them since as not one of the least of Dickens's glories that he could
write a book about the scum of London which children may read and
re-read well into their young girlhood without receiving even the shadow
of an impression of any evil beyond pocket-picking and house-breaking
and general hard-heartedness.

And so it might not be far from the truth to say that children can read
anything. They can, and do, even now when they have a literature of
their own; for persons who would be shocked at the idea of turning a
child loose in an adult library, where things unsuitable might pass
harmlessly over its head, think nothing of taking a book off a counter
and presenting it to their little ones, they themselves knowing no more
than the man in the moon what it contains, although certain that the
contents, whatever they may be, will be readily assimilated by the
youthful mind. Suppose simply that such a book is full of slang and bad
grammar, the antediluvians had an advantage there: if you want that sort
of thing to amuse children with, the language of thieves is peculiarly
suitable, in so far that if ever the young people who devoured "Oliver
Twist" had over among themselves any of the Dodger's and Charley Bates's
racy expressions it was with a wholesome sense of its being highly
improper; whereas one cannot imagine the little folk of to-day seeing
any impropriety in an equally debased decoction of English--albeit
somewhat more mildly drawn--when put into the mouths of children like
themselves. Then, again, the ancient young people used to read Scott's
and Cooper's novels, and found there much that was entirely beyond them,
which they knew was only for grown persons, and therefore, though they
read of love, courtship, and marriage, they remained as unsophisticated
as before. But how is a child to be unsophisticated nowadays, when all
these topics are manipulated for its especial benefit?--when there is a
devoted boy in the story, and, in due course of time, proposal,
engagement, and the wedding? In the same way one can affirm without fear
of contradiction that the lads who formerly enjoyed pirates and Red
Rovers from their parents' book-shelves had a healthier mental food than
those who at present are provided with Rovers of their own, carefully
adapted to their mental capacity, in the shape of small boys who meet
the world single-handed and make their way to fame and fortune. Then,
finally, were not the kings and courtiers, the Crusaders and Saracens,
the Indians and pioneers of former days better training for the
imagination than descriptions of picnics, skating-parties, and
children's balls, enlivened with such small squabbles or adventures as
are incident thereto? Realism has invaded even the children's
department, and to that extent that there seems to be nothing left for
fancy but to go off on a tangent in frantic imitation of Jules Verne or
feeble copies of "Alice in Wonderland."

Of course this is not to deny that there are gems in children's
literature which they may be thankful to possess and we may be glad to
share with them: indeed, the foregoing observations should be taken
simply to the effect that there is room for a choice among juvenile
books, and very little choosing. We started out with the happy idea that
reading-lessons cost nothing, and are come round to the conviction that
it is a pity they are not expensive, that there is not some one who, for
a consideration, would take the children in hand,--not only those who
are expected to read by and by, but also the born readers,--and, through
a judicious selection of what is within their range, gradually educate
them up to a correct literary taste. For there is something sadder even
than being totally unable to read, and that is reading a great deal and
never anything worth while. What is worth while includes, naturally,
much besides novels; but, then, a person who appreciates a good novel
usually reads other good things; and, at all events, children must begin
with fiction, and, even were they to end there, that this should be
excellent of its kind is a step in the right direction. It would not be
a bad aim to have in view that they should come by degrees to a just
appreciation of Thackeray and his compeers. And where parents are
unwilling--or, by reason of being themselves no readers, unable--to plan
a course of reading to that effect, why, in all seriousness, should they
not place the matter in the hands of some sound-minded family
counsellor, who would thenceforward look after the children's literary
taste, as the dentist looks after their teeth?

That would put an end to the singular anomaly by which parents, who
doubtless mean to guard their sons and daughters from evil society as
they would from the plague, know, as a matter of fact, nothing at all of
their inmost companions. When the novel-devouring period is reached,
this is especially remarkable: a mother may then look at her young
daughter sitting apart, silent, entranced, drinking in what she takes
for the true philosophy of life from some romance of modern society
which has been recommended to her as "splendid" by the girls at school,
and find no more appropriate reflection to make upon this spectacle than
that "Mary is never so happy as when she is buried in a book." But one
imagines the family counsellor, under similar circumstances, interesting
himself or herself to discover what sort of a book it is that Mary is
buried in, and, if it should prove to be a tissue of false sentiment,
false pathos, and even false morals from beginning to end, directing
her attention to that fact, and giving her as an antidote something
which, whether grave or gay, amusing or affecting, should be written in
good English and in sound taste.

GRACE H. PEIRCE.



MITHRA.


  What comes with sound of stately trumpets pealing,
    With flash of torches, flaring out the stars?
  What majesty, what splendor slow revealing,
    What mystery through the night's unfolding bars,
  In gloom, cloud-multiform, delaying long,
  Bursts into flower of flame and shower of song?

  What march of multitudes in rhythmic motion,
    What thunder of innumerable feet,
  What mighty diapasons like the ocean,
    Reverberating turbulently sweet
  Through far dissolving silences, are blown
  Worldward upon the winds' low monotone?

  The mountains hear the warning and awaken,
    In hushed processional issuing from the night,
  Like Druid priests with mystic white robes shaken,
    Communing in some immemorial rite:
  Round their old brows burns what pale augury,
  What benison, what ancient prophecy?

  The sea has heard; through all its caverns under
    Whither its giant broods have fled dismayed,
  There goes a voice of wailing and of wonder:
    "He comes, with gleaming spears and ranks arrayed,
  And clang of chariot-wheels, and fire of spray:
  We hear, we fear, we tremble and obey."

  The earth has heard it, and, arising breathless,
    Sets wide her doors and leans with beckoning palms
  Over the quickening east: "Resistless, deathless
    Father of worlds and lord of storms and calms,
  Thou at whose will the seasons bloom and fail,
  Dispenser and destroyer, hail, all hail!"

  What are these prophecies and preludes golden,
    Legends of light, and clarions that blow?
  What is this secret of the skies, long holden
    In star-girt solitudes, disclosing now?
  'Tis manifest--'tis here; the doubt is done:
  The day-heart leaps and throbs--behold the sun!

  CHARLES L. HILDRETH.



A BACKWOODS ROMANCE.


The light of the just-risen moon shone upon the black letters of the
guide-post which said that it was one mile to Clear Lake Settlement, and
illuminated as lonely a region as could be found in the whole world. On
one side of the snowy road a deep pine wood rose tall and dark against
the evening sky. On the other were stretches of field and marsh-land,
which, even when warm and green with summer, had a desolate aspect, with
their background of low, monotonous hills, and both before and behind
were more lonesome hills, more dreary fields, and black masses of
woodland. Not one homely roof was visible in the hard, white moonlight,
nor the glimmer of a lamp, nor a waft of chimney-smoke; not even the
tinkle of a sleigh-bell or a foot-step was to be heard. The silence
seemed whispering to the hills. One star glimmered in the orange
after-glow of sunset.

It had been an unusually warm day for late December, and the faint,
delicate scent of melting snow was still in the air, though it was
growing crisp and cold and icicles were forming on the branches of the
trees.

Two paths which diverged widely as they trailed through the woods came
almost together as they reached the road, and presently from one of
these paths emerged the dark figure of a man carrying a lighted lantern.
Stepping into the road, he paused for a moment at the opening of the
other path, and, hearing footsteps and a slow, grave voice humming an
old love-song, leaned against the creaking guide-post and waited for the
singer to approach. He was young, apparently not over twenty-eight or
nine years, was dressed like a lumberman, and was of somewhat broad and
clumsy build. But in his face, which was clearly revealed by the
flickering flame of the lantern, though he stood in deep shadow, there
was no coarse rusticity. The full but finely-formed features had a most
gentle and amiable cast, resembling those of one of Raphael's cherubs in
their halo of yellow hair. A grave smile lingered in his sea-blue eyes.

As he listened to the voice, however, a look, half amusement, half
annoyance, crossed his mild countenance, and his smiling eyes became
steel-colored and flashed with something like anger; but it was only for
an instant.

"Halloo! that you out o' the woods, John Barker?" he called, in a
smooth, pleasant tone.

"'Pears tew be; 'n' yeou, Reube Wetherbee,--it seems yeou're eout er the
woods, tew."

"Of course I am; but then I don't hev ter travel twelve or fifteen miles
ter git ter the settlement. How about the dance to-morrow night? Your
camp goin' ter turn out?"

"Some o' the hands catilate ter go, I b'lieve."

"But a sober feller like you don't care for such kind er jollifications
much, I reckon."

"I was thinkin' o' goin'."

"Ah! 'n' that accounts for your journey to the settlement to-night.
Goin' to the tavern, of course. I say, man, we're bound there on the
same arrand. What's goin' to be done about it?"

"What do you mean, Reube Wetherbee?" exclaimed Barker, with a deep frown
upon his rugged features, which looked almost grotesque in the delicate
moonlight.

"Oh, you know what I mean, well enough, John, and you may as well take
it calmly. When two men take a farncy to the same woman there's likely
to be some sarse between 'em; but that's no use. Now, we're both got to
the same point on our way ter ask Drusy to go ter the dance. Your legs
may be a little longer'n mine, 'n' if we should try a race you might
reach the tavern a minute before me, 'n' you might not, for I'm pretty
nimble 'n' all-fired long-winded. So I say, let's have things fair 'n'
square. I've got a pack of cards in my pocket, 'n' I'm fur goin' into
Jones's old camp--it's only a few steps beyond here, in the edge of the
woods, you know--'n' playin' it out."

"I guess I kin resk it 'n' take my chances as they come," said Barker,
in a voice which sounded husky and strange. And he took great strides
along the crisp white road.

"Your chances! Why, you know, man, if I should get there first you
wouldn't have the ghost of a chance, 'n' if we should get there at the
same time do you s'pose she'd say yes to you 'n' no to me? To speak up
frank, she don't seem to set great store by neither of us, but she
favors me full as much as she does any other feller, that's certain. I
doubt whether she'd go to the dance even with me, though. There's
something the matter. Hang it if I don't sometimes think she's got
another feller down-river where she come from. Still, she's been to
Jones's pritty near a year now, 'n' he ain't put in an appearance, 'n'
she never gets a letter from anybody, Mrs. Jones says."

"What is it to yeou, enyhow?" blazed Barker. "Keep yer suspicionin', as
well as yer blarsted consate, ter yerself. I don't want ter hear yeou
talk about her. Where's Henrietty Blaisdell? What right hev yeou ter
take a farncy ter another woman, when yeou've been a-keepin' company
with her for a year 'n' more? 'N' yeou pryin' raound ter see if Drusy
gits letters--"

"Nonsense, John! As I said before, sarse won't set things straight, 'n'
I've just as good a right as you or any other man ter make up to Drusy.
I ain't bound to Henrietta."

"Rights seem diffrunt to diffrunt folks, I catilate. Enyhow, I hain't
a-goin' ter listen ter eny more ov your tongue. I'm a-goin' along, 'n'
you kin go ahead or foller as it suits you."

"Well, now, it seems ter me that we're in a kind ov embarrassin' fix,
'n' the cards would be a consolin' way to git out of it. If--"

"Come along, then, but quit chinnin' about Drusy."

And the two men turned back into the woods, in whose weird darkness the
light of Reube's lantern was no more than that of a firefly. The
moonlight stole into little openings, outlined the trees upon the
glittering sward, and hovered like a ghost on the path before them. The
camp was a somewhat ruinous affair, but had lately been occupied by a
party of surveyors. With the blaze of a great fire its interior might
have been cheerful, but, as it was, it seemed a ghostly, haunted place,
filled with mysterious sounds and shadows. One feeble moon-ray struggled
through the foliage of a tall pine-tree, and, reaching down the wide
smoke-hole overhead, searched the ashes on the hearthstone with a pallid
finger. The wind rustled among some dead vines which reached through the
chinks between the logs, and made a creeping sound like footfalls over
the snow-covered plank floor.

Wetherbee placed his lantern upon the creaking old shelf which served
for a table, and, seating themselves upon a bench, the two men commenced
their game with deep earnestness. Barker's features were white and set;
his strong arm trembled as he handled the cards, and his breath came
quick and hard.

It was as if he were staking his life upon the play, as if his whole
fate were to be decided by it.

"Great Jupiter, man! don't look like that," said Wetherbee, regarding
him for the first time as the game proceeded.

"I've been feelin' as if 'twas a case of life 'n' death myself, 'n', by
George, it's no wonder, this place is so all-fired uncanny. They used
ter say the camp was haunted; 'n' I b'lieve it."

A great gray owl, which had flown from his abiding-place in a hollow
tree near by and perched upon the roof just on the edge of the
smoke-hole, gave utterance to something which sounded like a mocking
peal of laughter.

Both men started violently.

"Blarst the owl!" said Wetherbee angrily, throwing a piece of wood
through the hole to frighten it away.

Then the play proceeded silently until finally Wetherbee, who had been
steadily winning from the first, made the last deal and threw upon the
table the lucky cards which decided him to be the victor.

"I knowed how 'twould be from the fust," said Barker; "but p'r'aps
'twon't make no great diff'rence, after all."

And the men left the camp and walked silently together to the
settlement.

Jones's Tavern, as it was called, a large white house with a piazza in
front and a long, low ell, stood in the midst of the primitive little
settlement, and was a favorite retreat of the lumbermen whenever they
had the good fortune to get out of the woods, as well as the
stopping-place of the overseers and the men with supply-teams on their
way to and from the camps.

"Here's two more fellers for the darnse," said the landlord, who was
pouring out a glass of spiced cider for a sturdy young backwoodsman who
had evidently just arrived. "A darnse is about equil to Fourth o' July,
'n' brings the boys out thicker 'n bees in a berry-pastur'. Haul up ter
the fire 'n' hev somethin' warmin'. Soft weather fur lumberin', hain't
it?"

With a nod and regretful glance at a handsome young woman who was wiping
teacups at the other end of the room, which was extremely long and had a
fireplace at one end and a cooking-stove at the other, Barker accepted
the invitation. But Wetherbee, after exchanging greetings with the
landlord and his companion, went over to speak to the young woman, and
remained talking with her in an undertone for some time.

"The kitchen eend seems ter be the most 'tractable ter the fellers, in
spite of hot cider," remarked the landlord, with a laugh. "'N' what's
the mahter with yaou, John? Yaou 'pear ter be kinder daown 't the maouth
'n' absent-minded. Must ha' been pickin' up a gal. Well, a feller that's
courtin' hain't no stranger tew affliction, thet's a fact. I wuz a
bachelder once myself."

A deep crimson overspread Barker's honest countenance, but he did not
open his mouth.

"Git eout, square!" said the other lumberman, roaring. "I b'lieve yeou
was born a-jokin'."

The handsome young woman disappeared into the pantry. Wetherbee strode
toward the group by the fireplace with an air of forced unconcern.

"Well, good-night, folks: I'm off," said he. "I'm a-goin' to help trim
up the hall fur the dance, 'n' have got ter step pretty lively." And he
made signs to Barker to follow him out of doors.

"She won't go with me, John," he said, as soon as they were alone. "As I
said before, there's something the matter. But I ruther guess I shan't
be obliged to go without company, anyhow."

Barker's face lighted up with a look of relief, and as he watched
Wetherbee's retreating figure a little gleam of hope awoke in his
breast. He stopped out under the stars a few moments for reflection, and
the hope soon vanished.

"No; 'tain't no use," he said to himself. "She likes Reube better'n she
does me, 'n' she wouldn't go with him. It stan's ter reason she should
like him better. He's boss o' the gang, looks as smooth 'n' slick 's a
parson, 'n' he's been a schoolmaster, tew. Then he's got sich kinder
silky ways 'n' smiles. Not that I b'lieve in 'em much, but the
wimmen-folks do. Still, 'twon't do no harm ter ask her, 'n' I reckon
I'll do it, whuther er no."

When he entered the house again, the object of these reflections was
still in the pantry, mixing bread which was to be set to rise for
breakfast. She was a tall, rather slender young woman. A heavy mass of
jet-black hair crowned her small, well-set head. Her eyes, to quote one
of her backwoods admirers, were "jest the color o' swamp blue-berries,
and hed the same sort o' shiny mist in them." Her skin was dark, almost
swarthy, but a perpetual fire burned on her smooth, oval cheeks,
deepening and fading according to her moods. She wore the usual
every-day attire of the women of the region,--mistresses as well as
"hired girls,"--a dark-print gown, but, like Ophelia's rue, "it was worn
with a difference," fitting her lithe, graceful figure to perfection,
and set off by a dainty band of white and knot of ribbon at the throat.

Barker entered the pantry, and stood watching her at her work with
bashful admiration.

"Well, what is it, John?" said she, after an interval, looking up with a
smile which disclosed unexpected dimples about her mouth.

"Drusy," said he, coloring to the roots of his stiff, reddish hair, "I
don't s'pose it's of no use ter ask ye ter go ter the dance 'long o' me,
seein' as you've refused Reube, that is so much likelier lookin' 'n'
appearin' than I be; but I've footed it twelve mild out er the woods ter
ask fur yer company, 'n' neow I hain't goin' back without hearin' yeour
say abeout it, et least. I--"

"Oh, no, John; 'tain't the least use," said she, laughing and shaking
her head, "I ain't going with any man. As I told Reube, I engaged more'n
a week ago to be a beau for Mrs. Jones. The squire won't go, 'n' Tom
ain't old enough to be much protection, you know, though he's going to
drive down with us. P'r'aps, if I dance at all, I'll give you a dance
when we get there."

"I hain't no gre't fist at dancin', 'n' I hain't sure o' goin' ef you
won't go 'long o' me. Drusy, 'tain't none o' my business, 'n' I don't
want ter meddle, but it 'pears as some folks have been a-sayin' thet you
hev got a--a feller down-river. 'N' you're a-doin' jest right. Don't go
back on him, Drusy, fur no man that you ever liked could stan'
that,--never in the world. I don't catilate 'tis so 'coz you won't go
'long o' me, but--"

"What right have folks to say or think any such thing?" she asked
indignantly, a painful crimson overspreading her whole face, her throat,
and the tips of her small ears.

But the man's face was so white, so expressive of pain, that the look
of anger melted into one of surprised pity.

"Drusy, we've got to git dinner fur twenty-five to-morrow. I'm afeard we
shan't be very nimble fur the dance," said Mrs. Jones, appearing at that
moment.

Barker disappeared, and a few moments later was walking swiftly back
again to the camp, twelve miles through the lonely woods.

Contrary to prediction, the next morning was fair and bright, flushed
with pink and warmed with sunshine to its golden heart. It was
acknowledged to be the "beatinest" winter weather that ever was
known,--a thaw that was not enough of a thaw to make the roads
impassable, and without rain. The rude little settlement was alive long
before the sun was up. Candles and lanterns flitted to and fro. The
people were all eager and alert. Even the dogs and roosters seemed to
feel the unusual excitement in the air, and gave vent to their most
prolonged and jubilant utterances. The storekeeper opened his
establishment at six o'clock, and found customers already waiting on the
steps. Sledges and sleighs came tinkling in from the woods and remote
clearings. One young girl, wearing moccasins and a jaunty bear-skin
jacket, had walked five miles to borrow a white petticoat to wear to the
dance. Another travelled ten, by way of an ox-team, to obtain a pair of
open-work stockings from a friend who was asthmatic and could not go.
Even dresses were lent for the occasion; and during his ten years'
sojourn at the settlement the storekeeper had never reaped such a
harvest as he did on that day.

Toward night the air grew crisper and colder, as it had done on the day
before. The sledge-runners crunched over the snow, and there was a
little frosty tinkle to the bells, which woke every wood-track with its
cheery melody, floated down the ice-bound river, echoed across the lake
and along the well-trodden main road. The hall at the Forks where the
dance was to be held--a bare, unfinished apartment, built for the use
of, but not yet taken possession of by, the town--was decorated in the
most elaborate manner, but chiefly with small flags and strips of cloth
in red, white, and blue, as if for some patriotic occasion. A stuffed
eagle nestled in a bower of evergreen, holding a banner emblazoned with
the stars and stripes in his huge bill. The clock was encircled in a
wreath of paper roses, as was also the picture of Daniel Webster, which,
having an oval frame, caused the great statesman to look as if he were
masquerading for a May queen.

Barker arrived at the festive scene just in time to assist Mrs. Jones
and Drusy from their sleigh. Dancing had already commenced, though it
was not yet eight o'clock. And what a motley crowd it was which moved to
the lively measures of "Money Musk"! Several of the ladies as well as
the men were tripping the "light fantastic toe" in moccasins. Girls in
calico gowns wore wreaths of artificial flowers upon their heads.
Henrietta Blaisdell, a fat, shapeless girl with a freckled face, whose
father owned more pine timber than any other man in the county, wore
black silk, and was regarded with something like awe by the less
fortunate ones in calico and homespun. Drusy was handsomer than ever, in
a soft woollen gown of dull blue, with a red rose in the masses of her
black hair and another at her throat. The schoolmistress, a pretty
blonde, who was also a belle, wore white muslin, with a gay ribbon about
her waist. Nearly all the men wore red shirts, but the tie of their
cravats betokened careful study. Barker sported a gorgeous waistcoat,
ornamented with brilliant flowers of all the colors in the rainbow,
which he had purchased for the occasion from the cook at the camp, who
had inherited it from an uncle that had died twenty years before. And
from this same youth, who was too bashful to go to the dance himself, he
obtained the loan of a pair of embroidered slippers which had been sent
to him by a sister in the Far West. Wetherbee wore an ordinary cloth
suit, made by a city tailor, and was by far the best-dressed and most
gentlemanly-looking man in the room.

When Drusy appeared upon the scene he was dancing the first dance with
Henrietta Blaisdell. He tossed her one of his pleasant smiles as he
whirled breathlessly past, and her eyes followed him with a look which
poor Barker would have given worlds to interpret as he stood sad and
humble in all his unwonted magnificence by her side. The fiddler, who
was a tin-peddler and a poet and the teacher of a "cipherin'-school," as
well as a musician, played with great gusto, and was continually calling
upon the dancers to "warm up 'n' shake their heels more lively."

"Here, you Joe, you're quick enough at figgers, but you don't handle
them moggersons o' yourn in no kind er time," he shouted to a clumsy
lumberman, whose partner, a stout, energetic young woman, was scarlet in
the face with her exertions to drag him about to the fierce time of the
music.

Drusy laughed. "I don't care about that kind of dancing," said she.
"It's a reg'lar whirlwind."

"I was a-goin' ter ask ye ter dance 'long o' me, Drusy, only I was 'most
afeard tew, fur I knowed I shouldn't keep step," said Barker timidly.
"Reube seems ter be a-keepin' his balance fust-rate, but I hain't built
so genteel es he is, nor hed the experiunce, neither." And he sighed
deeply.

"I ain't going to dance at all, John. I'd much rather look on. I think
it's real fun to see 'em scramble about."

He brightened at this, but soon became a prey to melancholy again, for
as soon as the dance was over a crowd of men pressed to Drusy's side.
Not even Henrietta Blaisdell or the pretty schoolmistress received half
as much attention. The fact of her being a "hired girl" at the "tahvern"
rather added to than detracted from her social importance, and there was
a charm about her gay, gracious manner and bright beauty which was
irresistible.

"Reube seems ter be tryin' tew make up with Henrietty ag'in," whispered
one of the lumbermen to his sweetheart. "He's been kinder strayin' off
in the direction of the tahvern lately; but pine timber's more takin'
then good looks tew some folks."

"Likely ez not Drusy won't hev nothin' tew say tew him," said the girl.
"That gawky-lookin' John Barker 'pears tew be hangin' raound her
consid'able. 'Twould be kind er funny ef she should like him better."
And she laughed scornfully.

Barker overheard this, and the girl's words, and, above all, her
laughter, stung him to the quick. He leaned against the patriotic wall
and meditated bitterly.

Reube came over and stood by Drusy's side, and they talked in a low,
interested tone. She never talked to him in that way, never listened to
what he had to say with such half-shy, half-coquettish attention. But
she would not dance, even with Reube.

The sleigh-bells of some late-comers came tinkling up to the door.

"Why, Sam, what's kept ye so? It's 'most nine o'clock," exclaimed one of
the lumbermen to a red-shirted comrade who came hurrying into their
midst.

"Sick man at the camp. The doctor from the Mills hez jest been ter see
him, but said he couldn't do nothin' fur him; reckoned he'd be a goner
before mornin'."

"Sho! Who is it?"

"A feller by the name o' Seth Hardin'; boss in some lumber-consarn
daown-river; stopped ter the camp over-night on his way up ter Grand
Falls, 'n' was took with fever 'n' ravin' like a muskeeter 'fore
mornin'."

Drusy's face, which was rosy and smiling as she stood watching the
movements of a contra-dance, suddenly blanched, and she grasped a wooden
pillar as if for support. Her very lips were white.

"What's the matter, Drusy?" said Wetherbee, in a tone of gentle
solicitude.

She beckoned him aside.

"Reube," said she, the color surging into her cheeks again, "I must go
out to Fernald's camp. I must go at once. Oh, Reube! could you take me
there? Tom's gone over to the Point after his aunt Harriet with our
team, and there's no knowing when he'll get back. I _can't_ wait! I
_must_ go, this moment!" She clasped her hands tightly together and
looked pleadingly up into his face. "Don't hesitate, Reube. That dying
man is my husband."

"Your husband!" he exclaimed, with a strange flash in his mild blue
eyes, and with a pallor which almost equalled her own overspreading his
face for an instant. "I don't think you'd better set out for Fernald's
camp to-night, Drusy, 'Tis fifteen miles at the shortest, over the worst
road in the county. But if you think you must" (he glanced at Henrietta
Blaisdell, who was looking reproachfully at him, in all her bravery of
black silk), "I--I might find somebody to take you. Maybe the boy over
to Scott's stable, he'd know the way."

Drusy gave him a look which he did not soon forget. Was there not more
in it than baffled endeavor, than disappointed trust? Poor John Barker
saw it, and it lingered in his mind also. It was continually flashing
before his vision for years.

"Drusy," said John, "I hadn't no notion o' spyin' on yeou, but I was
a-standin' where I couldn't help overhearin' what yeou said. Yeou looked
kinder faint, 'n'-- Lemme take yeou ter Fernald's camp. I hain't got
nothin' to stop here fur, 'n' I kin git my hoss harnessed in a jiffy.
Some o' the fellers from eour camp rid in weth me, but they kin git a
chance on other teams,--'n' if not, they kin walk. I hain't got nothin'
but a hoss-sled to offer ye, but I guess I kin make it comfortable."

"Don't speak of that, John: I shan't forget your kindness in a hurry,"
said Drusy, with trembling lip.

The dance went on with jocund carelessness. Wetherbee disappeared with a
flushed and frowning countenance.

The horse-sled glided swiftly along over the crisp white road. The hills
were showing their barren beauty to the last look of the moon, which was
sinking slowly out of sight. Sudden gleams of silver by the wayside
betrayed the abiding-place of frozen streams. A tall maple-tree lifted
its bare branches to the sky, like skeleton fingers clutching a star.

Drusy sat silent and motionless in the bottom of the sled, while Barker
stood, tall and grim, beside her, holding the reins with a careful hand.
It was necessary for him to stand, that he might be able to see the
cradle-holes and humps in the road ahead of them, he said. The moon had
disappeared when they entered the woods, and the dense darkness was only
broken by an occasional star-gleam overhead and the red light of the
lantern which hung on one of the stakes of the sled.

"Drusy, did you care fur thet man thet's sick out ter the
camp--your--husban'?" said Barker, breaking the silence in a hesitating
tone.

"Oh, I did once, John, but he treated me badly; he--" Her voice broke in
a great sob; and after that neither spoke until they reached the camp,
though it was nearly an hour later.

The way was long and rough, and the night was growing intensely cold.
Once or twice he bent down and tucked the robes more closely about her.
But she did not heed the cold: she was lost in her own thoughts.

The camp, which they reached just before midnight, made a bright spot in
the darkness of the woods. The fire-light shone through every chink in
its dark logs, making red bars upon the snow.

The sick man was sleeping, and by his side sat the cook, who was acting
as nurse, an old man who had been a sailor and wore gold rings in his
ears. He was sleeping also, and from two bunks on the opposite side of
the camp came the audible evidence that others were in a like condition.

"Oh, he can't be so very bad: he can't be dying," said Drusy, seating
herself on the deacon-seat at the foot of the sick man's bed and peering
anxiously into his pinched and pallid face, which was illuminated by the
rays of the great fire.

"'Pears ter be more comfortable; the fever's kind er left him; but the
doctor says he's goin' fast. Sleeps 'most all the time now, but he's
mostly out of his head yit, pore feller! I hain't seen him ser quiet's
he is now fur days," said the old man drowsily.

Barker, having put up his horse, seated himself beside the cook, who
speedily relapsed into slumber again, his grizzly head drooping upon his
breast. Drusy crept on to the edge of the bunk and softly wiped away the
heavy moisture from the dying man's brow. He tossed uneasily upon his
bed of hemlock boughs, but did not waken: his breathing was a perpetual
moan, his fingers picked restlessly at the bedclothing.

The wind rose and stirred about the camp like the rustle of mysterious
garments, and blew fitfully the varied pipes in the pine boughs. The
great logs on the fire were dropping to scarlet coals, but Barker
hastened to pile on more fuel, though there was still sufficient warmth
from the huge pile. And so the night wore on. Toward morning the sick
man opened his eyes and fixed them steadily upon Drusy's face.

"Do you know me, Seth?" she asked, taking his hand within her own.

"Drusy, I ain't treated you well,--but you'll forgive me?" He spoke
slowly and painfully, making the most of his feeble breath. "It's all
over now, 'n' there's a little property left fur you. Squire Carter,
down home, 'll tell you about it. It's in his hands."

"Oh, Seth," sobbed Drusy, "I have been wrong too. I wasn't half so
patient 'n' forbearing as I ought to have been. I laid up things against
you that I ought to have forgot. Forgive me."

He smiled, holding her hand with a faint pressure, then closed his eyes
wearily and seemed to be sleeping.

Drusy choked down her sobs and watched him almost breathlessly. His
breath grew fainter and fainter; he was quiet now, and seemed at peace.

The wind died away. The dawn marched, like some still procession,
carrying flickering torches, into the woods. Tiny shafts of flame shot
through the dark pine branches. There was a bustle and rustle as of
light, hurrying feet. The clear clarion of the cocks sounded from
distant clearings. And with the first rays of the sun the soul of the
sick man departed into the Unknown.

"Ain't there nothin' I kin do fur ye 'baout the funeril, Drusy, or
kerryin' news tew the mourners?" said Barker, as he was about to leave
her at the door of the "tahvern," toward noon of the same day.

"No, thank ye, John; you're as kind as a brother; but his folks will
attend to all these things. The doctor's notified them already. His
father and two brothers are living down to Greenbush."

"Then I'll bid you good-by. I don't know when I shell see ye ag'in,
Drusy."

Hastening back to his own camp, he told the overseer that he must find
another man to take his place in the gang; and, another being at hand
who was ready to take it, he started the very next morning on his way
down the frozen Penobscot.

"I must put a good many more'n fifteen miles between us, or I can't
stan' it," he said to himself. "She'll merry Reube in a year er tew, 'n'
I won't never see her face ag'in. I warn't never superstitioned afore,
but when we was a-playin' them cards in that blarsted old camp I felt
how 'twas all a-goin' tew turn eout; as plain as A B C."

       *       *       *       *       *

Four years passed away. Lake and river were unlocked by the spring rains
and sunshine, and then locked again by the winter frosts. Axes rang in
the pine woods, great logs went floating down the stream. Life at the
settlement jogged on in the same old fashion. The lumbermen came out of
the woods and flirted and frolicked with the girls and sat about the
"tahvern" fire in the long evenings. The few festivals were carried on
with the same old zest.

It was a bright afternoon. Drusy, who was still the hired girl at the
tavern, in spite of the "little property" her husband had left her, was
all alone in the kitchen, sitting pensively before the glowing stove.
She was little changed, save for a shade more of sadness in her eyes and
a somewhat fainter and more flickering fire upon her cheek.

Lost in thought, she did not heed the sleigh-bells which came tinkling
up to the door, and a tall man, very much muffled in furs, had entered
the house unawares and stood beside her chair.

"Oh, John, how glad I am that you have come!" she exclaimed, meeting his
honest, ugly smile. And she sprang from her seat with both hands
outstretched toward him, a glad light overspreading her whole face.
"Where have you been all this time?"

"Daown-river, keepin' store. 'N' I shouldn't never 'a' come back, Drusy,
only I heard haow you wouldn't hev Reube, 'n' he'd gone back 'n' merried
Henrietty. When I heard that I says tew myself, 'Naow I'll go up 'n' try
my hand, though 'tain't likely she'll hev enything favorable tew say tew
a gre't, rough, hulkin' feller like me.' Tell me, Drusy, could yeou ever
think o' hevin' me?"

"Could I ever? Why, I would have had you before, John, if you'd taken
the trouble to come up 'n' ask me."

"Great Jupiter! tew hear yeou say thet!" he exclaimed, throwing his arms
about her in a perfect rapture of joy.

And just then whom should fate send upon the scene but Reube Wetherbee!
He came in unobserved by the absorbed lovers, and stood gazing upon them
with a white face and flashing eyes.

"Reube, four years ago, as p'r'aps you'll remember, I played a game, 'n'
lost. Now I've been a-tryin' my hand ag'in, 'n' won," said John, who
turned suddenly and saw him there.

"So I should suppose," said Reube, with a great effort to be hearty and
friendly as well as unconcerned. "And I reckon 'twill be a wedding this
time instead of a dance."

SUSAN HARTLEY SWETT.



VAN.


He was the evolution of a military horse-trade,--one of those periodical
swappings required of his dragoons by Uncle Sam on those rare occasions
when a regiment that has been dry-rotting half a decade in Arizona is at
last relieved by one from the Plains. How it happened that we of the
Fifth should have kept him from the clutches of those sharp
horse-fanciers of the Sixth is more than I know. Regimental tradition
had it that we got him from the Third Cavalry when it came our turn to
go into exile in 1871. He was the victim of some temporary malady at the
time,--one of those multitudinous ills to which horse-flesh is heir,--or
he never would have come to us. It was simply impossible that anybody
who knew anything about horses should trade off such a promising young
racer so long as there remained an unpledged pay-account in the
officers' mess. Possibly the arid climate of Arizona had disagreed with
him and he had gone amiss, as would the mechanism of some of the best
watches in the regiment, unable to stand the strain of anything so hot
and high and dry. Possibly the Third was so overjoyed at getting out of
Arizona on any terms that they would gladly have left their eye-teeth in
pawn. Whatever may have been the cause, the transfer was an accomplished
fact, and Van was one of some seven hundred quadrupeds, of greater or
less value, which became the property of the Fifth Regiment of Cavalry,
U.S.A., in lawful exchange for a like number of chargers left in the
stables along the recently-built Union Pacific to await the coming of
their new riders from the distant West.

We had never met in those days, Van and I. "Compadres" and chums as we
were destined to become, we were utterly unknown and indifferent to each
other; but in point of regimental reputation at the time, Van had
decidedly the best of it. He was a celebrity at head-quarters, I a
subaltern at an isolated post. He had apparently become acclimated, and
was rapidly winning respect for himself and dollars for his backers; I
was winning neither for anybody, and doubtless losing both,--they go
together, somehow. Van was living on metaphorical clover down near
Tucson; I was roughing it out on the rocks of the Mogollon. Each after
his own fashion served out his time in the grim old Territory, and at
last "came marching home again;" and early in the summer of the
Centennial year, and just in the midst of the great Sioux war of 1876,
Van and I made each other's acquaintance.

What I liked about him was the air of thoroughbred ease with which he
adapted himself to his surroundings. He was in swell society on the
occasion of our first meeting, being bestridden by the colonel of the
regiment. He was dressed and caparisoned in the height of martial
fashion; his clear eyes, glistening coat, and joyous bearing spoke of
the perfection of health; his every glance and movement told of elastic
vigor and dauntless spirit. He was a horse with a pedigree,--let alone
any self-made reputation,--and he knew it; more than that, he knew that
I was charmed at the first greeting; probably he liked it, possibly he
liked me. What he saw in me I never discovered. Van, though
demonstrative eventually, was reticent and little given to verbal
flattery. It was long indeed before any degree of intimacy was
established between us: perhaps it might never have come but for the
strange and eventful campaign on which we were so speedily launched.
Probably we might have continued on our original status of dignified and
distant acquaintance. As a member of the colonel's household he could
have nothing in common with me or mine, and his acknowledgment of the
introduction of my own charger--the cavalryman's better half--was of
that airy yet perfunctory politeness which is of the club clubby.
Forager, my gray, had sought acquaintance in his impulsive frontier
fashion when summoned to the presence of the regimental commander, and,
ranging alongside to permit the shake of the hand with which the colonel
had honored his rider, he himself had with equine confidence addressed
Van, and Van had simply continued his dreamy stare over the springy
prairie and taken no earthly notice of him. Forager and I had just
joined regimental head-quarters for the first time, as was evident, and
we were both "fresh." It was not until the colonel good-naturedly
stroked the glossy brown neck of his pet and said, "Van, old boy,
this is Forager, of 'K' troop," that Van considered it the proper
thing to admit my fellow to the outer edge of his circle of acquaintance.
My gray thought him a supercilious snob, no doubt, and hated him. He
hated him more before the day was half over, for the colonel decided
to gallop down the valley to look at some new horses that had just
come, and invited me to go. Colonels' invitations are commands,
and we went, Forager and I, though it was weariness and vexation of
spirit to both. Van and his rider flew easily along, bounding over
the springy turf with long, elastic stride, horse and rider taking
the rapid motion as an every-day matter, in a cool, imperturbable,
this-is-the-way-we-always-do-it style, while my poor old troop-horse,
in answer to pressing knee and pricking spur, strove with panting breath
and jealously bursting heart to keep alongside. The foam flew from his
fevered jaws and flecked the smooth flank of his apparently unconscious
rival; and when at last we returned to camp, while Van, without a turned
hair or an abnormal heave, coolly nodded off to his stable, poor
Forager, blown, sweating, and utterly used up, gazed revengefully after
him an instant and then reproachfully at me. He had done his best, and
all to no purpose. That confounded clean-cut, supercilious beast had
worn him out and never tried a spurt.

It was then that I began to make inquiries about that airy fellow Van,
and I soon found he had a history. Like other histories, it may have
been a mere codification of lies; but the men of the Fifth were ready to
answer for its authenticity, and Van fully looked the character they
gave him. He was now in his prime. He had passed the age of tell-tale
teeth and was going on between eight and nine, said the knowing ones,
but he looked younger and felt younger. He was at heart as full of fun
and frolic as any colt, but the responsibilities of his position weighed
upon him at times and lent to his elastic step the grave dignity that
should mark the movements of the first horse of the regiment.

And then Van was a born aristocrat. He was not impressive in point of
size; he was rather small, in fact; but there was that in his bearing
and demeanor that attracted instant attention. He was beautifully
built,--lithe, sinewy, muscular, with powerful shoulders and solid
haunches; his legs were what Oscar Wilde might have called poems, and
with better reason than when he applied the epithet to those of Henry
Irving: they were straight, slender, and destitute of those heterodox
developments at the joints that render equine legs as hideous
deformities as knee-sprung trousers of the present mode. His feet and
pasterns were shapely and dainty as those of the _señoritas_ (only for
pastern read ankle) who so admired him on _festa_ days at Tucson, and
who won such stores of _dulces_ from the scowling gallants who had with
genuine Mexican pluck backed the Sonora horses at the races. His color
was a deep, dark chocolate-brown; a most unusual tint, but Van was proud
of its oddity, and his long, lean head, his pretty little pointed ears,
his bright, flashing eye and sensitive nostril, one and all spoke of
spirit and intelligence. A glance at that horse would tell the veriest
greenhorn that speed, bottom, and pluck were all to be found right
there; and he had not been in the regiment a month before the knowing
ones were hanging about the Mexican sports and looking out for a chance
for a match; and Mexicans, like Indians, are consummate horse-racers.

Not with the "greasers" alone had tact and diplomacy to be brought into
play. Van, though invoiced as a troop-horse sick, had attracted the
attention of the colonel from the very start, and the colonel had
speedily caused him to be transferred to his own stable, where,
carefully tended, fed, groomed, and regularly exercised, he speedily
gave evidence of the good there was in him. The colonel rarely rode in
those days, and cavalry-duties in garrison were few. The regiment was in
the mountains most of the time, hunting Apaches, but Van had to be
exercised every day; and exercised he was. "Jeff," the colonel's
orderly, would lead him sedately forth from his paddock every morning
about nine, and ride demurely off toward the quartermaster's stables in
rear of the garrison. Keen eyes used to note that Van had a way of
sidling along at such times as though his heels were too impatient to
keep at their appropriate distance behind the head, and "Jeff's" hand on
the bit was very firm, light as it was.

"Bet you what you like those 'L' Company fellows are getting Van in
training for a race," said the quartermaster to the adjutant one bright
morning, and the chuckle with which the latter received the remark was
an indication that the news was no news to him.

"If old Coach don't find it out too soon, some of these swaggering
_caballeros_ around here are going to lose their last winnings," was his
answer. And, true to their cavalry instincts, neither of the
staff-officers saw fit to follow Van and his rider beyond the gate to
the _corrals_.

Once there, however, Jeff would bound off quick as a cat, Van would be
speedily taken in charge by a squad of old dragoon sergeants, his
cavalry bridle and saddle exchanged for a light racing-rig, and Master
Mickey Lanigan, son and heir of the regimental saddle-sergeant, would be
hoisted into his throne, and then Van would be led off, all plunging
impatience now, to an improvised race-track across the _arroyo_, where
he would run against his previous record, and where old horses from the
troop-stables would be spurred into occasional spurts with the champion,
while all the time vigilant _non-coms_ would be thrown out as pickets
far and near, to warn off prying Mexican eyes and give notice of the
coming of officers. The colonel was always busy in his office at that
hour, and interruptions never came. But the race did, and more than one
race, too, occurring on Sundays, as Mexican races will, and well-nigh
wrecking the hopes of the garrison on one occasion because of the
colonel's sudden freak of holding a long mounted inspection on that day.
Had he ridden Van for two hours under his heavy weight and housings that
morning, all would have been lost. There was terror at Tucson when the
cavalry trumpets blew the call for mounted inspection, full dress, that
placid Sunday morning, and the sporting sergeants were well-nigh crazed.
Not an instant was to be lost. Jeff rushed to the stable, and in five
minutes had Van's near fore foot enveloped in a huge poultice, much to
Van's amaze and disgust, and when the colonel came down,

  Booted and spurred and prepared for a ride,

there stood Jeff in martial solemnity, holding the colonel's other
horse, and looking, as did the horse, the picture of dejection.

"What'd you bring me that infernal old hearse-horse for?" said the
colonel. "Where's Van?"

"In the stable, dead lame, general," said Jeff, with face of woe, but
with diplomatic use of the brevet. "Can't put his nigh fore foot to the
ground, sir. I've got it poulticed, sir, and he'll be all right in a day
or two--"

"Sure it ain't a nail?" broke in the colonel, to whom nails in the foot
were sources of perennial dread.

"Perfectly sure, general," gasped Jeff. "D--d sure!" he added, in a tone
of infinite relief, as the colonel rode out on the broad parade.
"'Twould 'a' been nails in the coffins of half the Fifth Cavalry if it
_had_ been."

But that afternoon, while the colonel was taking his siesta, half the
populace of the good old Spanish town of Tucson was making the air blue
with _carambas_ when Van came galloping under the string an easy winner
over half a score of Mexican steeds. The "dark horse" became a
notoriety, and for once in its history head-quarters of the Fifth
Cavalry felt the forthcoming visit of the paymaster to be an object of
indifference.

Van won other races in Arizona. No more betting could be got against him
around Tucson; but the colonel went off on leave, and he was borrowed
down at Camp Bowie awhile, and then transferred to Crittenden,--only
temporarily, of course, for no one at head-quarters would part with him
for good. Then, when the regiment made its homeward march across the
continent in 1875, Van somehow turned up at the _festa_ races at
Albuquerque and Santa Fé, though the latter was off the line of march by
many miles. Then he distinguished himself at Pueblo by winning a
handicap sweepstakes where the odds were heavy against him. And so it
was that when I met Van at Fort Hays in May, 1876, he was a celebrity.
Even then they were talking of getting him down to Dodge City to run
against some horses on the Arkansaw; but other and graver matters turned
up. Van had run his last race.

Early that spring, or rather late in the winter, a powerful expedition
had been sent to the north of Fort Fetterman in search of the hostile
bands led by that dare-devil Sioux chieftain Crazy Horse. On "Patrick's
Day in the morning," with the thermometer indicating 30° below, and in
the face of a biting wind from the north and a blazing glare from the
sheen of the untrodden snow, the cavalry came in sight of the Indian
encampment down in the valley of Powder River. The fight came off then
and there, and, all things considered, Crazy Horse got the best of it.
He and his people drew away farther north to join other roving bands.
The troops fell back to Fetterman to get a fresh start; and when spring
fairly opened, old "Gray Fox," as the Indians called General Crook,
marched a strong command up to the Big Horn Mountains, determined to
have it out with Crazy Horse and settle the question of supremacy before
the end of the season. Then all the unoccupied Indians in the North
decided to take a hand. All or most of them were bound by treaty
obligations to keep the peace with the government that for years past
had fed, clothed, and protected them. Nine-tenths of those who rushed to
the rescue of Crazy Horse and his people had not the faintest excuse for
their breach of faith; but it requires neither eloquence nor excuse to
persuade the average Indian to take the war-path. The reservations were
beset by vehement old strifemongers preaching a crusade against the
whites, and by early June there must have been five thousand eager young
warriors, under such leaders as Crazy Horse, Gall, Little Big Man, and
all manner of Wolves, Bears, and Bulls, and prominent among the latter
that head-devil, scheming, lying, wire-pulling, big-talker-but-no-fighter,
Sitting Bull,--"Tatanka-e-Yotanka,"--five thousand fierce and eager
Indians, young and old, swarming through the glorious upland between the
Big Horn and the Yellowstone, and more a-coming.

Crook had reached the head-waters of Tongue River with perhaps twelve
hundred cavalry and infantry, and found that something must be done to
shut off the rush of reinforcements from the southeast. Then it was that
we of the Fifth, far away in Kansas, were hurried by rail through Denver
to Cheyenne, marched thence to the Black Hills to cut the trails from
the great reservations of Red Cloud and Spotted Tail to the disputed
ground of the Northwest; and here we had our own little personal tussle
with the Cheyennes, and induced them to postpone their further progress
toward Sitting Bull and to lead us back to the reservation. It was here,
too, we heard how Crazy Horse had pounced on Crook's columns on the
bluffs of the Rosebud that sultry morning of the 17th of June and showed
the Gray Fox that he and his people were too weak in numbers to cope
with them. It was here, too, worse luck, we got the tidings of the dread
disaster of the Sunday one week later, and listened in awed silence to
the story of Custer's mad attack on ten times his weight in foes--and
the natural result. Then came our orders to hasten to the support of
Crook, and so it happened that July found us marching for the storied
range of the Big Horn, and the first week in August landed us, blistered
and burned with sun-glare and stifling alkali-dust, in the welcoming
camp of Crook.

Then followed the memorable campaign of 1876. I do not mean to tell its
story here. We set out with ten days' rations on a chase that lasted ten
weeks. We roamed some eighteen hundred miles over range and prairie,
over "bad lands" and worse waters. We wore out some Indians, a good many
soldiers, and a great many horses. We sometimes caught the Indians, and
sometimes they caught us. It was hot, dry summer weather when we left
our wagons, tents, and extra clothing; it was sharp and freezing before
we saw them again; and meantime, without a rag of canvas or any covering
to our backs except what summer-clothing we had when we started, we had
tramped through the valleys of the Rosebud, Tongue, and Powder Rivers,
had loosened the teeth of some men with scurvy before we struck the
Yellowstone, had weeded out the wounded and ineffective there and sent
them to the East by river, had taken a fresh start and gone rapidly on
in pursuit of the scattering bands, had forded the Little Missouri near
where the Northern Pacific now spans the stream, run out of rations
entirely at the head of Heart River, and still stuck to the trail and
the chase, headed southward over rolling, treeless prairies, and for
eleven days and nights of pelting, pitiless rain dragged our way through
the bad-lands, meeting and fighting the Sioux two lively days among the
rocks of Slim Buttes, subsisting meantime partly on what game we could
pick up, but mainly upon our poor, famished, worn-out, staggering
horses. It is hard truth for cavalryman to tell, but the choice lay
between them and our boots; and most of us had no boots left by the time
we sighted the Black Hills. Once there, we found provisions and plenty;
but never, I venture to say, never was civilized army in such a plight
as was the command of General George Crook when his brigade of regulars
halted on the north bank of the Belle Fourche in September, 1876.
Officers and men were ragged, haggard, half starved, worn down to mere
skin and bone; and the horses--ah, well, only half of them were left:
hundreds had dropped starved and exhausted on the line of march, and
dozens had been killed and eaten. We had set out blithe and merry,
riding jauntily down the wild valley of the Tongue. We straggled in
toward the Hills, towing our tottering horses behind us: they had long
since grown too weak to carry a rider.

Then came a leisurely saunter through the Hills. Crook bought up all the
provisions to be had in Deadwood and other little mining towns, turned
over the command to General Merritt, and hastened to the forts to
organize a new force, leaving to his successor instructions to come in
slowly, giving horses and men time to build up. Men began "building up"
fast enough; we did nothing but eat, sleep, and hunt grass for our
horses for whole weeks at a time; but our horses,--ah, that was
different. There was no grain to be had for them. They had been starving
for a month, for the Indians had burned the grass before us wherever we
went, and here in the pine-covered hills what grass could be found was
scant and wiry,--not the rich, juicy, strength-giving bunch-grass of the
open country. Of my two horses, neither was in condition to do military
duty when we got to Whitewood. I was adjutant of the regiment, and had
to be bustling around a good deal; and so it happened that one day the
colonel said to me, "Well, here's Van. He can't carry my weight any
longer. Suppose you take him and see if he won't pick up." And that
beautiful October day found the racer of the regiment, though the ghost
of his former self, transferred to my keeping.

All through the campaign we had been getting better acquainted, Van and
I. The colonel seldom rode him, but had him led along with the
head-quarters party in the endeavor to save his strength. A big,
raw-boned colt, whom he had named "Chunka Witko," in honor of the Sioux
"Crazy Horse," the hero of the summer, had the honor of transporting the
colonel over most of those weary miles, and Van spent the long days on
the muddy trail in wondering when and where the next race was to come
off, and whether at this rate he would be fit for a finish. One day on
the Yellowstone I had come suddenly upon a quartermaster who had a peck
of oats on his boat. Oats were worth their weight in greenbacks, but so
was plug tobacco. He gave me half a sack for all the tobacco in my
saddle-bags, and, filling my old campaign hat with the precious grain, I
sat me down on a big log by the flowing Yellowstone and told poor old
"Donnybrook" to pitch in. "Donnybrook" was a "spare horse" when we
started on the campaign, and had been handed over to me after the fight
on the War Bonnet, where Merritt turned their own tactics on the
Cheyennes. He was sparer still by this time; and later, when we got to
the muddy banks of the "Heecha Wapka," there was nothing to spare of
him. The head-quarters party had dined on him the previous day, and only
groaned when that Mark Tapley of a surgeon remarked that if this was
Donnybrook Fare it was tougher than all the stories ever told of it.
Poor old Donnybrook! He had recked not of the coming woe that blissful
hour by the side of the rippling Yellowstone. His head was deep in my
lap, his muzzle buried in oats; he took no thought for the morrow,--he
would eat, drink, and be merry, and ask no questions as to what was to
happen; and so absorbed were we in our occupation--he in his happiness,
I in the contemplation thereof--that neither of us noticed the rapid
approach of a third party until a whinny of astonishment sounded close
beside us, and Van, trailing his lariat and picket-pin after him, came
trotting up, took in the situation at a glance, and, unhesitatingly
ranging alongside his comrade of coarser mould and thrusting his velvet
muzzle into my lap, looked wistfully into my face with his great soft
brown eyes and plead for his share. Another minute, and, despite the
churlish snappings and threatening heels of Donnybrook, Van was supplied
with a portion as big as little Benjamin's, and, stretching myself
beside him on the sandy shore, I lay and watched his enjoyment. From
that hour he seemed to take me into his confidence, and his was a
friendship worth having. Time and again on the march to the Little
Missouri and southward to the Hills he indulged me with some slight but
unmistakable proof that he held me in esteem and grateful remembrance.
It may have been only a bid for more oats, but he kept it up long after
he knew there was not an oat in Dakota,--that part of it, at least. But
Van was awfully pulled down by the time we reached the pine-barrens up
near Deadwood. The scanty supply of forage there obtained (at starvation
price) would not begin to give each surviving horse in the three
regiments a mouthful. And so by short stages we plodded along through
the picturesque beauty of the wild Black Hills, and halted at last in
the deep valley of French Creek. Here there was grass for the horses and
rest for the men.

For a week now Van had been my undivided property, and was the object of
tender solicitude on the part of my German orderly, "Preuss," and
myself. The colonel had chosen for his house the foot of a big pine-tree
up a little ravine, and I was billeted alongside a fallen ditto a few
yards away. Down the ravine, in a little clump of trees, the
head-quarters stables were established, and here were gathered at
nightfall the chargers of the colonel and his staff. Custer City, an
almost deserted village, lay but a few miles off to the west, and
thither I had gone the moment I could get leave, and my mission was
oats. Three stores were still open, and, now that the troops had come
swarming down, were doing a thriving business. Whiskey, tobacco, bottled
beer, canned lobster, canned anything, could be had in profusion, but
not a grain of oats, barley, or corn. I went over to a miners'
wagon-train and offered ten dollars for a sack of oats. The boss
teamster said he would not sell oats for a cent apiece if he had them,
and so sent me back down the valley sore at heart, for I knew Van's
eyes, those great soft brown eyes, would be pleading the moment I came
in sight; and I knew more,--that somewhere the colonel had "made a
raise," that he _had_ one sack, for Preuss had seen it, and Chunka Witko
had had a peck of oats the night before and another that very morning.
Sure enough, Van was waiting, and the moment he saw me coming up the
ravine he quit his munching at the scanty herbage, and, with ears erect
and eager eyes, came quickly toward me, whinnying welcome and inquiry at
the same instant. Sugar and hard-tack, delicacies he often fancied in
prosperous times, he took from my hand even now; he was too truly a
gentleman at heart to refuse them when he saw they were all I had to
give; but he could not understand why the big colt should have his oats
and he, Van, the racer and the hero of two months ago, should starve,
and I could not explain it.

That night Preuss came up and stood attention before my fire, where I
sat jotting down some memoranda in a note-book:

"Lieutenant, I kent shtaendt ut no longer yet. Dot scheneral's horse he
git oats ag'in diesen abent, unt Ven he git noddings, unt he look, unt
look. He ot dot golt unt den ot me look, unt I _couldn't_ shtaendt ut,
lieutenant--"

And Preuss stopped short and winked hard and drew his ragged
shirt-sleeve across his eyes.

Neither could I "shtaendt ut." I jumped up and went to the colonel and
begged a hatful of his precious oats, not for my sake, but for Van's.
"Self-preservation is the first law of nature," and your own horse
before that of all the world is the cavalryman's creed. It was a heap to
ask, but Van's claim prevailed, and down the dark ravine "in the
gloaming" Preuss and I hastened with eager steps and two hats full of
oats; and that rascal Van heard us laugh, and answered with impatient
neigh. He knew we had not come empty-handed this time.

Next morning, when every sprig and leaf was glistening in the brilliant
sunshine with its frosty dew, Preuss led Van away up the ravine to
picket him on a little patch of grass he had discovered the day before,
and as he passed the colonel's fire a keen-eyed old veteran of the
cavalry service, who had stopped to have a chat with our chief, dropped
the stick on which he was whittling and stared hard at our attenuated
racer.

"Whose horse is that, orderly?" he asked.

"De _etschudant's_, colonel," said Preuss, in his labored dialect.

"The adjutant's! Where did he get him? Why, that horse is a runner!"
said Black Bill appreciatively.

And pretty soon Preuss came back to me, chuckling. He had not smiled for
six weeks.

"Ven he veels pully dis morning," he explained. "Dot Colonel Royle he
shpeak mit him unt pet him, unt Ven he laeff unt gick up mit his hint
lecks. He git vell bretty gwick yet."

Two days afterward we broke up our bivouac on French Creek, for every
blade of grass was eaten off, and pushed over the hills to its near
neighbor, Amphibious Creek, an eccentric stream, whose habit of diving
into the bowels of the earth at unexpected turns and disappearing from
sight entirely, only to come up surging and boiling some miles farther
down the valley, had suggested its singular name. "It was half land,
half water," explained the topographer of the first expedition that had
located and named the streams in these jealously-guarded haunts of the
red men. Over on Amphibious Creek we were joined by a motley gang of
recruits just enlisted in the distant cities of the East and sent out to
help us fight Indians. One out of ten might know how to load a gun, but
as frontier soldiers not one in fifty was worth having. But they brought
with them capital horses, strong, fat, grain-fed, and these we
campaigners levied on at once. Merritt led the old soldiers and the new
horses down into the valley of the Cheyenne on a chase after some
scattering Indian bands, while "Black Bill" was left to hammer the
recruits into shape and teach them how to care for invalid horses. Two
handsome young sorrels had come to me as my share of the plunder, and
with these for alternate mounts I rode the Cheyenne raid, leaving Van to
the fostering care of the gallant old cavalryman who had been so struck
with his points the week previous.

One week more, and the reunited forces of the expedition, Van and all,
trotted in to "round up" the semi-belligerent warriors at the Red Cloud
agency on White River, and, as the war-ponies and rifles of the scowling
braves were distributed among the loyal scouts and dethroned Machpealota
(old Red Cloud) turned over the government of the great Sioux nation,
Ogallallas and all, to his more reliable rival, Sintegaliska,--Spotted
Tail,--Van surveyed the ceremony of abdication from between my legs, and
had the honor of receiving an especial pat and an admiring "_Washtay_"
from the new chieftain and lord of the loyal Sioux. His highness Spotted
Tail was pleased to say that he wouldn't mind swapping four of his
ponies for Van, and made some further remarks which my limited knowledge
of the Brulé Dakota tongue did not enable me to appreciate as they
deserved. The fact that the venerable chieftain had hinted that he might
be induced to throw in a spare squaw "to boot" was therefore lost, and
Van was saved. Early November found us, after an all-summer march of
some three thousand miles, once more within sight and sound of
civilization. Van and I had taken station at Fort D. A. Russell, and
the bustling prairie city of Cheyenne lay only three miles away. Here it
was that Van became my pet and pride. Here he lived his life of ease and
triumph, and here, gallant fellow, he met his knightly fate.

Once settled at Russell, all the officers of the regiment who were
blessed with wives and children were speedily occupied in getting their
quarters ready for their reception; and late in November my own little
household arrived and were presented to Van. He was then domesticated in
a rude but comfortable stable in rear of my little army-house, and there
he slept, was groomed and fed, but never confined. He had the run of our
yard, and, after critical inspection of the wood-shed, the coal-hole,
and the kitchen, Van seemed to decide upon the last-named as his
favorite resort. He looked with curious and speculative eyes upon our
darky cook on the arrival of that domestic functionary, and seemed for
once in his life to be a trifle taken aback by the sight of her woolly
pate and Ethiopian complexion. Hannah, however, was duly instructed by
her mistress to treat Van on all occasions with great consideration, and
this to Hannah's darkened intellect meant unlimited loaf-sugar. The
adjutant could not fail to note that Van was almost always to be seen
standing at the kitchen door, and on those rare occasions when he
himself was permitted to invade those premises he was never surprised to
find Van's shapely head peering in at the window, or head, neck, and
shoulders bulging in at the wood-shed beyond.

Yet the ex-champion and racer did not live an idle existence. He had his
hours of duty, and keenly relished them. Office-work over at
orderly-call at high noon it was the adjutant's custom to return to his
quarters and speedily to appear in riding-dress on the front piazza. At
about the same moment Van, duly caparisoned, would be led forth from his
paddock, and in another moment he and his rider would be flying off
across the breezy level of the prairie. Cheyenne, as has been said, lay
just three miles away, and thither Van would speed with long, elastic
strides, as though glorying in his powers. It was at once his exercise
and his enjoyment, and to his rider it was the best hour of the day. He
rode alone, for no horse at Russell could keep alongside. He rode at
full speed, for in all the twenty-four that hour from twelve to one was
the only one he could call his own for recreation and for healthful
exercise. He rode to Cheyenne that he might be present at the event of
the day,--the arrival of the trans-continental train from the East. He
sometimes rode beyond, that he might meet the train when it was belated
and race it back to town; and this--_this_ was Van's glory. The rolling
prairie lay open and free on each side of the iron track, and Van soon
learned to take his post upon a little mound whence the coming of the
"express" could be marked, and, as it flared into sight from the
darkness of the distant snow-shed, Van, all a-tremble with excitement,
would begin to leap and plunge and tug at the bit and beg for the word
to go. Another moment, and, carefully held until just as the puffing
engine came well alongside, Van would leap like arrow from the string,
and away we would speed, skimming along the springy turf. Sometimes the
engineer would curb his iron horse and hold him back against the
"down-grade" impetus of the heavy Pullmans far in rear; sometimes he
would open his throttle and give her full head, and the long train would
seem to leap into space, whirling clouds of dust from under the whirring
wheels, and then Van would almost tear his heart out to keep alongside.

Month after month through the sharp mountain winter, so long as the snow
was not whirling through the air in clouds too dense to penetrate, Van
and his master had their joyous gallops. Then came the spring, slow,
shy, and reluctant as the springtide sets in on that high plateau in
mid-continent, and Van had become even more thoroughly domesticated. He
now looked upon himself as one of the family, and he knew the
dining-room window, and there, thrice each day and sometimes at odd
hours between, he would take his station while the household was at
table and plead with those great soft brown eyes for sugar.
Commissary-bills ran high that winter, and cut loaf-sugar was an item of
untold expenditure. He had found a new ally and friend,--a little girl
with eyes as deep and dark as and browner than his own, a winsome little
maid of three, whose golden, sunshiny hair floated about her bonny head
and sweet serious face like a halo of light from another world. Van
"took to her" from the very first. He courted the caress of her little
hand, and won her love and trust by the discretion of his movements when
she was near. As soon as the days grew warm enough, she was always out
on the front piazza when Van and I came home from our daily gallop, and
then she would trot out to meet us and be lifted to her perch on the
pommel; and then, with mincing gait, like lady's palfrey, stepping as
though he might tread on eggs and yet not crush them, Van would take the
little one on her own share of the ride. And so it was that the loyal
friendship grew and strengthened. The one trick he had was never
ventured upon when she was on his back, even after she became accustomed
to riding at rapid gait and enjoying the springy canter over the prairie
before Van went back to his stable. It was a strange trick: it proved a
fatal one.

No other horse I ever rode had one just like it. Running at full speed,
his hoofs fairly flashing through the air and never seeming to touch the
ground, he would suddenly, as it were, "change step" and gallop
"disunited," as we cavalrymen would say. At first I thought it must be
that he struck some rolling stone, but soon I found that when bounding
over the soft turf it was just the same; and the men who knew him in the
days of his prime in Arizona had noted it there. Of course there was
nothing to do for it but make him change back as quick as possible on
the run, for Van was deaf to remonstrance and proof against the rebuke
of spur. Perhaps he could not control the fault; at all events he did
not, and the effect was not pleasant. The rider felt a sudden jar, as
though the horse had come down stiff-legged from a hurdle-leap; and
sometimes it would be so sharp as to shake loose the forage-cap upon his
rider's head. He sometimes did it when going at easy lope, but never
when his little girl-friend was on his back: then he went on springs of
air.

One bright May morning all the different "troops," as the
cavalry-companies are termed, were out at drill on the broad prairie.
The colonel was away, the officer of the day was out drilling his own
company, the adjutant was seated in his office hard at work over
regimental papers, when in came the sergeant of the guard, breathless
and excited.

"Lieutenant," he cried, "six general prisoners have escaped from the
guard-house. They have got away down the creek toward town."

In hurried question and answer the facts were speedily brought out. Six
hard customers, awaiting sentence after trial for larceny, burglary,
assault with intent to kill, and finally desertion, had been cooped up
together in an inner room of the ramshackle old wooden building that
served for a prison, had sawed their way through to open air, and,
timing their essay by the sound of the trumpets that told them the whole
garrison would be out at morning drill, had slipped through the gap at
the right moment, slid down the hill into the creek-bottom, and then
scurried off townward. A sentinel down near the stables had caught sight
of them, but they were out of view long before his shouts had summoned
the corporal of the guard.

No time was to be lost. They were malefactors and vagabonds of the worst
character. Two of their number had escaped before and had made it their
boast that they could break away from the Russell guard at any time.
Directing the sergeant to return to his guard, and hurriedly scribbling
a note to the officer of the day, who had his whole troop with him in
the saddle out on the prairie, and sending it by the hand of the
sergeant-major, the adjutant hurried to his own quarters and called for
Van. The news had reached there already. News of any kind travels like
wild-fire in a garrison, and Van was saddled and bridled before the
adjutant reached the gate.

"Bring me my revolver and belt,--quick," he said to the servant, as he
swung into saddle. The man darted into the house and came back with the
belt and holster.

"I was cleaning your Colt, sir," he said, "but here's the Smith &
Wesson," handing up the burnished nickel-plated weapon then in use
experimentally on the frontier. Looking only to see that fresh
cartridges were in each chamber and that the hammer was on the
safety-notch, the adjutant thrust it into the holster, and in an instant
he and Van flew through the east gate in rapid pursuit.

Oh, how gloriously Van ran that day! Out on the prairie, the gay guidons
of the troops were fluttering in the brilliant sunshine; here, there,
everywhere, the skirmish-lines and reserves were dotting the plain; the
air was ringing with the merry trumpet-calls and the stirring words of
command. Yet men forgot their drill and reined up on the line to watch
Van as he flashed by, wondering, too, what could take the adjutant off
at such an hour and at such a pace.

"What's the row?" shouted the commanding officer of one company.

"Prisoners loose," was the answer shouted back, but only indistinctly
heard. On went Van like one inspired, and as we cleared the drill-ground
and got well out on the open plain in long sweeping curve, we changed
our course, aiming more to the right, so as to strike the valley west of
the town. It was possible to get there first and head them off. Then
suddenly I became aware of something jolting up and down behind me. My
hand went back in search: there was no time to look: the prairie just
here was cut up with little gopher-holes and criss-crossed by tiny
canals from the main _acequia_, or irrigating ditch. It was that
wretched Smith & Wesson bobbing up and down in the holster. The Colt
revolver of the day was a trifle longer, and my man in changing pistols
had not thought to change holsters. This one, made for the Colt, was too
long and loose by half an inch, and the pistol was pounding up and down
with every stride. Just ahead of us came the flash of the sparkling
water in one of the little ditches. Van cleared it in his stride with no
effort whatever. Then, just beyond,--oh, fatal trick!--seemingly when in
mid-air he changed step, striking the ground with a sudden shock that
jarred us both and flung the downward-pointed pistol up against the
closely-buttoned holster-flap. There was a sharp report, and my heart
stood still an instant. I knew--oh, well I knew it was the death-note of
my gallant pet. On he went, never swaying, never swerving, never
slackening his racing speed; but, turning in the saddle and glancing
back, I saw, just back of the cantle, just to the right of the spine in
the glossy brown back, that one tiny, grimy, powder-stained hole. I knew
the deadly bullet had ranged downward through his very vitals. I knew
that Van had run his last race, was even now rushing toward a goal he
would never reach. Fast as he might fly, he could not leave Death
behind.

The chase was over. Looking back, I could see the troopers already
hastening in pursuit, but we were out of the race. Gently, firmly I drew
the rein. Both hands were needed, for Van had never stopped here, and
some strange power urged him on now. Full three hundred yards he ran
before he would consent to halt. Then I sprang from the saddle and ran
to his head. His eyes met mine. Soft and brown, and larger than ever,
they gazed imploringly. Pain and bewilderment, strange, wistful
pleading, but all the old love and trust, were there as I threw my arms
about his neck and bowed his head upon my breast. I could not bear to
meet his eyes. I could not look into them and read there the deadly pain
and faintness that were rapidly robbing them of their lustre, but that
could not shake their faith in his friend and master. No wonder mine
grew sightless as his own through swimming tears. I who had killed him
could not face his last conscious gaze.

One moment more, and, swaying, tottering first from side to side, poor
Van fell with heavy thud upon the turf. Kneeling, I took his head in my
arms and strove to call back one sign of recognition; but all that was
gone. Van's spirit was ebbing away in some fierce, wild dream: his
glazing eyes were fixed on vacancy; his breath came in quick, convulsive
gasps; great tremors shook his frame, growing every instant more
violent. Suddenly a fiery light shot into his dying eyes. The old high
mettle leaped to vivid life, and then, as though the flag had dropped,
the starting drum had tapped, Van's fleeting spirit whirled into his
dying race. Lying on his side, his hoofs flew through the air, his
powerful limbs worked back and forth swifter than ever in their swiftest
gallop, his eyes were aflame, his nostrils wide distended, his chest
heaving, and his magnificent machinery running like lightning. Only for
a minute, though,--only for one short, painful minute. It was only a
half-mile dash,--poor old fellow!--only a hopeless struggle against a
rival that never knew defeat. Suddenly all ceased as suddenly as all
began. One stiffening quiver, one long sigh, and my pet and pride was
gone. Old friends were near him even then. "I was with him when he won
his first race at Tucson," said old Sergeant Donnelly, who had ridden to
our aid, "and I knowed then he would die racing."

CHARLES KING, U.S.A.



SONG.


  Pale Grief with tender Joy is at strife,
    And Joy is wounded and nigh to death.
  Their quarrel is old,--as old as life,--
    "And Grief is right," the sad world saith.
      But, hark! from yonder wood
        The blackbird singeth gay,
      "Joy is in the right of it,
      And Grief is in the wrong of it,
        Whatever the world may say."

  Dull Age with radiant Youth is at strife,
    And Youth draws harder and harder breath.
  Their quarrel is old,--as old as life,--
    "And Age is right," the gray world saith.
      But, hark! from yonder wood
        The throstle singeth gay,
      "Youth is in the right of it,
      And Age is in the wrong of it,
        Whatever the world may say."

  Ah, dearest, Doubt and Love are at strife,
    And Love breathes hard and is nigh to death.
  Their quarrel is old: shall it spoil our life?
    Or shall we heed what the cold world saith?
      Come forth into the wood,
        And let us sing and say.
      "Love is in the right of it,
      And Doubt is in the wrong of it,
        And the world may go its way."

  ROBERTSON TROWBRIDGE.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.


Dothegirls Hall.

Such was our name for it. But such was only our American name for an
establishment which in reality bore a much more imposing title. St.
John's Priory was the name we were known by in the guide-books and to
all the country round about. A noble Priory we were at our front, with
heavy stone walls veiled in centuries-old ivy, and gables and finials
outlined against the sky; and it was only at the rear, where were our
dank court-yard, our wheezing pump, a dark vista into our dirty kitchen,
and where often were strident Miss Betsy and Miss Sally, that we looked
our deserving the name "Dothegirls Hall."

It was in lovely Warwickshire, where green meadows sweep to the gentle
Avon, which glides only a few miles away through Stratford and past
Shakespeare's home. Many of our countrypeople drove past the stately
front of our Priory every day, visiting, as all good Americans do,
Kenilworth Castle, with Amy Robsart's story in their hands, and
Coventry, with Lady Godiva on their tongues and silk book-markers on
their minds.

Our brother and sister Yankees always gazed with admiration, not
unmingled with awe, upon our Priory, and gushed over it to each other.
For not only is it one of the most picturesque objects of a famously
picturesque Elizabethan town, but it has an added interest to Americans
in having been mentioned in Hawthorne's "Our Old Home."

Our countrypeople gazed upon us with admiration, little dreaming the
dark secrets we had discovered concerning that impressive pile, whose
peaked roofs and soaring gables sheltered monk and prior before yet our
own country had a name, and in whose cavernous cellars only the bravest
of the servants dared to go, lest gowned and hooded spectres should ask
what her business was.

Of course to profane and worldly eyes these ghosts assumed the mean
guise of empty boxes, decaying barrels and timbers, old kitchen-refuse,
and such-like ghostly fowl. But there were spirits in mortal form among
us imaginative enough to penetrate this sordid masquerade and to know
that subterraneanly we were haunted by goblins damned, if ever a priory
was since goblins and priories were invented. Our servants could not
disbelieve in our delightful ghosts, we _would_ not: hence we found our
Priory as stimulative to the historic, poetic, and supernatural
imagination as it was shocking to our moral sense and inflammatory to
our tempers.

But these last two effects resulted from a _rear_ knowledge of St.
John's; our _front_ view was always worthy of picture and poem, having
wide portals, over which was the date of their last repair in 1622,
humped Tudor gables, and mullioned windows set with diamond panes.

St. John's belongs to a noble earl, whose castle overhangs the Avon only
a stone's throw away. As is so often the case in England, it has been
occupied by the same family for more than a hundred years, the family
never owning stick or stone of it, but paying regular rent, as if here
to-day and gone to-morrow, like the tenants of a city flat. The
grandfather of the present occupants brought his bride here and here
raised a numerous family. Of that family no representatives now live
save two grand-daughters, the shrill and strident spinsters who made us
so often forego our more impressive title to call ourselves after the
flourishing institution made immortal by the deathless Squeers.

It is confidently asserted in England, and by those who really think
they know whereof they speak, that although such torture-houses as
Dotheboys Hall certainly did exist, even so lately as Dickens wrote, the
publication of "Nicholas Nickleby," by turning attention upon the abuse,
effectually swept it out of English civilization. We "smile bitterly,"
as romance people do, whenever we hear this assertion. For were we not
ourselves inmates of Dothegirls Hall not very long ago, and do we not
positively know, without perhaps or peradventure, that it lives and
thrives and tortures yet, at the very instant of this writing?

Miss Sally kept a boarding-school and Miss Betsy took lodgers in the
wide chambers of St. John's. We were among the lodgers, and our
dining-room overlooked the gorse-golden meadows and the Avon, one
side-window, however, commanding the court-yard of the house. Our way
out of doors from our rooms led past the "dormitory" of the school and
down-stairs through the "refectory." Thus we had ample opportunity for
observation and to embitter our souls with knowledge of the interior
life of English Dothegirls Halls.

The "school" occupied four rooms,--dining-room, school-room, and two
bedrooms, the boys' dormitory and the girls'. The interior of the boys'
room we never saw, but the girls' we have surreptitiously stolen into,
and a more wretched, dingy, comfortless place it would be difficult to
imagine. All the girls--and there were ten or twelve of them--slept in
this limited space; they made their toilets, with one single towel for
the whole school, at the groaning pump beneath our window, and they
looked miserable and forlorn wherever we saw them, whether waiting upon
us as servants at our table or staring up anxiously from the court below
waiting the shaking of our table-cloth and the possible crusts that
might fall therefrom.

The school-room also chanced to be just beneath, and all through
school-hours of the long summer days we heard the shrill scoldings and
vicious threats with which Miss Sally fulfilled her mission.

"What ever is a noun?" came floating into our ivied windows a dozen
times a day.

"A noun's a-a-a--a noun's a-a-a--"

"Go to the dormitory, you good-for-nothing, and find out on dry bread
that a noun's a name of anything, like helefunt, hantelope, heagle,
'and, 'eart, ighway."

Miss Sally, with furtive eyes and sly movements, always reminded us by
her speech of the _ci-devant_ butcher we once saw in London, who assured
us he was "heducated at Hoxford."

The refectory had a sunken stone floor, and bare walls enclosing space
enough to feed a hundred monks. It was principally used for drying
clothes in wet weather and for storage of trunks and rough objects. At
one end, where were fewest signs of volcanic upheaval or the passing of
centuries of busy feet, stood always the table at which the pupils took
their scanty fare. No white cloth ever covered this banqueting-board. In
the daytime it was draped in a coarse green baize spotted with ink and
grease. The pupils feasted upon this cloth, each with coarse mug and
plate; at night it was removed to serve as cover for one of the beds!
Once upon a time came an unexpected cold snap in the very heart of the
soft Warwickshire summer. The sheets and blankets upon our beds, as also
the silver and linen of our private table, were all marked with the
pupils' names,--the school prospectus announcing that both linen and
silver must come with each pupil. The supply of blankets, however,
proved insufficient for such unseasonable weather, and, like Oliver
Twist, we asked for "more."

"More" came.

And what, think you, was that "more"?

Nothing more nor less than that self-same inky and buttery baize, which
we indignantly rejected, equally for our own sake as for the sake of
those hapless girls shivering in their defrauded bed that we might be
warm.

At Dothegirls Hall pupils were "taken in and done for," fed, lodged,
taught, for twenty pounds--or _one hundred dollars_--a year. The luxury
of bare comfort could scarcely be expected for that price. Yet Miss
Sally must have made profit out of her starvelings, or Dothegirls Hall
would not have existed. We always observed that a certain punishment was
the usual one for every offence that children are likely to commit.
Almost never a day that we did not hear low moanings from one or both of
the dormitories, and thus knew that one, sometimes two or three, were
incarcerated there "on dry bread" for twenty-four hours.

Once we questioned a victim, our interrogation-points assuming the shape
of huge wedges of bread and jam.

"We are sent here on dry bread for missing our lessons, for having our
shoes untied, for saying 'Yes' instead of 'Yes, Miss Sally,' for
everything we do. I am sometimes three days of the week on dry bread."

"Why don't you write to your papa?" blurted a young American of wrathful
turkey-cock aspect.

"Oh, I never had any papa," answered the poor child simply, "and I don't
know where mamma lives."

Alas! this innocent remark expressed volumes. We knew that most of the
poor creatures "had no papa and didn't know where mamma lived," that
they were mere jetsam and flotsam thrown up on this quiet shore from the
waves of the great ocean of London and forgotten by all the world save
those whose business it was to pay and to receive the twenty pounds a
year which was their sole importance.

Of course the best of St. John's belonged to the lodgers, and the best
was delightful to tastes that prefer picturesqueness with moderate
comfort to smug and dapper luxury. Miss Betsy did our cooking, the
school-girls waited upon our table, the boys blacked our boots,
"Mam'zel," the French governess from Kilkenny, made our beds when there
was no servant, as often happened, birds nested in the ivy of our
latticed windows, bees floated up from the fragrant meadows below to hum
us to our afternoon naps, and our table-cloth we shook every day
ourselves, having a deep purpose in refusing to allow it to be shaken by
other hands.

It somehow always happened that the children's recess coincided with
that white fluttering from our diamonded window.

One day, when we first came to St. John's, we heard two quiet whispers
at the ivy's roots:

"Sometimes um shakes out bread-'n'-butter."

"'N' sometimes um shakes out _tart_!"

"O-o-o!" answered the first whisper. "_Tart?_ Truly _tart_?"

"Bet yer heye! One day I hadn't had nothink to heat all day, an' I was
a-'idin' 'ere, 'cos Miss Sally howed me a trouncin'. I were just
a-starvin'; an' I said to myself, 'Good Lord, don't I jest wish I had
a-somethin' to heat!' Jest then, bang came a great piece o' goose-berry
tart right on to my 'ead!"

"_Tart!_" murmured the first whisper, in utter amazement. "_Tart!_ Do ye
s'pose we could get some more?"

"Let's see."

Then we conspirators above heard thick-toned mumble among the leaves,--

  "Wishy, wishy, wishy wee,
  Wishy send some tart to me."

Fat little American legs flashed to the pantry.

Fat little American legs flashed back again.

Next instant came delighted cackle from among the ivy-roots:

"Blazes! Ef 'tain't _Tart an'_ CAKE!"

M. W. B.


The Art of Modern Novel-Writing.

OLD STYLE.

"Do you always choose such an early hour as this for your daily
rambles?" he asked.

"Not always," she said, "but very often."

"And is it because the freshness of the morning tempts you out, or
because you like to be alone?"

"I rather think it is because I like to be alone."

"Then for once you have failed of your object. But let me at least plead
that I have sinned in ignorance." And he held out his hand, with a
laugh.


NEW STYLE.

He watched her for a moment in silence, wondering curiously whether the
faint increase of color in her face was due to his unexpected
appearance. When he spoke at last, there was a certain constraint in
voice and manner, as though back of his apparent cordiality there lurked
sundry misgivings as to the wisdom of his present course, and a sense of
irritation at the failure of his own nature to grasp completely the
subtile organization of his companion. "Do you always choose such an
early hour as this for your daily rambles?" he asked, studying with a
half-tender scrutiny the irregular, sensitive face before him.

The girl faltered, and raised her eyes to meet his glance. They were
strange, light eyes,--not beautiful, but very rare in their peculiar
tint of green-gray glass. They looked straight before them, brilliant
and baffling. "Not always," she said, with lingering emphasis, "but very
often."

Her voice was clear and sweet, though it lacked the cultivated
modulations of other tones he knew and loved. There was something in its
cadences that recalled to him the flute-notes of the English
white-throat, a melody that attracts only to disappoint. He smiled
softly at her transparent reticence, and followed up his question. "Is
it because the freshness of the morning tempts you out?" he said.
"Or"--dropping his voice with sudden meaning--"is it because you like to
be alone?"

She hesitated, as though seeking some form of words that would
negatively express what was passing in her mind, yet not give her
thoughts too clear a reading. There was a touch both of defiance and of
expectation in the quick turn of her head and the gleam of her half-shut
eyes. "I rather think it is because I like to be alone," she said, at
length.

He bowed slightly, and his face, accustomed to alter its expression with
facile ease, assumed a look of well-bred regret, tempered with the
faintest tinge of amusement. "Then for once you have failed of your
object," he whispered apologetically. "But let me at least plead"--here
the amused expression deepened, and a gleam of malice brightened his
keen eyes--"let me at least plead that I have sinned in ignorance."

A. R.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.


     "Two Years in the Jungle. The Experiences of a Hunter and
     Naturalist in India, Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula, and Borneo." By
     William T. Hornaday. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

The author of this book, who is now chief taxidermist of the National
Museum, was sent out in 1876 to the countries enumerated on the
title-page as collector for Professor Ward's "Natural Science
Establishment" at Rochester. His skill and deftness in preparing skins
and skeletons for mounting were, as we are led to suppose, what
specially qualified him for this mission; but if he had not possessed,
in addition, many characteristics less common, perhaps, but more
generally attractive, he could hardly have executed it with the same
facility and completeness, still less have found in it matter for this
thoroughly entertaining narrative. His ardor as a sportsman and a
naturalist seems to have sprung from a stronger, independent love of
"wild life," an instinctive preference for the haunts and habits of
uncivilized races, apart from the pursuits for which they give scope.
This may be thought to argue ignoble tastes; but the reverse conclusion
would be more correct. Mr. Hornaday is a believer in the "gentle
savage." The Dyak seems to him "the model man," not on account of his
defects, which are few, but of his virtues, which are many. He is manly,
truthful, honest, chaste, and even when drunk--which happens only on
rare festive occasions and is a result of his intercourse with "the
rascally Chinaman"--is perfectly decorous, and, as our author was
assured, would never "dream of violating the laws of decency and good
temper." For the Hindu, on the other hand, as an entirely conventional
and artificial creature, obsequious, hypocritical, inhospitable,
disdainful of the race on whom he fawns and before whom he trembles as
"unclean," Mr. Hornaday has no other feeling than aversion and contempt.
He gives an amusing account of his indignation on finding that a vessel
from which he had drunk was regarded by a "ghee-seller" as "defiled." "I
was strongly tempted," he writes, "to knock his ghee-pots about his
ears, take thirty rupees' worth of satisfaction out of his royal
highness, and then go up to court and pay my fine." It will be seen that
Mr. Hornaday is a true-born American, and not disposed to stand any
nonsense that conflicts with the great law of human equality. But though
this trait makes him appear somewhat uncharitable toward prejudices that
have survived the Declaration of Independence, it shows itself in its
most amiable light in his own free and sociable disposition, his
readiness to be on terms of good-fellowship with men of all sorts and
conditions, and his heartiness in responding to any show of friendship
in act or demeanor. Hence, on one occasion, even a Hindu, a
fellow-traveller in a railway-carriage, roused his kindliest sentiments
by offering him a handful of cooked "dal" after plastering it over a
little pile of "chapatties." "I was completely taken aback for an
instant, for the old gentleman's hands were as grimy as my own; but I
accepted the food with my politest bow and ate it down with every
appearance of gratitude. I would have eaten it had it been ten times as
dirty as it undoubtedly was. It was an act as friendly as any man could
perform, and I was pleased to find such a feeling of pure charity and
benevolence in a native." Nor does his nationality prevent him from
doing justice to the English character as it came under his observation
in the East. He recognizes the benevolence of the English rule in India,
and considers Sarawak under Rajah Brooke "the model of a good
government." With individual Englishmen--who, he considers, are seen to
the best advantage out of their own country--he found no difficulty in
forming the most cordial relations. We have no doubt that his own
qualities, his good humor, frankness, intelligence, and vivacity,
coupled with his enthusiasm for pursuits in which almost all Englishmen
take a strong interest, rendered him a very attractive and agreeable
companion, and caused the "Britishers" with whom he came in contact to
set him down at once for what he evidently is, an uncommonly good
specimen of the Yankee.

Mr. Hornaday has the good sense to spare us the tedium of reading any
fresh descriptions of regions and places sufficiently well known or only
casually visited in the course of his travels. The few and slight
exceptions prove, indeed, that he would hardly be a safe guide when off
his own ground. His criticism of the Taj Mahal, than which "no other
structure in the world has been so greatly overpraised," may be accepted
as an instance of an independent impression and an offset to the
extravagance of some of its admirers, but will scarcely testify to his
competency to pass judgment on works of art in the tone of a recognized
authority. Nor does his notion that Cairo was the capital of ancient
Egypt, that "we may take pleasure in thinking that the city is to-day
very like what it was when the Pyramids were new," (!) and "believe that
these are the same cramped and crooked streets, the same latticed
windows and overhanging upper stories, the same bazaars and workshops
and wells, that were here when the brethren of Joseph came down, as
envoys extraordinary, to practise the arts of diplomacy in the court of
Pharaoh," suggest any profound acquaintance with the history of the
country and the mutations it has undergone. But it would be very unfair
to dwell on such points as these. In general, as has been intimated, Mr.
Hornaday sticks to his last with a rare and commendable closeness. The
sights which he finds most attractive in famous seaports are the
fish-markets and the natural-history museums. The themes on which he
loves to dilate are the habits of the crocodile, the elephant, and the
orang-utan, the modes of hunting and killing them, and, above all, the
process of skinning and dissecting them. But he does not delight in
slaughter for the sake of sport, nor regard the forest or the river as
simply the habitat of uncouth monsters, nor make the account of his
journeys the record of a mere business enterprise. He has a keen love of
adventure, a strong sense of the humorous aspect of his experiences, and
an inexhaustible flow of spirits. He writes in an animated but
unpretentious style, and without any attempt at elaborate description
contrives to leave clear impressions of his achievements and
surroundings. His ardor and good spirits are infectious, and the reader
is as little wearied as he himself appears to have been by his long and
devious tramps over the hills, through the swamps, and amid the tangled
undergrowth of the jungle.


Books on Artists.

     "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré". Compiled from Material
     supplied by Doré's Relations and Friends and from Personal
     Recollection. With many Original Unpublished Sketches and
     Selections from Doré's best Published Illustrations. By Blanche
     Roosevelt. New York: Cassell & Co.

     "Eugène Delacroix, par lui-même." Paris: J. Ronam.

     "J. F. Millet." Par Charles Yriarte. "Hans Holbein." Par Jean
     Rousseau. (Bibliothèque d'Art Moderne.) Paris: Jules Ronam.

Mrs. Roosevelt's volume is an engaging jumble of fact and fancy, a
medley of impressions, hasty generalizations, souvenirs, reminiscences,
all jotted down apparently in such breathless haste that we can only
wonder that the result is a coherent and tolerably serious study of
Gustave Doré, his life and his works. The author's methods are, indeed,
those of the great designer himself, who obtained brilliant results
regardless of careful processes. A genuine biography of Doré is yet to
be written; but here we have a rather fascinating book of five hundred
pages, full of personal and intimate narrations by the artist's family
and friends, profuse, _naïf_, tender, overflowing with French sentiment
and an intense sympathy and _camaraderie_. Interspersed with this
biographical matter are innumerable pen-and-ink sketches, caricatures,
designs, and finished pictures, illustrating the natural evolution of
Doré's marvellous talent, the first instances of which show what he
could do at the age of five. In fact, long before he could read the
child showed clear signs of possessing a distinctively artistic
organization. His practice with pen and pencil was pursued, however,
without any sympathy or encouragement from his family, and his father,
at least, was strongly averse to his taking up the career of an artist.
In 1847, when Gustave was in his fifteenth year, his parents, who
resided at Strasbourg, took him for a fortnight to Paris. The delights
of the capital made a strong impression on the mind of the stripling,
and he ardently wished to remain there. The thought occurred to him of
offering some of his work to publishers, and, dashing off a few
caricatures, he took advantage of the momentary absence of his parents
to show them to Philipon, who had just founded his "Journal pour Rire."
The result was that the publisher instantly engaged Gustave as one of
the regular artists for his paper, and the boy remained in Paris,
supporting himself and paying for his tuition at the Lycée Charlemagne,
where he had Taine and About for fellow-collegians. This early success,
combined with the most untiring industry and steady, almost passionate,
devotion to his work, is one of the most remarkable biographical facts
on record. A year later the elder Doré died, and his widow came to Paris
to reside with her two sons, the chief expenses of the _ménage_ being
supported by Gustave, then little more than sixteen years of age.
Between the years 1850 and 1870 he is said to have made by his pencil
seven millions of francs,--almost a million and a half of dollars.
Besides this enormous activity, a supreme and jealous ambition induced
him to undertake not only every piece of work offered, from
Bible-illustrations to a comic almanac, but whatever his brain or his
fancy could conceive as possible for artist to achieve. Inspiration
seized him at each new idea, bold and striking images, fantastic
fancies, all the splendors of a magnificent or grotesque ideal. His work
was a delirium; in a single morning he has been known to throw off
twenty blocks which brought him ten thousand francs. He was, however,
perpetually discontented, disgusted with his vocation, and envious of
successful painters. He had almost a convulsion one day on hearing that
Meissonier had received two hundred thousand francs for a single
painting. "What!" he exclaimed; "a thing like that? Now, look at me. I
can paint; I know I could paint better than Meissonier, at any rate.
Have I ever been paid two hundred thousand francs for anything? No; and
I never shall be. The fact is that no one understands me. I shall live
and die misunderstood, or never comprehended at all,--which is worse."
Fired by emulation, he shut himself up to create masterpieces which
should surpass Meissonier and paralyze the world; and in a short time he
showed his friend Lacroix twelve colossal canvases on which he had
painted revolting realistic pictures which he called the "Abominations
of Paris." "What do you think of Meissonier now?" he asked.

He longed ardently to be a painter, and was never at peace with critical
Paris while it refused him the name of painter and called him only a
designer. London was dearer to his heart from the fact that there were
enshrined in the Doré Gallery and made one of the sights of the town his
stupendous canvases imaging forth his conceptions of Scripture subjects.
What he might have done as a painter had he studied at any early age
under good masters must be left to conjecture, although his paintings
carry with them a clear confession that naturally he did not possess a
good eye for color. He was always impatient of criticism which made him
feel that there was any lack of _technique_ in his works. "He has it all
in him, but lacks 'school,'" was the verdict of the critics.
Undoubtedly, wishing to do all that man has done, Doré would have liked
to focus his powers on marvels of refinement and exactness, like
Meissonier's; but he was proud of his distinctive characteristics, and
wanted the least block he touched to show something Doréish.

"Now you will give us some Velasquezes," a lady said to him during his
journey in Spain.

"No, madame," he replied; "I shall give you some more 'Dorés.'"

What he enjoyed was an audacious and gigantic experiment, a subject
which allowed him free and bold handling and a mystic, half-grotesque
attitude toward what he found in it of poetry or strength. The feverish
and hurried character of his work is sadly evident in many of his most
ambitious designs. His illustrations of Milton, Dante, and the Wandering
Jew may be said to show his powers at their best,--and perhaps we ought
to include his Bible-pictures. Too often he uses without apparent motive
feeble allegory and fantasy; and many of his later works must be
considered by his most charitable critics not only obscure, but almost
insane.

To turn from Doré to Delacroix is to take up the very different career
of one of those "immortals" among whose works the great designer was
eager to see his own unlucky paintings enrolled. Opposite as these two
artists were, they had nevertheless certain things in common: their work
was their life,--all personal gratification was subordinated to
art,--each denied himself marriage, and yet enjoyed the untiring
devotion of some sort of womankind. Doré had both his mother and his
nurse to humor and spoil him. Delacroix endured the affectionate tyranny
of his housekeeper, who watched over him as a lioness over her young.
Delacroix, who was frail, sensitive, feverishly carried away by his
work, needed just the careful intervention which this woman imposed to
save him from the depressing influences of every-day life. She kept all
uncongenial visitors from him. He was fastidious to a degree,--could not
use a spoiled palette, and Jenny learned to prepare his palette, colors,
and brushes with the nicest care. Delacroix began with a masterpiece. He
was only twenty-three when he produced his "Dante and Virgil," which put
him at the head of the so-called "romantic school." His clear intellect,
his strength as a draughtsman, his abundance of invention, his wonderful
color, made themselves felt at once. He had a long career in which to
develop, and he was tireless in reinforcing his own great powers by
profound and careful study of great authors, besides working
perpetually to discover the secrets of the splendid paintings of
Raphael, Velasquez, Veronese, and, above all, Rubens. It was his habit
to spend whole days at the Jardin des Plantes, watching the animals,
observing their postures and movements, aiming to pluck the heart out of
the mystery of each organization. In 1828 he went to England, and,
although he disliked the country, its architecture, the ill-made shoes
and soiled stockings of the women, he carried back with him powerful
impressions from Constable and from Kean's impersonations of Shakespeare
which animated all his later work. His picture of "Hamlet," although it
was not completed until 1843, owes its conception to this period. His
lithographs of "Faust" elicited from Goethe the remark, "He has
surpassed the pictures I had made for myself of the scenes written by
myself."

The carefully-prepared monographs on Millet and Holbein, accompanied by
excellent designs after their works, are full of suggestive criticism,
and show how well the modern practice of popularizing art is carried on
in Paris. Millet was born some sixteen years after Delacroix, and came
to Paris in 1837, when that great master had produced some of his best
pictures, which of all contemporary art were what aroused Millet's
admiration and homage. "_Grands par les gestes_," he called them,
"_grands par l'invention et la richesse du coloris_." Millet himself,
however, was to found a separate school from that of the brilliant
Delacroix. The fac-similes in this brochure from his original designs in
crayon or pastel give much of the sentiment and meaning of his work. As
the author says, they might well be the illustrations of a mighty poem
called "The Earth." Night and morning, sunrise, noon, and sunset, the
succession of seasons, the patient industries of the workers who toil
like nature's own forces, simply, sternly, and with silent strength, all
tell their story here. Millet had passed his youth in the fields, and,
the son of a peasant, he must himself have been the central figure in
many such scenes as those with which he has charmed the world. His
picture of "The Haricot-Gatherer" represents the paternal cottage, and
the figure of the woman in the garden is that of his mother herself.
When he enshrined personal memories like these, no wonder we find in
Millet's work the interpretation of so much that is deepest and most
intimate in the history of man.

The gallery of the portraits of Hans Holbein the younger is well chosen,
and gives some excellent instances of the artist's unsurpassed manner.
There is inevitably something in any picture of Holbein's which holds
the attention by its absolute reality: it is not only natural, but true,
the reflection of an actual personality. An interest attaches to the
portrait of Anne of Cleves, although one hardly finds in it the beauty
which misled Henry VIII. and altered the history of England a little.


Five Novels.

     "A Wheel of Fire." By Arlo Bates. New York: Charles Scribner's
     Sons.

     "As it was Written: A Jewish Musician's Story." By Sidney Luska.
     New York: Cassell & Co.

     "Love--or a Name." By Julian Hawthorne. Boston: Ticknor & Co.

     "A Social Experiment." By E. A. P. Searing. New York and London:
     G. P. Putnam's Sons.

     "For Lilias." By Rosa Nouchette Carey. Philadelphia: J. B.
     Lippincott Company.

Mr. Arlo Bates's novel "A Wheel of Fire" shows such skilful
construction, is so nicely balanced in its parts, while its literary
execution is so far above the common, that we can only wish the author
had expended such faithful and conscientious work upon a plot less
hopelessly dreary than one must be which hinges upon the problem of
hereditary insanity. Every other human infirmity may be rounded off,
merged into a lofty ideal of acceptance, renunciation, and expiation.
But under no imaginable conditions can madness be regarded as something
from which the heart and soul of man does not shudderingly recoil.
Accordingly, a heroine who is haunted, beset, and finally driven crazy
by the dread of the fatal inheritance being in her blood seems set apart
from the fluctuations and hesitations of maidenly passion. There is
something unhealthy, eerie, in the story Mr. Bates has made and in the
situation he has chosen.

Damaris Wainwright's mother has died insane, her brother is a hopeless
lunatic,--in fact, he commits suicide in the early part of the
story,--and she has accepted the conditions fate seems to have imposed,
and has renounced all idea of marriage, when the nephew of her family
lawyer falls in love with her and shows an indomitable resolution to win
her for his wife. The old story of "_femme qui écoute_" follows.
Damaris is swayed partly by his influence, partly by her own impulses,
and in great measure by the freely-expressed opinion of the specialist
who has had charge of her insane brother, that she is in no danger of
inheriting her mother's malady. Unluckily for her, she half consents to
engage herself to the lawyer. Had she wholly consented or wholly
refused, her doom might perhaps have been averted. We frankly consider
her lover quite unequal to the situation. He imposed upon her long and
lonely musings, sleepless nights and melancholy days, when he should
have given her the support of the strong will and powerful intellect
which the author lays claim to for his hero. Agonizing over painful
doubts is not good for people whose intellects hover on the border-lands
of nervous fantasy. Lincoln, if resolved to marry the unfortunate girl,
should have shown more Lochinvar-like haste. Instead, during the long
interval of waiting, Damaris is allowed to run the whole gamut of
painful experiences, and, naturally, at the climax of the story, her
"fate cries out." Of course this is the author's intention; but we
cannot help feeling that Miss Wainwright had hardly a fair chance. As an
offset to the gloom and melancholy of their tragedy, there is a lively
love-affair between two young people who snatch a fearful joy in the
midst of as dreary an environment as can easily be imagined. Both Miss
Dimmont and Dr. Chauncey Wilson are life-like, although not engaging,
characters, and the doctor, in particular, although we do not think
highly of his science, is a vigorous and consistent creation.

Although the plot of "As it was Written" turns on the murder of the
heroine, the book is yet a considerably livelier one than Mr. Bates's,
and imposes no such burden of hopeless misery on the reader. A startling
and mysterious crime is dear to the human imagination, and here we are
confronted with one hideous in its cruelty and inexplicable in its
circumstances. The story is told by the passionate lover of the murdered
Veronika, and there is much youthful eloquence and pathos in the
description of his meeting with the lovely young Jewess, their sympathy
in art,--for both are musicians,--their ardent hopes and beliefs for
each other. They are to be married in a fortnight, when the frightful
act is interposed which transforms the whole aspect of the world for
the young man. The reader must discover for himself the key to the
tragedy. The book is one of those which the phenomenal success of
"Called Back" summoned into existence. That clearly proved that the
public loved a mystery and a sensational _dénouement_, and ever since
the annals of crime have been rummaged for horrors. But "As it was
Written" has an advantage over other works of its class in a certain
charm and freshness, not only from its Jewish setting, but from the
fervid youthful feeling which gives a pleasing and natural touch to the
narrative.

Warren Bell, the hero of Mr. Julian Hawthorne's "Love--or a Name," finds
himself, at first presentation, on his way to offer marriage to Miss
Nell Anthony, who has just been left motherless, and to whom he feels
that he owes this manly tribute. He acquits his conscience of this duty,
but performs it nevertheless in such a jerky, unlover-like fashion that
few young women, certainly not one of Miss Anthony's force of character,
could have been imposed upon. "I thought you l-loved me," said he. Which
surely is not the way to win a fair lady. Much to his comfort, as well
as to his ingenuous surprise, he is refused, and goes back to New York,
having renounced "Love" and decided to care only for a "Name." Mr.
Hawthorne seems to have made an effort to work into the story of his
hero a faithful account of New York "ring"-management and official
corruption. Warren Bell finds a patron in Mr. Drayton, who has all sorts
of ambitious schemes to further, and offers his committees and his
confederates a "big game" in the way of "water-works" stocks, and the
like. These pictures of corrupt judges and dishonest corporations have
some probability: they show us many clearly-developed sensual and
mercenary scoundrels; they are all, very possibly, portraits from life;
but they are all excessively crude in their likenesses and inexpressibly
wearisome. It is a distasteful and unsavory world to which the author
introduces us: if he wishes to show us consummate rascals we insist that
he should wrap them in some veil of decency, if not of art, and not fill
his pages with incidents and talk which properly belong to the
police-court. Mr. Hawthorne finally rescues his hero from the ignoble
set from whom he has luckily escaped winning a very bad name, and makes
him seek his happiness instead in love, which Miss Anthony obligingly
consents to give him. The other characters mostly expiate their crimes
and misdemeanors in a succession of tragic and unpleasant incidents, and
one closes the book with annoyance that so raw, tentative, and
unpleasant a story should have been forced upon one's attention by its
bearing the signature of a writer who can do so much better.

"A Social Experiment" treats of the experiences of a pretty mill-girl,
the daughter of a washerwoman, who becomes the _protégée_ of a wealthy
and capricious woman of the world, who educates her, introduces her to
society, then finally drops her and permits her to seek her native
obscurity, where she withers and dies of a broken heart. The story is
very well told, but with a good deal of needless discussion as to the
right or wrong of the experiment. The heroine has complicated matters by
a secret marriage to a man in her own rank of life, which later becomes
distasteful to her, and the duties of which she refuses to fulfil. Like
the three preceding novels in our list, "A Social Experiment" is rather
doleful, and seems to have been written for any other purpose rather
than to cheer and stimulate the average reader who longs for pictures of
life which rouse pleasant fancies and kindle tender sentiments. None of
these books are in the least degree commonplace, but, by excluding what
is chiefly dear and precious to the heart and mind of common humanity,
they exclude many of the qualities which achieve success for a novel.

In "For Lilias," on the other hand, the author avails herself of all the
agreeable traditions of English fiction: there are warm and well-lighted
rooms, well-to-do people, regular meals, afternoon tea, plenty of
bread-and-butter, and a gentle ripple of friendly, soft-voiced
conversation. This may not be original or exciting, but, after a good
deal of crude sensation through some thousand and odd pages, "ways of
pleasantness and paths of peace" are refreshing to the critic, who
believes that although the novelist should not sacrifice his meaning to
the requisitions of mere agreeableness, out of regard for art and the
taste of his readers, he should still have beauty in some degree or
other as his chief end in view.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] So I had written, led to agree with the anthropologists who
hold this view, by my own observations among the Indians of every State
and Territory in our West: the more I have seen and read of the
widely-spread native races belonging to various linguistic stocks, the
more their similitude has been pressed upon my attention. Nevertheless,
there is another opinion, as appears in a recent letter from Professor
Putnam, to whom I had quoted the sentence above. "All had certain
features in common," he says; "they were red-skinned Americans in the
general sense of the term, although some were more olive than red, and
others were darker-skinned than red. Mr. Carr, no doubt, would accept
your statement that they were all 'tarred with one stick,' but he judges
from _history_. For my part, I feel confident that there were several
stocks of the great Mongolian race in America; and there is also some
evidence (facts are accumulating) of a migration across the Atlantic. I
should have to write a dozen pages to give you all my reasons for
wishing you to modify your paragraph."





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