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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, February 1896
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 "McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, February 1896" ***

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  Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added
        by the transcriber.


  FEBRUARY, 1896.

  VOL. VI. NO. 3.


  ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By Ida M. Tarbell.
    Lincoln's Life at New Salem from 1832 to 1836.
    Looking for Work.
    Decides to Buy a Store.
    He Begins to Study Law.
    Berry and Lincoln Get a Tavern License.
    The Firm Hires a Clerk.
    Lincoln Appointed Postmaster.
    A New Opening.
    Surveying with a Grapevine.
    Business Reverses.
    The Kindness Shown Lincoln in New Salem.
    Lincoln's Acquaintance in Sangamon County Is Extended.
    He Finally Decides on a Legal Career.
    Lincoln Enters the Illinois Assembly.
    The Story of Ann Rutledge.
    Abraham Lincoln at Twenty-six Years of Age.
    Garfield's Administration.
    The Garfields in the White House.
    Last Interview with President Garfield.
    Chapter II.
  CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE. By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.
  THE TOUCHSTONE. By Robert Louis Stevenson.
    Mrs. Humphry Ward--Dr. Jowett.
    Three Hundred Thousand.
    Our Own Printing Establishment.
    Anthony Hope's New Novel.
    The Life of Lincoln.
    The Early Life of Lincoln.
    Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.
    "The Sabine Women"--A Correction.


  LINCOLN IN 1859.
  LINCOLN IN 1861.


VOL. VI. FEBRUARY, 1896, NO. 3.





_Embodying special studies in Lincoln's life at New Salem by J. McCan


It was in August, 1832, that Lincoln made his unsuccessful canvass for
the Illinois Assembly. The election over, he began to look for work.
One of his friends, an admirer of his physical strength, advised him
to become a blacksmith, but it was a trade which would afford little
leisure for study, and for meeting and talking with men; and he had
already resolved, it is evident, that books and men were essential to
him. The only employment to be had in New Salem which seemed to offer
both support and the opportunities he sought, was clerking in a store;
and he applied for a place successively at all of the stores then
doing business in New Salem. But they were in greater need of
customers than of clerks. The business had been greatly overdone. In
the fall of 1832 there were at least four stores in New Salem. The
most pretentious was that of Hill and McNeill, which carried a large
line of dry goods. The three others, owned by the Herndon Brothers,
Reuben Radford, and James Rutledge, were groceries.


Failing to secure employment at any of these establishments, Lincoln,
though without money enough to pay a week's board in advance, resolved
to _buy_ a store. He was not long in finding an opportunity to
purchase. James Herndon had already sold out his half interest in
Herndon Brothers' store to William F. Berry; and Rowan Herndon, not
getting along well with Berry, was only too glad to find a purchaser
of his half in the person of "Abe" Lincoln. Berry was as poor as
Lincoln; but that was not a serious obstacle, for their notes were
accepted for the Herndon stock of goods. They had barely hung out
their sign when something happened which threw another store into
their hands. Reuben Radford had made himself obnoxious to the Clary's
Grove Boys, and one night they broke in his doors and windows,
and overturned his counters and sugar barrels. It was too much
for Radford, and he sold out next day to William G. Green for a
four-hundred-dollar note signed by Green. At the latter's request,
Lincoln made an inventory of the stock, and offered him six hundred
and fifty dollars for it--a proposition which was cheerfully
accepted. Berry and Lincoln, being unable to pay cash, assumed the
four-hundred-dollar note payable to Radford, and gave Green their
joint note for two hundred and fifty dollars. The little grocery owned
by James Rutledge was the next to succumb. Berry and Lincoln bought
it at a bargain, their joint note taking the place of cash. The three
stocks were consolidated. Their aggregate cost must have been not less
than fifteen hundred dollars. Berry and Lincoln had secured a monopoly
of the grocery business in New Salem. Within a few weeks two penniless
men had become the proprietors of three stores, and had stopped
buying only because there were no more to purchase.


From a daguerreotype in the possession of the Hon. Robert T. Lincoln,
taken before Lincoln was forty, and first published in the McCLURE'S
Life of Lincoln. Of the sixty or more portraits of Lincoln which will
be published in this series of articles, thirty, at least, will
be absolutely new to our readers; and of these thirty none is more
important than this early portrait. It is generally believed that
Lincoln was not over thirty-five years old when this daguerreotype was
taken, and it is certainly true that it is the face of Lincoln as a
young man. "About thirty would be the general verdict," says Mr. Murat
Halstead in an editorial in the Brooklyn "Standard-Union," "if it were
not that the daguerreotype was unknown when Lincoln was of that
age. It does not seem, however, that he could have been more than
thirty-five, and for that age the youthfulness of the portrait is
wonderful. This is a new Lincoln, and far more attractive, in a sense,
than anything the public has possessed. This is the portrait of a
remarkably handsome man.... The head is magnificent, the eyes deep
and generous, the mouth sensitive, the whole expression something
delicate, tender, pathetic, poetic. This was the young man with whom
the phantoms of romance dallied, the young man who recited poems and
was fanciful and speculative, and in love and despair, but upon
whose brow there already gleamed the illumination of intellect, the
inspiration of patriotism. There were vast possibilities in this young
man's face. He could have gone anywhere and done anything. He might
have been a military chieftain, a novelist, a poet, a philosopher, ah!
a hero, a martyr--and, yes, this young man might have been--he even
was Abraham Lincoln! This was he with the world before him. It is good
fortune to have the magical revelation of the youth of the man the
world venerates. This look into his eyes, into his soul--not before he
knew sorrow, but long before the world knew him--and to feel that it
is worthy to be what it is, and that we are better acquainted with him
and love him the more, is something beyond price."]

[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1859.

From a photograph in the collection of H.W. Fay, De Kalb, Illinois.
The original was made by S.M. Fassett, of Chicago; the negative
was destroyed in the Chicago fire. This picture was made at the
solicitation of D.B. Cook, who says that Mrs. Lincoln pronounced it
the best likeness she had ever seen of her husband. Rajon used the
Fassett picture as the original of his etching, and Kruell has made a
fine engraving of it.]

[Illustration: LINCOLN IN THE SUMMER OF 1860.

From a copy (made by E.A. Bromley of the Minneapolis "Journal" staff)
of a photograph owned by Mrs. Cyrus Aldrich, whose husband, now dead,
was a congressman from Minnesota. In the summer of 1860 Mr. M.C.
Tuttle, a photographer of St. Paul, wrote to Mr. Lincoln requesting
that he have a negative taken and sent to him for local use in the
campaign. The request was granted, but the negative was broken in
transit. On learning of the accident, Mr. Lincoln sat again, and with
the second negative he sent a jocular note wherein he referred to the
fact, disclosed by the picture, that in the interval he had "got a
new coat." A few copies of the picture were made by Mr. Tuttle, and
distributed among the Republican editors of the State. It has never
before been reproduced. Mrs. Aldrich's copy was presented to her by
William H. Seward, when he was entertained at the Aldrich homestead
(now the Minneapolis City Hospital) in September, 1860. A fine copy
of this same photograph is in the possession of Mr. Ward Monroe, of
Jersey City, N.J.]

William F. Berry, the partner of Lincoln, was the son of a
Presbyterian minister, the Rev. John Berry, who lived on Rock Creek,
five miles from New Salem. The son had strayed from the footsteps of
the father, for he was a hard drinker, a gambler, a fighter, and "a
very wicked young man." Lincoln cannot in truth be said to have chosen
such a partner, but rather to have accepted him from the force of
circumstances. It required only a little time to make it plain that
the partnership was wholly uncongenial. Lincoln displayed little
business capacity. He trusted largely to Berry; and Berry rapidly
squandered the profits of the business in riotous living. Lincoln
loved books as Berry loved liquor, and hour after hour he was
stretched out on the counter of the store or under a shade tree,
reading Shakespeare or Burns.


From a photograph in the collection of H.W. Fay of De Kalb, Illinois,
taken probably in Springfield early in 1861. It is supposed to have
been the first, or at least one of the first, portraits made of Mr.
Lincoln after he began to wear a beard. As is well known, his face
was smooth until about the end of 1860; and when he first allowed his
beard to grow, it became a topic of newspaper comment, and even of
caricature. A pretty story relating to Lincoln's adoption of a beard
is more or less familiar. A letter written to the editor of the
present Life, under date of December 6, 1895, by Mrs. Grace Bedell
Billings, tells this story, of which she herself as a little girl was
the heroine, in a most charming way. The letter will be found printed
in full at the end of this article, on page 240.]

His thorough acquaintance with the works of these two writers
dates from this period. In New Salem there was one of those curious
individuals sometimes found in frontier settlements, half poet, half
loafer, incapable of earning a living in any steady employment, yet
familiar with good literature and capable of enjoying it--Jack Kelso.
He repeated passages from Shakespeare and Burns incessantly over the
odd jobs he undertook or as he idled by the streams--for he was
a famous fisherman--and Lincoln soon became one of his constant
companions. The taste he formed in company with Kelso he retained
through life. William D. Kelley tells an incident which shows that
Lincoln had a really intimate knowledge of Shakespeare. Mr. Kelley
had taken McDonough, an actor, to call at the White House; and Lincoln
began the conversation by saying:

[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1861.

From a photograph loaned by Mr. Frank A. Brown of Minneapolis,
Minnesota. This beautiful photograph was taken, probably early in
1861, by Alexander Hesler of Chicago. It was used by Leonard W. Volk,
the sculptor, in his studies of Lincoln, and closely resembles the
fine etching by T. Johnson.]

"'I am very glad to meet you, Mr. McDonough, and am grateful to Kelley
for bringing you in so early, for I want you to tell me something
about Shakespeare's plays as they are constructed for the stage. You
can imagine that I do not get much time to study such matters, but I
recently had a couple of talks with Hackett--Baron Hackett, as they
call him--who is famous as Jack Falstaff, but from whom I elicited few
satisfactory replies, though I probed him with a good many questions.'

"Mr. McDonough," continues Mr. Kelley, "avowed his willingness to give
the President any information in his possession, but protested that
he feared he would not succeed where his friend Hackett had failed.
'Well, I don't know,' said the President, 'for Hackett's lack of
information impressed me with a doubt as to whether he had ever
studied Shakespeare's text, or had not been content with the acting
edition of his plays.' He arose, went to a shelf not far from his
table, and having taken down a well-thumbed volume of the 'Plays
of Shakespeare,' resumed his seat, arranged his glasses, and having
turned to 'Henry VI.' and read with fine discrimination an extended
passage, said: 'Mr. McDonough, can you tell me why those lines
are omitted from the acting play? There is nothing I have read in
Shakespeare, certainly nothing in 'Henry VI.' or the 'Merry Wives of
Windsor,' that surpasses its wit and humor.' The actor suggested the
breadth of its humor as the only reason he could assign for omission,
but thoughtfully added that it was possible that if the lines were
spoken they would require the rendition of another or other passages
which might be objectionable.


Vandalia was the State capital of Illinois for twenty years, and three
different State-houses were built and occupied there. The first,
a two-story frame structure, was burned down December 9, 1823. The
second was a brick building, and was erected at a cost of $12,381.50,
of which the citizens of Vandalia contributed $3,000. The agitation
for the removal of the capital to Springfield began in 1833, and in
the summer of 1836 the people of Vandalia, becoming alarmed at the
prospect of their little city's losing its prestige as the seat of the
State government, tore down the old capitol (much complaint being made
about its condition), and put up a new one at a cost of $16,000.
The tide was too great to be checked; but after the "Long Nine" had
secured the passage of the bill taking the capital to Springfield,
the money which the Vandalia people had expended was refunded. The
State-house shown in this picture was the third and last one. In it
Lincoln served as a legislator. Ceasing to be the capitol July 4,
1839, it was converted into a court-house for Fayette County, and is
still so used.--_J. McCan Davis._]


After Lincoln gave up surveying, he sold his instruments to John B.
Gum, afterward county surveyor of Menard County. Mr. Gum kept them
until a few years ago, when he presented the instruments to the
Lincoln Monument Association, and they are now on exhibition at the
monument in Springfield, Ill.]


The only tavern in New Salem in 1833 was that kept by James
Rutledge--a two-story log-structure of five rooms, standing just
across the street from Berry and Lincoln's store. Here Lincoln
boarded. It seems entirely probable that he may have had an ambition
to get into the tavern business, and that he and Berry obtained a
license with that end in view, possibly hoping to make satisfactory
terms for the purchase of the Rutledge hostelry. The tavern of sixty
years ago, besides answering the purposes of the modern hotel, was the
dramshop of the frontier. The business was one which, in Illinois, the
law strictly regulated. Tavern-keepers were required to pay a license
fee, and to give bonds to insure their good behavior. Minors were not
to be harbored, nor did the law permit liquor to be sold to them; and
the sale to slaves of any liquors "or strong drink, mixed or unmixed,
either within or without doors," was likewise forbidden. Nor could the
poor Indian get any "fire-water" at the tavern or the grocery. If
a tavern-keeper violated the law, two-thirds of the fine assessed
against him went to the poor people of the county. The Rutledge tavern
was the only one at New Salem of which we have any authentic account.
It was kept by others besides Mr. Rutledge; for a time by Henry
Onstott the cooper, and then by Nelson Alley, and possibly there were
other landlords; but nothing can be more certain than that Lincoln
was not one of them. The few surviving inhabitants of the vanished
village, and of the country round about, have a clear recollection of
Berry and Lincoln's store--of how it looked, and of what things were
sold in it; but not one has been found with the faintest remembrance
of a tavern kept by Lincoln, or by Berry, or by both. Stage passengers
jolting into New Salem sixty-two years ago must, if Lincoln was an
inn-keeper, have partaken of his hospitality by the score; but if they
did, they all died many, many years ago, or have all maintained an
unaccountable and most perplexing silence.--_J. McCan Davis._]

"'Your last suggestion,' said Mr. Lincoln, 'carries with it greater
weight than anything Mr. Hackett suggested, but the first is no reason
at all;' and after reading another passage, he said, 'This is not
withheld, and where it passes current there can be no reason for
withholding the other.'... And, as if feeling the impropriety of
preferring the player to the parson, [there was a clergyman in the
room] he turned to the chaplain and said: 'From your calling it is
probable that you do not know that the acting plays which people crowd
to hear are not always those planned by their reputed authors. Thus,
take the stage edition of "Richard III." It opens with a passage from
"Henry VI.," after which come portions of "Richard III.," then another
scene from "Henry VI.," and the finest soliloquy in the play, if we
may judge from the many quotations it furnishes, and the frequency
with which it is heard in amateur exhibitions, was never seen by
Shakespeare, but was written--was it not, Mr. McDonough?--after his
death, by Colley Cibber."

"Having disposed, for the present, of questions relating to the stage
editions of the plays, he recurred to his standard copy, and, to
the evident surprise of Mr. McDonough, read or repeated from memory
extracts from several of the plays, some of which embraced a number of

"It must not be supposed that Mr. Lincoln's poetical studies had
been confined to his plays. He interspersed his remarks with extracts
striking from their similarity to, or contrast with, something of
Shakespeare's, from Byron, Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and other English

[Illustration: BERRY AND LINCOLN'S STORE IN 1895.

From a recent photograph by C.S. McCullough, Petersburg, Illinois. The
little frame store-building occupied by Berry and Lincoln at New Salem
is now standing at Petersburg, Illinois, in the rear of L.W. Bishop's
gun-shop. Its history after 1834 is somewhat obscure, but there is no
reason for doubting its identity. According to tradition it was bought
by Robert Bishop, the father of the present owner, about 1835, from
Mr. Lincoln himself; but it is difficult to reconcile this legend with
the sale of the store to the Trent brothers, unless, upon the flight
of the latter from the country and the closing of the store, the
building, through the leniency of creditors, was allowed to revert
to Mr. Lincoln, in which event he no doubt sold it at the first
opportunity and applied the proceeds to the payment of the debts of
the firm. When Mr. Bishop bought the store building, he removed it to
Petersburg. It is said that the removal was made in part by Lincoln
himself; that the job was first undertaken by one of the Bales, but
that, encountering some difficulty, he called upon Lincoln to assist
him, which Lincoln did. The structure was first set up adjacent to Mr.
Bishop's house, and converted into a gun-shop. Later it was removed to
a place on the public square; and soon after the breaking out of the
late war, Mr. Bishop, erecting a new building, pushed Lincoln's
store into the back-yard, and there it still stands. Soon after the
assassination of Mr. Lincoln, the front door was presented to some
one in Springfield, and has long since been lost sight of. It is
remembered by Mr. Bishop that in this door there was an opening for
the reception of letters--a circumstance of importance as tending to
establish the genuineness of the building, when it is remembered that
Lincoln was postmaster while he kept the store. The structure, as it
stands to-day, is about eighteen feet long, twelve feet in width, and
ten feet in height. The back room, however, has disappeared, so
that the building as it stood when occupied by Berry and Lincoln
was somewhat longer. Of the original building there only remain the
frame-work, the black-walnut weather-boarding on the front end and
the ceiling of sycamore boards. One entire side has been torn away by
relic-hunters. In recent years the building has been used as a sort
of store-room. Just after a big fire in Petersburg some time ago,
the city council condemned the Lincoln store building and ordered it
demolished. Under this order a portion of one side was torn down, when
Mr. Bishop persuaded the city authorities to desist, upon giving
a guarantee that if Lincoln's store ever caught fire he would be
responsible for any loss which might ensue.--_J. McCan Davis._]


It was not only Burns and Shakespeare that interfered with the
grocery-keeping: Lincoln had begun seriously to read law. His first
acquaintance with the subject had been made when he was a mere lad in
Indiana, and a copy of the "Revised Statutes of Indiana" had fallen
into his hands. The very copy he used is still in existence and,
fortunately, in hands where it is safe. The book was owned by Mr.
David Turnham, of Gentryville, and was given in 1865 by him to Mr.
Herndon, who placed it in the Lincoln Memorial collection of Chicago.
In December, 1894, this collection was sold in Philadelphia, and
the "Statutes of Indiana" was bought by Mr. William Hoffman Winters,
Librarian of the New York Law Institute, and through his courtesy I
have been allowed to examine it. The book is worn, the title page is
gone and a few leaves from the end are missing. The title page of
a duplicate volume which Mr. Winters kindly showed me reads: "The
Revised Laws of Indiana adopted and enacted by the General Assembly
at their eighth session. To which are prefixed the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution
of the State of Indiana, and sundry other documents connected with the
Political History of the Territory and State of Indiana. Arranged and
published by authority of the General Assembly. Corydon, Printed by
Carpenter and Douglass, 1824."


From a recent photograph. Mr. Burner was Berry and Lincoln's clerk. He
lived at New Salem from 1829 to 1834. Lincoln for many months lodged
with his father, Isaac Burner, and he and Lincoln slept in the same
bed. He now lives on a farm near Galesburg, Illinois, past eighty.]

[Illustration: THE REV. JOHN M. CAMERON.

From a photograph in the possession of the Hon. W.J. Orendorff, of
Canton, Illinois. John M. Cameron, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister,
and a devout, sincere, and courageous man, was held in the highest
esteem by his neighbors. Yet, according to Daniel Green Burner, Berry
and Lincoln's clerk--and the fact is mentioned merely as illustrating
a universal custom among the pioneers--"John Cameron always kept a
barrel of whiskey in the house." He was a powerful man physically, and
a typical frontiersman. He was born in Kentucky in 1791, and, with
his wife, moved to Illinois in 1815. He settled in Sangamon County in
1818, and in 1829 took up his abode in a cabin on a hill overlooking
the Sangamon River, and, with James Rutledge, founded the town of New

According to tradition, Lincoln, for a time, lived with the Camerons.
In the early thirties they moved to Fulton County, Illinois; then,
in 1841 or 1842, to Iowa; and finally, in 1849, to California. In
California they lived to a ripe old age--Mrs. Cameron dying in 1875,
and her husband following her three years later. They had twelve
children, eleven of whom were girls. In 1886 there were living nine
of these children, fifty grandchildren, and one hundred and one
great-grandchildren. Mr. Cameron is said to have officiated at the
funeral of Ann Rutledge in 1835.--_J. McCan Davis._]


From a photograph taken at Jacksonville, Illinois, about thirty years
ago. James Short lived on Sand Ridge, a few miles north of New Salem,
and Lincoln was a frequent visitor at his house. When Lincoln's horse
and surveying instruments were levied upon by a creditor and sold,
Mr. Short bought them in, and made Lincoln a present of them. Lincoln,
when President, made his old friend an Indian agent in California. Mr.
Short, in the course of his life, was happily married five times. He
died in Iowa many years ago. His acquaintance with Lincoln began in
rather an interesting way. His sister, who lived in New Salem, had
made Lincoln a pair of jeans trousers. The material supplied by
Lincoln was scant, and the trousers came out conspicuously short in
the legs. One day when James Short was visiting with his sister, he
pointed to a man walking down the street, and asked, "Who is that man
in the short breeches." "That is Lincoln," the sister replied; and Mr.
Short went out and introduced himself to Lincoln.--_J. McCan Davis._]


Coleman Smoot was born in Virginia, February 13, 1794; removed to
Kentucky when a child; married Rebecca Wright March 17, 1817; came to
Illinois in 1831, and lived on a farm across the Sangamon River from
New Salem until his death, March 21, 1876. He accumulated an immense
fortune. Lincoln met him for the first time in Offutt's store in 1831.
"Smoot," said Lincoln, "I am disappointed in you; I expected to see
a man as ugly as old Probst," referring to a man reputed to be the
homeliest in the county. "And I am disappointed," replied Smoot; "I
had expected to see a good-looking man when I saw you." From that
moment they were warm friends. After Lincoln's election to the
legislature in 1834, he called on Smoot, and said, "I want to buy some
clothes and fix up a little, so that I can make a decent appearance
in the legislature; and I want you to loan me $200." The loan was
cheerfully made, and of course was subsequently repaid.--_J. McCan


From an old daguerreotype. Samuel Hill was among the earliest
inhabitants of New Salem. He opened a general store there in
partnership with John McNeill,--the John McNeill who became betrothed
to Ann Rutledge, and whose real name was afterwards discovered to
be John McNamar. When McNeill left New Salem and went East, Mr. Hill
became sole proprietor of the store. He also owned the carding machine
at New Salem. Lincoln, after going out of the grocery business,
made his headquarters at Samuel Hill's store. There he kept the
post-office, entertained the loungers, and on busy days helped Mr.
Hill wait on customers. Mr. Hill is said to have once courted Ann
Rutledge himself, but he did not receive the encouragement which was
bestowed upon his partner, McNeill. In 1839 he moved his store to
Petersburg, and died there in 1857. In 1835 he married Miss Parthenia
W. Nance, who still lives at Petersburg.--_J. McCan Davis._]


From an old tintype. Mary Ann Rutledge was the wife of James Rutledge
and the mother of Ann. She was born October 21, 1787, and reared
in Kentucky. She lived to be ninety-one years of age, dying in Iowa
December 26, 1878. The Rutledges left New Salem in 1833 or 1834,
moving to a farm a few miles northward. On this farm Ann Rutledge died
August 25, 1835; and here also, three months later (December 3, 1835),
died her father, broken-hearted, no doubt, by the bereavement. In the
following year the family moved to Fulton County, Illinois, and some
three years later to Birmingham, Iowa. Of James Rutledge there is no
portrait in existence. He was born in South Carolina, May 11, 1781. He
and his sons, John and David, served in the Black Hawk War.--_J.
McCan Davis._]


From a steel engraving in the possession of R.W. Diller, Springfield,
Illinois. John Calhoun was born in Boston, Massachusetts, October 14,
1806; removed to the Mohawk Valley, New York, in 1821; was educated
at Canajoharie Academy, and studied law. In 1830 he removed to
Springfield, Illinois, and after serving in the Black Hawk War was
appointed Surveyor of Sangamon County. He was married there December
29, 1831, to Miss Sarah Cutter. He was a Democratic Representative in
1838; Clerk of the House in 1840; circuit clerk in 1842; Democratic
presidential elector in 1844; candidate for Governor before the
Democratic State convention in 1846; Mayor of Springfield in 1849,
1850, and 1851; a candidate for Congress in 1852, and in the same year
again a Democratic presidential elector. In 1854, President Pierce
appointed him Surveyor-General of Kansas, and he became conspicuous in
Kansas politics. He was president of the Lecompton Convention. He died
at St. Joseph, Missouri, October 25, 1859. Mr. Frederick Hawn, who was
his boyhood friend, and afterward married a sister of Calhoun's wife,
is now living at Leavenworth, Kansas, at the age of eighty-five years.
In an interesting letter to the writer, he says: "It has been related
that Calhoun induced Lincoln to study surveying in order to become
his deputy. Presuming that he was ready to graduate and receive his
commission, he called on Calhoun, then living with his father-in-law,
Seth R. Cutter, on Upper Lick Creek. After the interview was
concluded, Mr. Lincoln, about to depart, remarked: 'Calhoun, I am
entirely unable to repay you for your generosity at present. All that
I have you see on me, except a quarter of a dollar in my pocket.' This
is a family tradition. However, my wife, then a miss of sixteen, says,
while I am writing this sketch, that she distinctly remembers this
interview. After Lincoln was gone she says she and her sister,
Mrs. Calhoun, commenced making jocular remarks about his uncanny
appearance, in the presence of Calhoun, to which in substance he made
this rejoinder: 'For all that, he is no common man.' My wife believes
these were the exact words."--_J. McCan Davis._]

We know from Dennis Hanks, from Mr. Turnham, to whom the book
belonged, and from other associates of Lincoln's at the time, that he
read this book intently and discussed its contents intelligently. It
was a remarkable volume for a thoughtful lad whose mind had been
fired already by the history of Washington; for it opened with that
wonderful document, the Declaration of Independence, a document
which became, as Mr. John G. Nicolay says, "his political chart
and inspiration." Following the Declaration of Independence was the
Constitution of the United States, the Act of Virginia passed in 1783
by which the "Territory North Westward of the river Ohio" was conveyed
to the United States, and the Ordinance of 1787 for governing this
territory, containing that clause on which Lincoln in the future based
many an argument on the slavery question. This article, No. 6 of the
Ordinance, reads: "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of
crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted: provided
always, that any person escaping into the same, from whom labour or
service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original States,
such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person
claiming his or her labour or service, as aforesaid."


These saddle-bags, now in the Lincoln Monument at Springfield, are
said to have been used by Lincoln while he was a surveyor.]

Following this was the Constitution and the Revised Laws of Indiana,
three hundred and seventy-five pages of five hundred words each of
statutes--enough law, if thoroughly digested, to make a respectable
lawyer. When Lincoln finished this book, as he had probably before
he was eighteen, we have reason to believe that he understood the
principles on which the nation was founded, how the State of Indiana
came into being, and how it was governed. His understanding of the
subject was clear and practical, and he applied it in his reading,
thinking, and discussion.


Photographed for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE from the original, now on file
in the County Clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. The survey
here reported was made in pursuance of an order of the County
Commissioners' Court, September 1, 1834, in which Lincoln was
designated as the surveyor.]

It was after he had read the Laws of Indiana that Lincoln had free
access to the library of his admirer, Judge John Pitcher of Rockport,
Indiana, where undoubtedly he examined many law-books. But from the
time he left Indiana in 1830 he had no legal reading until one day
soon after the grocery was started, when there happened one of those
trivial incidents which so often turn the current of a life. It
is best told in Mr. Lincoln's own words.[2] "One day a man who was
migrating to the West drove up in front of my store with a wagon which
contained his family and household plunder. He asked me if I would
buy an old barrel, for which he had no room in his wagon, and which
he said contained nothing of special value. I did not want it, but to
oblige him I bought it, and paid him, I think, half a dollar for it.
Without further examination, I put it away in the store, and forgot
all about it. Some time after, in overhauling things, I came upon the
barrel, and emptying it upon the floor to see what it contained, I
found at the bottom of the rubbish a complete edition of Blackstone's
Commentaries. I began to read those famous works, and I had plenty
of time; for, during the long summer days, when the farmers were busy
with their crops, my customers were few and far between. The more
I read"--this he said with unusual emphasis--"the more intensely
interested I became. Never in my whole life was my mind so thoroughly
absorbed. I read until I devoured them."


Photographed from the original for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE. This map,
which, as here reproduced, is about one-half the size of the original,
accompanied Lincoln's report of the survey of a part of the road
between Athens and Sangamon town. For making this map, Lincoln
received fifty cents. The road evidently was located "on good ground,"
and was "necessary and proper," as the report says, for it is still
the main travelled highway leading into the country south of Athens,
Menard County.]


But all this was fatal to business, and by spring it was evident that
something must be done to stimulate the grocery sales.

On the 6th of March, 1833, the County Commissioners' Court of Sangamon
County granted the firm of Berry and Lincoln a license to keep a
tavern at New Salem. A copy of this license is here given:

    Ordered that William F. Berry, in the name of Berry and
    Lincoln, have a license to keep a tavern in New Salem to
    continue 12 months from this date, and that they pay one
    dollar in addition to the six dollars heretofore paid as per
    Treasurer's receipt, and that they be allowed the following
    rates (viz.):

    French Brandy per 1/2 pt.  25
    Peach  "       "    "   .  18-3/4
    Apple  "       "    "   .  12
    Holland Gin    "    "   .  18-3/4
    Domestic       "    "   .  12-1/2
    Wine           "    "   .  25
    Rum            "    "   .  18-3/4
    Whisky         "    "   .  12-1/2
    Breakfast, din'r or supper 25
    Lodging per night........  12-1/2
    Horse per night..........  25
    Single feed..............  12-1/2
    Breakfast, dinner or supper
    for Stage Passengers.....  37-1/2

    who gave bond as required by law.

It is probable that the license was procured to enable the firm to
retail the liquors which they had in stock, and not for keeping
a tavern. In a community in which liquor-drinking was practically
universal, at a time when whiskey was as legitimate an article of
merchandise as coffee or calico, when no family was without a jug,
when the minister of the gospel could take his "dram" without any
breach of propriety, it is not surprising that a reputable young
man should have been found selling whiskey. Liquor was sold at all
groceries, but it could not be lawfully sold in a smaller quantity
than one quart. The law, however, was not always rigidly observed,
and it was the custom of store-keepers to "set up" the drinks to their
patrons. Each of the three groceries which Berry and Lincoln acquired
had the usual supply of liquors, and the combined stock must have
amounted almost to a superabundance. It was only good business
that they should seek a way to dispose of the surplus quickly and
profitably--an end which could be best accomplished by selling it
over the counter by the glass. Lawfully to do this required a tavern
license; and it is a warrantable conclusion that such was the chief
aim of Berry and Lincoln in procuring a franchise of this character.
We are fortified in this conclusion by the coincidence that three
other grocers of New Salem--William Clary, Henry Sincoe, and George
Warberton--were among those who took out tavern licenses. To secure
the lawful privilege of selling whiskey by the "dram" was no doubt
their purpose; for their "taverns" were as mythical as the inn of
Berry and Lincoln.

At the granting of a tavern license, the applicants therefor were
required by law to file a bond. The bond given in the case of Berry
and Lincoln was as follows:

    Know all men by these presents, we, William F. Berry, Abraham
    Lincoln and John Bowling Green, are held and firmly bound unto
    the County Commissioners of Sangamon County in the full sum
    of three hundred dollars to which payment well and truly to
    be made we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and
    administrators firmly by these presents, sealed with our seal
    and dated this 6th day of March A.D. 1833. Now the condition
    of this obligation is such that Whereas the said Berry &
    Lincoln has obtained a license from the County Commissioners
    Court to keep a tavern in the Town of New Salem to continue
    one year. Now if the said Berry & Lincoln shall be of good
    behavior and observe all the laws of this State relative to
    tavern keepers--then this obligation to be void or otherwise
    remain in full force.

    WM. F. BERRY [Seal]

This bond appears to have been written by the clerk of the
Commissioners' Court; and Lincoln's name was signed by some one other
than himself, very likely by his partner Berry.



The license seems to have stimulated the business, for the firm
concluded to hire a clerk. The young man who secured this position was
Daniel Green Burner, son of Isaac Burner, at whose house Lincoln for
a time boarded. He is still living on a farm near Galesburg, Illinois,
and is in the eighty-second year of his age. "The store building of
Berry and Lincoln," says Mr. Burner, "was a frame building, not very
large, one story in height, and contained two rooms. In the little
back room Lincoln had a fireplace and a bed. There is where we slept.
I clerked in the store through the winter of 1834, up to the 1st of
March. While I was there they had nothing for sale but liquors. They
may have had some groceries before that, but I am certain they had
none then. I used to sell whiskey over their counter at six cents a
glass--and charged it, too. N.A. Garland started a store, and Lincoln
wanted Berry to ask his father for a loan, so they could buy out
Garland; but Berry refused, saying this was one of the last things he
would think of doing."

Among the other persons yet living who were residents with Lincoln of
New Salem or its near neighborhood are Mrs. Parthenia W. Hill, aged
seventy-nine years, widow of Samuel Hill, the New Salem merchant;
James McGrady Rutledge, aged eighty-one years; John Potter, aged
eighty-seven years; and Thomas Watkins, aged seventy-one years--all
now living at Petersburg, Illinois. Mrs. Hill, a woman of more than
ordinary intelligence, did not become a resident of New Salem until
1835, the year in which she was married. Lincoln had then gone out
of business, but she knew much of his store. "Berry and Lincoln,"
she says, "did not keep any dry goods. They had a grocery, and I have
always understood they sold whiskey." Mr. Rutledge, a nephew of James
Rutledge the tavern-keeper, has a vivid recollection of the store.
He says: "I have been in Berry and Lincoln's store many a time. The
building was a frame--one of the few frame buildings in New Salem.
There were two rooms, and in the small back room they kept their
whiskey. They had pretty much everything, except dry goods--sugar,
coffee, some crockery, a few pairs of shoes (not many), some farming
implements, and the like. Whiskey, of course, was a necessary part of
their stock. I remember one transaction in particular which I had with
them. I sold the firm a load of wheat, which they turned over to the
mill." Mr. Potter, who remembers the morning when Lincoln, then a
stranger on his way to New Salem, stopped at his father's house
and ate breakfast, knows less about the store, but says: "It was a
grocery, and they sold whiskey, of course." Thomas Watkins says that
the store contained "a little candy, tobacco, sugar, and coffee, and
the like;" though Mr. Watkins, being then a small boy, and living a
mile in the country, was not a frequent visitor at the store.


Business was not so brisk, however, in Berry and Lincoln's grocery,
even after the license was granted, that the junior partner did not
welcome an appointment as postmaster which he received in May, 1833.
The appointment of a Whig by a Democratic administration seems to have
been made without comment. "The office was too insignificant to make
his politics an objection," say the autobiographical notes. The duties
of the new office were not arduous, for letters were few, and their
comings far between. At that date the mails were carried by four-horse
post-coaches from city to city, and on horseback from central points
into the country towns. The rates of postage were high. A single-sheet
letter carried thirty miles or under cost six cents; thirty to eighty
miles, ten cents; eighty to one hundred and fifty miles, twelve and
one-half cents; one hundred and fifty to four hundred miles, eighteen
and one-half cents; over four hundred miles, twenty-five cents. A copy
of this magazine sent from New York to New Salem would have cost fully
twenty-five cents. The mail was irregular in coming as well as light
in its contents. Though supposed to arrive twice a week, it sometimes
happened that a fortnight or more passed without any mail. Under these
conditions the New Salem post-office was not a serious care.

A large number of the patrons of the office lived in the country--many
of them miles away--but generally Lincoln delivered their letters at
their doors. These letters he would carefully place in the crown of
his hat, and distribute them from house to house. Thus it was in a
measure true that he kept the New Salem post-office in his hat. The
habit of carrying papers in his hat clung to Lincoln; for, many years
later, when he was a practising lawyer in Springfield, he apologized
for failing to answer a letter promptly, by explaining: "When I
received your letter I put it in my old hat, and buying a new one the
next day, the old one was set aside, and so the letter was lost sight
of for a time."

But whether the mail was delivered by the postmaster himself, or the
recipient came to the store to inquire, "Anything for me?" it was the
habit "to stop and visit awhile." He who received a letter read it and
told the contents; if he had a newspaper, usually the postmaster could
tell him in advance what it contained, for one of the perquisites of
the early post-office was the privilege of reading all printed matter
before delivering it. Every day, then, Lincoln's acquaintance in New
Salem, through his position as postmaster, became more intimate.


As the summer of 1833 went on, the condition of the store became more
and more unsatisfactory. As the position of postmaster brought in only
a small revenue, Lincoln was forced to take any odd work he could get.
He helped in other stores in the town, split rails, and looked after
the mill; but all this yielded only a scant and uncertain support, and
when in the fall he had an opportunity to learn surveying, he accepted
it eagerly.

The condition of affairs in Illinois in the thirties made a demand for
the services of surveyors. The immigration had been phenomenal. There
were thousands of farms to be surveyed and thousands of "corners" to
be located. Speculators bought up large tracts, and mapped out
cities on paper. It was years before the first railroad was built
in Illinois, and as all inland travelling was on horseback or in the
stage-coach, each year hundreds of miles of wagon road were opened
through woods and swamps and prairies. As the county of Sangamon was
large and eagerly sought by immigrants, the county surveyor in 1833,
one John Calhoun, needed deputies; but in a country so new it was no
easy matter to find men with the requisite capacity.

[Illustration: CONCORD CEMETERY.

From a photograph by C.S. McCullough, Petersburg, Illinois. Concord
cemetery lies seven miles northwest of the old town of New Salem, in a
secluded place, surrounded by woods and pastures, away from the world.
In this lonely spot Ann Rutledge was at first laid to rest. Thither
Lincoln is said to have often come alone, and "sat in silence for
hours at a time;" and it was to Ann Rutledge's grave here that he
pointed and said: "There my heart lies buried." The old cemetery
suffered the melancholy fate of New Salem. It became a neglected,
deserted spot. The graves were lost in weeds, and a heavy growth of
trees kept out the sun and filled the place with gloom. A dozen years
ago this picture was taken. It was a blustery day in the autumn,
and the weeds and trees were swaying before a furious gale. No other
picture of the place, taken while Ann Rutledge was buried there, is
known to be in existence. A picture of a cemetery, with the name of
Ann Rutledge on a high, flat tombstone, has been published in two or
three books; but it is not genuine, the "stone" being nothing more
than a board improvised for the occasion. The grave of Ann Rutledge
was never honored with a stone until the body was taken up in 1890
and removed to Oakland cemetery, a mile southwest of Petersburg.--_J.
McCan Davis._]

With Lincoln, Calhoun had little, if any, personal acquaintance, for
they lived twenty miles apart. Lincoln, however, had made himself
known by his meteoric race for the legislature in 1832, and Calhoun
had heard of him as an honest, intelligent, and trustworthy young man.
One day he sent word to Lincoln by Pollard Simmons, who lived in the
New Salem neighborhood, that he had decided to appoint him a deputy
surveyor if he would accept the position.

Going into the woods, Simmons found Lincoln engaged in his old
occupation of making rails. The two sat down together on a log, and
Simmons told Lincoln what Calhoun had said. It was a surprise to
Lincoln. Calhoun was a "Jackson man;" he was for Clay. What did he
know about surveying, and why should a Democratic official offer him
a position of any kind? He immediately went to Springfield, and had
a talk with Calhoun. He would not accept the appointment, he said,
unless he had the assurance that it involved no political obligation,
and that he might continue to express his political opinions as
freely and frequently as he chose. This assurance was given. The
only difficulty then in the way was the fact that he knew absolutely
nothing of surveying. But Calhoun, of course, understood this, and
agreed that he should have time to learn.

With the promptness of action with which he always undertook anything
he had to do, he procured Flint and Gibson's treatise on surveying,
and sought Mentor Graham for help. At a sacrifice of some time, the
schoolmaster aided him to a partial mastery of the intricate subject.
Lincoln worked literally day and night, sitting up night after night
until the crowing of the cock warned him of the approaching dawn.
So hard did he study that his friends were greatly concerned at his
haggard face. But in six weeks he had mastered all the books
within reach relating to the subject--a task which, under ordinary
circumstances, would hardly have been achieved in as many months.
Reporting to Calhoun for duty (greatly to the amazement of that
gentleman), he was at once assigned to the territory in the northwest
part of the county, and the first work he did of which there is any
authentic record was in January, 1834. In that month he surveyed a
piece of land for Russell Godby, dating the certificate January 14,
1834, and signing it "J. Calhoun, S.S.C., by A. Lincoln."

Lincoln was frequently employed in laying out public roads, being
selected for that purpose by the County Commissioners' Court. So
far as can be learned from the official records, the first road he
surveyed was "from Musick's Ferry on Salt Creek, via New Salem, to the
county line in the direction of Jacksonville." For this he was allowed
fifteen dollars for five days' service, and two dollars and fifty
cents for a plat of the new road. The next road he surveyed, according
to the records, was that leading from Athens to Sangamon town. This
was reported to the County Commissioners' Court November 4, 1834.
But road surveying was only a small portion of his work. He was more
frequently employed by private individuals.


According to tradition, when he first took up the business he was too
poor to buy a chain, and, instead, used a long, straight grape-vine.
Probably this is a myth, though surveyors who had experience in the
early days say it may be true. The chains commonly used at that time
were made of iron. Constant use wore away and weakened the links, and
it was no unusual thing for a chain to lengthen six inches after a
year's use. "And a good grape-vine," to use the words of a veteran
surveyor, "would give quite as satisfactory results as one of those
old-fashioned chains."

Lincoln's surveys had the extraordinary merit of being correct. Much
of the government work had been rather indifferently done, or the
government corners had been imperfectly preserved, and there were
frequent disputes between adjacent land-owners about boundary lines.
Frequently Lincoln was called upon in such cases to find the corner
in controversy. His verdict was invariably the end of the dispute, so
general was the confidence in his honesty and skill. Some of these
old corners located by him are still in existence. The people of
Petersburg proudly remember that they live in a town which was laid
out by Lincoln. This he did in 1836, and it was the work of several

Lincoln's pay as a surveyor was three dollars a day, more than he had
ever before earned. Compared with the compensation for like services
nowadays it seems small enough; but at that time it was really
princely. The Governor of the State received a salary of only one
thousand dollars a year, the Secretary of State six hundred dollars,
and good board and lodging could be obtained for one dollar a week.
But even three dollars a day did not enable him to meet all his
financial obligations. The heavy debts of the store hung over him.
The long distances he had to travel in his new employment had made it
necessary to buy a horse, and for it he had gone into debt.

"My father," says Thomas Watkins of Petersburg, who remembers the
circumstances well, "sold Lincoln the horse, and my recollection is
that Lincoln agreed to pay him fifty dollars for it. Lincoln was a
little slow in making the payments, and after he had paid all but ten
dollars, my father, who was a high-strung man, became impatient, and
sued him for the balance. Lincoln, of course, did not deny the debt,
and raised the money and paid it. I do not often tell this," Mr.
Watkins adds, "because I have always thought there never was such a
man as Lincoln, and I have always been sorry father sued him."


Between his duties as deputy surveyor and postmaster, Lincoln had
little leisure for the store, and its management had passed into the
hands of Berry. The stock of groceries was on the wane. The numerous
obligations of the firm were maturing, with no money to meet them.
Both members of the firm, in the face of such obstacles, lost courage;
and when, early in 1834, Alexander and William Trent asked if the
store was for sale, an affirmative answer was eagerly given. A price
was agreed upon, and the sale was made. Now, neither Alexander Trent
nor his brother had any money; but as Berry and Lincoln had bought
without money, it seemed only fair that they should be willing to sell
on the same terms. Accordingly the notes of the Trent brothers were
accepted for the purchase price, and the store was turned over to the
new owners. But about the time their notes fell due the Trent brothers
disappeared. The few groceries in the store were seized by creditors,
and the doors were closed, never to be opened again.

Misfortunes now crowded upon Lincoln. His late partner, Berry, soon
reached the end of his wild career; and one morning a farmer from the
Rock Creek neighborhood drove into New Salem with the news that he was

The appalling debt which had accumulated was thrown upon Lincoln's
shoulders. It was then too common a fashion among men who became
deluged in debt to "clear out," in the expressive language of the
pioneer, as the Trents had done; but this was not Lincoln's way. He
quietly settled down among the men he owed, and promised to pay them.
For fifteen years he carried this burden--a load which he cheerfully
and manfully bore, but one so heavy that he habitually spoke of it
as the "national debt." Talking once of it to a friend, Lincoln said:
"That debt was the greatest obstacle I have ever met in life; I had no
way of speculating, and could not earn money except by labor, and to
earn by labor eleven hundred dollars, besides my living, seemed the
work of a lifetime. There was, however, but one way. I went to the
creditors, and told them that if they would let me alone, I would give
them all I could earn over my living, as fast as I could earn it." As
late as 1848, so we are informed by Mr. Herndon, Mr. Lincoln, then
a member of Congress, sent home money saved from his salary to be
applied on these obligations. All the notes, with interest at the high
rates then prevailing, were at last paid.

With a single exception Lincoln's creditors seem to have been lenient.
One of the notes given by him came into the hands of a Mr. Van Bergen,
who, when it fell due, brought suit. The amount of the judgment was
more than Lincoln could pay, and his personal effects were levied
upon. These consisted of his horse, saddle and bridle, and surveying
instruments. James Short, a well-to-do farmer living on Sand Ridge a
few miles north of New Salem, heard of the trouble which had befallen
his young friend. Without advising Lincoln of his plans he attended
the sale, bought in the horse and surveying instruments for one
hundred and twenty dollars, and turned them over to their former

[Illustration: STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS.

Lincoln's first meeting with Douglas occurred at the State capital,
Vandalia, in the winter of 1834-35, when Lincoln was serving his first
term in the legislature, and Douglas was an applicant for the office
of State attorney for the first judicial district of Illinois.]

Lincoln never forgot a benefactor. He not only repaid the money with
interest, but nearly thirty years later remembered the kindness in a
most substantial way. After Lincoln left New Salem financial reverses
came to James Short, and he removed to the far West to seek his
fortune anew. Early in Lincoln's presidential term he heard that
"Uncle Jimmy" was living in California. One day Mr. Short received a
letter from Washington, D.C. Tearing it open, he read the gratifying
announcement that he had been commissioned an Indian agent.


The kindness of Mr. Short was not exceptional in Lincoln's New
Salem career. When the store had "winked out," as he put it, and the
post-office had been left without headquarters, one of his neighbors,
Samuel Hill, invited the homeless postmaster into his store. There was
hardly a man or woman in the community who would not have been glad
to do as much. It was a simple recognition on their part of Lincoln's
friendliness to them. He was what they called "obliging"--a man who
instinctively did the thing which he saw would help another, no matter
how trivial or homely it was. In the home of Rowan Herndon, where he
had boarded when he first came to the town, he had made himself loved
by his care of the children. "He nearly always had one of them
around with him," says Mr. Herndon. In the Rutledge tavern, where he
afterwards lived, the landlord told with appreciation how, when his
house was full, Lincoln gave up his bed, went to the store, and slept
on the counter, his pillow a web of calico. If a traveller "stuck in
the mud" in New Salem's one street, Lincoln was always the first to
help pull out the wheel. The widows praised him because he "chopped
their wood;" the overworked, because he was always ready to give them
a lift. It was the spontaneous, unobtrusive helpfulness of the man's
nature which endeared him to everybody and which inspired a general
desire to do all possible in return. There are many tales told of
homely service rendered him, even by the hard-working farmers' wives
around New Salem. There was not one of them who did not gladly "put on
a plate" for Abe Lincoln when he appeared, or would not darn or mend
for him when she knew he needed it. Hannah Armstrong, the wife of the
hero of Clary's Grove, made him one of her family. "Abe would come out
to our house," she said, "drink milk, eat mush, cornbread and
butter, bring the children candy, and rock the cradle while I got him
something to eat.... Has stayed at our house two or three weeks at
a time." Lincoln's pay for his first piece of surveying came in the
shape of two buckskins, and it was Hannah who "foxed" them on his

His relations were equally friendly in the better homes of the
community; even at the minister's, the Rev. John Cameron's, he was
perfectly at home, and Mrs. Cameron was by him affectionately called
"Aunt Polly." It was not only his kindly service which made Lincoln
loved; it was his sympathetic comprehension of the lives and joys and
sorrows and interests of the people. Whether it was Jack Armstrong
and his wrestling, Hannah and her babies, Kelso and his fishing and
poetry, the schoolmaster and his books--with one and all he was at
home. He possessed in an extraordinary degree the power of entering
into the interests of others, a power found only in reflective,
unselfish natures endowed with a humorous sense of human foibles,
coupled with great tenderness of heart. Men and women amused Lincoln,
but so long as they were sincere he loved them and sympathized with
them. He was human in the best sense of that fine word.


Now that the store was closed and his surveying increased, Lincoln
had an excellent opportunity to extend his acquaintance, for he was
travelling about the country. Everywhere he won friends. The surveyor
naturally was respected for his calling's sake, but the new deputy
surveyor was admired for his friendly ways, his willingness to lend
a hand indoors as well as out, his learning, his ambition, his
independence. Throughout the county he began to be regarded as "a
right smart young man." Some of his associates appear even to have
comprehended his peculiarly great character and dimly to have foreseen
a splendid future. "Often," says Daniel Green Burner, Berry and
Lincoln's clerk in the grocery, "I have heard my brother-in-law, Dr.
Duncan, say he would not be surprised if some day Abe Lincoln got to
be Governor of Illinois. Lincoln," Mr. Burner adds, "was thought to
know a little more than anybody else among the young people. He was a
good debater, and liked it. He read much, and seemed never to forget

Lincoln was fully conscious of his popularity, and it seemed to him
in 1834 that he could safely venture to try again for the legislature.
Accordingly he announced himself as a candidate, spending much of the
summer of 1834 in electioneering. It was a repetition of what he
had done in 1832, though on the larger scale made possible by wider
acquaintance. In company with the other candidates, he rode up and
down the county, making speeches in the public squares, in shady
groves, now and then in a log school-house. In his speeches he soon
distinguished himself by the amazing candor with which he dealt with
all questions, and by his curious blending of audacity and humility.
Wherever he saw a crowd of men he joined them, and he never failed
to adapt himself to their point of view in asking for votes. If the
degree of physical strength was their test for a candidate, he was
ready to lift a weight or wrestle with the country-side champion; if
the amount of grain a man could cradle would recommend him, he seized
the cradle and showed the swath he could cut. The campaign was well
conducted, for in August he was elected one of the four assemblymen
from Sangamon. The vote at this election stood: Dawson, 1390; Lincoln,
1376; Carpenter, 1170; Stuart, 1164.[3]


Born in Kentucky in 1807. At twenty-one, on being admitted to the bar,
he removed to Springfield, Illinois, and was soon prominent in his
profession. He was a member of the legislature from 1832 to 1836.
In 1838 he defeated Stephen A. Douglas for Congress, and served
two terms--as a Whig. In 1863 and 1864 he served a third term--as a
Democrat. He served also in the State Senate, and was a major in the
Black Hawk War. He died in 1885.]


The best thing which Lincoln did in the canvass of 1834 was not
winning votes; it was coming to a determination to read law, not for
pleasure but as a business. In his autobiographical notes he says:
"During the canvass, in a private conversation Major John T. Stuart
(one of his fellow-candidates) encouraged Abraham to study law. After
the election he borrowed books of Stuart, took them home with him, and
went at it in good earnest. He never studied with anybody." He seems
to have thrown himself into the work with an almost impatient ardor.
As he tramped back and forth from Springfield, twenty miles away, to
get his law-books, he read sometimes forty pages or more on the way.
Often he was seen wandering at random across the fields, repeating
aloud the points in his last reading. The subject seemed never to be
out of his mind. It was the great absorbing interest of his life. The
rule he gave twenty years later to a young man who wanted to know how
to become a lawyer, seems to have been the one he practised.[4]

Having secured a book of legal forms, he was soon able to write deeds,
contracts, and all sorts of legal instruments; and he was frequently
called upon by his neighbors to perform services of this kind. "In
1834," says Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lincoln's clerk, "my
father, Isaac Burner, sold out to Henry Onstott, and he wanted a deed
written. I knew how handy Lincoln was that way, and suggested that we
get him. We found him sitting on a stump. 'All right,' said he, when
informed what we wanted. 'If you will bring me a pen and ink and a
piece of paper I will write it here.' I brought him these articles,
and, picking up a shingle and putting it on his knee for a desk, he
wrote out the deed." As there was no practising lawyer nearer than
Springfield, Lincoln was often employed to act the part of advocate
before the village squire, at that time Bowling Green. He realized
that this experience was valuable, and never, so far as known,
demanded or accepted a fee for his services in these petty cases.

Justice was sometimes administered in a summary way in Squire Green's
court. Precedents and the venerable rules of law had little weight.
The "Squire" took judicial notice of a great many facts, often going
so far as to fill, simultaneously, the two functions of witness and
court. But his decisions were generally just.

James McGrady Rutledge tells a story in which several of Lincoln's old
friends figure and which illustrates the legal practices of New Salem.
"Jack Kelso," says Mr. Rutledge, "owned or claimed to own a white
hog. It was also claimed by John Ferguson. The hog had often wandered
around Bowling Green's place, and he was somewhat acquainted with it.
Ferguson sued Kelso, and the case was tried before 'Squire' Green. The
plaintiff produced two witnesses who testified positively that the hog
belonged to him. Kelso had nothing to offer, save his own unsupported

"'Are there any more witnesses?' inquired the court.

"He was informed that there were no more.

"'Well,' said 'Squire' Green, 'the two witnesses we have heard have
sworn to a ---- lie. I know this shoat, and I know it belongs to Jack
Kelso. I therefore decide this case in his favor.'"

An extract from the record of the County Commissioners' Court
illustrates the nature of the cases that came before the justice
of the peace in Lincoln's day. It also shows the price put upon the
privilege of working on Sunday, in 1832:

    JANUARY 29, 1832.--Alexander Gibson found guilty of
    Sabbath-breaking and fined 12-1/2 cents. Fine paid into court.

    "(Signed) EDWARD ROBINSON, J.P."


The session of the ninth Assembly began December 1, 1834, and Lincoln
went to the capital, then Vandalia, seventy-five miles southeast of
New Salem, on the Kaskaskia River, in time for the opening. Vandalia
was a town which had been called into existence in 1820 especially
to give the State government an abiding-place. Its very name had been
chosen, it is said, because it "sounded well" for a State capital. As
the tradition goes, while the commissioners were debating what they
should call the town they were making, a wag suggested that it be
named Vandalia, in honor of the Vandals, a tribe of Indians which,
said he, had once lived on the borders of the Kaskaskia; this, he
argued, would conserve a local tradition while giving a euphonous
title. The commissioners, pleased with so good a suggestion, adopted
the name. When Lincoln first went to Vandalia it was a town of about
eight hundred inhabitants; its noteworthy features, according to
Peck's "Gazetteer" of Illinois for 1834, being a brick court-house, a
two-story brick edifice "used by State officers," "a neat framed house
of worship for the Presbyterian Society, with a cupola and bell,"
"a framed meeting-house for the Methodist Society," three taverns,
several stores, five lawyers, four physicians, a land office, and two
newspapers. It was a much larger town than Lincoln had ever lived in
before, though he was familiar with Springfield, then twice as large
as Vandalia, and he had seen the cities of the Mississippi.

The Assembly which he entered was composed of eighty-one
members,--twenty-six senators, fifty-five representatives. As a rule,
these men were of Kentucky, Tennessee, or Virginia origin, with here
and there a Frenchman. There were but few Eastern men, for there
was still a strong prejudice in the State against Yankees. The
close bargains and superior airs of the emigrants from New England
contrasted so unpleasantly with the open-handed hospitality and the
easy ways of the Southerners and French, that a pioneer's prospects
were blasted at the start if he acted like a Yankee. A history of
Illinois in 1837, published evidently to "boom" the State, cautioned
the emigrant that if he began his life in Illinois by "affecting
superior intelligence and virtue, and catechizing the people for their
habits of plainness and simplicity and their apparent want of those
things which he imagines indispensable to comfort," he must expect
to be forever marked as "a Yankee," and to have his prospects
correspondingly defeated. A "hard-shell" Baptist preacher of about
this date showed the feeling of the people when he said, in preaching
of the richness of the grace of the Lord: "It tuks in the isles of the
sea and the uttermust part of the yeth. It embraces the Esquimaux and
the Hottentots, and some, my dear brethering, go so far as to suppose
that it tuks in the poor benighted Yankees, but _I don't go that
fur_." When it came to an election of legislators, many of the people
"didn't go that fur" either.

There was a preponderance of jean suits like Lincoln's in the
Assembly, and there were coonskin caps and buckskin trousers.
Nevertheless, more than one member showed a studied garb and a courtly
manner. Some of the best blood of the South went into the making of
Illinois, and it showed itself from the first in the Assembly. The
surroundings of the legislators were quite as simple as the attire
of the plainest of them. The court-house, in good old Colonial style,
with square pillars and belfry, was finished with wooden desks and
benches. The State furnished her law-makers no superfluities--three
dollars a day, a cork inkstand, a certain number of quills, and a
limited amount of stationery was all an Illinois legislator in 1834
got from his position. Scarcely more could be expected from a State
whose revenues from December 1, 1834, to December 1, 1836, were only
about one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, with expenditures
during the same period amounting to less than one hundred and
sixty-five thousand dollars.


Joseph Duncan, Governor of Illinois from 1834 to 1838, was born in
Kentucky in 1794. The son of an officer of the regular army, he,
at nineteen, became a soldier in the war of 1812, and did gallant
service. He removed to Illinois in 1818, and soon became prominent
in the State, serving as a major-general of militia, a State Senator,
and, from 1826 to 1834, as a member of Congress, resigning from
Congress to take the office of Governor. He was at first a Democrat,
but afterwards became a Whig. He was a man of the highest character
and public spirit. He died in 1844.]

Lincoln thought little of these things, no doubt. To him the absorbing
interest was the men he met. To get acquainted with them, measure
them, compare himself with them, and discover wherein they were his
superiors and what he could do to make good his deficiency--this
was his chief occupation. The men he met were good subjects for such
study. Among them were Wm. L.D. Ewing, Jesse K. Dubois, Stephen T.
Logan, Theodore Ford, and Governor Duncan--men destined to play large
parts in the history of the State. One whom he met that winter in
Vandalia was destined to play a great part in the history of the
nation--the Democratic candidate for the office of State attorney for
the first judicial district of Illinois; a man four years younger than
Lincoln--he was only twenty-one at the time; a new-comer, too, in the
State, having arrived about a year before, under no very promising
auspices either, for he had only thirty-seven cents in his pockets,
and no position in view; but a man of metal, it was easy to see, for
already he had risen so high in the district where he had settled,
that he dared contest the office of State attorney with John J.
Hardin, one of the most successful lawyers of the State. This young
man was Stephen A. Douglas. He had come to Vandalia from Morgan County
to conduct his campaign, and Lincoln met him first in the halls of
the old court-house, where he and his friends carried on with success
their contest against Hardin.

The ninth Assembly gathered in a more hopeful and ambitious mood than
any of its predecessors. Illinois was feeling well. The State was free
from debt. The Black Hawk War had stimulated the people greatly, for
it had brought a large amount of money into circulation. In fact, the
greater portion of the eight to ten million dollars the war had cost
had been circulated among the Illinois volunteers. Immigration, too,
was increasing at a bewildering rate. In 1835 the census showed a
population of 269,974. Between 1830 and 1835 two-fifths of this number
had come in. In the northeast Chicago had begun to rise. "Even for
Western towns" its growth had been unusually rapid, declared Peck's
"Gazetteer" of 1834; the harbor building there, the proposed Michigan
and Illinois canal, the rise in town lots--all promised to the State a
metropolis. To meet the rising tide of prosperity, the legislators of
1834 felt that they must devise some worthy scheme, so they chartered
a new State bank with a capital of one million five hundred thousand
dollars, and revived a bank which had broken twelve years before,
granting it a charter of three hundred thousand dollars. There was
no surplus money in the State to supply the capital; there were no
trained bankers to guide the concern; there was no clear notion of
how it was all to be done; but a banking capital of one million eight
hundred thousand dollars would be a good thing in the State, they were
sure; and if the East could be made to believe in Illinois as much as
her legislators believed in her, the stocks would go, and so the banks
were chartered.

But even more important to the State than banks was a highway. For
thirteen years plans of the Illinois and Michigan canal had been
constantly before the Assembly. Surveys had been ordered, estimates
reported, the advantages extolled, but nothing had been done. Now,
however, the Assembly, flushed by the first thrill of the coming
"boom," decided to authorize a loan of a half-million on the credit of
the State. Lincoln favored both these measures. He did not, however,
do anything especially noteworthy for either of the bills, nor was the
record he made in other directions at all remarkable. He was placed
on the committee of public accounts and expenditures, and attended
meetings with great fidelity. His first act as a member was to give
notice that he would ask leave to introduce a bill limiting the
jurisdiction of justices of the peace--a measure which he succeeded in
carrying through. He followed this by a motion to change the rules, so
that it should not be in order to offer amendments to any bill after
the third reading, which was not agreed to; though the same rule, in
effect, was adopted some years later, and is to this day in force in
both branches of the Illinois Assembly. He next made a motion to take
from the table a report which had been submitted by his committee,
which met a like fate. His first resolution, relating to a State
revenue to be derived from the sales of the public lands, was denied
a reference, and laid upon the table. Neither as a speaker nor an
organizer did he make any especial impression on the body.


In the spring of 1835 the young representative from Sangamon returned
to New Salem to take up his duties as postmaster and deputy surveyor,
and to resume his law studies. He exchanged his rather exalted
position for the humbler one with a light heart. New Salem held all
that was dearest in the world to him at that moment, and he went back
to the poor little town with a hope, which he had once supposed honor
forbade his acknowledging even to himself, glowing warmly in his
heart. He loved a young girl of that town, and now for the first time,
though he had known her since he first came to New Salem, was he free
to tell his love.

One of the most prominent families of the settlement in 1831, when
Lincoln first appeared there, was that of James Rutledge. The head of
the house was one of the founders of New Salem, and at that time the
keeper of the village tavern. He was a high-minded man, of a warm and
generous nature, and had the universal respect of the community. He
was a South Carolinian by birth, but had lived many years in Kentucky
before coming to Illinois. Rutledge came of a distinguished family:
one of his ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence; another
was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by
appointment of Washington, and another was a conspicuous leader in the
American Congress.

The third of the nine children in the Rutledge household was a
daughter, Ann Mayes, born in Kentucky, January 7, 1813. When Lincoln
first met her she was nineteen years old, and as fresh as a flower.
Many of those who knew her at that time have left tributes to her
beauty and gentleness, and even to-day there are those living who talk
of her with moistened eyes and softened tones. "She was a beautiful
girl," says her cousin, James McGrady Rutledge, "and as bright as
she was pretty. She was well educated for that early day, a good
conversationalist, and always gentle and cheerful. A girl whose
company people liked." So fair a maid was not, of course, without
suitors. The most determined of those who sought her hand was one John
McNeill, a young man who had arrived in New Salem from New York soon
after the founding of the town. Nothing was known of his antecedents,
and no questions were asked. He was understood to be merely one of
the thousands who had come West in search of fortune. That he was
intelligent, industrious, and frugal, with a good head for business,
was at once apparent; for he and Samuel Hill opened a general store
and they soon doubled their capital, and their business continued
to grow marvellously. In four years from his first appearance in the
settlement, besides having a half-interest in the store, he owned a
large farm a few miles north of New Salem. His neighbors believed him
to be worth about twelve thousand dollars.

John McNeill was an unmarried man--at least so he represented himself
to be--and very soon after becoming a resident of New Salem he formed
the acquaintance of Ann Rutledge, then a girl of seventeen. It was a
case of love at first sight, and the two soon became engaged, in spite
of the rivalry of Samuel Hill, McNeill's partner. But Ann was as yet
only a young girl; and it was thought very sensible in her and very
gracious and considerate in her lover that both acquiesced in the
wishes of Ann's parents that, for some time at least, the marriage be

Such was the situation when Lincoln appeared in New Salem. He
naturally soon became acquainted with the girl. She was a pupil in
Mentor Graham's school, where he frequently visited, and rumor says
that he first met her there. However that may be, it is certain that
in the latter part of 1832 he went to board at the Rutledge tavern and
there was thrown daily into her company.

During the next year, 1833, John McNeill, in spite of his fair
prospects, became restless and discontented. He wanted to see his
people, he said, and before the end of the year he had decided to go
East for a visit. To secure perfect freedom from his business while
gone, he sold out his interest in his store. To Ann he said that he
hoped to bring back his father and mother, and to place them on his
farm. "This duty done," was his farewell word, "you and I will be
married." In the spring of 1834 McNeill started East. The journey
overland by foot and horse was in those days a trying one, and on the
way McNeill fell ill with chills and fever. It was late in the summer
before he reached his home, and wrote back to Ann, explaining his
silence. The long wait had been a severe strain on the girl, and
Lincoln had watched her anxiety with softened heart. It was to him,
the New Salem postmaster, that she came to inquire for letters. It was
to him she entrusted those she sent. In a way the postmaster must have
become the girl's confidant; and his tender heart, which never could
resist suffering, must have been deeply touched. After the long
silence was broken, and McNeill's first letter of explanation came,
the cause of anxiety seemed removed; but, strangely enough, other
letters followed only at long intervals, and finally they ceased
altogether. Then it was that the young girl told her friends a secret
which McNeill had confided to her before leaving New Salem.

He had told her what she had never even suspected before, that John
McNeill was not his real name, but that it was John McNamar. Shortly
before he came to New Salem, he explained, his father had suffered a
disastrous failure in business. He was the oldest son; and in the hope
of retrieving the lost fortune, he resolved to go West, expecting
to return in a few years and share his riches with the rest of the
family. Anticipating parental opposition, he ran away from home; and,
being sure that he could never accumulate anything with so numerous a
family to support, he endeavored to lose himself by a change of name.
All this Ann had believed and not repeated; but now, worn out by
waiting, she took the story to her friends.

With few exceptions they pronounced the story a fabrication and
McNamar an impostor. Why had he worn this mask? His excuse seemed
flimsy. At best, they declared, he was a mere adventurer; and was
it not more probable that he was a fugitive from justice--a thief, a
swindler, or a murderer? And who knew how many wives he might have?
With all New Salem declaring John McNamar false, Ann Rutledge
could hardly be blamed for imagining that he was either dead or had
transferred his affections.

It was not until McNeill, or McNamar, had been gone many months, and
gossip had become offensive, that Lincoln ventured to show his love
for Ann, and then it was a long time before the girl would listen
to his suit. Convinced at last, however, that her former lover had
deserted her, she yielded to Lincoln's wishes and promised, in the
spring of 1835, soon after Lincoln's return from Vandalia, to
become his wife. But Lincoln had nothing on which to support a
family--indeed, he found it no trifling task to support himself. As
for Ann, she was anxious to go to school another year. It was decided
that in the autumn she should go with her brother to Jacksonville and
spend the winter there in an academy. Lincoln was to devote himself
to his law studies; and the next spring, when she returned from school
and he was a member of the bar, they were to be married.

A happy spring and summer followed. New Salem took a cordial interest
in the two lovers and presaged a happy life for them, and all would
undoubtedly have gone well if the young girl could have dismissed the
haunting memory of her old lover. The possibility that she had wronged
him, that he might reappear, that he loved her still, though she now
loved another, that perhaps she had done wrong--a torturing conflict
of memory, love, conscience, doubt, and morbidness lay like a shadow
across her happiness, and wore upon her until she fell ill. Gradually
her condition became hopeless; and Lincoln, who had been shut from
her, was sent for. The lovers passed an hour alone in an anguished
parting, and soon after, on August 25, 1835, Ann died.

The death of Ann Rutledge plunged Lincoln into the deepest gloom. That
abiding melancholy, that painful sense of the incompleteness of life
which had been his mother's dowry to him, asserted itself. It filled
and darkened his mind and his imagination, tortured him with its black
pictures. One stormy night Lincoln was sitting beside William Greene,
his head bowed on his hand, while tears trickled through his fingers;
his friend begged him to control his sorrow, to try to forget. "I
cannot," moaned Lincoln; "the thought of the snow and rain on her
grave fills me with indescribable grief."

He was seen walking alone by the river and through the woods,
muttering strange things to himself. He seemed to his friends to be in
the shadow of madness. They kept a close watch over him; and at last
Bowling Green, one of the most devoted friends Lincoln then had, took
him home to his little log cabin, half a mile north of New Salem,
under the brow of a big bluff. Here, under the loving care of Green
and his good wife Nancy, Lincoln remained until he was once more
master of himself.

But though he had regained self-control, his grief was deep and
bitter. Ann Rutledge was buried in Concord cemetery, a country
burying-ground seven miles northwest of New Salem. To this lonely
spot Lincoln frequently journeyed to weep over her grave. "My heart is
buried there," he said to one of his friends.

When McNamar returned (for McNamar's story was true, and two months
after Ann Rutledge died he drove into New Salem with his widowed
mother and his brothers and sisters in the "prairie schooner" beside
him) and learned of Ann's death, he "saw Lincoln at the post-office,"
as he afterward said, and "he seemed desolate and sorely distressed."

McNamar's strange conduct toward Ann Rutledge is to this day a
mystery. Her death apparently produced upon him no deep impression.
He certainly experienced no such sorrow as Lincoln felt, for within a
year he married another woman.

Many years ago a sister of Ann Rutledge, Mrs. Jeane Berry, told what
she knew of Ann's love affairs; and her statement has been preserved
in a diary kept by the Rev. R.D. Miller, now Superintendent of Schools
of Menard County, with whom she had the conversation. She declared
that Ann's "whole soul seemed wrapped up in Lincoln," and that they
"would have been married in the fall or early winter" if Ann had
lived. "After Ann died," said Mrs. Berry, "I remember that it was
common talk about how sad Lincoln was; and I remember myself how sad
he looked. They told me that every time he was in the neighborhood
after she died, he would go alone to her grave and sit there in
silence for hours."

In later life, when his sorrow had become a memory, he told a friend
who questioned him: "I really and truly loved the girl and think often
of her now." There was a pause, and then the President added:

"And I have loved the name of Rutledge to this day."


When the death of Ann Rutledge came upon Lincoln, for a time
threatening to destroy his ambition and blast his life, he was in a
most encouraging position. Master of a profession in which he had an
abundance of work and earned fair wages, hopeful of being admitted
in a few months to the bar, a member of the State Assembly with every
reason to believe that, if he desired it, his constituency would
return him--few men are as far advanced at twenty-six as was Abraham

Intellectually he was far better equipped than he believed himself to
be, better than he has ordinarily been credited with being. True,
he had had no conventional college training, but he had by his own
efforts attained the chief result of all preparatory study, the
ability to take hold of a subject and assimilate it. The fact that in
six weeks he had acquired enough of the science of surveying to enable
him to serve as deputy surveyor shows how well-trained his mind was.
The power to grasp a large subject quickly and fully is never an
accident. The nights Lincoln spent in Gentryville lying on the floor
in front of the fire figuring on the fire-shovel, the hours he passed
in poring over the Statutes of Indiana, the days he wrestled with
Kirkham's Grammar, alone made the mastery of Flint and Gibson
possible. His struggle with Flint and Gibson made easier the volumes
he borrowed from Major Stuart's law library.


From a photograph made for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE by C.S. McCullough,
Petersburg, Illinois, in September, 1895. On the 15th of May, 1890,
the remains of Ann Rutledge were removed from the long-neglected grave
in the Concord grave-yard to a new and picturesque burying-ground a
mile southwest of Petersburg, called Oakland cemetery. The old grave,
though marked by no stone, was easily identified from the fact that
Ann was buried by the side of her younger brother, David, who died in
1842, upon the threshold of what promised to be a brilliant career
as a lawyer. The removal was made by Samuel Montgomery, a prominent
business man of Petersburg. He was accompanied to the grave by James
McGrady Rutledge and a few others, who located the grave beyond doubt.
In the new cemetery, the grave occupies a place somewhat apart from
others. A young maple tree is growing beside it, and it is marked
by an unpolished granite stone bearing the simple inscription "Ann
Rutledge."--_J. McCan Davis._]

Lincoln had a mental trait which explains his rapid growth in
mastering subjects--seeing clearly was essential to him. He was
unable to put a question aside until he understood it. It pursued him,
irritated him until solved. Even in his Gentryville days his comrades
noted that he was constantly searching for reasons and that he
"explained so clearly." This characteristic became stronger with
years. He was unwilling to pronounce himself on any subject until he
understood it, and he could not let it alone until he had reached a
conclusion which satisfied him.

This seeing clearly became a splendid force in Lincoln; because when
he once had reached a conclusion he had the honesty of soul to suit
his actions to it. No consideration could induce him to abandon the
course his reason told him was logical. Not that he was obstinate
and having taken a position, would not change it if he saw on further
study that he was wrong. In his first circular to the people of
Sangamon County is this characteristic passage: "Upon the subjects I
have treated, I have spoken as I thought. I may be wrong in any or
all of them; but, holding it a sound maxim that it is better only
sometimes to be right than at all times to be wrong, so soon as I
discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce

Joined to these strong mental and moral qualities was that power of
immediate action which so often explains why one man succeeds in life
while another of equal intelligence and uprightness fails. As soon
as Lincoln saw a thing to do he did it. He wants to know; here is a
book--it may be a biography, a volume of dry statutes, a collection of
verse; no matter, he reads and ponders it until he has absorbed all it
has for him. He is eager to see the world; a man offers him a position
as a "hand" on a Mississippi flatboat; he takes it without a moment's
hesitation over the toil and exposure it demands. John Calhoun
is willing to make him a deputy surveyor; he knows nothing of the
science; in six weeks he has learned enough to begin his labors.
Sangamon County must have representatives, why not he? and his
circular goes out. Ambition alone will not explain this power of
instantaneous action. It comes largely from that active imagination
which, when a new relation or position opens, seizes on all its
possibilities and from them creates a situation so real that one
enters with confidence upon what seems to the unimaginative the
rashest undertaking. Lincoln saw the possibilities in things and
immediately appropriated them.

But the position he filled in Sangamon County in 1835 was not all
due to these qualities; much was due to his personal charm. By all
accounts he was big, awkward, ill-clad, shy--yet his sterling honor,
his unselfish nature, his heart of the true gentleman, inspired
respect and confidence. Men might laugh at his first appearance, but
they were not long in recognizing the real superiority of his nature.

Such was Abraham Lincoln at twenty-six, when the tragic death of Ann
Rutledge made all that he had attained, all that he had planned, seem
fruitless and empty. He was too sincere and just, too brave a man, to
allow a great sorrow permanently to interfere with his activities.
He rallied his forces, and returned to his law, his surveying,
his politics. He brought to his work a new power, that insight and
patience which only a great sorrow can give.

(_Begun in the November number 1895; to be continued_)

    PAGE 217.

    DELPHOS, KANSAS, _December 6, 1895_.

    In reply to your letter of recent date inquiring about the
    incident of my childhood and connected with Mr. Lincoln, I
    would say that at the time of his first nomination to the
    Presidency I was a child of eleven years, living with my
    parents in Chautauqua County, N.Y.

    My father was an ardent Republican, and possessed of a
    profound admiration for the character of the grand man who
    was the choice of his party. We younger children accepted his
    opinions with unquestioning faith, and listened with great
    delight to the anecdotes of his life current at that time, and
    were particularly interested in reading of the difficulties he
    encountered in getting an education; so much did it appeal to
    our childish imaginations that _we_ were firmly persuaded that
    if we could only study our lessons prone before the glow and
    cheer of an open fire in a great fireplace, _we_ too might
    rise to heights which now we could never attain. My father
    brought to us, one day, a large poster, and my mind still
    holds a recollection of its crude, coarse work and glaring
    colors. About the edges were grouped in unadorned and
    exaggerated ugliness the pictures of our former Presidents,
    and in the midst of them were the faces of "Lincoln and
    Hamlin," surrounded by way of a frame with a rail fence.
    We are all familiar with the strong and rugged face of Mr.
    Lincoln, the deep lines about the mouth, and the eyes have
    much the same sorrowful expression in all the pictures I
    have seen of him. I think I must have felt a certain
    disappointment, for I said to my mother that he would look
    much nicer if he wore whiskers, and straightway gave him the
    benefit of my opinion in a letter, describing the poster and
    hinting, rather broadly, that his appearance might be improved
    if he would let his whiskers grow. Not wishing to wound his
    feelings, I added that the rail fence around his picture
    looked real pretty! I also asked him if he had any little
    girl, and if so, and he was too busy to write and tell me what
    he thought about it, if he would not let her do so; and ended
    by assuring him I meant to try my best to induce two erring
    brothers of the Democratic faith to cast their votes for him.
    I think the circumstance would have speedily passed from my
    mind but for the fact that I confided to an elder sister that
    I had written to Mr. Lincoln, and had she not expressed a
    doubt as to whether I had addressed him properly. To prove
    that I had, and was not as ignorant as she thought me, I
    re-wrote the address for her inspection: "_Hon. Abraham
    Lincoln Esquire_."

    My mortification at the laughter and ridicule excited was
    somewhat relieved by my mother's remarking that "there should
    be no mistake as to whom the letter belonged." The reply to
    my poor little letter came in due time, and the following is a
    copy of the original, which is _still in my possession_.

    "SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, _October 19, 1860_.

    "_My Dear little Miss_:--Your very agreeable letter of the
    15th inst. is received. I regret the necessity of saying I
    have no daughter. I have three sons; one seventeen, one
    nine, and one seven years of age. They, with their mother,
    constitute my whole family. As to the whiskers, having never
    worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of
    silly affectation if I were to begin wearing them now? Your
    very sincere well-wisher,

    "A. LINCOLN."

    Probably the frankness of the child appealed to the humorous
    side of his nature, for the suggestion was acted upon.
    After the election, and on his journey from Springfield to
    Washington, he inquired of Hon. G.W. Patterson, who was one of
    the party who accompanied him on that memorable trip, and who
    was a resident of our town, if he knew of a family bearing the
    name of Bedell. Mr. Patterson replying in the affirmative,
    Mr. Lincoln said he "had received a letter from a little girl
    called Grace Bedell, advising me to wear whiskers, as she
    thought it would improve my looks." He said the character
    of the "letter was so unique and so different from the many
    self-seeking and threatening ones he was daily receiving that
    it came to him as a relief and a pleasure." When the train
    reached Westfield, Mr. Lincoln made a short speech from
    the platform of the car, and in conclusion said he had a
    correspondent there, relating the circumstance and giving my
    name, and if she were present he would like to see her. I
    was present, but in the crowd had neither seen nor heard the
    speaker; but a gentleman helped me forward, and Mr. Lincoln
    stepped down to the platform where I stood, shook my hand,
    kissed me, and said: "You see I let these whiskers grow for
    you, Grace." The crowd cheered, Mr. Lincoln reentered the car,
    and I ran quickly home, looking at and speaking to no one,
    with a much dilapidated bunch of roses in my hand, which I
    had hoped might be passed up to Mr. Lincoln with some other
    flowers which were to be presented, but which in my confusion
    I had forgotten. Gentle and genial, simple and warm-hearted,
    how full of anxiety must have been his life in the days which
    followed. These words seem to fitly describe him: "A man of
    sorrows and acquainted with grief." Very sincerely,


[Footnote 1: William D. Kelley, in "Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln."
Edited by Allen Thorndike Rice, 1886.]

[Footnote 2: This incident was told by Lincoln to Mr. A.J. Conant, the
artist, who in 1860 painted his portrait in Springfield. Mr. Conant,
in order to keep Mr. Lincoln's pleasant expression, had engaged him in
conversation, and had questioned him about his early life; and it was
in the course of their conversation that this incident came out. It
is to be found in a delightful and suggestive article entitled, "My
Acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln," contributed by Mr. Conant to the
"Liber Scriptorum," and by his permission quoted here.]

[Footnote 3: With one exception the biographers of Lincoln have given
him the first place on the ticket in 1834. He really stood second
in order, Herndon gives the correct vote, although he is in error in
saying that the chief authority he quotes--a document owned by Dr.
A.W. French of Springfield, Ill.--is an "official return." It is
a copy of the official return made out in Lincoln's writing and
certified to by the county clerk. The official return is on file in
the Springfield court-house.]

[Footnote 4: "Get books and read and study them carefully. Begin with
Blackstone's Commentaries, and after reading carefully through, say
twice, take up Chitty's Pleadings, Greenleaf's Evidence, and Story's
Equity in succession. Work, work, work, is the main thing."




Never had I met any man so methodical in his habits, so neat in
his dress, so accurate in speech, so precise in manner as my
fellow-lodger. When he took his bath in the morning I knew it was
half-past seven, and when he rang for hot water, that it was a quarter
to eight. Until a quarter-past he moved about the room in his slow,
careful dressing, and then everything was quiet next door till
half-past eight, when the low murmur of the Lord's Prayer concluded
his devotions. Two minutes later he went downstairs--if he met
a servant one could hear him say "Good morning"--and read his
newspaper--he seldom had letters--till nine, when he rang for
breakfast. Twenty-past nine he went upstairs and changed his coat,
and he spent five minutes in the lobby selecting a pair of gloves,
brushing his hat, and making a last survey for a speck of dust.
One glove he put on opposite the hat-stand, and the second on the
door-step; and when he touched the pavement you might have set your
watch by nine-thirty. Once he was in the lobby at five-and-twenty
minutes to ten, distressed and flurried.

"I cut my chin slightly when shaving," he explained, "and the wound
persists in bleeding. It has an untidy appearance, and a drop of blood
might fall on a letter."

The walk that morning was quite broken; and before reaching the
corner, he had twice examined his chin with a handkerchief, and shaken
his head as one whose position in life was now uncertain.

"It is nothing in itself," he said afterwards, with an apologetic
allusion to his anxiety, "and might not matter to another man. But any
little misadventure--a yesterday's collar or a razor-cut, or even an
inky finger--would render me helpless in dealing with people. They
would simply look at the weak spot, and one would lose all authority.
Some of the juniors smile when I impress on them to be very careful
about their dress--quiet, of course, as becomes their situation, but
unobjectionable. With more responsibility they will see the necessity
of such details. I will remember your transparent sticking-plaster--a
most valuable suggestion."

His name was Frederick Augustus Perkins--so ran the card he left on my
table a week after I settled in the next rooms; and the problem of his
calling gradually became a standing vexation. It fell under the class
of conundrums, and one remembered from childhood that it is mean to
be told the answer; so I could not say to Mister Perkins--for it was
characteristic of the prim little man that no properly constituted
person could have said Perkins--"By the way, what is your line of
things?" or any more decorous rendering of my curiosity.

Mrs. Holmes--who was as a mother to Mr. Perkins and myself, as well
as to two younger men of literary pursuits and irregular habits--had a
gift of charming irrelevance, and was able to combine allusions to Mr.
Perkins's orderly life and the amatory tendencies of a new cook in a
mosaic of enthralling interest.

"No, Betsy Jane has 'ad her notice, and goes this day week; not that
her cookin's bad, but her brothers don't know when to leave. One was
'ere no later than last night, though if he was her born brother,
'e 'ad a different father and mother, or my name ain't 'Olmes. 'Your
brother, Betsy Jane,' says I, 'ought not to talk in a strange 'ouse on
family affairs till eleven o'clock.'

"''E left at 'alf-past ten punctual,' says she, lookin' as hinnocent
as a child, 'for I 'eard Mr. Perkins go up to 'is room as I was
lettin' Jim out.'

"'Betsy Jane,' I says, quite calm, 'where do you expeck to go to as
doesn't know wot truth is?'--for Mr. Perkins leaves 'is room has
the 'all clock starts on eleven, and 'e's in 'is bedroom at the last
stroke. If she 'adn't brought in Mr. Perkins, she might 'ave deceived
me--gettin' old and not bein' so quick in my 'earin' as I was; but
that settled her.

"'Alf-past," went on Mrs. Holmes, scornfully; "and 'im never varied
two minutes the last ten years, except one night 'e fell asleep in 'is
chair, being bad with hinfluenza.

"For a regular single gentleman as rises in the morning and goes out,
and comes in and takes 'is dinner, and goes to bed like the Medes and
Persians, I've never seen 'is equal; an' it's five-and-twenty
years since 'Olmes died, 'avin' a bad liver through takin' gin for
rheumatics; an' Lizbeth Peevey says to me, 'Take lodgers, Jemima; not
that they pays for the trouble, but it 'ill keep an 'ouse'....

"Mr. Perkins' business?"--it was shabby, but the temptation came as a
way of escape from the flow of Mrs. Holmes's autobiography--"now that
I couldn't put a name on, for why, 'e never speaks about 'is affairs;
just 'Good evening, Mrs. 'Olmes; I'll take fish for breakfast
to-morrow;' more than that, or another blanket on 'is bed on the first
of November, for it's by days, not cold, 'e goes...."

It was evident that I must solve the problem for myself.


Mr. Perkins could not be a city man, for in the hottest June he never
wore a white waistcoat, nor had he the swelling gait of one who made
an occasional _coup_ in mines, and it went without saying that he did
not write--a man who went to bed at eleven, and whose hair made
no claim to distinction. One's mind fell back on the idea of
law--conveyancing seemed probable--but his face lacked sharpness, and
the alternative of confidential clerk to a firm of dry-salters was
contradicted by an air of authority that raised observations on the
weather to the level of a state document. The truth came upon me--a
flash of inspiration--as I saw Mr. Perkins coming home one evening.
The black frock-coat and waistcoat, dark gray trousers, spotless
linen, high, old-fashioned collar, and stiff stock, were a symbol, and
could only mean one profession.

"By the way, Mr. Perkins," for this was all one now required to know,
"are you Income Tax or Stamps?"

"Neither, although my duty makes me familiar with every department in
the Civil Service. I have the honor to be," and he cleared his throat
with dignity, "a first-class clerk in the Schedule Office.

"Our work," he explained to me, "is very important, and in fact,
vital to the administration of affairs. The efficiency of practical
government depends on the accuracy of the forms issued, and every one
is composed in our office.

"No, that is a common mistake," in reply to my shallow remark; "the
departments do not draw up their own forms, and, in fact, they are not
fit for such work. They send us a memorandum of what their officials
wish to ask, and we put it into shape.

"It requires long experience and, I may say, some--ability, to compose
a really creditable schedule, one that will bring out every point
clearly and exhaustively; in fact, I have ventured to call it a
science"--here Mr. Perkins allowed himself to smile--"and it might be
defined Schedulology.

"Yes, to see a double sheet of foolscap divided up into some
twenty-four compartments, each with a question and a blank space for
the answer, is pleasing to the eye--very pleasing indeed.

"What annoys one," and Mr. Perkins became quite irritable, "is to
examine a schedule after it has been filled and to discover how it has
been misused--simply mangled.

"It is not the public simply who are to blame; they are, of course,
quite hopeless, and have an insane desire to write their names all
over the paper, with family details; but members of the Civil Service
abuse the most admirable forms that ever came out of our office.

"Numerous? Yes, naturally so; and as governmental machinery turns on
schedules, they will increase every year. Could you guess, now, the
number of different schedules under our charge?"

"Several hundred, perhaps."

Mr. Perkins smiled with much complacency. "Sixteen thousand four
hundred and four, besides temporary ones that are only used in
emergencies. One department has now reached twelve hundred and two;
it has been admirably organized, and its secretary could tell you the
subject of every form.

"Well, it does not become me to boast, but I have had the honor
of contributing two hundred and twenty myself, and have composed
forty-two more that have not yet been accepted.

"Well, yes," he admitted, with much modesty, "I have kept copies of
the original drafts;" and he showed me a bound volume of his works.

"An author? It is very good of you to say so;" and Mr. Perkins seemed
much pleased with the idea, twice smiling to himself during the
evening, and saying as we parted, "It's my good fortune to have a
large and permanent circulation."

All November Mr. Perkins was engaged with what he hoped would be one
of his greatest successes.

"It's a sanitation schedule for the Education Department, and is, I
dare to say, nearly perfect. It has eighty-three questions, on every
point from temperature to drains, and will present a complete view of
the physical condition of primary schools.

"You have no idea," he continued, "what a fight I have had with our
Head to get it through--eight drafts, each one costing three days'
labor--but now he has passed it.

"'Perkins,' he said, 'this is the most exhaustive schedule you have
ever drawn up, and I'm proud it's come through the hands of the
drafting sub-department. Whether I can approve it as Head of the
publishing sub-department is very doubtful.'"

"Do you mean that the same man would approve your paper in one
department to-day, and--"

"Quite so. It's a little difficult for an outsider to appreciate the
perfect order, perhaps I might say symmetry, of the Civil Service;"
and Mr. Perkins spoke with a tone of condescension as to a little
child. "The Head goes himself to the one sub-department in the
morning and to the other in the afternoon, and he acts with absolute

"Why, sir"--Mr. Perkins began to warm and grow enthusiastic--"I have
received a letter from the other sub-department, severely criticising
a draft he had highly commended in ours two days before, and I saw his
hand in the letter--distinctly; an able review, too, very able indeed.

"'Very well put, Perkins,' he said to me himself; 'they've found the
weak points; we must send an amended draft;' and so we did, and got a
very satisfactory reply. It was a schedule about swine fever, 972 in
the Department of Agriculture. I have had the pleasure of reading it
in public circulation when on my holidays."

"Does your Head sign the letters addressed to himself?"

"Certainly; letters between departments are always signed by the chief
officer." Mr. Perkins seemed to have found another illustration
of public ignorance, and recognized his duty as a missionary of
officialism. "It would afford me much pleasure to give you any
information regarding our excellent system, which has been slowly
built up and will repay study; but you will excuse me this evening, as
I am indisposed--a tendency to shiver, which annoyed me in the office

Next morning I rose half an hour late, as Mr. Perkins did not take
his bath, and was not surprised when Mrs. Holmes came to my room,
overflowing with concern and disconnected speech.

"'E's that regular in 'is ways, that when 'Annah Mariar says 'is
water's at 'is door at eight o'clock, I went up that 'urried that I
couldn't speak; and I 'ears 'im speakin' to 'isself, which is not what
you would expect of 'im, 'e bein' the quietest gentleman as ever--"

"Is Mr. Perkins ill, do you mean?" for Mrs. Holmes seemed now in fair
breath, and was always given to comparative reviews.

"So I knocks and says, 'Mr. Perkins, 'ow are you feelin'?' and all
I could 'ear was 'temperance;' it's little as 'e needs of that, for
excepting a glass of wine at his dinner, and it might be somethin' 'ot
before goin' to bed in winter--

"So I goes in," resumed Mrs. Holmes, "an' there 'e was sittin' up in
'is bed, with 'is face as red as fire, an' not knowin' me from Adam.
If it wasn't for 'is 'abits an' a catchin' of 'is breath you wud 'ave
said drink, for 'e says, 'How often have the drains been sluiced last
year?'" After which I went up to Mr. Perkins's room without ceremony.

He was explaining, with much cogency, as it seemed to me, that unless
the statistics of temperature embraced the whole year, they would
afford no reliable conclusions regarding the sanitary condition of
Board Schools; but when I addressed him by name with emphasis, he came
to himself with a start.

"Excuse me, sir, I must apologize--I really did not hear--in fact--"
And then, as he realized his situation, Mr. Perkins was greatly

"Did I forget myself so far as--to send for you?--I was not feeling
well. I have a slight difficulty in breathing, but I am quite able to
go to the office--in a cab.

"You are most kind and obliging, but the schedule I am--it just comes
and goes--thank you, no more water--is important and--intricate; no
one--can complete it--except myself.

"With your permission I will rise--in a few minutes. Ten o'clock,
dear me!--this is most unfortunate--not get down till eleven!--I must
really insist--" But the doctor had come, and Mr. Perkins obeyed on
one condition.

"Yes, doctor, I prefer, if you please, to know; you see I am not a
young person--nor nervous--thank you very much--quite so; pneumonia is
serious--and double pneumonia dangerous, I understand.--No, it is not
that--one is not alarmed at my age, but--yes, I'll lie down--letter
must go to office--dictate it to my friend--certain form--leave of
absence, in fact--trouble you too much--medical certificate."

He was greatly relieved after this letter was sent by special
messenger with the key of his desk, and quite refreshed when a clerk
came up with the chief's condolences.

"My compliments to Mr. Lighthead--an excellent young official, very
promising indeed--and would he step upstairs for a minute--will excuse
this undress in circumstances--really I will not speak any more.

"Those notes, Mr. Lighthead, will make my idea quite plain--and I hope
to revise final draft--if God will--my dutiful respect to the Board,
and kind regards to the chief clerk. It was kind of you to come--most

This young gentleman came into my room to learn the state of the case,
and was much impressed.

"Really this kind of thing--Perkins gasping in bed and talking in his
old-fashioned way--knocks one out of time, don't you know? If he had
gone on much longer I should have bolted.

"Like him in the office? I should think so. You should have seen the
young fellows to-day when they heard he was so ill. Of course we laugh
a bit at him--Schedule Perkins he's called--because he's so dry and
formal; but that's nothing.

"With all his little cranks, he knows his business better than any man
in the department; and then he's a gentleman, d'y see? could not say
a rude word or do a mean thing to save his life--not made that way, in

"Let me just give you one instance--show you his sort. Every one knew
that he ought to have been chief clerk, and that Rodway's appointment
was sheer influence. The staff was mad, and some one said Rodway need
not expect to have a particularly good time.

"Perkins overheard him, and chipped in at once. 'Mr. Rodway'--you know
his dry manner, wagging his eyeglass all the time--'is our superior
officer, and we are bound to render him every assistance in our power,
or,' and then he was splendid, 'resign our commissions.' Rodway, they
say, has retired, but the worst of it is that as Perkins has been once
passed over he'll not succeed.

"Perhaps it won't matter, poor chap. I say," said Lighthead,
hurriedly, turning his back and examining a pipe on the mantelpiece,
"do you think he is going to--I mean, has he a chance?"

"Just a chance, I believe. Have you been long with him?"

"That's not it--it's what he's done for a--for fellows. Strangers
don't know Perkins. You might talk to him for a year, and never hear
anything but shop. Then one day you get into a hole, and you would
find out another Perkins.

"Stand by you?" and he wheeled round. "Rather, and no palaver either;
with money and with time and with--other things, that do a fellow more
good than the whole concern, and no airs. There's more than one man in
our office has cause to--bless Schedule Perkins.

"Let me tell you how he got--one chap out of the biggest scrape he'll
ever fall into. Do you mind me smoking?" And then he made himself busy
with matches and a pipe that was ever going out for the rest of the

"Well, you see, this man, clerk in our office, had not been long up
from the country, and he was young. Wasn't quite bad, but he couldn't
hold his own with older fellows.

"He got among a set that had suppers in their rooms, and gambled a
bit, and he lost and borrowed, and--in fact, was stone broke.

"It's not very pleasant for a fellow to sit in his room a week before
Christmas, and know that he may be cashiered before the holidays, and
all through his own fault.

"If it were only himself, why, he might take his licking and go to the
Colonies, but it was hard--on his mother--it's always going, out, this
pipe!--when he was her only son, and she rather--believed in him.

"Didn't sleep much that night--told me himself afterwards--and he
concluded that the best way out was to buy opium in the city next day,
and take it--pretty stiff dose, you know--next night.

"Cowardly rather, of course, but it might be easier for the mater down
in Devon--his mother, I mean--did I say he was Devon?--same county
as myself--affair would be hushed up, and she would have--his memory

"As it happened, though, he didn't buy any opium next day--didn't get
the chance; for Perkins came round to his desk, and asked this young
chap to have a bit of dinner with him--aye, and made him come.


"He had the jolliest little dinner ready you ever saw, and he
insisted, on the fellow smoking, though Perkins hates the very smell
of 'baccy, and--well, he got the whole trouble out of him, except the

"D'y think he lectured and scolded? Not a bit--that's not Perkins--he
left the fool to do his own lecturing, and he did it stiff. I'll
tell you what he said: 'Your health must have been much tried by this
anxiety, so you must go down and spend Christmas with your mother, and
I would venture to suggest that you take her a suitable gift.

"'With regard to your debt, you will allow me,' and Perkins spoke
as if he had been explaining a schedule, 'to take it over, on two
conditions--that you repay me by installments every quarter, and dine
with me every Saturday evening for six months.'

"See what he was after? Wanted to keep--the fellow straight, and
cheer him up; and you've no idea how Perkins came out those
Saturdays--capital stories as ever you heard--and he declared that it
was a pleasure to him.

"'I am rather lonely,' he used to say, 'and it is most kind of a young
man to sit with me.' Kind!"

"What was the upshot with your friend? Did he turn over a new leaf?"

"He'll never be the man that Perkins expects; but he's doing his level
best, and--is rising in the office. Perkins swears by him, and that's
made a man of the fellow.

"He's paid up the cash now, but--he can never pay up the
kindness--confound those wax matches, they never strike--he told his
mother last summer the whole story.

"She wrote to Perkins--of course I don't know what was in the
letter--but Perkins had the fellow into his room. 'You ought to have
regarded our transaction as confidential. I am grieved you mentioned
my name;' and then as I--I mean, as the fellow--was going out, 'I'll
keep that letter beside my commission,' said Perkins.

"If Perkins dies"--young men don't do that kind of thing, or else one
would have thought--"it'll be--a beastly shame," which was a terrible
collapse, and Mr. Geoffrey Lighthead of the Schedule Department left
the house without further remark or even shaking hands.

That was Wednesday, and on Friday morning he appeared, flourishing a
large blue envelope, sealed with an imposing device, marked "On Her
Majesty's Service," and addressed to

  "Frederick Augustus Perkins, Esq.,
  First Class Clerk in the Schedule Department,
  Somerset House,

an envelope any man might be proud to receive, and try to live up to
for a week.

"Rodway has retired," he shouted, "and we can't be sure in the office,
but the betting is four to one--I'm ten myself--that the Board has
appointed Perkins Chief Clerk;" and Lighthead did some steps of a
triumphal character.

"The Secretary appeared this morning after the Board had met. 'There's
a letter their Honors wish taken at once to Mr. Perkins. Can any of
you deliver it at his residence?' Then the other men looked at me,
because--well, Perkins has been friendly with me; and that hansom came
very creditably indeed.

"Very low, eh? Doctors afraid not last over the night--that's hard
lines--but I say, they did not reckon on this letter. Could not you
read it to him? You see this was his one ambition. He could never be
Secretary, not able enough, but he was made for Chief Clerk. Now he's
got it, or I would not have been sent out skimming with this letter.
Read it to him, and the dear old chap will be on his legs in a week."

It seemed good advice; and this was what I read, while Perkins lay
very still and did his best to breathe:--


    "I have the pleasure to inform you that the Board have
    appointed you Chief Clerk in the Schedule Department in
    succession to Gustavus Rodway, Esq., who retires, and their
    Honors desire me further to express their appreciation of your
    long and valuable service, and to express their earnest hope
    that you may be speedily restored to health.

    "I am,
    "Your obedient servant,



For a little time it was too much for Mr. Perkins, and then he

"The one thing on earth I wished, and--more than I deserved--not
usual, personal references in Board letters--perhaps hardly
regular--but most gratifying--and--strengthening.

"I feel better already--some words I would like to hear again--thank
you, where I can reach it--nurse will be so good as to read it."

Mr. Perkins revived from that hour, having his tonic administered at
intervals, and astonished the doctors. On Christmas Eve he had made
such progress that Lighthead was allowed to see him for five minutes.

"Heard about your calling three times a day--far too kind with
all your work--and the messages from the staff--touched me to
heart.--Never thought had so many friends--wished been more friendly

"My promotion, too--hope may be fit for duty--can't speak much,
but think I'll be spared--Almighty very good to me--Chief Clerk of
Schedule Department--would you mind saying Lord's Prayer together--it
sums up everything."

So we knelt one on each side of Perkins's bed, and I led with "Our
Father"--the other two being once or twice quite audible. The choir of
a neighboring church were singing a Christmas carol in the street, and
the Christ came into our hearts as a little child.




Editor of "The Railway Age" and one of the official time-keepers on
the train.


When, on August 22d last, a train was run over what is known as the
West Coast line (of the London and Northwestern and the Caledonian
Railways) from London to Aberdeen, a distance of 540 miles, at an
average speed, while running, of 63.93 miles an hour, the English
press hailed with a jubilation which was almost clamorous the fact
that the world's record for long distance speed rested once more with
Great Britain. From the tone which the English newspapers adopted, it
appeared that they believed that the record then made was one which
could not be beaten in this country, but that the former records of
the New York Central represented the maximum speed obtainable on an
American railway with American engines.

Undoubtedly the West Coast run was a remarkable one. But English
judges were mistaken as to the permanence of the record. It was left
unchallenged for just twenty days--or until September 11th, when the
cable carried to England the unpleasant news that the New York Central
had covered the 436.32 miles from New York to East Buffalo at
an average speed, when running, of 64.26 miles an hour--or about
one-third of a mile an hour faster than the English run.

There was still left to the Englishmen, however, a loophole for escape
from confession of defeat. It will be noticed that the distance from
New York to Buffalo is rather more than 100 miles shorter than that
from London to Aberdeen. It was yet possible for the Englishmen to
say: "We are talking only of long distance speeds. We do not consider
anything under 500 miles a long distance." The record, in fact, for a
distance of over 500 miles was still with England.

There are not many railways in the United States on which a sustained
high speed for a distance of over 500 miles would be possible. In
England the run is made, as already stated, over the connecting lines
of two companies. In this country, while not a few roads have over 500
miles of first-class track in excellent condition, there is usually at
some point in that distance an obstacle (either steep grades to cross
a mountain range, or bad curves, or a river to be ferried) sufficient
to prevent the making of a record. On the Lake Shore and Michigan
Southern, from Chicago to Buffalo, there exists no such impediment,
and between the outskirts of the two cities the distance is 510.1
miles. It was in an informal conversation between certain officers
of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway that the idea of
attempting to beat the record on this piece of track was first

In making comparison of different runs there are other matters to be
taken into consideration besides the mere distance covered and
the speed attained. It is not possible to exactly equalize all
conditions--as, for instance, those of wind and weather, or of the
physical character of the track in the matter of grades and curves.
Entire equality in all particulars could only be attained in the same
way that it is attained in horse-racing, viz., by having trains run
side by side on parallel tracks.

Certain conditions there are, however, which are more important
and which can be equalized. One of these is the weight of the train
hauled. The English load was a light one--67 tons (English) or 147,400
pounds. This was little more than one-quarter of the load hauled by
the New York Central engine on its magnificent run, when the weight
of the cars making the train was 565,000 pounds. With the types of
locomotive used on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern it was not
possible to haul at record-breaking speed any such load as this. It
was enough if the load should be about double that of the English
train. This was attained by putting together two heavy Wagner parlor
cars of 92,500 pounds each and Dr. Webb's private car "Elsmere," which
alone weighs 119,500 pounds--or more than three-fourths of the weight
of the entire English train. The total weight of the three Lake Shore
and Michigan Southern cars was 304,500 pounds.

The last important condition to be taken into consideration is the
number of stops made. It should be explained that when speed is
reckoned "when running" or "exclusive of stops" (the phrases mean the
same thing), the time consumed in stops is deducted--the time, that
is, when the wheels are actually at rest. No deduction however, is
made for the loss of time in slowing up to a stop or in getting under
way again. On the run of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, for
instance, an irregular or unexpected stop was made when the train was
running at a speed of about 71 miles an hour. The train was actually
at rest for 2 minutes and 5 seconds. That allowance, therefore, was
made for the stop. It is unnecessary to say that the secondary loss of
time in bringing the train to a standstill and in regaining speed was
much greater; but for these (aggregating probably five or six minutes)
there was no allowance. It is evident, therefore, that the number
of times that a train has to slow down and get under way again is an
important factor in the average speed of a long run. In the English
run two stops were made. The schedule for the Lake Shore run provided
for four stops. A fifth stop, as has already been stated, was made,
which was not on the programme.


From a photograph by Max Platz, Chicago. President Newell died August
24, l894, and is said to have fairly sacrificed his life to giving the
Lake Shore the best railway track in America. The proud record made,
in this speed run, is largely the fruit of his labor.]

These, then, were the conditions under which the now famous run of
October 24, 1895, was accomplished: A train weighing twice as much as
the English train was to be hauled for a distance of over 500 miles,
making four stops _en route_, at a speed, when running, greater than
63.93 miles an hour. Incidentally it was hoped also that the New York
Central's speed of 64.26 miles an hour would be beaten.

No public announcement was made of the undertaking in advance, for the
sufficient reason that the gentlemen in charge were well aware of the
difficulty of the task in which they were engaged and the many
chances of failure. They had no desire to have such a failure made
unnecessarily public. No one was informed of what was in hand except
the officials and employees of the Lake Shore road, whose coöperation
was necessary, one daily newspaper (the Chicago "Tribune"), the
Associated Press, and two gentlemen who were invited to attend as
official time-keepers, Messrs. H.P. Robinson and Willard A. Smith--the
former being the editor of "The Railway Age," and the latter the
ex-chief of the Transportation Department at the Chicago World's Fair.
General Superintendent Canniff of the Lake Shore was in charge of the
train in person.


It was at two o'clock of the morning of October 24th that the train,
which had been waiting since early in the evening on a side track
in the Lake Shore station at Chicago, slipped unostentatiously away
behind a switch engine which was to haul it as far as One Hundredth
Street, where the start was to be made. Here there was a wait of
nearly an hour until the time fixed for starting--half-past three.
There was plenty to be done at the last moment to occupy the time of
waiting, however. There were last messages to be sent back to
Chicago; last orders to be sent on ahead; telegrams containing weather
bulletins, which promised fair weather all the way to Buffalo, to be
read; and, finally, the preparations to be made for time-taking.

One of the time-keepers, taking two stop-watches in his hand, started
the split-second-hands of both with one movement of his muscles,
exactly together. To one or other of these timepieces all the watches
on the train were set.

In one of the parlor cars, as nearly as might be in the middle of the
length of the train, two tables were set, one on either side of the
aisle. The time-keepers had agreed to relieve each other at each stop
at the end of a division, one being always on duty, and the other
close at hand to verify any record on which a question might arise.
The time-keeper on duty sat at one of the tables, watch in hand.
Opposite to him was a representative of the railway company, with no
power to originate a record, but to check each stop in case an
error should occur. Across the aisle sat the official recorder, a
representative of the Wagner Palace Car Company, and opposite to him a
representative of the daily press.

For two minutes before the time for starting, silence settled down
upon the car. The shades were pulled down over every window. Inside,
the car was brilliantly lighted with Pintsch gas; and the eyes of
every man were on the face of the watch which each held in his
hand, and his finger was ready to press the stop which splits the
second-hand. The two minutes passed slowly, and the silence was almost
painful as the watches showed that the moment was close at hand.
Suddenly the smallest perceptible jerk told that the wheels had
moved, and on the instant the split-hand of every watch in the car had
recorded the fact. "Three--twenty-nine--twenty-seven!" announced the

"Three--twenty-nine--twenty-seven!" echoed the representative of the
railway company.

"Three--twenty-nine--twenty-seven!" called the recorder as he entered
the figures on the sheet before him.

"Three--twenty-nine--twenty-seven!" said the member of the press.

The start had been made thirty-three seconds ahead of time, and each
member of the party settled himself down to the work ahead.

Over each division of the road the superintendent of that division
rode as "caller-off" of the stations as they were passed. It was
necessary, during the first hours of darkness especially, that some
one should do this who was familiar with every foot of the track--some
one who would not have to rely on eyesight alone, but to whose
accustomed senses every sway of the car as a curve was passed, and
every sound of the wheels on bridge or culvert, would be familiar.

The first station, Whiting, is only three and one-half miles from
the starting-point. The night outside was intensely black, and it
was doubtful whether even the practised eye and ear of Superintendent
Newell would be able to catch the little station as it went by. With
one eye on our watches, therefore, we all had also one anxious eye on
him where he sat with his head hidden under the shade that was drawn
behind him, a blanket held over the crevices to shut out every ray
of light, and his face pressed close against the glass. The minutes
passed slowly--one, two, three, four, five! Whiting must be very near,
and--but just as we began to fear that he had missed the station, the
word came:

"Ready for Whiting!" and the response,

"Ready for Whiting!"

A few short seconds of silence, and then:


Instantly the muscles of the waiting fingers throbbed on the
split-stop; but no quicker than the roar told that the car was already
passing the station.

"Three--thirty-four--forty-five!" called the time-keeper.




It was an immense relief to find that the system "worked."

When the warning "Ready for Pine "--the next station, six miles
further on--came from behind the envelope of window-shade and blanket,
we were at our ease, and the record, "Three--forty-one--three," was
called and echoed and tossed across the car with confidence.


By the time that Miller's--fifteen miles from the start--was passed,
the train was moving at a speed of over a mile a minute, and at every
mile the velocity increased. At La Porte, forty-five miles from the
start, the speed was 66 miles an hour; and fourteen miles further
on, at Terre Coupee, it reached to 70. It was fast running--while it
lasted; but it did not last long. The next station showed that the
speed was down to 67 miles an hour, and at the next it was barely
over sixty. A speed of a mile a minute, however, is high enough when
passing through the heart of a city like South Bend, Indiana. South
Bend is understood to have a city ordinance forbidding trains to run
within the city limits at a speed exceeding 15 miles an hour. But if
any good citizen of South Bend was shocked that morning at being waked
from his sleep by the roar of the flying train, it is to be hoped that
he forgot his resentment before evening. Then he knew that he had been
waked in a good cause, and that if the city ordinance had been broken
it was broken in good company--the world's record suffered with it.

To those inside the cars nothing but their watches told them of the
rate of speed. Of the party on board every man was familiar with
railway affairs; but there was not one who was not surprised at the
smoothness of the track and the complete absence of uncomfortable
motion. Only by lifting a window shade and straining the eyes into the
blackness of the night, to see the red sparks streaming by or the dim
outlines of house and tree loom up and disappear, was it possible to
appreciate the velocity at which the train was moving.

Fifteen miles from South Bend the first stop was made, at Elkhart, and
one-sixth of the run was over--87.4 miles in 85.4 minutes, or a speed
of 61.38 miles an hour.

That was good work; but it was not breaking records. It had not been
expected, however, that the best speed would be made on this first
stretch; and if there was any disappointment among those on the
train, it did not yet amount to discouragement. It had been dark (and
breaking records in the dark is not as easy as in daylight), there
had been curves and grades to surmount, and, above all, it was now
discovered that a heavy frost lay on the rails.

At Elkhart there was a change of engines, two minutes and eleven
seconds being consumed in the process, and at three minutes before
five o'clock (4 hours, 57 minutes, 4 seconds) the wheels were moving

The frost that was on the rails was felt inside the cars. It was not
an occasion when an engineer would have steam to spare for heating
cars; and the group that were huddled in the glare of the gaslight
were muffled in blankets and heavy overcoats. Outside, the dawn was
coming up from the east to meet us--as lovely a dawn as ever broke in
rose-color and flame. As the daylight grew, we were able to see how
complete the arrangements were for the safety of the run. At every
crossing, whether of railway, highway, or farm road, a man was
posted--1,300 men in all, it is said, along the 510 miles of line.
Apart from these solitary figures, no one was yet astir to see the
wonderful sight of the brilliantly lighted train--for the shades were
lifted now--rushing through the dawn.





At Kendallville, 42 miles from Elkhart, the speed, in spite of an
adverse grade, was 67 miles an hour. Here--the highest point on the
line above the sea--the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad crosses the
Lake Shore track at right angles, and a train was standing waiting for
us to pass--the engine shrieking its good wishes to us as we flew by.
At Waterloo, twelve miles further on, a clump of early pedestrians
stood in the street to gaze, and two women--wives, doubtless, of
railway hands who had learned what was in progress--were out on the
porch of a cottage to see us pass. And it must have been a sight worth
seeing, for we were running at 70 miles an hour now, with 60 miles of
tangent ahead of us. At Butler, seven miles beyond, we passed a Wabash
train on a parallel track, which made great show of travelling fast.
Perhaps it was doing so--moving, perchance, at 40 miles an hour. But
we were running at 72, and the Wabash train slid backwards from us at
the rate of half a mile a minute; and still our pace quickened to 75
miles an hour, and 78, and 79, and at last to 80. But that speed could
not be held for long.

The sun was above the horizon now, and the long straight column of
smoke that we left behind us glowed rosy-red; and all the autumn
foliage of the woods was ablaze with color and light. But as the
sunlight struck the rails the frost began to melt; and a wet rail is
fatal to the highest speeds. The 80-mile-an-hour mark, touched only
for a few seconds, was not to be reached again on this division.
During the next 47 miles, to Toledo, 64, 65, and 66 miles were reached
at times; and when for the second time the train came to a standstill
it was one minute after seven, and the 133.4 miles from Elkhart had
been made in 124.5 minutes--or at 64.24 miles an hour. This was better
than the run to Elkhart--and good enough in itself to beat the English
figures. But it was not what had been expected of the "air line
division," with its 69 miles of tangent and favorable grades; and,
taking the two divisions together, 220 miles of the 510 were gone, and
we were as yet, thanks to the frost, below the record which we had to

The time spent in changing engines at Toledo was 2 minutes and 28
seconds, and at 7.04.07 the train was sliding out of the yards again.
Coming out of Toledo the railway runs over a drawbridge; and boats
on the river below have right of way. But not on such an occasion as
this; for there, waiting patiently, lay a tug tied up to a pier of the
bridge, with her tow swinging on the stream behind her.




If the record was to be beaten for the first half of the run, the
speed for the next thirty miles would have to be nearly 70 miles an
hour. Each individual mile was anxiously timed, and at 12 miles from
Toledo the speed was already 66 miles an hour. Nor did it stop there,
but 10 miles further on a stretch of 3-1/2 miles showed a rate of
73.80 miles an hour, and the next 5-1/2 miles were covered at the rate
of 71.40.

It would not take much of such running to put us safely ahead of
the record at the half-way point; but even as hope grew, there was a
sudden jar and grinding of the wheels which told of brakes suddenly
applied. What was the matter? It takes some little time to bring a
train to a standstill when it is running at over 70 miles an hour; and
there was still good headway on when we slid past a man who yet held a
red flag in his hand. Evidently he had signalled the engineer to stop.
But why? Windows were thrown up, and before the train had stopped,
heads were thrust out. The engineer climbed down from his cab.
From the rear platform the passengers poured out, until only the
time-keepers were left on the train, sitting watch in hand to catch
the exact record of the stop and the start. And already, before his
voice could be heard, the man with the flag was brandishing his arms
in the signal to "go ahead;" and no one cared to stop to question him.

The stop was short--only a few seconds over two minutes, but the good
headway of 70 miles an hour was lost; and as the wheels moved again,
it was a sullen and dispirited party on the train. Just as the hope
of winning our uphill fight had begun to grow strong, precious minutes
had been lost; and for what reason none could guess. The common belief
on the train was that the man, in excess of enthusiasm at the speed
which the train was making, had lost his head, and waved his red flag
in token of encouragement. It subsequently transpired that he was
justified, an injury to a rail having been discovered which might have
made the passage at great speed dangerous; but, until that fact was
known, the poor trackman at Port Clinton was sufficiently abused.

On the 70 miles that remained of this division there was no
possibility that such a speed could be made as would put the total for
the first half of the run above the record. Once it was necessary to
slow down to take water from the track, and once again for safety
in rounding the curve at Berea. Between these points there were
occasional bursts of speed when 68 and 70 miles an hour were reached;
and after Berea was passed, there remained only 13 miles to Cleveland.
But in those 13 miles was done the fastest running that had been made
that day; for 7 miles to Rockport were covered at the rate of 83.4
miles an hour, and at Rockport itself the train must have been running
nearly a mile and a half in a minute.

It was a gallant effort; and, but for "the man at Port Clinton," there
is no doubt that by that time the success of the run would have been
reasonably assured. As it was, Cleveland was reached at ten minutes to
nine (8.50.13), the 107 miles from Toledo having been covered in 109
minutes--from which two minutes and five seconds were to be deducted
for the time in which the train was at rest at Port Clinton. In all,
so far, 328-1/2 miles had been run at a speed of 62.16 miles an hour.

"It may be done yet," people told each other, but there was little
confidence in the voices which said it.

The stop at Cleveland was a good omen, for the change of engines was
made in a minute and forty-five seconds, and it was soon evident that
Jacob Garner, the new engineer, understood that he had a desperate
case in hand. Before ten miles were covered the train was travelling
more than a mile in a minute. Twenty-eight miles from the start, in
spite of an adverse grade, six miles were covered at the rate of
74.40 miles an hour; and from there on mile after mile flew past,
and station after station, and still the speed showed 70 miles
and upwards. Through Ashtabula, haunted with the memory of railway
disaster, we burst, and on to Conneaut and Springfield; and, even
against hope, hope grew again. Twelve miles from Springfield is the
little town of Swanville, and here the high-water mark of 83.4 miles
at the end of the last division was beaten; for the 6.2 miles from
there to Dock Junction were made in 4.4 minutes--or at the speed of
84.54 miles an hour.

As has been said, it was hoping only against hope. But to despair was
impossible in the face of such running; and when Erie, 8-1/2 miles
beyond Dock Junction, was reached, the 95-1/2 miles from Cleveland
had been done in 85-1/2 minutes, at an average speed of 67.01 miles
an hour. The average speed for the whole distance from Chicago was now
63.18 miles an hour, which was crawling close up to the record. But
424 miles had been covered, and only 86 miles remained. If the record
was to be beaten, the speed for those 86 miles would have to average
over 70 miles an hour.

Was it possible to do such a thing? It never had been done, of course,
in all the world; but the essence and the object of the whole day's
run were that it should defy all precedent. There were few people,
however, of those on board who in their hearts dared harbor any hope;
especially as the engine which was to be tried at this crucial moment
was a doubtful quantity.

All the engines used upon this run were built by the Brooks Locomotive
Works, of Dunkirk, N.Y., after designs by Mr. George W. Stevens, of
the Lake Shore road. The first four engines, which had hauled
the train as far as Erie, were of what is known as the American
type--eight-wheelers, comparatively light, but built for fast speeds.
These locomotives weighed only 52 tons, with 17 by 24-inch cylinders
and 72-inch driving-wheels. They had been doing admirable work in
service, having been built to haul the famous "Exposition Flyer"
in 1893; and that they were capable of very high speeds, for short
distances at least, even with a fairly heavy train, had been shown
in the earlier stages of this run, when all had reached a speed of 70
miles an hour, and two had touched and held a speed of well over 80.

The last engine was of a different type, and a type which among
experts has not been considered best adapted to extremely high speeds.
Somewhat heavier than its predecessors (weighing 56-1/2 tons in
working order), this engine was a ten-wheeler, with three pairs of
coupled drivers and a four-wheeled swivelling truck. It had the same
small cylinders (17 by 24 inches), and driving-wheels of only 68
inches diameter. It was a bold experiment to put such an engine to
do such work; and nothing could well be devised for fast speeds more
unlike the magnificent engine "No. 999," which was built in the New
York Central Railroad shops at West Albany, and is the glory of the
New York Central road, or than the London and Northwestern compound
engine with its 88-inch driving-wheels, or the Caledonian locomotive
(which did the best running in the English races) with its 78-inch
drivers and cylinders 18 by 26 inches.

It was now after ten o'clock in the morning; and at Erie crowds had
assembled at the station to see the train go out, for news of what was
being done had by this time gone abroad. The platforms, too, at every
station from Erie to Buffalo were thronged with people as we went
roaring by. In Dunkirk (through which we burst at 75 miles an hour)
crowds stood on the sidewalks and at every corner. To describe the run
for those 86 miles in detail would be impossible, or to put into words
the tension of the suppressed excitement among those on board the
train as miles flew by and we knew that we were travelling as men had
never travelled before.

For those who had misgivings as to the possibilities of the type of
engine there was a surprise as soon as she picked up the train. She
must have reached a speed of a mile a minute within five miles from
the first movement of the wheels. The first eight miles were finished
in 8 minutes, 49 seconds. From there on there was never an instant of
slackening pace. From 60 miles an hour the velocity rose to 70; from
70 to 80; from 80, past the previous high-water marks, to 85 and 90,
and at last to over 92.

Trains have been timed for individual miles at speeds of over 90 miles
before. There is even said to be on record an instance of a single
mile run at 112 miles an hour. But never before has an engine done
what the ten-wheeler did that day, when it reached 80 miles an hour
and held the speed for half an hour; reached 85 miles an hour and held
that for nearly ten minutes; reached 90 miles and held that for three
or four consecutive miles. A speed of 75 miles an hour (a mile and a
quarter a minute) was maintained for the whole hour, and the 75 miles
were actually covered in the 60 minutes. The entire 86 miles were done
in 70 minutes 46 seconds,--an average speed of 72.91 miles an hour.
In the English run, a speed of 68.40 miles was maintained for an even
hour, 69 miles being done in 60.5 minutes; and 141 miles were run at
an average speed of 67.20 miles an hour.

To word it otherwise, the American train covered 7 miles more in its
fastest hour than did the English train. The speed which the English
engines held for 141 miles the American engines held for over 200--181
miles being made at 69.67 miles an hour.

The most remarkable figures in the American run are given in the
following table:

  A distance of 510.1 miles made at 65.07 miles an hour.
  "     "     " 289.3   "    "   "  66.68   "    "  "
  "     "     " 181.5   "    "   "  69.67   "    "  "
  "     "     "  85     "    "   "  72.92   "    "  "
  "     "     "  71     "    "   "  75.06   "    "  "
  "     "     "  59     "    "   "  76.08   "    "  "
  "     "     "  52     "    "   "  78.00   "    "  "
  "     "     "  42     "    "   "  79.04   "    "  "
  "     "     "  33     "    "   "  80.07   "    "  "
  "     "     "   8     "    "   "  85.44   "    "  "

A single mile was also timed (unofficially) at the speed of 92.3 miles
an hour.

Here is the schedule of the last division:

                                           Dis-         Time of
                                           tance.       leaving.

  Erie (leave).............................--             10-19-48
  Harbor Creek............................. 8 miles       10-28-37
  Moorhead................................. 3   "         10-31-06
  North East............................... 4   "         10-34-22
  State Line............................... 5   "         10-38-15
  Ripley................................... 3   "         10-40-22
  Westfield................................ 8   "         10-45-56
  Brocton.................................. 8   "         10-52-06
  Van Buren................................ 5   "         10-55-39
  Dunkirk.................................. 4   "         10-58-54
  Silver Creek............................. 9   "         11-06-05
  Fairhaven................................ 5   "         11-10-33
  Angola .................................. 5   "         11-14-14
  Lake View................................ 7   "         11-20-11
  Athol Springs............................ 4   "         11-24-39
  Buffalo Creek............................ 8   "         11-30-34

  Total distance Erie to Buffalo
      Creek................................86   "
  Total time for the 86 miles....                          1-10-46

  Average speed over division..............72.91 miles per hour

So remarkable are these figures, considering the type of engine
used, that an English technical journal has, since the run was made,
scientifically demonstrated to its own satisfaction that it was an
impossibility. Well, it is the impossible which sometimes happens.

Through all the running at these wonderful speeds the train moved with
singular smoothness. Moments there were of some anxiety, when the cars
swung round a curve or dashed through the streets of a town. At such
times there were those among the passengers who would perhaps
gladly have sacrificed a few seconds of the record. Except for those
occasions, however, there was nothing to tell of the extraordinary
speed--nothing unless one stood on the rear platform of the last car
and saw the swirling cloud of dust and leaves and bits of paper, even
of sticks and stones, that were sucked up into the vacuum behind, and
almost shut out the view of the rapidly receding track. It may be
(it certainly will be) that the average of 65.07 miles an hour for a
distance of 510 miles will be beaten before long. It is almost certain
that the same engines on the same road could beat it in another
trial--taking a slightly lighter train, running by daylight and over a
dry rail. It will be long, however, before such another run is made as
that over the last 86 miles by the ten-wheeler, with William Tunkey in
charge. Railway men alone, perhaps, understand the qualities which
are necessary in an engineer to enable him to make such a run; and the
name of Tunkey is one (however unheroic it may sound) which railway
men will remember for many years to come. An analysis of the figures
given above will show that it was not until within 20 miles of the end
of the run that there was any confidence that the record was broken;
and not until the run was actually finished and the watches stopped
for the last time, at 34 seconds after half-past eleven, that
confidence was changed to certainty.

In addition to the mere speed, everything combined to make the run
supremely dramatic--the disappointment over the first divisions--the
growing hopes dashed by the unexpected flag--the increase of hope
again on the run to Erie--the misgivings as to the type of engine--all
culminating in the last tremendous burst of speed and the triumphant
rush into Buffalo station.

And having left Chicago at half-past three in the morning, at half
past-ten that night I sat and watched Mr. John Drew on the stage of a
New York theatre.




At the period when in France David and his followers had resuscitated
a dead and gone art, and by dint of governmental patronage had infused
into it a semblance of life, across the Channel, in a provincial town
of England, a little group of painters were quietly doing work which,
if it did not in itself change the face of modern art, was at least
indicative of the change soon to be accomplished by the advent of

The leader of this group, which has been of late years in the hands
of zealous amateurs and dealers elevated to the rank of "school," was
John Crome, born at Norwich, December 22, 1768. The son of a publican,
he was first an errand boy to a local physician and afterwards
apprenticed to a sign painter. Without instruction, hampered by
an early marriage, he forsook his occupation, and sought to paint
landscapes; meanwhile finding in the houses of the neighboring gentry
pupils in drawing. The lessons gave him a living; and in the houses
where he taught were many Dutch pictures which he carefully studied,
so that he is in a sense a follower of the Holland school. But his
greatest and best teacher was the quiet Norfolk country; and the
environs of Norwich, from which he seldom strayed, found in him an
earnest student.


In 1805, in conjunction with his son (the younger Crome) and Cotman,
Stark, and Vincent, Crome founded at Norwich an artists' club, where
the members exhibited their pictures and had a large studio in common.
Some of the members of the Norwich "school," a title to which none of
them in their own time pretended, left their native town, and went to
London; but its founder remained true to the city of his birth, where
he died April 22, 1821. Late in life he visited Paris, where the
Louvre still held the treasures of Europe, garnered after every
campaign by Napoleon; and his enthusiasm for the great Dutch painters
found fresh nourishment.

It is by this link in the great chain of art that Crome gained his
first consideration in the world's esteem; but more important to us of
to-day is the fact that he was the first of his century to return to
nature. No evil that the frivolous eighteenth century had wrought,
or that the classicism of the early years of the nineteenth had
perpetuated in art, was so great as the substitution of a conventional
type of picture instead of that directly inspired by nature; and
this artificial standard, which diverted figure painting from its
legitimate field, bore even more heavily on the art of landscape

Crome, by his isolation at Norwich, escaped this tendency. The Norwich
painters, however, were, to a certain degree, an accident. In the
London of their time, the almost total cessation of intercourse with
continental Europe, due to the war with France, had not prevented the
academical standard from penetrating and taking root. The independence
of Hogarth in the preceding century had been without result; and Sir
Joshua Reynolds, in principle if not always in practice, had preached
the doctrine of submission to accepted formulas. Benjamin West, who
had succeeded him as president of the Royal Academy, was little but an
academic formula himself; and landscape (whose greatest representative
had been, until his death in 1782, Richard Wilson, a painter of
merit, who had united to a charming sense of color an adherence to
the strictest classical influence) was wallowing in the mire of


This portrait, from an unknown model, gives Romney with all his charm
and more than his usual sincerity.]

To the London of 1800, however, were to be given two landscape
painters who may fairly claim the honor of placing their art on a
higher pinnacle than it had ever before reached. One of them,
John Constable, remains to-day the direct source from which all
representation of the free open air is derived, be the painter Saxon,
Gallic, or Teuton. The other, Joseph Mallord William Turner, may be
said to reach greater heights than his contemporary; but, unlike him,
his art is so based on qualities peculiar to himself that he stands
alone, though having many imitators who have never achieved more than
a superficial resemblance to his work.

Constable, founding his work on nature with close observance of
natural laws, was able to exert an influence by which all painters
have since profited. When he came to London, at the age of
twenty-three, to study in the school of the Royal Academy, he
attracted the attention of Sir George Beaumont, an amateur painter
who, by his taste and social position, was all-powerful in the
artistic circles of the metropolis. It was he who asked the young
painter the famous question, "Where do you place your brown tree?"
this freak of vegetation being one of the essential component parts
of the properly constructed academical landscape of the period. For
a year or two the youth placed brown trees, submissively enough, in
landscapes painfully precise in detail and deficient in atmosphere.
Then he did that which to a common, sensible mind would seem the most
obvious thing for a landscape painter to do, but which had been done
so rarely that the simple act was the boldest of innovations. He took
his colors out of doors, and painted from nature.


Reproduced, by the courtesy of W.H. Fuller, from "Memoirs of the Life
of John Constable, Esq., R.A., Composed Chiefly of his Letters, by
C.R. Leslie, R.A." Quarto, London, 1843. This noble memoir, which
makes one love the man as one admires the painter, is unfortunately
out of print.]

Of the dreary waste of "historical" and arbitrarily composed
landscapes, even in the simpler honest productions of the Dutch
preceding this century, nearly all were painted from drawings; color
had been applied according to recipe; the brown tree was rampant
through all the seasons represented, from primavernal spring to
golden autumn. At the most, only studies in colors were made out of
doors--unrelated portions of pictures, stained rather than painted,
with timid desire to enregister details. These were then transported
to the studio, where they underwent a process of arrangement, of
"cookery," as the typically just French expression puts it; from
which the picture came out steeped in a "brown sauce," conventional,
artificial, and monotonous, but pleasing to the Academy-ridden public
of the time. The young "miller of Bergholt"--for it was there in the
county of Suffolk that young Constable first saw the light, on June
11, 1776--determined in 1803 to have done with convention. He writes
to a friend, one Dunthorne, who had had much influence on his early
life and was his first teacher: "For the last two years I have been
running after pictures and seeking truth at second hand;" adding that
he would hereafter study nature alone, convinced that "there is [was]
room enough for a natural painter."


This picture was given to the National Gallery by the painter's
children. It is possibly one of three pictures on which Constable
obtained the gold medal of the Paris Salon in 1822--the one which in
the Salon catalogue is entitled "A Canal." The other two were "The
Hay-Wain" (shown on the next page) and "Hampstead Heath," both now in
the National Gallery.]

This was henceforth the aim of his life; and from constant study
out of doors he learned that natural objects exist to our sight not
isolated, but in relation one to another; that the whole is more
important than a part; and that the bark of a tree, a minutely defined
plant, or a conscientiously geologically studied rock, may mar the
effect of a whole picture, while the scene to be represented has a
character of its own more subtle, more evanescent, but also infinitely
more true than any single element of which it is composed. More than
that, through living on such intimate terms with Mother Nature, he
learned to value the smiles of her sunshine, and to cunningly adjust
her cloud-veils when she frowned. His object was no longer that of the
earlier painters, who--and along with others even faithful Crome--had
aimed to paint a "view" for its topographical value, suppressing
or altering, like mediocre portrait painters, any feature which was
thought to be displeasing. Constable painted the moods of nature; the
simplest subjects seen under ever-varying effects of light were his
choice; and though his pictures bear the names of various places, and
divers existing features of these places are portrayed, it is always
the beauty of the scene, or that of the moment of the day or night,
which affects the spectator.


This picture was first exhibited in the Royal Academy of 1821. It
is also one of three exhibited by Constable in the Paris Salon the
following year. It is one of Constable's best known pictures. The
thoroughly English character of the scene, painted with truth and
simplicity, makes it, after a lapse of seventy-five years, as modern
as though it were painted yesterday.]

By a public which was used to the conventional tones of the older
painters, and which understood or was interested in Turner's daring
variations on the theme of classical landscape, these fresh, simple
pictures which to-day look so natural to us were regarded with
distrust. Not even the shepherd, much less the warrior or the demigod,
inhabited these quiet scenes. A picture which any rural gentleman
could see from his front door, smacked too little of art for the
modish town. Moreover, Constable, no doubt sighing for something
lighter and more brilliant, was accustomed, in a vain effort to rival
the clear light of out-of-doors, to use the lightest colors of his
palette. On a varnishing day at the Royal Academy, the word was passed
around among the astonished painters that in portions of his picture
of the year Constable had actually used pure white!

In 1829, however, the world moving, Constable was elected to
membership in the Royal Academy. The most notable triumph of his
life, though, befell seven years earlier, in 1822, when he sent three
pictures to be exhibited in the Salon in Paris. The Hay-Wain, and
Hampstead Heath, both at present in the National Gallery, London, were
of the three, and excited the greatest enthusiasm among the group of
young painters who, with Delacroix at their head, were warring against
the academic rule imposed by David. Constable's work thenceforward was
the dominant influence in France, and from it can be directly traced
the great group of landscape painters which we to-day miscall the
"Barbizon" school.

It is pleasant to recall that official honor--the first which he
received--came to Constable by the award of the great gold medal of
the Salon at this time. For a number of years after this he sent his
work to the successive Salons. Pecuniary success, such as fell to the
lot of Turner, was never his; the first painter who looked at nature
in the open air "through his temperament," as Zola aptly expresses it,
was perforce contented to live a modest life at Hampstead, happy in
his work, grateful to nature who disclosed so many of her secrets to


The "Fighting Téméraire" was a line-of-battle ship of ninety-eight
guns which Lord Nelson captured from the French at the battle of the
Nile, August 1, 1798. In the battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805,
she fought next to the "Victory"--the ship from which Nelson commanded
the battle, and aboard which, in the course of it, he was killed. She
was sold out of the service in 1838, and towed to Rotherhithe to be
broken up. Turner's painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy
of 1839. His picture touched the popular heart, and though no
reproduction in black and white can approach the splendor of color in
the original, the engraving renders faithfully the sentiment of the

"I love," he said, "every stile and stump and lane in the village; as
long as I am able to hold a brush, I shall never cease to paint them."
He ceased to "hold a brush" on the 30th of March, 1837.

Turner, who was born a year before Constable, on April 23, 1775, was,
unlike the miller's son of Bergholt, a child of the city. He was
born in London, in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, where his father was a
hair-dresser; and when only fourteen entered the Royal Academy schools
as a student. The next year he exhibited a drawing of Lambeth Palace;
and in 1799 was made an associate, and in 1802 a member, of the Royal
Academy. His career was probably more successful than that of any
other artist of modern times. Of his life the more that is said in
charity the better; for as the sun rises oftentimes from a fog bank,
so the luminous dreams of color by which we know Turner emanated from
an apparently sour, prosaic cockney. A bachelor implicated in low
intrigues, dying under the assumed name of "Puggy Booth" in a dreary
lodging in Chelsea, after a long career of miserly observance and
rapacious bickering--of his life naught became him like the leaving.
He died December 19, 1851. His will directed that his pictures--three
hundred and sixty paintings and nearly two thousand drawings--should
become the property of the nation, the only condition attached being
that two of the pictures should be placed between two paintings by
Claude Lorraine in the National Gallery. Twenty thousand pounds were
left to the Royal Academy for the benefit of superannuated artists;
and one thousand pounds were appropriated for a monument in St.
Paul's, where this curious old man knew the English people would be
proud to lay him.

For many years Turner had refused to sell certain of his pictures;
while for others, and for the published engravings after his work,
he had exacted prices of a character and in a manner that smacked of
dishonesty. But as in obscure and dingy lodgings his brain had evolved
the splendor of sunset and mirage, so, undoubtedly, his imagination
had foreshadowed the noble monument which the Turner room at the
National Gallery has created to his memory.


This portrait, made many years ago, is a sketch from life, and
realizes the crabbed, sturdy painter, Turner, as we may imagine him.]

Turner's work, as has been said before, is peculiarly his own. It is
true that in the earlier pictures the influence of Claude Lorraine is
evident; but upon this root is engrafted an audacity in the conception
of color, a research of luminosity in comparison with which nearly all
painting is eclipsed. That this refulgence is tinged now and then
with exaggeration, with a forcing of effect that destroys the sense
of weight and solidity in depicted objects where this sense should
prevail, is certain. But it is not the least of his merits that he was
endowed with a sureness of taste which enabled him to avoid the rock
on which all his imitators have split--his work is never spectacular.
It is perhaps at its best when he has the simple elements of sea
and sky as his theme. Here, with the intangible qualities of air and
light, textureless and diaphanous, he is most at home. When it becomes
a question of the representation of earth, buildings, or trees, one
feels the lack of loving subservience to nature; the spirit against
which the art of Constable is eloquent lurks here too much.


  "The midnight torch gleamed o'er the steamer's side,
  And merit's corse was yielded to the tide."

                                     --_Fallacies of Hope._

The "Fallacies of Hope" was an imaginary poem from which Turner
professed to quote whenever he wanted a line or a couplet to
explain his pictures, the avowed quotation being really of his own
composition. Sir David Wilkie, the distinguished painter, died at sea
on his way home from the Orient, June 1, 1841. His body was consigned
to the sea at midnight of that day. The picture was exhibited at the
Royal Academy in 1842.]

The stone-pines of Italy are seen through the distortion of
convention, the palaces of Venice were never builded by the hand of
man; and we lose by this the contrast which nature provides between
solid earth and filmy cloud. The onlooker must indeed be devoid of
imagination, however, if he can stand before those pictures of Turner
where the limitless sky is reflected in the waters, without profound
emotion. They may not seem _natural_ in such sense as one finds works
of more realistic aim; but one must at least agree with Turner, in the
time-worn story of the lady who taxed him with violation of natural
law, saying that she had never seen a sky like one in the picture
before them. "Possibly," growled the unruffled painter; "but don't you
wish you could?"


This is believed to be a portrait of the painter's younger brother,
William Opie.]

Another phase of art--English, like that of Constable and Turner--rose
to its greatest popularity at about the same time. It had an origin
more easily traceable--the presence of Vandyke in England in the
seventeenth century having given an impulsion to portrait painting
which had been maintained by Reynolds and Gainsborough in the
century preceding our own. George Romney, who was born at Dalton, in
Lancashire, December 15, 1734, divided with these last two painters
the patronage of the great and wealthy of his time. He was but
eleven years younger than Reynolds, and seven years the junior of
Gainsborough; but by the fact of his living until November 15, 1802,
he may be considered in connection with the painters of this century.
He possessed great facility of brush, which led him occasionally into
careless drawing, and he lacked the refined grace of Reynolds and the
simple charm of Gainsborough. Nevertheless, a superabundance of the
qualities which go to make up a painter were his, and his art is less
affected by influences foreign to his native soil than that of any
painter of his time.

Romney was preëminently a painter of women, as were the majority
of his followers--English art at that time being possessed of more
sweetness than force. Lady Hamilton, the Circe who succeeded in
ensnaring the English Ulysses, Nelson, was a frequent model for
Romney, and the list of notable names of the fair women whose beauty
he perpetuated would be a long one. His life offers one of the most
curious examples of the engrossing nature of a painter's work, if we
accept this as the explanation of his strange conduct. Having come to
London from Kendal in 1762, leaving his wife and family behind him
in Lancashire, he remained in the metropolis for thirty-seven years,
making, during this time, but two visits to the place which he never
ceased to consider his home. It does not appear that anything but
absorption in work was the cause of this neglect. His wife and
children remained all the time in their northern home. In 1799, three
years before his death, the husband and father awoke to a realization
of their existence, and returned to live with them.

10, 1793.]

John Opie, known as the "Cornish genius" when his first works,
executed at the age of twenty, were exhibited in the Royal Academy,
was a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds. He was born at Truro in May, 1761,
the son of a carpenter. His precocity attracted the notice of Dr.
Wolcot ("Peter Pindar"), who introduced him to Reynolds.

Opie is thoroughly English in his manner, having, however, more
affiliation to Hogarth and the earlier painters of his century than
to his master. A certain hardness and lack of color are his principal
defects; but, on the other hand, his work is sincere to a degree which
none of the other painters of his time show, preoccupied as were even
the best of them by a somewhat conventional type of beauty. He was
appointed professor of painting at the Royal Academy in 1805, but
delivered only one course of lectures, dying, at the age of forty-six,
April 9, 1807.


From the collection of George A. Hearn of New York, by whose courtesy
it appears here. Quaint and charming as a picture, of great beauty of
color in the original, this is an admirable example of this painter.
The original painting is at present on exhibition at the Metropolitan
Museum, New York.]

During the last quarter of the eighteenth century and the first years
of the nineteenth, the fashionable portrait painters of London were
John Hoppner and Sir Thomas Lawrence. The latter, living twenty years
longer than Hoppner, was able to generously say of him, in a letter
written shortly after Hoppner's death: "You will believe that I
sincerely feel the loss of a brother artist from whose works I have
often gained instruction, and who has gone by my side in the race
these eighteen years."

Born in Whitechapel, London, April 4, 1758, Hoppner's first vocation
was that of chorister in the Chapel Royal. By lucky accident his first
efforts at painting attracted the attention of the king, George III.,
who granted him a small allowance which enabled him to study in the
Royal Academy, where, in 1782, he gained the medal for oil painting.
He first exhibited in 1780, and for some years devoted himself
to landscape. Gradually changing to portraiture, he was appointed
portrait painter to the Prince of Wales in 1789, and in 1793 he was
made an associate of the Academy, receiving full membership in
1795. For twenty years and until his death, January 23, 1810, he was
extremely successful, and his productions, though less in number than
those of Reynolds, or his contemporary, Lawrence, were numerous. In
the course of thirty years he contributed one hundred and sixty-six
works to the Academy exhibitions. These were chiefly portraits
of women and children, and are marked by unaffected grace and
appreciation of character.


This picture, in the National Gallery, London, has inscribed on the
canvas: "Lady Giorgiana Fane; 1800. Æt 5." It shows Lawrence's method
of treating a child's portrait, in the style dear to our ancestors,
as a "fancy" portrait. It is also typical of his pronounced mannerism,
which would lead one to believe that before the days of photography
sitters were easily contented on the score of resemblance. The head
in this picture, for instance, is almost identical with that of
Napoleon's son in the "Roi de Rome," executed fifteen years later.]


The greatest of all English actresses, at least in tragic parts--is
the common judgment on Mrs. Siddons. She was almost born and reared on
the stage, her father, Roger Kemble, being the manager of a travelling
company of actors, with one of whom, William Siddons, she had married
when she was eighteen. She was born at Brecon, in Wales, July 5, 1755,
and had already attained to some distinction as an actress in 1775,
when she made her first appearance in London. From then until her
retirement in 1812 her career was a succession of triumphs. She died
in London, June 8, 1831. Naturally, she was a favorite subject with
the portrait painters of her time. The sweet-faced girl shown in
the above portrait has as little resemblance to the stately lady of
Gainsborough, or the "Tragic Muse" of Sir Joshua Reynolds, as it has
to our imagination of what a "tragic queen" should be. The picture is,
nevertheless, a portrait of _the_ Mrs. Siddons, and was presented to
the National Gallery, London, where it now is, by her daughter, Mrs.
Cecelia Combe, in 1868.]

Time has enhanced the value of Hoppner's work somewhat at the expense
of his great rival, Lawrence. While the latter remains, from youth
to comparative old age, a most astonishing example of facile and
brilliant execution, the less obtrusive, possibly more timid, attitude
of Hoppner in the presence of nature gives him a greater claim to our
sympathy to-day. He was apparently preoccupied above all in rendering
the individual characteristics of his sitter; and there are many
instances in his work where a painter can see that he has chosen to
retain certain qualities of resemblance, rather than risk their loss
by an exhibition of _bravura_ painting. Sir Thomas Lawrence is one,
on the contrary, before whose pictures it is felt that the principal
question has been to make it first of all a typical example of his


This portrait of the gifted and brilliant woman who, as Lady
Blessington, and the intimate friend of Count d'Orsay, alternately
shocked and ruled the literary London of Byron's time, is
representative of Lawrence's extreme mannerism; but, despite its
"keepsake" prettiness, has great charm. Besides her distinguished
beauty, Lady Blessington offered much, in her life and surroundings,
to inspire a painter. Born in Ireland in 1789, she was forced at
fourteen into marrying one Captain Farmer. She could not live with
him, and they separated after three months. Farmer was killed in 1817,
and the next year she married the Earl of Blessington. Then began that
brilliant social career by virtue of which her fame now most survives.
Her house became the resort of the most distinguished people of
the time; and she herself, by her remarkable grace, cleverness, and
vivacity, ever kept pace with the best of her company. She derived a
large estate from her husband at his death, in 1829; and besides,
for nearly twenty years she had ten thousand dollars a year from her
novels (for she was also an author); but she lived most profusely,
and had finally, in company with Count d'Orsay, to flee from her
creditors. She died in Paris, June 4, 1849.]

Lawrence, born at Bristol, May 4, 1769, was the son of the landlord of
the Black Bear Inn at Devizes; and the child was not yet in his teens
when some chalk drawings of his father's customers gave him a local
reputation. We are told that "at the age of ten he set up as a
portrait painter in crayons at Oxford; and soon after took a house at
Bath, the then fashionable watering-place, where he immediately met
with much employment and extraordinary success." When seventeen, his
success called him to London, where in 1791, though under the age
required by the laws of the Academy, he was elected as associate when
twenty-two. The year before, he had painted the portraits of the king
and queen; in 1794 he was made Academician, in 1815 was knighted, in
1820 was unanimously elected President of the Royal Academy, and in
1825 was created chevalier of the Legion of Honor in France.

This list of official honors is but little in comparison with the
success which he had socially. Of a charming personality, he was
admitted to the intimacy of all that Europe boasted of aristocracy and
royalty. In 1815 he went to the congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, where his
facile brush portrayed the august features of the allied sovereigns
assembled there. He contributed, from 1787 to 1830 inclusive, three
hundred and eleven pictures to the exhibitions of the Royal Academy.

It goes without saying that production of this quantity cannot be
in every instance of the first quality. But the average merit of
Lawrence's work is nevertheless of a high order. Of feminine charm
(like many of his time and many of his predecessors) he was a master;
no one has ever succeeded better in giving a certain aristocratic
bearing to his sitters than he. It can be accounted a fault that this
becomes somewhat stereotyped--that we feel that, were it wanting in
the person before him, the amiable Sir Thomas could easily supply it.
The English race has not changed so much in the short period which has
elapsed since his time that the demeasurably large and liquid eyes,
the swan-like necks, and the sloping shoulders, which mark it as his
own in Lawrence's work, should be to-day of more rare occurrence. With
this great and important limitation, among the pictures of Lawrence
can be found a certain number of canvases, not always the most
typical, of exceeding merit. Few men have ever conveyed better the
impression of the depth and living quality of an eye, nor have many
painters succeeded in giving to every part of their canvas the same
qualities of color and brilliancy of execution as he.



This picture, owned by R.H. McCormick of Chicago, by whose courtesy it
is here reproduced, represents Lawrence in his least mannered aspect.
The simplicity of young girlhood is well expressed, the head is drawn
and modelled with great subtlety, and we are fortunate to have so good
an example of Lawrence's work in this country.]

Lawrence died in his beautiful house on Russell Square in London,
surrounded by rare works of art which he had collected, on January
7, 1830. Nine years later Sir William Beechey, born at Burford in
Oxfordshire in 1753, died in London at the age of eighty-six. He had
come to London in 1772; and in 1798, having acquired consideration and
a lucrative practice as a portrait painter, and after having painted a
picture, now at Hampton Court, representing the king, George III., the
Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York at a review, he was knighted.
The same year saw his election to the Academy, of which he had been an
associate since 1793.

One of Beechey's distinctions is to have outnumbered even Lawrence in
his contributions to the Academy, as three hundred and sixty-two
of his works appeared on its walls. Of hasty execution or too great
dependence on a dangerous facility, there is, however, little trace
in his work. He was occupied exclusively with painting; he lived more
than twenty years longer than Lawrence, and was never diverted by
the claims of society upon his time. With his healthy, English color,
recalling Reynolds, a sober style not devoid of charm, he is fairly
typical of his time; and may fitly close this brief review of the
earlier English portraitists. Their task has never been taken up by
their successors in art, English portraiture to-day having much the
same qualities and defects which mark the contemporaneous painters of
all nations.


The original painting is now in the museum of the Louvre, and is a
picture charming in color--the warm white of the dress, and the rich
surroundings, in the manner of Reynolds, making an admirable foil to
the children's heads.]

The exclusive choice of feminine portraits in this article has been
dictated by a desire to show, in the space at command, the painting
most typical of the time and people. While all these painters produced
portraits of men, their work in this field was, as a rule, inferior to
the art of France. Lawrence is perhaps an exception; as it would
seem that occasionally in the presence of a masculine sitter he rose
superior to his manner and, painting with all sincerity, gave his
remarkable gifts full play. The lack, however, of serious training in
drawing, the over-reliance on charm of color and sentiment, give to
the English work a degree of weakness as compared with the thorough
command of form and austere fidelity to resemblance that was preached
to the French with "drawing is the probity of art" for a text.

[Illustration: GARFIELD IN 1881, WHILE PRESIDENT. AGE 49.

From a photograph by Handy, Washington.]




James A. Garfield, twentieth President of the United States, had the
good fortune to be a boy long after he reached the years of manhood.
This fact is the key to his character and the explanation of his
career. His boyishness was not lack of manhood; it was a lingering
youthfulness of spirit, a keen susceptibility of impression,
an elasticity of mind, a hearty enjoyment of his strong life, a
tenderness and freshness of heart, an openness to friend and foe,
something of deference to others, and of diffidence, not without
understanding of and confidence in his own powers. He was youthful
with the noble youth of the fields and schools and churches, of
the farms and villages of the West, when he became a member of the
legislature of Ohio, from which he passed into the army, that was like
a university to him. As a soldier he was typically a big, brave boy,
powerful, ardent, amiable, rejoicing in his strength. In eastern
Kentucky he led his regiment in its first fight. He found out where
the enemy were, and pulling off his coat--the regulation country style
of preparing for battle--headed a foot-race straight for "the rebs,"
and routed them. It was literally a case of "come on, boys." Those
opposed, so to speak, thought the devil possessed the robust young man
in his shirt-sleeves.


From a photograph by Handy, Washington.]

When Garfield was President, he was asked whether he ever thought,
before his nomination for the office, that he was likely to fill
it, and his answer was curious and characteristic of his manner of
expression. He said he supposed all American young men reflected on
that subject, and he had done so--not with any serious concern, but as
a remote possibility. And he added, "I have fancied the great public
personified and looking with an immense, a rolling, intense eye, over
the millions of the nation, to pick out future Presidents, and thought
as it swept along the ranks the eye might give me a glance, and that
perhaps the meaning of it was: I may want you--some time."

It was my theory, as the editor of an important journal in Ohio during
the time General Garfield served in Congress, that he needed a good
deal of admonition; that he had a tendency to sentimentalism in
politics that called for correction; that he required paragraphs to
brace him up in various affairs; that he lacked a little in worldly
wisdom, and maybe had a dangerous tendency to giving and taking too
much confidence; and that he was disposed to dwell upon a mountain,
and would be the better off for an occasional taking-down with a shade
of good-humored sarcasm. He was still boyish about some things, and
the speculative men in public life sought to beguile him. He was
growing all the time, though. He was a student, and was brainy and
generous, and laughed at "able articles" even if they had stings in

[Illustration: GARFIELD IN 1863

From a photograph by Handy, Washington.]

Cincinnati knew him best as the Christian orator--follower of
Alexander Campbell--who preached with a big voice and great
earnestness at the corner of Walnut and Eighth Streets. This was when
he was a grand young man, sure enough. Some time after, Congress found
it out. After a while the public knew Garfield as one of the half
dozen strongest men in the country. Next to John Sherman he stood the
most commanding figure in Ohio politics, and was elected Senator of
the United States, his term commencing on the day on which, as it
happened, he was inaugurated President. He was just realizing
his ability, having had it measured for him in the House of
Representatives, and knew he was a force in affairs. He enjoyed his
dinners and dressed well, and was of imposing presence: a good-natured
giant--no posing--no troublesome sense of grandeur--none of the pomp
affected by public men too conscious of importance.


From a photograph by Handy, Washington.]

He suffered under the petty charge that he had been influenced by a
scrap of stock whose value might be affected by Congressional action;
and those who knew him well were aware that his innocence of knowledge
to do what he was charged with doing, was absurd and itself proof that
he was sound. He was, by virtue of superior capacity, at the head of
the Ohio delegation to the Republican National Convention of 1880,
and was charged with the management of the candidacy of John Sherman,
Secretary of the Treasury, for the Presidency--the most competent man
in the country for the office.

It had been thought for a time that the combination of important men
for a third term of General Grant would succeed, as the glory of the
General was very great and those who wanted him for President again
were able and resolute. Blaine had hesitated for a moment whether to
take the field; but learning that Sherman would be in the race whether
there was or was not any other man a candidate in opposition to Grant,
he made the fight, and he and Sherman were the representative leaders
against the third term.

Their feeling was that they were not making war upon General Grant,
but upon those who sought to use his fame for their own purpose, and
they meant particularly Senator Conkling. General Grant, at Galena,
wrote a letter to Senator Cameron, and gave it to John Russell Young,
who handed it to Mr. Cameron, and it disappeared. This letter was a
frank and serious statement that he desired not to be considered
a candidate, and no doubt his preference was the nomination of Mr.

The interest of the great convention early centred in the two tall
men on the floor, the undoubted champions of the contending forces,
Conkling and Garfield; and the latter got the first decided advantage
in breaking the third term line when Conkling demanded that the
majority of the delegation of a State should cast the entire vote.
This was the famous unit rule, the defeat of which was the first event
of the convention. Garfield and Conkling were foremost in the fray
because they were the most masterful men of the vast assembly--nearly
twenty thousand people under the roof.

The advocates of the Old Commander for a third term were in heavy
force, and knew exactly what they wanted; and whenever the convention
met, as Senator Conkling usually walked in late, he had a tumultuous
reception. The opposition saw it was necessary to counteract this
personal demonstration, and managed to hold Garfield back so that he
should be later than Conkling, and then they gave him salutations of
unheard-of exuberance far resounding; and this was the beginning
of the end. Garfield, because he was in person, position, and
transcending talent a leader, was transformed into a colossus before
the eyes of the convention, and was an appeal to the imagination.
When the nominating addresses were made, none was heard by the whole
multitude but those by Conkling and Garfield. They stood on tables
of reporters, and their voices rang clear, through their splendid
speeches, carrying every word to the remotest corners; and the rivalry
between the two men became emphasized. Each had the sense to admire
the effort of the other, Conkling saying to the delegate by his side:
"It is bright in Garfield to speak from that place," and it was a
good deal for him to say. More and more Garfield loomed as the man who
stood against Grant.

There had been a good many persons meantime saying that neither Blaine
nor Sherman could beat Grant, and that Garfield was the man to do
it. All who are familiar with our political methods are aware of the
frantic desire of the average office-seeker, or practical politician,
no matter what he wants, to find out early all the possibilities of
the next Presidency; and it is esteemed a superb achievement to be
among the first to pick the man. The number of far-sighted citizens
on the subject of the eligibility of Garfield, as the convention
progressed, grew large. Governor Foster of Ohio did not conceal his
impression that the nomination of Garfield was certain. In his opinion
Sherman was not in the race, and perhaps his judgment to that effect
assisted the formation of the current that finally flooded the
convention. One man, a delegate from Pennsylvania, voted for Garfield
on every ballot, and kept him before the people. I had telegrams from
correspondents of the Cincinnati "Commercial," at Chicago, several
days before the nomination, evidently reflecting Governor Foster's
opinions, and frequently repeated, until the event justified them,
saying Garfield would be the nominee. I was that time slow to
understand the situation, and protested, against putting the
"nonsense" on the wires, in telegrams that after the event were held
to signify lack of sagacity about Garfield.

The first man who held decidedly Garfield would be nominated was Mr.
Starin of New York, who travelled with Senator Conkling in a special
car from the national capital to the convention, and said on the way
the nomination of Grant was not to be, and that Blaine and Sherman
could not carry off the prize, and that therefore Garfield was to
be the man. He made this point to the Hon. Thomas L. James, the
Postmaster-General in Garfield's cabinet, between Harrisburg and
Chicago. Mr. Blaine regarded beating Grant at Chicago as no loss to
the General and no reflection on him, but rather as the best thing for
him; and that the true policy and purpose was to beat Conkling, who
committed the error in strategy, however gallant the sentiment that
inspired him, of committing himself irretrievably to Grant--and though
the contested votes were all against him, he was unchangeable.
"No angle-worm nomination will take place to-day"--meaning nothing
feeble--was Mr. Conkling's oracular remark the morning of the day when
the Presidential destiny of the occasion was determined.

The drift toward Garfield was in so many ways announced before the
decisive hour that he could not be insensible of its existence, and he
was greatly disturbed. He said he would "rather be shot with musketry
than nominated" and have Sherman think he had been unfaithful to his
obligations as leader of the forces for him. That Senator Sherman was
offended is well known; but so far as he felt that Garfield had been
to blame, it was due to the gossip, widely disseminated, that Garfield
was personally concerned in working his own "boom." All that was well
threshed out long ago, and there is nothing tangible in it to-day.
The fact is, Garfield could not have worked a personal scheme. He must
have been defeated if he had tried it. A movement on his part of that
kind would have been fatal. On the other hand, if he had got up to
decline to be a candidate, it would have been easy to say that he
was making a nominating speech for himself. It was not particularly
difficult to call Garfield a "traitor," and the temptation to do
it was because he was so sensitive regarding that imputation in
politics--whatever hurts goes. He had no idea of concealing anything,
and told such queer stories as this:

The morning of his nomination--the fact that this was from Garfield
himself is certain--one of his relatives from Michigan saw him and
said: "Jim, you are going to be nominated to-day. I had a dream about
you last night, and thought I was in the hall and there was something
happening, I could not tell what, when suddenly on every side the
standards of the States [names of the States on staffs locating the
delegations] were pulled from their places, and men ran to where you
were sitting, and waved them over your head." Garfield stated that
this was certainly told him on the way to his breakfast; and after the
nomination the dreamer reappeared and said: "What did I tell you,
Jim? Why, the very thing I saw in my dream last night, I saw in the
convention to-day."

The inside truth about the nomination was freely given by Mr. Blaine,
who, as the convention progressed, was studying the proceedings with
the surprisingly clear vision he possessed for the estimation of
passing events. He soon made up his mind that his nomination could
not happen, and that Sherman also was impossible. They could not unite
forces without losses. Evidently there was a crisis at hand. There is
something in a convention that always tells the competent observer,
near or far, that decisive action is about to be taken. The evidence
appears of an intolerant impatience. Mr. Conkling was relying upon
the absolute solidity of his three hundred and five. Mr. Blaine was a
wiser man about the force of a tempest in a convention, and would have
preferred Sherman to Conkling. But Conkling was quite as bitter toward
Sherman as regarding Blaine, even more so in his invective; and this
grew out of the custom-house difficulty that ultimately so deeply
affected General Arthur's fortunes. There had to be a break
somewhere--to Grant from Sherman and Blaine, or from him to them, or
a rush to Conkling, or to Garfield, whose conspicuity had constantly
suggested it; and Blaine resolved that the chance to rout the
third-termers was to sweep the convention by going for Garfield, and
overwhelming him with the rest, thus winning a double victory over

It is a fact, and the one that makes certain the proposition that
Sherman could not have been nominated, that the majority of the Blaine
men from New York, turned loose by breaking the unit rule--there were
nineteen of them--preferred Grant to Sherman. If the break by Blaine
from himself had been attempted, for Sherman, Grant would have been
nominated if one ballot had been decisive. But Blaine was able to
transfer every vote cast for him to Garfield, with the exception
of that of a colored delegate from Virginia; and this movement was
managed so as to overthrow all who strove to stand against it. Grant
was in the lead for thirty-four ballots, but on the thirty-fourth
there were seventeen votes for Garfield. On the thirty-fifth ballot
Garfield had three hundred and ninety-nine votes, twenty-one majority
over all. Blaine by telegraph had outgeneralled Conkling, present and
commanding in person.

The course of the proceedings of the convention from the first was
a preparation for the final scenes, the putting of Garfield against
Conkling and working up a rivalry between them having a marked effect;
and this was not so much for Garfield as against Conkling. Garfield
grieved to think Sherman would misunderstand him, and was apprehensive
as to the feeling of the New York delegation. "How do your people feel
about this?" Garfield asked a New Yorker, when he had returned to his
hotel the nominee.

"Well, they feel badly and bitterly," was the reply.

"Yes," said Garfield, "I suppose they do. It is as Wellington
said, 'next to the sadness of defeat, the saddest moment is that of
victory.'" This remark was quite in Garfield's method and manner.

Mr. Sherman's failure was made inevitable in this, as in other
conventions, by the strange absence, always observable in New York, of
appreciation of the unparalleled services to the country of his public
labors culminating in the resumption of specie payments. That is the
real secret and chief fault of the convention.

Ex-Governor Dennison of Ohio appeared at the headquarters of the New
York delegation after the Garfield nomination, and Senator Conkling
greeted him cordially. There Dennison said, so that the whole
delegation heard, that he was the bearer of a message from the
delegation of Ohio, that they would give a solid vote for any man New
York would be pleased to name for Vice-President. "Even," said Senator
Conkling promptly, in his finest cynical way, "if that man should be
Chester A. Arthur?"

Dennison's answer was, after a moment, "Yes;" and Conkling put the
question of supporting Arthur to a vote, making a motion that he
was the choice of the delegation for the Vice-Presidency, and it was
carried immediately. This was understood to be pretty hard on the Ohio
people, including especially Sherman and Garfield. Of course, under
the lead of New York and Ohio, the convention ratified the motion
of Conkling, and the ticket was Garfield and Arthur. And so ample
preparation was made for the bitterness of the coming time--for the
troubled administration of Garfield and its tragic close.


There have been limitations upon the candor of all persons who have
undertaken to write the story of the tragedy of the administration of
Garfield, and partisanism in personalities has had too much attention.
Mr. Conkling seemed to be the storm centre, and it was difficult to
deal with him and not to offend him. It is well remembered that in his
speech placing Grant in nomination he quoted Miles O'Reilly:

  If asked what State he hails from,
    Our sole reply shall be--
  He comes from Appomattox
    And the famous apple tree.

On the way home, Governor Foster of Ohio, called out at Fort Wayne,
paraphrased the Senator thus:

  If asked what State he hails from,
    Our sole reply shall be--
  He comes from old Ohio
    And his name is General G.

This was not startling in any way, but Mr. Conkling had the reputation
of being very much offended by the parody.

It happens often in war, and sometimes in peace, that newspaper
correspondents send the real news privately to the editor in charge,
and give things as they ought to be in "copy" for the printers. There
are before me private letters written by one well informed of that
which was going on in the capital city of Ohio immediately after the
nomination of Garfield, and a few extracts will turn the light on the
inside of the affairs of the Republicans of the nominee's State at
that time--the news then being too strong for newspapers.

"July 10.--The plan to have Garfield go through New York to Saratoga
with Logan, Foster, and others has been given up.... Logan and Cameron
are all right, but Conkling refuses to be pacified or conciliated,
unless Garfield will make promises; and that he refuses to do.
Conkling said he'd 'rather had to support Blaine.' Conkling never
called upon Garfield, or returned Garfield's call, or answered
Garfield's note. Sherman has been in cordial consultation with the
committee, and promised to do all he can honorably in his position
[Secretary of the Treasury]. Garfield appears well under fire, and is
a more manly character than ever before. He says no man could be in a
better position for defeat, if he has to get it. His behavior has won
the respect of the workers since the convention."

"July 11.--They all stand around and watch Conkling as little dogs
watch their master when he is in a bad mood--waiting for him to
graciously smile, and they will jump about with effusive joy. A strong
letter was written urging Conkling, in the most flattering way,
and appealing to him in the most humble manner, to come to Ohio and
deliver a speech in the Cincinnati Music Hall, and promising no end of
thousands of people and bands and guns and things, till you couldn't
rest. I opposed sending such a missive, advocating such a simple
and cordial invitation as it is customary to extend to a leader and
honest, earnest party man. But they looked upon me (probably rightly,
too) as a fool who would rush in where angels fear to tread. And now
Jewell writes that he has not dared to give the letter to Conkling
yet, as he has not 'deemed any moment yet as opportune.' Meanwhile
Conkling and Arthur have gone off on a two or three weeks' fishing
trip. Dorsey humbly and piously hopes Conkling can be induced to make
a speech in Vermont, and if the Almighty happens to take the right
course with him, he may condescend to come to Ohio."

This is a true picture of the way the campaign opened. Mr. Sherman
said something in an interview that was less cordial than was expected
and caused some temper, but the fault found was not that he was
accusative but reserved. Colonel Dick Thompson made a ringing speech
pledging the Hayes administration without reserve; and that gave
encouragement, and was said to be for a time the only inspiration the
Republicans got to go for Garfield with good will and confidence.

It was arranged to have General Garfield appear in New York City, and
it was expected that he would there meet Mr. Conkling. There was to be
a consultation of Republicans, and the plan of the campaign perfected.
The question of special exertion in the Southern States was up. The
conference came off, and Mr. Conkling did not attend it. Mr. Arthur
seemed very much grieved about that. Mr. Logan was unwilling to speak
in the presence of reporters, and Mr. Blaine said he would be very
much disappointed if his speech was not reported. Thurlow Weed made
the speech of the occasion. The real object of the meeting was to
bring Garfield and Conkling together without making the fact too
obvious; and the disturbance of the candidate was manifest in his
references to the absent Senator as "my Lord Roscoe."

"I have," said Garfield next day, "an invitation to make a trip to
Coney Island, and it means that I may there have a pocket interview
with my Lord Roscoe; but if the Presidency is to turn on that, I do
not want the office badly enough to go;" and he did not go. The words
are precisely Garfield's; and the next thing was the journey over the
Erie line, and speeches by Garfield, accompanied by General Harrison
and Governor Kirkwood, at every important place from Paterson to
Jamestown. That the General was capable of warm resentment, this
letter testifies:

    MENTOR, OHIO, _September 20, 1880_.

    I notice ---- is parading through the country devoting himself
    to personal assaults upon me. Why do not our people republish
    his letter, which a few years ago drove him in disgrace
    from the stump, and compelled the Democracy to recall every
    appointment then pending? Of all the black sheep that have
    been driven from our flock, I know of none blacker than he,
    and less entitled to assail any other man's character.

    Very truly yours,


The speaking on the line of the Erie road by Garfield, Harrison, and
Kirkwood was of a very high and effective character. The man who did
more to make peace than any other was General Grant. Conkling had a
genuine affection for him, and consented to go with him to Mentor;
and yet there was some trifle always in the way of a complete
understanding with the old guard of the Third-Term Crusaders.

Garfield was very sensible of and grateful for the work done by Grant
and Conkling, and did not stint expression of his feeling. The State
of New York was carried by the Republicans, and Garfield indisputably
elected President of the United States. There was a vast amount of
worry in making up the cabinet, and Mr. Conkling's hand appeared,
but not with a gesture of conciliation. He and Garfield were of
incompatible temper. Each had mannerisms that irritated the other; and
when they seemed to try to agree, the effort was not a success.

As soon as the administration was moving the President was under two
fires: one in respect to the attempted reforms in the postal service,
and the other about the New York appointments. Mr. Conkling did not
seem able to understand that anything could be done that was not
according to his pleasure, without personal offence toward himself.
He was a giant, and that was his weakness. It was Garfield's ardent
desire to be friendly with the senior New York Senator; but one
position he avowedly maintained. It was that he was not to blame for
being President of the United States; that he had taken the oath
of office, and was the man responsible to the people for the
administration, and he could not, dare not, shift that obligation;
and, more than that, he must give the "recognition" due friends to
the men who had aided him in breaking down Mr. Conkling's policy at
Chicago. If that was a crime he was a criminal. He was President, and
he would be true to his friends; and surely he should not be expected
to serve another man's purpose by humiliating himself.

Conkling had taken part in the campaign at last, but that was his duty
at first. It is needless to refer to questions of veracity--to what
practical politicians call "promises." A polite phrase is twisted,
by the many seized with fury to be officers, to mean what is desired,
though it may be but a mere civility--the more marked probably because
the President knows he has only good words to give! There are always
such issues when there is patronage to be distributed, for, of course,
there is dissatisfaction. Everybody cannot be made happy, with or
without civil service reform; and it is no effort, when the President
says "Good morning," and seems to be obliging, and says he will take a
recommendation into consideration and if possible read the papers,
and adds, "I shall be glad to see you again," to say, when he appoints
another to the coveted place, that he has falsified.

Mr. Conkling's friends relate that he was about to go to the White
House and hold a consultation in which Mr. Arthur and Mr. Platt were
to participate, when he received a telegram in cipher from Governor
Cornell which, when translated, turned out to be an urgent request
that the Senator should vote to confirm Robertson; and that this was
regarded as insulting, and Mr. Conkling refused to go to the White
House, with a burst of scorn about the dispensation of offices! This
is not consistent with the accusations that Garfield was influenced to
be perfidious. There are those who think there would have been peace
if it had not been for that Cornell telegram; but they are of the
manner of mind of the peacemakers of 1861, who thought another
conference would heal all wounded susceptibilities. The source
of discordance was not near the surface; it was in the system of
"patronage" and "recognition," and deep in the characteristics of the

It is not true that Mr. Blaine was fierce for war upon Conkling; he
thought a fight was inevitable, and that the time for the President
to assert himself was at the beginning; and said so. "Fight now if at
all," said Blaine then to Garfield, "for your administration tapers!"
As to his personal wishes, he was often overruled in the cabinet,
and took it complacently. But he was warlike on the point that the
President was entitled to be friendly with his friends, and must not
be personally oppressed.

One day Mr. Conkling in the Senate had one of the New York
appointments pleasing to him taken up and confirmed, leaving half a
dozen others, about evenly divided between his own and the President's
favorites. Then came a crisis; and it was represented to the President
that he should pull those appointments out of the Senate at once,
before Conkling's power was further exhibited; and that if he did not,
the bootblacks at Willard's would know that the Senator, and not the
President, was first in affairs. The appointments were withdrawn, and
it was perfectly understood that this withdrawal signified that the
President would not allow men to be discriminated against because they
were opposed to Conkling at Chicago. A letter came from General Grant
in Mexico, addressed to Senator Jones of Nevada, and was published,
reflecting upon Garfield's course; and at once the President wrote
to the Old Commander defending his administration. This was done as a
matter of personal respect. General Grosvenor of Ohio happened to be
in the President's room when he mailed a copy of his letter to
General Grant, and read the duplicate that was reserved. It was a very
respectful and decisive statement. This letter was personal to General
Grant, and the rush of events caused it to be reserved and finally
forgotten, except by the few who knew enough of it to value it as an
historical document.

There were but a few days of the four months between the inauguration
of President Garfield and his assassination that he could be said to
have had any enjoyment out of the great office. It brought him only
bitter cares, venomous criticisms, lurking malice, covert threats
ambushed in demands that were unreasonable if not irrational. He felt
keenly the accusation that he had been nominated when his duty was due
another; and he was aware that friends had given color to accusation
by a zeal that was unseemly. He was pathetic in his anxiety to be very
right; and only the assurance that Conkling was implacable took the
sting out of the haughty presumption he encountered in that severe
gentleman, whose egotism was so lofty it was ever imposing, when it
would have been absurd in any one else.

During the summer and autumn of the campaign and the winter following,
President Garfield was subject to attacks of acute indigestion that
were distressing; and it was remembered with concern that he had at
Atlantic City suffered from a sunstroke while bathing, and fallen into
an insensible condition for a quarter of an hour. The question whether
his physical condition might not be one of frailty was serious. Then
Mrs. Garfield became ill, and the situation was gloomy.


There was one evening at the White House--just when Mrs. Garfield's
indisposition was at first manifested, and then was only apparent in
a slight chill, that caused a rather unseasonable wood fire to be
lighted--that none of those present can have forgotten; for there
were not many bright hours in the midst of the dismal shadowing of
the drama hastening to the tragic close. Mrs. Garfield was, with the
privilege of an invalid, whose chilly sensation was supposed to
be trivial, seated before the fire, the warmth of which was to her
pleasant; and she was pale but animated, surrounded by a group among
whom were several very dear to her. General Sherman arrived, and
was--as always when his vivacity was kindly, and it was never
otherwise with ladies--fascinating. The scene was brilliant, and had
a charming domestic character. The President was detained for half an
hour beyond the time when he was expected, and came in with a quick
step and hearty manner, and there was soon a flush of pleasure upon
his face, that had been touched with the lines of fatigue, as he saw
how agreeable the company were. A lady, who had never before seen him,
voiced the sentiment of all present, saying in a whisper: "Why, he is
the ideal President! How grand he is! How can they speak about him so?
What a magnificent gentleman he is! Talk about your canal boys!"
He was well dressed, of splendid figure, his coat buttoned over his
massive chest, his dome-like head erect, adequately supported
by immense shoulders, and he looked the President indeed, and an
embodiment of power. He was feeling that the dark days were behind
him, that he was equal to his high fortune, that the world was wide
and fair before him. It was a supreme hour--and only an hour--for the
occasion was informal, and there was a feeling that the lady of the
White House should not be detained from her rest; and the good-night
words were trustful that she would be well next morning; but then she
was in a fever, and after some weeks was taken to Long Branch, and
returned to her husband, called, to find him stricken unto death.

It happened on the last day of June, 1881, that I stopped in
Washington on the way to New York; and in the evening--it was
Thursday--walked from the Arlington to the White House, and sent my
card to the President, who was out. Then I strolled, passing through
Lafayette Square and sitting awhile there, thoughtful over the
President's troubles, and recalling the long letters I had written to
him at Mentor, urging that Levi P. Morton should be Secretary of the
Treasury, wondering whether things would have been better if that had
been done; for a good deal of the tempest that broke over Garfield was
because he sustained Thomas L. James in postal reforms. The testimony
taken during the trial of Guiteau shows that he was that night in that
square; and, knowing the President had left the White House, was on
the look-out, with intent to murder him. The incarnate sneak was lying
in wait, a horrible burlesque, to take his revenge because he thought
he had been slighted, and was so malignant a fool he believed public
opinion might applaud the deed. One of the dusky figures on the
benches was probably his.

At the Arlington, a few minutes after ten o'clock, I met
Postmaster-General James; and when told that I was going to New York
in the morning, he asked: "Have you seen the President?"

I had not, and General James said quite earnestly: "Go over and see
him now;" and he added: "The President, you know, is going to Williams
College the day after to-morrow, and I know he is not going to bed
early, and is not very busy, and will be glad to see you. He and I
have been out dining with Secretary Hunt; and the President left me
here a few minutes ago. Go over and see him. He has had a good deal of
disagreeable business this afternoon relating to my department, and
I am sure he would be glad to talk with you, and have something very
interesting to say."


Returning to the White House, arriving there about a quarter before
eleven, after I had waited a few minutes in one of the small parlors,
the President came down the stairs rapidly, and I took note that his
movements were very alert. I had not seen him since the night when
Mrs. Garfield had notice of the illness that had become alarming, and
from which she was now convalescent, and said first: "Mrs. Garfield is
much better?"

"Yes, much better," said the President, "and getting health out of the
sea air. She has enjoyed it intensely, and will be able to join me day
after to-morrow at Jersey City, on the way to Williams College--the
sweetest old place in the world. Come and go with us; several of the
cabinet are going, and we shall have a rare time; come and go with us.
Have you ever seen the lovely country there?"

I answered, "No, I have not seen it; and, thanking you for the
invitation, shall not go; have too much to do. You will have a

"Yes," the President said, "and I am feeling like a schoolboy about
it. You should go. You were along with Harrison, Kirkwood, and me to
Chautauqua, you know. That was a great day's ride. Do you remember
those watermelons? They would have been first-rate if they had been on
ice a few hours."

"You had a hard day of it," I said; "forty speeches, weren't there?
And you will have another lot of speeches to make."

He said he did not mind the speeches.

"And how is your health," I asked; "any more indigestion? Ever try
Billy Florence's remedy, Valentine's meat juice, made in Richmond,
Virginia--great reputation abroad, little at home?"

He said he had never tried it, had forgotten it. Then, turning with an
air half comic, but with something of earnestness, he said, naming me
by way of start: "You have been holding a sort of autopsy over me ever
since I tumbled over at Atlantic City. I exposed myself there too long
both in the water and in the sun, but it was not so bad as you think."

I said he might pardon a degree of solicitude, under all the
circumstances, and he said he did not want any premature autopsies
held over him; and I put it that they had much better be premature.
Then the President said, with the greatest earnestness: "I am in
better health--indeed, quite well. It is curious, isn't it? My wife's
sickness cured me. I got so anxious about her I ceased to think about
myself. Both ends of the house were full of trouble. My wife's illness
was alarming, and I thought no more of the pit of my stomach and
the base of my brain and the top of my head; and when she was out of
danger, and my little troubles occurred to me--why, they were gone,
and I have not noticed them since. And so," said the President,
uttering the short words with deliberation, and picking them with
care, "and so, if one could, so to say, unself one's self, what a cure
all that would be!"

"The other end of the White House is better, is it not?" I asked.

"Not so much change there," said the President; "but one becomes
accustomed to heavy weather."

"Lord Roscoe is feeling happier, I hope," said I.

The President answered, dropping the "Lord Roscoe" comicality, and
speaking rapidly and seriously, with a flush of excitement: "Conkling,
after ten years of absolute despotism in New York--for Grant
did everything for him, and Hayes tried to comfort him--got the
elephantiasis of conceit. We read that gentlemen in Oriental
countries, having that disease in its advanced stage, need a
wheelbarrow or small wagon to aid their locomotion when they go out
to walk--and the population think there is something divine in it.
Conkling thought if he should go on parade in New York, and place the
developments of his vanity fully on exhibition, the whole people would
fall down and worship the phenomenon. But he was mistaken, for they
soon saw it was a plain, old-fashioned case of sore-head."

Then the President, having exhausted the elephantiasis as a divine
manifestation, expressed regrets that there had been such contentions
among those who should be friends of the administration; and repeated
his view of that which was due to the actual trust the people had
placed in him, and of which he could not honorably divest himself. He
thought the people already understood the case fairly well and would
be more and more of the opinion that he had tried to do the things
that were right, "with malice toward none and charity for all." We
talked until midnight. It was a Friday morning, and the President was
doomed to be shot the next day. The assassin had been on his path that
night. The President had gone out dining for the last time.

"And you will not go to Williams College with me?" he said.

I said: "Mr. President, you have forgotten you were assailed for being
in my company to Chautauqua; and I have been so fortunate since as to
gather a fresh crop of enemies, and do not want them to jump on to you
on my account--for there are enough upon you already."

That, the President said, was "curious and interesting," and he
laughed about my "fresh crop," and said something about cutting hay;
and I told him I had been invited to meet him Saturday night at Cyrus
W. Field's country place, where a dinner party was appointed; and
jumping up, hurried away. The light in the hall shone down on the
President's pale, high forehead, as he walked toward the stairway
leading to his apartments, and I saw him no more.

Something familiar struck me in the appearance of the watchman at
the door of the White House, and stopping, I said: "Did you hold this
position here in Lincoln's time?"

"Yes," said he, "I did."

"And did you not look after his safety sometimes?"

"I did, indeed," was the answer; "many a time I kept myself between
him and the trees there," pointing to them, "as we walked over to the
War Department to get the news from the armies. I did not know who
might be hidden in the trees, and I would not let him go alone."

"Did it ever occur to you," I asked, "that it would be worth while to
have a care that no harm happened here?"

"What, now?"

"Yes, now."

"Oh, it is different now--no war now."

"No," said I, "no war, but people are about who are queer; and there
are ugly excitements; think of it."

Of course, this conversation at the door of the White House the
midnight morning of the day before the President was shot, is
accounted for by the sensibility that there was a half-suppressed
public uneasiness that could mean some fashion of mischief, and
it might be of a deadly sort to the President, because he was so
formidably conspicuous. Nearly a year afterward, walking by General
Sherman's residence, I saw him sitting under a strong light, with his
back to the street, writing--doors and windows all open. I walked in,
saying: "General, I wouldn't sit with my back to an open window late
at night, under a light like this, if I were you. Some fool will come
along with a bull-dog pistol and the idea that death loves a shining

"Pooh!" said the old soldier. "Nobody interested in killing me. They
will let me well alone with their bull-dog pistols."

The White House shone like marble in the green trees as I drove
from the Arlington to the Potomac depot, July 1st, to take the train
corresponding to the one that had the President's car attached on the
following morning, when he meant to have a holiday of which he had
the most delightful anticipation, as one throwing off a brood of
nightmares. He was going back the President to the scene of his
struggles in early manhood for an education, going to what he called
the "sweetest place in the world," having reached the summit of
ambition, confident in himself, assured of the public good will, happy
to meet his wife restored to health, himself robust and to be, he
thought, hag-ridden no more; rejoicing to meet the dearest of old
friends, kindling with the realization of his superb and commanding
position, glowing with his just pride of place; no heart beating
higher, no imagination that exalted this mighty country more than his,
no brain that conceived with greater splendor the glory of the nation
than his, no American patriotism more true, brighter, broader, deeper,
more abounding than his; and all was shattered at a stroke by a
creature like a crawling serpent with a deadly sting.

All over the land the flags flew at half mast, and the woful news was
told: "The President is shot!" The man had fallen who, when Lincoln
was murdered, spoke the memorable words from the Treasury building, on
the spot where Washington was inaugurated: "The President is dead--but
God reigns and the Republic lives." There were nearly three months of
torture reserved for the second martyred President, and he bore
them with marvellous fortitude; and then, on a September night, the
throbbing of the bells from Scotland to California told, that the dark
curtain of death had fallen on the tragic drama of the Presidency of




Author of "The Prisoner of Zenda," "The Dolly Dialogues," etc.

King Rudolf, being in the worst of humors, had declared in the
presence of all the court that women were born to plague men and for
no other purpose whatsoever under heaven. Hearing this discourteous
speech, the Princess Osra rose, and said that, for her part, she would
go walking alone by the river outside the city gates, where she
would at least be assailed by no more reproaches. For since she was
irrevocably determined to live and die unmarried, of what use or
benefit was it to trouble her with embassies, courtings, or proposals,
either from the Grand Duke of Mittenheim or anybody else? She was
utterly weary of this matter of love--and her mood would be unchanged,
though this new suitor were as exalted as the King of France, as rich
as Croesus himself, and as handsome as the god Apollo. She did not
desire a husband, and there was an end of it. Thus she went out, while
the queen sighed, and the king fumed, and the courtiers and
ladies said to one another that these dissensions made life very
uncomfortable at Strelsau, the ladies further adding that he would
be a bold man who married Osra, although doubtless she was not

To the banks of the river outside the walls then Osra went; and as she
went she seemed to be thinking of nothing at all in the world, least
of all of whom she might chance to meet there on the banks of the
river, where in those busy hours of the day few came. Yet there was a
strange new light in her eyes, and there seemed a new understanding in
her mind; and when a young peasant-wife came by, her baby in her arms,
Osra stopped her, and kissed the child and gave money, and then ran on
in unexplained confusion, laughing and blushing as though she had done
something which she did not wish to be seen. Then, without reason, her
eyes filled with tears; but she dashed them away, and burst suddenly
into singing. And she was still singing when, from the long grass by
the river's edge, a young man sprang up, and, with a very low bow,
drew aside to let her pass. He had a book in his hand, for he was a
student at the University, and came there to pursue his learning in
peace. His plain brown clothes spoke of no wealth or station, though
certainly they set off a stalwart straight shape, and seemed to match
well with his bright brown hair and hazel eyes. Very low this young
man bowed, and Osra bent her head. The pace of her walk slackened,
grew quicker, slackened again; she was past him, and with a great sigh
he lay down again. She turned, he sprang up; she spoke coldly, yet

"Sir," said she, "I cannot but notice that you lie every day here by
the river, with your book, and that you sigh. Tell me your trouble,
and if I can I will relieve it."

"I am reading, madam," he answered, "of Helen of Troy, and I am
sighing because she is dead."

"It is an old grief by now," said Osra, smiling. "Will no one serve
you but Helen of Troy?"

"If I were a prince," said he, "I need not mourn."

"No, sir?"

"No, madam," he said, with another bow.

"Farewell, sir."

"Madam, farewell."

So she went on her way, and saw him no more till the next day, nor
after that till the next day following; and then came an interval when
she saw him not, and the interval was no less than twenty-four hours;
yet still he read of Helen of Troy, and still sighed that she was dead
and he no prince. At last he tempted the longed-for question from her
shy, smiling lips.

"Why would you not mourn, sir, if you were a prince?" said she. "For
princes and princesses have their share of sighs." And with a very
plaintive sigh Osra looked at the rapid-running river, as she waited
for the answer.

"Because I would then go to Strelsau, and so forget her."


"But you are at Strelsau now!" she cried with wonderful surprise.

"Ah, but I am no prince, madam!" said he.

"Can princes alone--forget in Strelsau?"

"How should a poor student dare to--forget in Strelsau?" And as he
spoke he made bold to step near her, and stood close, looking down
into her face. Without a word she turned and left him, going with a
step that seemed to dance through the meadow and yet led her to her
own chamber, where she could weep in quiet.

"I know it now, I know it now!" she whispered softly that night to
the tree that rose by her window. "Heigh-ho, what am I to do? I cannot
live; no, and now I cannot die. Ah me! what am I to do? I wish I were
a peasant-girl--but then perhaps he would not--Ah yes, but he would!"
And her low, long laugh rippled in triumph through the night, and
blended with the rustling of the leaves under a summer breeze, and
she stretched her white arms to heaven, imploring the kind God with
prayers that she dared not speak even to His pitiful ear.

"Love knows no princesses, my princess." It was that she heard as she
fled from him next day. She should have rebuked him. But for that she
must have stayed, and to stay she had not dared. Yet she must rebuke
him. She must see him again in order to rebuke him. Yet all this while
she must be pestered with the court of the Grand Duke of Mittenheim!
And when she would not name a day on which the embassy should come,
the king flew into a passion, and declared that he would himself set
a date for it. Was his sister mad, he asked, that she would do nothing
but walk every day by the river's bank?

"Surely I must be mad," thought Osra, "for no sane being could be at
once so joyful and so piteously unhappy."

Did he know what it was he asked? He seemed to know nothing of it. He
did not speak any more now of princesses, only of his princess; nor of
queens, save of his heart's queen; and when his eyes asked love, they
asked as though none would refuse and there could be no cause for
refusal. He would have wooed his neighbor's daughter thus, and thus
he wooed the sister of King Rudolf. "Will you love me?" was his
question--not, "Though you love, yet dare you own you love?" He seemed
to shut the whole world from her, leaving nothing but her and him;
and in a world that held none but her and him she could love unblamed,
untroubled, and with no trembling.

"You forget who I am," she faltered once.

"You are the beauty of the world," he answered smiling, and he kissed
her hand--a matter about which she could make no great ado, for it was
not the first time that he had kissed it.

But the embassy from the Grand Duke was to come in a week, and to
be received with great pomp. The ambassador was already on the way,
carrying proposals and gifts. Therefore Osra went pale and sad down
to the river bank that day, having declared again to the king that she
would live and die unmarried. But the king had laughed again. Surely
she needed kindness and consolation that sad day; but Fate had kept
by her a crowning sorrow, for she found him also almost sad. At least,
she could not tell whether he were sad or not; for he smiled and
yet seemed ill at ease, like a man who ventures a fall with fortune,
hoping and fearing. And he said to her:

"Madam, in a week I return to my own country."

She looked at him in silence with lips just parted. For her life she
could not speak; but the sun grew dark, and the river changed its
merry tune to mournful dirges.

"So the dream ends," said he. "So comes the awakening. But if life
were all a dream!" And his eyes sought hers.

"Yes," she whispered, "if life were all a dream, sir?"

"Then I should dream of two dreamers whose dream was one, and in that
dream I should see them ride together at break of day from Strelsau."

"Whither?" she murmured.

"To Paradise," said he. "But the dream ends. If it did not end--" He

"If it did not end?" a breathless longing whisper echoed.

"If it did not end now, it should not end even with death," said he.

"You see them in your dream? You see them riding--"

"Aye, swiftly, side by side, they two alone, through the morning. None
is near, none knows."

He seemed to be searching her face for something that yet he scarcely
hoped to find.

"And their dream," said he, "brings them at last to a small cottage,
and there they live--"

"They live?"


"And work," he added. "For she keeps his home while he works."

"What does she do?" asked Osra, with smiling, wondering eyes.

"She gets his food for him when he comes home weary in the evening,
and makes a bright fire, and--"

"Ah, and she runs to meet him at the door--oh, further than the door!"

"But she has worked hard and is weary."

"No, she is not weary," cried Osra. "It is for him!"

"The wise say this is silly talk," said he.

"The wise are fools, then!" cried Osra.

"So the dream would please you, madam?" he asked.

She had come not to know how she left him. Somehow, while he still
spoke, she would suddenly escape by flight. He did not pursue, but
let her go. So now she returned to the city, her eyes filled with
that golden dream, and she entered her home as though it had been some
strange palace decked with new magnificence, and she an alien in it.
For her true home seemed now rather in the cottage of the dream, and
she moved unfamiliarly through the pomp that had been hers from birth.
Her soul was gone from it, while her body rested there; and life
stopped for her till she saw him again by the banks of the river.

"In five days now I go," said he; and he smiled at her. She hid her
face in her hands. Still he smiled; but suddenly he sprang forward,
for she had sobbed. The summons had sounded, he was there; and who
could sob again when he was there and his sheltering arm warded away
all grief? She looked up at him with shining eyes, whispering:

"Do you go alone?"

A great joy blazed confidently in his eyes as he whispered in answer:

"I think I shall not go alone."

"But how, how?"

"I have two horses."

"You! You have two horses?"

"Yes. Is it not riches? But we will sell them when we get to the

"To the cottage! Two horses!"

"I would I had but one for both of us."


"But we should not go quick enough."


He took his hand from her waist, and stood away from her.

"You will not come?" he said.

"If you doubt of my coming, I will not come. Ah, do not doubt of my
coming! For there is a great horde of fears and black thoughts beating
at the door, and you must not open it."

"And what can keep it shut, my princess?"

"I think your arm, my prince," said she; and she flew to him.

That evening King Rudolf swore that if a man were only firm enough,
and kept his temper (which, by the way, the king had not done, though
none dared say no), he could bring any foolish girl to reason in good
time. For in the softest voice, and with the strangest smile flitting
to her face, the Princess Osra was pleased to bid the embassy come on
the fifth day from then.

"And they shall have their answer then," said she, flushing and

"It is as much as any lady could say," the court declared; and it was
reported through all Strelsau that the match was as good as made, and
that Osra was to be Grand Duchess of Mittenheim.

"She is a sensible girl, after all," cried Rudolf, all his anger gone.

The dream began, then, before they came to the cottage. Those days she
lived in its golden mists that shut out all the cold world from her,
moving through space that held but one form, and time that stood still
waiting for one divine unending moment. And the embassy drew near to

It was night, the dead of night, and all was still in the palace. But
the sentinel by the little gate was at his post, and the gate-warden
stood by the western gate of the city. Each was now alone, but to
each, an hour ago, a man had come, stealthily and silently through
the darkness, and each was richer by a bag of gold than he had been
before. The gold was Osra's--how should a poor student, whose whole
fortune was two horses, scatter bags of gold? And other gold Osra had,
aye, five hundred crowns. Would not that be a brave surprise for the
poor student? And she, alone of all awake, stood looking round her
room, entranced with the last aspect of it. Over the city also she
looked, but in the selfishness of her joy did no more than kiss a
hasty farewell to the good city folk who loved her. Once she thought
that maybe some day he and she would steal together back to Strelsau,
and, sheltered by some disguise, watch the king ride in splendor
through the streets. But if not--why, what was Strelsau and the people
and the rest? Ah, how long the hours were before those two horses
stood by the little gate, and the sentry and the gate-warden earned
their bags of gold! So she passed the hours--the last long lingering

There was a little tavern buried in the narrowest, oldest street of
the city. Here the poor student had lodged; here in the back room a
man sat at a table, and two others stood before him. These two seemed
gentlemen, and their air spoke of military training. They stroked long
mustaches, and smiled with an amusement that deference could not hide.
Both were booted and wore spurs, and the man sitting at the table gave
them orders.

"You will meet the embassy," he said to one, "about ten o'clock. Bring
it to the place I have appointed, and wait there. Do not fail."

The officer addressed bowed and retired. A minute later his horse's
hoofs clattered through the streets. Perhaps he also had a bag of
gold, for the gate-warden opened the western gate for him, and he rode
at a gallop along the river banks, till he reached the great woods
that stretch to within ten miles of Strelsau.

"An hour after we are gone," said the man at the table to the other
officer, "go warily, find one of the king's servants, and give him the
letter. Give no account of how you came by it, and say nothing of who
you are. All that is necessary is in the letter. When you have given
it, return here, and remain in close hiding till you hear from me

The second officer bowed. The man at the table rose, and went out into
the street. He took his way to where the palace rose, and then skirted
along the wall of its gardens till he came to the little gate. Here
stood two horses and at their heads a man.

"It is well. You can go," said the student; and he was left alone
with the horses. They were good horses for a student to possess. The
thought perhaps crossed their owner's mind, for he laughed softly as
he looked at them. Then he also fell to thinking that the hours were
long; and a fear came suddenly upon him that she would not come. It
was in these last hours that doubts crept in, and she was not there to
drive them away. Would the great trial fail? Would she shrink at the
last? But he would not think it of her, and he was smiling again, when
the clock of the cathedral struck two, and told him that no more than
one hour now parted her from him. For she would come; the princess
would come to him, the student, led by the vision of that cottage in
the dream.

Would she come? She would come; she had risen from her knees, and
moved to and fro, in cautious silence, making her last preparations.
She had written a word of farewell for the brother she loved--for some
day, of course, Rudolf would forgive her--and she had ready all that
she took with her--the five hundred crowns, one ring that she would
give her lover, some clothes to serve till his loving labor furnished
more. That night she had wept, and she had laughed; but now she
neither wept nor laughed, but there was a great pride in her face and
gait. And she opened the door of her room, and walked down the great
staircase, under the eyes of crowned kings who hung framed upon the
walls. And as she went she seemed indeed their daughter. For her head
was erect and her eye set firm in haughty dignity. Who dared to say
that she did anything that a king's daughter should not do? Should not
a woman love? Love should be her diadem. And so with this proud step
she came through the gardens of the palace, looking neither to right
nor left nor behind, but with her face set straight for the little
gate, and she walked as she had been accustomed to walk when all
Strelsau looked on her and hailed her as its glory and its darling.

The sentry slept, or seemed to sleep. Her face was not even veiled
when she opened the little gate. She would not veil her proud face.
It was his to look on now when he would; and thus she stood for an
instant in the gateway, while he sprang to her, and, kneeling, carried
her hand to his lips.

"You are come?" he cried; for though he had believed, yet he wondered.

"I am come," she smiled. "Is not the word of a princess sure? Ah, how
could I not come?"

"See, love," said he, rising, "day dawns in royal purple for you, and
golden love for me."

"The purple is for my king, and the love for me," she whispered, as he
led her to her horse. "Your fortune!" said she, pointing to them.
"But I also have brought a dowry--fancy, five hundred crowns!" and
her mirth and happiness burst out in a laugh. It was so deliciously
little, five hundred crowns!

She was mounted now, and he stood by her.

"Will you turn back?" he said.

"You shall not make me angry," said she. "Come, mount."

"Aye, I must mount," said he. "For if we were found here the king
would kill me."

For the first time the peril of their enterprise seemed to strike,
into her mind, and turned her cheek pale.

"Ah, I forgot! In my happiness I forgot. Mount, mount! Oh, if he found

He mounted. Once they clasped hands; then they rode swiftly for the
western gate.

"Veil your face," he said; and since he bade her, she obeyed, saying:

"But I can see you through the veil."

The gate stood open, and the gate-warden was not there. They were out
of the city; the morning air blew cold and pure from the meadows along
the river. The horses stretched into an eager gallop. And Osra tore
her veil from her face, and turned on him eyes of radiant triumph.

"It is done," she cried; "it is done!"

"Yes, it is done, my princess," said he.

"And--and it is begun, my prince," said she.

"Yes, and it is begun," said he.

She laughed aloud in absolute joy, and for a moment he also laughed.

But then his face grew grave, and he said:

"I pray you may never grieve for it."

She looked at him with eyes wide in wonder; for an instant she seemed
puzzled, but then she fell again to laughing.

"Grieve for it!" said she between her merry laughs.

King Rudolf was a man who lay late in the morning; and he was not well
pleased to be roused when the clock had but just struck four. Yet he
sat up in his bed readily enough, for he imagined that the embassy
from the Grand Duke of Mittenheim must be nearer than he had thought,
and, sooner than fail in any courtesy towards the prince whose
alliance he ardently desired, he was ready to submit to much
inconvenience. But his astonishment was great when, instead of any
tidings from the embassy, one of his gentlemen handed him a
letter, saying that a servant had received it from a stranger with
instructions to carry it at once to the king. When asked if any answer
were desired from his majesty, the stranger had answered, "Not through
me," and at once turned away, and quickly disappeared. The king, with
a peevish oath at having been roused for such a trifle, broke the seal
and fastenings of the letter, and opened it; and he read:

"Sire--Your sister does not wait for the embassy, but chooses her own
lover. She has met a student of the University every day for the last
three weeks by the river bank." (The king started.) "This morning she
has fled with him on horseback along the western road. If you desire a
student for a brother-in-law, sleep again. If not, up and ride. Do not
doubt these tidings."

There was no signature to the letter; yet the king, knowing his
sister, cried:

"See whether the princess is in the palace. And in the meanwhile
saddle my horse, and let a dozen of the guard be at the gate."

The princess was not in the palace; but her woman found the letter
that she had left, and brought it to the king. And the king read:
"Brother, whom I love best of all men in the world save one, I have
left you to go with that one. You will not forgive me now, but some
day forgive me. Nay, it is not I who have done it, but my love which
is braver than I. He is the sweetest gentleman alive, brother, and
therefore he must be my lord. Let me go, but still love me--Osra."

"It is true," said the king. "And the embassy will be here to-day."
And for a moment he seemed dazed. Yet he spoke nothing to anybody of
what the letters contained, but sent word to the queen's apartments
that he went riding for pleasure. And he took his sword and his
pistols; for he swore that by his own hand, and that of no other man,
this sweetest gentleman alive should meet his death. But all, knowing
that the princess was not in the palace, guessed that the king's
sudden haste concerned her; and great wonder and speculation rose in
the palace, and presently, as the morning advanced, spread from the
palace to its environs, and from the environs to the rest of the city.
For it was reported that a sentinel that had stood guard that night
was missing, and that the gate-warden of the western gate was nowhere
to be found, and that a mysterious letter had come by an unknown hand
to the king, and lastly, that Princess Osra--their princess--was
gone; whether by her own will or by some bold plot of seizure and
kidnapping, none knew. Thus a great stir grew in all Strelsau, and men
stood about the street gossiping when they should have gone to work,
while women chattered in lieu of sweeping their houses and dressing
their children. So that when the king rode out of the courtyard of the
palace at a gallop, with twelve of the guard behind, he could hardly
make his way through the streets for the people who crowded round him,
imploring him to tell them where the princess was. When the king saw
that the matter had thus become public, his wrath was greater still,
and he swore again that the student of the University should pay the
price of life for his morning ride with the princess. And when he
darted through the gate, and set his horse straight along the western
road, many of the people, neglecting all their business, as folk will
for excitement's sake, followed him as they best could, agog to see
the thing to its end.

"The horses are weary," said the student to the princess, "we must let
them rest; we are now in the shelter of the wood."

"But my brother may pursue you," she urged; "and if he came up with
you--ah, heaven forbid!"


"He will not know you have gone for another three hours," smiled he.
"And here is a green bank where we can rest."

So he aided her to dismount; then, saying he would tether the horses,
he led them away some distance, so that she could not see where he had
posted them; and he returned to her, smiling still. Then he took
from his pocket some bread, and, breaking the loaf in two, gave her
one-half, saying:

"There is a spring just here; so we shall have a good breakfast."

"Is this your breakfast?" she asked, with a wondering laugh. Then
she began to eat, and cried directly, "How delicious this bread is!
I would have nothing else for breakfast;" and at this the student

Yet Osra ate little of the bread she liked so well; and presently she
leaned against her lover's shoulder, and he put his arm round her; and
they sat for a little while in silence, listening to the soft sounds
that filled the waking woods as day grew to fulness and the sun beat
warm through the sheltering foliage.

"Don't you hear the trees?" Osra whispered to her lover. "Don't you
hear them? They are whispering for me what I dare not whisper."

"What is it they whisper, sweet?" he asked; and he himself did no more
than whisper.

"The trees whisper, 'Love, love, love.' And the wind--don't you hear
the wind murmuring, 'Love, love, love'? And the birds sing, 'Love,
love, love.' Aye, all the world to-day is softly whispering, 'Love,
love, love!' What else should the great world whisper but my love? For
my love is greater than the world." And she suddenly hid her face in
her hands; and he could kiss no more than her hands, though her eyes
gleamed at him from between slim white fingers.

But suddenly her hands dropped, and she leaned forward as though she

"What is that sound?" she asked, apprehension dawning in her eyes.

"It is but another whisper, love!" said he.

"Nay, but it sounds to me like--ah, like the noise of horses

"It is but the stream, beating over stones."

"Listen, listen, listen!" she cried, springing to her feet. "They are
horses' hoofs. Ah, merciful God, it is the king!" And she caught him
by the hand, and pulled him to his feet, looking at him with a face
pale and alarmed.

"Not the king," said he; "he would not know yet. It is some one else.
Hide your face, dear lady, and all will be well."

"It is the king," she cried. "Hark how they gallop on the road! It is
my brother. Love, he will kill you; love, he will kill you!"

"If it is the king," said he, "I have been betrayed."

"The horses, the horses!" she cried. "By your love for me, the

He nodded his head, and, turning, disappeared among the trees. She
stood with clasped hands, heaving breast, and fearful eyes, awaiting
his return. Minutes passed, and he came not. She flung herself on her
knees, beseeching heaven for his life. At last he came along alone,
and he bent over her, taking her hand.

"My love," said he, "the horses are gone."

"Gone!" she cried, gripping his hand.

"Aye. This love, my love, is a wonderful thing. For I forgot to tie
them, and they are gone. Yet what matter? For the king--yes, sweet, I
think now it is the king--will not be here for some minutes yet, and
those minutes I have still for love and life."

"He will kill you!" she said.

"Yes," said he.

She looked long in his eyes; then she threw her arms about his neck,
and, for the first time unasked, covered his face with kisses.

"Kiss me, kiss me," said she; and he kissed her. Then she drew back
a little, but took his arm and set it round her waist. And she drew a
little knife from her girdle, and showed it him.

"If the king will not pardon us and let us love one another, I also
will die," said she; and her voice was quiet and happy. "Indeed, my
love, I should not grieve. Ah, do not tell me to live without you!"

"Would you obey?" he asked.

"Not in that," said she.

And thus they stood silent, while the sound of the hoofs drew very
near. But she looked up at him, and he looked at her; then she looked
at the point of the little dagger, and she whispered:

"Keep your arm round me till I die."

He bent his head, and kissed her once again, saying:

"My princess, it is enough."

And she, though she did not know why he smiled, yet smiled back at
him. For although life was sweet that day, yet such a death, with him
and to prove her love for him, seemed well-nigh as sweet. And thus
they awaited the coming of the king.


King Rudolf and his guards far out-stripped the people who pursued
them from the city; and when they came to the skirts of the wood,
they divided themselves into four parties, since, if they went all
together, they might easily miss the fugitives whom they sought. Of
these four parties, one found nothing; another found the two horses
which the student himself, who had hidden them, failed to find; the
third party had not gone far before they caught sight of the lovers,
though the lovers did not see them; and two of them remained to watch
and, if need be, to intercept any attempted flight, while the third
rode off to find the king and bring him where Osra and the student
were, as he had commanded.

But the fourth party, with which the king was, though it did not find
the fugitives, found the embassy from the Grand Duke of Mittenheim;
and the ambassador, with all his train, was resting by the roadside,
seeming in no haste at all to reach Strelsau. When the king suddenly
rode up at great speed and came upon the embassy, an officer
that stood by the ambassador--whose name was Count Sergius of
Antheim--stooped down and whispered in his excellency's ear, upon
which he rose and advanced towards the king, uncovering his head and
bowing profoundly. For he chose to assume that the king had ridden to
meet him out of excessive graciousness and courtesy towards the Grand
Duke; so that he began, to the impatient king's infinite annoyance, to
make a very long and stately speech, assuring his majesty of the great
hope and joy with which his master awaited the result of the embassy;
for, said he, since the king was so zealous in his cause, his master
could not bring himself to doubt of success, and therefore most
confidently looked to win for his bride the most exalted and lovely
lady in the world, the peerless Princess Osra, the glory of the court
of Strelsau, and the brightest jewel in the crown of the king, her
brother. And having brought this period to a prosperous conclusion,
Count Sergius took breath, and began another that promised to be fully
as magnificent and not a whit less long. So that, before it was well
started, the king smote his hand on his thigh and roared:

"Heavens, man, while you're making speeches, that rascal is carrying
off my sister!"

Count Sergius, who was an elderly man of handsome presence and great
dignity, being thus rudely and strangely interrupted, showed great
astonishment and offence; but the officer by him covered his mouth
with his hand to hide a smile. For the moment that the king had spoken
these impetuous words he was himself overwhelmed with confusion; for
the last thing that he wished the Grand Duke's ambassador to know was
that the princess whom his master courted had run away that morning
with a student of the University of Strelsau. Accordingly he began,
very hastily, and with more regard for prudence than for truth, to
tell Count Sergius how a noted and bold criminal had that morning
swooped down on the princess as she rode unattended outside the city,
and carried her off--which seemed to the ambassador a very strange
story. But the king told it with great fervor, and he besought the
count to scatter his attendants all through the wood, and seek the
robber. Yet he charged them not to kill the man themselves, but to
keep him till he came. "For I have sworn to kill him with my own
hand," he cried.

Now Count Sergius, however much astonished he might be, could do
nothing but accede to the king's request, and he sent off all his
men to scour the woods, and, mounting his horse, himself set off with
them, showing great zeal in the king's service, but still thinking the
king's story a very strange one. Thus the king was left alone with his
two guards and with the officer who had smiled.

"Will you not go also, sir?" asked the king.

But at this moment a man galloped up at furious speed, crying:

"We have found them, sire, we have found them!"

"Then he hasn't five minutes to live!" cried the king in fierce joy;
and he lugged out his sword, adding: "The moment I set my eyes on him,
I will kill him. There is no need for words between me and him."

At this speech the face of the officer grew suddenly grave and
alarmed; and he put spurs to his horse, and hastened after the king,
who had at once dashed away in the direction in which the man had
pointed. But the king had got a start and kept it; so that the officer
seemed terribly frightened, and muttered to himself:

"Heaven send that he does not kill him before he knows!" And he added
some very impatient words concerning the follies of princes, and,
above all, of princes in love.

Thus, while the ambassador and his men searched high and low for
the noted robber, and the king's men hunted for the student of the
University, the king, followed by two of his guard at a distance
of about fifty yards (for his horse was better than theirs), came
straight to where Osra and her lover stood together. And a few yards
behind the guards came the officer; and he also had by now drawn his
sword. But he rode so eagerly that he overtook and passed the king's
guards, and got within thirty yards of the king by the time that the
king was within twenty of the lovers. But the king let him get no
nearer, for he dug his spurs again into his horse's side, and the
horse bounded forward, while the king cried furiously to his sister,
"Stand away from him!" The princess did not heed, but stood in front
of her lover (for the student was wholly unarmed), holding up the
little dagger in her hand. The king laughed scornfully and angrily,
thinking that Osra menaced him with the weapon, and not supposing that
it was herself for whom she destined it. And, having reached them, the
king leaped from his horse and ran at them, with his sword raised to
strike. Osra gave a cry of terror. "Mercy!" she cried. "Mercy!" But
the king had no thought of mercy, and he would certainly then and
there have killed her lover had not the officer, gaining a moment's
time by the king's dismounting, at this very instant come galloping
up; and, there being no time for any explanation, he leaned from his
saddle as he dashed by, and, putting out his hand, snatched the king's
sword away from him, just as the king was about to thrust it through
his sister's lover.

But the officer's horse was going so furiously that he could not stop
it for hard on forty yards, and he narrowly escaped splitting his head
against a great bough that hung low across the grassy path; and
he dropped first his own sword and then the king's; but at last he
brought the horse to a standstill, and, leaping down, ran back towards
where the swords lay. But at the moment the king also ran towards
them; for the fury that he had been in before was as nothing to that
which now possessed him. After his sword was snatched from him he
stood in speechless anger for a full minute, but then had turned to
pursue the man who had dared to treat him with such insult. And
now, in his desire to be at the officer, he had come very near to
forgetting the student. Just as the officer came to where the king's
sword lay, and picked it up, the king, in his turn, reached the
officer's sword and picked up that. The king came with a rush at the
officer, who, seeing that the king was likely to kill him, or he the
king, if he stood his ground, turned tail and sped away at the top of
his speed through the forest. But as he went, thinking that the time
had come for plain speaking, he looked back over his shoulder and

"Sire, it's the Grand Duke himself!"

The king stopped short in sudden amazement.

"Is the man mad?" he asked. "Who is the Grand Duke?"

"It's the Grand Duke, sir, who is with the princess. And you would
have killed him if I had not snatched your sword," said the officer;
and he also came to a halt, but he kept a very wary eye on King

"I should certainly have killed him, let him be who he will," said the
king. "But why do you call him the Grand Duke?"

The officer very cautiously approached the king, and, seeing that the
king made no threatening motion, he at last trusted himself so close
that he could speak to the king in a very low voice; and what he
said seemed to astonish, please, and amuse the king immensely. For he
clapped the officer on the back, laughed heartily, and cried:

"A pretty trick! On my life, a pretty trick!"

Now Osra and her lover had not heard what the officer had shouted to
the king, and when Osra saw her brother returning from among the trees
alone and with his sword, she still supposed that her lover must die;
and she turned and flung her arms round his neck, and clung to him for
a moment, kissing him. Then she faced the king, with a smile on her
face and the little dagger in her hand. But the king came up, wearing
a scornful smile, and he asked her:

"What is the dagger for, my wilful sister?"

"For me, if you kill him," said she.

"You would kill yourself, then, if I killed him?"

"I would not live a moment after he was dead."

"Faith, it is wonderful!" said the king with a shrug. "Then plainly,
if you cannot live without him, you must live with him. He is to be
your husband, not mine. Therefore, take him, if you will."

When Osra heard this, which indeed for joy and wonder she could hardly
believe, she dropped her knife, and, running forward, fell on her
knees before her brother, and, catching his hand, she covered it with
kisses, and her tears mingled with her kisses. But the king let her go
on, and stood over her, laughing and looking at the student. Presently
the student began to laugh also, and he had just advanced a step
towards King Rudolf, when Count Sergius of Antheim, the Grand Duke's
ambassador, came out from among the trees, riding hotly and with
great zeal after the noted robber. But no sooner did the count see the
student than he stopped his horse, leaped down with a cry of wonder,
and, running up to the student, bowed very low and kissed his hand.
So that when Osra looked round from her kissing of her brother's hand,
she beheld the Grand Duke's ambassador kissing the hand of her lover.
She sprang to her feet in wonder.

"Who are you?" she cried to the student, running in between him and
the ambassador.

"Your lover and servant," said he.

"And besides?" she said.

"Why, in a month, your husband," laughed the king, taking her lover by
the hand.

He clasped the king's hand, but turned at once to her, and said

"Alas, I have no cottage!"

"Who are you?" she whispered to him.

"The man for whom you were ready to die, my princess. Is it not

"Yes, it is enough," said she; and she did not repeat her question.
But the king, with a short laugh, turned on his heel, and took Count
Sergius by the arm and walked off with him; and presently they met the
officer and learned fully how the Grand Duke had come to Strelsau, and
how he had contrived to woo and win the Princess Osra, and finally to
carry her off from the palace.

It was an hour later when the whole of the two companies, that of the
king and that of the ambassador, were all gathered together again, and
had heard the story; so that when the king went to where Osra and
the Grand Duke walked together among the trees, and, taking each by
a hand, led them out, they were greeted with a great cheer; and they
mounted their horses, which the Grand Duke now found without any
difficulty--although when the need of them seemed far greater the
student could not contrive to come upon them--and the whole company
rode together out of the wood and along the road towards Strelsau, the
king being full of jokes and hugely delighted with a trick that suited
his merry fancy. But before they had ridden far, they met the great
crowd which had come out from Strelsau to learn what had happened to
the Princess Osra. And the king cried out that the Grand Duke was to
marry the princess, while his guards who had been with him and the
ambassador's people spread themselves among the crowd and told the
story. And when they heard it, the Strelsau folk were nearly beside
themselves with amusement and delight, and thronged round Osra,
kissing her hands and blessing her. But the king drew back, and let
her and the Grand Duke ride alone together, while he followed with
Count Sergius. Thus, moving at a very slow pace, they came in the
forenoon to Strelsau; but some one had galloped on ahead with the
news, and the cathedral bells had been set ringing, the streets were
full, and the whole city given over to excitement and rejoicing. All
the men were that day in love with Princess Osra; and, what is more,
they told their sweethearts so, and these found no other revenge than
to blow kisses and fling flowers at the Grand Duke as he rode past
with Osra by his side. Thus they came back to the palace whence they
had fled in the early gleams of that morning's light.

It was evening, and the moon rose, fair and clear, over Strelsau. In
the streets there were sounds of merriment and rejoicing; for every
house was bright with light, and the king had sent out meat and
wine for every soul in the city, that none might be sad or hungry or
thirsty in all the city that night; so that there was no small
uproar. The king himself sat in his armchair, toasting the bride and
bride-groom in company with Count Sergius of Antheim, whose dignity,
somewhat wounded by the trick his master had played upon him, was
healing quickly under the balm of King Rudolf's graciousness. And the
king said to Count Sergius:

"My lord, were you ever in love?"

"I was, sire," said the count.

"So was I," said the king. "Was it with the countess, my lord?"

Count Sergius's eyes twinkled demurely; but he answered:

"I take it, sire, that it must have been with the countess."

"And I take it," said the king, "that it must have been with the

Then they both laughed, and then they both sighed; and the king,
touching the count's elbow, pointed out to the terrace of the palace,
on to which the room where they were opened. For Princess Osra and her
lover were walking up and down together on this terrace. And the two
shrugged their shoulders, smiling.


"With him," remarked the king, "it will have been with--"

"The countess, sire," discreetly interrupted Count Sergius of Antheim.

"Why, yes, the countess," said the king; and, with a laugh, they
turned bank to their wine.

But the two on the terrace also talked.

"I do not yet understand it," said Princess Osra. "For on the first
day I loved you, and on the second I loved you, and on the third, and
the fourth, and every day I loved you. Yet the first day was not like
the second, nor the second like the third, nor any day like any other.
And to-day, again, is unlike them all. Is love so various and full of

"Is it not?" he asked with a smile. "For while you were with the
queen, talking of I know not what--"

"Nor I, indeed," said Osra hastily.

"I was with the king, and he, saying that forewarned was forearmed,
told me very strange and pretty stories. Of some a report had reached
me before--"

"And yet you came to Strelsau?"

"While of others, I had not heard."

"Or you would not have come to Strelsau?"

The Grand Duke, not heeding these questions, proceeded to his

"Love, therefore," said he, "is very various. For M. de Mérosailles--"

"These are old stories," cried Osra, pretending to stop her ears.

"Loved in one way, and Stephen the Smith in another, and--the Miller
of Hofbau in a third."

"I think," said Osra, "that I have forgotten the Miller of Hofbau. But
can one heart love in many different ways? I know that different men
love differently."

"But cannot one heart love in different ways?" he smiled.

"May be," said Osra thoughtfully, "one heart can have loved." But then
she suddenly looked up at him with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes.
"No, no," she cried; "it was not love. It was--"

"What was it?"

"The courtiers entertained me till the king came," she said with a
blushing laugh. And looking up at him again, she whispered: "Yet I am
glad that you lingered for a little."

At this moment she saw the king come out on to the terrace, and
with him was the Bishop of Modenstein; and after the bishop had been
presented to the Grand Duke, the king began to talk with the Grand
Duke, while the bishop kissed Osra's hand and wished her joy.

"Madam," said he, "once you asked me if I could make you understand
what love was. I take it you have no need for my lessons now. Your
teacher has come."

"Yes, he has come," she said gently, looking on the bishop with great
friendliness. "But tell me, will he always love me?"

"Surely he will," answered the bishop.

"And tell me," said Osra, "shall I always love him?"

"Surely," said the bishop again, most courteously. "Yet, indeed,
madam," he continued, "it would seem almost enough to ask of Heaven to
love now and now to be loved. For the years roll on, and youth goes,
and even the most incomparable beauty will yield its blossoms when
the season wanes; yet that sweet memory may ever be fresh and young,
a thing a man can carry to his grave and raise as her best monument on
his lady's tomb."

"Ah, you speak well of love," said she. "I marvel that you speak so
well of love. For it is as you say; and to-day in the wood it seemed
to me that I had lived enough, and that even Death was but Love's
servant as Life is, both purposed solely for his better ornament."

"Men have died because they loved you, madam, and some yet live who
love you," said the bishop.

"And shall I grieve for both, my lord--or for which?"

"For neither, madam; for the dead have gained peace, and they who live
have escaped forgetfulness."

"But would they not be happier for forgetting?"

"I do not think so," said the bishop; and, bowing low to her again, he
stood back, for he saw the king approaching with the Grand Duke; and
the king took him by the arm, and walked on with him; but Osra's face
lost the brief pensiveness that had come upon it as she talked with
the bishop, and, turning to her lover, she stretched out her hands to
him, saying:

"I wish there was a cottage, and that you worked for bread, while I
made ready for you at the cottage, and then ran far, far, far, down
the road to watch and wait for your coming."

"Since a cottage was not too small, a palace will not be too large,"
said he, catching her in his arms.

Thus the heart of Princess Osra found its haven and its rest; for a
month later she was married to the Grand Duke of Mittenheim in the
cathedral of Strelsau, having utterly refused to take any other place
for her wedding. And again she and he rode forth together through the
western gate; and the king rode with them on their way till they came
to the woods. Here he paused, and all the crowd that accompanied him
stopped also; and they all waited till the sombre depths of the glades
hid Osra and her lover from their sight. Then, leaving them thus
riding together to their happiness, the people returned home, sad for
the loss of their darling princess. But, for consolation, and that
their minds might less feel her loss, they had her name often on their
lips; and the poets and story-tellers composed many stories about
her, not always grounded on fact, but the fabric of idle imaginings,
wrought to please the fancy of lovers or to wake the memories of older
folk. So that, if a stranger goes now to Strelsau, he may be pardoned
if it seem to him that all mankind was in love with Princess Osra.
Nay, and those stories so pass all fair bounds that, if you listened
to them, you would come near to believing that the princess also had
found some love for all the men who had given her their love. Thus to
many she is less a woman that once lived and breathed than some sweet
image under whose name they fondly group all the virtues and the
charms of her whom they love best, each man fashioning for himself
from his own chosen model her whom he calls his princess. Yet it
may be that for some of them who so truly loved her, her heart had a
moment's tenderness. Who shall tell all the short-lived dreams that
come and go, the promptings and stirrings of a vagrant inclination?
And who would pry too closely into these secret matters? May we not
more properly give thanks to heaven that the thing is as it is? For
surely it makes greatly for the increase of joy and entertainment
in the world, and of courtesy and true tenderness, that the heart of
Princess Osra--or of what lady you may choose, sir, to call by her
name--should flutter in pretty hesitation here and there and to and
fro a little, before it flies on a straight swift wing to its destined
and desired home. And if you be not the prince for your princess, why,
sir, your case is a sad one.



Author of "The Gates Ajar," "The Madonna of the Tubs," etc


Perhaps no one has ever denied, or more definitely, has ever wished
to deny, that Andover society consisted largely of people with obvious
religious convictions; and that her visitors were chiefly of the
Orthodox Congregational turn of mind. I do not remember that we ever
saw any reason for regret in this "feature" of the Hill. It is true,
however, that a dash of the world's people made their way among us.

I remember certain appearances of Ralph Waldo Emerson. If I am correct
about it, he had been persuaded by some emancipated and daring mind to
give us several lectures.

He was my father's guest on one of these occasions, and I met him for
the first time then. Emerson was--not to speak disrespectfully--in
a much muddled state of his distinguished mind, on Andover Hill. His
blazing seer's gaze took us all in, politely; it burned straight on,
with its own philosophic fire; but it wore, at moments, a puzzled

His clear-cut, sarcastic lips sought to assume the well-bred curves of
conformity to the environment of entertainers who valued him so far
as to demand a series of his own lectures; but the cynic of his
temperamental revolt from us, or, to be exact, from the thing which he
supposed us to be, lurked in every line of his memorable face.

By the way, what a look of the eagle it had!

[Illustration: RALPH WALDO EMERSON.]

The poet--I was about to say the pagan poet--quickly recognized, to
a degree, that he was not among a group of barbarians; and I remember
the marked respect with which he observed my father's noble head and
countenance, and the attention with which he listened to the low,
perfectly modulated voice of his host. But Mr. Emerson was accustomed
to do the talking himself; this occasion proved no exception; and
here his social divination or experience failed him a little. Quite
promptly, I remember, he set adrift upon the sea of Alcott.

Now, we had heard of Mr. Alcott in Andover, it is true, but we did not
look upon him exactly through Mr. Emerson's marine-glass; and, though
the Professor did his hospitable best to sustain his end of the
conversation, it swayed off gracefully into monologue. We listened
deferentially while the philosopher pronounced Bronson Alcott the
greatest mind of our day--I think he said the greatest since Plato.
He was capable of it, in moments of his own exaltation. I thought I
detected a twinkle in my father's blue eye; but the fine curve of his
lips remained politely closed; and our distinguished guest spoke on.

There was something noble about this ardent way of appreciating his
friends, and Emerson was distinguished for it, among those who knew
him well.

Publishers understood that his literary judgment was touchingly warped
by his personal admirations. He would offer some impossible MS. as the
work of dawning genius; it would be politely received, and filed in
the rejected pigeon-holes. Who knows what the great man thought when
his friend's poem failed to see the light of the market?

On this particular occasion, the conversation changed to Browning.
Now, the Professor, although as familiar as he thought it necessary to
be with the latest poetic idol, was not a member of a Browning
class; and here, again, his attitude towards the subject was one of
well-mannered respect, rather than of abandoned enthusiasm. (Had
it only been Wordsworth!) A lady was present, young, and of the
Browningesque temperament. Mr. Emerson expressed himself finely to
the effect that there was something outside of ourselves about
Browning--that we might not always grasp him--that he seemed, at
times, to require an extra sense.

"Is it not because he touches our extra moods?" asked the lady. The
poet's face turned towards her quickly; he had not noticed her before;
a subtle change touched his expression, as if he would have liked
to say: For the first time since this subject was introduced in this
Calvinistic drawing-room, I find myself understood.

It chanced that we had a Chaucer Club in Andover at that time; a small
company, severely selected, not to flirt or to chat, but to work. We
had studied hard for a year, and most of us had gone Chaucer mad.
This present writer was the unfortunate exception to that idolatrous
enthusiasm, and--meeting Mr. Emerson at another time--took modest
occasion in answer to a remark of his to say something of the sort.

"Chaucer interests me, certainly, but I cannot make myself feel as the
others do. He does not take hold of my nature. He is too far back. I
am afraid I am too much of a modern. It is a pity, I know."

"It _is_ a pity," observed Mr. Emerson sarcastically. "What would
you read? The 'Morning Advertiser'?" The Chaucer Club glared at me in
what, I must say, I felt to be unholy triumph.

Not a glance of sympathy reached me, where I sat, demolished before
the rebuke of the great man. I distinctly heard a chuckle from a
feminine member. Yet, what had the dissenter done, or tried to do? To
be quite honest, only, in a little matter where affectation would
have been the flowery way; and I must say that I have never loved the
Father of English Poetry any better for this episode.

The point, however, at which I am coming is the effect wrought upon
Mr. Emerson's mind by the history of that club. It seemed to us
disproportionate to the occasion that he should feel and manifest so
much surprise at our existence. This he did, more than once, and with
a genuineness not to be mistaken.

That an organization for the study of Chaucer could subsist on Andover
Hill, he could not understand. What he thought us, or thought about
us, who can say? He seemed as much taken aback as if he had found a
tribe of Cherokees studying onomatopoeia in English verse.

"A _Chaucer_ club! In _Andover_?" he repeated. The seer was perplexed.

Of course, whenever we found ourselves in forms of society not in
harmony with our religious views, we were accustomed, in various ways,
to meet with a similar predisposition. As a psychological study this
has always interested me, just as one is interested in the attitude of
mind exhibited by the Old School physician towards the Homoeopathist
with whom he graduated at the Harvard Medical School. Possibly that
graduate may have distinguished himself with the honors of the school;
but as soon as he prescribes on the principles of Hahnemann, he is
not to be adjudged capable of setting a collar-bone. By virtue of
his therapeutic views he has become disqualified for professional
recognition. So, by virtue of one's religious views, the man or
woman of orthodox convictions, whatever one's proportion of personal
culture, is regarded with a gentle superiority, as being of a class
still enslaved in superstition, and therefore _per se_ barbaric.

Put in undecorated language, this is about the sum and substance of
a state of feeling which all intelligent evangelical Christians
recognize perfectly in those who have preempted for themselves the
claims belonging to what are called the liberal faiths.

On the other hand, one who is regarded as a little of a heretic from
the sterner sects, may make the warmest friendships of a lifetime
among "the world's people"--whom far be it from me to seem to
dispossess of any of their manifold charms.

This brings me closely to a question which I am so often asked, either
directly or indirectly, that I cannot easily pass this Andover chapter
by without some recognition of it.

What was, in very truth, the effect of such a religious training as
Andover gave her children?

Curious impressions used to be afloat about us among people of easier
faiths; often, I think, we were supposed to spend our youth paddling
about in a lake of blue fire, or in committing the genealogies to
memory, or in gasping beneath the agonies of religious revivals.

To be quite honest, I should say that I have not retained _all_
the beliefs which I was taught--who does? But I have retained the
profoundest respect for the way in which I was taught them; and I
would rather have been taught what I was, _as_ I was, and run whatever
risks were involved in the process, than to have been taught much
less, little, or nothing.

An excess of religious education may have its unfortunate aspects. But
a deficiency of it has worse.

It is true that, for little people, our little souls were a good deal
agitated on the question of eternal salvation. We were taught that
heaven and hell followed life and death; that the one place was "a
desirable location," and the other too dreadful to be mentioned in
ears polite; and that what Matthew Arnold calls "conduct" was the
deciding thing. Not that we heard much, until we grew old enough to
read for ourselves, about Matthew Arnold; but we did hear a great
deal about plain behaviour--unselfishness, integrity, honor, sweet
temper--the simple good morals of childhood.

We were taught, too, to respect prayer and the Christian Bible. In
this last particular we never had at all an oppressive education.

My Sunday-school reminiscences are few and comfortable, and left me,
chiefly, with the impression that Sunday-schools always studied Acts;
for I do not recall any lessons given me by strolling theologues in
any other--certainly none in any severer--portions of the Bible.

It was all very easy and pleasant, if not feverishly stimulating; and
I am quite willing to match my Andover Sunday-school experiences with
that of a Boston free-thinker's little daughter who came home and
complained to her mother:

"There is a dreadful girl put into our Sunday-school. I think, mamma,
she is bad society for me. She says the Bible is exaggerated, and then
she tickles my legs!"

I have said that we were taught to think something about our own
"salvation;" and so we were, but not in a manner calculated to burden
the good spirits of any but a very sensitive or introspective child.
Personally, I may have dwelt on the idea, at times, more than was
good for my happiness; but certainly no more than was good for my
character. The idea of character was at the basis of everything we
did, or dreamed, or learned.

There is a scarecrow which "liberal" beliefs put together, hang in
the field of public terror or ridicule, and call it Orthodoxy. Of this
misshapen creature we knew nothing in Andover.

Of hell we heard sometimes, it is true, for Andover Seminary believed
in it--though, be it said, much more comfortably in the days before
this iron doctrine became the bridge of contention in the recent
serious, theological battle which has devastated Andover. In my own
case, I do not remember to have been shocked or threatened by this
woful doctrine. I knew that my father believed in the everlasting
misery of wicked people who could be good if they wanted to, but
would not; and I was, of course, accustomed to accept the beliefs of
a parent who represented everything that was tender, unselfish, pure,
and noble, to my mind--in fact, who sustained to me the ideal of a
fatherhood which gave me the best conception I shall ever get, in this
world, of the Fatherhood of God. My father presented the interesting
anomaly of a man holding, in one dark particular, a severe faith, but
displaying in his private character rare tenderness and sweetness of
heart. He would go out of his way to save a crawling thing from death,
or any sentient thing from pain. He took more trouble to give comfort
or to prevent distress to every breathing creature that came within
his reach, than any other person whom I have ever known. He had not
the heart to witness heartache. It was impossible for him to endure
the sight of a child's suffering. His sympathy was an extra sense,
finer than eyesight, more exquisite than touch.

Yet, he did believe that absolute perversion of moral character went
to its "own place," and bore the consequence of its own choice.

Once I told a lie (I was seven years old), and my father was a
broken-hearted man. He told me _then_ that liars went to hell. I
do not remember to have heard any such personal application of the
doctrine of eternal punishment before or since; and the fact made a
life-long impression, to which I largely owe a personal preference for
veracity. Yet, to analyze the scene strictly, I must say that it was
not fear of torment which so moved me; it was the sight of that broken
face. For my father wept--only when death visited the household did
I ever see him cry again--and I stood melted and miserable before
his anguish and his love. The devil and all his angels could not have
punished into me the noble shame of that moment.

PHELPS. From a photograph by Warren, Boston.]

I have often been aware of being pitied by outsiders for the
theological discipline which I was supposed to have received in
Andover; but I must truthfully say that I have never been conscious of
needing compassion in this respect. I was taught that God is Love, and
Christ His Son is our Saviour; that the important thing in life was
to be that kind of woman for which there is really, I find, no better
word than Christian, and that the only road to this end was to be
trodden by way of character. The ancient Persians (as we all know)
were taught to hurl a javelin, ride a horse, and speak the truth.

I was taught that I should speak the truth, say my prayers, and
consider other people; it was a wholesome, right-minded, invigorating
training that we had, born of tenderness, educated conscience, and
good sense, and I have lived to bless it in many troubled years.

What if we did lend a little too much romance now and then to our
religious "experience"? It was better for us than some other kinds
of romance to which we were quite as liable. What if I did "join the
church" (entirely of my own urgent will, not of my father's preference
or guiding) at the age of twelve, when the great dogmas to which I was
expected to subscribe could not possibly have any rational meaning for
me? I remember how my father took me apart, and gently explained to me
beforehand the clauses of the rather simple and truly beautiful
chapel creed which he himself, I believe, had written to modernize and
clarify the old one--I wonder if it were done at that very time? And
I remember that it all seemed to me very easy and happy--signifying
chiefly, that one meant to be a good girl, if possible. What if one
did conduct a voluminous religious correspondence with the other
Professor's daughter, who put notes under the fence which divided our
homes? We were none the worse girls for that. And we outgrew it, when
the time came.


Professor M. Stuart Phelps died in 1883, at the age of 34. He was
professor of philosophy in Smith College, was called by those entitled
to judge, the most promising young psychologist in this country, and a
brilliant future was prophesied for him. The above portrait is from a
photograph by Pach Brothers, New York.]

One thing, supremely, I may say that I learned from the Andover life,
or, at least, from the Andover home. That was an everlasting scorn of
worldliness--I do not mean in the religious sense of the word. That
tendency to seek the lower motive, to do the secondary thing, to
confuse sounds or appearances with values, which is covered by the
word as we commonly use it, very early came to seem to me a way of
looking at life for which I know no other term than underbred.

There is no better training for a young person than to live in the
atmosphere of a study--we did not call it a library, in my father's
home. People of leisure who read might have libraries. People who
worked among their books had studies.

The life of a student, with its gracious peace, its beauty, its
dignity, seemed to me, as the life of social preoccupation or success
may seem to children born to that penumbra, the inevitable thing.

As one grew to think out life for one's self, one came to perceive
a width and sanctity in the choice of work--whether rhetoric or art,
theology or sculpture, hydraulics or manufacture--but to _work_, to
work hard, to see work steadily, and see it whole, was the way to be
reputable. I think I always respected a good blacksmith more than a
lady of leisure.

I know it took me a while to recover from a very youthful and amusing
disinclination to rich people, which was surely never trained into
me, but grew like the fruit of the horse-chestnut trees, ruggedly,
of nature, and of Andover Hill; and which dropped away when its time
came--just about as useless as the big brown nuts which we cut into
baskets and carved into Trustees' faces for a mild November day, and
then threw away.

When I came in due time to observe that property and a hardened
character were not identical, and that families of ease in which one
might happen to visit were not deficient in education because their
incomes were large--I think it was at first with a certain sense of
surprise. It is impossible to convey to one differently reared the
delicious _naïveté_ of this state of mind.

Whatever the "personal peculiarities" of our youthful conceptions of
life, as acquired at Andover, one thing is sure--that we grew into
love of reality as naturally as the Seminary elms shook out their
long, green plumes in May, and shed their delicate, yellow leaves in

I can remember no time when we did not instinctively despise a sham,
and honor a genuine person, thing, or claim. In mere social pretension
not built upon character, intelligence, education, or gentle birth,
we felt no interest. I do not remember having been taught this, in so
many words. It came without teaching.

My father taught me most things without text-books or lessons. By far
the most important portion of what one calls education, I owe to him;
yet he never preached, or prosed, or played the pedagogue. He talked
a great deal, not to us, but with us; we began to have conversation
while we were still playing marbles and dolls. I remember hours of
discussion with him on some subject so large that the littleness
of his interlocutor must have tried him sorely. Time and eternity,
theology and science, literature and art, invention and discovery
came each in its turn; and, while I was still making burr baskets, or
walking fences, or coasting (standing up) on what I was proud to
claim as the biggest sled in town, down the longest hills, and on the
fastest local record--I was fascinated with the wealth and variety
which seem to have been the conditions of thought with him. I have
never been more _interested_ by anything in later life than I was in
my father's conversation.

I never attended a public school of any kind--unless we except the
Sunday-school that studied Acts--and when it came time for me to
pass from the small to the large private schools of Andover, the same
paternal comradeship continued to keep step with me. There was no
college diploma for girls of my kind in my day; but we came as near to
it as we could.

There was a private school in Andover, of wide reputation in its time,
known to the irreverent as the "Nunnery," but bearing in professional
circles the more stately name of Mrs. Edwards's School for Young
Ladies. Two day-scholars, as a marked favor to their parents, were
admitted with the boarders elect; and of these two I was one. If
I remember correctly, Professor Park and my father were among the
advisers whose opinions had weight with the selection of our course
of study, and I often wonder how, with their rather feudal views of
women, these two wise men of Andover managed to approve so broad a

Possibly the quiet and modest learned lady, our principal, had ideas
of her own which no one could have suspected her of obtruding against
the current of her times and environment; like other strong and
gentle women she may have had her "way" when nobody thought so. At
all events, we were taught wisely and well, in directions to which the
fashionable girls' schools of the day did not lift an eye-lash.

I was an out-of-door girl, always into every little mischief of snow
or rainfall, flower, field, or woods or ice; but in spite of skates
and sleds and tramps and all the west winds from Wachusett that blew
through me, soul and body, I was not strong; and my father found it
necessary to oversee my methods of studying. Incidentally, I think, he
influenced the choice of some of our text-books, and I remember that,
with the exception of Greek and trigonometry--thought, in those days,
to be beyond the scope of the feminine intellect--we pursued the same
curriculum that our brothers did at college. In some cases we had
teachers who were then, or afterwards, college professors in their
specialties; in all departments I think we were faithfully taught, and
that our tastes and abilities were electively recognized.

I was not allowed, I remember, to inflict my musical talents upon the
piano for more than one hour a day; my father taking the ground that,
as there was only so much of a girl, if she had not unusual musical
gift and had less than usual physical vigor, she had better give the
best of herself to her studies. I have often blessed him for this
daring individualism; for, while the school "practice" went on about
me, in the ordinary way, so many precious hours out of a day that
was all too short for better things--I was learning my lessons quite
comfortably, and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise between

I hasten to say that I was not at all a remarkable scholar. I
cherished a taste for standing near the top of the class, somewhere,
and always preferred rather to answer a question than to miss it; but
this, I think, was pure pride, rather than an absorbing, intellectual
passion. It was a wholesome pride, however, and served me a good turn.

At one epoch of history, so far back that I cannot date it, I remember
to have been a scholar at Abbott Academy long enough to learn how to
spell. Perhaps one ought to give the honor of this achievement where
honor is due. When I observe the manner in which the superior sex
is often turned out by masculine diplomas upon the world with the
life-long need of a vest-pocket dictionary or a spelling-book, I
cherish a respect for the method in which I was compelled to spell
the English language. It was severe, no doubt. We stood in a class of
forty, and lost our places for the misfit of a syllable, a letter, a
definition, or even a stumble in elocution. I remember once losing the
head of the class for saying: L-u-ux--Lux. It was a terrible blow, and
I think of it yet with burning mortification on my cheeks.

In the "Nunnery" we were supposed to have learned how to spell. We
studied what we called Mental Philosophy, to my unmitigated delight;
and Butler's Analogy, which I considered a luxury; and Shakespeare,
whom I distantly but never intimately adored; Latin, to which dead
language we gave seven years apiece, out of our live girlhood;
Picciola and Undine we dreamed over, in the grove and the orchard;
English literature is associated with the summer-house and the grape
arbor, with flecks of shade and glints of light, and a sense of
unmistakable privilege. There was physiology, which was scarcely work,
and astronomy, which I found so exhilarating that I fell ill over it.
Alas, truth compels me to add that Mathematics, with a big _M_ and
stretching on through the books of Euclid, darkened my young
horizon with dull despair; and that chemistry--but the facts are too
humiliating to relate. My father used to say that all he ever got out
of the pursuit of this useful science in his college days--and he was
facile valedictorian--was the impression that there was a sub-acetate
of something dissolved in a powder at the bottom.

All that I am able to recall of the study of "my brother's
text-books," in this department, is that there was once a frightful
odor in the laboratory for which Professor Hitchcock and a glass jar
and a chemical were responsible, and that I said, "At least, the name
of _this_ will remain with me to my dying hour." But what _was_ the
name of it? "Ask me no more."

In the department of history I can claim no results more calculated
to reflect credit upon the little student who hated a poor recitation
much, but facts and figures more. To the best of my belief, I can be
said to have retained but two out of the long list of historic dates
with which my quivering memory was duly and properly crowded.

I _do_ know when America was discovered; because the year is inscribed
over a spring in the seaside town where I have spent twenty summers,
and I have driven past it on an average once a day, for that period
of time. And I can tell when Queen Elizabeth left this world, because
Macaulay wrote a stately sentence:

"In 1603 the Great Queen died."

It must have been the year when my father read De Quincey and
Wordsworth to me on winter evenings that I happened for myself on
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The first little event opened for me, as
distinctly as if I had never heard of it before, the world of letters
as a Paradise from which no flaming sword could ever exile me; but the
second revealed to me my own nature.

The Andover sunsets blazed behind Wachusett, and between the one
window of my little room and the fine head of the mountain nothing
intervened. The Andover elms held above lifted eyes arch upon arch
of exquisite tracery, through which the far sky looked down like some
noble thing that one could spend all one's life in trying to reach,
and be happy just because it existed, whether one reached it or not.
The paths in my father's great gardens burned white in the summer
moonlights, and their shape was the shape of a mighty cross. The June
lilies, yellow and sweet, lighted their soft lamps beside the cross--I
was sixteen, and I read Aurora Leigh.

A grown person may smile--but, no; no gentle-minded man or woman
smiles at the dream of a girl. What has life to offer that is nobler
in enthusiasm, more delicate, more ardent, more true to the unseen
and the unsaid realities which govern our souls, or leave us sadder
forever because they do not? There may be greater poems in our
language than Aurora Leigh, but it was many years before it was
possible for me to suppose it; and none that ever saw the hospitality
of fame could have done for that girl what that poem did at that time.
I had never a good memory--but I think I could have repeated a large
portion of it; and know that I often stood the test of hap-hazard
examinations on the poem from half-scoffing friends, sometimes of the
masculine persuasion. Each to his own; and what Shakespeare or the
Latin Fathers might have done for some other impressionable girl, Mrs.
Browning--forever bless her strong and gentle name!--did for me.

I owe to her, distinctly, the first visible aspiration (ambition is
too low a word) to do some honest, hard work of my own, in the World
Beautiful, and for it.

It is April, and it is the year 1861. It is a dull morning at school.
The sky is gray. The girls are not in spirits--no one knows just
why. The morning mail is late, and the Boston papers are tardily
distributed. The older girls get them, and are reading the head-lines
lazily, as girls do; not, in truth, caring much about a newspaper, but
aware that one must be well-informed.

Suddenly, in the recitation room, where I am refreshing my
accomplishments in some threatening lesson, I hear low murmurs and
exclamations. Then a girl, very young and very pretty, catches the
paper and whirls it overhead. With a laugh which tinkles through my
ears to this day, she dances through the room and cries:

"War's begun! _War's begun!_"

An older girl utters a cry of horror, and puts her hand upon the
little creature's thoughtless lips.

"Oh, how _can_ you?" so I hear the older
girl. "Hush, hush, _hush_!"



The King was a man that stood well before the world; his smile was
sweet as clover, but his soul withinsides was as little as a pea. He
had two sons; and the younger son was a boy after his heart, but the
elder was one whom he feared. It befell one morning that the drum
sounded in the dun before it was yet day; and the King rode with his
two sons, and a brave army behind them. They rode two hours, and came
to the foot of a brown mountain that was very steep.

"Where do we ride?" said the elder son.

"Across this brown mountain," said the King, and smiled to himself.

"My father knows what he is doing," said the younger son.

And they rode two hours more, and came to the sides of a black river
that was wondrous deep.

"And where do we ride?" asked the elder son.

"Over this black river," said the King, and smiled to himself.

"My father knows what he is doing," said the younger son.

And they rode all that day, and about the time of the sun-setting came
to the side of a lake, where was a great dun.

"It is here we ride," said the King; "to a King's house, and a
priest's, and a house where you will learn much."

At the gates of the dun, the King who was a priest met them, and he
was a grave man, and beside him stood his daughter, and she was as
fair as the morn, and one that smiled and looked down.

"These are my two sons," said the first King.

"And here is my daughter," said the King who was a priest.

"She is a wonderful fine maid," said the first King, "and I like her
manner of smiling."

"They are wonderful well-grown lads," said the second, "and I like
their gravity."

And then the two Kings looked at each other, and said, "The thing may
come about."

And in the meanwhile the two lads looked upon the maid, and the one
grew pale and the other red; and the maid looked upon the ground

"Here is the maid that I shall marry," said the elder. "For I think
she smiled upon me."

But the younger plucked his father by the sleeve. "Father," said he,
"a word in your ear. If I find favor in your sight, might not I wed
this maid, for I think she smiles upon me?"

"A word in yours," said the King his father. "Waiting is good hunting,
and when the teeth are shut the tongue is at home."


Now they were come into the dun, and feasted; and this was a great
house, so that the lads were astonished; and the King that was a
priest sat at the end of the board and was silent, so that the lads
were filled with reverence; and the maid served them, smiling, with
downcast eyes, so that their hearts were enlarged.

Before it was day, the elder son arose, and he found the maid at her
weaving, for she was a diligent girl. "Maid," quoth he, "I would fain
marry you."

"You must speak with my father," said she, and she looked upon the
ground smiling, and became like the rose.

"Her heart is with me," said the elder son, and he went down to the
lake and sang.

A little after came the younger son. "Maid," quoth he, "if our fathers
were agreed, I would like well to marry you."

"You can speak to my father," said she, and looked upon the ground and
smiled and grew like the rose.

"She is a dutiful daughter," said the younger son, "she will make
an obedient wife." And then he thought, "What shall I do?" and he
remembered the King her father was a priest, so he went into the
temple and sacrificed a weasel and a hare.

Presently the news got about; and the two lads and the first King were
called into the presence of the King who was a priest, where he sat
upon the high seat.

"Little I reck of gear," said the King who was a priest, "and little
of power. For we live here among the shadows of things, and the heart
is sick of seeing them. And we stay here in the wind like raiment
drying, and the heart is weary of the wind. But one thing I love, and
that is truth; and for one thing will I give my daughter, and that is
the trial stone. For in the light of that stone the seeming goes,
and the being shows, and all things besides are worthless. Therefore,
lads, if ye would wed my daughter, out foot, and bring me the stone of
touch, for that is the price of her."

"A word in your ear," said the younger son to his father. "I think we
do very well without this stone."

"A word in yours," said his father. "I am of your way of thinking; but
when the teeth are shut the tongue is at home." And he smiled to the
King that was a priest.

[Illustration: "'MAID,' QUOTH HE, 'I WOULD FAIN MARRY YOU.'"]

But the elder son got to his feet, and called the King that was a
priest by the name of father. "For whether I marry the maid or no, I
will call you by that word for the love of your wisdom; and even now
I will ride forth and search the world for the stone of touch." So he
said farewell and rode into the world.

"I think I will go, too," said the younger son, "if I can have your
leave. For my heart goes out to the maid."

"You will ride home with me," said his father.

So they rode home, and when they came to the dun, the King had his
son into his treasury. "Here," said he, "is the touchstone which shows
truth; for there is no truth but plain truth; and if you will look in
this, you will see yourself as you are."

And the younger son looked in it, and saw his face as it were the face
of a beardless youth, and he was well enough pleased; for the thing
was a piece of a mirror.

"Here is no such great thing to make a work about," said he; "but if
it will get me the maid, I shall never complain. But what a fool is my
brother to ride into the world, and the thing all the while at home."

So they rode back to the other dun, and showed the mirror to the King
that was a priest; and when he had looked in it, and seen himself
like a King, and his house like a King's house, and all things like
themselves, he cried out and blessed God. "For now I know," said
he, "there is no truth but the plain truth; and I am a King indeed,
although my heart misgave me." And he pulled down his temple and built
a new one; and then the younger son was married to the maid.

In the meantime the elder son rode into the world to find the
touchstone of the trial of truth; and whenever he came to a place of
habitation, he would ask the men if they had heard of it. And in every
place the men answered: "Not only have we heard of it, but we alone
of all men possess the thing itself, and it hangs in the side of our
chimney to this day." Then would the elder son be glad, and beg for a
sight of it. And sometimes it would be a piece of mirror, that showed
the seeming of things, and then he would say: "This can never be, for
there should be more than seeming." And sometimes it would be a lump
of coal, which showed nothing; and then he would say: "This can never
be, for at least there is the seeming." And sometimes it would be a
touchstone indeed, beautiful in hue, adorned with polishing, the light
inhabiting its sides; and when he found this, he would beg the thing,
and the persons of that place would give it him, for all men were very
generous of that gift; so that at the last he had his wallet full of
them, and they chinked together when he rode; and when he halted by
the side of the way, he would take them out and try them, till his
head turned like the sails upon a windmill.

"A murrain upon this business!" said the elder son, "for I perceive no
end to it. Here I have the red, and here the blue and the green; and
to me they seem all excellent, and yet shame each other. A murrain on
the trade! If it were not for the King that is a priest, and whom I
have called my father, and if it were not for the fair maid of the dun
that makes my mouth to sing and my heart enlarge, I would even tumble
them all into the salt sea, and go home and be a King like other

But he was like the hunter that has seen a stag upon a mountain, so
that the night may fall, and the fire be kindled, and the lights shine
in his house, but desire of that stag is single in his bosom.

Now after many years the elder son came upon the sides of the salt
sea; and it was night, and a savage place, and the clamor of the sea
was loud. There he was aware of a house, and a man that sat there by
the light of a candle, for he had no fire. Now the elder son came in
to him, and the man gave him water to drink, for he had no bread; and
wagged his head when he was spoken to, for he had no words.

"Have you the touchstone of truth?" asked the elder son; and when the
man had wagged his head, "I might have known that," cried the elder
son; "I have here a wallet full of them!" And with that he laughed,
although his heart was weary.

And with that the man laughed too, and with the fuff of his laughter
the candle went out.

"Sleep," said the man, "for now I think you have come far enough; and
your quest is ended, and my candle is out."

Now, when the morning came, the man gave him a clear pebble in his
hand, and it had no beauty and no color, and the elder son looked upon
it scornfully and shook his head, and he went away, for it seemed a
small affair to him.

All that day he rode, and his mind was quiet, and the desire of the
chase allayed. "How if this poor pebble be the touchstone, after all?"
said he; and he got down from his horse, and emptied forth his wallet
by the side of the way. Now, in the light of each other, all the
touchstones lost their hue and fire, and withered like stars at
morning; but in the light of the pebble, their beauty remained, only
the pebble was the most bright. And the elder son smote upon his brow.
"How if this be the truth," he cried, "that all are a little true?"
And he took the pebble, and turned its light upon the heavens, and
they deepened above him like the pit; and he turned it on the hills,
and the hills were cold and rugged, but life ran in their sides so
that his own life bounded; and he turned it on the dust, and he beheld
the dust with joy and terror; and he turned it on himself, and kneeled
down and prayed.

"Now thanks be to God," said the elder son, "I have found the
touchstone; and now I may turn my reins, and ride home to the King
and to the maid of the dun that makes my mouth to sing and my heart

Now, when he came to the dun, he saw children playing by the gate
where the King had met him in the old days, and this stayed his
pleasure; for he thought in his heart, "It is here my children should
be playing." And when he came into the hall, there was his brother on
the high seat, and the maid beside him; and at that his anger rose,
for he thought in his heart, "It is I that should be sitting there,
and the maid beside me."

"Who are you?" said his brother. "And what make you in the dun?"

"I am your elder brother," he replied. "And I am come to marry the
maid, for I have brought the touchstone of truth."


Then the younger brother laughed aloud. "Why," said he, "I have found
the touchstone years ago, and married the maid, and there are our
children playing at the gate."

Now at this the elder brother grew as gray as the dawn. "I pray you
have dealt justly," said he, "for I perceive my life is lost."

"Justly?" quoth the younger brother. "It becomes you ill, that are
a restless man and a runagate, to doubt my justice or the King my
father's, that are sedentary folk and known in the land."

"Nay," said the elder brother; "you have all else, have patience also,
and suffer me to say the world is full of touchstones, and it appears
not easily which is true."

"I have no shame of mine," said the younger brother. "There it is, and
look in it."

So the elder brother looked in the mirror, and he was sore amazed; for
he was an old man, and his hair was white upon his head; and he sat
down in the hall and wept aloud.

"Now," said the younger brother, "see what a fool's part you have
played, that ran over all the world to seek what was lying in our
father's treasury, and came back an old carle for the dogs to bark at,
and without chick or child. And I that was dutiful and wise sit here
crowned with virtues and pleasures, and happy in the light of my

"Methinks you have a cruel tongue," said the elder brother; and he
pulled out the clear pebble, and turned its light on his brother; and
behold, the man was lying; his soul was shrunk into the smallness of a
pea, and his heart was a bag of little fears like scorpions, and love
was dead in his bosom. And at that the elder brother cried out aloud,
and turned the light of the pebble on the maid, and lo! she was but a
mask of a woman, and withinsides she was quite dead, and she smiled as
a clock ticks, and knew not wherefore.

"Oh, well," said the elder brother, "I perceive there is both good and
bad. So fare ye all as well as ye may in the dun; but I will go forth
into the world with my pebble in my pocket."



The late Dr. Jowett is reported to have once said to Mrs. Humphry
Ward: "We shall come in the future to teach almost entirely by
biography. We shall begin with the life that is most familiar to
us, 'The Life of Christ,' and we shall more and more put before our
children the great examples of persons' lives so that they shall have
from the beginning heroes and friends in their thoughts."

The editors of this magazine thoroughly agree with Dr. Jowett. It has
been, for a long time, their great desire to publish in these pages
a "Life of Christ" which shall be, to quote Mr. Hall Caine's words in
the December MCCLURE'S, "as vivid and as personal from the standpoint
of belief as Renan's was from the standpoint of unbelief."


It is hard to realize the meaning of these figures, which represent
the present circulation of MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE. Three years ago
five magazines--"The Century," "Harper's," "Scribner's," "The
Cosmopolitan," and "Munsey's"--apparently occupied the whole magazine
field. But their total circulation was not over five hundred thousand
copies. The circulation of MCCLURE'S is now equal to three-fifths of
the combined circulation of all its rivals at the time it started.

"Harper's Magazine" and "The Century" for many years supplied the need
of the American people for great illustrated monthlies. One imagines
that every intelligent family in the United States takes one or the
other, or both, of these magazines. "Harper's" is over half a century
old, and "The Century" has just completed twenty-five years of
splendid life.

MCCLURE'S has a circulation equal to both these giants of the magazine

We mention these facts, not for the mere sake of comparison, but
simply to enable our friends to understand what a circulation of three
hundred thousand means.

And while we are speaking about ourselves we might mention that for
three months--October, November, and December--we had, month by month,
more paid advertising than any other magazine, while our December
number had more pages of paid advertising than any other magazine at
any time in the history of the world.

Another interesting fact is that during the two months of November
and December, MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE made greater strides in permanent
circulation than any other magazine ever made.


We have been compelled by the large circulation of the MAGAZINE
to purchase a complete printing and binding plant. This we hope to
install before the first of March. The capacity of the plant will
be not less than five hundred thousand copies a month, and, under
pressure, we can print six hundred thousand copies.

We have secured the best and most modern presses, and, with proper
pressmen, shall be able to print as beautiful a magazine as can be
made anywhere.


begins in our April number. It is a spirited story of adventure. It
is his first novel since "The Prisoner of Zenda," and has even more
action than that splendid story.


will increase in interest as the history comes nearer our own time.
Every chapter will contain much that is new, and every number of the
magazine will have several portraits of Lincoln.


We have collected the first four Lincoln articles, added new matter
both in text and pictures, and shall, in a few days, issue a volume
with the above title. It will contain twenty portraits of Lincoln,
and over one hundred other pictures, and will deal with the first
twenty-six years of Lincoln's life.


in the next two numbers tells about the writing of "The Gates Ajar."
She was then only twenty years old. The effect of the book on the
public, the correspondence it brought her, and the acquaintances it
secured her, will be amply dwelt upon. These are two remarkable papers
in literary autobiography.


Ellsworth's death at Alexandria--"the first conspicuous victim of the
war"--although he was only twenty-four, was the dramatic end of a most
romantic and picturesque career; and no one knows its details so well
as Colonel Hay. Ellsworth "was one of the dearest of the friends of my
youth," says Colonel Hay. Moreover, he was a particular favorite
and _protégé_ of President Lincoln's when Colonel Hay was Lincoln's
private secretary. Colonel Hay's paper, therefore, is one of quite
extraordinary interest. There will be published with it some very
interesting pictures.


Changes made in Mr. Low's article in the January number at the
very moment of going to press, occasioned a mistake which should be
corrected, though, no doubt, most of our readers have detected it for
themselves. In the note to David's picture of "The Sabine Women," the
picture was described as portraying the seizure of the Sabine women
by the Romans, whereas it portrays the interposition of the women in a
battle following the seizure.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, February 1896" ***

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