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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, April, 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. 5, April, 1896" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

APRIL, 1896***


VOL. VI,  NO. 5, APRIL, 1896


  THE RÖNTGEN RAYS IN AMERICA. By Cleveland Moffett.
  ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By Ida M. Tarbell.
    Lincoln in the Campaign of 1840.
    Lincoln's Engagement to Miss Todd.
    The Lincoln and Shields Duel.
    Marriage of Lincoln and Miss Todd.
  "PHROSO." By Anthony Hope.
    Chapter I. A Long Thing Ending in Poulos.
    Chapter II. A Conservative Country.
    Chapter III. The Fever of Neopalia.
  "SOLDIER AN' SAILOR TOO." By Rudyard Kipling.
  RACHEL. By Mrs. E.V. Wilson.
  CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE. By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.
    Twenty Thousand Dollars for Short Stories.
    The McClure's "Early Life of Lincoln."
    The McClure's New "Life of Grant."
    New Pictures of Lincoln.
    The Abraham Lincoln School of Science and Practical Arts.
    The House in which Lincoln's Parents Were Married--a Correction.


  LINCOLN IN 1860.
  LINCOLN IN 1858.


1 and 3. Flint glass prism (very opaque).

2. Quartz prism, showing transmission of the rays through the thin

4. Prism of heavy glass, more opaque than flint glass.

5. One-cent coin, copper.

6. Five-cent coin, nickel.

7. White-crown glass, 1½ millimetres thick.

8. Blue crown glass, 2 millimetres thick.

9. Yellow crown glass, 1½ millimetres thick.

10. Crown glass, 1 millimetre thick, covered with a very thin layer of

11. Red crown glass, 2 millimetres thick.

12. Block of Iceland spar (very transparent to ordinary light, but
very opaque to Röntgen rays).

13. A bit of tinfoil.

14. Aluminium medal, showing faint traces of the design and lettering
on both sides, as if it were translucent.

15. Metallic mirror, shows no effect of regular reflection.

16. Bit of sheet-lead, 1 millimetre thick.

17. Quarter-of-a-dollar coin, silver.

18. Piece of thin ebonite, such as is used for photographic


From a photograph by Hanfstaenge, Frankfort-on-the-Main.]




In all the history of scientific discovery there has never been,
perhaps, so general, rapid, and dramatic an effect wrought on the
scientific centres of Europe as has followed, in the past four weeks,
upon an announcement made to the Würzburg Physico-Medical Society, at
their December meeting, by Professor William Konrad Röntgen, professor
of physics at the Royal University of Würzburg. The first news which
reached London was by telegraph from Vienna to the effect that a
Professor Röntgen, until then the possessor of only a local fame
in the town mentioned, had discovered a new kind of light, which
penetrated and photographed through everything. This news was received
with a mild interest, some amusement, and much incredulity; and a week
passed. Then, by mail and telegraph, came daily clear indications
of the stir which the discovery was making in all the great line of
universities between Vienna and Berlin. Then Röntgen's own report
arrived, so cool, so business-like, and so truly scientific in
character, that it left no doubt either of the truth or of the great
importance of the preceding reports. To-day, four weeks after the
announcement, Röntgen's name is apparently in every scientific
publication issued this week in Europe; and accounts of his
experiments, of the experiments of others following his method, and
of theories as to the strange new force which he has been the first
to observe, fill pages of every scientific journal that comes to
hand. And before the necessary time elapses for this article to
attain publication in America, it is in all ways probable that the
laboratories and lecture-rooms of the United States will also be
giving full evidence of this contagious arousal of interest over a
discovery so strange that its importance cannot yet be measured,
its utility be even prophesied, or its ultimate effect upon
long-established scientific beliefs be even vaguely foretold.


From a photograph by A.A.C. Swinton, Victoria Street, London.
Exposure, ten minutes.]


From a photograph taken by Mr. P. Spies, director of the "Urania,"


From a photograph by G. Glock, Würzburg.]

The Röntgen rays are certain invisible rays resembling, in many
respects, rays of light, which are set free when a high pressure
electric current is discharged through a vacuum tube. A vacuum tube
is a glass tube from which all the air, down to one-millionth of an
atmosphere, has been exhausted after the insertion of a platinum
wire in either end of the tube for connection with the two poles of
a battery or induction coil. When the discharge is sent through
the tube, there proceeds from the anode--that is, the wire which is
connected with the positive pole of the battery--certain bands of
light, varying in color with the color of the glass. But these are
insignificant in comparison with the brilliant glow which shoots
from the cathode, or negative wire. This glow excites brilliant
phosphorescence in glass and many substances, and these "cathode
rays," as they are called, were observed and studied by Hertz; and
more deeply by his assistant, Professor Lenard, Lenard having, in
1894, reported that the cathode rays would penetrate thin films of
aluminium, wood, and other substances and produce photographic results
beyond. It was left, however, for Professor Röntgen to discover that
during the discharge another kind of rays are set free, which differ
greatly from those described by Lenard as cathode rays The most marked
difference between the two is the fact that Röntgen rays are not
deflected by a magnet, indicating a very essential difference, while
their range and penetrative power are incomparably greater. In fact,
all those qualities which have lent a sensational character to the
discovery of Röntgen's rays were mainly absent from these of Lenard,
to the end that, although Röntgen has not been working in an entirely
new field, he has by common accord been freely granted all the honors
of a great discovery.


From a photograph by Professors Imbert and Bertin-Sans; reproduced
by the courtesy of the "Presse Medicale," Paris. In taking this
photograph the experiment was tried of using a diaphragm interposed
between the Crookes tube and the plate; and the superior clearness
obtained is thought to result from this.]


From a photograph taken by Dr. W.L. Robb of Trinity College. The
shading in the picture indicates, what was the actual fact, that the
blade, which was hollow ground, was thinner in the middle than near
the edge.]


From a photograph by A.A.C. Swinton, Victoria Street, London.
Exposure, four minutes.]

Exactly what kind of a force Professor Röntgen has discovered he does
not know. As will be seen below, he declines to call it a new kind of
light, or a new form of electricity. He has given it the name of the
X rays. Others speak of it as the Röntgen rays. Thus far its results
only, and not its essence, are known. In the terminology of science it
is generally called "a new mode of motion," or, in other words, a new
force. As to whether it is or not actually a force new to science, or
one of the known forces masquerading under strange conditions, weighty
authorities are already arguing. More than one eminent scientist has
already affected to see in it a key to the great mystery of the law
of gravity. All who have expressed themselves in print have admitted,
with more or less frankness, that, in view of Röntgen's discovery,
science must forth-with revise, possibly to a revolutionary degree,
the long accepted theories concerning the phenomena of light and
sound. That the X rays, in their mode of action, combine a strange
resemblance to both sound and light vibrations, and are destined to
materially affect, if they do not greatly alter, our views of both
phenomena, is already certain; and beyond this is the opening into
a new and unknown field of physical knowledge, concerning which
speculation is already eager, and experimental investigation already
in hand, in London, Paris, Berlin, and, perhaps, to a greater or less
extent, in every well-equipped physical laboratory in Europe.

This is the present scientific aspect of the discovery. But, unlike
most epoch-making results from laboratories, this discovery is one
which, to a very unusual degree, is within the grasp of the popular
and non-technical imagination. Among the other kinds of matter
which these rays penetrate with ease is the human flesh. That a new
photography has suddenly arisen which can photograph the bones, and,
before long, the organs of the human body; that a light has been found
which can penetrate, so as to make a photographic record, through
everything from a purse or a pocket to the walls of a room or a house,
is news which cannot fail to startle everybody. That the eye of the
physician or surgeon, long baffled by the skin, and vainly seeking
to penetrate the unfortunate darkness of the human body, is now to be
supplemented by a camera, making all the parts of the human body as
visible, in a way, as the exterior, appears certainly to be a greater
blessing to humanity than even the Listerian antiseptic system of
surgery; and its benefits must inevitably be greater than those
conferred by Lister, great as the latter have been. Already, in
the few weeks since Röntgen's announcement, the results of surgical
operations under the new system are growing voluminous. In Berlin, not
only new bone fractures are being immediately photographed, but joined
fractures, as well, in order to examine the results of recent surgical
work. In Vienna, imbedded bullets are being photographed, instead of
being probed for, and extracted with comparative ease. In London, a
wounded sailor, completely paralyzed, whose injury was a mystery, has
been saved by the photographing of an object imbedded in the spine,
which, upon extraction, proved to be a small knife-blade. Operations
for malformations, hitherto obscure, but now clearly revealed by the
new photography, are already becoming common, and are being reported
from all directions. Professor Czermark of Graz has photographed the
living skull, denuded of flesh and hair, and has begun the adaptation
of the new photography to brain study. The relation of the new rays
to thought rays is being eagerly discussed in what may be called
the non-exact circles and journals; and all that numerous group
of inquirers into the occult, the believers in clairvoyance,
spiritualism, telepathy, and kindred orders of alleged phenomena, are
confident of finding in the new force long-sought facts in proof of
their claims. Professor Neusser in Vienna has photographed gall-stones
in the liver of one patient (the stone showing snow-white in the
negative), and a stone in the bladder of another patient. His results
so far induce him to announce that all the organs of the human body
can, and will, shortly, be photographed. Lannelougue of Paris has
exhibited to the Academy of Science photographs of bones showing
inherited tuberculosis which had not otherwise revealed itself. Berlin
has already formed a society of forty for the immediate prosecution
of researches into both the character of the new force and its
physiological possibilities. In the next few weeks these strange
announcements will be trebled or quadrupled, giving the best evidence
from all quarters of the great future that awaits the Röntgen rays,
and the startling impetus to the universal search for knowledge that
has come at the close of the nineteenth century from the modest little
laboratory in the Pleicher Ring at Würzburg.


From a photograph by Dr. W.L. Robb of Trinity College.]


From a photograph by Dr. W.L. Robb of Trinity College. The subject's
foot rests on the photographic plate.]

On instruction by cable from the editor of this magazine, on the
first announcement of the discovery, I set out for Würzburg to see the
discoverer and his laboratory. I found a neat and thriving Bavarian
city of forty-five thousand inhabitants, which, for some ten
centuries, has made no salient claim upon the admiration of the world,
except for the elaborateness of its mediæval castle and the excellence
of its local beer. Its streets were adorned with large numbers of
students, all wearing either scarlet, green, or blue caps, and an
extremely serious expression, suggesting much intensity either in the
contemplation of Röntgen rays or of the beer aforesaid. All knew the
residence of Professor Röntgen (pronunciation: "Renken"), and directed
me to the "Pleicher Ring." The various buildings of the university are
scattered in different parts of Würzburg, the majority being in the
Pleicher Ring, which is a fine avenue, with a park along one side
of it, in the centre of the town. The Physical Institute, Professor
Röntgen's particular domain, is a modest building of two stories and
basement, the upper story constituting his private residence, and
the remainder of the building being given over to lecture rooms,
laboratories, and their attendant offices. At the door I was met by an
old serving-man of the idolatrous order, whose pain was apparent when
I asked for "Professor" Röntgen, and he gently corrected me with "Herr
Doctor Röntgen." As it was evident, however, that we referred to the
same person, he conducted me along a wide, bare hall, running the
length of the building, with blackboards and charts on the walls. At
the end he showed me into a small room on the right. This contained
a large table desk, and a small table by the window, covered
with photographs, while the walls held rows of shelves laden with
laboratory and other records. An open door led into a somewhat larger
room, perhaps twenty feet by fifteen, and I found myself gazing into
a laboratory which was the scene of the discovery--a laboratory which,
though in all ways modest, is destined to be enduringly historical.

There was a wide table shelf running along the farther side, in front
of the two windows, which were high, and gave plenty of light. In the
centre was a stove; on the left, a small cabinet, whose shelves held
the small objects which the professor had been using. There was a
table in the left-hand corner; and another small table--the one on
which living bones were first photographed--was near the stove, and
a Rhumkorff coil was on the right. The lesson of the laboratory was
eloquent. Compared, for instance, with the elaborate, expensive, and
complete apparatus of, say, the University of London, or of any of the
great American universities, it was bare and unassuming to a degree.
It mutely said that in the great march of science it is the genius of
man, and not the perfection of appliances, that breaks new ground in
the great territory of the unknown. It also caused one to wonder at
and endeavor to imagine the great things which are to be done through
elaborate appliances with the Röntgen rays--a field in which the
United States, with its foremost genius in invention, will very
possibly, if not probably, take the lead--when the discoverer himself
had done so much with so little. Already, in a few weeks, a skilled
London operator, Mr. A.A.C. Swinton, has reduced the necessary time
of exposure for Röntgen photographs from fifteen minutes to four.
He used, however, a Tesla oil coil, discharged by twelve half-gallon
Leyden jars, with an alternating current of twenty thousand volts'
pressure. Here were no oil coils, Leyden jars, or specially elaborate
and expensive machines. There were only a Rhumkorff coil and Crookes
(vacuum) tube and the man himself.

Professor Röntgen entered hurriedly, something like an amiable gust
of wind. He is a tall, slender, and loose-limbed man, whose whole
appearance bespeaks enthusiasm and energy. He wore a dark blue sack
suit, and his long, dark hair stood straight up from his forehead, as
if he were permanently electrified by his own enthusiasm. His voice is
full and deep, he speaks rapidly, and, altogether, he seems clearly a
man who, once upon the track of a mystery which appealed to him,
would pursue it with unremitting vigor. His eyes are kind, quick, and
penetrating; and there is no doubt that he much prefers gazing at a
Crookes tube to beholding a visitor, visitors at present robbing him
of much valued time. The meeting was by appointment, however, and his
greeting was cordial and hearty. In addition to his own language he
speaks French well and English scientifically, which is different from
speaking it popularly. These three tongues being more or less within
the equipment of his visitor, the conversation proceeded on an
international or polyglot basis, so to speak, varying at necessity's

It transpired, in the course of inquiry, that the professor is
a married man and fifty years of age, though his eyes have the
enthusiasm of twenty-five. He was born near Zurich, and educated
there, and completed his studies and took his degree at Utrecht. He
has been at Würzburg about seven years, and had made no discoveries
which he considered of great importance prior to the one under
consideration. These details were given under good-natured protest, he
failing to understand why his personality should interest the public.
He declined to admire himself or his results in any degree, and
laughed at the idea of being famous. The professor is too deeply
interested in science to waste any time in thinking about himself. His
emperor had _fêted_, flattered, and decorated him, and he was loyally
grateful. It was evident, however, that fame and applause had small
attractions for him, compared to the mysteries still hidden in the
vacuum tubes of the other room.


From a photograph by A.A.C. Swinton, Victoria Street, London.
Exposure, fifty-five seconds.]

"Now, then," said he, smiling, and with some impatience, when the
preliminary questions at which he chafed were over, "you have come to
see the invisible rays."

"Is the invisible visible?"

"Not to the eye; but its results are. Come in here."

He led the way to the other square room mentioned, and indicated
the induction coil with which his researches were made, an ordinary
Rhumkorff coil, with a spark of from four to six inches, charged by
a current of twenty amperes. Two wires led from the coil, through an
open door, into a smaller room on the right. In this room was a
small table carrying a Crookes tube connected with the coil. The most
striking object in the room, however, was a huge and mysterious tin
box about seven feet high and four feet square. It stood on end,
like a huge packing-case, its side being perhaps five inches from the
Crookes tube.

The professor explained the mystery of the tin box, to the effect that
it was a device of his own for obtaining a portable dark-room. When he
began his investigations he used the whole room, as was shown by the
heavy blinds and curtains so arranged as to exclude the entrance of
all interfering light from the windows. In the side of the tin box,
at the point immediately against the tube, was a circular sheet of
aluminium one millimetre in thickness, and perhaps eighteen inches
in diameter, soldered to the surrounding tin. To study his rays the
professor had only to turn on the current, enter the box, close the
door, and in perfect darkness inspect only such light or light effects
as he had a right to consider his own, hiding his light, in fact, not
under the Biblical bushel, but in a more commodious box.

"Step inside," said he, opening the door, which was on the side of
the box farthest from the tube. I immediately did so, not altogether
certain whether my skeleton was to be photographed for general
inspection, or my secret thoughts held up to light on a glass plate.
"You will find a sheet of barium paper on the shelf," he added, and
then went away to the coil. The door was closed, and the interior of
the box became black darkness. The first thing I found was a wooden
stool, on which I resolved to sit. Then I found the shelf on the
side next the tube, and then the sheet of paper prepared with barium
platino-cyanide. I was thus being shown the first phenomenon which
attracted the discoverer's attention and led to the discovery, namely,
the passage of rays, themselves wholly invisible, whose presence was
only indicated by the effect they produced on a piece of sensitized
photographic paper.

A moment later, the black darkness was penetrated by the rapid
snapping sound of the high-pressure current in action, and I knew
that the tube outside was glowing. I held the sheet vertically on
the shelf, perhaps four inches from the plate. There was no change,
however, and nothing was visible.

"Do you see anything?" he called.


"The tension is not high enough;" and he proceeded to increase the
pressure by operating an apparatus of mercury in long vertical tubes
acted upon automatically by a weight lever which stood near the coil.
In a few moments the sound of the discharge again began, and then I
made my first acquaintance with the Röntgen rays.

The moment the current passed, the paper began to glow. A
yellowish-green light spread all over its surface in clouds, waves,
and flashes. The yellow-green luminescence, all the stranger and
stronger in the darkness, trembled, wavered, and floated over the
paper, in rhythm with the snapping of the discharge. Through the metal
plate, the paper, myself, and the tin box, the invisible rays were
flying, with an effect strange, interesting, and uncanny. The metal
plate seemed to offer no appreciable resistance to the flying force,
and the light was as rich and full as if nothing lay between the paper
and the tube.

"Put the book up," said the professor.

I felt upon the shelf, in the darkness, a heavy book, two inches in
thickness, and placed this against the plate. It made no difference.
The rays flew through the metal and the book as if neither had been
there, and the waves of light, rolling cloud-like over the paper,
showed no change in brightness. It was a clear, material illustration
of the ease with which paper and wood are penetrated. And then I
laid book and paper down, and put my eyes against the rays. All was
blackness, and I neither saw nor felt anything. The discharge was in
full force, and the rays were flying through my head, and, for all I
knew, through the side of the box behind me. But they were invisible
and impalpable. They gave no sensation whatever. Whatever the
mysterious rays may be, they are not to be seen, and are to be judged
only by their works.

I was loath to leave this historical tin box, but time pressed. I
thanked the professor, who was happy in the reality of his discovery
and the music of his sparks. Then I said: "Where did you first
photograph living bones?"

"Here," he said, leading the way into the room where the coil stood.
He pointed to a table on which was another--the latter a small
short-legged wooden one with more the shape and size of a wooden
seat. It was two feet square and painted coal black. I viewed it with
interest. I would have bought it, for the little table on which
light was first sent through the human body will some day be a great
historical curiosity; but it was "nicht zu verkaufen." A photograph of
it would have been a consolation, but for several reasons one was not
to be had at present. However, the historical table was there, and was
duly inspected.


From a photograph by A.A.C. Swinton, Victoria Street, London. Four
minutes' exposure through a sheet of aluminium.]

"How did you take the first hand photograph?" I asked.

The professor went over to a shelf by the window, where lay a number
of prepared glass plates, closely wrapped in black paper. He put a
Crookes tube underneath the table, a few inches from the under side
of its top. Then he laid his hand flat on the top of the table, and
placed the glass plate loosely on his hand.

"You ought to have your portrait painted in that attitude," I

"No, that is nonsense," said he, smiling.

"Or be photographed." This suggestion was made with a deeply hidden

The rays from the Röntgen eyes instantly penetrated the deeply hidden
purpose. "Oh, no," said he; "I can't let you make pictures of me. I
am too busy." Clearly the professor was entirely too modest to gratify
the wishes of the curious world.

"Now, Professor," said I, "will you tell me the history of the


From a photograph by A.A.C. Swinton, Victoria Street, London.]

"There is no history," he said. "I have been for a long time
interested in the problem of the cathode rays from a vacuum tube
as studied by Hertz and Lenard. I had followed theirs and other
researches with great interest, and determined, as soon as I had the
time, to make some researches of my own. This time I found at the
close of last October. I had been at work for some days when I
discovered something new."

"What was the date?"

"The eighth of November."

"And what was the discovery?"

"I was working with a Crookes tube covered by a shield of black
cardboard. A piece of barium platino-cyanide paper lay on the bench
there. I had been passing a current through the tube, and I noticed a
peculiar black line across the paper."

"What of that?"

"The effect was one which could only be produced, in ordinary
parlance, by the passage of light. No light could come from the tube,
because the shield which covered it was impervious to any light known,
even that of the electric arc."

"And what did you think?"

"I did not think; I investigated. I assumed that the effect must have
come from the tube, since its character indicated that it could come
from nowhere else. I tested it. In a few minutes there was no doubt
about it. Rays were coming from the tube which had a luminescent
effect upon the paper. I tried it successfully at greater and greater
distances, even at two metres. It seemed at first a new kind of
invisible light. It was clearly something new, something unrecorded."

"Is it light?"


"Is it electricity?"

"Not in any known form."

"What is it?"

"I don't know."

And the discoverer of the X rays thus stated as calmly his ignorance
of their essence as has everybody else who has written on the
phenomena thus far.

"Having discovered the existence of a new kind of rays, I of course
began to investigate what they would do." He took up a series of
cabinet-sized photographs. "It soon appeared from tests that the rays
had penetrative power to a degree hitherto unknown. They penetrated
paper, wood, and cloth with ease; and the thickness of the substance
made no perceptible difference, within reasonable limits." He showed
photographs of a box of laboratory weights of platinum, aluminium, and
brass, they and the brass hinges all having been photographed from a
closed box, without any indication of the box. Also a photograph of
a coil of fine wire, wound on a wooden spool, the wire having been
photographed, and the wood omitted. "The rays," he continued, "passed
through all the metals tested, with a facility varying, roughly
speaking, with the density of the metal. These phenomena I have
discussed carefully in my report to the Würzburg society, and you will
find all the technical results therein stated." He showed a photograph
of a small sheet of zinc. This was composed of smaller plates
soldered laterally with solders of different metallic proportions. The
differing lines of shadow, caused by the difference in the solders,
were visible evidence that a new means of detecting flaws and chemical
variations in metals had been found. A photograph of a compass showed
the needle and dial taken through the closed brass cover. The markings
of the dial were in red metallic paint, and thus interfered with the
rays, and were reproduced. "Since the rays had this great penetrative
power, it seemed natural that they should penetrate flesh, and so it
proved in photographing the hand, as I showed you."

A detailed discussion of the characteristics of his rays the professor
considered unprofitable and unnecessary. He believes, though, that
these mysterious radiations are not light, because their behavior is
essentially different from that of light rays, even those light rays
which are themselves invisible. The Röntgen rays cannot be reflected
by reflecting surfaces, concentrated by lenses, or refracted or
diffracted. They produce photographic action on a sensitive film, but
their action is weak as yet, and herein lies the first important field
of their development. The professor's exposures were comparatively
long--an average of fifteen minutes in easily penetrable media,
and half an hour or more in photographing the bones of the hand.
Concerning vacuum tubes, he said that he preferred the Hittorf,
because it had the most perfect vacuum, the highest degree of air
exhaustion being the consummation most desirable. In answer to a
question, "What of the future?" he said:

"I am not a prophet, and I am opposed to prophesying. I am pursuing
my investigations, and as fast as my results are verified I shall make
them public."

"Do you think the rays can be so modified as to photograph the organs
of the human body?"

In answer he took up the photograph of the box of weights. "Here are
already modifications," he said, indicating the various degrees of
shadow produced by the aluminium, platinum, and brass weights, the
brass hinges, and even the metallic stamped lettering on the cover of
the box, which was faintly perceptible.

"But Professor Neusser has already announced that the photographing of
the various organs is possible."

"We shall see what we shall see," he said. We have the start now; the
developments will follow in time."

"You know the apparatus for introducing the electric light into the


"Do you think that this electric light will become a vacuum tube for
photographing, from the stomach, any part of the abdomen or thorax?"

The idea of swallowing a Crookes tube, and sending a high frequency
current down into one's stomach, seemed to him exceedingly funny.
"When I have done it, I will tell you," he said, smiling, resolute in
abiding by results.

"There is much to do, and I am busy, very busy," he said in
conclusion. He extended his hand in farewell, his eyes already
wandering toward his work in the inside room. And his visitor promptly
left him; the words, "I am busy," said in all sincerity, seeming
to describe in a single phrase the essence of his character and the
watchword of a very unusual man.

Returning by way of Berlin, I called upon Herr Spies of the Urania,
whose photographs after the Röntgen method were the first made
public, and have been the best seen thus far. The Urania is a peculiar
institution, and one which it seems might be profitably duplicated in
other countries. It is a scientific theatre. By means of the
lantern and an admirable equipment of scientific appliances, all
new discoveries, as well as ordinary interesting and picturesque
phenomena, when new discoveries are lacking, are described and
illustrated daily to the public, who pay for seats as in an ordinary
theatre, and keep the Urania profitably filled all the year round.
Professor Spies is a young man of great mental alertness and
mechanical resource. It is the photograph of a hand, his wife's hand,
which illustrates, perhaps better than any other illustration in this
article, the clear delineation of the bones which can be obtained by
the Röntgen rays. In speaking of the discovery he said:

"I applied it, as soon as the penetration of flesh was apparent, to
the photograph of a man's hand. Something in it had pained him for
years, and the photograph at once exhibited a small foreign object, as
you can see;" and he exhibited a copy of the photograph in question.
"The speck there is a small piece of glass, which was immediately
extracted, and which, in all probability, would have otherwise
remained in the man's hand to the end of his days." All of which
indicates that the needle which has pursued its travels in so many
persons, through so many years, will be suppressed by the camera.

"My next object is to photograph the bones of the entire leg,"
continued Herr Spies. "I anticipate no difficulty, though it requires
some thought in manipulation."

It will be seen that the Röntgen rays and their marvellous practical
possibilities are still in their infancy. The first successful
modification of the action of the rays so that the varying densities
of bodily organs will enable them to be photographed, will bring all
such morbid growths as tumors and cancers into the photographic field,
to say nothing of vital organs which may be abnormally developed or
degenerate. How much this means to medical and surgical practice it
requires little imagination to conceive. Diagnosis, long a painfully
uncertain science, has received an unexpected and wonderful assistant;
and how greatly the world will benefit thereby, how much pain will
be saved, and how many lives saved, the future can only determine. In
science a new door has been opened where none was known to exist, and
a side-light on phenomena has appeared, of which the results may prove
as penetrating and astonishing as the Röntgen rays themselves. The
most agreeable feature of the discovery is the opportunity it gives
for other hands to help; and the work of these hands will add many
new words to the dictionaries, many new facts to science, and, in
the years long ahead of us, fill many more volumes than there are
paragraphs in this brief and imperfect account.



At the top of the great Sloane laboratory of Yale University, in an
experimenting room lined with curious apparatus, I found Professor
Arthur W. Wright experimenting with the wonderful Röntgen rays.
Professor Wright, a small, low-voiced man, of modest manner,
has achieved, in his experiments in photographing through solid
substances, some of the most interesting and remarkable results thus
far attained in this country. His success is, no doubt, largely due
to the fact that for years he had been experimenting constantly
with vacuum tubes similar to the Crookes tubes used in producing the
cathode rays.

When I arrived, Professor Wright was at work with a Crookes tube,
nearly spherical in shape, and about five inches in diameter--the one
with which he has taken all his shadow pictures. His best results have
been obtained with long exposures--an hour or an hour and a half--and
he regards it as of the first importance that the objects through
which the Röntgen rays are to be projected be placed as near as
possible to the sensitized plate.

It is from a failure to observe this precaution that so many of the
shadow pictures show blurred outlines. It is with these pictures as
with a shadow of the hand thrown on the wall--the nearer the hand
is to the wall, the more distinct becomes the shadow; and this
consideration makes Professor Wright doubt whether it will be
possible, with the present facilities, to get clearly cut shadow
images of very thick objects, or in cases where the pictures are
taken through a thick board or other obstacle. The Röntgen rays will
doubtless traverse the board, and shadows will be formed upon the
plate, but there will be an uncertainty or dimness of outline that
will render the results unsatisfactory. It is for this reason that
Professor Wright has taken most of his shadow pictures through only
the thickness of ebonite in his plate-holder. A most successful shadow
picture taken by Professor Wright in this way, shows five objects laid
side by side on a large plate--a saw, a case of pocket tools in their
cover, a pocket lense opened out as for use, a pair of eye-glasses
inside their leather case, and an awl. As will be seen from the
accompanying reproduction of this picture, all the objects are
photographed with remarkable distinctness, the leather case of the
eye-glasses being almost transparent, the wood of the handles of the
awl and saw being a little less so, while the glass in the eye-glasses
is less transparent than either. In the case of the awl and the saw,
the iron stem of the tool shows plainly inside the wooden handle. This
photograph is similar to a dozen that have been taken by Professor
Wright with equal success. The exposure here was fifty-five minutes.

A more remarkable picture is one taken in the same way, but with a
somewhat longer exposure--of a rabbit laid upon the ebonite plate, and
so successfully pierced with the Röntgen rays that not only the bones
of the body show plainly, but also the six grains of shot with which
the animal was killed. The bones of the fore legs show with beautiful
distinctness inside the shadowy flesh, while a closer inspection makes
visible the ribs, the cartilages of the ear, and a lighter region in
the centre of the body, which marks the location of the heart.

Like most experimenters, Professor Wright has taken numerous shadow
pictures of the human hand, showing the bones within, and he has made
a great number of experiments in photographing various metals and
different varieties of quartz and glass, with a view to studying
characteristic differences in the shadows produced. A photograph
of the latter sort is reproduced on page 401. Aluminium shows a
remarkable degree of transparency to the Röntgen rays; so much so that
Professor Wright was able to photograph a medal of this metal, showing
in the same picture the designs and lettering on both sides of the
medal, presented simultaneously in superimposed images. The denser
metals, however, give in the main black shadows, which offer little
opportunity of distinguishing between them.

As to the nature of the Röntgen rays, Professor Wright is inclined
to regard them as a mode of motion through the ether, in longitudinal
stresses; and he thinks that, while they are in many ways similar to
the rays discovered by Lenard a year or so ago, they still present
important characteristics of their own. It may be, he thinks, that the
Röntgen rays are the ordinary cathode rays produced in a Crookes tube,
filtered, if one may so express it, of the metallic particles carried
in their electrical stream from the metal terminal, on passing through
the glass. It is well known that the metal terminals of a Crookes tube
are steadily worn away while the current is passing; so much so that
sometimes portions of the interior of the tube become coated with a
metallic deposit almost mirror-like.

As to the future, Professor Wright feels convinced that important
results will be achieved in surgery and medicine by the use of these
new rays, while in physical science they point to an entirely new
field of investigation. The most necessary thing now is to find some
means of producing streams of Röntgen rays of greater volume and
intensity, so as to make possible greater penetration and distinctness
in the images. Thus far only small Crookes tubes have been used, and
much is to be expected when larger ones become available; but there
is great difficulty in the manufacture of them. It might be possible,
Professor Wright thinks, to get good results by using, instead of the
Crookes tube, a large sphere of aluminium, which is more transparent
to the new rays than glass and possesses considerable strength. It is
a delicate question, however, whether the increased thickness of metal
necessary to resist the air pressure upon a vacuum would not offset
the advantage gained from the greater size. Moreover, it is a matter
for experiment still to determine, what kind of an electric current
would be necessary to excite such a larger tube with the best results.

Among the most important experiments in shadow photography made thus
far in America are those of Dr. William J. Morton of New York, who was
the first in this country to use the disruptive discharges of
static electricity in connection with the Röntgen discovery, and to
demonstrate that shadow pictures may be successfully taken without the
use of Crookes tubes. It was the well-known photographic properties of
ordinary lightning that made Dr. Morton suspect that cathode rays are
produced freely in the air when there is an electric discharge from
the heavens. Reasoning thus, he resolved to search for cathode rays in
the ten-inch lightning flash he was able to produce between the poles
of his immense Holtz machine, probably the largest in this country.

On January 30th he suspended a glass plate, with a circular window in
the middle, between the two poles. Cemented to this plate of glass was
one of hard rubber, about equal in size, which of course covered
the window in the glass. Back of the rubber plate was suspended a
photographic plate in the plate-holder, and outside of this, between
it and the rubber surface, were ten letters cut from thin copper. Dr.
Morton proposed to see if he could not prove the existence of cathode
rays between the poles by causing them to picture in shadow, upon the
sensitized plate, the letters thus exposed.

In order to do this it was necessary to separate the ordinary electric
sparks from the invisible cathode rays which, as Dr. Morton believed,
accompanied them. It was to accomplish this that he used the double
plates of glass and hard rubber placed, as already described, between
the two poles; for while the ordinary electric spark would not
traverse the rubber, any cathode rays that might be present would do
so with great ease, the circular window in the glass plate allowing
them passage there.


In this case the vacuum bulb is charged from Leyden jars which, in
their turn, are excited by an induction coil.]

The current being turned on, it was found that the powerful electric
sparks visible to the eye, unable to follow a straight course on
account of the intervening rubber plate, jumped around the two plates
in jagged, lightning-like lines, and thus reached the other pole of
the machine. But it was noticed that at the same time a faint spray of
purplish light was streaming straight through the rubber between the
two holes, as if its passage was not interfered with by the rubber
plate. It was in company with this stream of violet rays, known as the
brush discharge, that the doctor conceived the invisible Röntgen
rays to be projected at each spark discharge around the plate; and
presently, when the photographic plate was developed, it was found
that his conception was based on fact. For there, dim in outline, but
unmistakable, were shadow pictures of the ten letters which stand as
historic, since they were probably the first shadow pictures in the
world taken without any bulb or vacuum tube whatever. These shadow
pictures Dr. Morton carefully distinguished from the ordinary
blackening effects on the film produced by electrified objects.

Pursuing his experiments with static electricity, Dr. Morton soon
found that better results could be obtained by the use of Leyden jars
influenced by the Holtz machine, and discharging into a vacuum bulb,
as shown in the illustration on this page. This arrangement of the
apparatus has the advantage of making it much easier to regulate the
electric supply and to modify its intensity, and Dr. Morton finds that
in this way large vacuum tubes, perhaps twenty inches in diameter,
may be excited to the point of doing practical work without danger of
breaking the glass walls. But certain precautions are necessary. When
he uses tin-foil electrodes on the outside of the bulb, he protects
the tin-foil edges, and, what is more essential, uses extremely small
Leyden jars and a short spark gap between the poles of the discharging
rods. The philosophy of this is, that the smaller the jars, the
greater their number of oscillations per second (easily fifteen
million, according to Dr. Lodge's computations), the shorter the wave
length, and, therefore, the greater the intensity of effects.


From a photograph by Professor Arthur W. Wright of Yale College, taken
through an ebonite plate-holder with fifty-five minutes exposure. It
shows a pair of spectacles in their leather case; an awl and a saw,
with the iron stem, plainly visible through the wooden handles; a
magnifying-glass; and a combination wooden tool-handle with metallic
tools stored in the head, and the metallic clamp visible through the
lower half.]

The next step was to bring more energy into play, still using Leyden
jars; and for this purpose Dr. Morton placed within the circuit
between the jars a Tesla oscillating coil. He was thus able to use in
his shadow pictures the most powerful sparks the machine was capable
of producing (twelve inches), sending the Leyden-jar discharge through
the primary of the coil, and employing for the excitation of the
vacuum tube the "step up" current of the secondary coil with a
potential incalculably increased.

While Dr. Morton has in some of his experiments excited his Leyden
jars from an induction coil, he thinks the best promise lies in the
use of powerful Holtz machines; and he now uses no Leyden jars or
converters, thus greatly adding to the simplicity of operations.

In regard to the bulb, Dr. Morton has tested various kinds of vacuum
tubes, the ordinary Crookes tubes, the Geissler tubes, and has
obtained excellent results from the use of a special vacuum lamp
adapted by himself to the purpose. One of his ingenious expedients
was to turn to use an ordinary radiometer of large bulb, and, having
fitted this with tin-foil electrodes, he found that he was able to
get strongly marked shadow pictures. This application of the Röntgen
principle will commend itself to many students who, being unable to
provide themselves with the rare and expensive Crookes tubes, may
buy a radiometer which will serve their purpose excellently in any
laboratory supply store, the cost being only a few dollars, while the
application of the tin foil electrodes is perfectly simple.

In the-well equipped Jackson laboratory at Trinity College, Hartford,
I found Dr. W.L. Robb, the professor of physics, surrounded by
enthusiastic students, who were assisting him in some experiments with
the new rays. Dr. Robb is the better qualified for this work from
the fact that he pursued his electrical studies at the Würzburg
University, in the very laboratory where Professor Röntgen made his
great discovery. The picture reproduced herewith, showing a human foot
inside the shoe, was taken by Dr. Robb. The Crookes tubes used in this
and in most of Dr. Robb's experiments are considerably larger than any
I have seen elsewhere, being pear-shaped, about eight inches long, and
four inches wide at the widest part. It is, perhaps, to the excellence
of this tube that Dr. Robb owes part of his success. At any rate, in
the foot picture the bones are outlined through shoe and stocking,
while every nail in the sole of the shoe shows plainly, although the
rays came from above, striking the top of the foot first, the sole
resting upon the plate-holder. In other of Dr. Robb's pictures equally
fine results were obtained; notably in one of a fish, reproduced
herewith, and showing the bony structure of the body; one of a razor,
where the lighter shadow proves that the hollow ground portion is
almost as thin as the edge; and one of a man's hand, taken for use
in a lawsuit, to prove that the bones of the thumb, which had been
crushed and broken in an accident, had been improperly set by the
attending physician.


Dr. Robb has made a series of novel and important experiments with
tubes from which the air has been exhausted in varying degrees, and
has concluded from these that it is impossible to produce the Röntgen
phenomena unless there is present in the tube an almost perfect
vacuum. Through a tube half exhausted, on connecting it with an
induction coil, he obtained merely the ordinary series of sparks; in a
tube three-quarters exhausted, he obtained a reddish glow from end to
end, a torpedo-shaped stream of fire; through a tube exhausted to
a fairly high degree--what the electric companies would call "not
bad"--he obtained a beautiful steaked effect of bluish striæ in
transverse layers. Finally, in a tube exhausted as highly as possible,
he obtained a faint fluorescent glow, like that produced in a
Crookes tube. This fluorescence of the glass, according to Dr. Robb,
invariably accompanies the discharge of Röntgen rays, and it is likely
that these rays are produced more abundantly as the fluorescence
increases. Just how perfect a vacuum is needed to give the best
results remains a matter of conjecture. It is possible, of course,
as Tesla believes, that with an absolutely perfect vacuum no results
whatever would be obtained.

Dr. Robb has discovered that in order to get the best results with
shadow pictures it is necessary to use special developers for the
plates, and a different process in the dark-room from the one known
to ordinary photographers. In a general way, it is necessary to
use solutions designed to affect the ultra-violet rays, and not the
visible rays of the spectrum. Having succeeded, after much experiment,
in thus modifying his developing process to meet the needs of the
case, Dr. Robb finds that he makes a great gain in time of exposure,
fifteen minutes being sufficient for the average shadow picture taken
through a layer of wood or leather, and half an hour representing an
extreme case. In some shadow pictures, as, for instance, in taking a
lead-pencil, it is a great mistake to give an exposure exceeding two
or three minutes; for the wood is so transparent that with a long
exposure it does not show at all, and the effect of the picture is
spoiled. Indeed, Dr. Robb finds that there is a constant tendency to
shorten the time of exposure, and with good results. For instance, one
of the best shadow pictures he had taken was of a box of instruments
covered by two thicknesses of leather, two thicknesses of velvet, and
two thicknesses of wood; and yet the time of exposure, owing to an
accident to the coil, was only five minutes.

Dr. Robb made one very interesting experiment a few days ago in the
interest of a large bicycle company which sent to him specimens of
carbon steel and nickel steel for the purpose of having him test them
with the Röntgen rays, and see if they showed any radical differences
in the crystalline structure. Photographs were taken as desired, but
at the time of my visit only negative results had been obtained.

Dr. Robb realizes the great desirability of finding a stronger source
of Röntgen rays, and has himself begun experimenting with exhaustive
bulbs made of aluminium. One of these he has already finished, and
has obtained some results with it, but not such as are entirely
satisfactory, owing to the great difficulty in obtaining a high vacuum
without special facilities.

I also visited Professor U.I. Pupin of Columbia College, who has been
making numerous experiments with the Röntgen rays, and has produced
at least one very remarkable shadow picture. This is of the hand of
a gentleman resident in New York, who, while on a hunting trip in
England a few months ago, was so unfortunate as to discharge his gun
into his right hand, no less than forty shot lodging in the palm and
fingers. The hand has since healed completely; but the shot remain
in it, the doctors being unable to remove them, because unable to
determine their exact location. The result is that the hand is almost
useless, and often painful.

Hearing of this case, Professor Pupin induced the gentleman to allow
him to attempt a photograph of the hand. He used a Crookes tube. The
distance from the tube to the plate was only five inches, and the hand
lay between. After waiting fifty minutes the plate was examined. Not
only did every bone of the hand show with beautiful distinctness, but
each one of the forty shot was to be seen almost as plainly as if it
lay there on the table; and, most remarkable of all, a number of shot
were seen through the bones of the fingers, showing that the bones
were transparent to the lead.

In making this picture, Professor Pupin excited his tube by means of a
powerful Holtz machine, thus following Dr. Morton in the substitution
of statical electricity for the more common induction coil.

Professor Pupin sees no reason why the whole skeleton of the human
body should not be shown completely in a photograph as soon as
sufficiently powerful bulbs can be obtained. He thinks that it would
be possible to make Crookes tubes two feet in diameter instead of a
few inches, as at present.

Thomas A. Edison has also been devoting himself, with his usual
energy, to experiments with the Röntgen rays, and announces
confidently that in the near future he will be able to photograph the
human brain, through the heavy bones of the skull, and perhaps even to
get a shadow picture showing the human skeleton through the tissues of
the body.


BY "Q,"


I will say this--speaking as accurately as a man may, so long
afterwards--that when first I spied the house it put no desire in me
but just to give thanks.

For conceive my case. It was near midnight by this; and ever since
dusk I had been tracking the naked moors a-foot, in the teeth of as
vicious a nor'wester as ever drenched a man to the skin, and then blew
the cold home to his marrow. My clothes were sodden; my coat-tails
flapped with a noise like pistol shots; my boots squeaked as I went.
Overhead the October moon was in her last quarter, and might have been
a slice of finger-nail for all the light she afforded. Two-thirds of
the time the wrack blotted her out altogether; and I, with my stick
clipped tight under my arm-pit, eyes puckered up, and head bent like
a butting ram's, but a little aslant, had to keep my wits agog to
distinguish the glimmer of the road from the black heath to right and
left. For three hours I had met neither man nor man's dwelling, and
(for all I knew) was desperately lost. Indeed, at the cross roads, two
miles back, there had been nothing for me but to choose the way that
kept the wind on my face, and it gnawed me like a dog.

Mainly to allay the stinging of my eyes, I pulled up at last, turned
right-about face, leant back against the blast with a hand on my hat,
and surveyed the blackness I had traversed. It was at this instant
that, far away to the left, a point of light caught my notice, faint
but steady; and at once I felt sure it burnt in the window of a house.
"The house," thought I, "is a good mile off, beside the other road,
and the light must have been an inch over my hat-brim for the
last half hour," for my head had been sloped that way. This
reflection--that on so wide a moor I had come near missing the
information I wanted (and perhaps a supper) by one inch--sent a strong
thrill down my back.


I cut straight across the heather towards the light, risking quags
and pitfalls. Nay, so heartening was the chance to hear a
fellow-creature's voice that I broke into a run, skipping over the
stunted gorse that cropped up here and there, and dreading every
moment to see the light quenched. "Suppose it burns in an upper
window, and the family is going to bed, as would be likely at this
hour"--the apprehension kept my eyes fixed on the bright spot, to the
frequent scandal of my legs, that within five minutes were stuck full
of gorse-prickles.

But the light did not go out, and soon a flicker of moonlight gave me
a glimpse of the house's outline. It proved to be a deal more imposing
than I looked for--the outline, in fact, of a tall-square barrack
with a cluster of chimneys at either end, like ears, and a high
wall, topped by the roofs of some outbuildings, concealing the lower
windows. There was no gate in this wall, and presently I guessed the
reason. I was approaching the place from behind, and the light came
from a back window on the first floor.

The faintness of the light also was explained by this time. It shone
behind a drab-colored blind, and in shape resembled the stem of a
wine-glass, broadening out at the foot--an effect produced by the
half-drawn curtains within. I came to a halt, waiting for the next
ray of moonlight. At the same moment a rush of wind swept over the
chimney-stacks, and on the wind there seemed to ride a human sigh.

On this last point I may err. The gust had passed some seconds before
I caught myself detecting this peculiar note, and trying to disengage
it from the natural chords of the storm. From the next gust it was
absent. And then, to my dismay, the light faded from the window.

I was half-minded to call out when it appeared again, this time in two
windows--those next on the right to that where it had shone before.
Almost at once it increased in brilliance, as if the person who
carried it from the smaller room to the larger were lighting more
candles; and now the illumination was strong enough to make fine
gold threads of the rain that fell within its radiance, and fling two
shafts of warm yellow over the coping of the back wall into the night.
During the minute or more that I stood watching, no shadow fell on
either blind.

Between me and the wall ran a ditch, into the black obscurity of which
the ground at my feet broke sharply away. Setting my back to the storm
again, I followed the lip of this ditch around the wall's angle. Here
was shelter, and here the ditch seemed to grow shallower. Not wishing,
however, to mistake a bed of nettles or any such pitfall for solid
earth, I kept pretty wide as I went on. The house was dark on this
side, and the wall, as before, had no opening. Close beside the next
angle grew a mass of thick gorse bushes, and pushing through these I
found myself suddenly on a sound high road, with the wind tearing at
me as furiously as ever.

But here was the front; and I now perceived that the surrounding wall
advanced some way before the house, so as to form a narrow curtilage.
So much of it, too, as faced the road had been whitewashed; which made
it an easy matter to find the gate. But as I laid hand on its latch, I
had a surprise.

A line of paving-stones led from the gate to the heavy porch; and
along the wet surface of these fell a streak of light from the front
door, which stood ajar.

That a door should remain six inches open on such a night was
astonishing enough, until I entered the court and found it was as
still as a room, owing to the high wall, and doubtless the porch gave
additional protection. But looking up and assuring myself that all the
rest of _façade_ was black as ink, I wondered at the inmates who could
be thus careless of their property.

It was here that my professional instincts received the first jog.
Abating the sound of my feet on the paving-stones, I went up to the
door and pushed it softly. It opened without noise.

I stepped into a fair-sized hall of modern build, paved with red
tiles and lit with a small hanging lamp. To right and left were doors
leading to the ground-floor rooms. Along the wall by my shoulder ran
a line of pegs, on which hung half a dozen hats and great coats, every
one of clerical shape; and full in front of me a broad staircase ran
up, with a staring Brussels carpet, the colors and pattern of which I
can recall as well as to-day's breakfast. Under this staircase was
set a stand full of walking-sticks, and a table littered with gloves,
brushes, a hand-bell, a riding-crop, one or two dog-whistles, and a
bed-room candle, with tinder-box beside it. This, with one notable
exception, was all the furniture.

The exception--which turned me cold--was the form of a yellow mastiff
dog, curled on a mat beneath the table. The arch of his back was
towards me, and one forepaw lay over his nose in a natural posture of
sleep. I leant back on the wainscoting, with my eyes tightly fixed
on him, and my thoughts flying back, with something of regret, to the
storm I had come through.

But a man's habits are not easily denied. At the end of three minutes
the dog had not moved, and I was down on the doormat unlacing my
soaked boots. Slipping them off, and taking them in my left hand, I
stood up, and tried a step towards the stairs, with eyes alert for
any movement of the mastiff; but he never stirred. I was glad enough,
however, on reaching the stairs, to find them newly built and the
carpet thick. Up I went with a glance at every step for the table
which now hid the brute's form from me, and never a creak did I wake
out of that staircase till I was almost at the first landing, when my
toe caught a loose stair-rod, and rattled it in a way that stopped my
heart for a moment, and then set it going in double-quick time.


I stood still, with a hand on the rail. My eyes were now on a level
with the floor of the landing, out of which branched two passages--one
by my right hand, the other to the left, at the foot of the next
flight, so placed that I was gazing down the length of it. And almost
at the end there fell a parallelogram of light across it from an open

A man who has once felt it knows there is only one kind of silence
that can fitly be called "dead." This is only to be found in a great
house at midnight. I declare that for a few seconds after I rattled
the stair-rod you might have cut the silence with a knife. If the
house held a clock it ticked inaudibly.

Upon this silence, at the end of a minute, broke a light sound--the
_clink, clink_ of a decanter on the rim of a wine-glass. It came from
the room where the light was.

Now, perhaps it was that the very thought of liquor put warmth into my
cold bones. It is certain that all of a sudden I straightened my back,
took the remaining stairs at two strides, and walked down the passage,
as bold as brass, with out caring a jot for the noise I made.

In the doorway I halted. The room was long, lined for the most part
with books bound in what they call "divinity calf," and littered with
papers like a barrister's table on assize day. Before the fireplace,
where a few coals burned sulkily, was drawn a leathern elbow chair,
and beside it, on the corner of a writing-table, were set an unlit
candle and a pile of manuscripts. At the opposite end of the room a
curtained door led (I guessed) to the chamber that I had first seen
illuminated. All this I took in with the tail of my eye, while staring
straight in front, where, in the middle of a great square of carpet
between me and the windows, was a table with a red cloth upon it.
On this cloth were a couple of wax candles, lit, in silver stands, a
tray, and a decanter three parts full of brandy. And between me and
the table stood a man.

He stood sideways, leaning a little back, as if to keep his shadow off
the threshold, and looked at me over his left shoulder--a bald, grave
man, slightly under the common height, with a long clerical coat of
preposterous fit hanging loosely from his shoulders, a white cravat,
black breeches, and black stockings. His feet were loosely thrust into
carpet-slippers. I judged his age at fifty, or thereabouts; but his
face rested in the shadow, and I could only note a pair of eyes, very
small and alert, twinkling above a large expanse of cheek.

He was lifting a wine-glass from the table at the moment when I
appeared, and it trembled now in his right hand. I heard a spilt drop
or two fall on the carpet, and this was all the evidence he showed of

Setting the glass back, he felt in his breast-pocket for a
handkerchief, failed to find one, and rubbed his hands together to get
the liquor off his fingers.

"You startled me," he said, in a matter-of-fact tone, turning his eyes
upon me, as he lifted his glass again, and emptied it. "How did you
find your way in?"

"By the front door," said I, wondering at his unconcern.

He nodded his head slowly.

"Ah! yes; I forgot to lock it. You came to steal, I suppose?"

"I came because I lost my way. I've been travelling this God-forsaken
moor since dusk--"

"With your boots in your hand," he put in quietly.

"I took them off out of respect to the yellow dog you keep."

"He lies in a very natural attitude--eh?"

"You don't tell me he was _stuffed_!"

The old man's eyes beamed a contemptuous pity.

"You are indifferently sharp, my dear sir, for a housebreaker. Come
in. Set down those convicting boots, and don't drip pools of water
in the very doorway, of all places. If I must entertain a burglar, I
prefer him tidy."

He walked to the fire, picked up a poker, and knocked the coals into
a blaze. This done, he turned round on me with the poker still in his
hand. The serenest gravity sat on his large, pale features.

"Why have I done this?" he asked.

"I suppose to get possession of the poker."

"Quite right. May I inquire your next move?"

"Why," said I, feeling in my tail pocket, "I carry a pistol."

"Which I suppose to be damp?"

"By no means. I carry it, as you see, in an oil-cloth case."

He stopped, and laid the poker carefully in the fender.

"That is a stronger card than I possess. I might urge that by pulling
the trigger you would certainly alarm the house and the neighborhood,
and put a halter round your neck. I say, I _might_ urge this, and
assume you to be an intelligent auditor. But it strikes me as safer to
assume you capable of using a pistol with effect at three paces. With
what might happen subsequently I will not pretend to be concerned. It
is sufficient that I dislike the notion of being perforated. The fate
of your neck--" He waved a hand. "Well, I have known you for just
five minutes, and feel but moderate interest in your neck. As for
the inmates of this house, it will refresh you to hear that there are
none. I have lived here two years with a butler and a female cook,
both of whom I dismissed yesterday at a moment's notice for conduct
which I will not shock your ears by explicitly naming. Suffice it to
say, I carried them off yesterday to my parish church, two miles away,
married them, and dismissed them in the vestry without characters. I
wish you had known that butler--but excuse me; with the information I
have supplied, you ought to find no difficulty in fixing the price you
will take to clear out of my house instanter."

"Sir," I answered, "I have held a pistol at one or two heads in my
time; but never at one stuffed with nobler discretion. Your chivalry
does not, indeed, disarm me, but prompts me to desire more of your
acquaintance. I have found a gentleman, and must sup with him before I
make terms."

The address seemed to please him. He shuffled across the room to a
sideboard, and produced a plate of biscuits, another of almonds and
dried raisins, a glass and two decanters.

"Sherry and Madeira," he said. "There is also a cold pie in the
larder, if you care for it."

"A biscuit will serve," I replied. "To tell the truth, I'm more for
the bucket than the manger, as the grooms say; and, by your leave, the
brandy you were testing just now is more to my mind than wine."

"There is no water handy."

"There was plenty out of doors to last me with this bottle."

I pulled over a chair, and laid my pistol on the table, and held out
the glass for him to fill. Having done so, he helped himself to a
glass and a chair, and sat down facing me.

"I was talking, just now, of my late butler," he began, with a sip
at his brandy. "Has it struck you that, when confronted with moral
delinquency, I am apt to let my indignation get the better of me?"

"Not at all," I answered heartily, refilling my glass.

It appeared that another reply would have pleased him better.

"H'm. I was hoping that, perhaps, I had visited his offence too
strongly. As a clergyman, you see, I was bound to be severe; but upon
my word, sir, since he went I have felt like a man who has lost a

He drummed with his fingers on the cloth for a few moments, and went

"One has a natural disposition to forgive butlers--Pharaoh, for
instance, felt it. There hovers around butlers that peculiar
atmosphere which Shakespeare noticed as encircling kings, an
atmosphere in which common ethics lose their pertinence. But mine was
a rare bird--a black swan among butlers. He was more than a butler: he
was a quick and brightly-gifted man. Of the accuracy of his taste,
and the unusual scope of his endeavor, you will be able to form some
opinion when I assure you he modelled himself upon _me_."

I bowed over my brandy.

"I am a scholar; yet I employed him to read aloud to me, and derived
pleasure from his intonation. I talk as a scholar; yet he learned
to answer me in language as precise as my own. My cast-off garments
fitted him not more irreproachably than did my amenities of manner.
Divest him of his tray, and you would find his mode of entering a
room hardly distinguishable from my own--the same urbanity, the same
alertness of carriage, the same superfine deference towards the weaker
sex. All--all my idiosyncrasies I saw reflected in this my mirror; and
can you doubt that I was gratified? He was my _alter ego_--which,
by the way, makes it the more extraordinary that it should have been
necessary to marry him to the cook."

"Look here," I broke in; "you want a butler."

"Oh, you really grasp that fact, do you?" he retorted.

"And you wish to get rid of me as soon as may be."

"I hope there is no impoliteness in complimenting you on your

"Your two wishes," said I, "may be reconciled. Let me cease to be your
burglar, and let me continue here as your butler."

He leant back, spreading out the fingers of each hand as if the
table's edge was a harpsichord, and he stretching octaves upon it.

"Believe me," I went on, "you might do worse. I have been a demy of
Magdalen College, Oxford, in my time, and retain some Greek and Latin.
I'll undertake to read the Fathers with an accent that shall not
offend you. My knowledge of wine is none the worse for having been
cultivated in other men's cellars. Moreover, you shall engage the
ugliest cook in Christendom, so long as I'm your butler. I've taken a
liking to you--that's flat--and I apply for the post."

"I give forty pounds a year," said he.

"And I'm cheap at that price."

He filled up his glass, looking up at me while he did so with the air
of one digesting a problem. From first to last his face was grave as a

"We are too impulsive, I think," was his answer, after a minute's
silence. "And your speech smacks of the amateur. You say, 'Let
me cease to be your burglar, and let me be your butler.' The mere
aspiration is respectable; but a man might as well say, 'Let me cease
to write poems; let me paint pictures.' And truly, sir, you impressed
me as no expert in your present trade, but a journeyman-housebreaker,
if I may say so."

"On the other hand," I argued, "consider the moderation of my demands;
that alone should convince you of my desire to turn over a new leaf.
I ask for a month's trial; if, at the end of that time, I don't suit,
you shall say so, and I'll march from your door with nothing in my
pocket but my month's wages. Be hanged, sir! but when I reflect on the
amount you'll have to pay to get me to face to-night's storm again,
you seem to be getting off dirt-cheap!" cried I, slapping my palm on
the table.

"Ah, if you had only known Adolphus!" he exclaimed.

Now, the third glass of clean spirits has always a deplorable effect
on me. It turns me from bright to black, from lightness of spirits to
extreme sulkiness. I have done more wickedness over this third tumbler
than in all the other states of comparative inebriety within my
experience. So now I glowered at my companion and rapped out a curse.

"Look here, I don't want to hear any more of Adolphus, and I've a
pretty clear notion of the game you're playing. You want to make me
drunk, and you're ready to sit prattling there till I drop under the

"Do me the favor to remember that you came, and are staying, at your
own invitation. As for the brandy, I would remind you that I suggested
a milder drink. Try some Madeira."

He handed me the decanter, as he spoke, and I poured out a glass.

"Madeira!" said I, taking a gulp. "Ugh! it's the commonest Marsala!"

I had no sooner said the words than he rose up, and stretched a hand
gravely across to me.

"I hope you'll shake it," he said; "though, as a man who after three
glasses of neat spirit can distinguish between Madeira and Marsala,
you have every right to refuse me. Two minutes ago you offered to
become my butler, and I demurred. I now beg you to repeat that offer.
Say the word, and I employ you gladly; you shall even have the second
decanter (which contains genuine Madeira) to take to bed with you."

We shook hands on our bargain, and catching up a candlestick, he led
the way from the room.

Picking up my boots, I followed him along the passage and down the
silent staircase. In the hall he paused to stand on tiptoe, and turn
up the lamp, which was burning low. As he did so, I found time to
fling a glance at my old enemy, the mastiff. He lay as I had first
seen him--a stuffed dog, if ever there was one. "Decidedly," thought
I, "my wits are to seek, to-night;" and with the same, a sudden
suspicion made me turn to my conductor, who had advanced to the
left-hand door, and was waiting for me, with hand on the knob.

"One moment," I said; "this is all very pretty, but how am I to know
you're not sending me to bed while you fetch in all the countryside to
lay me by the heels?"

"I'm afraid," was his answer, "you must be content with my word, as
a gentleman, that never, to-night or hereafter, will I breathe a
syllable about the circumstances of your visit. However, if you
choose, we will return upstairs."

"No; I'll trust you," said I; and he opened the door.

It led into a broad passage, paved with slate, upon which three or
four rooms opened. He paused by the second, and ushered me into a
sleeping-chamber which, though narrow, was comfortable enough--a vast
improvement, at any rate, on the mumper's lodgings I had been used to
for many months past.

"You can undress here," he said. "The sheets are aired, and if you'll
wait a moment I'll fetch a nightshirt--one of my own."

"Sir, you heap coals of fire on me."

"Believe me that for ninety-nine of your qualities I do not care a
tinker's curse: but as a man who, after three tumblers of neat brandy,
can tell Marsala from Madeira you are to be taken care of."

He shuffled away, but came back in a couple of minutes with the

"Good-night," he called to me, flinging it in at the door; and without
giving me time to return the wish, went his way upstairs.

Now it might be supposed that I was only too glad to toss off my
clothes and climb into the bed I had so unexpectedly acquired a right
to. But, as a matter of fact, I did nothing of the kind. Instead, I
drew on my boots and sat on the bed's edge, blinking at my candle till
it died down in its socket, and afterwards at the purple square of
window as it slowly changed to gray with the coming of dawn. I was
cold to the heart, and my teeth chattered with an ague. Certainly I
never suspected my host's word; but was even occupied in framing good
resolutions and shaping out an excellent future, when I heard the
front door gently pulled to, and a man's footsteps moving quietly to
the gate.

The treachery knocked me in a heap for the moment. Then leaping up and
flinging my door wide, I stumbled through the uncertain light of the
passage into the front hall.

There was a fan-shaped light over the door, and the place was very
still and gray. A quick thought, or rather a sudden prophetic guess at
the truth, made me turn to the figure of the mastiff curled under the
hall table.

I laid my hand on the scruff of his neck. He was quite limp, and my
fingers sank into the flesh on either side of the vertebrae. Digging
them deeper, I dragged him out into the middle of the hall, and pulled
the front door open to see the better.

His throat was gashed from ear to ear.

How many seconds passed after I dropped the senseless lump on the
floor, and before I made another movement, it would puzzle me to say.
Twice I stirred a foot as if to run out at the door. Then, changing my
mind, I stepped over the mastiff, and ran up the staircase. The light
no longer shone out into the left-hand passage; but groping down it,
I found the study door open, as before, and passed in. A sick light
stole through the blinds--enough for me to distinguish the glasses
and decanters on the table, and find my way to the curtain that hung
before the room where the light had first attracted me.

I pushed the curtain aside, paused for a moment, and listened to the
violent beat of my heart; then felt for the door handle and turned it.

All I could see at first; was that the chamber was small; next, that
the light patch in a line with the window was the white coverlet of a
bed; and next, that somebody, or something, lay on the bed.

I listened again. There was no sound in the room; no heart beating but
my own. I reached out a hand to pull up the blind, and drew it back
again. I dared not.

The daylight grew, minute by minute, on the dull parallelogram of
the blind, and minute by minute that horrible thing on the bed took
something of distinctness. The strain beat me at last. I fetched a
veritable yell to give myself courage, and, reaching for the cord,
pulled up the blind as fast as it would go.

The face on the pillow was that of an old man--a face waxen and
peaceful, with quiet lines about the month and eyes, and long lines of
gray hair falling back from the temples. The body was turned a little
on one side, and one hand lay outside the bedclothes in a very natural
manner. But there were two dark spots on the coverlet.

Then I knew I was face to face with the real householder; and it
flashed on me that I had been indiscreet in taking service as his
butler, and that I knew the face his ex-butler wore.


And, being by this time awake to the responsibilities of the post, I
quitted it three steps at a time, not once looking behind me. Outside
the house the storm had died, and white sunlight broke over the sodden
moors. But my bones were cold, and I ran faster and faster.




By the time Abraham Lincoln was thirty-two years old--that is, in
1841--he was one of the leading Whig politicians of Illinois. Four
times in succession he had been elected to the General Assembly of the
State--in 1834, 1836, 1838, and 1840. Twice he had been a candidate
for Speaker of the House--in 1838 and in 1840--both times against
William L.D. Ewing; and though both times defeated, the vote had in
each instance been close. In 1841 he had been talked of as a candidate
for governor, a suggestion to which he would not listen.

He had not taken this prominent position because the Whig party lacked
material. Edward Dickinson Baker, Colonel John J. Hardin, John T.
Stuart, Ninian W. Edwards, Jesse K. Dubois, O.H. Browning, were but
a few of the brilliant men who were throwing all their ability and
ambition into the contest for political honors in the State. Nor
were the Whigs a whit superior to the Democrats. William L.D. Ewing,
Ebenezer Peck, William Thomas, James Shields, John Calhoun, were in
every respect as able as the best men of the Whig party. Indeed, one
of the prominent Democrats with whom Lincoln came often in contact,
was popularly regarded as the most brilliant and promising politician
of the State--Stephen A. Douglas. His record had been phenomenal.
He had amazed both parties, in 1834, by securing appointment by the
legislature to the office of State Attorney for the first judicial
circuit, over John J. Hardin. In 1836 he had been elected to the
legislature, and although he was at that time but twenty-three years
of age, he had shown himself one of the most vigorous, capable, and
intelligent members. Indeed, Douglas's work in the Tenth Assembly gave
him about the same position in the Democratic party of the State at
large that Lincoln's work in the same body gave him in the Whig
party of his own district. In 1837 he had had no difficulty in being
appointed register of the land office, a position which compelled
him to make his home in Springfield. It was only a few months after
Lincoln rode into town, all his earthly possessions in a pair of
saddle-bags, that Douglas appeared. Handsome, polished, and always
with an air of prosperity, the advent of the young Democratic
official was in striking contrast to that of the sad-eyed, ill-clad,
poverty-stricken young lawyer from New Salem.

From the first, Lincoln and Douglas were thrown constantly together
in the social life of the town, and often pitted against each other in
what were the real forums of the State at that day--the space around
the huge "Franklin" stove of some obliging store-keeper, the steps of
somebody's law office, a pile of lumber, or a long timber, lying in
the public square, where the new State-house was going up.

In the fall of 1837 Douglas was nominated for Congress on the
Democratic ticket. His Whig opponent was Lincoln's law partner, John
T. Stuart. The campaign which the two conducted was one of the most
remarkable in the history of the State. For five months of the spring
and summer of 1838 they rode together from town to town all over the
northern part of Illinois (Illinois at that time was divided into but
three congressional districts; the third, in which Sangamon County
was included, being made up of the twenty-two northernmost counties),
speaking six days out of seven. When the election came off in August,
1838, out of thirty-six thousand votes cast, Stuart received a
majority of only fourteen; but even that majority the Democrats always
contended was won unfairly. The campaign was watched with intense
interest by the young politicians of Springfield; no one of them felt
a deeper interest in it than Lincoln, who was himself at the same time
a candidate for member of the State legislature.


From a recent photograph made for MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE. The corner-stone
was laid July 4, 1837, about four months after the passage of the
act removing the capital to Springfield. The event was attended with
elaborate ceremonies. The orator of the day was Colonel E.D. Baker. It
was nearly four years before the building was finally completed, at a
cost of two hundred and forty thousand dollars. It was first occupied
by the legislature during the regular session of 1840-1841, that body,
at two previous special sessions, being obliged to use the Methodist
church for the Senate, and the Second Presbyterian church for the
House. The Supreme Court found a meeting place in the Episcopal
church. The legislative committees met in rooms in private houses
about town. This building was the State capitol for more than thirty
years, becoming, upon the completion of the present State-house, the
court-house of Sangamon County.]

Lincoln must have learned by the end of 1840, if not before, something
of the power of the "Little Giant," as Douglas was called. Certainly
no man in public life between 1837 and 1860 had a greater hold on his
followers. The reasons for this grasp are not hard to find. Douglas
was by nature buoyant, enthusiastic, impetuous. He had that sunny
boyishness which is so irresistible to young and old. With it he had
great natural eloquence. When his deep, rich voice rolled out fervid
periods in support of the sub-treasury and the convention system, or
in opposition to internal improvements by the federal government, the
people applauded out of sheer joy at the pleasure of hearing him. He
was one of the few men in Illinois whom the epithet of "Yankee" never
hurt. He might be a Yankee, but when he sat down on the knee of
some surly lawyer, and confidentially told him his plans; or, at a
political meeting, took off his coat, and rolled up his sleeves, and
"pitched into" his opponent, the sons of Illinois forgot his origin in
love for the man.

Lincoln undoubtedly understood the charm of Douglas, and realized
his power. But he already had an insight into one of his political
characteristics that few people recognized at that day. In writing to
Stuart in 1839, while the latter was attending Congress, Lincoln said:
"Douglas has not been here since you left. A report is in circulation
here now that he has abandoned the idea of going to Washington, though
the report does not come in a very authentic form, so far as I can
learn. Though, by the way, speaking of authenticity, you know that if
we had heard Douglas say that he had abandoned the contest, it would
not be very authentic."

In the campaign of 1840 Lincoln and Douglas came more frequently than
ever into conflict. At that time the local issues, which had formerly
engaged Illinois candidates almost entirely, were lost sight of in
national questions. In Springfield, where the leaders of the parties
were living, many hot debates were held in private. Out of these grew,
in December, 1839, a series of public discussions, extending over
eight evenings, and in which several of the first orators of the
State took part. Lincoln was the last man on the list. The people were
nearly worn out before his turn came, and his audience was small. He
began his speech with some melancholy, self-deprecatory reflections,
complaining that the small audience cast a damp upon his spirits which
he was sure he would be unable to overcome during the evening. He
did better than he expected, overcoming the damp on his spirits so
effectually that he made what was regarded as the best speech of the
series; and by a general request, it was printed for distribution. The
speech is peculiarly interesting from the fact that while there is
a little of the perfervid eloquence of 1840 in it, as well as a good
deal of the rather boisterous humor of the time, a part of it is
devoted to a careful examination of the statements of his opponents,
and a refutation of them by means of public documents.

[Illustration: A HARRISON BADGE OF 1840.

From the collection of Mr. O.H. Oldroyd of Washington, D.C.]

[Illustration: A HARRISON BUTTON OF 1840.

From the collection of Mr. John C. Browne of Philadelphia.]

As a good Democrat was expected to do, Douglas had explained with
plausibility why the Van Buren administration had in 1838 spent
$40,000,000. Lincoln takes up his statements one by one, and proves,
as he says, that "the majority of them are wholly untrue." Douglas had
attributed a part of the expenditures to the purchase of public lands
from the Indians.

    "Now it happens," says Lincoln, "that no such purchase was
    made during that year. It is true that some money was paid
    that year in pursuance of Indian treaties; but no more, or
    rather not as much, as had been paid on the same account in
    each of several preceding years.... Again, Mr. Douglas says
    that the removal of the Indians to the country west of the
    Mississippi created much of the expenditure of 1838. I have
    examined the public documents in relation to this matter, and
    find that less was paid for the removal of the Indians in
    that than in some former years. The whole sum expended on that
    account in that year did not exceed one quarter of a
    million. For this small sum, although we do not think the
    administration entitled to credit, because large sums have
    been expended in the same way in former years, we consent it
    may take one and make the most of it.

    "Next, Mr. Douglas says that five millions of the expenditures
    of 1838 consisted of the payment of the French indemnity money
    to its individual claimants. I have carefully examined the
    public documents, and thereby find this statement to be wholly
    untrue. Of the forty millions of dollars expended in 1838, I
    am enabled to say positively that not one dollar consisted of
    payments on the French indemnities. So much for that excuse.

    "Next comes the post-office. He says that five millions were
    expended during that year to sustain that department. By a
    like examination of public documents, I find this also wholly
    untrue. Of the so often mentioned forty millions, not one
    dollar went to the post-office....

    "I return to another of Mr. Douglas's excuses for the
    expenditures of 1838, at the same time announcing the pleasing
    intelligence that this is the last one. He says that
    ten millions of that year's expenditure was a contingent
    appropriation, to prosecute an anticipated war with Great
    Britain on the Maine boundary question. Few words will settle
    this. First, that the ten millions appropriated was not made
    till 1839, and consequently could not have been expended in
    1838; second, although it was appropriated, it has never been
    expended at all. Those who heard Mr. Douglas, recollect that
    he indulged himself in a contemptuous expression of pity for
    me. 'Now he's got me,' thought I. But when he went on to say
    that five millions of the expenditure of 1838 were payments of
    the French indemnities, which I knew to be untrue; that five
    millions had been for the post-office, which I knew to be
    untrue; that ten millions had been for the Maine boundary war,
    which I not only knew to be untrue, but supremely ridiculous
    also; and when I saw that he was stupid enough to hope that
    I would permit such groundless and audacious assertions to
    go unexposed,--I readily consented that, on the score both of
    veracity and sagacity, the audience should judge whether he or
    I were the more deserving of the world's contempt."


From a first-state proof of an engraving of the Cooper Institute
picture of Lincoln (see McCLURE'S MAGAZINE for February, 1896, first
frontispiece). Made by John C. Buttre, and now in the collection
of W.C. Crane of New York City, through whose courtesy it is here

These citations show that Lincoln had already learned to handle public
documents, and to depend for at least a part of his success with an
audience upon a careful statement of facts. The methods used in
at least a portion of this speech are exactly those which made the
irresistible strength of his speeches in 1858 and 1859.


But there was little of as good work done in the campaign of 1840, by
Lincoln or anybody else, as is found in this speech. It was a campaign
of noise and fun, and nowhere more so than in Illinois. Lincoln was
one of the five Whig Presidential electors, and he flung himself into
the campaign with confidence. "The nomination of Harrison takes first
rate," he wrote to his partner Stuart, then in Washington. "You know
I am never sanguine, but I believe we will carry the State. The chance
of doing so appears to me twenty-five per cent, better than it did
for you to beat Douglas." The Whigs, in spite of their dislike of the
convention system, organized as they never had before, and even sent
out a "confidential" circular of which Lincoln was the author.

Every weapon he thought of possible use in the contest he secured. "Be
sure to send me as many copies of the 'Life of Harrison' as you can
spare from other uses," he wrote Stuart. "Be very sure to procure and
send me the 'Senate Journal' of New York, of September, 1814. I have a
newspaper article which says that that document proves that Van Buren
voted against raising troops in the last war. And, in general, send me
everything you think will be a good 'war-club.'"

Every sign of success he quoted to Stuart; the number of subscribers
to the "Old Soldier," a campaign newspaper which the Whig committee
had informed the Whigs of the State that they "_must take_;" the names
of Van Buren men who were weakening, and to whom he wanted Stuart to
send documents; the name of every theretofore doubtful person who had
declared himself for Harrison. "Japh Bell has come out for Harrison,"
he put in a postscript to one letter; "ain't that a caution?"

The monster political meetings held throughout the State did much
to widen Lincoln's reputation, particularly one held in June in
Springfield. Twenty thousand people attended this meeting, delegations
coming from every direction. It took fourteen teams to haul the
delegation from Chicago, and they were three weeks on their journey.
Each party carried some huge symbolic piece--the log cabin being the
favorite. One of the cabins taken to Springfield was drawn by thirty
yokes of oxen. In a hickory tree which was planted beside this cabin,
coons were seen playing, and a barrel of hard cider stood by the door,
continually on tap. Instead of a log cabin, the Chicago delegation
dragged across country a government yawl rigged up as a two-masted
ship, with a band of music and a six-pounder cannon on board.

There are many reminiscences of this great celebration, and Lincoln's
part in it, still afloat in Illinois. General T.J. Henderson writes,
in the entertaining reminiscences of Lincoln prepared for this

"The first time I remember to have seen Abraham Lincoln was during the
memorable campaign of 1840, when I was a boy fifteen years of age. It
was at an immense Whig mass-meeting held at Springfield, Illinois, in
the month of June of that year. The Whigs attended this meeting from
all parts of the State in large numbers, and it was estimated that
from forty to fifty thousand people were present. They came in
carriages and wagons, on horseback and on foot. They came with log
cabins drawn on wheels by oxen, and with coons, coon-skins, and hard
cider. They came with music and banners; and thousands of them came
from long distances. It was the first political meeting I had ever
attended, and it made a very strong impression upon my youthful mind.

"My father, William H. Henderson, then a resident of Stark County,
Illinois, was an ardent Whig; and having served under General William
Henry Harrison, the then Whig candidate for President, in the war of
1812-1815, he felt a deep interest in his election. And although
he lived about a hundred miles from Springfield, he went with a
delegation from Stark County to this political meeting, and took
me along with him. I remember that at this great meeting of the
supporters of Harrison and Tyler there were a number of able and
distinguished speakers of the Whig party of the State of Illinois
present. Among them were Colonel E.D. Baker, who was killed at Ball's
Bluff, on the Potomac, in the late war, and who was one of the most
eloquent speakers in the State; Colonel John J. Hardin, who was killed
at the battle of Buena Vista, in the Mexican War; Fletcher Webster,
a son of Daniel Webster, who was killed in the late war; S. Leslie
Smith, a brilliant orator of Chicago; Rev. John Hogan, Ben Bond, and
Abraham Lincoln. I heard all of these men speak on that occasion. And
while I was too young to be a judge of their speeches, yet I thought
them all to be great men, and none of them greater than Abraham

One of the most prominent members of the Illinois bar has written out
especially for this work his impressions of Lincoln's speech at that

[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN 1861.

From a photograph by Klauber of Louisville, Kentucky. From a
photograph owned by Mr. James B. Speed of Louisville, Kentucky, to
whose courtesy we owe the right to reproduce it here. When Lincoln
was visiting Joshua F. Speed in 1841, Mrs. Speed, the mother of his
friend, became much interested in him. His melancholy was profound,
and she tried by kindness and gentleness to arouse him to new interest
in life. One day before his departure she asked one of her daughters
for the latter's Oxford Bible, telling her she wanted it for Mr.
Lincoln, and promising to get another in its place. The gift touched
Lincoln deeply, and after he became President he remembered the giver
with the above portrait--one he had had taken especially for her, he

[Transcriber's Note: The following is handwritten beneath the
photograph: "For Mrs. Lucy G. Speed, from whose pious hands I accepted
the present of an Oxford Bible twenty years ago. Washington, D.C.
October 5, 1861 A. Lincoln"]


From a painting. William Henry Harrison was born at Berkeley,
Virginia, February 9, 1773. He was educated at Hampden Sidney College,
and began to study medicine, but, excited by Indian outrages, gave it
up to enter the army. He was sent against the Indians of the West, and
at once distinguished himself. After peace was made in 1798, he was
appointed secretary of the Northwest Territory. In 1799 he was a
territorial delegate to Congress, and from 1801 to 1813, territorial
governor of Indiana. In the war of 1812 he gained the battles of
Tippecanoe and the Thames. From 1816 to 1819 he was a delegate to
Congress from Ohio; from 1825 to 1828, a United State Senator; and in
1828 and 1829, United States Minister to Colombia. In 1836 he was the
Whig candidate for the Presidency, but was defeated. Four years
later (1840) he was elected, but lived for only one month after his

"Mr. Lincoln stood in a wagon, from which he addressed the mass of
people that surrounded it. The meeting was one of unusual interest
because of him who was to make the principal address. It was at the
time of his greatest physical strength. He was tall, and perhaps a
little more slender than in later life, and more homely than after he
became stouter in person. He was then only thirty-one years of age,
and yet he was regarded as one of the ablest of the Whig speakers in
that campaign. There was that in him that attracted and held public
attention. Even then he was the subject of popular regard because of
his candid and simple mode of discussing and illustrating political
questions. At times he was intensely logical, and was always most
convincing in his arguments. The questions involved in that canvass
had relation to the tariff, internal public improvements by the
federal government, the distribution of the proceeds of the sales
of public lands among the several States, and other questions
that divided the political parties of that day. They were not such
questions as enlisted and engaged his best thoughts; they did not take
hold of his great nature, and had no tendency to develop it. At times
he discussed the questions of the time in a logical way, but much
time was devoted to telling stories to illustrate some phase of his
argument, though more often the telling of these stories was resorted
to for the purpose of rendering his opponents ridiculous. That was a
style of speaking much appreciated at that early day. In that kind
of oratory he excelled most of his contemporaries--indeed, he had no
equals in the State. One story he told on that occasion was full of
salient points, and well illustrated the argument he was making. It
was not an impure story, yet it was not one it would be seemly to
publish; but rendered, as it was, in his inimitable way, it contained
nothing that was offensive to a refined taste. The same story might
have been told by another in such a way that it would probably have
been regarded as transcending the proprieties of popular address. One
characterizing feature of all the stories told by Mr. Lincoln, on the
stump and elsewhere, was that although the subject matter of some of
them might not have been entirely unobjectionable, yet the manner of
telling them was so peculiarly his own that they gave no offence
even to refined and cultured people. On the contrary, they were much
enjoyed. The story he told on this occasion was much liked by the vast
assembly that surrounded the temporary platform from which he spoke,
and was received with loud bursts of laughter and applause. It served
to place the opposing party and its speakers in a most ludicrous
position in respect to the question being considered, and gave him a
most favorable hearing for the arguments he later made in support of
the measures he was sustaining."

[Illustration: JOSHUA F. SPEED AND WIFE.

From a painting by Healy, owned by Mrs, Joshua F. Speed of Louisville,
Kentucky, and reproduced here by permission. Joshua F. Speed was a
Kentuckian. At the time Lincoln went to Springfield he was one of the
leading merchants of the town, and it was he who befriended the young
lawyer on his arrival (see MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for March). Towards
the end of 1840 Mr. Speed sold his store, and soon after returned to
Louisville. At his urgent invitation Lincoln visited him in the
summer of 1841. He seems not to have gone back with Speed, as many
biographers have stated, for in a letter of June 19, 1841, to Speed,
Lincoln says: "I stick to my promise to come to Louisville." He seems,
too, to have stayed a much shorter time than has frequently been
stated, for he wrote back to Speed's sister, on September 27th, of his
safe arrival in Springfield. The letters quoted from in this article
were given by Speed himself to Mr. Herndon to publish in his "Life of
Lincoln." Mr. Herndon turned them over to Lamon, who used them in his
volume published in 1872. Joshua Speed and Lincoln remained intimate
friends through life. Although they differed radically in 1855 on the
policy to be pursued in regard to slavery, Lincoln, in writing Speed
a long letter explaining his views, closes: "And yet let me say I am
your friend forever."]


Lincoln had been busy with politics and law in the years since he left
New Salem, but he had by no means neglected the social side of life.
Indeed, he had gone so far as to become engaged to be married to
one of the favorite young women of Springfield, Miss Mary Todd, the
sister-in-law of one of his political friends, a member of the "Long
Nine" and a prominent citizen, Ninian W. Edwards.

[Illustration: MARY TODD LINCOLN.

From a carbon enlargement, by Sherman and McHugh of New York, of
a photograph by Brady. Mary Todd was born in Lexington, Kentucky,
December 13, 1818. Her mother died when she was young, and she
was educated at one of the best-known schools of the State--Madame
Mantelli's. She remained there some four years, and as the school was
conducted entirely in French, she spoke the language fluently. She was
afterwards some time in the Ward Academy of Lexington. Miss Todd first
visited Springfield in 1837, but remained only a few months. In 1839
she returned to make her home with her sister, Mrs. Edwards. She had
two other sisters in the town, Mrs. William Wallace and Mrs. C.M.
Smith. The story of her life will, of course, be told in connection
with that of Mr. Lincoln in the forthcoming articles. The photograph
used for this reproduction was kindly loaned by Mrs. S.J. Withington,
Warner, New Hampshire.]

Miss Todd came from a well-known family of Lexington, Kentucky; her
father, Robert S. Todd, being one of the leading citizens of his
State. She had come to Springfield in 1839 to live with her sister,
Mrs. Edwards. She was a brilliant, witty, highly-educated girl,
ambitious and spirited, with a touch of audacity which only made
her more attractive, and she at once took a leading position in
Springfield society. There were many young unmarried men in the town,
drawn there by politics, and Mr. Edwards's handsome home was opened to
them in the hospitable Southern way. After Mary Todd became an inmate
of the Edwards house, the place was gayer than ever. She received much
attention from Douglas, Shields, Lincoln, and several others. It
was soon apparent, however, that Miss Todd preferred Lincoln. As
the intimacy between them increased, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards protested.
However honorable and able a man Lincoln might be, he was still a
"plebeian." His family were humble and poor; he was self-educated,
without address or polish, careless of forms, indifferent to society.
How could Mary Todd, brought up in a cultured home, accustomed to
the refinements of life, and with ambition for social position,
accommodate herself to so grave a nature, so dull an exterior? Miss
Todd knew her own mind, however. She loved Lincoln, and seems to have
believed from the first in his future. Some time in 1840 they became


From a photograph, by Harrison, Galesburg, Illinois, of an ambrotype
owned by Mrs. W.J. Thomson of Monmouth, Illinois. This picture was
taken at Monmouth on October 11, 1858, by W.J. Thomson, after a speech
made in the town by Lincoln that day, and four days after the debate
between Lincoln and Douglas at Galesburg, Illinois, on October 7,

But it was not long before there came the clashing inevitable between
two persons whose tastes and ambitions were so different. Miss Todd
was jealous and exacting. Lincoln frequently failed to accompany her
to the merry-makings which she wanted to attend. She resented this
indifference, which seemed to her a purposed slight, instead of simply
a lack of thought on his part, and sometimes she went with Mr.
Douglas or any other escort who offered. Reproaches and tears and
misunderstanding followed. If the lovers made up, it was only to
fall out again. At last Lincoln became convinced that they were
incompatible, and resolved that he must break the engagement. But the
knowledge that the girl loved him took away his courage. He felt that
he must not draw back, and he became profoundly miserable.

"Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it
is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented;
and there is nothing I can imagine that would make me more unhappy
than to fail in the effort," Lincoln had written Miss Owens three
years before. How could he make this brilliant, passionate creature to
whom he was betrothed happy?

A mortal dread of the result of the marriage, a harrowing doubt of
his own feelings, possessed him. The experience is not so rare in the
lives of lovers that it should be regarded, as it often has been, as
something exceptional and abnormal in Lincoln's case. A reflective
nature founded in melancholy, like Lincoln's, rarely undertakes
even the simpler affairs of life without misgivings. He certainly
experienced dread and doubt before entering on any new relation.
When it came to forming the most delicate and intimate of all human
relations, he staggered under a storm of uncertainty and suffering,
and finally broke the engagement.

So horrible a breach of honor did this seem to him that he called the
day when it occurred the "fatal first of January, 1841," and months
afterward he wrote to his intimate friend Speed: "I must regain my
confidence in my own ability to keep my resolves when they are made.
In that ability I once prided myself as the only or chief gem of my
character; that gem I lost--how and where you know too well. I have
not yet regained it, and, until I do, I cannot trust myself in any
matter of much importance."

[Illustration: ROBERT S. TODD.

Robert S. Todd, father of Mrs. Lincoln, came of distinguished
ancestors. He was the seventh son of Major-General Levi Todd, and was
born at Lexington, Kentucky, February 25, 1791. He was prominent in
the politics of Kentucky for nearly thirty years. For many years he
was clerk of the Kentucky House of Representatives; he was three times
elected Representative from Fayette County, and was a State Senator
at the time of his death, which occurred July 15, 1849. He was twice
married--the first time to his near relative, Eliza Ann Parker, the
mother of Mary Todd.]


From a photograph loaned by Mr. Jesse W. Weik. Miss Jayne afterward
became Mrs. Lyman Trumbull.]

The breaking of the engagement between Miss Todd and Mr. Lincoln was
naturally known at the time to all their friends. Lincoln's melancholy
was evident to them all, nor did he, indeed, attempt to disguise
it. He wrote and spoke freely to his intimates of the despair which
possessed him, and of his sense of dishonor. The episode caused a
great amount of gossip, as was to be expected. After Mr. Lincoln's
assassination and Mrs. Lincoln's sad death, various accounts of the
courtship and marriage were circulated. It remained, however, for one
of Lincoln's law partners, Mr. W.H. Herndon, to develop and circulate
the most sensational of all the versions of the rupture. His story
would not be referred to here were it not that it has been generally
accepted as truthful by even his most conservative biographers,
including Mr. John T. Morse and Mr. Carl Schurz. According to Mr.
Herndon, the engagement between the two was broken in the most violent
and public way possible, by Mr. Lincoln's failing to appear at the
wedding. Mr. Herndon even describes the scene in detail:

    "The time fixed for the marriage was the first day of
    January, 1841. Careful preparations for the happy occasion
    were made at the Edwards mansion. The house underwent the
    customary renovation; the furniture was properly arranged,
    the rooms neatly decorated, the supper prepared, and the
    guests invited. The latter assembled on the evening in
    question, and awaited in expectant pleasure the interesting
    ceremony of marriage. The bride, bedecked in veil and
    silken gown, and nervously toying with the flowers in her
    hair, sat in the adjoining room. Nothing was lacking but
    the groom. For some strange reason he had been delayed. An
    hour passed, and the guests, as well as the bride, were
    becoming restless. But they were all doomed to
    disappointment. Another hour passed; messengers were sent
    out over town, and each returning with the same report, it
    became apparent that Lincoln, the principal in this little
    drama, had purposely failed to appear. The bride, in grief,
    disappeared to her room; the wedding supper was left
    untouched; the guests quietly and wonderingly withdrew; the
    lights in the Edwards mansion were blown out, and darkness
    settled over all for the night. What the feelings of a lady
    as sensitive, passionate, and proud as Miss Todd were, we
    can only imagine; no one can ever describe them. By
    daybreak, after persistent search, Lincoln's friends found
    him. Restless, gloomy, miserable, desperate, he seemed an
    object of pity. His friends, Speed among the number,
    fearing a tragic termination, watched him closely in their
    rooms day and night. 'Knives and razors, and every
    instrument that could be used for self-destruction, were
    removed from his reach.' Mrs. Edwards did not hesitate to
    regard him as insane, and of course her sister Mary shared
    in that view."


From a photograph kindly loaned by C.B. Hall, New York. General
Shields was born at Dungannon, County of Tyrone, Ireland, in 1810;
came to the United States in 1826; located in Randolph County,
Illinois, and taught school there; was admitted to the bar in 1832,
and practised at Kaskaskia. He was elected to the legislature in 1836,
and there became acquainted with Lincoln. In 1841 he was made auditor
of public accounts of Illinois, and it was while holding this office
that he challenged Lincoln to mortal combat. In 1843 Governor Ford
appointed him an associate justice of the Supreme Court--an office
which he resigned two years later to become commissioner of the
general land-office. His gallantry in the Mexican War was such that he
was brevetted a major-general. The prestige which his military record
gave him made him a United States Senator in 1849. Defeated for
reelection by Lyman Trumbull in 1855, he removed to Minnesota. There,
May 12, 1858, he was elected to the United States Senate to fill a
vacancy, serving about ten months. Then he went to California for
a year. August 19, 1861, President Lincoln, his old-time enemy,
presented him with a brigadier-general's commission; but two years
later he gave this up, and settled on a farm in Missouri. He remained
in retirement for a while, but eventually emerged to become a
member of the legislature, a defeated candidate for Congress,
adjutant-general of the State, and finally, in 1879, once more a
United States Senator, serving about six weeks of an unexpired term.
He thus had the rare distinction to be a United States Senator from
three States. In his later years he delivered lectures--"Reminiscences
of the Mexican War" and "Recollections of Eminent Statesmen and
Soldiers." He died suddenly at Ottumwa, Iowa, June 1, 1879. General
Shields has been variously rated by his contemporaries. That he was a
man of considerable ability is conceded, and he possessed the warmth
and generosity common to his race.--_J. McCan Davis_.]

[Illustration: MRS. NINIAN W. EDWARDS.

From a painting by Healy, owned by her son, Mr. A.S. Edwards,
Springfield, Illinois. Mrs. Ninian W. Edwards was a sister of Mrs.
Lincoln. Her maiden name was Elizabeth P. Todd. She was born at
Lexington, Kentucky, in 1813, and died at Springfield, Illinois, her
home since 1835, February 22, 1888.]


Tremont was about fifty miles north of Springfield, in Tazewell
County. Although the internal improvements scheme of 1837 ran a
railroad through the town, it was only reached in 1842, at the time
of the Shields-Lincoln duel, by driving. The court-house is a fair
example of those in which Lincoln first practised law.]

No one can read this description in connection with the rest of Mr.
Herndon's text, and escape the impression that, if it is true, there
must have been a vein of cowardice in Lincoln. The context shows that
he was not insane enough to excuse such a public insult to a woman.
To break his engagement was, all things considered, not in any way
an unusual or abnormal thing; to brood over the rupture, to blame
himself, to feel that he had been dishonorable, was to be expected,
after such an act, from one of his temperament. Nothing, however,
but temporary insanity or constitutional cowardice could explain such
conduct as here described. Mr. Herndon does not pretend to found his
story on any personal knowledge of the affair. He was in Springfield
at the time, a clerk in Speed's store, but did not have then, nor,
indeed, did he ever have, any social relations with the families in
which Mr. Lincoln was always a welcome guest. His only authority for
the story is a remark which he says Mrs. Ninian Edwards made to him in
an interview: "Lincoln and Mary were engaged; everything was ready and
prepared for the marriage, even to the supper. Mr. Lincoln failed
to meet his engagement; cause, insanity." This remark, it should be
noted, is not from a manuscript written by Mrs. Edwards, but in a
report of an interview with her, written by Mr. Herndon. Supposing,
however, that the statement was made exactly as Mr. Herndon reports
it, it certainly does not justify any such sensational description as
Mr. Herndon gives.

If such a thing had ever occurred, it could not have failed to be
known, of course, even to its smallest details, by all the relatives
and friends of both Miss Todd and Mr. Lincoln. Nobody, however, ever
heard of this wedding party until Mr. Herndon gave his material to the

One of the closest friends of the Lincolns throughout their lives was
a cousin of Mrs. Lincoln's, Mrs. Grimsley, afterwards Mrs. Dr. Brown.
Mrs. Grimsley lived in Springfield, on the most intimate and friendly
relations with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, and the first six months of
their life in the White House she spent with them. She was a woman
of unusual culture, and of the rarest sweetness and graciousness of
character. No one could look on her face without feeling her perfect
sincerity and goodness. Some months before Mrs. Brown's death, in
August, 1895, a copy of Mr. Herndon's story was sent her, with a
request that she write for publication her knowledge of the affair. In
her reply she said:

"Did Mr. Lincoln fail to appear when the invitations were out, the
guests invited, and the supper ready for the wedding? I will say
emphatically, 'No.'

"There may have been a little shadow of foundation for Mr. Herndon's
lively imagination to play upon, in that, the year previous to the
marriage, and when Mr. Lincoln and my cousin Mary expected soon to be
married, Mr. Lincoln was taken with one of those fearful, overwhelming
periods of depression, which induced his friends to persuade him to
leave Springfield. This he did for a time; but I am satisfied he
was loyal and true to Mary, even though at times he may have doubted
whether he was responding as fully as a manly, generous nature should
to such affection as he knew my cousin was ready to bestow on him. And
this because it had not the overmastering depth of an early love. This
everybody here knows; therefore I do not feel as if I were betraying
dear friends."


From a photograph made for MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE in February, 1896. At
this house Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married November 4,
1842, and here Mrs. Lincoln died July 16, 1882. The house was built
about 1835. It was a brick structure, and there were few handsomer
ones in the town. The south half (appearing in the left of this
picture) was at first only one story in height; the second story was
but recently added. In this part was the dining-room. The parlor, in
which the marriage ceremony was performed, was the front room on the
first floor of the north half of the house. The house is now occupied
by St. Agatha's School (Episcopal).]

Mrs. John Stuart, the wife of Lincoln's law partner at that time, is
still living in Springfield, a refined, cultivated, intelligent woman,
who remembers perfectly the life and events of that day. When Mr.
Herndon's story first came to her attention, her indignation was
intense. She protested that she never before had heard of such a
thing. Mrs. Stuart was not, however, in Springfield at that particular
date, but in Washington, her husband being a member of Congress. She
wrote the following statement for this biography:

"I cannot deny this, as I was not in Springfield for some months
before and after this occurrence was said to have taken place; but I
was in close correspondence with relatives and friends during all this
time, and never heard a word of it. The late Judge Broadwell told me
that he had asked Mr. Ninian Edwards about it, and Mr. Edwards told
him that no such thing had ever taken place.

"All I can say is that I unhesitatingly do not believe such an event
ever occurred. I thought I had never heard of this till I saw it in
Herndon's book. I have since been told that Lamon mentions the same
thing. I read Lamon at the time he published, and felt very much
disgusted, but did not remember this particular assertion. The first
chapters of Lamon's book were purchased from Herndon; so Herndon is
responsible for the whole.

"Mrs. Lincoln told me herself all the circumstances of her engagement
to Mr. Lincoln, of his illness, and the breaking off of her
engagement, of the renewal, and her marriage. So I say I do not
believe one word of this dishonorable story about Mr. Lincoln."


Photographed for MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE from the original, now on file in
the county clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. It has hitherto been
commonly supposed that the original marriage license issued to
Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd in 1842, with the officiating-minister's
certificate of marriage attached to it, was one of the interesting
documents in what was formerly the Keys Lincoln Memorial Collection.
Nicolay and Hay reproduced it in their biography of Lincoln, and other
publications have made it appear authentic. Messrs. Keys and
Munson, who formed the collection in which the certificate was first
exhibited, called it a duplicate, and Mr. William H. Lambert of
Philadelphia, who owns it now, supposed, in buying it, that it was a
duplicate. Mr. Lambert, however, in showing us the certificate, called
attention to a suspicious circumstance connected with the license.
The seal of the county court stamped upon it was dated "1849." It was
difficult to reconcile this with the fact that the marriage occurred
in 1842. The inconsistency was covered up in certain facsimiles which
have been published, by a stroke of the pen; the date of the seal was
changed to fit the date of the marriage. Mr. Lambert's suggestion led
to an investigation for this Magazine. A search in the county clerk's
office at Springfield brought to light the real and only "original"
license, stowed away in a dusty pigeon-hole, untouched in thirty
years. This is the license which is reproduced above. Beneath the
license is the Rev. Charles Dresser's certificate of the marriage.
The bogus document was made out on the blank form in use in the county
clerk's office in 1865--a form quite different from that used in 1842.
This form was not used prior to 1865, and never after February 3,
1866. So it seems most probable that the spurious license was procured
soon after Mr. Lincoln's assassination. The handwriting is that of
N.W. Matheny, then, as in 1842, the county clerk, a gentleman of high
character, who no doubt furnished the copy for a perfectly proper
purpose. It will be observed that the genuine license bears no seal.
This is due to the fact that prior to 1849 the county court did not
have a seal; indeed, before that year, such a tribunal as the
"county court" was unknown to the judiciary system of the State. The
certificate attached to the counterfeit license, of course, was not
written by the Rev. Charles Dresser (for he was then dead), but,
like the license itself, was made out by the county clerk.--_J. McCan

Another prominent member in the same circle with Mr. Lincoln and Miss
Todd is Mrs. B.T. Edwards, the widow of Judge Benjamin T. Edwards,
and sister-in-law of Mr. Ninian Edwards, who had married Miss Todd's
sister. She came to Springfield in 1839, and was intimately acquainted
with Mr. Lincoln and Miss Todd, and knew, as well as another could
know, their affairs. Mrs. Edwards is still living in Springfield, a
woman of the most perfect refinement and trustworthiness. In answer to
the question, "Is Mr. Herndon's description true?" she writes:

"I am impatient to tell you that all that he says about this
wedding--the time for which was 'fixed for the first day of
January'--is a fabrication. He has drawn largely upon his imagination
in describing something which never took place.

"I know the engagement between Mr. Lincoln and Miss Todd was
interrupted for a time, and it was rumored among her young friends
that Mr. Edwards had rather opposed it. But I am sure there had been
no 'time fixed' for any wedding; that is, no preparations had ever
been made until the day that Mr. Lincoln met Mr. Edwards on the street
and told him that he and Mary were going to be married that evening.
Upon inquiry, Mr. Lincoln said they would be married in the Episcopal
church, to which Mr. Edwards replied: 'No; Mary is my ward, and she
must be married at my house.'

"If I remember rightly, the wedding guests were few, not more than
thirty; and it seems to me all are gone now but Mrs. Wallace,
Mrs. Levering, and myself, for it was not much more than a family
gathering; only two or three of Mary Todd's young friends were
present. The 'entertainment' was simple, but in beautiful taste; but
the bride had neither veil nor flowers in her hair, with which to 'toy
nervously.' There had been no elaborate _trousseau_ for the bride of
the future President of the United States, nor even a handsome wedding
gown; nor was it a gay wedding."

Two sisters of Mrs. Lincoln's who are still living, Mrs. Wallace
of Springfield, and Mrs. Helm of Elizabethstown, Kentucky, deny
emphatically that any wedding was ever arranged between Mr. Lincoln
and Miss Todd but the one which did take place. That the engagement
was broken after a wedding had been talked of, they think possible;
but Mr. Herndon's story, they deny emphatically.

"There is not a word of truth in it!" Mrs. Wallace broke out,
impulsively, before the question about the non-appearance of Mr.
Lincoln had been finished. "I never was so amazed in my life as when I
read that story. Mr. Lincoln never did such a thing. Why, Mary Lincoln
never had a silk dress in her life until she went to Washington."

[Illustration: REV. CHARLES DRESSER.

From a daguerreotype owned by his son, Dr. T.W. Dresser, Springfield,
Illinois. The Rev. Charles Dresser, who was the officiating clergyman
at the wedding of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd, was born at Pomfret,
Connecticut, February 24, 1800. He was graduated from Brown University
in 1823, and went to Virginia, where he studied theology. In 1829 he
became an ordained minister in the Protestant Episcopal Church. He was
married in 1832 in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, to Louisa W. Withers.
Upon his removal to Springfield, Illinois, in 1838, he became the
rector of the Protestant Episcopal church there, and remained so until
1858, when failing health caused his retirement. In 1855, Jubilee
College elected him Professor of Divinity and Belles-Lettres, but he
held this position only a short time. He died March 25, 1865.--_J.
McCan Davis._]

As Mr. Joshua Speed was, all through this period, Mr. Lincoln's
closest friend, no thought or feeling of the one ever being concealed
from the other, Mrs. Joshua Speed, who is still living in Louisville,
Kentucky, was asked if she knew of the story. Mrs. Speed listened
in surprise to Mr. Herndon's tale. "I never heard of it before," she
declared. "I never heard of it. If it is true, I never heard of it."

In all of these cases the opinion of only those persons intimately
connected with Mr. Lincoln and Miss Todd has been asked. Care has been
taken, too, to apply only to persons whose character put them beyond
the suspicion of distorting facts.

Quite unexpectedly, some months ago, a volunteer witness to the
falsity of the story appeared. The Hon. H.W. Thornton of Millersburg,
Illinois, was a member of the Twelfth General Assembly, which met in
Springfield in 1840. During that winter he was boarding near Lincoln,
saw him almost every day, was a constant visitor at Mr. Edwards's
house, and he knew Miss Todd well. He wrote to this magazine declaring
that Mr. Herndon's statement about the wedding must be false, as he
was closely associated with Miss Todd and Mr. Lincoln all winter, and
never knew anything of it. Mr. Thornton went on to say that he knew
beyond a doubt that the sensational account of Lincoln's insanity
was untrue, and he quoted from the House journal to show how it was
impossible that, as Lamon says, using Herndon's notes, "Lincoln went
crazy as a loon, and did not attend the legislature in 1841-1842,
for this reason;" or, as Herndon says, that he had to be watched
constantly. According to the record taken from the journals of the
House sent us by Mr. Thornton, and which we have had verified in
Springfield, Mr. Lincoln was in his seat in the House on that "fatal
first of January" when he is asserted to have been groping in the
shadow of madness, and he was also there on the following day. The
third of January was Sunday. On Monday, the fourth, he appears not to
have been present--at least he did not vote; but even this is by no
means conclusive evidence that he was not there. On the fifth, and on
every succeeding day until the thirteenth, he was in his seat. From
the thirteenth to the eighteenth, inclusive, he is not recorded on
any of the roll-calls, and probably was not present. But on the
nineteenth, when "John J. Hardin announced his illness to the House,"
as Mr. Herndon says (which announcement seems not to have gotten
into the journal), Lincoln was again in his place, and voted. On the
twentieth he is not recorded; but on every subsequent day, until the
close of the session on the first of March, Lincoln was in the House.
Thus, during the whole of the two months of January and February,
he was absent not more than seven days--as good a record as to
attendance, perhaps, as that made by the average member.

Mr. Thornton says further: "Mr. Lincoln boarded at William Butler's,
near to Dr. Henry's, where I boarded. The missing days, from January
13th to 19th, Mr. Lincoln spent several hours each day at Dr. Henry's;
a part of these days I remained with Mr. Lincoln. His most intimate
friends had no fears of his injuring himself. He was very sad and
melancholy, but being subject to these spells, nothing serious was
apprehended. His being watched, as stated in Herndon's book, was news
to me until I saw it there."

But while Lincoln went about his daily duties, even on the "fatal
first of January," his whole being was shrouded in gloom. He did not
pretend to conceal this from his friends. Writing to Mr. Stuart on
January 23d, he said: "I am now the most miserable man living. If what
I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would
not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better
I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is
impossible. I must die or be better, it appears to me. The matter you
speak of on my account you may attend to as you say, unless you shall
hear of my condition forbidding it. I say this because I fear I shall
be unable to attend to any business here, and a change of scene might
help me."

In the summer he visited his friend Speed, who had sold his store in
Springfield, and returned to Louisville, Kentucky. The visit did much
to brighten his spirits, for, writing back in September, after his
return, to his friend's sister, he was even gay.

A curious situation arose the next year (1842), which did much to
restore Lincoln to a more normal view of his relation to Miss Todd.
In the summer of 1841, his friend Speed had become engaged. As his
marriage approached, he in turn was attacked by a melancholy not
unlike that which Lincoln had suffered. He feared he did not love well
enough to marry, and he confided his fear to Lincoln. Full of sympathy
for the trouble of his friend, Lincoln tried in every way to persuade
him that his "twinges of the soul" were all explained by nervous
debility. When Speed returned to Kentucky, Lincoln wrote him several
letters, in which he consoled, counselled, or laughed at him. These
letters abound in suggestive passages. From what did Speed suffer?
From three special causes and a general one, which Lincoln proceeds to

    "The general cause is, that you are naturally of a nervous
    temperament; and this I say from what I have seen of you
    personally, and what you have told me concerning your mother
    at various times, and concerning your brother William at the
    time his wife died. The first special cause is your exposure
    to bad weather on your journey, which my experience clearly
    proves to be very severe on defective nerves. The second is
    the absence of all business and conversation of friends,
    which might divert your mind, give it occasional rest from the
    intensity of thought which will sometimes wear the sweetest
    idea thread-bare and turn it to the bitterness of death. The
    third is the rapid and near approach of that crisis on which
    all your thoughts and feelings concentrate."

Speed writes that his _fiancée_ is ill, and his letter is full of
gloomy forebodings of an early death. Lincoln hails these fears as an
omen of happiness.


In a letter to Joshua R. Speed, dated May 18, 1843, Lincoln wrote: "We
are not keeping house, but boarding at the Globe Tavern, which is very
well kept now by a widow lady of the name of Beck. Our room (the
same that Dr. Wallace occupied there) and boarding only costs us four
dollars a week.... I most heartily wish you and your Fanny would
not fail to come. Just let us know the time, and we will have a room
provided for you at our house, and all be merry together for a while."
The Globe Hotel stood in Springfield until about three years ago.]

    "I hope and believe that your present anxiety and distress
    about her health and her life must and will forever banish
    those horrid doubts which I know you sometimes felt as to the
    truth of your affection for her. If they can once and forever
    be removed (and I almost feel a presentiment that the Almighty
    has sent your present affliction expressly for that object),
    surely nothing can come in their stead to fill their
    immeasurable measure of misery.... I am now fully convinced
    that you love her as ardently as you are capable of loving.
    Your ever being happy in her presence, and your intense
    anxiety about her health, if there were nothing else, would
    place this beyond all dispute in my mind. I incline to think
    it probable that your nerves will fail you occasionally for a
    while; but once you get them firmly guarded now, that trouble
    is over forever. I think, if I were you, in case my mind
    were not exactly right, I would avoid being idle. I
    would immediately engage in some business or go to making
    preparations for it, which would be the same thing."

Mr. Speed's marriage occurred in February, and to the letter
announcing it Lincoln replied:

    "I tell you, Speed, our forebodings (for which you and I are
    peculiar) are all the worst sort of nonsense. I fancied, from
    the time I received your letter of Saturday, that the one of
    Wednesday was never to come, and yet it did come, and what
    is more, it is perfectly clear, both from its tone and
    handwriting, that you were much happier, or, if you think the
    term preferable, less miserable, when you wrote it than when
    you wrote the last one before. You had so obviously improved
    at the very time I so much fancied you would have grown worse.
    You say that something indescribably horrible and alarming
    still haunts you. You will not say that three months from
    now, I will venture. When your nerves once get steady now,
    the whole trouble will be over forever. Nor should you become
    impatient at their being even very slow in becoming steady.
    Again, you say, you much fear that that Elysium of which you
    have dreamed so much is never to be realized. Well, if it
    shall not, I dare swear it will not be the fault of her who
    is now your wife. I now have no doubt that it is the peculiar
    misfortune of both you and me to dream dreams of Elysium far
    exceeding all that anything earthly can realize."

His prophecy was true. In March Speed wrote him that he was "far
happier than he had ever expected to be." Lincoln caught at the letter
with an eagerness which is deeply pathetic:

    "It cannot be told how it now thrills me with joy to hear you
    say you are far happier than you ever expected to be. I know
    you too well to suppose your expectations were not, at least,
    sometimes extravagant, and if the reality exceeds them all, I
    say, Enough, dear Lord! I am not going beyond the truth when
    I tell you that the short space it took me to read your last
    letter gave me more pleasure than the total sum of all I have
    enjoyed since the fatal 1st of January, 1841. Since then, it
    seems to me, I should have been entirely happy, but for the
    never absent idea that there is one still unhappy whom I have
    contributed to make so. That still kills me. I cannot but
    reproach myself for even wishing to be happy while she is
    otherwise. She accompanied a large party on the railroad cars
    to Jacksonville last Monday, and on her return spoke, so that
    I heard of it, of having enjoyed the trip exceedingly. God be
    praised for that."

Evidently Lincoln was still unreconciled to his separation from Miss
Todd. In the summer of 1842, only three or four months after the above
letter was written, a clever ruse on the part of certain of their
friends threw the two unexpectedly together; and an understanding
of some kind evidently was come to, for during the season they met
secretly at the house of one of Lincoln's friends, Mr. Simeon Francis.
It was while these meetings were going on that a burlesque encounter
occurred between Lincoln and James Shields, for which Miss Todd was
partly responsible, and which no doubt gave just the touch of comedy
necessary to relieve their tragedy and restore them to a healthier
view of their relations.


Among the Democratic officials then living in Springfield was one
James Shields, auditor of the State. He was a hot-headed, blustering
Irishman, not without ability, and certainly courageous; a good
politician, and, on the whole, a very well-liked man. However, the
swagger and noise with which he accompanied the execution of his
duties, and his habit of being continually on the defensive, made
him the butt of Whig ridicule. Nothing could have given greater
satisfaction to Lincoln and his friends than having an opponent who,
whenever they joked him, flew into a rage and challenged them to

At the time when Lincoln was visiting Miss Todd at Mr. Francis's
house, the Whigs were much excited over the fact that the Democrats
had issued an order forbidding the payment of State taxes in State
bank-notes. The bank-notes were in fact practically worthless, for the
State finances were suffering a violent reaction from the extravagant
legislation of 1836 and 1837. One of the popular ways of attacking an
obnoxious political doctrine in that day was writing letters from some
imaginary backwoods settlement, setting forth in homely vernacular
the writer's views of the question, and showing how its application
affected his part of the world. These letters were really a rude form
of the "Bigelow Papers" or "Nasby Letters." Soon after the order
was issued by the Illinois officials demanding silver instead
of bank-notes in payment of taxes, Lincoln wrote a letter to a
Springfield paper from the "Lost Townships," signing it "Aunt
Rebecca." In it he described the plight to which the new order had
brought the neighborhood, and he intimated that the only reason for
issuing such an order was that the State officers might have their
salaries paid in silver. Shields was ridiculed unmercifully in the
letter for his vanity and his gallantry.

It happened that there were several young women in Springfield who
had received rather too pronounced attention from Mr. Shields, and
who were glad to see him tormented. Among them were Miss Todd and her
friend Miss Julia Jayne. Lincoln's letter from the "Lost Townships"
was such a success that they followed it up with one in which "Aunt
Rebecca" proposed to the gallant auditor, and a few days later they
published some very bad verses, signed "Cathleen," celebrating the

Springfield was highly entertained, less by the verses than by the
fury of Shields. He would have satisfaction, he said, and he sent a
friend, one General Whitesides, to the paper, to ask for the name of
the writer of the communications. The editor, in a quandary, went to
Lincoln, who, unwilling that Miss Todd and Miss Jayne should figure
in the affair, ordered that his own name be given as the author of
letters and poem. This was only about ten days after the first letter
had appeared, on September 2d, and Lincoln left Springfield in a day
or two for a long trip on the circuit. He was at Tremont when, on
the morning of the seventeenth, two of his friends, E.H. Merryman and
William Butler, drove up hastily. Shields and his friend Whitesides
were behind, they said, the irate Irishman vowing that he would
challenge Lincoln. They, knowing that Lincoln was "unpractised both
as to diplomacy and weapons," had started as soon as they had learned
that Shields had left Springfield, had passed him in the night, and
were there to see Lincoln through.

It was not long before Shields and Whitesides arrived, and soon
Lincoln received a note in which the indignant auditor said: "I
will take the liberty of requiring a full, positive, and absolute
retraction of all offensive allusions used by you in these
communications in relation to my private character and standing as a
man, as an apology for the insults conveyed in them. This may prevent
consequences which no one will regret more than myself."

Lincoln immediately replied that, since Shields had not stopped to
inquire whether he really was the author of the articles, had not
pointed out what was offensive in them, had assumed facts and hinted
at consequences, he could not submit to answer the note. Shields wrote
again, but Lincoln simply replied that he could receive nothing but a
withdrawal of the first note or a challenge. To this he steadily
held, even refusing to answer the question as to the authorship of the
letters, which Shields finally put. It was inconsistent with his honor
to negotiate for peace with Mr. Shields, he said, unless Mr. Shields
withdrew his former offensive letter. Seconds were immediately named:
Whitesides by Shields, Merryman by Lincoln; and though they talked of
peace, Whitesides declared he could not mention it to his principal.
"He would challenge me next, and as soon cut my throat as not."

This was on the nineteenth, and that night the party returned to
Springfield. But in someway the affair had leaked out, and fearing
arrest, Lincoln and Merryman left town the next morning. The
instructions were left with Butler. If Shields would withdraw his
first note, and write another asking if Lincoln was the author of the
offensive articles, and, if so, asking for gentlemanly satisfaction,
then Lincoln had prepared a letter explaining the whole affair. If
Shields would not do this, there was nothing to do but fight. Lincoln
left the following preliminaries for the duel:

    "_First._ Weapons: Cavalry broadswords of the largest size,
    precisely equal in all respects, and such as now used by the
    cavalry company at Jacksonville.

    "_Second_. Position: A plank ten feet long, and from nine to
    twelve inches broad, to be firmly fixed on edge on the ground,
    as the line between us, which neither is to pass his foot over
    on forfeit of his life. Next, a line drawn on the ground on
    either side of said plank and parallel with it, each at the
    distance of the whole length of the sword and three feet
    additional from the plank; and the passing of his own such
    line by either party during the fight shall be deemed a
    surrender of the contest.

    "_Third_. Time: On Thursday evening at five o'clock, if you
    can get it so; but in no case to be at a greater distance of
    time than Friday evening at five o'clock.

    "_Fourth_. Place: Within three miles of Alton, on the opposite
    side of the river, the particular spot to be agreed upon by

As Mr. Shields refused to withdraw his first note, the entire party
started for the rendezvous across the Mississippi. Lincoln and
Merryman drove together in a dilapidated old buggy, in the bottom of
which rattled a number of broadswords. It was the morning of the 22d
of September when the duellists arrived in the town. There are people
still living in Alton who remember their coming. "The party arrived
about the middle of the morning," says Mr. Edward Levis,[2] "and soon
crossed the river to a sand-bar which at the time was, by reason
of the low water, a part of the Missouri mainland. The means of
conveyance was an old horse-ferry that was operated by a man named
Chapman. The weapons were in the keeping of the friends of the
principals, and no care was taken to conceal them; in fact, they were
openly displayed. Naturally, there was a great desire among the male
population to attend the duel, but the managers of the affair would
not permit any but their own party to board the ferry-boat. Skiffs
were very scarce, and but a few could avail themselves of the
opportunity in this way. I had to content myself with standing on the
levee and watching proceedings at long range."

The party had scarcely reached the sand-bar before they were joined by
some unexpected friends. Lincoln and Merryman, on their way to Alton,
had stopped at White Hall for dinner. Across the street from the hotel
lived Mr. Elijah Lott, an acquaintance of Merryman's. Mr. Lott was not
long in finding out what was on foot, and as soon as the duellists had
departed, he drove to Carrollton, where he knew that Colonel John J.
Hardin and several other friends of Lincoln were attending court, and
warned them of the trouble. Hardin and one or two others immediately
started for Alton. They arrived in time to calm Shields, and to aid
the seconds in adjusting matters "with honor to all concerned."

That the duellists returned in good spirits is evident from Mr.
Levis's reminiscences: "It was not very long," says he, "until the
boat was seen returning to Alton. As it drew near I saw what was
presumably a mortally wounded man lying on the bow of the boat. His
shirt appeared to be bathed in blood. I distinguished Jacob Smith, a
constable, fanning the supposed victim vigorously. The people on the
bank held their breath in suspense, and guesses were freely made as
to which of the two men had been so terribly wounded. But suspense was
soon turned to chagrin and relief when it transpired that the supposed
candidate for another world was nothing more nor less than a log
covered with a red shirt. This ruse had been resorted to in order to
fool the people on the levee; and it worked to perfection. Lincoln
and Shields came off the boat together, chatting in a nonchalant and
pleasant manner."


The Lincoln-Shields duel had so many farcical features, and Miss Todd
had unwittingly been so much to blame for it, that one can easily see
that it might have had considerable influence on the relations of the
two young people. However that may be, something had made Mr. Lincoln
feel that he could renew his engagement. Early in October, not a
fortnight after the duel, he wrote Speed: "You have now been the
husband of a lovely woman nearly eight months. That you are happier
now than the day you married her I well know, for without you would
not be living. But I have your word for it, too, and the returning
elasticity of spirits which is manifested in your letters. But I want
to ask a close question: Are you now in feelings as well as judgment
glad that you are married as you are?"

We do not know Speed's answer, nor the final struggle of the man's
heart. We only know that on November 4, 1842, Lincoln was married, the
wedding being almost impromptu. Mrs. Dr. Brown, Miss Todd's cousin, in
the same letter quoted from above, describes the wedding:

"One morning, bright and early, my cousin came down in her excited,
impetuous way, and said to my father: 'Uncle, you must go up and tell
my sister that Mr. Lincoln and I are to be married this evening,' and
to me: 'Get on your bonnet and go with me to get my gloves, shoes,
etc., and then to Mr. Edwards's.' When we reached there we found some
excitement over a wedding being sprung upon them so suddenly. However,
my father, in his lovely, pacific way, 'poured oil upon the waters,'
and we thought everything was 'ship-shape,' when Mrs. Edwards
laughingly said: 'How fortunately you selected this evening, for
the Episcopal Sewing Society is to meet here, and my supper is all

"But that comfortable little arrangement would not hold, as Mary
declared she would not make a spectacle for gossiping ladies to gaze
upon and talk about; there had already been too much talk about her.
Then my father was despatched to tell Mr. Lincoln that the wedding
would be deferred until the next evening. Clergyman, attendants and
intimate friends were notified, and on Friday evening, in the midst of
a small circle of friends, with the elements doing their worst in the
way of rain, this singular courtship culminated in marriage. This I
know to be literally true, as I was one of her bridesmaids, Miss Jayne
(afterwards Mrs. Lyman Trumbull) and Miss Rodney being the others."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Footnote 1: Mr. Charles Lamb, now passing his declining years
quietly on his farm, a dozen miles from Springfield, Illinois, was a
compositor on the "Sangamo Journal" from 1836 to 1843, and it was
he who put into type the poem by "Cathleen," which, with the "Lost
Townships" letters, led General Shields to challenge Lincoln. "This
poem," says Mr. Lamb, "was written by Mary Todd and Julia Jayne,
afterward the wife of Senator Lyman Trumbull. After I had set up the
poem, I took the copy from the hook and put it into my pocket. When
Lincoln was informed by Simeon Francis, the editor of the 'Journal,'
that Shields had demanded the name of the author of the verses, he
came around to the office and asked for the copy. I produced it, and
he picked up a pen and wrote his name across the top of the page.
This, of course, meant that he assumed the responsibility for
the production. I retained this copy until a few years ago, when,
unhappily, it was destroyed. My recollection is that the 'Lost
Townships' letters were set up by Mr. Francis himself. Mr. Lincoln was
a frequent contributor to the 'Journal,' and it usually fell to my lot
to set up his contributions."--_J. McCan Davis._]

[Footnote 2: Interview with Mr. Edward Levis made for this Magazine.]






_Quot homines, tot sententiæ_; so many men, so many fancies. My fancy
was for an island. Perhaps boyhood's glamour hung still round sea-girt
rocks, and "faery lands forlorn" still beckoned me; perhaps I felt
that London was too full, the Highlands rather fuller, the Swiss
mountains most insufferably crowded of them all. "Money can buy
company," and it can buy retirement. The latter service I asked now of
the moderate wealth with which my poor cousin Tom's death had endowed
me. Everybody was good enough to suppose that I rejoiced at Tom's
death, whereas I was particularly sorry for it, and was not consoled
even by the prospects of the island. My friends understood this wish
for an island as little as they appreciated my feelings about poor
Tom. Beatrice was most emphatic in declaring that "a horrid little
island" had no charms for her, and that she would never set foot
in it. This declaration was rather annoying, because I had imagined
myself spending my honeymoon with Beatrice on the island; but life is
not all honeymoon, and I decided to have the island none the less.
In the first place, I was not to be married for a year. Mrs. Kennett
Hipgrave had insisted on this delay in order that we might be sure
that we knew our own hearts. And as I may say without unfairness
that Mrs. Hipgrave was to a considerable degree responsible for the
engagement--she asserted the fact herself with much pride--I thought
that she had a right to some voice in the date of the marriage.
Moreover, the postponement gave me exactly time to go over and settle
affairs in the island.

For I had bought it. It cost me seven thousand five hundred and fifty
pounds--rather a fancy price, but I could not haggle with the old
lord--half to be paid to the lord's bankers in London, and the second
half to him in Neopalia, when he delivered possession to me. The
Turkish government had sanctioned the sale, and I had agreed to pay
a hundred pounds yearly as tribute. This sum, I was entitled, in my
turn, to levy on the inhabitants.

"In fact, my dear lord," said old Mason to me when I called on him in
Lincoln's Inn Fields, "the whole affair is settled. I congratulate you
on having got just what was your whim. You are over a hundred miles
from the nearest land--Rhodes, you see." (He laid a map before me.)
"You are off the steamship tracks; the Austrian Lloyds to Alexandria
leave you far to the northeast. You are equally remote from any
submarine cable; here on the southwest, from Alexandria to Candia, is
the nearest. You will have to fetch your letters--"

"I shouldn't think of doing such a thing," said I, indignantly.

"Then you'll only get them once in three months. Neopalia is extremely
rugged and picturesque. It is nine miles long and five broad; it
grows cotton, wine, oil, and a little corn. The people are quite
unsophisticated, but very good-hearted--"

"And," said I, "there are only three hundred and seventy of them, all
told. I really think I shall do very well there."

"I have no doubt you will. By the way, treat the old gentleman kindly.
He is terribly cut up at having to sell. 'My dear island,' he writes,
'is second to my dead son's honor, and to nothing else.' His son, you
know, Lord Wheatley, was a bad lot, a very bad lot indeed."

"He left a lot of unpaid debts, didn't he?"

"Yes, gambling debts. He spent his time knocking about Paris
and London with his cousin Constantine, by no means an improving
companion, if report speaks truly. And your money is to pay the debts,
you know."

"Poor old chap," said I. I sympathized with him in the loss of his

"Here's the house, you see," said Mason, turning to the map, and
dismissing the sorrows of the old lord of Neopalia. "About the middle
of the island, nearly a thousand feet above the sea. I'm afraid it's a
tumble-down old place, and will swallow a lot of money without looking
much better for the dose. To put it into repair for the reception of
the future Lady Wheatley would cost--"

"The future Lady Wheatley says she won't go there on any account," I

"But, my very dear lord," cried he, aghast, "if she won't--"

"She won't, and there's an end of it, Mr. Mason. Well, good day. I'm
to have possession in a month?"

"In a month to the very day--on the seventh of May."

"All right, I shall be there to take it;" and escaping from the legal
quarter, I made my way to my sister's house in Cavendish Square. She
had a party, and I was bound to go by brotherly duty. As luck would
have it, however, I was rewarded for my virtue (and if that's not
luck in this huddle-muddle world, I don't know what is): the Turkish
ambassador dropped in, and presently James came and took me up to him.
My brother-in-law, James Cardew, is always anxious that I should know
the right people. The pasha received me with great kindness.

"You are the purchaser of Neopalia, aren't you?" he asked, after a
little conversation. "The matter came before me officially."

"I'm much obliged," said I, "for your ready consent to the transfer."

"Oh, it's nothing to us. In fact, our tribute, such as it is, will be
safer. Well, I'm sure I hope you'll settle in comfortably."

"Oh, I shall be all right. I know the Greeks very well, you know; been
there a lot, and, of course, I talk the tongue, because I spent two
years hunting antiquities in the Morea and some of the islands."

The pasha stroked his beard as he observed in a calm tone:

"The last time a Stefanopoulos tried to sell Neopalia the people
killed him, and turned the purchaser--he was a Frenchman, a Baron
d'Ezonville--adrift in an open boat, with nothing on but his shirt."

"Good heavens! Was that recently?"

"No; two hundred years ago. But it's a conservative part of the world,
you know." And his excellency smiled.

"They were described to me as good-hearted folk," said I;
"unsophisticated, of course, but good-hearted."

"They think that the island is theirs, you see," he explained, "and
that the lord has no business to sell it. They may be good-hearted,
Lord Wheatley, but they are tenacious of their rights."

"But they can't have any rights," I expostulated.

"None at all," he assented. "But a man is never so tenacious of his
rights as when he hasn't any. However, _autres temps, autres moeurs_.
I don't suppose you'll have any trouble of that kind. Certainly, I
hope not, my dear lord."

"Surely your government will see to that?" I suggested.

His excellency looked at me; then, although by nature a grave man, he
gave a low, humorous chuckle, and regarded me with visible amusement.

"Oh, of course, you can rely on that, Lord Wheatley," said he.

"That is a diplomatic assurance, your excellency?" I ventured to
suggest, with a smile.

"It is unofficial," said he, "but as binding as if it were official.
Our governor in that part of the world is a very active man--yes, a
decidedly active man."

The only result of this conversation was that, when I was buying my
sporting guns in St. James's Street the next day, I purchased a couple
of pairs of revolvers at the same time. It is well to be on the safe
side; and although I attached little importance to the bygone outrage
of which the ambassador spoke, I did not suppose that the police
service would be very efficient. In fact, I thought it prudent to be
ready for any trouble that the Old World notions of the Neopalians
might occasion. But in my heart I meant to be very popular with them;
for I cherished the generous design of paying the whole tribute out of
my own pocket, and of disestablishing in Neopalia what seems to be
the only institution in no danger of such treatment here--the
tax-gatherer. If they understood that intention of mine, they would
hardly be so shortsighted as to set me adrift in my shirt like
a second Baron d'Ezonville, or so unjust as to kill poor old
Stefanopoulos as they had killed his ancestor. Besides, as I comforted
myself by repeating, they were a good-hearted race; unsophisticated,
of course, but thoroughly good-hearted.

My cousin, young Denny Swinton, was to dine with me that evening at
the Optimum. Denny (which is short for Dennis) was the only member of
the family who thoroughly sympathized with me about Neopalia. He was
wild with interest in the island, and I looked forward to telling him
all I had heard about it. I knew he would listen, for he was to go
with me and help me to take possession. The boy had almost wept on my
neck when I asked him to come; he had just left Woolwich, and was not
to join his regiment for six months. He was thus, as he put it, "at a
loose end," and succeeded in persuading his parents that he ought to
learn modern Greek. General Swinton was rather cold about the project;
he said that Denny had spent ten years on ancient Greek, and knew
nothing about it, and would not probably learn much of the newer sort
in three months; but his wife thought it would be a nice trip for
Denny. Well, it turned out to be a very nice trip for Denny; but if
Mrs. Swinton had known--however, if it comes to that, I might just as
well exclaim, "If I had known, myself!"

Denny had taken a table next but one to the west end of the room, and
was drumming his fingers impatiently on the cloth when I entered. He
wanted both his dinner and the latest news about Neopalia; so I sat
down and made haste to satisfy him in both respects. Travelling with
equal steps through the two matters, we had reached the first _entrée_
and the fate of the murdered Stefanopoulos (which Denny, for some
reason, declared was "a lark") when two people came in and sat down at
the table beyond ours and next to the wall, where two chairs had been
tilted up in token of preëngagement. The man--for the pair were man
and woman--was tall and powerfully built; his complexion was dark, and
he had good, regular features; he looked, also, as if he had a bit of
temper somewhere about him. I was conscious of having seen him before,
and suddenly recollected that by a curious chance I had run up against
him twice in St. James's Street that very day. The lady was handsome;
she had an Italian cast of face, and moved with much grace. Her manner
was rather elaborate, and when she spoke to the waiter, I detected a
pronounced foreign accent. Taken altogether, they were a remarkable
couple, and presented a distinguished appearance. I believe I am not
a conceited man, but I could not help wondering whether their thoughts
paid me a similar compliment, for I certainly detected both of them
casting more than one curious glance toward our table; and when the
man whispered once to a waiter, I was sure that I formed the subject
of his question. Perhaps he, also, remembered our two encounters.

"I wonder if there's any chance of a row?" said Denny, in a tone that
sounded wistful. "Going to take anybody with you, Charlie?"

"Only Watkins. I must have him; he always knows where everything is;
and I've told Hogvardt, my old dragoman, to meet us in Rhodes. He'll
talk their own language to the beggars, you know."

"But he's a German, isn't he?"

"He thinks so," I answered. "He's not certain, you know. Anyhow, he
chatters Greek like a parrot. He's a pretty good man in a row, too.
But there won't be a row, you know."

"I suppose there won't," admitted Denny, ruefully.

"For my own part," said I meekly, "as I'm going there to be quiet, I
hope there won't."

In the interest of conversation I had forgotten our neighbors; but
now, a lull occurring in Denny's questions and surmises, I heard the
lady's voice. She began a sentence--and began it in Greek! That was a
little unexpected; but it was more strange that her companion cut her
short, saying very peremptorily, "Don't talk Greek; talk Italian."
This he said in Italian, and I, though no great hand at that language,
understood so much. Now why shouldn't the lady talk Greek, if Greek
were the language that came naturally to her tongue? It would be
as good a shield against idle listeners as most languages--unless,
indeed, I, who was known to be an amateur of Greece and Greek things,
were looked upon as a possible listener. Recollecting the glances
which I had detected, recollecting again those chance meetings, I
ventured on a covert gaze at the lady. Her handsome face expressed a
mixture of anger, alarm, and entreaty. The man was speaking to her now
in low, urgent tones; he raised his hand once and brought it down
on the table as though to emphasize some declaration--perhaps some
promise--which he was making. She regarded him with half angry,
distrustful eyes. He seemed to repeat his words; and she flung at
him, in a tone that suddenly grew louder, and in words that I could
translate: "Enough! I'll see to that. I shall come too!"

Her heat stirred no answering fire in him. He dropped his emphatic
manner, shrugged a tolerant "As you will," with eloquent shoulders,
smiled at her, and, reaching across the table, patted her hand. She
held it up before his eyes, and with the other hand pointed at a ring
on her finger.

"Yes, yes, my dearest," said he; and he was about to say more, when,
glancing round, he caught my gaze retreating in hasty confusion to
my plate. I dared not look up again, but I felt his scowl on me. I
suppose that I deserved punishment for my eavesdropping.

"And when can we get off, Charlie?" asked Denny, in his clear young
voice. My thoughts had wandered from him, and I paused for a moment,
as a man does when a question takes him unawares. There was silence
at the next table also. The fancy seemed absurd; but it occurred to me
that there also my answer was being waited for. Well, they could know
if they liked; it was no secret.

"In a fortnight," said I. "We'll travel easily, and get thereon the
seventh of next month; that's the day on which I'm entitled to take
over my kingdom. We shall go to Rhodes. Hogvardt will have bought me a
little yacht, and then--good-by to all this!" And a great longing
for solitude and a natural life came over me as I looked round on the
gilded cornices, the gilded mirrors, the gilded flower-vases, and the
highly gilded company of the Optimum.

I was roused from my pleasant dream by a high, vivacious voice, which
I knew very well. Looking up, I saw Miss Hipgrave, her mother, and
young Bennett Hamlyn standing before me. I disliked young Hamlyn, but
he was always very civil to me.

"Why, how early you two have dined!" cried Beatrice. "You're at the
savory, aren't you? We've only just come."

"Are you going to dine?" I asked, rising. "Take this table; we're just

"Well, we may as well, mayn't we?" said my _fiancée_. "Sorry you're
going though. Oh, yes, we're going to dine with Mr. Bennett
Hamlyn. That's what you're for, isn't it, Mr. Hamlyn? Why, he's not

He was not, strange to say, listening, although, as a rule, he
listened to Beatrice with infinite attention and the most deferential
of smiles. But just now he was engaged in returning a bow which our
neighbor at the next table had bestowed on him. The lady there had
risen already, and was making for the door. The man lingered and
looked at Hamlyn, seeming inclined to back up his bow with a few
words of greeting. Hamlyn's air was not, however, encouraging, and the
stranger contented himself with a nod and a careless "How are you?"
and with that followed his companion. Hamlyn turned round, conscious
that he had neglected Beatrice's remark, and full of penitence for his
momentary neglect.

"I beg your pardon," said he, with an apologetic smile.

"Oh," answered she, "I was only saying that men like you were invented
to give dinners; you're a sort of automatic feeding-machine. You ought
to stand open all day. Really, I often miss you at lunch time."

"My dear Beatrice!" said Mrs. Kennett Hipgrave, with that peculiar
lift of her brows that meant, "How naughty the dear child is! Oh, but
how clever!"

"It's all right," said Hamlyn, meekly. "I'm awfully happy to give you
a dinner, anyhow, Miss Beatrice."

Now, I had nothing to say on this subject, but I thought I would just
make this remark:

"Miss Hipgrave," said I, "is very fond of a dinner."

Beatrice laughed. She understood my little correction.

"He doesn't know any better, do you?" said she, pleasantly, to Hamlyn.
"We shall civilize him in time, though. Then I believe he'll be nicer
than you, Charlie. I really do. You're--"

"I shall be uncivilized by then," said I.

"Oh, that wretched island!" cried Beatrice. "You're really going?"

"Most undoubtedly. By the way, Hamlyn, who's your friend?"

Surely this was an innocent enough question; but little Hamlyn went
red from the edge of his clipped whisker on the right to the edge of
his mathematically equal whisker on the left.

"Friend!" said he, in an angry tone. "He's not a friend of mine. I
only met him on the Riviera."

"That," I admitted, "does not, happily, constitute in itself a

"And he won a hundred louis of me in the train between Cannes and
Monte Carlo."

"Not bad going, that," observed Denny, in an approving tone.

"Is he, then, _un grec_?" asked Mrs. Hipgrave, who loves a scrap of

"In both senses, I believe," answered Hamlyn, viciously.

"And what's his name?" said I.

"Really, I don't recollect," said Hamlyn, rather petulantly.

"It doesn't matter," observed Beatrice, attacking her oysters, which
had now made their appearance.

"My dear Beatrice," I remonstrated, "you are the most charming
creature in the world, but not the only one. You mean that it doesn't
matter to you."

"Oh, don't be tiresome. It doesn't matter to you, either, you know. Do
go away, and leave me to dine in peace."

"Half a minute," said Hamlyn. "I thought I'd got it just now, but it's
gone again. Look here, though; I believe it's one of those long things
that end in 'poulos.'"

"Oh, it ends in 'poulos,' does it?" said I, in a meditative tone.

"My dear Charlie," said Beatrice, "I shall end in Bedlam, if you're so
very tedious. What in the world I shall do when I'm married, I don't

"My dearest!" said Mrs. Hipgrave; and a stage direction might add:
"Business with brows, as before."

"'Poulos'?" I repeated.

"Could it be Constantinopoulos?" asked Hamlyn, with a nervous
deference to my Hellenic learning.

"It might, conceivably," I hazarded, "be Constantine Stefanopoulos."

"Then," said Hamlyn, "I shouldn't wonder if it was. Anyhow, the less
you see of him, Wheatley, the better. Take my word for that."

"But," I objected--and I must admit that I have a habit of thinking
that everybody follows my train of thought--"it's such a small place
that, if he goes, I should be almost bound to meet him."

"What's such a small place?" cried Beatrice, with emphasized despair.

"Why, Neopalia, of course," said I.

"Why should anybody except you be so insane as to go there?" she

"If he's the man I think, he comes from there," I explained, as I rose
for the last time; for I had been getting up to go, and sitting down
again, several times.

"Then he'll think twice before he goes back," pronounced Beatrice,
decisively; she was irreconcilable about my poor island.

Denny and I walked off together. As we went he observed:

"I suppose that chap's got no end of money?"

"Stefan--?" I began.

"No, no. Hang it, you're as bad as Miss Hipgrave says. I mean Bennett

"Oh, yes, absolutely no end to it, I believe."

Denny looked sagacious.

"He's very free with his dinners," he observed.

"Don't let's worry about it," I suggested, taking his arm. I was not
worried about it myself. Indeed, for the moment, my island monopolized
my mind, and my attachment to Beatrice was not of such a romantic
character as to make me ready to be jealous on slight grounds. Mrs.
Hipgrave said the engagement was based on "general suitability." Now
it is difficult to be very passionate over that.

"If you don't mind, I don't," said Denny, reasonably.

"That's right. It's only a little way Beatrice--" I stopped abruptly.
We were now on the steps outside the restaurant, and I had just
perceived a scrap of paper lying on the mosaic pavement. I stooped
down and picked it up. It proved to be a fragment torn from the menu
card. I turned it over.

"Hullo, what's this?" said I, searching for my eyeglass, which was, as
usual, somewhere in the small of my back.

Denny gave me the glass, and I read what was written on the back. It
was written in Greek, and it ran thus:

"By way of Rhodes--small yacht there--arrive seventh."

I turned the piece of paper over in my hand. I drew a conclusion or
two. One was that my tall neighbor was named Stefanopoulos; another,
that he had made good use of his ears--better than I had made of mine;
for a third, I guessed that he would go to Neopalia; for a fourth, I
fancied that Neopalia was the place to which the lady had declared
she would accompany him. Then I fell to wondering why all these things
should be so--why he wished to remember the route of my journey,
the date of my arrival, and the fact that I meant to hire a yacht.
Finally, those two chance encounters, taken with the rest, assumed a
more interesting complexion.

"When you've done with that bit of paper," observed Denny, in a tone
expressive of exaggerated patience, "we might as well go on, old

"All right. I've done with it--for the present," said I. And I took
the liberty of slipping Mr. Constantine Stefanopoulos's memorandum
into my pocket.

The general result of the evening was to increase most distinctly my
interest in Neopalia. I went to bed, still thinking of my purchase,
and I recollect that the last thing which came into my head before I
went to sleep was, "What did she mean by pointing to the ring?"

Well, I found an answer to that later on.



Until the moment of our parting came, I had no idea that Beatrice
Hipgrave felt my going at all. She was not in the habit of displaying
emotion, and I was much surprised at the reluctance with which she
separated from me. So far, however, was she from reproaching me,
that she took all the blame upon herself, saying that if she had been
kinder and nicer to me, I should never have thought about my island.
In this she was quite wrong; but when I told her so, and assured her
that I had no fault to find with her behavior, I was met by an almost
passionate assertion of her unworthiness, and an entreaty that I
should not spend on her a love that she did not deserve. Her abasement
and penitence compelled me to show, and indeed to feel, a good deal
of tenderness for her. She was pathetic and pretty in her unusual
earnestness and unexplained distress. I went the length of offering
to put off my expedition until after our wedding; and, although she
besought me to do nothing of the kind, I believe we might in the end
have arranged matters on this footing had we been left to ourselves.
But Mrs. Hipgrave saw fit to intrude on our interview at this point,
and she at once pooh-poohed the notion, declaring that I should be
better out of the way for a few months. Beatrice did not resist her
mother's conclusion; but when we were alone again, she became very
agitated, begging me always to think well of her, and asking if I were
really attached to her. I did not understand this mood, which was very
unlike her usual manner, but I responded with a hearty and warm avowal
of confidence in her; and I met her questions as to my own feelings
by pledging my word very solemnly that absence should, so far as I was
concerned, make no difference, and that she might rely implicitly on
my faithful affection. This assurance seemed to give her very little
comfort, although I repeated it more than once; and when I left her, I
was in a state of some perplexity, for I could not follow the bent
of her thoughts, nor appreciate the feelings that moved her. I was,
however, considerably touched, and upbraided myself for not having
hitherto done justice to the depth and sincerity of nature which
underlay her external frivolity. I expressed this self-condemnation to
Denny Swinton, but he met it very coldly, and would not be drawn
into any discussion of the subject. Denny was not wont to conceal
his opinions, and had never pretended to be enthusiastic about my
engagement. This attitude of his had not troubled me before, but I was
annoyed at it now, and I retaliated by asseverating my affection for
Beatrice in terms of even exaggerated emphasis, and her's for me with
no less vehemence.

These troubles and perplexities vanished before the zest and interest
which our preparations and start excited. Denny and I were like a pair
of schoolboys off for a holiday, and spent hours in forecasting what
we should do and how we should fare in the island. These speculations
were extremely amusing, but in the long run they were proved to be,
one and all, wide of the mark. Had I known Neopalia then as well as
I came to know it afterward, I should have recognized the futility of
attempting to prophesy what would happen there. As it was, we spun our
cobwebs merrily all the way to Rhodes, where we arrived without event
and without accident. There we picked up Hogvardt, and embarked in the
smart little steam yacht which he had hired for me. A day or two was
spent in arranging our stores and buying what more we wanted, for we
could not expect to be able to procure anything in Neopalia. I was
rather surprised to find no letter for me from the old lord, but I had
no thought of waiting for a formal invitation, and pressed on the hour
of departure as much as I could. Here, also, I saw the first of my new
subjects, Hogvardt having engaged a couple of men who had come to him,
saying they were from Neopalia and were anxious to work their passage
back. I was delighted to have them, and fell at once to studying them
with immense attention. They were fine, tall, capable-looking fellows,
and they, too, with ourselves, made a crew more than large enough for
our little boat; for both Denny and I would make ourselves useful on
board, and Hogvardt could do something of everything on land or water,
whilst Watkins acted as cook and steward. The Neopalians were, as they
stated, in answer to my questions, brothers; their names were Spiro
and Demetri, and they informed us that their family had served the
lords of Neopalia for many generations. Hearing this, I was less
inclined to resent the undeniable reserve and even surliness with
which they met my advances. I made allowance for their hereditary
attachment to the outgoing family; and their natural want of
cordiality toward the intruder did not prevent me from plying them
with many questions concerning my predecessors on the throne of the
island. My perseverance was ill rewarded, but I succeeded in learning
that the only member of the family on the island, besides the old
lord, was a girl whom they called "the Lady Euphrosyne," the daughter
of the lord's brother, who was dead. Next I asked after my friend of
the Optimum restaurant, Constantine. He was this lady's cousin once
or twice removed--I did not make out the exact degree of kinship--but
Demetri hastened to inform me that he came very seldom to the island,
and had not been there for two years.

"And he is not expected there now?" I asked.

"He was not when we left, my lord," answered Demetri, and it seemed
to me that he threw an inquiring glance at his brother, who added

"What should we poor men know of the Lord Constantine's doings?"

"Do you know where he is now?" I asked.

"No, my lord," they answered together, and with great emphasis.

I cannot deny that something struck me as peculiar in their manner,
but when I mentioned my impression to Denny, he scoffed at me.

"You've been reading old Byron again," he said, scornfully. "Do you
think they're corsairs?"

Well, a man is not a fool simply because he reads Byron, and I
maintained my opinion that the brothers were embarrassed at my
questions. Moreover, I caught Spiro, the more truculent-looking of the
pair, scowling at me more than once when he did not know I had my eye
on him.

These little mysteries, however, did nothing but add sauce to my
delight as we sprang over the blue waters; and my joy was complete
when, on the morning of the day I had appointed, the seventh of May,
Denny cried "Land," and, looking over the starboard bow, I saw the
cloud on the sea that was Neopalia. Day came bright and glorious, and
as we drew nearer to our enchanted isle, we distinguished its features
and conformation. The coast was rocky, save where a small harbor
opened to the sea; and the rocks ran up from the coast, rising higher
and higher, till they culminated in a quite respectable peak in the
centre. The telescope showed cultivated ground and vineyards, mingled
with woods, on the slopes of the mountain; and about half way up,
sheltered on three sides, backed by thick woods, and commanding a
splendid sea view, stood an old, gray, battlemented house.

"There's my house!" I cried, in natural exultation, pointing with my
finger. It was a moment in my life--a moment to mark.

"Hurrah!" cried Denny, throwing up his hat in sympathy.

Demetri was standing near, and met this ebullition with a grim smile.

"I hope my lord will find the house comfortable," said he.

"We shall soon make it comfortable," said Hogvardt. "I dare say it's
half a ruin now."

"It is good enough now for a Stefanopoulos," said the fellow, with
a surly frown. The inference we were meant to draw was plain even to

At five o'clock in the evening we entered the harbor of Neopalia and
brought up alongside a rather crazy wooden jetty that ran some
fifty feet out from the shore. Our arrival appeared to create great
excitement. Men, women, and children came running down the narrow,
steep street which climbed up the hill from the harbor. We heard
shrill cries, and a hundred fingers were pointed at us. We landed;
nobody came forward to greet us. I looked round, and saw no one who
could be the old lord; but I perceived a stout man who wore an air of
importance, and, walking up to him, I asked him very politely if he
would be so good as to direct me to the inn, for I had discovered from
Demetri that there was a modest house where we could lodge that night,
and I was too much in love with my island to think of sleeping on
board the yacht. The stout man looked at Denny and me; then he looked
at Demetri and Spiro, who stood near us, smiling their usual grim
smile. And he answered my question by another, a rather abrupt one:
"What do you want, sir?" And he slightly lifted his tasselled cap and
replaced it on his head.

"I want to know the way to the inn," I answered.

"You have come to visit Neopalia?" he asked.

A number of people had gathered round us now, and all fixed their eyes
on my face.

"Oh," I said carelessly, "I am the purchaser of the island, you know.
I have come to take possession."

Nobody spoke. Perfect silence reigned for half a minute.

"I hope we shall get on well together," I said, with my pleasantest

Still no answer came. The people round still stared.

At last the stout man, altogether ignoring my friendly advances, said,

"I keep the inn. Come. I will take you to it."

He turned and led the way up the street. We followed, the people
making a lane for us, and still regarding us with stony stares. Denny
gave expression to my feelings, as well as his own:

"It can hardly be described as an ovation," he observed.

"Surly brutes," muttered Hogvardt.

"It is not the way to receive his lordship," agreed Watkins, more in
sorrow than in anger. Watkins had very high ideas of the deference due
to "his lordship."

The fat innkeeper walked ahead. I quickened my pace and overtook him.

"The people do not seem very pleased to see me," I remarked.

He shook his head, but made no answer. Then he stopped before a
substantial house. We followed him in, and he led us up-stairs to a
large room. It overlooked the street, but, somewhat to my surprise,
the windows were heavily barred. The door also was massive, and had
large bolts inside and out.

"You take good care of your houses, my friend," said Denny, with a

"We like to keep what we have, in Neopalia," said he.

I asked him if he would provide us with a meal, and, assenting
gruffly, he left us alone. The food was some time in coming, and we
stood at the window, peering through our prison bars. Our high spirits
were dashed by the unfriendly reception; my island should have been
more gracious, it was so beautiful.

"However, it's a better welcome than we should have got two hundred
years ago," I said, with a laugh, trying to make the best of the

Dinner, which the landlord brought in himself, cheered us again, and
we lingered over it till dusk began to fall, discussing whether I
ought to visit the lord, or whether, seeing that he had not come to
receive me, my dignity did not demand that I should await his visit;
and it was on this latter course that we finally decided.

"But he'll hardly come to-night," said Denny, jumping up. "I wonder if
there are any decent beds here!"

Hogvardt and Watkins had, by my directions, sat down with us; and the
former was now smoking his pipe at the window, while Watkins was busy
overhauling our luggage. We had brought light bags, the rods, guns,
and other smaller articles. The rest was in the yacht. Hearing beds
mentioned, Watkins shook his head in dismal presage, saying:

"We had better sleep on board, my lord."

"Not I! What, leave the island, now we've got here? No, Watkins!"

"Very good, my lord," said Watkins, impassively.

A sudden call came from Hogvardt, and I joined him at the window.

The scene outside was indeed remarkable. In the narrow, paved street,
gloomy now in the failing light; there must have been fifty or sixty
men standing in a circle, surrounded by an outer fringe of women
and children; and in the centre stood our landlord, his burly figure
swaying to and fro, as he poured out a low-voiced but vehement
harangue. Sometimes he pointed toward us, oftener along the ascending
road that led to the interior. I could not hear a word he said, but
presently all his auditors raised their hands toward heaven. I saw
that the hands held, some guns, some clubs, some knives; and all the
men cried with furious energy: "_Nai, nai!_" ("Yes, yes!") And then
the whole body--and the greater part of the grown men on the island
must have been present--started off, in compact array, up the road,
the innkeeper at their head. By his side walked another man, whom I
had not noticed before, and who wore an ordinary suit of tweeds, but
carried himself with an assumption of much dignity. His face I did not

"Well, what's the meaning of that?" I exclaimed, looking down on the
street, empty now, save for groups of white-clothed women, who talked
eagerly to one another, gesticulating, and pointing now toward our
inn, now toward where the men had gone.

"Perhaps it's their parliament," suggested Denny. "Or perhaps they've
repented of their rudeness, and are going to erect a triumphal arch."

These conjectures being obviously ironical, did not assist the matter,
although they amused their author.

"Anyhow," said I, "I should like to investigate the thing. Suppose we
go for a stroll?"

The proposal was accepted at once. We put on our hats, took sticks,
and prepared to go. Then I glanced at the luggage.

"Since I was so foolish as to waste my money on revolvers," said I,
with an inquiring glance at Hogvardt.

"The evening air will not hurt them," said he; and we each stowed
a revolver in our pockets. We felt, I think, rather ashamed of our
timidity, but the Neopalians certainly looked rough customers. Then I
turned the handle of the door. The door did not open. I pulled hard at
it. Then I looked at my companions.

"Queer," said Denny, and he began to whistle.

Hogvardt got the little lantern, which he always had handy, and
carefully inspected the door.

"Locked," he announced, "and bolted top and bottom. A solid door,
too!" and he struck it with his hand. Then he crossed to the window,
and looked at the bolts; and finally he said to me: "I don't think we
can have our walk, my lord."

Well, I burst out laughing. The thing was too absurd. Under cover of
our animated talk the landlord must have bolted us in. The bars made
the window no use. A skilled burglar might have beaten those bolts,
and a battering-ram would, no doubt, have smashed the door; we had
neither burglar nor ram.

"We are caught, my boy," said Denny. "Nicely caught. But what's the

I had asked myself that question already, but had found no answer. To
tell the truth, I was wondering whether Neopalia was going to turn out
as conservative a country as the Turkish ambassador had hinted. It was
Watkins who suggested an answer.

"I imagine, my lord," said he, "that the natives [Watkins always
called the Neopalians "natives"] have gone to speak to the gentleman
who sold the island to your lordship."

"Gad!" said Denny, "I hope it will be a pleasant interview."

Hogvardt's broad, good-humored face had assumed an anxious look. He
knew something about the people of these islands; so did I.

"Trouble, is it?" I asked him.

"I'm afraid so," he answered; and then we turned to the window
again, except Denny, who wasted some energy and made a useless din by
battering at the door, till we beseeched him to let it alone.

There we sat for nearly two hours. Darkness fell, the women had ceased
their gossiping, but still stood about the street, and in the doorways
of the house.

It was nine o'clock before matters showed any progress. Then came
shouts from the road above us, the flash of torches, the tread of
men's feet in a quick, triumphant march. Then the stalwart figures of
the picturesque fellows, with their white kilts gleaming through the
darkness, came again into sight, seeming wilder and more imposing
in the alternating glare and gloom of the torches and the deepening
night. The man in tweeds was no longer visible. Our innkeeper
was alone in front. And all, as they marched, sang loudly a rude,
barbarous sort of chant, repeating it again and again; and the women
and children crowded out to meet the men, catching up the refrain in
shrill voices, till the whole air seemed full of it. And so martial
and inspiring was the rude tune that our feet began to beat in time
with it, and I felt the blood quicken in my veins. I have tried to
put the words of it into English, in a shape as rough, I fear, as the
rough original. Here it is:

  "Ours is the land!
  Death to the hand
  That filches the land!
  Dead is that hand,
  Ours is the land!
  Forever we hold it.
  Dead's he that sold it!
  Ours is the land.
  Dead is the hand!"

Again and again they hurled forth the defiant words, until they
stopped at last opposite the inn, with one final, long-drawn shout of
savage triumph.

"Well, this is a go!" said Denny, drawing a long breath. "What are the
beggars up to?"

"What have they been up to?" I asked; for I doubted not that the song
we had heard had been chanted over a dead Stefanopoulos two hundred
years before.

At this age of the world the idea seemed absurd, preposterous,
horrible. But there was no law nearer than Rhodes, and there only
Turk's law. The only law here was the law of the Stefanopouloi, and if
that law lost its force by the crime of the hand that should wield it,
why, strange things might happen even to-day in Neopalia. And we were
caught like rats in a trap in the inn!

"I do not see," remarked old Hogvardt, laying a hand on my shoulders,
"any harm in loading our revolvers, my lord."

I did not see any harm in it either, and we all followed Hogvardt's
advice, and also filled our pockets with cartridges. I was
determined--I think we were all determined--not to be bullied by these
islanders and their skull-and-crossbones ditty.

A quarter of an hour passed, and there came a knock at the door, while
the bolts were shot back.

"I shall go out," said I, springing to my feet.

The door opened, and the face of a lad appeared.

"Vlacho, the innkeeper, bids you descend," said he; and then, catching
sight, perhaps, of our revolvers, he turned and ran down-stairs again
at his best speed. Following him, we came to the door of the inn. It
was ringed round with men, and directly opposite to us stood Vlacho.
When he saw me, he commanded silence with his hand, and addressed me
in the following surprising style:

"The Lady Euphrosyne, of her grace, bids you depart in peace. Go,
then, to your boat, and depart, thanking God for his mercy."

"Wait a bit, my man," said I. "Where is the lord of the island?"

"Did you not know that he died a week ago?" asked Vlacho, with
apparent surprise.

"Died!" we exclaimed, one and all.

"Yes, sir. The Lady Euphrosyne, lady of Neopalia, bids you go."

"What did he die of?"

"Of a fever," said Vlacho, gravely. And several of the men round him
nodded their heads, and murmured, in no less grave assent: "Yes, of a

"I am very sorry for it," said I. "But as he sold the island to me
before he died, I don't see what the lady, with all respect to her,
has got to do with it. Nor do I know what this rabble is doing about
the door. Send them away."

This attempt at hauteur was most decidedly thrown away. Vlacho seemed
not to hear what I said. He pointed with his finger toward the harbor.

"There lies your boat. Demetri and Spiro cannot go with you, but you
will be able to manage her yourselves. Listen, now! Till six in the
morning you are free to go. If you are found in Neopalia one minute
after, you will never go. Think and be wise." And he and all the rest
of them, as though one spring moved them, wheeled round, and marched
off up the hill again, breaking out into the old chant when they had
gone about a hundred yards; and we were left alone in the doorway of
the inn, looking, I must admit, rather blank.

Up-stairs again we went, and I sat down by the window and looked
out on the night. It was very dark, and seemed darker now that the
gleaming torches were gone. Not a soul was to be seen. The islanders,
having put matters on a clear footing, were gone to bed. I sat
thinking. Presently Denny came to me, and put his hand on my shoulder.

"Going to cave in, Charlie?" he asked.

"My dear Denny," said I, "I wish you were at home with your mother."

He smiled and repeated, "Going to cave in, old chap?"

"No, by Jove, I'm not!" cried I, leaping up. "They've had my money,
and I'm going to have the island."

"Take the yacht, my lord," counselled Hogvardt, "and come back with
enough force from Rhodes."

Well, that was sense; my impulse was nonsense. We four could not
conquer the island. I swallowed my pride.

"So be it," said I. "But, look here; it's only just twelve. We might
have a look round before we go. I want to see the place, you know."
For I was very sorely vexed at being turned out of my island.

Hogvardt grumbled a little at this, but here I overruled him. We took
our revolvers again, left the inn, and struck straight up the road.
For nearly a mile we mounted, the way becoming steeper with every
step. Then there was a sudden turn off the main road.

"That will lead to the house," said Hogvardt, who had studied the map
of Neopalia very carefully.

"Then we'll have a look at the house. Show us a light, Hogvardt. It's
precious dark."

Hogvardt opened his lantern, and cast its light in the way. But
suddenly he extinguished it again, and drew us close in to the rocks
that edged the road. We saw coming toward us in the darkness two
figures. They rode small horses. Their faces could not be seen; but as
they passed our silent, motionless forms, one said in a clear, sweet,
girlish voice:

"Surely they will go?"

"Ay, they'll go, or pay the penalty," said the other voice, and at
the sound of it I started. For it was the voice of my neighbor in the
restaurant, Constantine Stefanopoulos.

"I shall be near at hand, sleeping in the town," said the girl's
voice, "and the people will listen to me."

"The people will kill them, if they do not go," we heard Constantine
answer, in tones that witnessed no great horror at the idea. Then the
couple disappeared in the darkness.

"On to the house!" I cried in sudden excitement. For I was angry now,
angry at the utter, humbling scorn with which they treated me.

Another ten minutes' groping brought us in front of the old gray house
which we had seen from the sea. We walked boldly up to it. The door
stood open. We went in, and found ourselves in a large hall. The
wooden floor was carpeted, here and there, with mats and skins. A
long table ran down the middle. The walls were decorated with mediæval
armor and weapons. The windows were but narrow slits, the walls
massive and deep. The door was a ponderous, iron-bound affair, that
shamed even the stout doors of our inn. I called loudly, "Is any one
here?" Nobody answered. The servants must have been drawn off to the
town by the excitement of the procession and the singing; or perhaps
there were no servants. I could not tell. I sat down in a large
armchair by the table. I enjoyed the sense of proprietorship. Denny
sat on the table by me, dangling his legs. For a long while none of us
spoke. Then I exclaimed, suddenly:

"By heaven! why shouldn't we see it through?" And I rose and put my
hands against the massive door, and closed and bolted it, saying, "Let
them open that at six o'clock in the morning."

"Hurrah!" cried Denny, leaping down from his table, on fire with
excitement in a moment.

I faced Hogvardt. He shook his head, but he smiled. Watkins stood by,
with his usual imperturbability. He wanted to know what his lordship
decided, that was all; and when I said nothing more, he asked:

"Then your lordship will sleep here to-night?"

"I'll stay here to-night, anyhow, Watkins," said I. "I'm not going to
be driven out of my own island by anybody!"

And I brought my fist down with a crash on the table. And then, to our
amazement, we heard--from somewhere in the dark recesses of the hall,
where the faint light of Hogvardt's lantern did not reach--a low, but
distinct, groan, as of some one in pain. Watkins shuddered; Hogvardt
looked rather uncomfortable; Denny and I listened eagerly. Again the
groan came. I seized the lantern from Hogvardt's hand, and rushed in
the direction of the sound. There, in the corner of the hall, on
a couch, covered with a rug, lay an old man in an uneasy attitude,
groaning now and then, and turning restlessly. And by his side sat an
old serving-woman in weary, heavy slumber. In a moment I guessed the
truth--part of the truth.

"He's not dead of that fever yet," said I.



I looked for a moment on the old man's pale, clean-cut, aristocratic
face; then I shook his attendant vigorously by the arm. She awoke with
a start.

"What does this mean?" I demanded. "Who is he?"

"Heaven help us, who are you?" she cried, leaping up in alarm. Indeed,
we four, with our eager, fierce faces, may have looked disquieting

"I am Lord Wheatley; these are my friends," I answered in brisk, sharp

"What, it is you, then--?" A wondering gaze ended her question.

"Yes, yes, it is I. I have bought the island. We came out for a walk

"But he will kill you, if he finds you here."

"He? Who?"

"Ah, pardon, my lord--they will kill you, they--the people--the men of
the island."

I gazed at her sternly. She shrank back in confusion. And I spoke at a
venture, yet in a well-grounded hazard:

"You mean that Constantine Stefanopoulos will kill me?"

"Ah, hush!" she cried. "He may be here! He may be anywhere!"

"He may thank his stars he's not here," said I grimly, for my blood
was up. "Attend, woman! Who is this?"

"It is the lord of the island, my lord," she answered. "Alas, and
he is wounded, I fear, to death. And yet I fell asleep. But I was so

"Wounded--by whom?"

Her face suddenly became vacant and expressionless.

"I do not know, my lord. It happened in the crowd. It was a mistake.
My dear lord had yielded what they asked. Yet some one--no, by heaven,
my lord, I do not know whom--stabbed him! And he cannot live."

"Tell me the whole thing," I commanded.

"They came up here, my lord, all of them--Vlacho and all, and with
them my Lord Constantine. And the Lady Euphrosyne was away; she is
often away, down on the rocks by the sea, watching the waves. And they
came and said that a man had landed who claimed our island as his--a
man of your name, my lord. And when my dear lord said he had sold the
island to save the honor of his house and race, they were furious, and
Vlacho raised the death chant that One-eyed Alexander the Bard wrote
on the death of Stefan Stefanopoulos long ago. And they came near with
knives, demanding that my dear lord should send away the stranger; for
the men of Neopalia were not to be bought and sold like bullocks or
like pigs. At first my lord would not yield; and they swore they would
kill the stranger and my lord also. Then they pressed closer. Vlacho
was hard on him with drawn knife, and the Lord Constantine stood by
him, praying him to yield, and Constantine drew his own knife, saying
to Vlacho that he must fight him also before he killed the old lord.
But at that Vlacho smiled--and then--and then--ah, my dear lord!"

For a moment her voice broke, and sobs supplanted words. But she drew
herself up, and, after a glance at the old man, whom her vehement
speech had not availed to waken, she went on:

"And then those behind cried out that there was enough talk. Would he
yield or would he die? And they rushed forward, pressing the nearest
against him. And he, an old man, frail and feeble--yet once he was
as brave a man as any--cried, in his weak tones: 'Enough, friends, I
yield; I--' And they fell back. But my lord stood for an instant; then
he set his hand to his side, and swayed and tottered and fell, and the
blood ran from his side. And the Lord Constantine fell on his knees
beside him, crying: 'Who stabbed him?' And Vlacho smiled grimly, and
the others looked at one another. And I, who had run out from the
doorway whence I had seen it all, knelt by my lord and stanched the
blood. Then Vlacho said, fixing his eyes straight and keen on the Lord
Constantine, 'It was not I, my lord,' 'Nor I, by heaven!' cried the
Lord Constantine; and he rose to his feet, demanding: 'Who struck the
blow?' But none answered, and he went on: 'Nay, if it were in error,
if it were because he would not yield, speak! There shall be pardon,'
But Vlacho, hearing this, turned himself round and faced them all,
saying: 'Did he not sell us like oxen and like pigs?' and he broke
into the death chant, and they all raised the chant, none caring any
more who had struck the blow. And Lord Constantine--" The impetuous
flow of the old woman's story was frozen to sudden silence.

"Well, and Lord Constantine?" said I, in low, stern tones, that
quivered with excitement; and I felt Denny's hand, that was on my arm,
jump up and down. "And Constantine, woman?"

"Nay, he did nothing," said she. "He talked with Vlacho a while, and
then they went away, and he bade me tend my lord, and went himself
to seek the Lady Euphrosyne. And presently he came back with her. Her
eyes were red, and she wept afresh when she saw my poor lord, for she
loved him. And she sat by him till Constantine came and told her that
you would not go, and that you and your friends would be killed if
you did not go. And then, weeping to leave my lord, she went, praying
heaven she might find him alive when she returned. 'I must go,' she
said to me; 'for though it is a shameful thing that the island should
have been sold, yet these men must be persuaded to go away and not
meet death. Kiss him for me if he awakes.' Thus she went, and left
me with my lord, and I fear he will die." And she ended in a burst of

For a moment there was silence. Then I said again:

"Who struck the blow, woman? Who struck the blow?"

She shrank from me as though I had struck her. "I do not know, I do
not know," she moaned.

Then a thing happened that seemed strange and awful in the gloomy,
dark hall. For the stricken man opened his eyes, his lips moved, and
he groaned: "Constantine! You, Constantine!" and the old woman's eyes
met mine for a moment, and fell to the ground again.

"Why--why, Constantine?" moaned the wounded man. "I had yielded--I had
yielded, Constantine. I would have sent them--" His words ceased, his
eyes closed, his lips met again, but met only to part. A moment later
his jaw dropped. The old lord of Neopalia was dead.

Then I, carried away by anger and by hatred of the man who, for a
reason I did not yet understand, had struck so foul a blow against his
kinsman and an old man, did a thing so rash that it seems to me now,
when I consider it in the cold light of the past, a mad deed. Yet then
I could do nothing else; and Denny's face, aye, and the eyes of the
others, too, told me that they were with me.

"Compose this old man's body," I said, "and we will watch it. And do
you go and tell this Constantine Stefanopoulos that I know his crime,
that I know who struck that blow, and that what I know all men shall
know, and that I will not rest day nor night until he has paid the
penalty of this murder. And tell him I swore this on the honor of an
English gentleman."

"And say I swore it, too!" cried Denny; and Hogvardt and Watkins, not
making bold to speak, ranged up close to me; and I knew that they also
meant what I meant.

The old woman looked at me with searching eyes.

"You are a bold man, my lord," said she.

"I see nothing to be afraid of up to now," said I. "Such courage as
is needed to tell a scoundrel what I think of him, I believe I can

"But he will never let you go now. You would go to Rhodes, and tell
his--tell what you say of him."

"Yes, and farther than Rhodes, if need be. He shall die for it as sure
as I live."

A thousand men might have tried in vain to persuade me; the treachery
of Constantine had fired my heart and driven out all opposing motives.

"Do as I bid you," said I, sternly, "and waste no time on it. We will
watch here by the old man till you return."

"My lord," she replied, "you run on your own death. And you are young,
and the young man by you is yet younger."

"We are not dead yet," said Denny; and I had never seen him look as
he did then; for the gayety was out of his face, and he spoke from
between stern-set lips.

She raised her hands toward heaven--whether in prayer or in
lamentation, I do not know. We turned away and left her to her sad
offices, and going back to our places, waited there till dawn began to
break, and from the narrow windows we saw the gray crests of the waves
dancing and frolicking in the early dawn. As I watched them the old
woman was by my elbow.

"It is done, my lord," said she. "Are you still of the same mind?"

"Still of the same," said I.

"It is death--death for you all," she said; and without more she went
to the great door. Hogvardt opened it for her, and she walked away
down the road, between the high rocks that bounded the path on either
side. Then we went and carried the old man to a room that opened off
the hall, and, returning, stood in the doorway, cooling our brows in
the fresh, early air. And while we stood, Hogvardt said suddenly:

"It is five o'clock."

"Then we have only an hour to live," said I, smiling, "if we do not
make for the yacht."

"You're not going back to the yacht, my lord?"

"I'm puzzled," I admitted. "If we go this ruffian will escape. And if
we don't go--"

"Why, we," Hogvardt ended for me, "may not escape."

I saw that Hogvardt's sense of responsibility was heavy; he always
regarded himself as the shepherd, his employers as the sheep. I
believe this attitude of his confirmed my destiny, for I said, without

"Oh, we'll chance that. When they know what a villain the fellow is,
they'll turn against him. Besides, we said we'd wait here."

Denny seized on my last words with alacrity. When you are determined
to do a rash thing, there is great comfort in feeling that you are
already committed to it by some previous act or promise.

"So we did," he cried. "Then that settles it, Hogvardt."

"His lordship certainly expressed that intention," observed Watkins,
appearing at this moment with a large loaf of bread and a great
pitcher of milk. I eyed these viands.

"I bought the house and its contents," said I. "Come along."

Watkins's further researches produced a large chunk of native cheese;
and when he had set this down, he remarked:

"In a pen behind the house, close to the kitchen windows, there are
two goats; and your lordship sees there, on the right of the front
door, two cows tethered."

I began to laugh, Watkins was so wise and solemn.

"We can stand a siege, you mean?" I asked. "Well, I hope it won't come
to that."

Hogvardt rose, and began to move round the hall, examining the weapons
that decorated the walls. From time to time he grunted disapprovingly;
the guns were useless, rusted, out of date, and there was no
ammunition for them. But when he had almost completed his circuit,
he gave an exclamation of satisfaction, and came to me, holding an
excellent modern rifle and a large cartridge case.

"See!" he grunted, in huge satisfaction. "C.S. on the stock, I suspect
you can guess whose it is, my lord."

"This is very thoughtful of Constantine," observed Denny, who was
employing himself in cutting imaginary lemons in two with a fine
damascened scimiter that he had taken from the wall.

"As for the cows," said I, "perhaps they will carry them off."

"I think not," said Hogvardt, taking an aim with the rifle through the

I looked at my watch. It was five minutes past six.

"Well, we can't go now," said I. "It's settled. What a comfort!" I
wonder if I had ever in my heart meant to go!

The next hour passed very quietly. We sat smoking pipes and cigars,
and talking in subdued tones. The recollection of the dead man in
the adjoining room sobered the excitement to which our position would
otherwise have given occasion. Indeed, I suppose that I, at least, who
had led the rest into this _imbroglio_ through my whim, should have
been utterly overwhelmed by the burden on me. But I was not. Perhaps
Hogvardt's assumption of responsibility relieved me; perhaps I was too
full of anger against Constantine to think of the risks we ourselves
ran; and I was more than half persuaded that the revelation of what he
had done would rob him of his power to hurt us. Moreover, if I might
judge from the words I heard on the road, we had on our side an ally
of uncertain, but probably considerable, power, in the sweet-voiced
girl whom the old woman called the Lady Euphrosyne; and she would not
support her uncle's murderer even though he were her cousin.

Presently Watkins carried me off to view his pen of goats, and, having
passed through the lofty, flagged kitchen, I found myself in a sort of
compound formed by the rocks. The ground had been levelled for a few
yards, and the cliffs rose straight to the height of ten or twelve
feet; from the top of this artificial bank they ran again, in wooded
slopes, toward the peak of the mountain. I followed their course
with my eye, and five hundred or more feet above us, just beneath the
summit, I perceived a little wooden _chalet_ or bungalow. Blue smoke
issued from the chimneys, and, even while we looked, a figure came out
of the door and stood still in front of it, apparently looking down
toward the house.

"It's a woman," I pronounced.

"Yes, my lord. A peasant's wife, I suppose."

"I dare say," said I. But I soon doubted Watkins's opinion--in the
first place, because the woman's dress did not look like that of
a peasant woman; and, secondly, because she went into the house,
appeared again, and levelled at us what was, if I mistook not, a large
pair of binocular glasses. Now, such things were not likely to be
in the possession of the peasants of Neopalia. Then she suddenly
retreated, and through the silence of those still slopes we heard the
door of the cottage closed with violence.

"She doesn't seem to like the look of us," said I.

"Possibly," suggested Watkins, with deference, "she did not expect to
see your lordship here."

"I should think that's very likely, Watkins," said I.

I was recalled from the survey of my new domains--my satisfaction in
the thought that they were mine survived all the disturbing features
of the situation--by a call from Denny. In response to it I hurried
back to the hall, and found him at the window, with Constantine's
rifle rested on the sill.

"I could pick him off pat," said Denny, laughingly, and he pointed to
a figure which was approaching the house. It was a man riding a stout
pony. When he came within about two hundred yards of the house he
stopped, took a leisurely look, and then waved a white handkerchief.

"The laws of war must be observed," said I, smiling. "This is a
flag of truce." And I opened the door, stepped out, and waved my
handkerchief in return. The man, reassured, began to mop his brow with
the flag of truce, and put his pony to a trot. I now perceived him to
be the innkeeper Vlacho, and a moment later he reined up beside me,
giving an angry jerk at his pony's bridle.

"I have searched the island for you," he cried. "I am weary and hot.
How came you here?"

I explained to him briefly how I had chanced to take possession of my
house, and added, significantly:

"But has no message come to you from me?"

He smiled with equal meaning as he answered:

"No. An old woman came to speak to a gentleman who is in the village."

"Yes, to Constantine Stefanopoulos," said I with a nod.

"Well, then, if you will, to the Lord Constantine," he admitted, with
a careless shrug; "but her message was for his ear only. He took her
aside, and they talked alone."

"You know what she said, though."

"That is between my Lord Constantine and me."

"And the young lady knows it, I hope--the Lady Euphrosyne?"

Vlacho smiled broadly.

"We could not distress her with such a silly tale," he answered; and
he leant down toward me. "Nobody has heard the message but the lord
and one man he told it to; and nobody will. If that old woman spoke,
she--well, she knows, and will not speak."

"And you back up this murderer?" I cried.

"Murderer?" he repeated, questioningly. "Indeed, sir, it was an
accident, done in hot blood. It was the old man's fault, because he
tried to sell the island."

"He did sell the island," I corrected. "And a good many other people
will hear of what happened to him."

He looked at me again, smiling.

"If you shouted in the hearing of every man in Neopalia, what would
they do?" he asked, scornfully.

"Well, I should hope," I returned, "that they'd hang Constantine to
the tallest tree you've got here."

"They would do this," he said, with a nod; and he began to sing softly
the chant I had heard the night before.

I was disgusted at his savagery, but I said coolly:

"And the lady?"

"The lady believes what she is told, and will do as her cousin bids
her. Is she not his affianced wife?"

"The deuce she is!" I cried in amazement, fixing a keen scrutiny on
Vlacho's face. The face told me nothing.

"Certainly," he said, gently. "And they will rule the island

"Will they, though?" said I. I was becoming rather annoyed. "There are
one or two obstacles in the way of that. First, it's my island."

He shrugged his shoulders again. "That," he seemed to say, "is not
worth answering." But I had a second shot in the locker for him, and
I let him have it for what it was worth. I knew it might be worth
nothing, but I tried it.

"And secondly," I observed, "how many wives does Constantine propose
to have?"

A hit! A hit! A palpable hit! I could have sung in glee. The fellow
was dumb-founded. He turned red, bit his lip, scowled fiercely.

"What do you mean?" he blurted out, with an attempt at blustering

"Never mind what I mean. Something, perhaps, that the Lady Euphrosyne
might care to know. And now, my man, what do you want of me?"

He recovered his composure, and stated his errand with his old, cool
assurance; but the cloud of vexation still hung heavy on his brow.

"On behalf of the lady of the island--" he began.

"Or shall we say her cousin?" I interrupted.

"Which you will," he answered, as though it were not worth while to
wear the mask any longer. "On behalf, then, of my Lord Constantine, I
am to offer you safe passage to your boat, and a return of the money
you have paid."

"How's he going to pay that?"

"He will pay it in a year, and give you security meanwhile."

"And the condition is that I give up the island?" I asked; and I began
to think that perhaps I owed it to my companions to acquiesce in this
proposal, however distasteful it might be to me.

"Yes," said Vlacho; "and there is one other small condition, which
will not trouble you."

"And what's that? You're rich in conditions."

"You are lucky to be offered any. It is that you mind your own

"I came here for the purpose," I observed.

"And that you undertake, for yourself and your companions, on your
word of honor, to speak not a word of what has passed in the island,
or of the affairs of the Lord Constantine."

"And if I won't give my word?"

"The yacht is in our hands; Demetri and Spiro are our men; there will
be no ship here for two months."

The fellow paused, smiling at me. I took the liberty of ending his
period for him.

"And there is," I said, returning the smile, "as we know by now, a
particularly sudden and fatal form of fever in the island."

"Certainly; you may chance to find that out," said he.

"But is there no antidote?" I asked; and I showed him the butt of my
revolver in the pocket of my coat.

"It may keep it off for a day or two; not longer. You have the bottle
there, but most of the drug is with your baggage at the inn."

His parable was true enough; we had only two or three dozen cartridges

"But there is plenty of food for Constantine's rifle," said I,
pointing to the muzzle of it, which protruded from the window.

He suddenly became impatient.

"Your answer, sir?" he demanded, peremptorily.

"Here it is," said I. "I'll keep the island, and I'll see Constantine

"So be it, so be it!" he cried. "You are warned; so be it!" and
without another word he turned his pony and trotted rapidly off down
the road. And I went back to the house, feeling, I must confess, not
in the best of spirits. But when my friends heard all that had passed,
they applauded me, and we made up our minds to "see it through," as
Denny said.

That day passed quietly. At noon we carried the old lord out of his
house, having wrapped him in a sheet, and we dug for him as good a
grave as we could, in a little patch of ground that lay outside the
windows of his own chapel, a small erection at the west end of the
house. There he must lie for the moment. This sad work done, we came
back, and--so swift are life's changes--we killed a goat for dinner,
and watched Watkins dress it. Thus the afternoon wore away, and when
evening came we ate our goat flesh, and Hogvardt milked our cows, and
we sat down to consider the position of the garrison.

But the evening was hot, and we adjourned out of doors, grouping
ourselves on the broad marble pavement in front of the door.
Hogvardt had just begun to expound a very elaborate scheme of escape,
depending, so far as I could make out, on our reaching the other side
of the island, and finding there a boat, which we had no reason to
suppose would be there, when Denny raised his hand, saying, "Hark!"

From the direction of the village and the harbor came the sound of a
horn, blown long and shrill, and echoed back in strange, protracted
shrieks and groans from the hillside behind us; and following on the
blast, we heard, low in the distance and indistinct, yet rising and
falling, and rising again in savage defiance and exultation, the death
chant that One-eyed Alexander the Bard had made on the death of
Stefan Stefanopoulos two hundred years ago. For a few minutes we sat
listening, and I do not think that any of us were very comfortable.
Then I rose to my feet, and I said:

"Hogvardt, old fellow, I fancy that scheme of yours must wait a
little. Unless I'm very much mistaken, we're going to have a lively

Well, and then we shook hands all round, and went in, and bolted the
door, and sat down to wait. We heard the death chant through the walls
now, for it was coming nearer.

(_To be continued._)



In the galleries of the Luxembourg, Paris. First exhibited at the
Salon of 1888.]




"Pictures?" boasted Turner. "Give me canvas, colors, a room to work
in, _with a door that will lock_, and it is not difficult to paint
pictures!" This was the spirit of the older men, against which
Constable rose in his might. It was the legacy of the past; the
principle, or the lack of it, which permitted Titian (in a picture now
in the National Gallery, London) to paint the shadows of his figures
falling away from the spectator into the picture, and _towards_ the
setting sun in the background. The return to nature, however, was not
accomplished at once. It is doubtful, indeed, if a painter can ever
arrive at a respectable technical achievement without imbibing certain
conventions which prevent complete submission to nature; absolute
_naïveté_ thus becoming only theoretically possible. Constable, with
all his independence, dared not throw over all received canons of art.
And Géricault, while daring to paint a modern theme, daring still more
to embody it in forms plausibly like average humanity, and refusing to
place on a raft in mid-ocean a carefully chosen assortment of antique
statues, still did not think, apparently, that the heavily marked
shadows prevalent throughout his picture were never seen under the
far-reaching arch of the sky, but fell from a studio window. Nor do
the early pictures by Corot free themselves from the influences of the
academy at once. In the studies which he bequeathed to the Louvre--two
tiny canvases on which are depicted the Coliseum and the Castle of St.
Angelo at Rome--the conventional picking out of detail, the painting
of separate objects by themselves, without due relation to each other,
is the effect of early study; and it is only in the as yet timid
reaching for effect of light and atmosphere that we feel the Corot of
the future. These studies were painted in 1826; and as late as 1835
the same influences are manifest in the "Hagar and Ishmael in the
Desert," a historical landscape of the kind dear to the academies,
but saved and made of interest by the native qualities of the painter
struggling to the surface.

Jean Baptiste Camille Corot was born in Paris, July 28, 1796. His
father was originally a barber; but, marrying a dressmaker, he joined
forces with his wife to such effect that they became the fashionable
house of their time; and a "dress from Corot's" found its place in the
comedies of the early part of the century, very much as the name of
Worth has been potent in later days. The youth's distaste for business
(certain unfortunate experiences in selling olive-colored cloth
leading directly thereto) at length vanquished the parents' opposition
to his choice of a career; and after a solemn family conclave, it was
decided that he was to have an allowance of three hundred dollars a
year, and be free to follow his own inclinations. Procuring materials
for work, Corot sat him down the same day on the bank of the Seine,
almost under the windows of his father's shop, and began to paint. It
is prettily related that one of the shop-women, Mademoiselle Rose by
name, was the only person of his _entourage_ who sympathized with the
young fellow, and who came to look at his work to encourage him. Late
in life the good Corot said: "Look at my first study; the colors are
still bright, the hour and day remain fixed on the canvas; and only
the other day Mademoiselle Rose came to see me; and, alas, the old
maid and the old man, how faded they are!"


This portrait represents "good Papa Corot," as he was universally
known, at work out of doors.]

It was Corot's good fortune to meet at the start a young landscape
painter, Michallon, who had lately returned from Rome, where he had
gone after winning the prize for historical landscape, which then
formed part of the curriculum of the École des Beaux Arts. Michallon
died in 1824, when only twenty-eight years old, too soon to have shown
the fruits of an independent spirit which had already revolted against
the trammels of the school. Desiring to save Corot from the mistakes
which he had himself made, he adjured him to remain _naïf_, to paint
nature as he saw it, and to disregard the counsels of those who were
for the moment in authority. Gentle, almost timid by nature, having
met so far in life with little but disapproval, Corot disregarded his
friend's advice at first, and placed himself under the guidance of
Victor Bertin, a painter then in vogue, and, needless to say, deeply
imbued with scholastic tradition. In his company Corot made his first
voyage to Italy, in 1825, and thus came for the first time under the
true classic influence. The lessons taught in the school of nature,
where Claude had studied, were those best fitted for the temperament
of Corot, who has been called "a child of the eighteenth century,
grown in the midst of that imitation of antiquity so ardent, and so
often unintelligent, where the Directory copied Athens, and the Empire
forced itself to imitate Rome." It is a curious and interesting fact
that when, as in this case, the spirit of classicism reveals itself
anew, its never-dying influence can be the motive for work as
fresh and modern as that of Corot. It is also true that the rigid
enforcement of the study of drawing was a healthy influence on Corot's
early life. All the pictures of his early period show the most minute
attention to form and modelling; and when he had finally rid himself
of the hard manner which it entailed, there remained the substratum of
a constructive basis upon which his freer brush played at will.


One of Corot's later works, and treated with greater freedom than the

Many years, however, Corot was to wait before the memorable day when
he bewailed that his complete collection of works had been spoiled, he
having sold a picture. Living on his modest income, which his father
doubled when, in 1846, the son was given the cross of the Legion of
Honor, he was happy with his two loves, nature and painting. Little
by little he gained a reputation among the artists, especially when,
after 1835, on his return from a second voyage to Italy, he found
that the true country of the artist is his native country. After
that period his works are nearly all French in subject, many of them
painted in the environs of Paris; though, with his Theocritan spirit,
he could see the fountain of Jouvence in the woods of Sèvres, and for
him the classic nymph dwelt by the pond at Ville d'Avray. His life was
long--he died February 22, 1875--and completely filled with his work.

After Corot's death, there was exhibited at the École des Beaux Arts
in Paris a collection of several hundred of his pictures, and then,
perhaps for the first time, the genius of the man was profoundly felt.
To those who were inclined to undervalue the pure, sweet spirit which
shone through his work, and to complain of the representation of a
world in which no breeze stronger than a zephyr blew, in which the
birds always sang, and the shepherd piped to a flock unconscious
of the existence of wolves, there were shown efforts in so many and
various directions as to forever silence their reproach of monotony,
so often directed against Corot's work. There were landscapes, showing
the gradual emancipation, due to the most sincere study of nature,
hard and precise, in the early period; vaporous and filled with
suggestion, as the sentiment of the day and hour represented became
important to the painter, and his technical mastery became more
certain in later years. There were figures, none too well drawn from
the point of view of David or Ingres, but serving, to a painter whose
interest in atmospheric problems never ceased, as objects around
which the luminous light of day played, and which were bathed in
circumambient air.


From a painting now in the Louvre. One of the best known of the works
of the master, executed during the transitional period, when he still
gave great attention to detail. The original is remarkable for its
sense of dewy freshness.]


From a painting in the Museum at Bordeaux.]


With all this variety, however, the true value of Corot's work lies in
the expression of the spirit of the man himself. It is often possible,
and it is always theoretically desirable, to separate the personality
of a painter from his production in any critical consideration of his
achievement. It is at least only fair to believe that the light which
shines from so many canvases is the true expression of many a life
which is clouded to our superficial view. With Corot, however, it
is impossible to make this separation. Every added detail of his
life--and they are so numerous that in the difficulty of a choice they
must remain unrecorded here--gives a new perception of his work. A
youthful Virgilian spirit to the day of his death, as old at his
birth as the classic source from which he sprang, he invented a method
essentially his own, in which to express his new-old message. In our
work-a-day, materialistic age, like a thrush singing in a boiler-shop,
he is the quiet but triumphant vindication of the truth that all
great art has its roots firmly implanted in the earth of Hellenic
civilization, though its expression may be, as in Corot's case,
through an art unknown to the Greeks, and even, as in the case of
the one greater man of this century than Corot--Millet--by the
presentation of types which the beauty-loving sons of Hellas disdained
to represent.

Millet's work must be considered later in these papers, but it
is useful here to make this passing comment, that with Corot he
represents what is best in our modern art; that the greatest quality
of our modern art is its steadfast reliance on nature; and that,
paradoxical as it may seem, they are alike in taking only that from
nature which is serviceable to the clarity of their expression, being
in this both at odds with the common practice of modern painting,
which usually adopts a more servile attitude towards nature. Corot
painted out of doors constantly; but in the maturity of his art his
work was only based upon the scene before him, a practice dangerous to
the student, and fraught with difficulty to the master. In the fever
of production; in the almost childish joy which the long neglected
painter felt when dealers and collectors besieged his door; and,
finally, in the necessity which arose for large sums of money to carry
on works of charity, which were his only dissipation, and which it
was his pride to sustain without impairing the patrimony which in
the course of time he had inherited, and which he left intact to his
relatives, Corot undoubtedly weakened his legacy to the future by
over-production. In addition, his work became the prey of unscrupulous
dealers (as there is nothing easier to imitate superficially than a
Corot), and the mediocre pictures signed by his name are not always of
his workmanship. Such works apart, his art has given us a message from
the purest source of poetry and painting, couched in a language which
is thoroughly of our time; and in this year, which is the centenary of
his birth, it can be said that no other painter of the century, save
the graver Millet, has held fast that which was good in the art of the
past, and so enriched it by added truth and beauty as Corot. It
was fitting that when he lay dying as cheerfully as he had lived,
contented that he had "had good parents and good friends," beautiful
landscapes flitted before his eyes, "more beautiful than painting."
On the morning of February 22, 1875, his servant urged him to eat
to sustain his strength; but he gently shook his head, saying: "Papa
Corot will breakfast in heaven to-day."


Eighteen years before, on December 22, 1867, there had died at
Barbizon, Théodore Rousseau, who, born in Paris, July 15, 1812, had
been the leader of the revolution in landscape painting, in which we
to-day count Corot, Daubigny, Dupré, Troyon, Diaz, Jacque, and others
who, with our mania for classification, we call the "Barbizon school."
The fact that these men, more than any painters before their time,
had, by direct study from nature, developed strongly individual
characteristics, makes this title, localized as it is by the name of a
village with which a number of them had slight, if any, connection,
a misnomer. The French name for the group, "the men of 1830," is more
correct; for it was about that time that their influence in the Salon
began to be felt, as a result of the pictorial invasion of Constable.
Lacking the poetic feeling of Corot, and more realistic in his aims,
though not always in result, Rousseau met with instant success when
he exhibited for the first time at the Salon in 1834. His picture,
"Felled Trees, Forest of Compiègne," received a medal, and was
purchased by the Due d'Orleans. The following year the jury, presided
over by Watelet, a justly forgotten painter, refused Rousseau's
pictures, and from that time until 1849, when the overthrow of Louis
Philippe had opened the Salon doors to all comers, no picture by
Rousseau was exhibited at the Salon.


A typical French river, with the familiar figures of peasant women
washing linen in the stream. Probably painted during one of the
voyages of his house-boat studio "Le Bottin," in which the painter
passed many summers.]


This powerful picture gives an idea of the dramatic force of one who
has been fitly termed a symphonic painter.]


A remarkable rendering of intricate detail without sacrifice of
general effect, this picture, nevertheless, gives somewhat the
impression of a photograph from nature.]

In the meantime, however, Rousseau's fame had grown, fostered by the
more advanced critics of the time. He lived at Barbizon, on the border
of the forest of Fontainebleau; and, basing his work on the most
uncompromising study of nature, his pictures bore an impress of simple
truth, which to our latter-day vision seems so obvious and easily
understood that nothing could show more clearly the depth of error
into which his opponents had fallen than the systematic rejection
of his work for so many years. He was by nature a leader, and in his
country home he was soon joined by Millet and Charles Jacque, while in
Paris he had the hearty support of Delacroix and his followers of the
Romantic school. While forced by circumstances to find allies in these
men, Rousseau had, however, but little of the imaginative temperament.
He was, above all, the close student of natural phenomena. He sat,
an impartial recorder of the phases of nature's triumphal procession.
Early and late, in the fields, among the rocks, or under the trees
of the forest, his cunning hand noted an innumerable variety of facts
which before him, through ignorance or disdain, the landscape painter
had never seen. It is but fair to say that, like all pioneers in the
untrodden fields of art, his means of expression at times failed to
keep pace with his intention. His work is occasionally overburdened
with detail, through the embarrassment of riches which nature poured
at his feet. Then, heir to the processes of painting of former
generations, it seemed to him necessary to endow nature with a warmth
of coloring, an abuse of the richer tones of the palette, which we may
presume he would have discarded but for the fact already noted, that
a painter carries through his earthly pilgrimage a baggage of
early-formed habits difficult to throw off _en route_. The belief that
color to be beautiful must of necessity be warm, rich, and deep in
tone was shared by all painters of Rousseau's time, and lingers still
in the minds of many, despite the fact that nature has created the
tea-rose as well as the orange. When, however, Rousseau was completely
successful--as, for instance, in the "Hoar-frost," in the Walters
gallery in Baltimore--the reward of his painstaking methods was
measurably great. In such works as this the rendition of effect, the
certainty of modelling, the sustained power throughout the work,
lift it beyond mere transcription of fact into the realm of typical
creations which appear more true than average reality.


A typical example of the master, solidly painted, though, as was often
his habit, somewhat forced in effect.]

Of the life of Rousseau as the head of the little colony of painters
who for longer or shorter periods resided at Barbizon, much could
be said if space permitted. It is pleasant to think that the more
prosperous Rousseau helped with purse and influence his comrades, and
that, by nature sad and irritable, he was always considerate of them
in the many discussions which took place. Corot, ill at ease in the
revolutionary atmosphere, made an occasional appearance. Diaz, he of
meridional extraction, turbulent and emphatic, stamped his wooden leg,
and was as illogical in debate as in painting. Charles Jacque, with
the keen smile and the facility for absorbing ideas from the best of
them; Ziem even, who painted Venice for some years in the shades of
Fontainebleau; Dupré, whose nature expresses itself in deep sunsets
gleaming through the oaks of the forest; Daubigny, the youngest of the
group, and the more immediate forerunner of landscape as it is to-day,
then winning his first success; Decamps, who later sometimes left
the Imperial Court, domiciled for the moment at the palace of
Fontainebleau, and brought his personality of a great painter who
failed through lack of elementary instruction, among them; Daumier,
the great caricaturist, and possibly greater painter, but for the
engrossing character of the work which first fell in his way--all
these and more made up the constantly shifting group. The first
innkeeper of the place and his wife, whose hyphenated name,
Luniot-Ganne, commemorated their union, kept for many years on the
walls, the panels of the doors, and on odd cabinets and bits of
furniture, _souvenirs_ of the passage of all these men, in the shape
of sketches made by their hands. This little museum, created in
sportive mood, bore all these names and many more, those of men, often
celebrated, who from sympathy or curiosity visited the place. Millet
was in life, as in art, somewhat apart in the later years; but he was
the consistent friend of Rousseau, whose life closed in the darkness
of a disordered mind.


From the original, in the Louvre.]

Narcisco Virgilio Diaz de la Peña was the noble name of him who, born
at Bordeaux in 1807, the son of a Spanish refugee, died at Mentone,
November 18, 1876. Left an orphan when very young, he drifted to
Paris, and found work, painting on china, in the manufactory at
Sèvres. Here he met Dupré, employed like himself; and in their work in
other fields it is not fanciful to feel the influence of the delight
in rich translucent color, of the tones employed with over-emphasis
on the surface of _faïence_. After a bitter acquaintance with poverty,
Diaz produced work which brought him great popularity. The earlier
pictures were studies in the forest of Fontainebleau, whose venerable
tree-trunks, moss-grown; whose lichen-covered rocks, and gleaming
pools reflecting the sky, he rendered with force of color and strength
of effect. Gradually he began to attempt the figure, which in his
hands never attained a higher plane than an assemblage of charming
though artificial color; and these little _bouquets_, which
superficially imitated Correggio, Da Vinci, or Prud'hon, as the fancy
seized the painter, bathed in a color that is undeniably agreeable,
were and are to this day loved by the collector. Of a whimsical
temperament, Diaz was the life of artist gatherings; and his facility
in work, and its popularity, gave him the means of doing many generous
acts, the memory of which lives. But of the group of men of his time,
he has exercised, perhaps, the least influence.


One of Courbet's early pictures, which, when exhibited at the Salon,
excited considerable discussion, certain adverse critics finding in it
an appeal to the socialistic elements. It represents a scene common in
France, where stones are piled by the roadsides, to be broken up for
repairing the route.]

Jules Dupré rises to a higher plane. But his work, freed from the
colder academical bondage, is pitched in a key of color which takes us
to a world where the sun shines through smoke; where the clouds float
heavily, filled with inky vapors; and the light shoots from behind the
trees explosively. It is a grave, rhythmic world, however; and if it
lacks the dewy atmosphere of Corot, it has an intensity which the more
sanely balanced painter seldom reached. Dupré, born at Nantes in 1812,
and dying near Paris, at the village of L'Isle-Adam, in 1889, made
his first important exhibit at the Salon in 1835, after a visit
to England, where he met Constable. This picture, "Environs of
Southampton," was typical of the work he was to do. A long waste of
land near the sea, the middle distance in deepest shadow, and richly
colored storm-clouds racing overhead; the foreground in sunlight,
enhanced by the artificial contrast of the rest of the picture; a
wooden dyke on which, together with two white horses near by, the
gleam of sunlight falls almost with a sound, so intensified is all the
effect, make up the picture. Dupré's work is generally keyed up to
the highest possible pitch, and it is no little merit that, with the
constant insistence on this note, it is seldom or never theatrical.

Constant Troyon, from sympathy of aim, is commonly included in this
group, although it was gradually, and after success achieved in
landscape, that his more powerful cattle pictures were produced, which
alone entitle him to the place. Born at Sèvres in 1810, where his
father was employed at the manufactory of porcelain, he was thrown in
contact with Dupré and Diaz. He first exhibited at the Salon in 1832,
and for nearly twenty years was known as a landscape painter. His work
at that time was eclectic, sufficiently in touch with Rousseau, whose
acquaintance he had made, to be of interest, but never revolutionary
enough to alarm the academical juries of the Salon. In 1849, after
a visit to Holland, he turned his attention to animal painting, and
became in that field the first of his time. In common with his quondam
comrades in the porcelain manufactory, Troyon delighted in warmth and
richness of tone and color; but in the rendering of the texture and
color of cattle the quality availed him greatly, and as objects in his
foreground the landscape environment gained in depth by its judicious
use. Troyon will be chiefly remembered by the pictures painted from
1846 to 1858. The later years of his life, until his death in 1865,
were passed with a clouded intellect.


From the Salon of 1870; now in the Luxembourg. The story of the man
who went down to Jericho and fell among thieves is here treated as a
pretext for a forcible effect of light and shade, though it is also a
novel and dramatic presentation of the scene.]

The youngest of the group proper was Charles François Daubigny, who
was born in Paris in 1817, and died there in 1878. He was the son of
a well-known miniature painter, and passed his youth in the country,
where he imbibed the love for simple nature which he afterwards
rendered with less of fervor than Rousseau, with less poetry than
either Corot or Dupré; but, in his way, with as much or more of truth.
His task was easier. In the progress which landscape painting had
made, there were hosts of younger painters, each adding a particle
of truth, each making an advance in technical skill and daring,
and Daubigny profited by it all. Corot, it is true, had never been
afflicted with the preoccupation of combining the freshness of nature
with the _patine_ with which ages had embrowned the old gallery
pictures; but Daubigny, looking at nature with a more literal eye than
Corot, ran a gamut of color greater than he. It was Daubigny who said
of Corot, in envious admiration: "He puts nothing on the canvas, and
everything is there." His own more prosaic nature took delight in
enregistering a greater number of facts. Floating quietly down the
rivers of France in a house-boat, he diligently reproduced the sedgy
banks, the low-lying distances the poplars and clumps of trees lining
the shore, and reflected in the waters. He painted the "Springtime,"
now in the Louvre, with lush grass growing thick around the apple
trees in blossom; with tender greens, soft, fleecy clouds, and the
moist, humid atmosphere of France; without preoccupation of rich
color, of "brown sauce," of "low tone," of the thousand and one
conventions which have enfeebled the work of men stronger than he.
Thus he fills a middle place between the men who made an honest effort
at painting nature as they saw and felt it, but could not altogether
rid themselves of their early education, and the lawless band who,
with the purple banner of impressionism, now riot joyously in the
fields, with brave show of gleaming color, and fearless attempt to
enlist science in their ranks.


From the Salon of 1863; now in the Luxembourg galleries. A quiet
scene, essentially French from the type of the woman to the "fountain"
of red copper so often seen in French kitchens, it recalls the work
of the old Holland masters, and proves that, in our day, and with
material near at hand, one can be thoroughly modern, and yet claim
kinship with the great painters of the past.]

It is to these latter that the future must look, and it can do so with
confidence. In all the license which runs ahead of progress there
is less danger than resides in stagnation. The men of 1830, who by
ungrateful youths are now derided, had their turn at derision, and
extravagances were committed in their name, according to the
beliefs of their time. They carried their work, however, to its full
completion, and it remains the greatest achievement of this century
in painting, the greatest in landscape art of all time. What the
next century may bring is undoubtedly foreshadowed in the work of
impressionistic tendency. It has the merit of being a new direction,
one as yet hardly opened before us, but more hopeful, despite certain
excesses, than it would be to see the men of our time settle down to
an imitation of the works, however great, of those men of 1830. The
immediate effect of their example was and can still be seen in the
works of men too numerous to be enregistered here.


In the Luxembourg catalogue, to which museum the picture came from
the Salon of 1850, is printed a long quotation from Lamennais's "Les
Paroles d'un Croyant" (The Words of a Believer), an emphatic work,
of great popularity about the time that the picture was painted. The
women represented, having fallen into poverty, are suffering from cold
and hunger, the obvious end of the tragedy being explained by these
words, "Shortly after there were seen two forms, luminous like souls,
which took their flight towards Heaven." The picture, like much of
Tassaert's work, affords an instance of misguided and morbid talent.]

In Henri Harpignies, a living painter, though now aged, the influence
is felt in the careful attention to form throughout the landscape.
The delicate branching of trees is depicted in his work with accuracy
tempered by a sense of the beauty of line, which prevents it from
becoming photographic. Léon Germain Pelouse, who was born at Pierrelay
in 1838, and died in Paris, 1891, carried somewhat the same qualities
to excess. His pictures, though undeniably excellent, are marred by
the dangerous facility which degenerates into mere virtuosity.
Charles Jacque, who was born in 1813, and lived until 1894, was of the
original group living for many years in Barbizon. He was, perhaps, of
less original mind than any of the others, but was gifted with a power
of assimilation which enabled him to form an eclectic style that is
now recognized as his own. His pictures are many in number and varied
in character, though his somewhat stereotyped pictures of sheep, done
in the later years of his life, are best known.

The limits of space render it difficult to make even a summary
enumeration of certain tendencies in figure painting which marked the
years of the growth of this great landscape school. Gustave Courbet
(born at Ornans in 1819, died in Switzerland, 1877), who might be
classed both as a figure and a landscape painter, would demand by
right a longer consideration than can be here given. Of his career as
a champion of realism, as a past master in the peculiarly modern art
of keeping one's self before the public, culminating in his connection
with the Commune in Paris in 1871, and the destruction of the column
in the Place Vendôme, there could be much to say. Courbet was, as
a painter, a powerful individuality; of more force, however, as a
painter of the superficial envelope than of the deeper qualities which
nature makes pictorial at the bidding of one of finer fibre. His claim
to be considered modern can be contested, inasmuch as it was only in
subject that his work was novel. In manner of painting he was of a
time long past, of a school of greater masters than he showed himself
to be. With this reserve, however, as a vigorous painter, both of the
figure and landscape, he is interesting; and as one of the first to
look about him and find his subjects in our daily life, his work will

Curiously enough, the revival of the art of another epoch in the case
of Saint Bonvin remained absolutely modern. By nature or by choice
this painter (born at Vaugirard, near Paris, in 1817, and dying at
St. Germain-en-Laye in 1887) is a modern Pieter de Hooghe; and as
the Dutch masters addressed themselves to a painstaking and sincere
representation of the life about them, in like manner Bonvin, bringing
to his work much the same qualities, choosing as his subjects quiet
interiors, with the life of the family pursuing its even tenor (or the
still more placid progress of conventual life, like the "Ave Maria
in the Convent of Aramont," in the Luxembourg), remains himself while
resembling his prototypes. It is instructive to look at his "Servant
at the Fountain," reproduced here, compare it with many of the
pictures of familiar life like those of Wilkie, Webster, or Mulready,
published last month, and note the unconsciousness of the work before

The work of a painter equally able, though suffering somewhat as
representing an art with which we moderns have little sympathy, falls
into comparison here, and undoubtedly loses by it. The unfortunate
painter, Octave Tassaert, who was born in Paris in 1800, and lived
there, undergoing constant privation, until he voluntarily ended his
life in 1874, possibly found consolation for his hard lot in depicting
scenes like that entitled "An Unhappy Family."

The lesson of the art of the men considered here is that of direct
inspiration of nature, of reliance on native qualities rather than
those acquired; and the impulse given by them has continued in force
until to day. We have before us, as a consequence, two strongly
defined tendencies which will control the future of painting. The
first and strongest, for the moment, is the impressionistic tendency,
with its negation of any pictorial qualities other than those based on
direct study from objects actually existing. This would, if carried
to a logical conclusion, eliminate the imaginative quality, and render
the painter a human photographic camera. The other tendency is that
which has existed since art was born, and which, though temporarily
and justly ignored in periods when it is necessary to recreate a
technical standard, always comes to the surface when men have learned
their trade as painters. It is the desire to create; the instinct
which impels one to use the language given him to express thought. The
two tendencies are not incompatible; and in the end the artist will
arise who, with certainty of expression, will express thought.




As I was spittin' into the Ditch aboard o' the "Crocodile,"
I seed a man on a man-o'-war got up in the Reg'lars' style.
'E was scrapin' the paint from off of 'er plates, an' I sez to 'im:
           "Oo are you?"
Sez 'e: "I'm a Jolly--'er Majesty's Jolly--soldier an' sailor too!"
  _Now 'is work begins by Gawd knows when, and 'is work is never
  'E isn't one o' the Regular line, nor 'e isn't one of the crew--
  'E's a kind of a giddy herumfrodite--soldier an' sailor too_!

An' after I met 'im all over the world, a-doin' all kinds o' things,
Like landin' 'isself with a Gatling-gun to talk to them 'eathen kings;
'E sleeps in an 'ammick instead of a cot, an' 'e drills with the deck
           on a slue,
An' 'e sweats like a Jolly--'er Majesty's Jolly--soldier an' sailor too!
  _For there isn't a job on the top o' the earth the beggar don't
           know--nor do!
  You can leave 'im at night on a bald man's 'ead to paddle 'is own
  'E's a sort of a bloomin' cosmopolot--soldier an' sailor too_.

We've fought 'em on trooper, we've fought em in dock, an' drunk with
           'em in betweens,
When they called us the sea-sick scull'ry maids, an' we called 'em the
           Ass Marines;
But when we was down for a double fatigue, from Woolwich to Bernardmyo,
We sent for the Jollies--'er Majesty's Jollies--soldier an' sailor too!
  _They think for 'emselves, an they steal for 'emselves, an' they never
           ask what's to do,
  But they're camped an fed an' they're up an' fed before our bugle's
  Ho! they ain't no limpin procrastitutes--soldier an' sailor too_!

You may say we are fond of an 'arness cut or 'ootin' in barrick-yards,
Or startin' a Board School mutiny along o' the Onion Guards;
But once in a while we can finish in style for the ends of the earth to
The same as the Jollies--'er Majesty's Jollies--soldier an' sailor too.
  _They come of our lot, they was brothers to us, they was beggars we'd
           met and knew;
  Yes, barrin' an inch in the chest an' the arms, they was doubles o'
           me and you,
  For they weren't no special chrysanthemums--soldier an' sailor too_.

To take your chance in the thick of a rush with firing all about
Is nothing so bad when you've cover to 'and, and leave an' likin' to
But to stand an' be still to the "Birken'ead" drill is a damn tough
           bullet to chew,
And they done it, the Jollies--'er Majesty's Jollies--soldier an'
           sailor too.
  _Their work was done when it 'adn't begun, they was younger nor me an
  Their choice it was plain between drownin in 'eaps an bein mashed by
           the screw,
  An' they stood an' was still to the "Birken'ead" drill, soldier an
           sailor too_!

We're most of us liars, we're 'arf of us thieves, an' the rest are as
           rank as can be,
But once in a while we can finish in style (which I 'ope it won't
          'appen to me);
But it makes you think better o' you an' your friends an' the work you
          may 'ave to do
When you think o' the sinkin' "Victorier's" Jollies--soldier an' sailor
  _Now there isn't no room for to say you don't know--they 'ave settled
          it plain and true--
  That whether it's Widow or whether it's ship, Victorier's work is to
  As they done it, the Jollies--'er Majesty's Jollies--soldier an sailor





It was the middle of a short December afternoon. From the scholars in
the little log school-house in the Stillman district rose a buzzing
sound as they bent over their desks, intent on books or mischief, as
the case might be. The teacher, a good-looking young man of twenty or
thereabouts, was busy with a class in arithmetic when a shrill voice
called out:

"Teacher, Rachel Stillman's readin' a story-book."

"Bring the book to me," said the teacher quietly; and the delinquent,
a girl of about fourteen, slowly rose and, walking to him, placed a
much-worn volume in his hands.

"Why," he said, glancing at the open page, "it is 'The Pilgrim's
Progress.' No wonder you are interested. But you must not read it
during school hours."

The child lifted to his face a pair of large blue eyes, beautiful with
timid wistfulness, as she replied:

"I know I oughtn't, sir, but I wanted to see how they got out of
Doubting Castle so bad."

He smiled. "I will give you the book after school; then you can read
it at home."

"Oh, no," she whispered; "father won't let me read story-books."

"He surely would not object to this," answered the young teacher; "but
I will keep it until recess to-morrow, and, never fear, Christian and
Hopeful will outwit the giant yet."

The wistful eyes brightened, and, with a grateful smile, Rachel
returned to her desk.

"First class in spelling, take your places," called the teacher.

Rachel belonged to this class, as did all the larger scholars, among
whom was her brother, Thomas, two years her elder. The teacher had
promised a prize at the end of the term to the member of the class
obtaining the greatest number of head marks, and consequently a good
deal of interest was taken in the lessons.

Rachel had been at the head of the class the evening before; therefore
she now took her station at its foot. Tom, her brother, now was
head, and for some time no change in position was made. But finally
"somebody blundered," and Rachel, who was one of the good spellers,
went up in the long line. Presently another word was missed, and now
Rachel walked to the head. Tom pushed her spitefully.

"Another mark, Rachel," said the teacher, "for that is the end of the

The class resumed their seats, and, a few minutes after, school was
dismissed for the day.

"Good-evening," said the teacher, as Rachel and a younger sister,
a pretty, delicate child, passed him at the door. "Now, no worrying
about Christian, Rachel."

"I won't," she laughed. "I guess he'll get out. Didn't he stand up to
old Apollyon?"

"Like a good fellow," was the reply. "Hope I'll come off as well."

She looked at him inquiringly, but he had turned toward his desk, and
the sisters set out on their half-mile walk home.

Let us precede them and see what manner of home it is to which these
children belong.

The farm is a large one, the buildings substantial, and everything has
a prosperous, well-to-do look. Mr. Stillman, the owner of these broad
acres and the father of these three, Tom, Rachel, and Susy, as well
as of three more girls and another stalwart son, is a stout,
comfortable-looking man of forty-five or fifty. A glance at his close,
thin lips and keen gray eyes would convince an observant person that
he would make it very uncomfortable for any one in his power who might
differ from him in opinion or dispute his authority. Just now he is
chatting pleasantly with his hired man, and pays no attention to the
children, who pass him on the way to the house.

Indoors Mrs. Stillman, a slender, fair-haired woman, who looks as if
she felt she owed the world an apology for living in it, is preparing
supper, assisted by her two daughters, Elizabeth, a sad-faced woman
of twenty-four, and Margaret, a girl of eighteen, with her father's
determined mouth and chin and her mother's large blue eyes and fair
hair. The clock struck five as the school-girls entered the kitchen,
a large room which in winter did duty as dining-room as well as

"Run in the sitting-room, girls, and get warm," said the mother.
"Supper is almost ready."

"Oh, we're not cold; are we, Susy? I got another head mark, mother,"
said Rachel.

The mother smiled. "I hope you or Tom will get the prize. Where is
he?" She was interrupted by a stamping of feet as the door was thrown
open and Mr. Stillman, followed by the hired man and Tom, entered the

"Supper is ready," said Mrs. Stillman. "We were just going to call

"Well, I guess it will keep till we're ready," answered her husband,
roughly. "Rachel, get some water; the bucket's empty, of course.
Margaret, where's the wash-basin? Nothing in its place, as usual. Pity
there wasn't two or three more girls lazyin' around!"

Nobody replied to this tirade. The hired man picked up the basin,
Margaret handed a towel, Rachel brought the water, and soon the family
were gathered around the well-spread table.

"I tell you," said Mr. Stillman, after a few mouthfuls of the savory
food had apparently put him in a better humor, "I think we'll have
fine weather for hog-killin' next week, and I never did have a finer
lot of hogs."

"Oh, father," said Margaret, "don't butcher next week. Friday is
Christmas day and--"

"Christmas!" interrupted her father. "Well, we always butcher
Christmas week, don't we?"

"Yes, I know," she said, her lips trembling in spite of her effort
to control herself. "But we never have enjoyed the holidays, and I
thought maybe this year you--"

"We will do this year as we always have," broke in the father,
angrily. "I suppose", with a look at his wife from which she shrank
as from a blow, "this is one of your plans to have your girls gadding
over the country."

"Mother never said anything about it," said Margaret, her temper
getting the better of her; "but nobody else takes Christmas times to
do their hardest and dirtiest work."

"Will you hush?" thundered the father. "What do I care what anybody
else does? I am master here."

No one spoke again. The assertion could not be denied. He was master,
and well his wife and daughters knew it.

Poor Mrs. Stillman! Two fortunate baby girls had died a few weeks
after their birth, and the tears that fell over the little coffins
were not half so bitter as those she shed when first she held their
innocent faces to her heart. When on this evening the father had shown
his authority, the two elder daughters rose from the table, and taking
a couple of large buckets, went quietly out to the barnyard, and
proceeded to milk the half dozen cows awaiting them.

It was nearly dark and very cold; but no word was spoken except to the
animals, as the girls hurried through the work and hastened back
to the kitchen, where Rachel and the mother were clearing away
the supper-table and making the needful preparations for the early

When all was finished the mother and daughters entered the large room
adjoining the kitchen, which served as sitting-room for the family and
bed-room for the parents, Mr. Stillman not permitting a fire kept
in any other room in the house. Mrs. Stillman sat down with her
knitting-work as close in the corner as possible; Elizabeth brought
in a large basket of rags, and she and Margaret were soon busy sewing
strips and winding balls for a carpet. The younger children were
absorbed in their lessons at the table, where the father sat reading
his newspaper.

All were silent, for to have spoken while father was reading would
have been an unforgivable offence. At last, however, Mr. Stillman
lifted his eyes from the paper, and addressing Tom, said: "Well, how
did you get along at school to-day?"

"Oh, first rate," said the boy; but that lost head mark rankled in his
mind, and he added, "Rachel was called up by the teacher."

"How was that, Rachel?" said her father sharply. Poor girl!--deep in
the mysteries of long division, she did not hear him.

"Rachel," he repeated, "what were you called up in school for to-day?"

She glanced reproachfully at Tom. "I read a little in 'The Pilgrim's
Progress,' father. It's not a story-book--"

"Never mind what it is. I send you to school to study, and you're not
to touch any but your school-books."

"May I bring it home?" she faltered.

"Bring it home, indeed! No, miss. I guess you can find enough to do at
home. Not another word more, or you will stay at home for good."

The child bent over her slate; but tears would come, and at last a sob
burst forth.

"Clear out to bed, Rachel," said her father angrily. "I want no
snivelling here."

Upstairs, in the cold, dark room, what bitter thoughts surged through
the childish brain!

Mr. Stillman loved his wife and children. He wanted them to be happy,
but in his way. He must choose their pleasures. If they could not be
satisfied with what he chose for them, it was not his fault; it was
their perversity. And as no two souls are alike, the attempt to fit a
number of them by the same pattern necessarily caused suffering to the
souls undergoing the operation.

Mrs. Stillman's sensitive organization was completely crushed; her
eldest daughter's nearly so. Martha, the second daughter, had escaped
by marrying a clever young man, who first pitied, then loved the
daughter of his employer, and persuaded her to elope with him,
assuring her of a happier home than she had with her father.

The marriage angered Mr. Stillman greatly, and all intercourse with
the disobedient daughter was forbidden.

Margaret, the third daughter, also rebelled at the fitting process;
and having a goodly portion of her father's determination, many were
the sharp words that passed between them.

So far Rachel and Susan had given no trouble. He ordered them about
as he did his dumb animals, and with no more regard to their feelings.
With his sons it was different. They would be men some day. They must
be treated with some consideration. At an early age, John, two years
older than Elizabeth, was given a share in the stock and land to
cultivate; so that when, at the age of twenty-four, he married, he had
a "right good start in the world."

But his sister toiled early and late, washing, ironing, milking,
churning, baking, nursing the younger children, sharing her mother's
labors, and paid as her mother was--with her board and a scanty,
grudgingly given wardrobe. She was now twenty-four, and had never
had a five-dollar bill to spend as she pleased in her life--for that
matter, neither had the mother. There are many Mr. Stillmans, "Are
they honest men?" If father and son have the right to be paid for
their labor, have not the mother and daughter? I leave the question
with you.

Rachel carried a heavy heart to school next morning. The tinker's
wonderful allegory to her was very real, and to leave her hero in that
awful dungeon was almost more than she could bear. When at recess the
teacher offered her the book, she did not take it.

"Father said," she began--then sobs choked her utterance. He
understood, and after a moment's silence said: "I am interested in
Christian as well as you, Rachel, and if you will sit here I will read
to you." In all her after life Rachel never forgot these readings at
intermission, which were continued not only until Christian reached
the Celestial city, but until Christiana and the children completed
their wonderful journey to the same place. Her gratitude to her young
teacher would certainly have become love had she been a few years
older. As it was, when in March the term closed, not even the prize as
the best speller--a beautiful copy of "Pilgrim's Progress"--consoled
her for the cessation of school.

As for the teacher, he was glad the winter's work--which had been
undertaken and conscientiously carried through solely for the purpose
of obtaining means to pursue the study of his profession--was over.
He liked some of his scholars very much, Rachel especially; she was
so interested in her studies, so intelligent and grateful, that when,
with eyes swimming in tears, she bade him good-by, he felt a moment's
sorrow at leaving her, and comforted her by telling her what a good
girl she had been and that he would not forget her.

"You ought to have seen Rache an' Suse cry when old Gray bid us
good-by," said Tom that evening at home.

"Did you cry?" asked Margaret.

"Guess not! Glad school's out; an' I'm never goin' any more."

"I wouldn't if I were you, bub," said Margaret; "you know enough now."
She always called him "bub" when she wanted to vex him, "But old Gray,
as you call him, will be somebody yet, see if he don't."

The entrance of Mr. Stillman closed the conversation, and Tom went
out, banging the door after him. No wonder Margaret was getting

The winter was a long, dull season at Stillman's. Even her enjoyment
at the few social gatherings she was permitted to attend in the
neighborhood was marred by the knowledge that she could not entertain
her young friends in return. She had attempted once to fix up the
"spare room" and have a fire for some company, but her father had
peremptorily forbidden it. "I'd like to know," he said, "why the
settin'-room ain't good enough! If your company is too nice to be with
the rest of the family they can stay away, miss."

And "they" generally did stay away after one visit. Mr. Stillman was
not a success as a host, young people thought; and a young minister
who came home from meeting one Sunday with Elizabeth was so completely
abashed by the cool reception he met that not even the daughter's
pleading eyes could persuade him to remain in her father's presence. A
few weeks after, he went to a distant appointment; and Elizabeth's sad
face grew sadder than ever.

Jim Lansing, the son of a widow who managed a farm and two grown sons
with equal skill, was more successful. He usually brought his mother
with him; and, while she entertained Mr. and Mrs. Stillman, Jim, the
girls, and the carpet rags escaped to the kitchen.

But spring was near, and Margaret thought: "He can't keep us out of
the spare room in summer; and, besides, we can be out-of-doors."

June came, with her blue skies, her singing birds, her wealth of
beauty. But there was no time at Stillman's to enjoy it. A larger crop
than usual had been put in, and extra hands employed, but not in the
house. Why, there were five women, counting frail little ten-year-old
Susy as one, and poor, delicate Mrs. Stillman as another! What extra
help could they need, although washing and cooking must be done for
all the men? You see, "hands" could be got much cheaper if they were
boarded--and what else had the women to do?

It was true, mother was not as strong as she used to be; but she did
not complain. She was only more shadowy and quiet; and Mr. Stillman
told his daughters to "stir around" themselves, and not let their
mother do all the work.

"Oh, dear," said Margaret one morning, as she and Rachel were bending
over the wash-tubs, while Susy labored at the heavy churning and the
mother and Elizabeth were preparing dinner. "I wish we could go to the
picnic on the Fourth; everybody's going."

"Maybe we can," said Rachel, hopefully. "I heard father say the wheat
was late this year, and he did not believe it would do to cut before
the sixth. And oh, Margaret, I heard him say your calf would bring at
least ten dollars; and if he gives you the money, you can get a new
white dress and give me your old one. It is lots too small for you."

Margaret laughed. "Yes," she said; "father said if I could raise the
calf I might have it. Didn't I have a time with it, though, it was so
near dead! Of course I will fix my old dress up for you--that is, if
I get the money. Sometimes I think father's queer; he did not give
Elizabeth the money when he sold that colt he had given her." And both
girls were silent.

Out in the barnyard, as the girls worked, Mr. Stillman and Tom were
putting the pretty calf in the wagon preparatory to taking it to the
butcher in the town a few miles distant. When the girls went in to
dinner the men had finished theirs, and were lounging in the shady
yard enjoying their nooning.

As they were about to sit down at the table, Mr. Stillman handed
Margaret a package, saying, "There's your share of that spotted calf,

"My share!" she exclaimed. "Why, you gave me the calf; you had no
right to it."

As she spoke she opened the package and unrolled a piece of cheap
lawn--yellow ground dotted with blue. She flung it angrily on the
floor, and ran out of the room.

Mr. Stillman turned to Rachel after a moment of dumb amazement, and
said: "You can have the dress, Rachel. I'll teach Margaret a lesson."

"I don't want it," she said. "You had no right to take Margaret's
money. You did give her the calf, and when you sold Tom's pig you gave
him his money."

"Nice girls you're raising, mother," said Mr. Stillman to his
frightened wife. "They'll be turning us out of doors next. You pick up
that lawn, miss."

Rachel did so. As she folded it, he went on: "That calf was mine. I
only meant to pay her for caring for it."

"You should have told her so, then," said his daughter, facing him
with eyes keen as his own; "but you told her if she could raise it she
might have it, and, of course, she believed you."

He raised his hand as if to strike her; then, as she did not move or
drop her eyes, he turned and left the room.

July came, but the Stillman girls did not go to the picnic. Tom and
the "hands" did; and Mrs. Lansing and her boys stopped at Stillman's
on their way and offered the girls seats in their wagon. But Mr.
Stillman said his women had to get ready for the harvest hands who
were coming next day, and Margaret said to Rachel bitterly: "We
have no decent clothes to go in anyhow." And there was much washing,
ironing, cooking, and churning done as the days went on. No wonder
Mrs. Stillman grew paler and weaker, until even her husband noticed
it, and brought her a bottle of bitters, and told the girls to "keep
mother out of the kitchen," which they indeed tried to do. But how
could the mother rest when there was so much to do? The girls could
not manage as she could, and Elizabeth seemed "so poorly;" for the
patient elder daughter, as the summer dragged along, had a pitifully
hopeless look on her pale face, and went about listlessly, as if life
had lost all interest for her.

At last there came a morning when the mother did not rise for

"Hadn't we better send for Dr. Lewis, father?" said Elizabeth.

"Oh, no; your mother did not sleep much, it was so hot last night.
She'll be up directly. You keep her out of the kitchen, and see you
have dinner on time. We want to finish to-day, for I expect we'll have
a storm, from the feel of the air."

Noon came. Dinner for a dozen hungry men was on the table, and still
Mrs. Stillman was in bed. While the men were eating, Rachel slipped
in to her mother. She was awake, but her flushed face and wild, bright
eyes startled the girl.

"Oh, mother!" she cried, "you are very sick; you must have the

"No, dear," the mother answered; "father is too busy now. I'll be
better after awhile. You go help wait on the table."

Rachel returned to the dining-room. "Take that fly-brush, Rachel,"
said her father. "Susy's no account; she's too lazy to keep it going."

Poor, tired little Susy, who had done a large churning that morning,
crimsoned to the roots of her hair as she handed Rachel the brush and
hurried out of the room.

When dinner was over Mr. Stillman glared into the room where his wife
lay. "She is asleep," he said. "I guess she's all right."

"She hasn't eaten a thing to-day," said Rachel. "Hadn't she better
have the doctor?"

"Well," said her father, impatiently, "if she's no better in the
morning, I'll send for him;" and he went back to the field.

Rachel went for Mrs. Lansing, for she and her sisters grew frightened
as the mother's fever increased. When that good woman came she saw at
once the serious condition of her friend.

"I saw Dr. Lewis coming down the road in his buggy as I came," she
said. "One of you hurry out and stop him."

When, about five o'clock, the rain began to fall in torrents, Mr.
Stillman had the satisfaction of seeing the last load of grain driven
inside the barn door; and, taking off his hat, he wiped the moisture
from his face, saying: "Well, boys, we beat the rain; and I don't care
if it pours down now."

He walked toward the house, and, to his surprise, saw the well-known
figure of Dr. Lewis on the front porch. "Driven in by the rain," he
thought. "I'll get him to give mother a little medicine."

"How are you, doctor?" he said, as he stepped upon the porch. "Lucky
getting my wheat in, wasn't I?"

"Very," said the doctor, gravely; "but I am sorry to say I find Mrs.
Stillman a very sick woman. You should have sent for me long ago." The
husband was startled.

"Why," he said, "she has been going about until to-day. I guess it's
this weather has made her so weak. She can't be very sick."

The physician was silent for a moment; then he said: "If there is not
a change for the better soon, I fear she will live but a few days. I
cannot understand how she has kept up;" and he turned and went into
the sick-room.

For once the men at Stillman's ate a cold supper and did the milking.
Mrs. Lansing took things into her own capable hands. John and his wife
were sent for and came, and Jim Lansing quietly hitched up a team and
went for Martha and her husband--poor Martha, who had not seen her
mother for more than a year!

All night Mr. Stillman watched by the bedside or walked up and down
the long back porch. It could not be she would die--his wife. It
was the hot weather; she was just weak and tired. That was it, Mr.
Stillman--worn out, tired; and rest was coming. When Martha came, the
mother who had so longed for her did not recognize her.

"Mother, only speak to me!" cried the daughter in anguish; but the
mother looked at her with dimming eyes that saw no more of earth,
and muttered as she turned upon her couch, "Hurry, girls, it's nearly
noon. Hurry! Father will be angry if he has to wait."

Then she grew quiet; only her restless hands, which her daughters
vainly strove to hold, kept reaching out as if to grasp that unknown
land she was so soon to enter; and before the sun was high in the
morning Mrs. Stillman had found rest.

Her husband was stunned. With haggard face he bent over his dead.
"If I had known," he said. "Oh, my wife, if I had known, I would have
taken better care of you."

Ah, Mr. Stillman, you are not the only one who with remorseful heart
cries, "If I had only known, if I had only known!"

Life went on as usual at Stillman's after the mother had left them.
For a while the father was kinder, but as time went on the old habit
was resumed. Elizabeth went mechanically about her work, and her
father did not notice her evidently failing health. Her quietness was
a relief to him; for Margaret was growing more defiant toward him, and
quarrelled constantly with Tom, who, now that his mother's influence
was withdrawn, became more and more meddlesome and overbearing in his
conduct toward his sisters. The summer following Mrs. Stillman's death
Mrs. Lansing's eldest son, Frank, took unto himself a wife; and
late in the fall the neighborhood was electrified by the unexpected
marriage of Mrs. Lansing and Mr. Stillman. Her boys, on learning her
intention, had remonstrated; but she said: "You boys do not need me,
and these girls do. Think of a young girl like Rachel saying, 'God had
nothing to do with my mother's death. It was hard work killed her!'
And when I tried to tell her of His goodness to His creatures, she
said: 'Yes; He is good enough to men. All He cares for women is to
create them for men's convenience,' And then there's little Susy, with
a face like her mother's. Why, it just haunts me!"

"Well," said Jim, "things are in a bad fix over there; but it isn't
Susy's face that haunts me, by any means."

His mother laughed. "I shall take care of Margaret," she said; "she
and Elizabeth need some one to look after them. They are being worked
to death."

Four years have slipped over the heads of the Stillmans--years well
improved by Rachel and Susy at the academy in the town near their
father's farm; years which gave Margaret's happiness into Jim
Lansing's keeping, and made Jim a young man of whom his sisters were
extremely proud. Even Elizabeth's sad face looks as if life might be
worth living; for, under the second wife, life at Stillman's had taken
on a different color. The spare room is a pretty sitting-room for the
young folks.

"We don't want them always with us," says Mrs. Stillman, as she shows
her husband the change she has made; for one of her peculiarities is
that she manages her household affairs as she thinks best, taking it
for granted that her husband will approve. As for Rachel, she enjoyed
the change for the better; but now, to the bitter feeling which she
cherished toward her father, was added a touch of contempt "See,"
she thought, "how he can be flattered into doing things; if my mother
could have managed him so, she might have lived."

Rachel was mistaken; the new wife did not manoeuvre or flatter, she
simply took her proper place as mistress of the house--not as a sort
of upper servant, to be snubbed or praised at the master's humor.

Another summer had been added to Rachel's years when, one evening,
Tom came home from town, and entering the dining-room, where she was
preparing the table for supper, exclaimed: "Rachel, do you remember
old Gray, as I used to call him, who taught our school the winter
before mother died?"

"Yes," she said, "I remember him. Mother liked him."

"Well, I met him in town to-day. He's on that Sanders case. He knew me
right off, and he's coming out here this evening; so fix up nice and
be looking your sweetest. They say he's smart. I heard some of the old
lawyers talking about him." And Tom caught his sister about the waist
and waltzed her out on the porch.

"Rachel," said Susy, as in their own room the girls were dressing
after supper, "you are very hard to please to-night and you seem
nervous. What ails you?"

Rachel smiled. "I am thinking of old days, that is all," she said. But
she entered the little parlor, where Tom and the guest were seated, in
a perfectly self-possessed manner, saying, as she held out her hand:

"Good-evening, teacher. How goes the battle with Apollyon?"

And the young lawyer sprang to his feet, exclaiming: "Rachel! is it
possible?" and he retained her hand and looked into her eyes so long
that Susy, who had followed her into the room, and Tom declared that
he fell in love then and there. However that may be, it is certain Mr.
Gray showed a wonderful interest in Stillman's district. The trial in
progress at Meywood was tedious, but his patience did not give out;
and when some of the lawyers proposed to hold night sessions of
court he objected earnestly, saying: "It would be too hard on the old

But all things must end, and the case was at last decided in favor
of Mr. Gray's client. As Rachel congratulated him on his victory, he
said, with a look that brought the color to her face:

"How long must I stay in Doubting Castle, Rachel?"

"Why, dear me," she answered, saucily, "I did not think a promising
young lawyer, as father calls you, ever got into such a dismal place!"

Then Susy came in, and the young man bade her good-by, but he
whispered promise of speedy return to Rachel, and as he travelled
homeward those wonderful eyes of hers seemed to haunt him.

"Who would have thought," he said to himself, "she could have become
such a woman? No wonder I could not find a girl to suit me when she
has been my ideal."

You see, he was trying to persuade himself he had thought of her ever
since that term of school; and it may be, unknown to himself, those
eyes had held him. At any rate, he says they did; and when, time after
time, they drew him back to Stillman's, he at last made Rachel believe
it, and with the little key of promise she delivered him from Doubting

Let us take one more look, two years later, at the Stillman homestead.
There is a family gathering, and all the girls are present--Martha
and Margaret, with their sturdy boys and rosy girls; Rachel, with her
baby; and Susy, a gay young aunt, flits to and fro, playing with and
teasing the little ones. Elizabeth, with unwonted brightness in her
eyes, looks on, enjoying the merriment.

"Doesn't it seem odd," whispers Margaret, "that Lizzie's minister
should come back after all these years."

"Yes," answers Rachel, in the same low tone. "I am so glad. She seems
so happy."

The husbands are all present in the evening, and the old house is full
of light and gayety. Rachel slips upstairs to put baby to bed; and as
she sits in the room where so many miserable hours of her childhood
were spent, her tears fall, thinking of herself and the dear, patient
mother, who had suffered and died; and the old bitterness rises in her
heart. Baby stirs and she hushes him, then lays him gently in the old
cradle, and goes downstairs. Some impulse prompts her to enter the
sitting-room instead of the parlor, where she thinks the family are
all gathered.

As she opens the door she sees her father sitting, as of old, by the
table on which the lamp is burning, and she half turns to go out;
but something in his attitude touches her. He is not reading, for the
newspaper lies untouched--he is looking at something in his hand.

She notices how gray his hair is, and how age is tracing lines on his
face. "Are you feeling sick, father?" she asks.

"Oh, no," he says. "Look here, Rachel;" and he hands her a faded
daguerreotype of her mother taken when she was a fair young bride. "I
was thinking about her."

"How much like Susy," she said, with tears falling on the lovely face.

"Yes, only she was prettier," he answers. "I have been thinking of her
so much lately, Rachel. I am going to do something that would please
her. I have bought that pretty little place of Perry's, and I will put
Martha and her husband on it. Dick's a good industrious fellow; but
it's hard to make anything on a rented farm, and Martha's worried too
much. You don't think any of the children will object?" and he looked
anxiously in her face.

"Object? Why, they will be glad, father!" And dropping her head on his
shoulder, she puts her arm around him for the first time in her life;
and as she slips the little daguerreotype in his hand a sweet peace
fills her heart and she thinks: "The bitterness is gone, and love
fills its place." After awhile she joins the group in the parlor. They
are singing to Susy's accompaniment on the organ.

"Sing 'Coronation,' Susy," she says, as she sits down beside her
husband and glances lovingly in his face.

"What is it?" he whispers. "You are unusually happy."

"Yes," she answers. "I have had a vision of the land of Beulah, where
Love is king."






The town of Lawrence was three miles and a half from Andover. Up to
the year 1860 we had considered Lawrence chiefly in the light of a
place to drive to. To the girlish resources which could, in those
days, only include a trip to Boston at the call of some fate too vast
to be expected more than two or three times a year, Lawrence offered
consolations in the shape of dry goods and restaurant ice-cream, and
a slow, delicious drive in the family carryall through sand flats and
pine woods, and past the largest bed of the sweetest violets that
ever dared the blasts of a New England spring. To the pages of the
gazetteer Lawrence would have been known as a manufacturing town
of importance. Upon the map of our young fancy the great mills were
sketched in lightly; we looked up from the restaurant ice-cream to see
the "hands" pour out for dinner, a dark and restless, but a
patient, throng; used, in those days, to standing eleven hours and a
quarter--women and girls--at their looms, six days of the week, and
making no audible complaints; for socialism had not reached Lawrence,
and anarchy was content to bray in distant parts of the geography at
which the factory people had not arrived when they left school.

Sometimes we counted the great mills as we drove up Essex
Street--having come over the bridge by the roaring dam that tamed
the proud Merrimac to spinning cotton--Pacific, Atlantic, Washington,
Pemberton; but this was an idle, æsthetic pleasure. We did not think
about the mill-people; they seemed as far from us as the coal-miners
of a vague West, or the down-gatherers on the crags of shores whose
names we did not think it worth while to remember. One January
evening, we were forced to think about the mills with curdling horror
that no one living in that locality when the tragedy happened will

At five o'clock the Pemberton Mills, all hands being at the time on
duty, without a tremor of warning, sank to the ground.

At the erection of the factory a pillar with a defective core had
passed careless inspectors. In technical language, the core had
"floated" an eighth of an inch from its position. The weak spot in the
too thin wall of the pillar had bided its time, and yielded. The roof,
the walls, the machinery, fell upon seven hundred and fifty living
men and women, and buried them. Most of these were rescued; but
eighty-eight were killed. As the night came on, those watchers on
Andover Hill who could not join the rescuing parties, saw a strange
and fearful light at the north.

Where we were used to watching the beautiful belt of the lighted mills
blaze,--a zone of laughing fire from east to west, upon the horizon
bar,--a red and awful glare went up. The mill had taken fire. A
lantern, overturned in the hands of a man who was groping to save an
imprisoned life, had flashed to the cotton, or the wool, or the
oil with which the ruins were saturated. One of the historic
conflagrations of New England resulted.

With blanching cheeks we listened to the whispers that told us how the
mill-girls, caught in the ruins beyond hope of escape, began to sing.
They were used to singing, poor things, at their looms--mill-girls
always are--and their young souls took courage from the familiar sound
of one another's voices. They sang the hymns and songs which they had
learned in the schools and churches. No classical strains, no "music
for music's sake," ascended from that furnace; no ditty of love or
frolic; but the plain, religious outcries of the people: "Heaven is my
home," "Jesus, lover of my soul," and "Shall we gather at the river?"
Voice after voice dropped. The fire raced on. A few brave girls sang

  "Shall we gather at the river,
  There to walk and worship ever?"

But the startled Merrimac rolled by, red as blood beneath the glare of
the burning mills, and it was left to the fire and the river to finish
the chorus.

At the time this tragedy occurred, I felt my share of its horror,
like other people; but no more than that. My brother, being of the
privileged sex, was sent over to see the scene; but I was not allowed
to go.

Years after, I cannot say just how many, the half-effaced negative
came back to form under the chemical of some new perception of the
significance of human tragedy.

It occurred to me to use the event as the basis of a story. To this
end I set forth to study the subject. I had heard nothing in those
days about "material," and conscience in the use of it, and little
enough about art. We did not talk about realism then. Of critical
phraseology I knew nothing; and of critical standards only what I had
observed by reading the best fiction. Poor novels and stories I
did not read. I do not remember being forbidden them; but, by that
parental art finer than denial, they were absent from my convenience.

It needed no instruction in the canons of art, however, to teach me
that to do a good thing, one must work hard for it. So I gave the best
part of a month to the study of the Pemberton Mill tragedy, driving to
Lawrence, and investigating every possible avenue of information left
at that too long remove of time which might give the data. I visited
the rebuilt mills, and studied the machinery. I consulted engineers
and officials and physicians, newspaper men, and persons who had been
in the mill at the time of its fall. I scoured the files of old local
papers, and from these I took certain portions of names, actually
involved in the catastrophe; though, of course, fictitiously used.
When there was nothing left for me to learn upon the subject, I came
home and wrote a little story called "The Tenth of January," and sent
it to the "Atlantic Monthly," where it appeared in due time.

This story is of more interest to its author than it can possibly
be now to any reader, because it distinctly marked for me the first
recognition which I received from literary people.

Whittier, the poet, wrote me his first letter, after having read
this story. It was soon followed by a kind note from Colonel Thomas
Wentworth Higginson. Both these distinguished men said the pleasant
thing which goes so far towards keeping the courage of young writers
above sinking point, and which, to a self-distrustful nature, may be
little less than a life-preserver. Both have done similar kindness to
many other beginners in our calling; but none of these can have been
more grateful for it, or more glad to say so, across this long width
of time, than the writer of "The Tenth of January."

It was a defective enough little story, crude and young; I never
glance at it without longing to write it over; but I cannot read it,
to this day, without that tingling and numbness down one's spine and
through the top of one's head, which exceptional tragedy must produce
in any sensitive organization; nor can I ever trust myself to hear
it read by professional elocutionists. I attribute the success of
the story entirely to the historic and unusual character of the
catastrophe on whose movement it was built.

Of journalism, strictly speaking, I did nothing. But I often wrote for
weekly denominational papers, to which I contributed those strictly
secular articles so popular with the religious public. My main
impression of them now, is a pleasant sense of sitting out in the
apple-trees in the wonderful Andover Junes, and "noticing" new
books-with which Boston publishers kept me supplied. For whatever
reason, the weeklies gave me all I could do at this sort of thing. In
its course I formed some pleasant acquaintances; among others that of
Jean Ingelow. I have never seen this poet, whom I honor now as much as
I admired then; but charming little notes, and books of her own, with
her autograph, reached me from time to time for years. I remember
when "The Gates Ajar" appeared, that she frankly called it "Your most
strange book."

This brings me to say: I have been so often and so urgently asked to
publish some account of the history of this book, that perhaps I need
crave no pardon of whatever readers these papers may command, for
giving more of our space to the subject than it would otherwise occur
to one to do to a book so long behind the day.

Of what we know as literary ambition, I believe myself to have been
as destitute at that time as any girl who ever put pen to paper. I was
absorbed in thought and feeling as far removed from the usual class
of emotions or motives which move men and women to write, as Wachusett
was from the June lilies burning beside the moonlit cross in my
father's garden. Literary ambition is a good thing to possess; and I
do not at all suggest that I was superior to it, but simply apart from
it. Of its pangs and ecstasies I knew little, and thought less.

I have been asked, possibly a thousand times, whether I looked upon
that little book as in any sense the result of inspiration, whether
what is called spiritualistic, or of any other sort. I have always
promptly said "No," to this question. Yet sometimes I wonder if that
convenient monosyllable in deed and truth covers the whole case.

When I remember just how the book came to be, perceive the
consequences of its being, and recall the complete unconsciousness of
the young author as to their probable nature, there are moments when I
am fain to answer the question by asking another: "What do we mean by

That book grew so naturally, it was so inevitable, it was so
unpremeditated, it came so plainly from that something not one's self
which makes for uses in which one's self is extinguished, that there
are times when it seems to me as if I had no more to do with the
writing of it than the bough through which the wind cries, or the wave
by means of which the tide rises.

The angel said unto me "Write!" and I wrote.

It is impossible to remember how or when the idea of the book first
visited me. Its publication bears the date of 1869. My impressions are
that it may have been towards the close of 1864 that the work began;
for there was work in it, more than its imperfect and youthful
character might lead one ignorant of the art of book-making to

It was not until 1863 that I left school, being then just about at
my nineteenth birthday. It is probable that the magazine stories
and Sunday-school books and hack work occupied from one to two years
without interruption; but I have no more temperament for dates in my
own affairs than I have for those of history. At the most, I could
not have been far from twenty when the book was written; possibly
approaching twenty-one.

At that time, it will be remembered, our country was dark with
sorrowing women. The regiments came home, but the mourners went about
the streets.

The Grand Review passed through Washington; four hundred thousand
ghosts of murdered men kept invisible march to the drum-beats, and
lifted to the stained and tattered flags the proud and unreturned gaze
of the dead who have died in their glory.

Our gayest scenes were black with crape. The drawn faces of bereaved
wife, mother, sister, and widowed girl showed piteously everywhere.
Gray-haired parents knelt at the grave of the boy whose enviable
fortune it was to be brought home in time to die in his mother's room.
Towards the nameless mounds of Arlington, of Gettysburg, and the rest,
the yearning of desolated homes went out in those waves of anguish
which seem to choke the very air that the happier and more fortunate
must breathe.

Is there not an actual occult force in the existence of a general
grief? It swells to a tide whose invisible flow covers all the little
resistance of common, human joyousness. It is like a material miasma.
The gayest man breathes it, if he breathe at all; and the most
superficial cannot escape it.

Into that great world of woe my little book stole forth, trembling. So
far as I can remember having had any "object" at all in its creation,
I wished to say something that would comfort some few--I did not think
at all about comforting many, not daring to suppose that incredible
privilege possible--of the women whose misery crowded the land. The
smoke of their torment ascended, and the sky was blackened by it. I do
not think I thought so much about the suffering of men--the fathers,
the brothers, the sons--bereft; but the women--the helpless,
outnumbering, unconsulted women; they whom war trampled down, without
a choice or protest; the patient, limited, domestic women, who thought
little, but loved much, and, loving, had lost all--to them I would
have spoken.

For it came to seem to me, as I pondered these things in my own heart,
that even the best and kindest forms of our prevailing beliefs had
nothing to say to an afflicted woman that could help her much. Creeds
and commentaries and sermons were made by men. What tenderest of men
knows how to comfort his own daughter when her heart is broken? What
can the doctrines do for the desolated by death? They were chains of
rusty iron, eating into raw hearts. The prayer of the preacher were
not much better; it sounded like the language of an unknown race to
a despairing girl. Listen to the hymn. It falls like icicles on snow.
Or, if it happen to be one of the old genuine outcries of the Church,
sprung from real human anguish or hope, it maddens the listener, and
she flees from it, too sore a thing to bear the touch of holy music.

At this time, be it said, I had no interest at all in any especial
movement for the peculiar needs of women as a class. I was reared in
circles which did not concern themselves with what we should probably
have called agitators. I was taught the old ideas of womanhood, in the
old way, and had not to any important extent begun to resent them.

Perhaps I am wrong here. Individually, I may have begun to recoil from
them, but only in a purely selfish, personal way, beyond which I had
evolved neither theory nor conscience; much less the smallest tendency
towards sympathy with any public movement of the question.

In the course of two or three years spent in exceptional solitude,
I had read a good deal in the direction of my ruling thoughts and
feeling, and came to the writing of my little book, not ignorant of
what had been written for and by the mourning. The results of this
reading, of course, went into the book, and seemed to me, at the time,
by far the most useful part of it.

How the book grew, who can say? More of nature than of purpose,
surely. It moved like a tear or a sigh or a prayer. In a sense I
scarcely knew that I wrote it. Yet it signified labor and time, crude
and young as it looks to me now; and often as I have wondered, from
my soul, why it has known the history that it has, I have at least
a certain respect for it, myself, in that it did not represent
shiftlessness or sloth, but steady and conscientious toil. There was
not a page in it which had not been subjected to such study as the
writer then knew how to offer to her manuscripts.

Every sentence had received the best attention which it was in the
power of my inexperience and youth to give. I wrote and rewrote. The
book was revised so many times that I could have said it by heart.
The process of forming and writing "The Gates Ajar" lasted, I think,
nearly two years.

I had no study or place to myself in those days; only the little room
whose one window looked upon the garden cross, and which it was not
expected would be warmed in winter.

The room contained no chimney, and, until I was sixteen, no fire for
any purpose. At that time, it being supposed that some delicacy of the
lungs had threatened serious results, my father, who always moved the
sods beneath him and the skies above him to care for a sick child, had
managed to insert a little stove into the room, to soften its chill
when needed. But I did not have consumption, only life; and one was
not expected to burn wood all day for private convenience in our
furnace-heated house. Was there not the great dining-room where the
children studied?

It was not so long since I, too, had learned my lessons off the
dining-room table, or in the corner by the register, that it should
occur to any member of the family that these opportunities for privacy
could not answer my needs.

Equally, it did not occur to me to ask for any abnormal luxuries. I
therefore made the best of my conditions, though I do remember sorely
longing for quiet.

This, at that time, in that house, it was impossible for me to
compass. There was a growing family of noisy boys--four of them--of
whom I was the only sister, as I was the oldest child. When the baby
did not cry (I have always maintained that the baby cried pretty
steadily both day and night, but this is a point upon which their
mother and I have affectionately agreed to differ), the boys were
shouting about the grounds, chasing each other through the large
house, up and down the cellar stairs, and through the wide halls,
a whirlwind of vigor and fun. They were merry, healthy boys, and
everything was done to keep them so. I sometimes doubt if there are
any happier children growing anywhere than the boys and girls of
Andover used to be. I was very fond of the boys, and cherished no
objection to their privileges in the house. But when one went down, on
a cold day, to the register, to write one's chapter on the nature of
amusements in the life to come, and found the dining-room neatly
laid out in the form of a church congregation, to which a certain
proportion of brothers were enthusiastically performing the duties of
an active pastor and parish, the environment was a definite check to

I wonder if all Andover boys played at preaching? It certainly was the
one sport in our house which never satiated.

Coming in one day, I remember, struggling with certain hopeless
purposes of my own, for an afternoon's work, I found the dining-room
chairs all nicely set in the order of pews; a table, ornamented
with Bible and hymn-books, confronted them; behind it, on a cricket,
towered the bigger brother, loudly holding forth. The little brother
represented the audience--it was usually the little one who was forced
to play this duller _rôle_--and, with open mouth, and with wriggling
feet turned in on the rounds of the chair, absorbed as much
exhortation as he could suffer.

"My text, brethren," said the little minister, "is, 'Suffer the little
children to come unto me.'

"My subject is, _God; Joseph; and Moses in the bulrushes_!"

Discouraged by the alarming breadth of the little preacher's topic, I
fled up-stairs again. There an inspiration did, indeed, strike me;
for I remembered an old fur cape, or _pelisse_, of my mother's, out
of fashion, but the warmer for that; and straightway I got me into it,
and curled up, with my papers, on the chilly bed in the cold room, and
went to work.

It seems to me that a good part of "The Gates Ajar" was written in
that old fur cape. Often I stole up into the attic, or into some
unfrequented closet, to escape the noise of the house, while at work.
I remember, too, writing sometimes in the barn, on the haymow. The
book extended over a wide domestic topography.

I hasten to say that no person was to blame for inconveniences of
whose existence I had never complained. Doubtless something would have
been done to relieve them had I asked for it; or if the idea that my
work could ever be of any consequence had occurred to any of us. Why
should it? The girl who is never "domestic" is trial enough at her
best. She cannot cook; she will not sew. She washes dishes Mondays and
Tuesdays under protest, while the nurse and parlor maid are called
off from their natural avocations, and dusts the drawing-room with
obedient resentment. She sits cutting out underclothes in the March
vacations, when all the schools are closed, and when the heavy wagons
from the distant farming region stick in the bottomless Andover mud in
front of the professor's house. The big front door is opened, and the
dismal, creaking sounds come in.

The kind and conscientious new mother, to whom I owe many other gentle
lessons more valuable than this, teaches how necessary to a lady's
education is a neat needle. The girl does not deny this elemental
fact; but her eyes wander away to the cold sky above the Andover
mud, with passionate entreaty. To this day I cannot hear the thick
chu-chunk! of heavy wheels on March mud without a sudden mechanical
echo of that wild, young outcry: "Must I cut out underclothes forever?
Must I go on tucking the broken end of the thread into the nick in the
spool? Is _this_ LIFE?"

I am more than conscious that I could not have been an easy girl to
"bring up," and am sure that for whatever little difficulties beset
the earlier time of my ventures as a writer, no person was in any
fault. They were doubtless good for me, in their way. We all know that
some of the greatest of brain-workers have selected the poorest and
barest of spots in which to study. Luxury and bric-a-brac come to easy
natures or in easy years. The energy that very early learns to conquer
difficulty is always worth its price.

I used, later, to hear in Boston the story of the gentleman who once
took a friend to see the room of his son at Harvard College. The
friend was a man of plain life, but of rich mental achievement. He
glanced at the Persian rugs and costly draperies of the boy's quarters
in silence.

"Well," cried the fond father, "don't you think my son has a pretty

"Sir," said the visitor, with gentle candor, "_you'll never raise a
scholar on that carpet._"

Out of my discomforts, which were small enough, grew one thing for
which I have all my life been grateful--the formation of fixed habits
of work.

I have seldom waited for inspiration before setting about a task to
be done. Life is too short for that. Broken health has too often
interrupted a regimen of study which ought to have been more
continuous; but, so far as I may venture to offer an opinion from
personal experience, I should say that the writers who would be wise
to play hide and seek with their own moods are few.

According to my custom, I said nothing (so far as I can remember) to
any person about the book.

It cannot be said that I had any hope of success with it; or that,
in my most irrational dreams, anything like the consequences of its
publication ever occurred to my fancy. But I did distinctly understand
that I had set forth upon a venture totally dissimilar to the safe and
respectable careers of my dozen Sunday-school books.

I was asked only the other day why it was that, having such a rare
critic at first hand as my father, I did not more often submit my
manuscripts to his judgment. It would be difficult to say precisely
why. The professor of rhetoric was a very busy man; and at that time
the illness which condemned him to thirty years of invalid suffering
was beginning to make itself manifest. I can remember more often
throwing down my pen to fly out and beg the children to be quiet in
the garden while the sleepless man struggled for a few moments' rest
in the daytime; or stealing on tiptoe to his locked door, at any hour
of the night, to listen for signs of sudden illness or need of help;
these things come back more easily than the desire to burden him with
what I wrote.

Yet perhaps that abnormal pride, whose existence I have admitted, had
quite as much to do with this restraint.

When a thing was published, then quickly to him with it! His sympathy
and interest were unfailing, and his criticism only too gentle; though
it could be a sword of flame when he chose to smite.

Unknown to himself I had dedicated "The Gates Ajar" to him. In this
dedication there was a slip in good English, or, at least, in such
English as the professor wrote and spoke. I had used the word "nears"
as a verb, instead of its proper synonym, "approaches." He read the
dedication quietly, thanked me tenderly for it, and said nothing. It
was left for me to find out my blunder for myself, as I did, in due
time. He had not the heart to tell me of it then. Nor did he insinuate
his consciousness that the dedication might seem to involve him--as it
did in certain citadels of stupidity--in the views of the book.

The story was sent to its publishers, Messrs. Ticknor and Fields, and
leisurely awaited their verdict. As I had written somewhat for their
magazines, "The Atlantic" and "Our Young Folks," I did not come as
quite a stranger. Still, the fate of the book hung upon a delicate
scale. It was two years from the time the story went to its publishers
before it appeared between covers. How much of this period the author
was kept in suspense I cannot remember; but, I think, some time.

I have the impression that the disposal of the book, so far as that
firm went, wavered for a while upon the decision of one man, whose
wife shared the reading of the manuscript. "Take it," she said at
last, decidedly; and the fiat went forth. The lady afterwards became
a personal friend, and I hope I may not forfeit the treasure of her
affection by this late and public recognition of the pleasant part she
bore in the fortunes of my life.

The book was accepted, and still this piece of good luck did not make
my head spin. I had lived among book-makers too much to expect
the miracle. I went soberly back to my hack work, and on with my
Sunday-school books.

One autumn day the customary package of gift copies of the new book
made its way to Andover Hill; but: I opened it without elation, the
experience being so far from my first of its kind. The usual note
of thanks was returned to the publishers, and quiet fell again.
Unconscious of either hope or fear, I kept on about my business,
and the new book was the last thing on earth with which I concerned

One morning, not many weeks after its publication, I received a letter
from Mr. James T. Fields. He, who was the quickest of men to do a
kindness, and surest to give to young writers the encouraging word for
which they had not hope enough to listen, had hurried himself to break
to me the news.

"Your book is moving grandly," so he wrote. "It has already reached
a sale of four thousand copies. We take pleasure in sending you--" He
enclosed a check for six hundred dollars, the largest sum on which I
had ever set my startled eyes. It would not, by my contract, have been
due me for six months or more to come.

The little act was like him, and like the courteous and generous house
on whose list I have worked for thirty years.




We find considerable difficulty in getting the two hundred first-class
short stories that we require each year. We are delighted to be able
to publish so many stories by eminent authors, but we should like to
get more good stories from writers whose fame is yet to be made. We
therefore announce a liberal policy in regard to payment, and invite
contributions from every one who can write a good story. The scale
of payment will be such as to please every contributor, whether he is
famous or not.

We need every year about fifty stories of from four to six thousand
words in length; about one hundred stories of from two to three
thousand words in length, and not less than fifty stories a year for
young people, about two thousand words in length. Of these stories
thirty or forty are for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE, and the remainder are
for the newspaper syndicates controlled by the publishers of this

A regular manuscript department has been established by the editors,
and it is the intention to report upon every manuscript within a week
after it is received. We also welcome contributions to every branch of
literature represented in the magazine.


This volume contains all the articles published in the first
four Lincoln numbers of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE (November to February,
inclusive). These numbers, although repeatedly reprinted, are now out
of print, and the "Early Life of Lincoln" was published mainly to meet
a demand we could not fill with the magazine. It contains a great deal
more, both in text and pictures, than appeared in the magazine. It is
mailed to any address for fifty cents; or for one dollar, if bound
in cloth. We intend having our own plant, to reprint the March and
subsequent numbers whenever necessary.


We have been greatly surprised, in preparing our new "Life of Grant,"
to find so much new and valuable material, especially about Grant's
earlier life. No more fascinating and dramatic story has ever been
lived. We have been especially fortunate in securing the collaboration
of Mr. Hamlin Garland to write this life of Grant. Mr. Garland was
selected for this work for two reasons--first, he has always loved and
admired Grant; second, he is familiar in general with the conditions
of life in the middle West, and is especially qualified to tell the
truth both in color and fact. The tastes and training of a realistic
novelist are an admirable equipment for a biographer, provided the
hero of his story and his environment appeal to the novelist.

_We propose to publish the best Life of Grant ever written._

We have collected a great quantity of pictures and other
illustrations, and we ask our friends to help us as they are helping
us in our "Life of Lincoln." Every one who has a contribution, either
in picture or incident, to our knowledge of this great man ought to
bring it before the two or three million readers that McCLURE'S will
have when we begin to publish the "Life of Grant" next November.


Almost every week we add to our collection of Lincoln pictures. Many
of these ambrotypes and photographs are of the greatest value in
adding to our knowledge of Lincoln. We hope to reach one hundred
before the end of the year. We had only fifty portraits last November.
We have eighty now.


Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, was the scene of one of the most
important of the debates between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglas. The
debate took place on a platform at the east end of the main college
building. At this memorable debate the students carried a banner on
which was inscribed "Knox for Lincoln." In April, 1860, before he was
nominated for the Presidency, Knox College conferred the degree of
LL.D. on Abraham Lincoln. At their recent midwinter meeting, the board
of trustees unanimously voted to establish a memorial to Lincoln; and
this memorial will be the scientific department of Knox College, and
will be called "The Abraham Lincoln School of Science and Practical

The founders of this magazine are all alumni of Knox College, and are
particularly pleased at this action of their alma mater. Knox College
affords a splendid opportunity to young men and women of limited
means. The editors of this magazine can afford to pay the living
expenses and tuition for one year at this college of any young man or
woman who secures five hundred subscribers, as proposed and explained
on the second advertising page of this number of the magazine.

The editors of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE are thoroughly acquainted with Knox
College, and can recommend it, knowing that students who go there will
live under the best possible influences and receive a sound education.
All inquiries should be addressed to the president, John Finley, Knox
College, Galesburg, Illinois.


The picture of the house in which Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks
were married, printed in McCLURE'S MAGAZINE for November, 1895, was
credited by mistake to the Oldroyd collection. The photograph from
which the reproduction was made came from the Oldroyd collection;
but this photograph is, we are informed, from a negative now in
the possession of Mr. A.D. Miller of Brazil, Indiana, and credit is
therefore due to Mr. Miller.

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

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, April, 1896" ***

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