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´╗┐Title: Revisiting the Earth
Author: Hill, James Langdon
Language: English
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                         REVISITING THE EARTH

                        BY JAMES L. HILL, D.D.

_Author of "The Immortal Seven," "The Scholar's Larger Life," "The Worst
Boys in Town," "Favorites of History," "The Century's Capstone," "Memory
Comforting Sorrow," "A Crowning Achievement," etc._

    "_We know not the future,--the past we have felt_"



    All Rights Reserved

    Made in the United States of America

    The Gorham Press, Boston, U. S. A.

    "'_Tis sweet to remember! I would not forego
    The charm which the Past o'er the Present can thro_"


































To revisit the earth after one's departure from it has always been a
common wish among men. The frequency with which this desire is expressed
in biographies and in literature, keeps the project alive, and works it
to the front in one's plans. Benjamin Franklin presents the thought in
such attractive dress that we incline to adopt it for a programme. There
is one item in his proposition that calls for argument at the bar of
public opinion. It touches the length of the interval that should be
suffered to elapse before the visit is made. So rapid is the growth, so
radical are the changes, that if one's reappearance is too long delayed
he would recognize nothing in the new conditions. He might as well set
himself down in some other unfamiliar place. The postponement should not
exceed a third of a century. It is his world that a man wants to see,
and each one has his own. His antecedents and experiences have given to
it a distinctive character.

_To Open Books that are Sealed_

On a golden day the thought came to me unbidden, I have seen three and
thirty years rise and fall since I have viewed the identical spots that
I would care most to look upon. Instantly I made the resolve, I will
visit, in the first eight weeks of summer, every place in which I have
lived or loved or labored. I ascertained, in advance, the name of some
kindly disposed person at each point in my itinerary, who could identify
the site of the house in which I lived, if it is not still standing,
also of the school and church that I attended. The letter I had written
was handed in one case to the editor of the local paper, who featured
it, in his columns, asking for the names of persons now living who
remembered me. Here is plainly seen an insuperable objection to waiting
Ben Franklin's interval of one hundred years before revisiting the
earth. This correspondence, which contributed immeasurably to the
pleasure and profit of the project, ought to be undertaken, while there
are two parties to conduct it. Where one's coming is expected and
welcomed he passes at once into the right relations to the place, also
into the atmosphere he desires.

_Let Me Drop a Hint Here Like a Seed_

I care not how widely you have traveled if you have never made a pious
pilgrimage to your childhood's shrines--you have still missed your
superlative pleasure.

It is possible for you to live your life over and the part commended for
you to live over again is when you were young.

Here is rejuvenation. To live one's life over is to live it twice. This
amounts to doubling it. Who would not do it? If the period of time
during which one may live on the earth is fixed, it certainly is
limited, if there is a possible way to live twice, what one does live,
he would better be extremely hospitable to the scheme. Opposition will
come from three sources, first from the man who thinks himself taken up
by the future and by his hopes. But it is patience that works
"experience and experience hope." Hope detached from the present and the
past is such a baseless fabric of a vision that it probably will not
leave even so much as a wreck behind. Another man will counter with the
familiar statement that his eyes are on the front of his head and he
only travels in the direction that they lead.

Now my kind, optimistic brother, I have a word here for you. You are
traveling in blinders. You are a mechanical pace-setter. All your
training is for the middle of the road. It is counted a physical
deformity if a person cannot turn his head. It is an expression of
opprobrium to find people stiff-necked. The chief office of a vehicle is
to carry on, yet for use at home, a carriage that cannot be turned round
would be extremely inconvenient.

_Pausing for a Fore-taste_

The observation car giving the best view to be had of the mountain
landscape as it waltzes by, is placed at the rear of the train. The most
extravagant demonstrations of joy and gratitude, our most hallowed
feelings come from looking back on what has been done unto us and for

Hesitancy about revisiting the earth comes lastly from those who think
they have lost their interest in days that are gone, that forgetfulness
has done its sad work, that the dead past has buried its dead. It is to
witness the miracle of a resurrection that we are uttering our cry.

_Waymarks of the Journey_

They assume that a fact or a name is gone into oblivion when, for
example, they are unable by a repeated effort to recall it. The mind is
a delicate organism. You cannot well force things. It has its own laws
of suggestion. Once coming into the old surroundings, which rake up the
past, standing again on a recognized corner, which carry one's thoughts
back with delight into familiar haunts, the law of association will put
on the tip of your tongue names and incidents that you supposed to be
clean forgotten. If a person had asked me to give the name of the first
barber that ever set foot in the town of my boyhood home, I would have
believed it sunk in oblivion. In the summer coming upon the cross-roads,
I said, "Here stood the first barber shop in town." The name of the
negro, even, that kept it flashed on my mind. It was Stanbach, the last
syllable as he pronounced it ended with the German guttural. His son, a
little freckled mulatto, was called Johnnie Stanbach. When a little
full-blooded negro appeared, Johnnie would not associate with him. He
was "too black," "black enough to smut a body."

_The Mind's Re-invigoration_

When Hon. James O. Crosby, an eminent lawyer, in my native village,
having a large practice in the courts of the county, met the father of
John R. Mott of merited distinction, a living force, this was the
dialogue: "How do you do, Mr. Mott!" "How do you do, Mr. Crosby!" and
then taking Mr. Crosby's hand Mr. Mott said to him, "Your face seems
familiar but I cannot seem to recall your name." This occurrence gives a
volume of experience in revisiting the earth. When Mr. Mott badgered his
mind to recall Mr. Crosby's name, his intellect balked, utterly, and
continuously refused to act. The mind often halts, even as to common
words. One's mental powers come to a sudden pause, like circus horses,
and a man recovers their use, not by any effort of will, but by some
sudden, and almost impulsive, suggestion. Recent events and dates are
easily lost or pass into confusion while those of long prior time still
hold firm root and their right place in remembrance. As we have seen, a
quick, unerring, even unconscious mental spring, acting according to the
laws of the association of ideas will unaided and without effort, bring
a name, pent up in one's memory, promptly forward for his instant use.
The value of this power is beyond estimation. Occurrences supposed to be
forgotten are very much alive, when upon old familiar ground. Revisiting
the earth is a simple string of these acts of spontaneous recollection.
If you hear a few notes of music, the inseparable association, that
exists in the mind, suggests the rest of the tune. That is a very apt
expression, when a person says he is haunted by a tune. It implies an
existence, in the chambers of the brain, that is making a stir and which
he supposed to be dead. The simple act of thus recalling an event is in
itself the most wonderful of all mental processes.

_The Re-creation of the World_

I heard of a man who had over-looked the fact that memory paints with
fast colors, also that a recollection that is dim in one locality is
bright in another. On reaching a scene of early associations, on picking
up a thing, he found it was like one of the links of a chain, that one
being stirred, others were moved and the man was found discoursing on
How I improved my memory in one evening. On revisiting the earth,
memories are awakened which, but for coming upon the old soil, would
probably have slept silently to the end of life. It is given to me, to
have a distinct testimony in this matter. Many others can corroborate
these hints by startling facts in their own lives and without any
stretch of their imagination. I was brought to the belief, that a person
may not ever forget anything. The recollection turns out to be a
faithful, painstaking, autobiographer. This almost scares a person. A
wand seemed to be waved and forth came people and anecdotes and events
that he supposed were in oblivion. There turns out to be, not only a
recollection of the head, but also a memory of the heart. The process is
different. On the one hand a boy commits to memory and learns by rote,
on the other hand there are some things he loves. All these he knows by
heart. This is an undying, imperishable recollection. It is the
immortality of the affections. Vividness of feeling does it. All that
pertains to home, he learns by heart. It is as indestructible as his
eternal being. "Dot must be der vonderful blace Ohm, to make der British
cry. I tink to myself, I vill go and see dis blace, Ohm, vot der vos no
blace like. Vich is der vay to 'Ohm, Sweet Ohm?'" Where the affections
have been unlocked and the whole inner man has been stirred,--a high
water mark has been registered in one's memory that can never be
eradicated. Your heart shall live forever, so shall all of your heart's
histories. They give you something that the thieving years can never
take away. I have pleasure in adding to the assurance of it.

_Blessing in the Guise of an Excursion_

It is now only one hundred and eighty generations, as we used to be
taught, since Adam, peace to his memory and his ashes, who was
grandfather of us all. There are thus but one hundred and seventy-eight
generations between us and him. This would take but one hundred and
seventy-eight father-to-son steps to bring us to the original family
home in the Garden of Eden. There are only one hundred and eighty
life-times to review. The grandfather of Noah, who was six hundred years
old when he encountered the flood, was Methuselah, who remembered Adam.
If our line of ancestry is so short, and if all the progress we have
made has been accomplished within a history so brief, it is little
wonder that the transformations to be witnessed in one of these not
numerous generations are so incredible and so instructive.

I do not know, but I may class traveling among our duties. It opens new
spheres of thought and observation and places us in new relations to
mankind and makes us better students of human nature. Leisure is sweet
to the taste and for that reason it soon palls. Pleasure is a
by-product. Enjoyment is greatest when it is incidental to some
well-advised quest. Idleness is the least pleasure of a holiday. To make
high festival of a pilgrimage to a shrine is more common in the older
nations than in our own. It is the habit of the human mind to love that
which is memorial in its character. We cannot, as Longfellow says, buy
with gold the old associations. "He that is searching for rare and
remote things will neglect those that are obvious and familiar. It is
remarkable," continues Dr. Johnson in the preface to his dictionary,
"that in reviewing my collection of words I found the word 'sea'
unexemplified." I have had many vacations, in places wide apart. Having
gone further and fared worse, returning to what is nearer, having an
inspiration of beauty upon it, I say, touching Revisiting the Earth, as
David declared of Goliath's sword, There is none like that, give me it.
Never did a child perform an errand with more alacrity than I executed
this mission.



The day is blue above, without a cloud. Will you walk with me through
our village, gentle reader? We will begin at the handsome open square.
Now as we advance my heart leaps at the sight of my birthplace. What a
pretty location it is! Here is "the cot of my father:" "In youth it
sheltered me." It is the "loved spot which my infancy knew." "How dear
to my heart" is this "scene of my childhood." Happy childhood thus early
blessed with blessings hereditary to all after hours! There is no place
so suggestive and interesting in our adult years as that in which we
began life. It is one of those exquisite situations which paint their
own picture insensibly in the memory while you look on them, natural,
daguerreotypes, as it were. Considered only as a house, it left some
things to be desired but it is never to be considered only as a house.
Why is it that we thus love the place of our birth? Why have all men
done the same? The son of the mist, in Scott, in his dying hour, begged
that he might be turned so that his eyes could rest once more upon his
native hills and close with their latest vision fixed there. Why did the
hero of Virgil, in his death hour, manifest his love for the place of
his birth which is so beautifully narrated by that immortal bard? It is
an instinct, which gives to it a place in the human heart, and such an
expression in human thought. Like poetry it is born with us, not made.
There probably is no stronger feeling in us than that of attachment to
our first home. A man transplanted to another field may have succeeded
well. His condition may have been vastly improved and yet he may have
drooped without apparent cause, in his temporary home, pining for those
days which were passed in the Eden of his life. I could not get enough
of the place. Must I leave thee, dear sacred spot, how can I leave thee?
My heart was full and the tears started to my eyes as I gazed around
upon every object. The words of my earliest progenitor, on leaving our
ancestral garden, as quoted by Milton, came to me, "Must I leave thee,

_The Vine Must Have the Wall_

Luther could appear in battle scenes for social and religious reform
with undaunted spirit. He could oppose the enemies of his faith without
a trembling nerve. He could resist those, bent on his destruction, with
the courage and calmness of a Christian hero, but when upon a journey
to meet the Counts of Mansfield, he came in sight of his own native
Eisleben, the great man was overcome with emotion and he bowed his head
and wept.

"_The Man Returned who Left these Haunts a Boy_"

Congress voted unanimously in 1824 to invite Lafayette to visit this
country. He was received everywhere with great demonstrations of popular
enthusiasm and his progress through the country resembled a continuous
triumphal procession. He visited, in succession, each of the twenty-four
states, and all the principal cities which vied to do him honor, but
relatively he was unmoved. A splendid coach was at his service. He
passed beneath an elaborate arch blazoned with words of welcome, but
Lafayette relatively was unmoved. Sitting quietly with no expectation
excited, before a screen in a public assembly, the curtain lifted and
there stood his birthplace, in speaking beauty and suggestiveness and
all the deeps of his heroic nature were broken up and he sobbed audibly
like a child. The strong old home still held him to its heart.

How is such a birthplace marked? Chiefly by a gush of rich emotion in
the heart of him who claims it as his own. Nature attends to that. A boy
has warm affections. A birthplace may have no Forefathers' Rock.
Peregrine White was not born there. No Charter Oak or Washington Elm,
with living dignity may identify the place. There may be no cellar which
concealed the royal judges, nor any door pierced by Indian bullets, nor
drums which awaked the sleepers at Lexington and Concord, yet it is
distinctively sacred to one's childhood days. It has the deep endearment
of a darling home.

    "I remember, I remember
        The house where I was born
    The little window where the sun
        Came peeping in at morn."

"Where is my home? I want to go before dark," said a spirited little
fellow of three years. The action of his inner nature was like the
turning of the needle to the pole. Thus an unfortunate child will put up
a fight for his birthright and he will not yield without returning to
the struggle. He wants his heritage.


_The Gate to Life_

Somehow my heart keeps flying back to my birthplace as Antony's kept
flying back to Egypt. If a man has no heart, if he is altogether lacking
in veneration the attention given to his birthplace by other persons
would impress it upon his notice. "Where were you born?" asks the life
insurance agent. What has that to do with it? How does that affect the
situation? Why does he not limit himself to vital statistics, like
your age, habits, general health? Through more than three thousand
closely printed pages, Who's Who in America, carefully mentions in each
biography the birthplace of the subject. There must be some reason for
making this one of the chief facts when the space is needed to tell of
positions held, wealth and fame acquired.

At this point a daily paper comes to my desk containing an interesting
recital touching America the Beautiful. We are informed that Miss Bates
"has a most sympathetic personality" and "is a native of Falmouth on
Cape Cod." Are the song and person better or different from that which
they would have been if instead of Falmouth the birthplace had been
Yarmouth or Barnstable or Wellfleet Several towns in France are
disputing the honor of being the birthplace of General Foch. The papers
and magazines speak of his genius, of his responsible position, the most
distinguished in military history, of his never-resting blow-on-blow
method of conquering, but they cut the thread of an interesting
narrative short, to consider the question of his birthplace as if that,
after all, was a principal question. It seems that "the Lord shall count
when he writeth up the people that this man was born there." Agents and
learned men, and it appears even the deity, attach significance to the
place of one's birth. So then will I.

    "Dear native village, I foretell,
    Though for a time I say farewell,
    That wheresoe'er my steps shall tend,
    And whensoe'er my course shall end,
    My soul will cast the backward view,
    THE LONGING look alone on you."

But there are spots on the sun. There's a fly in the ointment. I am
suffering from an incurable complaint. I was born too soon. I cannot now
put the clock back. Besides we are entering on a new era. There is to be
an overturning. Society and the ways of government and the methods of
business are to be changed and I want to be a witness and would like to
be a factor. The temper of each generation is a surprise. This new
period is to be different in its ideals, employments, and conditions and
I would like to be entirely of it.

_Footprints on the Sands of Time_

I took up the other day a book of fiction that is equally the delight of
the child and of the man and opened it where a picture represented the
surprise of Robinson Crusoe at discovering the print of a man's foot on
the seashore. On revisiting the earth it touches one's emotion after
being orphaned, islanded, for a generation from one's father to come
upon his footprints in his old haunts. Without the experience of it, on
visiting an early home, no one would imagine, what a shadowy train of
memory, involving all the past, would come crowding before his eyes,
filling his heart with a pleasant pain, and a sweet bitterness. Only
once stand in the old environment and feel the atmosphere of early
living conditions and a vivid panorama of faces that it was thought had
vanished and scenes that it was supposed had faded will unroll "when
fond recollection presents them to view." I hardly realized how sweet
those memories were to me until my visit. I began to see that one must
get away from home, be exiled for a while, to gain a pensive mood.
Homesickness is in reality a spiritual instinct, a needed, useful force.
Howard Payne felt its power when living in a garret in Paris, on the
edge of starvation, he longed for his "lowly thatched cottage again," as
David longed for a drink of the water of the well of his birthplace,
which is by the gate of Bethlehem. This locality was the playground of
my childhood. It is connected with the sweetest ties that can bind one's
thoughts to the past. I stand in a fixed position. This is the location
of my earliest recollection. Here memory began. This was a new birth.
Commencing in the community and continuing all along thereafter, by
inquiry, I have sought widely to ascertain at what point in the lives of
other persons, recollection made a start. From his biography by his
daughter I learn that my whilom instructor, Professor Austin Phelps,
remembered Napoleon's death, an event that occurred when he was two.
Franklin says he was a reader from his infancy. Samuel Johnson, before
he was two, had begun to take a permanent hold upon events. One of my
associates recalls a theatric incident that occurred when he was two. My
recollection made no registration until after I was three and this was a
scene here in my father's new unfinished church, and among its primitive
temporary seats which were without backs. Thus I stand where my outlook
on the world began. At that point I see myself for the first time in my
career. Other events follow in close order but it has been a great
pleasure that my angel mother and her beloved church are ineffaceably
pictured on the front page of my book of remembrance.

_Things Sweet to Remember_

To discover that modest House of Prayer in which my father began his
ministry was like a miracle, like finding someone who had risen from the
dead. My eye was not satisfied with seeing it twice or thrice. I
contemplated it as I would the "House not made with hands," I could have
kneeled and kissed the threshold of this historic but very lowly temple.
It seemed a construction transported, ready-built into this world and
located in one of its most delightful spots. It seemed different, like
a piece of meteoric stone which for a fact appears here but whose
home has been in the skies, and like the stony pillow on Judea's plain
it became to my vision a House of God. This is a holy land to me. It
savors of the assemblies of the saints. If I were looking for beauty I
would return to that divine abode. A stranger not knowing the
antecedents of the little sanctuary would discern no form nor comeliness
in it. It was an hour when one could think of but two things, one was
home, and one was heaven. These earthly objects have a comeliness, a
simple dignity, and nattiness which are beyond the reach of art. How it
elevates the spirit to stand, thrilled by a beautiful romance and find
that it is not romance at all but unspeakably sacred reality.

    "Aye call it holy ground
    The soil where first they trod."


Oh the brave, the noble souls who have laid foundations. They were elect
people set apart to a sacred service which has no equal in this world's
history. I am not "the wretch

    Who never to himself hath said
    This is my own my native land."



The flood gates of memory opened wide as the lamented Queen of England,
with the weight of eighty years resting upon her, was wheeled in her
chair, from room to room in the old fashioned brick palace at
Kensington. Here in this unpretentious princely abode with its beautiful
name, she was born, and here when she was waked very early out of heavy
sleep to be hailed, Queen, she said prettily, "I will be good."

She kept her word. Here remain, as she left them her doll's house, the
miniature counter where she sold ribbons and laces to imaginary
customers, the doll's linen, marked with her own childish cross-stitch
and the furniture and mementoes which cause the plain, irregular, rather
homely structure to be hallowed as the shrine of Victoria. Here she saw
her little set of cooking utensils, her child's scrapbook and little
boxes of paints with camel's hair brushes. She lingered lovingly over
these objects, which once meant so much to her, and as the vivid
association and tender suggestiveness of her surroundings touched her
feelings, in the presence of a group of dolls, being amid her toys, she
desired the attendants who accompanied her to withdraw, expressing the
desire, in that sacred place, to be alone.

_The Glory of Life in its First Spring_

On revisiting the earth I wanted to be alone on reaching my memory room.
In that corner stood my trundle bed and about here, well say about
there, is where I kneeled to say my earliest prayers. I have never felt
so rich since, as I did when I came into the undisputed and sole
possession of a hair-covered trunk which I could lock and bear away the
key. Into this trunk I emptied the week's accumulation of all my
week-day pockets as often as I put on my Sunday clothes. In this old
hide-bound trunk were my sainted mother's letters, and missives with my
own name in large John Hancock looking letters on the back, from my
grandfather who kept store and sometimes sent me pocket pieces of money.
On the outside of the pack, always in view, always to be kept, no more
resembling others than an electric light resembles a tallow dip, was the
first letter personally addressed to me that I ever received. Here was a
child's cheap album containing photographs of Commodore Nutt and Minnie
Warren, of a family of Albinos having white hair and pink eyes, and of
a fat boy only 16 years old that had struck me with wonder. Here is a
red morocco bag in which I kept my ill-gotten gains in marbles. Although
forbidden to play "keeps" myself, the neighbor's boy, a surer shot, did
not hesitate with my capital to engage in the excitement and to make a
"divy" of the proceeds, while I watched the game, and as a better
disciple carried the bag. I used to feel a real pride in my collection.
I knew the price of each kind and computed the value of them all to a
cent. That day was marked by the event when I exchanged so many of the
brown, baked, clay sort, for a big taw alley (made of alabaster). Some
of the big chinas were striped in varied colors and we made a sharp
difference between those where the bright color was laid on and soon
began to wash and wear and those where it was baked in like the pictures
on cups, where it is as indestructible as the material itself. To this
day I cannot see boys playing at marbles without feeling a strong desire
to join them.

_The Rule of the Shekel_

Among playthings my specialty was marbles. I specialized on three lines,
blue clays, real agates, the handsomest of all marbles, and big glass
center-pieces. I knew well just what I must hold to dominate the market
and just how many of the common sort a boy would give for an alley taw,
or tor, as we used to pronounce it. Taw is the line or limit from which
the players shoot. Others would have returned from the visit to the old
time school-house to the hotel. I knew a merchant well, who being
delighted with his entertainment in Lucerne did not think it worth while
to go out to the leaf-embowered pool to see Thorwaldsen's Lion. Naples
has such outstanding beauty that the visitor is ready to "die" and thus
omits any visit to Vesuvius, the most famous elevation in the world. But
I went from the school-ground to the place, where the soil was once
beaten to the hardness of a floor, by the village boys, who, each of
them, placed one or two marbles in a ring and in turn shot at them and
he who obtained most of them by beating them out of the ring was the
winner. We were happy

    "To kneel and draw
    The chalky ring and knuckle down at taw."

Here in this trunk were my old club skates which I used to sharpen
myself and tie on with strings and leathern thongs, and here was an old
ball which, I, having first ravelled the yarn, wound myself and cut the
cover out of an old boot top in the good democratic days of town-ball or
of "Two-old-cat," when we chose up, for the ins, and did not leave the
playing to a few, and half of them from out of town, when a "foul" and
"daisy-cutter" were unknown terms. While one dear, sweet,
not-to-be-valued-with-the-Gold-of-Ophir object remained among them, it
has been hard for me to "put away childish things." Most people are
extremely like one's self, and choosing among relics would be supposed
to first take one of the sandals of Empedocles, fabled to have been cast
forth by Aetna. This father of rhetoric, statesman, prophet, and
reformer threw himself into that volcano to disappear and leave no trace
and thus establish a belief that he was so beloved of the gods that he
was translated. But the volcano would not stand for this imposition and
threw out one of his sandals. But I am not interested in such a relic
when it is compared with a little token that tells of the deep desire
there is in every heart to be remembered.

_The Last Wish of Ambitious Minds_

We shrink from the fate of being dropped out of sight and out of
thought. It strikes a pang to a mother's heart to even hear the adage
"out of sight, out of mind." Trading upon her warm feelings, she was
solicited to buy, as a birthday gift for her boy, a little china cup,
highly colored, inscribed with the words, "remember me." This little
token proved to be the best seller on the market. The longer it is kept
the greater is the desire to keep it. The child is not asked to prize
the gift. The legend upon it tells rather her intensest longing. Her
one deepest wish at the moment of final parting could not be better

    "A place in thy memory, dearest,
    Is all that I claim:
    To pause and look back when thou hearest
    The sound of my name."

The absence of the giver makes the gift more dear. I do not call this
idolatry. A German doctor of divinity has expressed the common feeling
in an exaggerated form, by saying that he loved God, in his mother and
in his wife and children. He saw God-likeness in them and they commended
the love of God to him. Certainly next to pleasing God the desire to
honor the memory of my father and mother has been my highest incentive
in life. One of these motives does not leave off when the other begins.
It is a kind of piety which is natural to me. It is spontaneous and
seems divinely implanted. Reverence toward Godly people is at least a
schooling in piety. I mean of course God's church and God's Book when I
speak of my mother's church and my mother's bible. When one is given his
old seat in his childhood's home, his mother seems near, and he feels
like saying to her,

    "I've passed through many a changing scene
    Since thus I sat by thee;
    O, let me look into thine eyes;

    Their meek, soft, loving light
    Falls like a gleam of holiness
    Upon my heart tonight."

That great truth which Gray tells us he discovered for himself, and
which very few people learn, till they find it by experience, went to my
heart, that in this world a human being never can have more than one

It is a peculiar expression that people use when they say that they
"keep" Lent, or "keep" Sunday, or "keep" Christmas, or "keep" a
birthday. They mean that they observe it, and by thus marking it they
get something out of it which is pleasant and suggestive. We all have
our little festivals, life's private anniversaries, these jubilees of
the heart which we love to celebrate. That day is a high day, when the
old homestead becomes an inspiration point. Stores, long ago laid by in
the memory, come forth from their hiding places. In unexpected
exaltation of spirit, one is lifted above himself.

_Strikes a Chord Unconsciously_

He gets out of himself and lives for the hour a sort of sublime life. It
was worth the trip to obtain such a revelation of my own mind. Of all
the works of the Creator's power and wisdom the mind bears most plainly
the private mark of the invisible God. Things have almost a miraculous
power to visualize persons. This is true to an extent that will not be
believed. And here is a perplexity. Shall I insist upon the point? The
incredible part is the particular thing I want to emphasize. The trundle
bed, the hair-covered trunk, the stairs, the door, the window become
active factors, and the faculties awaking out of long heavy slumber
become vocal. Faces and tones are at once recalled and intensely vivid
remembrances take shape, hue and voice. Spirits of father and mother,
are ye here, entering into the high communion of this hour? The
suggestiveness of the environment was such that somehow and suddenly, I
was a boy again. This is such a day as that in which our parents blessed
us, and such a day as that in which our mother fulfilled both of those
relations to us. Her love was like spikenard, perfuming the house. Two
good friends I there summoned to go with me, memory and resolution. One
of these friends reinforces the work of the other. When I vividly
remember, I want to make a consecration. I want to do some sacrificial
act, and to do it distinctively for mother's sake. Now, henceforth, "No
day without something learned: no day without something done." I took
some live coals off the home altar to start new fires. Our ancestors
had, what they styled "living" money and "dead" money. In emergencies
they sought to convert dead resources into currency. My legacy is a
memory and the old battered trunk which was a little world in itself.

_Old Home Looks Young Again_

In the days of my top and kite-hood, the trunk had constantly to be
opened because something had been forgotten. How small a thing it was to
contain as much as I thought there was in it. I showed my regard for it
by the things I entrusted to it. The germ of every home I ever had was
in it. Its contents I have almost idolized. I speak advisedly, I would
rather lose the house than what, reserved from it, has come down with me
through the years, taken with their setting. A boy likes a place to keep
his things. A boy accumulates. That's his nature. An associate has just
said that his first memory was a suit that had pockets. There is
something in a boy's constitution that gives him a large use for
pockets. To empty them is not a convenience, merely, but a necessity, as
in his use of them they project like two bay-windows. His nature
necessitates a trunk. There must be a secret spot around which can rally
the sentiments that a home awakens and conserves. A mother loves to get
a Bible into this trunk, which is to be the center-point to his heart
and home. Mother's sentiment was well chosen. This book will keep you
from sin and sin will keep you from this book. They do not go together.
They do not keep company. This Bible had about it what it calls "a sweet
smelling savor." A new pocket book, a gift from my grandfather, was also
quite redolent but the odor of these was different.

_The Odor of Apple Blossoms_

I read in an old legend that a Damascus Blade gave forth both sparks and
perfume. My sense of smell was always exceedingly acute. It has guarded
me often against exposure. I can instantly detect invisible forms of
peril. I knew a way to find out about those qualities of a Damascus
Blade. A boy is always ready to educate himself by the use of his sense
perceptions, and is particularly prompt with taste and smell. I had from
the first a rare, refreshing pleasure from flowers, perfumes, aromatic
materials producing a sweet odor when burned and the smell of fruits. I
used to love the fragrance of new hay and of the freshly plowed ground
and of the earth when moistened by a quick summer shower, the scented
fumes wafted from the land when approached from the ocean, and the fishy
smell of the shore when you have reached it. The odor of a well-kept
light harness when well warmed up on a fine gaited horse, and the odor
of the varnish on the carriage, I, to this hour, remember from my
boyhood days. I loved the intensity of odors so peculiar, so unlike
those of summer, that we used to notice after the frost had fallen, when
the winter was at hand, and the aroma of the woods having been first
imprisoned, was exhaled by a warm sun, in a cloud of incense. All the
sense perceptions were wide open to the mind. We were constantly
learning. Life was a school without recesses or vacations and had a full
corps of instructors in all the departments.

"Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee." "There are, it may be, so
many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without



The particular thing taught in the early school, as I recall it, was to
make a bow. When a boy was about to speak a piece he made his manners
and at the conclusion of his address he again caused his head to descend
and made a quick nervous stoop. Declamation was made of three parts, two
of which were the introductory bow and the concluding one. If the bow
was grotesque, the speaker was recalled, not only to bow, but to do it
gracefully. It is nothing to the credit of those scholars that in later
life they sometimes forgot to perform the gracious act, which this
master sacrificed other items to teach. The schedule, day by day, was a
mere overture to the main performance which came at the end of the term
which was the exhibition. This came "the last day." As the libraries
were small the pupils searched high and low to find a "piece." This was
a new task to those who had been simple answer-hunters. In arithmetic
they were informed in advance what result they must attain and to reach
it was to do their sums. But now there is involved also the human

_Dolling Up_

When they came "to speak in public on the stage," they were noisily
dressed. They would have looked better and felt better in customary
apparel, but they were ill at ease and this helped to mark a red-letter

The whole town was moved. The scholars were full of excitement over the
glory of the occasion. The country side was deserted. The farmers with
all the members of their families appeared in town. There was no room to
stable the horses and so they were covered with many other articles
besides blankets, there being no uniformity to their uniform. They were
tied for the very long evening in the lee of some stack or shed. The boy
who spoke the last piece excited great admiration, particularly, in the
minds of his proud father and of his adoring mother.

    "So sleeps the pride of former days,
      So glory's thrill is o'er,
    And hearts that once beat high for praise
      Now feel that pulse no more."

Interest in these things so then developed that Mr. Caldwell had to
compose dialogues of a spicy picturesque character for our public use.
He incited his scholars to enter into the spirit of their single pieces
and dialogues and his exhibitions surprised and delighted the audiences
so admirable became the performance of children and youth. Fine
declamation was to him what painting is to an artist, or melody to the
musician, it was a passion, and nerved him for effort. Scholars still
live all about who can "witness if I lie." The stage afterward must have
claimed many of those actors for they showed unquestioned genius for the
art of theatrical representation. The conditions were primitive, but for
the platform we must have curtains, so when the eventful moment came,
sheets and table-cloths instead were pulled aside, these being the only
curtains that were available and we had to live with what we had. The
"stage properties" were hastily gathered from the homes of participants.

_Fitted for a Day Sure to Come_

As the parents attended these exhibitions, the contagion caught them and
then followed the lyceum. It swept the town, it was the most popular
thing ever. I distinctly remember the evening when they discussed Neal
Dow's Maine liquor law, my father participating. One of our neighbors
carried the honor of out-talking the whole field. Let his thoughts slide
into the familiar current and they flowed on easily and indefinitely.
For debate they caught at Bulwer's dramatic sentence, The pen is
mightier than the sword, and they argued the pros and cons without
getting a verdict, leaving thus to Germany and the Allies to bring the
time honored discussion to an end with a demonstration that no one will
ever be able effectively to question. To these meetings each man brought
a candle but no candle-stick. From the lighted end, he would drop a
little tallow on the desk, and thus set up the candle, that it would
give light to all that were in the house. What a sight greeted us the
next morning.

    "The Isles of Greece!
    The Isles of Greece!"

Friction matches, which according to Faraday, were the most useful
invention of the age were not then sold, loose in boxes, but were made
in cards, each match being detached only a part of its length from the
others which stood with it in a thin layer of wood. The word, Lyceum,
marks an era in the United States. It means a great school of debate, a
college that grants no degrees. It gives me a sadness that is not akin
to pain, to hear a young person designate a building as Lyceum Hall,
using the word as if it were Grampian Hall or Hamilton Hall, having no
glorious, clear conception of what the name of the hall signified to the
early community. Tradesmen, farmers, professional men, themselves
readers and thinkers, above all restless and eager disputants would meet
night after night to discuss the unselfish problems of life. At first
they were not allowed to speak upon irritable subjects. They tried to
escape both the Scylla and the Charybdis of religious and political
contentions, but in early days narrow was the way. Some sanguine souls
sought to build a suspension bridge over the foaming waters of
controversy and to find a way of union for the bitter strife and
dissension that only cases of conscience can supply. This little
community-university was co-educational. The women too were welcomed,
not only to the meeting where their presence was a stimulus to the
debaters, but to participation in the conduct of the lyceum paper,
which, read by one of the sterner sex, often contained contributions by
the women. In it were witty conundrums, based on local names and
conditions, pointed suggestions, humorous hits at the hardships they
were at the moment experiencing, which enabled the people to laugh at
their own privations. Deep feeling and marked literary ability were
often shown in the contributions to this unprinted paper. It was for
just such pages as these that the first poems of Lucy Larcom were
produced, and she says that if she had learned anything by living it was
that education may proceed "not through book learning alone, sometimes
entirely without it."

_Flights of Oratory_

The outstanding feature of the lyceum was the report of the critic. He
must be a bright glad witty man without a shade of vulgarity, a perfect
master of all those nice little arts which give zest to conversation and
a quaint coloring and a good deal of it, to his thoughts. I have a
pleasant record of him. His chief theme was always, The Ladies. No one
of them could do anything poorly enough to get anything but a warm
encomium. If the debaters did well it was because the ladies by their
presence gave just such cheer as bands of music contributed to
Napoleon's army, when getting their heavy cannon over St. Bernard Pass.
This critic never had the affrontery to lecture the participants. "Who
made thee a ruler and a judge over us?" Mathew Arnold came over here to
lecture us, from the know-it-all point of view, and began his work
without any specific preparation for any evening, discussing no
sympathetic theme, and the people declined to hear. The great benefit of
the lyceum, to say the least of it, was that the whole conduct of it
rested solidly on the men who blended in it and habitually attended it.
It came right up out of the intellectual force, the convictions, the
good neighborhood feeling and intelligence of the community. These
debates developed leaders in the various departments of mental effort.
It sent debaters straight into the State legislature. It was like
running a magnet over a dust heap, in that it revealed metal, and drew
it out, and this was what people were looking for. Any one who looks
over the surface of our towns finds many minds, endowed by nature with
brilliant faculties and framed by their Creator for great usefulness and
honor, waiting to have their energies awakened and invigorated.

_Choosing the Front Subject_

The thing that made the lyceum was in the air. What is discussed now in
the papers was then a theme for argument, evenings, in the stores and
taverns. Our word caucus, is derived from the Caulkers, ship-builders,
hardy, upright efficient men who gave tone and character to the meeting
that they with others held, to discuss politics and the other live
issues of the day. To increase the number of parts taken, certain grave,
slow men, not likely to share in the discussions, noted chiefly for
their moderation and caution, were named in advance as judges, and their
decision was to be based first, on the weight of argument, and then on
the merits of the question. To keep up the excitement, the decision was
sometimes appealed to the house. If I close my eyes and open the
chambers of memory I distinctly see the young men, with many signs of
diffidence rising timidly to participate in the proceedings. At the
earlier meeting, two persons had been appointed to maintain the
affirmative and two other members were requested to maintain the
negative. The free-for-all fray was let loose with the old time
question, Does any one desire to debate that question? Sometimes we had
"rough house" which was always followed at the next meeting of the
lyceum by a capacity audience. As Samson found the honey, so these
lyceums discovered talent where it would be looked for least. Men came
to look for good in each other under these conditions, and that helped
some. And there is a partial explanation of the fact that so many men,
who became prominent in early politics, were from small towns. Great
opportunity was given for discovering and developing latent literary and
oratorical talent and for invigorating and confirming every germ of
reform and political aspiration. Leaders were discovered in the various
departments of investigation and of influence. It must be kept in mind
that the communities were to an exceptional degree homogeneous and
over-whelmingly American.

_Educating Themselves_

I never look upon the panorama of the past where vivid life forms have
lost little of their original distinctness without thinking of the
village oracles who exercised their eloquence in these local, free
schools of debate. They gave a permanent bias and coloring to the genius
and taste and style, in all their subsequent years, to men distinguished
for their talents, whom the lyceums discovered and trained, who shone
splendidly in after life. To find the place of the lyceum in the
evolution of the debaters, we will eliminate genius. To draw a rude
likeness was once genius. In mechanics genius ceased to be recognized as
soon as labor could equal the result, once attributed to nature's gift,
acting unaided. Whittier tells us that when he began life verse-making
was a monopoly. Good citizenship is not a gift or an inheritance any
more than is good soldiering. Courage alone does not make the soldier
nor honesty alone the citizen. Training is essential to both. In the
recent constitutional convention held in Massachusetts those who worked
like Trojans, looked forward with apprehension, to the oratorical
assaults, that would be made upon their results. They recognized the
disproportionate advantage, but a real advantage never-the-less, of
oratory, and this was not over-looked but acknowledged. For a fact, some
excellent ideas went begging for the support of those who had talents
and training for speaking exceptionally well. One who surpasses the
ordinary standards, but a little, takes a position quite in advance of
his fellows. Superiority on the race course is a matter of seconds and
half-seconds. The honor bestowed by us on excellence in public address
is greater than that attributed to men in literature or the professions,
in business, or invention. The difference becomes so plain and is so
conspicuous that it gains attention. The ablest speaker arouses the
sympathies and gains the result. Where a cause is to be presented I have
heard this formula. A poor cause, a good speaker. A good cause, any
speaker. All of us have been present when a fine speaker having what may
be called the wit of speech where a laugh was loaded with a principle
where the address was clear, sparkling, above all things witty, wit
being the rarest of qualities and surest of appreciation, the audience
worked up by the rough and ready eloquence of a popular orator, reaching
indeed an extraordinary pitch of excitement, has swept everything with
the weaker side of the case. No accomplishment gains consideration for
its possessor and his cause so speedily as public speaking. When
billions were being raised in Liberty Loans, during the German war, the
telling factor was the four-minute speakers that came out of the
Phillips debating societies in the various communities, and these
speakers having come to the front show some disposition to remain

_A New Impetus_

Here is brought to light the reason, that those northern states in which
these elementary schools of patriotism and freedom have existed, cling
so tenaciously, for local government, to the old town meeting. In this
country where the motive power is public opinion, the ability to help in
forming it is greatly to be coveted. The power of the lyceum would be
instantly admitted, if we could use it for a moment as a negative
quantity, and show how completely unfitted for public work many of our
strongest factors would have been, had these little schools of oratory
never opened their doors. I share in the well expressed opinion that
there are four kinds of human activity for which a man must have a
natural preparation, music, the sculptor's art, the painter's art, these
three, and the highest forms of oratory. For these, most successful men
must have aptitude. But to a person with the gift of utterance, occasion
must say, Oratory, come forth! Money does not talk. Culture not wealth
is the mark of distinction. Take a man whose father was poor and also
the descendant of poor men with all their ideas of life associated with
conditions of extreme poverty. The atmosphere and practices were such
that Henry Wilson besought the legislature to change his name from
Jeremiah Jones Colbaith to that one that he made famous as United States
senator and as vice-president being elected on the ticket with Grant. He
had known what it was to ask his mother for bread when she had none to
give. Before he was twenty-one he had never had but two dollars and had
never spent more than one dollar. At the end of an eleven years'
apprenticeship to a farmer, he received a yoke of oxen and six sheep
which he sold for eighty-four dollars. During these eleven years he
never had more than twelve months schooling. The turning point in his
life was the lyceum which he attended, following the lines of argument,
but lacking courage to share in the debate. But one evening when the
discussion was thrown open to the audience he engaged in it to the
delight of his friends. His pastor called upon him and expressed his
gratification and the lyceum increased in popularity as a place to hear
him. His pastor urged him to seek an education. The lyceum had awakened
his dormant powers. His special forte, his biographer says, was
extemporaneous speaking and debate. In meetings held once or twice a
week he acquired the drill he needed for coming conflicts.

_The Onward Upward Course_

Henry Clay rose to fame, by a sudden impulse at the meeting of a lyceum
in Lexington. He overcame timidity and embarrassment, that had
oppressed him, and in this favorite forum for the display of youthful
talent, first exhibited the evidence of his extraordinary powers of
oratory. His hour had struck. In this school for the highest powers of
debate he discovered himself. He used a very common expedient and made
it great and was proud to descend from the summit of political
preferment to honor that arena, such as any community can provide, in
which any ambitious young man can educate himself. Both Mr. Beveridge's
brilliant oratory and Dolliver's success, as the greatest campaigner
America has produced, are proof, that a training field is an
indispensable condition of getting results, in the study of eloquence
and in the art of oratory.



In Bates Hall in the old public library in Boston, lying open on one of
the ledges to any visitor, was an Ignorance Book, in which any one could
ask a question on which he desired information, and after an interval,
return to find it was answered. The Redwood library at Newport, R. I.,
has had, upon a commodious desk, a book by means of which readers can
take their intellectual needs to those who have the ability to meet
them. The Lyceum was once a great solvent. Nothing has taken its place.
It was an evil day when this profoundly useful educational institution
closed its doors. People are sitting on its front steps awaiting a
reopening. They have, before them, a new map, a new world, and a new set
of questions.

_What is Your Problem_

Can a person change his disposition? The features of children are as
diverse as their faces, all have the family likeness, but each has his
own peculiar temperament.

Is it the brain, and not the soul, that does the thinking? Is man a
machine and not a living spirit, inhabiting a physical body? Do people
speak advisedly who use the expression "Keeping soul and body together?"

Why did not the slaves in the South do more for their own emancipation?

Why does a minister use a text? This custom prevails among pulpit
orators who do not believe in miracles or in the inspiration of the
Scripture or in the authority of the Bible. There's a reason. What is

Our teachers, in faithfulness and friendship, used to stand next to our
parents and are entitled to and will ever receive our most grateful
recollections. They are happy men whose natures sort with their
vocations. On revisiting the earth there was one instructor who beside
exercising a benign and stimulating personal influence had high
qualities and remarkable fitness for his noble profession, whom I would
cheerfully make a sabbath day's journey to honor. Let me preserve his
name, S. H. Folsom. Schoolmaster was about the right word for him for he
was master as well as teacher. His severity is to be attributed to the
times rather than to him. It is said that a drowning man can in two
minutes live over again every incident in a long and checkered career,
and a boy does not doubt the possibility of such phenomena, if he has
been publicly requested, by the master, to remain after school to be
whipped. We all remember him with kindly feelings and there are hundreds
of his pupils living who have not lost their sense of indebtedness to

_On the Road to Learning_

A boy lays up nothing against a noble, faithful, patient teacher who
whips him. Pain is nothing to boys. They give it, and suffer it, in
their sports, many of which have penalties. They uplift tearful eyes,
but it is in entreaty, and not in rage. It was from him I acquired a
life-long practice of the little economies of time. We are now so
interlocked with others, we are so far from living or laboring alone
that our time is much disposed of by other people. "Do you ever reflect
how you pass your life? If you live to seventy-two, which I hope you
may, your life is passed in the following manner: an hour a day is three
years. This makes twenty-seven years sleeping, nine years dressing, nine
years at table, six years playing with children, nine years walking,
drawing, and visiting, six years shopping, and three years quarrelling."

I now save the time I used to spend in going to the postoffice. I used
to reckon how many trips would make twenty miles. Still the flight of
time grieves me. I must draw tighter and tighter every string. The
school that I attended was a mere vest-pocket edition of the one which,
year by year, like a starling, keeps adding to the nest, on which Mr.
Folsom now looks down in benediction. This building has a telephone
switchboard. I recognized only the switch which in my day was a weeping
willow. When a gone feeling was experienced, a boy could dig up a small
coin, go to a grocery and buy a pickle, but now schools have a buffet
car attachment supplied by the woman's club.

_The By-product of Development_

It was an unrealized deprivation, but I do not seem to remember, when I
was under the ferule, the teacher's maid, such as waits upon the
children at the new training school here, nor do I seem to recall the
school physician, such as the city now elects, nor the piano, nor the
victrola, nor do I remember any free transportation to and from school
except by "punging" when we had to take what came in terms of the sleigh
driver's whip.

The principle of the Declaration of Independence was taken literally
that all are created equal, which makes in education a Procrustes' bed
and every boy or girl in a class, supposed to be equally capable, as
they were not, was to be stretched to learn lessons of equal length.
They trained up a child in the "way." The way was first fixed. It was a
grown up theory. They thought more of the way than of the child. The
child's primitive nature had no play. The process often lost the scholar
his childhood. He was robbed of his birthright. The old maxims even,
also taught that anything saved from sleep was so much saved.

With his pen, Mr. Folsom could, with unerring grace, draw an eagle, put
an inscription into his mouth and thus stir in his pupils astonishment
and patriotic feeling. In writing he made a specialty of capital
letters, which had the last touch of nicety. Any line of his writing was
as neatly molded as Spencerian copy. We had thus two epochs in our
school, the Ciceronian and the Spencerian periods. One was distinguished
by the graces of speech, the other by waves of ink. We have always been
given to understand, that if the cradles in a neighborhood were
assembled the occupant of one of them would call those present to order.
It is thought to be a wonder that an American is born knowing how to
conduct a public meeting. He early learns how to make motions. It is
instinctive to know that a motion cannot have more than two amendments
offered, at the same time, and to know the order in which they must be
put, the second amendment before the first. When we wonder at some of
the traits of colts we are told that they are born with their
peculiarities; so with boys. The crown of everything was public

_Best When Most Catching_

All paths led to the exhibition as we have seen. Other studies were
subordinated to the all absorbing preparation for it. Other branches
suffered from eclipse. The taste for it became very great. It fixed the
boy's bent. The men having a lyceum, the boys took the infection and
even had a relapse. In our community they formed a lyceum, and among the
questions discussed was this: Which is preferable, city or country life?
Having the stern rule that the less favored one must also stand up I was
invited at the age of ten to share in the deliberations. I became so
absorbed in some of the follies, presented by my opponents, and so lost
sight of the occasion, that, when called upon by name, I was startled.
The boys took sides in the universal conflicts of opinion. Nobody could
find rest on a fence. It was a picket fence. The ground was the only
safe place to stand on. As a regiment takes on the character of its
colonel, so a school in a particular degree, reflects the teacher. I
cannot tell how we all came out of the craze. When penmanship was the
rage and writing became epidemic the scholars developed the villainous
habit of scribbling always and everywhere. As stationery was not
plentiful they used the leaves and margins, not only of their own
books, but those of the others. They decorated the walls and desks. As
the nights were extremely cold, the ink would be turned by the frost
from a liquid to a solid state. Hence the bottles were placed on the
stove for thawing purposes and would sometimes decorate the ceiling or
empty their contents on the stove and floor, accompanied by a detonation
like that of a pistol.

_The Love of Conquest_

Now this man Folsom understood human nature in its initial stages. His
insight showed him that boys and girls crave some reward and
recognition, so when he could approve a youngster's conduct and
application, he would award him a diminutive ticket on which, in his
beautiful writing, was the word Perfect. By touching up emulation he
ruled the school. When ten small tickets were carefully acquired they
would be proudly cashed up into a somewhat larger chromo with the same
device. Before we call anyone lucky, who takes a prize, let us call him
unlucky, who is without the desire to make the effort to win it. It is
fine for him to contend to the uttermost for even the meanest prize that
is within his reach, because by such strenuous contention, his nature
grows and by lack of it, nature decays. A poor boy cannot rival the
wealthy, in items of luxury, but in a school he finds himself in a
little republic, where the prizes do not fall to the rich, because they
are such. A boy out of an humble home may have lacked recognition and to
receive it makes him a new creature. To find himself appreciated and
well-liked touches a spring at the center of his being. A boy is often
made over by the quickening thought that to him might fall one of the
little early prizes of life.

_The Impulse From Incentive and Reward_

The fire and the force to do great things were slumbering in Senator
Wilson's soul.... "His future course of life," his biographer says, was
affected by Mrs. Eastman, who handed him, when he was eight years old, a
little book. "Now carry it home with you and read it entirely through
and you shall have it." A book he had never owned. To him it was a
golden treasure. He hurried home to read it. He coveted the prize. In
seven days he called to say that he had read it from end to end. This
little book, a Testament, he kept all his living days, saying, that the
presentation of it was the starting point in his intellectual life. The
reason, as Sir Walter Scott believed, why the passion for books so lifts
up a poor boy, is that he makes himself a master of what he possesses,
before he can acquire more. Queen Judith, a princess of rare
accomplishment, promised a finely illuminated book of Saxon poems, to
which, her son, Alfred the Great, when young had been listening with
enthusiasm, to such of her sons as should the soonest be able to read
them. The innate energy of those dormant talents of "the Darling of the
English" was roused and he made his name the brightest that adorns
Anglo-saxon history. He became the most illustrious monarch that ever
filled the English throne. He founded the University of Oxford,
established trial by jury, and sought to emulate the deeds, to the
recital of which he so early loved to listen. It is said that when this
promise of the book was made, "Alfred returning to Queen Judith, eagerly
inquired if she actually intended to give the book to the person who
would soonest learn to read it?" His mother repeated the promise, with a
smile of joy at the question; the young prince took the book, found out
an instructor, and learned to read, and soon recited all its contents to

_The Fascination of Matching Abilities and Efforts_

Oh for some angel visitant to stir the waters of the Bethesda of
self-improvement as it was once done by the use of this principle of
emulation in our class in spelling. Alphabetically the scholars were
called out into a line, toeing a crack in the floor. Beginning at the
head of the class the master puts out the word and those who have
studied their lesson pass above those who have not. It is an unequalled
revelation for a boy's later life. How came I at the foot? When one boy
has competitors and they attend to their business and he does not, he
will gravitate downward. I had been trained in the catechism to believe
that it was first Adam and then Eve, but this theory was upset, when we
stood up to spell. I can still see one of those girls stick to the head
of the class. Blessed be the bad roads, "kind the storm" that housed the
girl, for a day, as on her return she went to the foot. At length she
modestly said to the master, "Put out any word in the book and I will
spell it." With such proficiency we challenged the nearest district
school to a spelling match.

_The Tug of War_

Before the interest began to flag, it was understood that as a final
test, every body in the house should rise and spell down. With blushing
honors, under the spell of emulation, this unobtrusive girl would rally
her powers, and hold her timid self up to meet all comers by sheer force
of a moral courage, unsurpassed by men who go over the top and look into
the cannon's mouth. The audience grows breathless. She clings to her
position like that which Oliver Wendell Holmes called The Last Leaf. Our
best girl won. Our boys seeing any members of the defeated school would
use their two palms for a trumpet and shout the pivotal word, on which
our victory turned, "Phthisic." It was a great incitement to strive to
equal or excel when a rival was seen to take a reward for doing what we
might have done, but didn't. The name of the winner became a household
word and was garlanded. I have felt depressed by my consciousness of the
unworthiness of the response, that my life has made, to such an
excellent instructor in penmanship and spelling. His name is embalmed in
all our hearts. The terms of school soon ended. Beyond this we have no
record of our eminent teacher's life and as Bunyan says of one of his
characters "We saw him no more."



It is with diffidence that I name a suggestion that has been very much
on my heart since retreading these streets and revisiting these early
haunts. It is to get rich, not with dollars in the purse, but deposits
in the bank of memory. No other human faculty can be more rapidly and
strongly and surely developed than an ability to keep things in mind.
Yet many people are making use of methods that impoverish recollection.
Devices are increasing for memory-saving which have the effect of memory
destroying. A faculty's development is arrested from want of use. The
memory has not grown, but the habit of putting things down with a pencil
has developed. Our schedule of work is not unfolded in the mind and
committed to memory but is committed to little slips of paper. Things
are not carried in the brain but in the pocket and are in danger of
being laid off with one's apparel. We feel dependent on the memoranda.
Our best power, that likes to be trusted, that responds to discipline,
has no growth, but wastes away instead, owing to defective nutrition,
and lack of exercise. The memory falls into a stunted and partially
disabled condition. That minister, the most widely read of any American
clergyman, sharply points out, that a capacity falling into disuse,
falls also into a dying process, and is extirpated and withdrawn. Any
capacity kept under, allowed no range or play, suppressed, is soon
stupefied and blunted. A man was endowed with a fine faculty, and has
not turned it to account, "Take, therefore, the talent from him."

_Developing a Real and Fixed Deformity_

We once had to remember our errands but parents now hand to children a
written list. Facts, stories, incidents are not stored in the intellect,
but in a cabinet. Mental equipment, then, is all gone in the event of a
fire. Instead of being thankful that the cabinet maker was preserved it
would have been better to have saved the cabinet. There is more in that
than in him.

In the intemperate man the better parts of his nature do not have fair
play. His body is disordered, his brain confused, by a succession of
trespasses. All diseases and abuses are self limited. Improvement would
come, by a delivery from his baneful habit, and by strengthening his
principles. Memory when respected, when it uses its wings and makes
nothing of time or distance is an angel power. It is full of rural
incidents and has a great deal of nature and of soul in it. The past is
not altogether dead. It must be used to enable us to understand the real
living history around us. Now look. Do you observe that every child has
a health instinct? Intuitively it seeks the open air. A child is not
fussy about the weather. Those have the best health that go out under
all skies. Take notice that a child's birthright is freedom. When
walking with his mother he seeks to unclasp his hand from hers and make
a little detour in the grass along the way. His nature revolts at
following, forever, when out for pleasure, a beaten path. Seeing real
life reflected, you do not fail to notice, that in coasting, which in
childhood could be called, The Great Joy, the girls take a prominent
part, and there is no effort by the elders to play the spy nor block the
sport. Here are boys and girls together, oblivious of sex, like a
family, in beautiful, healthful, animating sport. It is remarkable that
coasting keeps first place, seeing that it involves climbing up as well
as sliding down. The return walk, involving a change of position, an
interchange of mind, a fine spirit of comradeship, a greatly increased
intake of ozone became for a fact a cordial of incredible virtue. God
sets all little children playing for this. He lays the necessity of play
upon them, and the restless little fellows hunger and thirst for
physical activities. On a holiday the city is emptied into the country
to enjoy for a few hours the true conditions of a healthy physical

_An Increased Reverence for the Human Organization_

The bashful athlete, as if by mere chance, takes hold of the rope just
opposite to the pretty girl of the party, I mean to one of the pretty
girls of the party, whose ear he wishes to command. As the boys owned
the sleds, the spirit of gallantry greatly promoted proprietorship, in a
double runner, which was vital to the social spirit of the sport. One
that could fly was the ideal aimed at. It seemed animate. It was well
shod. A heavy load gave momentum. It was guided with rare judgment,
watched, compared with others, improved, made to look better, until its
associated owners prided themselves in it, as a thing of life and beauty
and speed, as mariners do in a ship. Some people have to go abroad to
find folks who seem eager for an excuse to get out, to even take their
meals in the open air. The European seems chafed in his own house. He
takes his supper with his family in the face of all the world, and
enjoys the publicity. He walks about to see how other families are
faring, and they do not resent it. It would not disturb him to take his
dinner on the side-walk on Broadway. So in Southern California, nobody
shuts a door. The weather, being about like our April, the barber shops
and restaurants have no heat and often a strong current of air, that the
natives would enjoy, came streaming in through wide-open doors and

_The Open-door Policy_

Book stores were not warmed at all. One morning at breakfast I rose and
put on my overcoat, and a visitor at the next table, at the conclusion
of the meal said, What part of the country do you come from, that you
have to put on your overcoat? The reason those people put their doctors
out of business is not alone in the climate but in their becoming
accustomed to living in God's great and good out-of-doors. We could live
much colder than we do, and live more largely out of doors, and reap at
least some of the benefits that people gain by going abroad.

In looking over the familiar places, when revisiting the earth, that
were once the haunts of the idlers of the town, I was struck by the
entire absence of whittling in which they formerly engaged. Who could
reckon their indebtedness to the pine, which supplied the favorite
material? Each man kept in pretty good order, if he owned nothing else,
a fine piece of cutlery, with a history which he had made familiar to
the minds of his easy-going associates. To whittle with an edgeless
knife is dull sport, hence at intervals, each loafer would lay his right
foot upon his left knee, and upon the leather of his heavy boot
characteristic of that day, would strop the blunt blade until he had put
it again on edge.

_Our Knives Confiscated by Teachers_

Every loss is thought to have its compensation. If whittling is out of
vogue, the benches before the boys at school are, for that reason,
better preserved. A common present to a boy in that day was a pretty
good knife. Boys are very imitative. They sought to whittle and would
notch the school desks until their edges were serried into a semblance
of a cross-cut saw. As the term of school wore on the teacher had made
himself the custodian of most of the fancy hardware owned by the
ingenious scholars. Not remote from the school-house door we turn aside
and stand over the identical spot where we sat, with our heels wide
apart, facing a chum, and played mumble-the-peg, or mumblety-peg, as the
boys pronounced it.

    "The boys were playing some old game, beneath that same old tree;
    I have forgot the name just now,--you've played the same with me,
    On that same spot; 'twas played with knives, by throwing so and so;
    The loser had a task to do,--there, twenty years ago."

As the knives were thrown from a series of positions, the winner would
show himself something of the savage still, for when the loser failed to
make the knife blade stick in the ground, he would, with the heavy
handle of the knife, drive a peg into the ground, by a certain number of
blows, which the loser was compelled to draw out with his teeth. The
severity of the penalty was not in using a long peg, like a wooden
tooth-pick, but a short one that could still be struck a blow or two
after it was below the surface of the soil. Thus the unskillful player
had to root for it, while the boys, being called together, encircled him
and jeered.

_Happy Hours by Living Streams_

The appearance and needs of this dirty-faced boy caused the whole bunch
to hie away to the swimming-hole. The Romans seem always to have been
looking out for places to bathe and always finding them. So with boys.
Where is the boy that did not strive to get to the water? Who is there
that did not, in his youth, love some stream? Here is the landscape
toward which the mind, during the interval of a generation, has fondly
turned. Last summer I followed the same old path to exactly the same
square foot of ground on the willow-lined shore from which I had a
hundred times stepped into the stream. I could locate exactly the spot
where a bigger boy, who wanted to race, raised an oar and told me to
jump over to lighten the boat, which I had to do, and there in deep
water, as it was sink or swim, survive or perish, I paddled the best I
could and learned to swim in one short, self-taught lesson.

_Healing in the Pool_

This illustrates again the health instincts of boys which they seek to
obey without knowing the why and wherefore of the feeling that impels
them to bathe often. Swedenborg had to have a revelation from heaven to
enable him to catch a glimpse of his malady which he ought to have known
by intuition. His nature was all the time complaining, and what an
expression that is when men speak of their "complaints," when by pains,
which are warnings, nature is reporting her grievances at head-quarters.
But the heavens were opened and Swedenborg went into ecstasy over the
kindness of the angel whose message to him was a warning not to eat so
much. The body shows divine workmanship as well as the soul. When young
we follow nature and the result is a red-blooded, vigorous youngster,
and if, as we went on in life, we had souls enough to appreciate the
free air and sunlight with their health-giving properties, which are so
lavishly bestowed upon us, we should better reverence the temple in
which the spirit dwells. A recent association formed in Boston for the
erection of a monument to Franklin, used in the picture, on their
certificate of membership, the figure of Franklin with a kite leaning
against him and a view of the telegraph. The kite employed by the
philosopher in his experiment is a plaything of the young, while the
experiment it served to make so successful, is the last word in science
when applied to light, heat and transportation. The picture shows the
connection between our sport and the great realities of life.

_And That Reminds Me_

Play underlies the future responsibilities and events of life.
Recreation has a direct relation to efficiency. I wish that some boys
that I know would play a little more. To watch boys is to study their
character. The story of a boy's life deserves to be written as well as
the life of a man. A boy has been pointed out who on returning from
school is seized and imprisoned in a back parlor with nothing to look at
but his weary lessons. He is pining. His eye needs brightening. His
blood wants reddening. An Oriental traveler, watching a game of cricket,
was astonished to hear that some of those playing were rich. He asked
why they did not pay some poor people to do it for them. The play will
show itself in still greater riches when radical important work is
undertaken and when an entire revolution in the world's methods is to be
accomplished. Exercise, like mathematics, cannot be seized by might nor
purchased by money. It is not true that every hour taken from a child's
play is an hour saved. In some cases, where a boy is given a little time
to play, it is done grudgingly. Thinking now of efficiency they hire,
here, leaders to teach children to play. Vivacious representatives of
the Young Women's Christian Association sent word through the little
villages along the Volga that there would be games for the Russian
children on the village squares. These refugee children had seen so many
sorrows that they had forgotten that they were young. Whole towns turned
out. They looked on in wonder. "Have you brought us bread?" they asked,
as the games were about to be started. The spirit of joy had forsaken
them and needed to be recalled. Little games of competition and
emulation, that were mirth-producing and health-giving, gave the
impression that "Some angels must have been at play." As Thoreau says of
animals, so we may say of human beings, that their most important part
is their anima, their vital spirit.

_One of Life's Schools_

When revisiting the earth I met on intimate terms a classmate. I was in
and out of his place of business many times. He had plenty to do.
Indeed he had too much to do. The distinct impression he made upon me
was, that he was being hurried, all the time, a little faster than he
could well travel. Hurry, if continuous, becomes simply worry under
another name. Let a person catechize his own experiences on this
subject: it will have a salutary effect. He drew me into a confidential
conversation, in which he said, that he was not earning a good living
and asked me what I thought of his situation. I advised him at once to
take a vacation and refresh his mind. He was working like a quarry
slave. A person needs to stand away from a house to see it. He needed to
readjust himself. His mind had lost its spring. A little recreation
would do him more good, than the same time in the treadmill. Sometimes
you see that a man made up what mind he has, when he was too tired; it
was no proper expression of him.

_Loafing and Laboring_

What was once play has become work and what was once work in the garden,
wood-yard, and barn may now become play. A person can stop work and yet
not have any recreation. When a person after excessive physical exertion
is resting he is not recreating. You do not say of persons at rest that
"they shout for joy, they also sing." After sunset, the lonely twilight
hours, with Jacob, represented the accepted, needed rest and after that
came the pensive reverie, the dream and with it the ladder and the angel
ministration. In his own person, every one must have noticed, that after
a period of rest, often as late as Sabbath afternoon, come the holy
influences of the hour, the music that is audible to the fine ear of
thought, the stillness, the purity, the balm. A man, who is busy all the
time or tired all the time, breaks the curfew law of God. The evening
concentrates the retrospect, also the prospect of our lives. If you are
communing with a confidential friend you do not like to have any body
else talking in the room at the same time. You want to become attuned,
like musicians, about to begin to play.

_Foibles of the Famous_

These persons are often quarrelsome, in spite of the fact, that their
constant employment is the production of harmony. It is the effect of
play, to bring into harmony. This is one of its most benign results. A
man, found to be out of harmony with the spirit of the place, or of the
time, only awaits displacing. M. Protopopoff, the last minister of the
interior under the old regime in Russia, told nearly the whole truth
when he said to an Associated Press representative, who visited him in
prison, that his crime consisted of "not understanding the spirit of my
age." Mistaking the time, he became a worker for a separate peace with
Germany. That man of the past is not as black as he first appeared, for
he has at least this redeeming trait, finding himself out of harmony
with the temper of his time, he confesses it, and incriminates himself,
and does not bitterly criticise those participating in the advent of a
new era, which is the common practice, under such conditions.



The proof that a robust, daring, well-fed boy starts by being a sort of
half domesticated little animal as well as a Sunday school immortal is
set out in his school fights. These best illustrate how hard it is to
eradicate the savage, hereditary traits of our early barbaric ancestry.
It is suggested that all fully domesticated animals dislike children.
They have an instinctive fear of their tricks and their thoughtlessness.

The rude jostle, pretty nearly instinctive with boys coming from school,
breaks the peace. There is the quick impulse to resist aggression with
violence, particularly on the part of an impulsive unrelenting temper,
not adverse to battle. Wrestling and boxing were very much in vogue, a
generation ago, which made the average boy very ready with his fists and
anxious if there was to be a clinch, to get "the underholt." This
preparedness increased the likeliness of a clash. If a boy took occasion
to state the events that led up to Armageddon, we used to hear, He
called me names. His budding sense of honor, an exaggerated feeling of
obligation to take care of his better self, his name, was the most
frequent incentive to try conclusions.

_Precipitating a Fracas_

The tendency to give a nickname, to remind a boy in a word of the color
of his hair, or the cut of his clothes, or of some unfortunate incident
in his life or that of his family was painfully wide-spread, and it hurt
like a blow and started resentment. A boy, that by his disposition and
taste, was too proud to fight could not always keep out of it as the
active belligerent might be overbearing or might be, at the time,
imposing on some helpless party. This is an unprovoked declaration of
war when peace can only be had by conquering it. It is interesting to
study a man's life in terms of those early scuffles. In Pilgrim's
Progress the fight of Christian and Apollyon was the kernel of the
story. Henry Higginson, "Bully Hig," a business man of remarkable
success in Boston, was the leader of the Latin school forces and
engagements which were as fiercely fought as some in which the same boys
later took part on the battle fields of the South. A boy's anger and a
boy's pain pass away like clouds on a summer morning and leave the sky
purer and fairer than before. Boy's fights often began with
snow-balling. They were implied by the use of the word snow-forts, on
the old site of which we took occasion to stand. For days the boys would
roll up immense snow-balls to form the redoubt. They worked, like the
ants, those sociologists of the insect-world who combine their efforts
to move an object toward the ant hill, approach the thing to be moved,
using all their strength wherever they can apply it, causing the object
to stagger along, and the small, industrious, courageous creatures by
frantic partisan effort landed it where individual work never could have
so well located it. Those who built the fort were determined to defend
it. They talked over their grievances until they seemed bigger than they
were. Trouble would soon begin to boil, like the witches' brew into
which all kinds of ingredients entered and the situation soon forced all
boys to take sides.

_Sectional and Factional Fights_

It was common to hear the inquiry, Are you on my side? It started a
campaign. There was no neutral zone. There were no pacifists. If a snow
fort was to be stormed the snow-balls were dipped in water and were as
hard as canister. The contending forces were under boy commanders. The
volatile spirit of the organization lasted after the snow was gone. The
contending parties were easily provoked. Boys used to take off their
coats and lay them aside like those that stoned Stephen. The question
to be settled was Who is bigger? The custom was to place a chip upon the
shoulder and flatly dare a fancied antagonist to knock it off, which
being done, hostilities were let loose with a spring. The other boys
would gather about and witness the excitement, their only concern being
to see that there was every way a square deal. Until such a time as one
or the other would say, Hold, enough, I am through. Things were then
deemed settled. An incidental indication that boys before re-birth were
little animals, was the use of their nails. The face of him that was
worsted would bear a diagram of the battle.

_Suffering From Personal Collision_

On reaching home his mother's consternation and sympathy and displeasure
at the injury he had received, causing her haste to apply a soft sponge
and remedial lotions, would displace all effort to ascertain if her boy
was in any degree at fault in bringing on the fray. It is no wonder that
there is an enormous increase in the number of physicians in these days
if boys thus settle who is the best man. The doctors, we are told, got
rich upon small pay, yet now they flourish in treble numbers, as they
are required, upon all foot-ball grounds, in particular, and upon all
athletic fields in general. Life in miniature is exhibited by the petty
incidents of a school boy's history. A single bold adventure is
decisive sometimes of a campaign. A challenge to fight two boys at once
has been known to give a courageous youngster reputation. The opposition
did not want to fight but was intent to discover if the new lad in
school would keep his ground saying, like the Scotch thistle, Don't
touch me.

       *       *       *       *       *

There has been during a generation such a fine growth of sentiment that
many of the former things, like corporal punishment, have passed away.
In school Luther was flogged every day. We have no other right to
associate ourselves with a great reformer except in the matter we are
now considering. The school thrashing was shown to be a method of
separating the chaff from the wheat.

_Birch, Beech, and Willow Were the Branches Taken_

It certainly was not the custom in our day for the teacher to get down
on his knees to the pupils and offer them peppermints if they would only
consent to behave. In the government exhibit at Omaha, in a World's
Fair, was a series of framed pictures, filled with painful suggestions,
illustrating what may be termed, the evolution of the disuse of the
switch. The world has moved on to some new conception of moral suasion.
These pictures, however, were from real life, as many of us can
testify. If any one wanted glimpses of the good old time, there they
were. First was a small boy being flogged by a pretty lady teacher. I
know that picture to be correct. In the next instance the boy was curled
up in bitter anticipation of what was going to happen to him. Next a boy
was holding out a ruler at arm's length. Then followed very properly the
dunce cap and the fool stool. Then we witnessed the process of shaking
or churning where the churner grasps the lapels of the churnee's coat
and proceeds to violently agitate the latter with many oscillations. The
most suggestive picture of an old-fashioned school was where the
discipline appeared to be founded on Solomon's warning. The master
stands near the stove with his book in one hand and switch in the other
with only one eye on the book. New Jersey now prohibits by law corporal
punishment in schools. Eight states prescribe a penalty for excess
amounting to cruelty. In Arizona alone the law gives authority to whip.
In ten states the courts have decided that, as flogging has been the
commonest mode of discipline from time immemorial, the teacher requires
no permission to use the birch. In Providence a teacher in the primary
grade has to get the written consent of the parents to whip a boy and
have it filed with the city superintendent. All these formalities have
been developed since the period that we are canvassing.

_America's Unhappy Hour_

The incident of flogging a pupil did not seem to disturb the school nor
seem to interrupt the studies appreciably except when it was one of the
big boys that had incurred the master's displeasure. When it was obvious
that there was to be a battle royal it became the custom for the
tender-hearted, larger girls to rise, without a word or sign from them
or the teacher, and pass quietly out of the room at the instant it
became plain that hostilities were to begin. The ruler, introduced into
the school as an aid in drawing, was often used as a punitive
instrument. When the old attendants upon the school get together as
jolly good fellows, their word being now unquestioned on any matter of
fact, it is noticeable that in reciting their sufferings, it was never
the master's fortune to get hold of the guilty party. According to their
testimony, the boy that introduced the disorder was not the one that
stood for the infliction of punishment. There is usually one boy in
school that can on occasion, look cross-eyed and another boy that can
move his ears. This comes to the attention of the apple-cheeked girl,
who laughing, showed all her teeth like a row of white piano keys. Her
fear of discipline made her press the palm of her hand over her pretty
mouth, in a sudden, forced attempt to suppress a giggle. The boy, who
came next into the comedy, was likeliest to meet the frown of him who
must, at once, rule his little empire into a terrified silence.

_Putting on the Character with the Coats of Gentlemen_

The gymnasium, organized athletics, the ambition of boys to gain a place
on the various teams has brought in a milder reign. Another influence is
the reflex effect of wearing better clothes. Dress strangely changes the
person and curiously affects the character. One of the best preventives
of rude Sabbath breaking is a nicely folded, well-fitting Sunday suit.
With a rough, coarse, untearable suit goes rough usage all around, and
with fine clothes goes politeness of manner. The clothing worn used to
be much thicker and heavier. About the neck was a comforter, tippet,
scarf, or even a small sized shawl. Men wore fur standing collars,
cow-hide boots, and tucked the lower ends of their trousers' legs into
them, in rough weather and when engaged in rough work. A bootjack was
the commonest kind of household furniture. Boys wore heavy calf-skin
boots with attractive red tops, which they desired to have seen, and
this foot-wear was copper-toed so that a boy could lie on his face on
his sled and steer it in its swift descent of the hill, by ploughing
first one toe and then the other into the icy roadway. Any one's
feelings will indicate to him, that he must treat himself, and that he
must be treated differently by others, when he is clad in light woolens
and in thin foot-wear. He must have more civilized walks, a more even
warmth in the house, and a more genteel order of life. It shows the
reflex influence of refined dress.

_New Facings to Old Opinions_

On revisiting the earth it is an amazement to find, that in so short a
time, most boys are made millionaires. They sit in a building at school,
that cost scores of thousands of dollars. In their own right, they walk
into a library, worth tens of thousands, housed in a building that is
high priced. The latest books are added to their library. Money has been
expended to have a card catalogue made. It used to be tiresome to get
about town, and to visit the metropolis, but great stores of money have
been used to give them ease and save the wear and tear. Boys have parks
to play in and have artificial skating rinks and table luxuries and new
forms of furniture and free text-books. Boats drop down the James river
loaded with melons. At Norfolk one negro tosses a watermelon to another
colored man and he to another until they are loaded in a car which
starts express at night, when it is cool, for the northern cities. Boats
and trains and service cost money, but it seems very little to a boy in
his new circumstances, who has luxuries which we used to do without. Not
much was done for us children, compared with present home furnishings,
which have Hawthorne's "Wonder Books" and Longfellow's "Evangeline" and
pictured illustrations of the world and of life. In our early days most
of our picture books were brought from England. If boys then lived in a
poor part of the city it was a chosen location for saloons but now boys
do not have to live in a location where they have saloons. This
improvement of a boy's environment is greatly to his advantage.

_Fair to Illustrate by the Best Examples_

The most frequent question asked the visitor is how things, taking the
years together, seem to be going. The improvement in conditions is
glaring. This is not, and cannot be, without result. This of itself
makes a showing in men. It was the same quality of seed that fell among
thorns and by the way-side and upon stony places. In visiting the field,
the first observation is not touching the seed, but outside conditions,
and their direct relation to the product. Men reveal even more plainly
the effect of extraneous influences. It is said that on hearing the
younger Silliman lecture, an enthusiastic auditor exclaimed, "Why, he
beats the old gent!" The elder Silliman, who had been listening to the
lecture, overheard the remark, and gaining the attention of its author,
quietly observed, "Of course he does. He stands upon my shoulders." The
old stock was good and stood high but the new generation has the
advantage of better position and of a finer outlook.



If houses have souls, as Hawthorne believed and taught, and can admire
and remember, there is one residence, toward which I turn my willing
pilgrim feet, on revisiting the earth, which supports his way of
thinking. I was hardly within the door of this dwelling, once occupied
by my father, himself a clergyman, when it began to reel off to me, the
impressions it had received and retained, for a generation. First, came
in minute detail, with all the vividness of moving pictures, a recital
touching the old-fashioned donation party which, like the husking-bee
and the quilting-bee or house-raising, requires a good deal of
interpretation to those, living in days, when money flows like water.
The mingling of work and pleasure, combining philanthropy and social
enjoyment was the custom of the time. All came together in a fine spirit
of neighborliness and all the labor and all the supplies for the feast
were gratuitously furnished. A Donation Party was featured particularly
by spare-ribs, also by cake, bags of flour, and pies, also by all kinds
of things both from the cellar and larder of the members of the parish.
The soiree with refreshments, was always a surprise, with this exception
that the minister's wife was asked, with a knowing look, if the dominie
was to be at home. The outstanding fact was the overwhelming abundance
of everything. The party over, when we sat down to a meal, we began just
where we left off at the last repast.

_The Past at Least is Secure_

Wood, in sled lengths, used to be dragged to our door. Coal was unknown
to our experience. When a man had a pig-sticking, in anticipation of the
school-teacher's coming to his house to board, he brought a portion of
the result to the manse, as if to obtain and enjoy a blessing on the
rest. A minister's salary was by necessity used for pocket money. The
occasions were joyous, social, extremely helpful, and welcome. The cake
left a precious memory behind. Sometimes the lambs of the flock combined
to procure something that the shepherd was known to need. What killed
the Donation Party and buried it, beyond the hope of resurrection, was
the fun and ridicule and wit that came to be aimed at its ludicrous
features. A colored porter, on a Pullman car, said he had a good
position until the comic papers took up the prevalent method of
collecting tips and made it ridiculous. One must orient himself to
place the right estimate upon this party at the minister's house. He was
not in those days independent to the point of being defiant. There was
no beggary, no humiliation, and the people were generous, considering
that they had, in many cases, difficult problems of their own. If a
minister went into a community to live, as they did, there was a fine
feeling all around.

_Where a Critical Struggle was Beginning_

As I stood in the floor of my early home all the situations were plainly
outlined for me. In the front corner of one of the best rooms, stood the
study table of the dominie, on which he wrote the ministerial
recommendations. Ministers used to be mediators: that was their office.
This kindly disposition, to put the influence of one's name, and the
weight of his ministerial character, behind any good thing, that seemed
to need promoting, could be developed into a form of second nature. The
new form of charity, "Not alms, but a friend," did not reduce the number
of letters of recommendation. We were taught that a little kindness is
often worth more than a great deal of money. The poor, unemployed man
lacked opportunity, acquaintance, and recognition. The minister, in pure
disinterestedness, brothers him. The usual form of helpfulness is a
letter. The misfortune is that everybody can recommend anybody.
Exaggerations can be given to certain qualities and a discreet silence
observed with regard to others. Thus Mrs. Stowe accentuates the negro's
peculiarly religious character and disposition. Thus Wendell Phillips
never tells the truth, and yet he always tells truth.

_Rising Young Men_

The relation of this subject to the book canvasser is extremely
suggestive. Some of those who have written their names highest on the
rolls of deserved honor have followed this laudable calling. The
foremost American, George Washington, sold two hundred copies of
Bydell's "American Savage." Our most melodious poet, Longfellow, sold
books by subscription. Our pre-eminent orator, Daniel Webster, handled
de Tocqueville's "America." Our greatest general, the hero of
Appomattox, Ulysses S. Grant, canvassed for Irving's "Columbus." And our
magnetic statesman, James G. Blaine, began his career as a canvasser for
a life of Henry Clay. In the small, dark, dingy parlors of country
hotels, travelers on rainy days often now find copies of books that were
sold, or rather traded, to the well-fed, good natured, boniface in
exchange for entertainment. I can remember items that I have read in
these books. I can now go to the tavern and the table where I read after
dinner from Butler's book his explanation of the reason that he lost
more cases after he became celebrated as a lawyer than he did before.
After his fame was established clients flocked to him, with desperate
cases. They did not balk at the amount of his retaining fee. As these
hotly contested cases had been put through all of their preliminary
stages, in all the lower courts, Benjamin F. Butler has lost each one of
these chances to get his client by. The case was substantially decided
adversely before the great lawyer appeared in it at all.

_Tendency to Exaggerate Rather than to Daguerreotype_

The dependence of the agent upon ministers is a testimonial to their
sympathy. It stamps them as leaders and establishes the fact that their
influence in the community is effective. Great evils are wrought in
churches and communities by the fact that indorsements are so easily
obtained. A man who wants testimonials can get them. Some of our little
home missionary churches in the West, that deserve better things, are
grievously tormented. This department of religious helpfulness has been
so sadly overworked that it is suggestive to find one Christian
association of young men that now omits to give letters of
recommendation, feeling that discrimination is always difficult and
certainly invidious.

_The Practice Has Boomerang Implications_

When one is in doubt about recommending a person or thing he ought to
take the elder Weller's advice with regard to widows, "Don't." A letter
of recommendation ought not to express the judgment of him who seeks it,
but of him who gives it. Recommendations too often embody the opinion of
the applicant only voiced in the words of a man of influence and
position. The pen had over-employment as compared with the feet. We
ought to help convicts, released from prison, at the expiration of their
sentence, to get employment; but the employer ought to be put in
possession of the facts. There is probably no one of us but can say that
his letters of recommendation have surpassed in fruitfulness every other
form of helpful service. By them currents have been set in motion that
have changed the course of many a life. Among those eminent deeds that
have caused most of happiness to others, that the angels unmistakably
approved, stand out foremost in all one's past those instances in which
a letter of introduction and of unhesitating recommendation has brought
certain rare spirits into appropriate positions of usefulness and honor.
An aged clergyman, loving and beloved, tells a wondering company, how
one of Boston's merchant-princes went up to the metropolis of New
England, cherishing in his pocket as his chief possession, a letter that
meant every word it said and into which a whole country church, through
its minister, had put its true estimate of a young, manly, Christian
character, also its well wishes and its hopes.

_Things with a Difference_

There is a saying that Adam once returned to the earth where he
recognized no country but Spain. "Ah," said he, "this is exactly as I
left it." Since 1880 we have built more than five hundred cities in
America, among them some of the smartest in the world. We once lived
here, in a plain country town, and now forsooth they have a little doll
of a city. In a Boston burial ground there is an enclosed grave-lot. The
iron fence is warping and rusting and crumbling. On the iron gate-way to
the lot is moulded the caption, "Never to be disturbed." Nature the
same, everything else changes is the rule. Even in hoarse, brutal,
unprogressive Russia everything is becoming new fangled, dress,
features, manners, pursuits, all are becoming new. The alterations, in
our former place of abode, have been so unconsciously and so gradually
made, as to escape the attention of the resident. The secrecy with which
all forms of business was conducted is an example. "No admittance"
signs were once so much used that the form could have been manufactured
in lots and kept in stock to supply the constant demand. It used to be
the custom, in paying a bill, for a man as he drew out his pocket-book,
to turn half way around, and with his back to the gentleman he was
dealing with, open the wallet and examine his money.

There has been an astonishing increase in the number of employments, as
compared with the few different vocations of earlier days. Medical men
and lawyers had no specialties as they do now. Many doctors today, who
would like an all-round development, would better enjoy a country
practice. The sons of the physicians have gone into vocations that were
hardly recognized when their fathers began practice. One of the
electrical firms asked to be given, for their work alone, the entire
graduating class of 1900 from Cornell University.

_The Changing World_

The slang of a generation ago, some of it is given a permanent place in
our language, and while in the dictionaries it is rated as a
colloquialism, it is thus recognized. It has increased so greatly in the
speech of the people, it comes freely also from student bodies, from the
trades and sports and from the war camps, that it will now keep the
lexicon makers busy.



Swearing has grown milder. The grossness and blasphemy are largely
barred, while the expletives that technically may not be swearing at
all, being used for raciness, vigor and emphasis, have increased one
hundred fold.

A symptom of decadence is the elimination of book-stores. Speaking
broadly it is impossible to find a stall with a stock of books except in
the larger cities. When desirous of substantial reading matter I am
sometimes able to buy biographies and other books, worth while, at the
drug store in a country town. On moving into flats, families commit an
unpardonable sin in disposing of their books. The most sickening sight
in New York, Chicago, or Boston is to see second-hand books faded and
weather-beaten exposed on the street for sale at a seedy, feeble price.

In spite of the strong drift of governments toward democracy, in
revisiting the earth, I detected an exaggeration of class feeling as
compared with the early days when there were no poor in the whole town
and hardly any very rich. Our pleasures were then more simple and our
life, on the whole, more serious.

The increased height in houses is apparent. As the family prospers, it
seeks to have the walls in the second story carried up full height,
that they may not show inside the pitch of the roof which is the
distinguishing mark of a cottage.

_The Unexpected Happens_

I suppose that the passing years make little or no impression on a
well-built stone wall, but where growth and prosperity abound they are
not likely to preserve many of the primitive buildings and land-marks,
but if any living man had predicted the entire remaking and reshaping of
this place of my early residence the reply would have been that if the
Lord would work a miracle then might this thing be. The man who
professed to know just how we are made, as an automobile maker knows a
car, tells us that in seven years we get, physically, a brand new
outfit, that old things pass away, and all things become new. As we have
not now the same bodies so we have not the same mind. Our ideals, our
manners are different. We are different. We have had many a re-birth.
Time has brought changes that could no more be withstood than you could
resist the earth in its revolution. It is the miracle of a generation,
which to relate, were not a history but a piece of poetry, and would
sound to many ears like a fable. The growth in population and in wealth,
during a long constructive period, has kept up the clatter of the
hammer, the cry of "mort," and the scent of the resinous odor of the
pine. Inventions and improvements have placed man in a new relation to
the globe he inhabits. Since new ideas began to prevail former methods
have been discarded. Even a snake, with years, sheds its scales and
envelopes itself in a new skin. The sun once stood still, and the Jordan
was arrested in its banks, but life and the stream of events have flowed
on without pause or rest. People who have never made a visit, like ours,
will talk freely, far from wisely, about what they have always said, and
always thought, as if they had always looked through the same eyes, and
judged by the same standards. Not so. You looked on life as it seemed
then and are looking again with the picture shifted. Your whole point of
view is changed. When a man says, "I have always felt," he means that he
has felt thus, back part way, or to a given point, but not so certainly
much beyond it.

_The Past Looks Like a Dream_

We made from recollection and were aided by inquiry, a catalogue of the
false prophets who early moved away, to the big cities, saying that the
place where we had lived would never increase much in business or
population. There is a French proverb which warns people not to use the
words "never or always." The Wall Street Journal has just used that
unreliable forbidden word "never." It heads an article, "Cheap Food
Never Again." Any man living in our old place of residence would be wary
of the use of the term "never." He would feel that almost any good
fortune may come. With tractors and gang-plows operating in the Land of
the Dakotas, South Dakota alone being a quarter larger than all New
England, and Montana, the third largest state in the union, very much
more than equal in size to England, Scotland, Ireland combined and Texas
as big as Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, and Switzerland together,
these states being now chiefly unfarmed, with shoals of immigrants after
the war to work these fields, bounded only by the sky line, how can a
man use the expression, Cheap Food Never Again? The statesman Cambon
said that never would Rome cease to belong to the people and that never
would Rome be the capital of the king of Italy. A Clergyman here, of
high authority and position, showed how all the sovereigns of the chief
European nations were blood relatives and announced that there could
never be another great war. He became positive. He said such a thing was
unthinkable. Look next at the harvest of death in the German war. "He
who, outside of mathematics, pronounces the word 'impossible' lacks

_Achilles Pondered in His Tent_

Yankee Doodle's criticism was quite just. He could not see the town
because there were so many houses. We need to get away from the crowded
streets and narrow lanes and talkative people to win a true perspective.
I wanted to sit down alone and think things over. The people, generally,
were as strange to me as I was to them, and yet there was a time, when I
was as well-known to everybody, as a child is to his own mother, and
when I knew everybody in town. All the alterations of things are
wondrously complete, but these were nothing to the change of appearance
in the faces of the people. The old familiar countenances, where were
they? I looked here and I looked there and everywhere but they had
largely vanished from above and below the earth. The character of the
dog has undergone less change, than that of the human master, to whom he
is so strangely attached. Change, that immutable law of nature, had
wrought such shifts in the faces among old acquaintances that all smiles
of recognition were wanting. But when I look in the glass I see no
change. To the people I must have appeared as the veriest Rip Van
Winkle. It was not the fault of the thrifty, prosperous place that I had
slept so long, but like Rip Van Winkle it was in me to come back, and I
am trying to learn to say with him, Everything is changed and I am
changed. He recalled the occurrences before he entered upon his extended
slumber and returned to find that the place was altered. It was enlarged
and more populous and had rows of houses which he had not seen before.
The dress of the people, too, was of a different fashion from that to
which he was accustomed but whether under the somnolent influences of
his lethargies, or free from them, he mused amid all the changes of
outward affairs upon one immutable scene, "the lordly river moving on
its silent but majestic course."



On revisiting the earth nothing is more remarkable than to find that
with each man goes one striking characterization. There is usually one
prevalent well-founded recollection based upon a temperamental
peculiarity, and the impression was made, that the former citizen was
fortunate to leave that one item in the memory of the people. You make
reference to him, "Oh, yes, he was our town clerk for twenty years." As
often as you mention him you are told again the fact which distinguishes
him. One beloved character was Abiel Bassett. "Oh yes, he was our good
deacon, Deacon Bassett." He was a farmer. As such, he made his living,
but that was nothing to the point. "Deacon Bassett"--that was all. Cain
stands in the catechism for one fact. There are two things beside, that
could be said of him. It is not usual to mention them. Judas must have
had excellent qualities or he would not have been made an apostle. One
thing attaches to him. If a person's picture is to be taken he might
like to designate the occasion and expression, but then he might show
self-consciousness which spoils everything. He must not appear to want
"to be seen of men." History wants to make his picture a likeness, just
as he is, and as his friends see him, every day. On revisiting the earth
I find that one act is always stated of my father. It gave him earthly
immortality. It was not his greatest act nor his best. He took no pose
for the permanent picture. Joseph Jefferson, Kate Claxton and Edwin
Booth had, each of them, one part that fitted them like a garment and
fully expressed them. It would inevitably become the favorite selected
for a "Benefit Night." Audiences in part determined their public
character. My father took his permanent position thus by a kind of

He was not consulted. History does not say, "How would you like to have
your picture taken now?" He is caught like a fly in the amber and there
he remains. His repute is imperishable. Thus statuesque is history.

_Forgetting all Except One Truth_

My mother left one clear-cut impression. It remained like the imprint of
a fern leaf on a rock, a suggestive though accidental record of the
years gone by. It was a simple picture stamped with a strange
indelibility, like the patience of Job, the meekness of Moses, the
daring of Daniel, the greed of Shylock, the indecision of Hamlet, the
jealousy of Othello, the furious driving of Jehu. One story was told
with endless iteration by the old-time neighbors who feel themselves
under no obligation to laboriously dig up a second story when the usual
one is the best and is so thoroughly characteristic. Thus all other
occurrences are suffered to fade from the community's recollection. When
a patriarch was returning from battle with his spoils, a priest, meeting
him, stretched forth his arms and blessed him. In this pose history's
snap-shot was taken. After thousands of years we find that he "abideth a
priest continually." Such men are the moral pivots of society. Their
claim on remembrance, like William the Silent, Charles the Bold, Richard
the Lion-Hearted turned upon one conspicuous thing and history will so
nail that one fact down and so hammer it that it is practically
impossible to effect a readjustment, as in the matter of Daniel
Webster's physical condition while making his Rochester speech and of
the obloquy cast upon Chief Justice Taney in the Dred-Scott decision,
that the negro "had no rights that the white man was bound to respect."
The learned judge never made that affirmation. His sympathies in the
recital were against, rather than with, the sentiment he named. In
revisiting the earth you find that history did not fasten upon the best
form of characterization and you try to argue. Oh never mind now, our
story is a good one; it will have to stand. It has been attacked

_Personalities of Rarest Types_

The difficulty has been pointed out of recalling our childhood, exactly
as it was, for the reason that as we travel backward, we take our
present selves with us. Imagination is now less active, and so things
are shorn of their size and of their exaggerated features. On coming to
town we miss the lion of the place. Our juvenile Hall of Fame was
featured by the Sagamore of the tribe. In the good old days society had
its leader, its model, its dictator who would have led an army or
governed a kingdom. He merited the description by which the Norse sages
so often carried a meaning of high praise when they declared one to be
"not an every-day man." His individual life was less lost in the crowd.
His isolation reacted on his character. His residence was one of the
show places of the town. It was the resort for the itinerant politician,
holding out the glad hand, who was to speak in the evening, and was with
us to electioneer. In such a community it falls usually to one and the
self-same family to entertain. The house is known as the Quaker tavern,
or the Methodist tavern. Its hospitality is proverbial. It had its spare
room. This became locally quite famous for the celebrities it had
welcomed, before they had come to their later fame. Hospitality in this
form is the grace of small, remote, detached places. The minister's
house had a prophet's chamber, with a "bed and a table and a stool and a
candle-stick" so that when any "holy man of God" passed by he could turn
in thither. A minister's wife said plaintively that she never knew how
many she was cooking a meal for. On one occasion she had provided a
custard pie, more than ample, for the few she then had in mind. It was
however necessary later to cut it into six pieces and that,
notwithstanding the fact that it was imperative, by an unforseen
situation, for the mother herself and her daughter not to "care for any"
that day. The minister's family adopted a code of S. O. S. signals which
it would sound around F. H. B., "Family hold back," M. I. K., "more in
the kitchen." To the manse any minister, though a total stranger and
unannounced, could come with complete assurance. The itinerant and his
horse were now and then forced by a snow-storm to remain a few days
until the roads were broken up and settled.

_Poet of the One-Hoss Shay Said, "No Extra Charge"_

The lobby, in the earlier country tavern, was universally called the
bar-room. Travel was thus staging from one bar-room to another. The
tables were served by the village belles. Other employment, as in
factories or stores, did not then exist. The inn holder was a
conspicuous man. He picked up the news from the stage driver and his
passengers. When the old-fashioned Concord stage coach approached town
the four fine horses were slowed down into an easy pace for a few
furlongs but reaching the suburbs, the horses were given the word, and
the long whip was cracked and they dashed into town, making the arrival
peculiarly enlivening.

Presently the country landlord would appear on the long broad platform
to sound the summons to the table. This was done by the loud violent
ringing of a dinner bell, which was swung by a whole arm-movement on
both sides of the artist's body, and made to publish in double tones its
noisy welcome. The ringer's whole anatomy entered for the time being
into the contortion for producing sound.

Every institution is said to be the lengthened shadow of some
personality. It was a happy thought that gave those men the title of
fathers of their country. The term is very significant of their
munificence or of some real thing that made them kings in the hearts of
men. Those names are enshrined in some academy, or other school, or
bank, or business house, or attached to some central conspicuous street.
A return to the residence discovers that imagination had given it a part
of its size and that its proportions were carried over from the local
prominence of its occupant. "I saw an angel standing in the sun," said
St. John. Position gives size. A man who stands near a camp fire
projects portentous dimensions on space behind him. The aristocracy of
such a man sometimes was certainly not in his dress. He wore the
old-fashions, walked in the old ways, and was a revelation of things
that had passed away. He wore a heavy, tall, silk cylinder hat in which
he carried a bandana handkerchief, valuable papers, and a large
pocket-book that was wrapped round with a thin band of leather that was
passed under a succession of loops. We used to call him a gentleman of
the old school. We used to secretly wonder how he escaped the flood.

_Links with the Past_

When he adopted his style of dress his apparel was the last word in
fashion. It suited his taste, was becoming, comfortable, and
satisfactory. His course was consistent. He adhered to it and kept right
on. Toward the last of his career he depended somewhat upon it to make
him a marked man. Such an individual with obsolete manners was, like
Melrose Abbey, impressive in its decay. In his age, disliking changes,
his distrustful mind would cling to what was nearest to him, his
appearance. He did not see why his style of dress should be interfered
with. He made no reckoning with time. That item alone gives a rude
awakening to a recruit. In a call for troops he was passed by. Again in
a call for troops he is summoned. He is substantially what he felt
himself before to be, only time, simply time has passed and he is
twenty-one and takes a new relation to his own parents and to his
country and to his fortune. The city of Washington used to contain a set
of pensioned admirals, retired army officers and officials, who still
wore the hall marks of their life when at its climax. The simple
revolution of the earth made them fossils and relics and reminders that
the procession of which they had been honored members had now for the
greater part turned the corner and passed out of view. Sometimes an old
man and his wife, tall and antique in appearance, resembling Abraham and
Sarah of old, are distinguished chiefly for looking "like the afternoon
shadow of other people."

_Boys Did Not Know What to Make of Them_

On revisiting the earth the old albums are the first things inevitably
brought out and was there ever anything more grotesque and unearthly
than that which is shown in their hideous, faded contents? A woman, in
those days, so deformed her fine form, that the wonder was expressed,
and the surprise, that with that make-up she ever got a husband.

When de Tocqueville was in this country looking for evidences of
democracy in America, he frankly states in the introduction to his
epoch-making book that he saw more than there was. Impossible. You
cannot find what does not exist, yet his untruth is the exact
unqualified truth. He that seeketh findeth. He plainly saw signs of
democracy before he left the company's dock as he landed from the ship.
He saw it too at the hotel. It takes a big volume to tell all the tokens
he discovered. If he had been accompanied by a twin brother, different
in heart, in sympathies, and in his specialty he could in turn have
found money kings, railroad kings, kings of fortune, landlords, laborers
in a stand-up fight with capitalists. McAllister found a social set
limited in number to four hundred. A real estate man takes a different
view of the Hawthorne house or of Independence Hall or the Old South
Church from the antiquarian. Dr. W. J. Dawson knew a man who sailed with
Napoleon but could tell of him later but two items, one of which had
some reference to silk hosiery, that his mind probably revolted at, as
extravagant or as prudish. Of the same incident, some said it thundered,
others said an angel spake. An artist and a banker traveled together
abroad and on hearing their recital you would suppose they visited
different lands.

_Heroes and Fine Old Gentlemen_

One of the curiosities of history was the great game of
follow-my-leader, that the whole community used to play. Under the hat
of the great man of the village was a brain large enough for the ruler
of a nation. He seemed the peer of a Bismarck in executive force. We
have had since a high grade of general education but then we had a
giant. He had an individuality peculiar and surprising. His mental
traits were exceptional. The dominant features of his character were
energy, industry, and courage. He was an able, genial, hard-working man,
a treasure and a blessing, but giving some evidence of rusty mental
machinery and of being belated in the world's history and of absolute
inability to train a successor. A modern, typical exhibition of the
relation of the big man to the town was given at Three Oaks, Michigan,
when Admiral Dewey gave a cannon to the committee that after the Spanish
war was arranging a memorial to the dead soldiers and sailors. It was
offered to the city that in proportion to its population would make the
largest contribution to the monument. Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, and
San Francisco all vied with each other. The case turned on the clear
swung conception of one master mind. It would never be possible, Mr. E.
K. Warren observed, "to rouse all the inhabitants of a large city to
give to such a cause," but every man, woman and child in Three Oaks would
give a dime or a dollar on condition that he himself gave a thousand
times the amount. The people owe a debt of gratitude to such a man, a
marked individual specimen of human worth, with a character of his own,
who plays the part of fountain to their reservoir. There is a fine
reflex influence in being what the New Testament calls "a lover of good
men." There is nothing better that can enter the human soul than
admiration and reverence for high character. They are the crown of our
moral nature. One element in them is appreciation. It was a fine
training for boys to show and feel deference. This is one thing that a
boy does not bring into the world with him. It is not natural to look

_Sounds a Characteristic Note_

We live in an age of interrogation when all things are questioned, not
only as to their right to exist, but particularly as to their right in
any degree to rule. Every age has its own lesson and adds its own
peculiar gift to those preceding it. Are we better or worse? This only I
know that these men were beacon lights to the young, illuminating their
path and beckoning them on, and deserve to be enshrined in a perpetual
and revered remembrance. From all this there has come a reaction.
Congressmen and legislators have not lowered in grade, far from that, as
the elimination of the bar from the capital would be one of many
evidences, but the public intelligence has risen so that they,
relatively, seem to have descended. Instead of a century plant the usual
attraction now is a garden. A great social revival has been abroad; the
people are getting together. There is now more concerted action. In the
business world individuals are forming alliances. Interests are being
confederated. As the community spirit comes to consciousness the
individuality of men diminishes. Society forms into clubs, chambers of
commerce, and into boards of directors in which men are less marked
individually and much, even of their personality, is concealed by the
extravagant multiplication of societies and institutions and meetings of
every kind. The churches have pretty nearly lost the individual, since
the introduction of team work, itself a blessing, but the individual has
withered. He is leveled down and smoothed out by the necessity of acting
only in conjunction with groups.

_Some Incongruities of Character_

The Arabian Nights would make queer history, yet they would prove a wet
fuse and fail to kindle the mind if they did not suggest actual
experience. Who is your "old man" that sticks to your shoulders putting
you in Sinbad's class? Each village carries its unconventional
character. He gives a touch of color to the place. Rip Van Winkle, an
old drunkard, who slept for twenty years in the Catskills was a great
favorite with the children. They would shout for joy whenever he
approached. He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, and
taught them to fly kites. He was surrounded by a troop of them. He had a
distinct individuality. He was a hero, with all his characteristics well
marked. A person on revisiting the earth misses such a striking familiar
figure in the neighborhood. We saw Mrs. Van Winkle beat up old Rip with
a broom-stick, but although she was a clean, tidy, thrifty person who
kept her house swept and garnished in spite of her improvident husband,
in the estimation of the boys she was not to her well-known husband a
companion character.

    "Jack Sprat could eat no fat
    His wife could eat no lean."

Young eyes are sharply drawn to persons so dissimilar in their tastes.
Children are quick to see that this very difference in taste produced a
peculiar situation. Our early life is peopled with distinctive and
marked characters and they have gone along with us through life. It is
the peculiar outstanding people that, like a burr, stick to the memory.



It is a matter of common knowledge that Washington at the time of his
death was the richest man in the country. All are familiar with the fact
that he acquired property through his brother Lawrence, and the widow
Custis whom he married, but less attention is given to the suggestive
fact that he invested widely in land in what was then the West. We have
letters to his agents. Judson destroyed all his own letters and papers
touching private matters, but there they are, in Washington's case, and
he who runs may read. He had been a surveyor. He knew a good thing when
he saw it. His invariable rule was to buy quality. Showing the same
wisdom he did in his campaigns and his farewell address, which has never
lost its influence, he turned to the West to do his buying. Entirely
aside from the Revolution, if Washington had not been a great general,
he was well started on lines that would have made him a very substantial
citizen. The confidence he expressed in the West is believed to be, and
has been stated to be, a higher monument to his fame than the
metal-tipped, slender, tapering sky-pointing and heaven-reaching obelisk
reared in his honor near the banks of the Potomac. He was invited to
visit France but could not, he said, bring his affairs into a state of
order, during the remainder of his life, and the matters that most
needed his care were his large purchases of land in the West which now,
with some little contiguous territory are worth Twenty Million Dollars.
Washington remains our richest president not only relatively but

_People Looked, People Wondered, People Praised_

We find him making a sixth journey to see his lands which were located
on the right and left banks of the river, and bounded thereby,
forty-eight miles and a half. This portrayal makes very obvious what is
implied when it is said of an individual that he is not a good business
man. He simply lacks what Washington had, intensity of interest in his
affairs, energy of mind, promptness. We do not say foresight, there is
no such thing as foresight, we mean insight, good judgment, and a fine
knowledge of the trend of things, a perception of the direction taken by
popular movements. Washington was accused of being close-fisted, but
some one takes the ground that a man must close his fist if there is
something in it that others were seeking by illegitimate means to get.
At his death he was worth a half million dollars, and four hundred
thousand dollars of it lay in western lands. "Would God we may have
wisdom to improve the opportunity," a prayer in which many persons who
have had much better chances than ever came to him, pressed as he was
with patriotic service, wished they had joined, but who allowed
opportunity to knock at the door and turn away, unwelcomed. What a sight
to Washington, now revisiting the earth, would a night view of
Pittsburgh be with her deep fires and the lid off. Washington's insight
was apparent by locating his purchases near the possibilities of a city
whose tonnage exceeds that of any other city of the Union, whose vast
manufacturing interests send up volumes of smoke that become a pillar of
cloud by day and whose furnaces are pillars of fire by night, to lead
the people on to prosperity and success. The mind has less influence on
the will than many persons suppose. A man may know a fact and then do
nothing about it. A lazy man may know the advantage of wealth and yet be
without the motive to attain it. It is often a poor boy who has felt
poverty and has some feeling about it that makes success with him a
passion. He who hesitates is lost. It was the plunge of Curtius that
saved Rome.

_Making Hay While the Sun Shines_

That great orator of nature to whom school-boys are so much indebted for
energetic, passionate, effective declamations, Patrick Henry, father of
fifteen children, made his widow and eleven surviving children rich by
his early judicious purchases, like Washington, of lands. This much
needs to be said, lest fortune be thought of as a blind goddess. A man
that once was cutting grass and herding cattle earning his bread by the
sweat of his brow is now Prince Fortunatus. No chance luck about it, for
the opportunity that beckoned him called to others but their ears were
dull of hearing. All of us, who are interested in vital reforms, must
have been attracted to the career of Gerrit Smith, who gave thirty
thousand dollars to destitute old maids and widows in the state of New
York. No public subscription lacked his name, and he always gave away
$50,000.00 and not seldom $100,000.00 each year. In his business life of
fifty-six years he gave away $8,000,000.00 and left an estate of more
than a million dollars. Such a recital, as in the case of Washington,
makes us curious to find the sources of such philanthropy. We find that
with rare acumen he developed the business of his father, who when a
poor youth, kept a small store and traded for furs at first hands with
the Indians. When his partner Mr. Astor bought real estate in New York
city, the elder Smith purchased sixty thousand acres of land in the
central part of the state of New York, of which enough was sold at
auction to repay the purchase price and still leave enough to make him
the largest landholder in the state. Subsequent additions made him the
owner of more acres than any other man in the Union. Such a preparative
study as this gave me intensest interest, when revisiting the earth, in
treading the beautiful field, my birthplace, that my father bought in
Iowa at the Government price of a dollar and a quarter an acre, that has
since been sold at $205.00 an acre and the price paid for it at the last
sale of it was $300.00 an acre and the buyer was offered $3,000.00 for
his bargain. It is the percentage of gain that tells the story. It seems
like the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

_The Death of the Mortgage_

Besides learning these items and handling the papers that confirmed
them, out came a fact that took my breath away. Once men profited by
nature's bounty. To him that hath is given. That is the common way. Now
comes the uncommon thing. From him that hath not is (not) taken away
even that he hath. The sun and stars now look down upon a changed
condition. The wildest dream has come true, a by-product of the war. It
is one of the many things begun under circumstances which the German
treaty-breakers, the disturbers of the peace, thrust upon us, a thing
designed to aid agriculturists to feed our armies and allies, which,
with the war over, will never be abated. We raise our eyes, and see a
moneyed millennium coming down a common country road. It is in the form
of an original system of rural credits. The Treasury Department of the
United States has inaugurated a Federal Farm-Loan Bureau. Its
outstanding feature is, if a borrower of a large amount pays his
interest, he never hears again of the debt. Interest at six and a half
per cent not only takes care of that item, but it pays it off, in less
than a generation, also the money borrowed. A farmer at the start
requires money for buildings, machinery, and herds. The aching heart of
many a widow bereft of her home by the foreclosure of a mortgage on her
property will see the deep significance in the sacrament that I am
seeking to describe. The process is called amortization. The syllable
"mort" as in "mortal," means death of the debt. From the first the
mortgage is struck with death.

_A Heaven-sent Device_

So happy to all concerned is this method, resembling a co-operative
bank, of obtaining a greatly needed working capital that we may well
rejoice with a large class of deserving people, who for the first time
have the means of doing a larger, more profitable business, with the
sting and hazard graciously removed. With what bitterness we have all
heard the children of the poor recite the anguish that came into the
home when the mortgage, like the naked sword suspended by a hair over
the head of Damocles, came to do its dreaded office! "But the children
began to be sorely weary," says Bunyan, "and they cried out unto Him
that loveth pilgrims to make their way more comfortable." We have come
to see the Government make the way of the children who inherit a
mortgage more comfortable. All's well! You have no trouble with the
interest. Only go on as you have been going. The farm, the home, are all
yours. The mortgage is dead.

_They Were a Family Again_

A day on a real farm did not have a dull moment in it. It was not only
full of incident and instruction but as compared with a generation ago
it was different. Immediately a very young calf was noticed that, to use
the farmer's unexpected phrase, his mother does not "claim." I supposed
he would say that his mother would not "own." The cow was put in a
stall, in a barn, the calf being nourished and thus openly adopted by
the mother they became effusively chummy. At first the cow "did not
care" for the calf. When care began a noticeable regard commenced.

_How Much Like Folks_

More curious still it seemed to find that in breaking out of a pasture
the cattle were led by one member of the herd. The community of cattle
would be quiet and contented except for one breaching individual. Here
again I went to school to a farmer in the use of words. In his reference
to this creature he designated the trouble maker as an "outlaw." I had
not thought of applying that word to cattle.

_Absence of the Big Stick_

I stood still and wondered at the constant and varied use of the voice
by a farmer as he moves about among the creatures that he owns. Armed
with a whip, like an Irishman with his shillalah at a fair, I supposed
he would keep it flourishing about his head and that he would be
accompanied by a dog. An owner will not trust his cattle to the care of
a man that employs a shepherd dog. Cattle must be kept quiet. A dog
wakes them all up and sets back the gain that they would make for the
day. Farmers and drovers are whistling, singing, calling, shouting,
talking, all the time to their creatures and they like it.

_An Outlaw in the Herd_

It is everywhere, I suppose, well known that the western spirit has
always been less tolerant of an outlaw than the people of the East are.
I asked the ranch man what course he took with an outlaw among cattle.
"As soon as I detect him I get rid of him, not stopping at anything to
do it." On the fourth of July I went out upon the piazza of the hotel,
and looking up the street I saw a man, hung in effigy, upon a telephone
pole in front of his own store, with his name placarded upon the
suspended figure, that it should not be a case of mistaken identity. He
had offended the decencies of life. The townspeople waited for a day or
two to see if the authorities took it up. There was nothing doing. Then
the citizens made public what they thought of the outlaw.

_Testing Mighty Principles by Small Experiments_

It seems that Schopenhauer had a gold piece which he used to put beside
his plate at the table where he ate, surrounded by the young officers of
the German army, and which was to be given to the poor, the first time
he heard any conversation that was not about promotion or women. If
this experiment were tried one's contribution to charity would not be
large, provided the subjects were changed in the various well known
localities. In the time of the great inflation in Chicago when any one
could make his fortune by simply buying building sites and selling out
before the ink had dried with which the first transfer was recorded, the
subject discussed in hotels and offices would be Corner Lots.

These locations were sold and resold, each time at a large advance on
the former price, and became the inexhaustible topic of conversation.
Everybody was growing rich on paper and The City of the Lakes was the
Mecca of speculators, a genuine Eldorado, where affluence was made easy,
and first lessons in finance were given. The original gold coin was
staked amid specific well understood surroundings. When environment
changes topics change. In one town all the talk is money, money. At a
public table in some localities where once it was all horse talk, in one
corner of the dining room, the interchange of mind is on the speed of
automobiles, the improvement made in cars since two years ago, the
amount of gasoline to the mile, and the comparative excellence of the
different manufactures.

In revisiting the earth on coming into close relations with each town, I
found it had its distinctive atmosphere. The value of land did not
depend upon the soil nor upon the climatic conditions so much as upon
the human equation. Two communities upon the same railway with like
physical conditions will find themselves growing apart. One place might
have slightly inferior outward conditions. These are speedily overcome.
Watch it grow.

_The Home of the Angels_

In this garden of the earth one quickly loses his heart to Los Angeles.
Her hotels are the last word in luxury. Thousands of citizens having
become rich in Iowa spend their money in this Land of the Afternoon.
While they have found California about as nature made it, besides the
elements of the air and soil, Los Angeles has an atmosphere that is
purely social. It is an attractive place to live, choice people have
assembled there, and so, under pleasant conditions, others are drawn.
The money in Pasadena never came out of the soil contiguous to the
place. A man buying land saw how things were tending and the
neighborhood in which he was going and said to the driver that he need
not go any farther. The lay of the land and quality would make no
difference. The atmosphere was alien and he was through. In the same
state you find towns that are as unlike as if they stood on different
continents. In San Francisco, all unannounced, you, on crossing a
street, pass an equatorial, invisible line into the Chinese quarter
which, in atmosphere, is five thousand miles away. There is in Paris an
activity, a rapidity of movement that you do not find in Holland or in
England. The people walk faster, talk faster, eat faster, ride faster,
and live faster in all respects than do their neighbors. The English
love the past and protest against the removal of the ancient land-marks,
while the French love innovation. The atmosphere of the city of
Washington, not being like most national capitals, a center of trade, is
world-wide from that of Chicago. So much is it out of the popular drift
that while a state was voting over-whelmingly for constitutional
prohibition the measure was discountenanced by both of its senators. One
atmosphere has in it a kind of vitalizing life, a perpetual marvel and a
perpetual delight, reviving every faculty and affection, while in
another the doctors administer quinine to the saffron-colored sojourners
in its fever-haunted marshes.

_New Forms of Matter, New Crystallizations_

Every region has its peculiar fitness for some particular kind of
growth, Missouri apples, Michigan peaches, California oranges, Kentucky
blue-grass, Wisconsin clover. To the south and west is the corn belt.
Specific well-known places are best adapted to the varied form of animal
life. The three northern continents are temperate; the three southern
continents are tropical. In these warmest regions nature displays its
fullest energy, its greatest diversity, its richest colors, and
development. The animal kingdom grows in strength and perfection in this
privileged zone, yet man presents his purest and most perfect type at
the center of the temperate continents. At the base of the Himalayas
vegetation is of a tropical character; at an elevation of five thousand
feet European plants succeed. Wheat grows at an elevation of thirteen
thousand feet, barley at fifteen thousand. We do not look for the best
trees on the bleak mountain top but in the genial valley. As we go up
the struggle for existence increases until even the sturdiest fail to
thrive above the "timber line." Number one wheat can be produced only in
localities where the summers are short and the winters long and cold.
Corn is capable of the widest cultivation, but even that has its
northern and southern limits. Climate is nature's smile and goes with
the land. No man can farm against the climate and no medication can do
for an invalid what the half-tropical sunshine will do in an oasis city.
There is no more fascinating study than that of the sustaining,
producing, and modifying effects of atmosphere.

_A Lesson that Will Last a Lifetime_

It enhances our interest as we return to breathe again the air that made
us ourselves as distinguished from others. We have known well our own
standards, our ideals, our resolves, but how came we with what we find
ourselves possessed. It adds interest to the old temples to visit the
quarries which furnish them forth. In revisiting the earth it thrills us
to look at the rock whence we were hewn. Our temptations were those
peculiar to that locality. What I know about temptation is entirely
different from what a remote stranger would guess. Our struggles were
such as that environment occasioned and are not appreciated by persons
in a different zone. Each soul has its own climate. Even man's sight
responds to his environment. On watch, day in, day out, on a sailing
vessel, scanning the distant horizon, the eye, becoming adapted to it,
is far-sighted. It can hardly read fine print held close to the person.
Even children brought up at the seaside and accustomed to far sights
have to patiently await a readjustment of their vision. I can now trace,
in my being, some reflex effect of each set of surroundings, in which
for a term of years, I was placed. My experience in a new environment
amounted to a re-birth. One educator considers the proximity of a
mountain, worth at least to the student, one endowed professorship. "Let
no one say he has written my life," said Walpole. "He has not the
needful information. He never knew the crowd of little things which went
to make my individual being and career. No one knows them but myself."
One's interruptions and trials and crises and providences come with
such surroundings as he then has and it is a striking experience, when
revisiting the earth, to discover for one's self the agencies and
influences by which he was moulded.



It is said that at Florence there is a circular hall, faced with
separate mirrors. In the center is a statue of exquisite beauty. Each of
these mirrors reflects the image of the statue at different angles, and
consequently exhibits some particular point more prominently and
accurately than any of the others. Artists study the statue through
these mirrors, and thus can estimate the beauty of each separate part,
and form a better judgment of the perfection of the whole. Let me show
you, gentle reader, how you will get the truest conception of yourself.
If you please, stand for a moment in this hall. In each mirror you will
see yourself in the most impressionable period in your life. There is a
reflection at the moment your destiny beckoned you, when you were in the
act of getting hold of yourself and without ceremony began your career,
seeming to yourself to be like Saul, who "went to seek his father's
asses and found a kingdom."

As in water face answers to face so, in one angle of a mirror you
recognize a first-rate likeness of yourself as you sat for the first
time under your own vine and fig tree, remembering this long after as
though you had seen a great sight. Like St. John you turned to see the
voice that spake to you. Its last cadence may die in the air but it
leaves an impression that will never fade.

_Casting a Reflection Means Nothing Bad_

These looking-glasses show your figure, life-sized, standing on a
corner. Emergency met you. It really proved a providential
interposition, and now these fortunate interventions mark the period in
your life more than the days and months and years, and they were
accompanied by an interior guidance, more distinctly discerned now, than
it was felt at the time. There is none so homely but loves a
looking-glass; however little or much a man is favored in looks he
notices reflections made of himself, particularly if question is raised
touching his appearance as viewed by his critics. In his autobiography
Mr. Seward records that no matter what care and diligence we exercise
and whatever be a man's ability or inclination, the mysterious factor is
a vital force in the world and has to be reckoned with. Judicial
preferment was the aim of his ambition. He meant to be a lawyer, and he
wished to be a judge. His early bias in this direction was caused by his
observation of the deference paid to his father as a justice of the

"One day," said President Lincoln, "an emigrant stopped at my store, and
asked me to buy a barrel of odds and ends, of little value, for which he
had no room in his wagon. I found in it a two-volume copy of
Blackstone's Commentaries. I devoured them. I never read anything which
so interested and thrilled me. Soon after I began the study of law, and
that is how I came to be a lawyer."

_The Glory of Supremacy_

Old soldiers cannot be made to keep their seats as an excursion train
pulls into Gettysburg. "There is where I was wounded. There is where we
met the charge." It is touching to witness the comraderie, their
sympathy. As they from the car windows come into sight of their
struggles and victories they cannot avoid exclaiming "There we made our
stand. There we advanced."

"There a man with forty-eight wounds was left for dead, and yet revived
and lived beyond all expectations." One thing would be Spangler Springs
from which, one night both sides drank. There the First Maryland, a
Confederate regiment, clashed with the Second Maryland and two brothers,
named Clark, were brought face to face, one being in each regiment and
hence on each side of the fight. The Bloody Angle is a sort of Holy of
Holies. You stand and read from an open book "The High Water Mark." Up
to this point of ground, thus indicated, things seemed outwardly to be
going one way. Turning points in history have a location on the earth.
On a spot so exactly known as to bear the legend, cut in stone, "High
Water Mark," the fortunes of war so abruptly turn that General Lee
himself said, "This is the beginning of the end." Napoleon wanted
Hougoumont, for as Hugo says, "This bit of earth, could he have taken
it, would perhaps have given him the earth." On a piece of very common
ground near Luz Jacob received an uninvited angel visitation. The stone
on which he rested his head was only one of thousands. But with the
morning what a change! It came like a beautiful vision

    "That loves to come at night,
    To make you wonder in the morn,
    What made the earth so bright."

His pillow became a pillar and he said, "This is the gate of heaven. The
heart sanctifies the place." Like any boy, egged on by curiosity I have
stood just inside the door and seen the Israelites shuffling about with
their hats on and the Rabbi reading the evening service, all being in
motion, in imitation probably of the forty years' travel to Canaan. The
command of a prophet to the people was distinctly "Take off thy shoes
for this is holy ground." There was no command to take off the hat. They
were to respect their contact with the location. It is the spot set
apart by the deep experience that becomes hallowed. If a struggle, be it
physical or moral, is victorious the place is consecrated by it forever.

The entire planet is redeemed by such a dedication of the many revered
localities in it.

_Silent Sentinels of the Silent Years_

There is the rock of all rocks in the western world. It has done the
most for our ideals, for the tone and character of our institutions.
Poets, like Mrs. Hemans, and orators like Webster and Choate have
glorified it and cannot stay their praise. It is ever new, it is ever
old. Its hold is upon one's imagination. In its undivided influence, yet
in its already cloven form, ever perfect in its detached pieces it is
ever living in its broken body. Many representatives from many states
were once gathered at Plymouth Rock to put forth their Burial Hill
confession. "Standing by the ..." they say. The place is an inspiration.
It is tonic. It gives an uplift. It lends elevation. "We do now declare
our adherence ... we declare that the experience...." It has stood the
test. It has worked. All honor for well-located facts. They are well
grounded. In this is their solidity.

A visit is not required of us, yet most of us have taken part in so
pious a duty. America's foremost shrine is Mt. Vernon. With more
vividness than by any other method we can almost see the form of him
twice elected unanimously to the Presidency, whose character is
America's greatest gift to the world. Plymouth is a close second, as a
Mecca for willing pilgrim feet. Baptized into the Puritan spirit and
versed in Pilgrim lore, in no other way can a lover of their annals so
clearly discern the real Pilgrims as by inhabiting for a brief period
their haunts. One of the patriarchs built "there" an altar because
"there" he had an affecting experience. In all statements of the deeper
life specific use is made of the adverb of place, making the plain
implication that the location is immortalized. It has entered for keeps
into his life.

_Sunny Silent Homes_

Each of us stands in a peculiar relation to a holy land. It includes a
shrine. "We have just the right morning light in which to see it. Well,
now look, my dear, the curtain is up. Before us are the white houses set
in emerald green. Is not that a pretty picture?" There is a sepulchre in
this garden. Adjacent to the town, in the burial ground, where the
esteemed forefathers of the hamlets sleep, is the early grave of my
angel mother. Our hearts glow with a burning gratitude to the local
authorities for their affectionate, guardian care over that sacred
enclosure. What varied pages have been written in history and in the
book of life by the sleepers here. It is a spot further removed from
perdition and nearer to paradise than any other in all the world. "My
mother, mother, mother." The meaning of the word deepens just in
proportion as one's nature is developed. Repetition is a form of
emphasis. And such a mother! Her affection was her diadem. In her excess
of tenderness she caused her hand to rest upon my head in blessing as
she taught me to say after her, sentence by sentence, the Lord's prayer,
the most precious item of instruction in the religious history of our

    "Oh for the touch of a vanished hand
    And the sound of a voice that is still."

I stand in life's Holy of Holies. There are hours which the heart would
still leave in silence. They have given me an emotion of indescribable
tenderness towards her. I will tell you a tale of tears. Before the iron
had entered into my soul, before my memory had a tomb in it, before it
became the cemetery, the Greenwood, the Mt. Auburn of the soul, my first
grief here set me out alone, like one set apart by sorrow. The scene one
can no more leave behind him than he can leave his own soul. My spirit
is joined with her spirit. Feeling that I had visited the place to honor
her and do reverence to the spot I felt like speaking, "Mother, we are
here." The incense from her dear heart has perfumed my existence. The
odor of the ointment that once filled the house now fills the little
world in which she moved. Is this praising my mother? I do not wish to
praise her but to describe her.

_Heart Histories Laid Open_

I give a deep interpretation to a custom used in many countries at
funerals where a violin is played at the head of the coffin, and
questions are addressed to the deceased in the course of which it is
customary to ask pardon for having injured or offended the departed one
during life. My questions are all framed and have been, lo these many
years. The dead past has not buried its dead. Memory makes the present
sacred with a light, like that of the stars which has been many years on
its way. Nothing that ever enters into the field of experience is left
unrecorded. There the record lies and I am testifying touching the place
and the hour at which it is blazoned forth. It is at the spot where you
point and say "There the mortal put on immortality." Her spirit hovers
near us, to awaken in us, a motive to reflect back certain qualities in
a remote degree upon her, in respect and blessing. In pictures we often
see a pilgrim, home from his wanderings, leaning upon a staff, at such a
grave. As I write of it and think of the occasion my heart swells in
gratitude for receiving the impulse to revisit the earth. It is
well-worthwhile for one to travel far to sit for a few moments in his
early home with only God and his mother. An appeal is made to reverence,
which is a very much needed address. I wish we could learn from Europe
the noble and beautiful use it makes of those who have gone down to
their windowless homes by keeping their graves and memories green and
imperishable and particularly by transferring their virtues into the
daily life of the community. The ancient Egyptians blended with the
actual present, current, daily life a galaxy of characters whose
influence they would not willingly let die. The ancient Romans made
their daily paths, near just such memorial places, as we can show with
pride, in a garden of graves. So many monuments are scattered through
these busy years of a laborious life, that I cannot enter each sanctuary
of sorrow nor pause to read each inscription. The statues, those calm
and majestic intelligences, make up an impressive congregation of the
silent, and exert a magic influence upon the soul.

_A Legacy of Pleasant Memories_

A mother in heaven can be brought to view and a heavenly childhood
reinstated when visiting the spot where sacred dust is buried. This is
the place that faithful fantasy most frequently portrays.

    "Oft, in the stilly night,
    Ere Slumber's chain has bound me,
    Fond Memory brings the light
    Of other days around me;
    The smiles, the tears,
    Of boyhood's years,
    The words of love then spoken;
    The eyes that shone,
    Now dimmed and gone,
    The cheerful hearts now broken!"

I hold the sentiment of him who said, "My heart melts with compassion
for the motherless affectionate lonesome boy who suffers for the want of
intelligent sympathy, for someone who marks his little sorrows, binds up
his wounds, wipes off his tears, and kisses him as he goes to bed." Our
deepest feelings require a foothold on the earth. Like Antaeus they get
strength by touching the soil. There must be certain spots around which
patriotic feeling and family feeling and religious feeling can rally,
like Bunker Hill and Lexington and Concord and Appomattox and Yorktown
and Independence Hall and the old home and the old church. Where feeling
is wide-spread it needs certain locations and community centers to give
it points of contact with the solid, visible, tangible earth. The
influence of a family would be deplorably weakened if once for all it
should be detached from any specific habitation that it could claim as a
home. Home, home, there is no place like it. "A charm from the skies
seems to hallow us there."

At Torwood two ministers met and spent a day in high spiritual
communion. Later one of them, Mr. Kidd, of Queen's Ferry parish, having
sore trial and depression of spirits, sent a note to his friend, the
minister at Culross, informing him of his troubles and dejection of
spirits and desiring a visit. "I cannot go," was the reply, "but tell
Mr. Kidd to remember Torwood." The answer was effective. That was a
place. It had its atmosphere that could be recalled. The Pilgrim in his
progress believes in what he sees from the mountain. When on low ground
he cannot quite discern the celestial city, he keeps his course, staking
everything upon the experience at an earlier well-remembered place.

_The World Teaches an Attentive Mind_

When revisiting the earth surprise was expressed that we carried so much
feeling into the pilgrimage. Said a business man, "You have very many
old residenters where you live. They have some beautiful graveyards in
Boston. When any one dies here, why he's dead. He's just dead. We
mustn't expect anything more from him because the man is dead. We try to
get someone to take his place. That poor fellow is dead." Marshall Field
is dead in Chicago; Phillips Brooks, in Boston; Edward Payson, in
Portland; and Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore; Peter Cooper, in New York,
yet in their cities they are an active force and even in their ashes
live their wonted fires. Meade and Howard and Sickles and Pickett and
Longstreet and Lee live evermore. A visit to the best marked monumental
field in the world makes you feel afresh the grandeur of their

    "Death may rob us of the painter
    But his works to us belong,
    He may steal from us the singer,
    But he cannot seize the song.
    And, though he may take the lives that
    Mean our share of joy, yet he
    May not rob us of the treasure
    Of a single memory!"

"If you wound the tree in its youth," we read in the story of an African
farm, "the bark will cover over the gash, but when the tree is very old,
peeling the bark off and looking carefully you will see the scar there
still. All that is buried is not dead." And that is a fact too. I bow my
head now and grieve over certain acts or rebukes or injustices or
humiliations or wounds. They all come in review, they are all there; I
come upon them on occasion. Someone has told us that the pearls of life
and of home, like the pearls of the deep sea, grow around wounds and are
the costly burials of pain.

_Where New Chapters Begin_

Returning from voluntary exile, to my father's house, not as a prodigal
son, to make confession of sins, or of wasted patrimony or of wasted
life, but to gain impressions from early places, where any boy gets the
most important part of his education, seeing that it is in our youth
that we lay the foundation of whatever character, position, or
usefulness we later attain, I was most deeply stirred at those places
that directly touch my interior life. "There is a story lodged in a room
here," said Bushnell in speaking of Yale College, "that I pray God his
recording angel may never suffer to be effaced." I removed my hat and
bowed alone in silence standing before a place hallowed by a neighbor.
He had everybody's sympathy on account of his bereavements. Adjacent to
our garden was his barn, which he used as a devotional closet and like
Daniel, as we infer, prayed aloud. When his voice broke the silence with
spontaneous, vital prayer and grew tremulous with emotion and
earnestness, there was a power and pathos in it, that penetrated the
center of my soul and woke to life all the slumbering feeling of my
better nature. A sense of awe took entire possession of me. My deference
would have been less if I had been bowed, and with him, hearing the
several petitions. But as it was I was conscious only of his communion
and thought all the time of the two persons concerned in it.

_Nothing Insignificant, Nothing_

It is the early life that makes the after life. As every little brook,
rivulet, and stream give depth and volume to the broad after current so
in sailing up a river. As we make a journey to a birthplace we keep
meeting the rills and tributaries to which we are so much indebted. One
of them is named Example, a gentle effective teacher, who, it is said,
lays his hand on your shoulder and remarks, This is the way to do it. In
revisiting the earth by a singular discovery we find we are closely
drawn where we took the hard lessons taught by Experience. This is the
teacher that is said to throw us into the deep pool, exclaiming briskly:
Now, swim. Human existence is rarely a great prairie stretching
monotonously onward to the great river. Blessings and misfortunes meet
us in disguise. Just as in the world's history, and in the history of
invention, and in our political annals, we have our great days so we do
in our personal experience, when destiny turns on a pivot. If one will
give a recital of the ten most memorable days of his life the rest of it
would be a matter of easy inference by his hearers. The time between
them, and all its events, seem compressed into the narrowest space,
verily a hand's breadth. Hidden forces have been at work, progress has
been made with painstaking, untold influences meanwhile have not been
idle, and upon a day all unforeseen springs of action are touched,
concentrated power is let loose and a resistless energy awakes to

_Halcyon Days_

Our great days are the fruit of past toil. To count time only by
sunrises and sunsets omits, in the reckoning, the human equation. Where
daily wages and yearly dividends are concerned, it is a very convenient
system, but it is no measure of our real life. Noah's ark answered to
float lazily and safely on the old flood, but steam and electricity are
internal powers. These forces enable a navigator to steer right out into
the teeth of a storm.

Distinguished natural historians have given us a fine classification of
the animal kingdom. But to put men in rows, and to put days into the
orders shown in the calendars does not make them tally with what we know
of them by observation and experience. Even a plant is a distinct
individual. No other one is just like it. Yet it reveals its type.
Species cannot be confounded, a briar will clasp a solid trunk of a tree
and weave its tendrils and leaves through the branches of the pine to
its top, but the briar was briar in every thorn and leaf and the pine
was itself in all its green needles of which Nature makes her sweetest
wind harp in the world. We are alike in the general features and
attributes of body and soul. We are under similar laws, have similar
wants, have a similar origin, common sympathies, and a common destiny,
yet no two of us are alike. Nature never repeats itself. It has been
shown that there is little difference in man's bodily stature. A fathom,
or thereabouts, a little more or a little less is the ordinary elevation
of the human family. Should a man add a cubit to his stature, he is
followed along the streets as a prodigy; should he fall very far short
of it, people pay money for a sight of him as a great curiosity. But
were there any exact measurements of mental statures, we should be
struck by an amazing diversity. It is obvious also that on certain days
we are more alive and capable than on others, yet we are the same
persons with the same education, with the same capabilities, and
antecedents. On occasion, from causes of which at the time we were
somewhat unconscious, our ideas and resolves were awaked and become
effective. Some new energies, we did not know we had, were unlocked and
came into play, and life was transfigured, on that spot, and that is the
locality we long to revisit.

"_I am a Part of All that I have Seen_"

The place where any event in our history has occurred becomes a memorial
of the feelings which that event excited in us. When one comes back to
those places, it is as when one reads old letters or meets old friends.
Byron affirms that after the most careful recollection of his
experience, he could recall only eleven days of happiness, which he
could wish to live over again. Memory hits the high places. Only
relatively do the others come up into recognition. Mr. James Russell
Lowell, standing upon the Alps, turned toward Italy, and raising his
hat, exclaimed, "Glories of the past, I salute you." We express a like
salutation. Grave ideas, movements, and reforms have their birthplace
and their cradle, and we cannot fail to be interested in them. Long
afterward, tender recollections come back to us like the murmurs of a
distant hymn, and it is a great pleasure to listen to such voices.

One day we have full view of the delectable mountains, on another day we
are mired in the slough of despond. There is a joyful holiday for the
human intellect, which it will not soon forget, when the light blazes on
us, and then come days of drudgery,--who cannot respond to this!--when
our powers are shut up and will not come forth. Some of our best days
seem reserved for celestial visitants. In others we "grunt and sweat
under a weary life." There are many toilsome days of monotonous travel
that we would gladly exchange for the single spectacle of Vesuvius in
the plenitude of its eruptive power.

Those ideal days, in which we visited Mt. Washington, the loftiest
object in our Atlantic country, made more grand with our greatest name,
or in which we saw Niagara, the most remarkable waterfall in the world's
scenery, or in which we heard the Messiah, or Beethoven's Ninth
Symphony, perhaps the grandest piece of music ever composed by man,
would stand in a succession of days and yet stand apart from them in our
memory. So in the pulpit. Robert Hall was for fifty years the Prince of
Preachers. His first three efforts had been failures. One day
distinguished him. He did not know that the Princess Charlotte was dead
till he entered his church and the sermon he preached then was the
richest and most eloquent of all the hundreds delivered in the realm.

_There's a Reason_

Dole out to a person six minutes and tell him to take them and go back
and use them simply for what they would be worth, at different times, in
his career and he could probably revolutionize his whole life. Many men
could thus easily have made themselves rich, others could have made
themselves happy. Sleeping crimes, that awake at unexpected times and
produce an awkward situation, could have been omitted. Many a man has
become little in a trice. The rudder of principle was caught by a swift
current from his grasp, and he became ship-wrecked when near a safe
port, where sails might have been furled in peace, and golden opinions
won. All things would be a matter of only six minutes. The issue of a
single day may change all the schemes of the most ambitious. A family of
aristocrats may be prominent in government for seven centuries and in a
specified day an armistice is signed wherein their kind of a world comes
to its end. We are cleansed as by fire. We undergo a regeneration. We
find a new world. Former things are past away. The slate is wiped clean.
A leaf is turned. The pen is dipped for the rewriting of history. We
have new lines of thought; we have a new map of Europe. To put that
country back into its former dismal environment would be like attempting
to force an eagle back into its long discarded shell. Men have dreamed
of a brighter day approaching and lo, the dream comes true. Events were
once showing a new trend when Dr. Charles Hodge and Dr. Musgrave were
walking out together--both old men--when Dr. Musgrave said: "Charley,
this train is moving, and if you are going to get aboard you had better
hurry." A new spirit has now gone abroad which no walls can bound or
circumscribe. The unforgettable picture, drawn by Mary Antin, of the
immigrant Jew, leading the procession of his children into the
schoolroom with reverence, as though it were the Lord's temple, bowing
before the teacher, as the high Priestess of the one true God, and
offering his homage, in impossible English, exhibits the act of one
morning, for which an unseen agency had prepared the way. Yet it is the
event that signalizes the place and makes the day so impressive.



One of the outstanding features of revisiting the earth was to find, in
the banks and stores, in the professional and political offices, the
sons of women, full of thought, who used to magnetize me by their
presence and character. I have a passion for tracing the indebtedness of
successful sons to their fine mothers. In visiting the Studebakers'
wagon ware-rooms in Chicago it starts a sensation to sit in the chariot
presented by the government to Lafayette, but it was more affecting to
see in their counting room a large portrait of their mother. These
honorable and phenomenally successful men recognize the source of their
power. Now and then a speaking likeness seemed to us in our early years
so scenic that it is indelibly stamped upon us. This was true of the
words under the picture of an old man and a boy playing checkers, which
adorned the impressive, never to be forgotten, first page of The Child's
Own Book.

    "To teach his grandson draughts
    His time he did employ
    Until at last the old man
    Was beaten by the boy."

The unlooked-for element in the case came from the infusion of a high
quality and ability which were a mental inheritance that the lad gained
from his mother. Like Rizpah, like the mother of the Gracchi, mothers
seem to feel themselves selected for their high office. Their turn of
mind is to acquit themselves well in it and with all their hearts to try
to rise to a level with their responsibilities.

_Consecrated Their Talents to Elevation of Humanity_

They look right after the future of their boys. That welcome,
resplendent orb, the day-star, fades only at the rising of the sun. The
mother of Zebedee's children thought there was no position too
commanding for her boys. Nothing would be too good. It did not occur to
her that either of them would be inadequate for an exalted position. She
had not a moment's hesitation in seeking to have her boys well-placed in
life. Such confidence in them is inspirational and makes the boys
themselves look up. If there is a dispute between a boy and his teacher
he feels that his side of the case is not considered and he takes the
matter home to his mother. "She understands." She believes in her boy
and this helps him to believe in himself. She does not believe he was
wrong in his intention.

Nothing so stirs the mother-spirit as a closed door. In fact it seems to
develop curiosity in any woman to know what is behind it. When she
reads, No Admittance to the Public, over an entrance it seems to arouse
a determination to get in at any price. No matter what is inside she is
ready to die to get there. There may be an exclusive social set in the
place where she lives. The society is probably not as good as that which
she already enjoys but shut a door in her face or against her children

    "And there is not a high thing out of heaven
    Her pride o'ermastereth not."

Without realizing why they do it the woman's club trades on this
principle. If the number that would naturally join the organization is
two hundred and seventy-five the limit of the membership is set at two
hundred and fifty and the waiting list is crowded with impatient
applicants. The reflex influence is felt by all who have already joined
and this greatly enhances the privilege of those who are already
members. We sometimes see a fence post standing on nothing. The earth of
a bank has all slidden away from it but the fence was fastened to it and
held it up. This, sometimes the family does for a boy. Such a mother
will go without new gloves and up-to-the-minute costumes while her son
is being educated. Knowing all the traditions of his school days it is
plain that the teaching in school did less for him than the influence of
his mother at home. She would cause him to see factors and movements in
a great world of which her own active mind had caught glimpses.

_A Reproof to Defamers of Human Nature_

I do not care what later delights may be in store for a neglected child,
there will be a void, a sin of omission, a cheat, a missing factor in
his composition, a loneliness, if the mother element was absent in his
development. In this was the safety of Samuel in the poisoned air of
Hophni and Phinehas, Eli's sons. The environment was exactly the same
for the boys of both families but one boy, as compared with the bad lot,
was so enveloped by the mother influence that he was kept pure amid
surroundings which were charged with temptations. I used to be greatly
impressed with the vast amount of what the Chinamen called the By and By
there is in the life of one of these mothers. No day is self-contained.
Her happiness depends upon a succession of futures. Intersect her career
at what point you will and you find her mind taken up with coming
events. The harvest of her struggles is to be reaped later. Life's
deferred gains bulk up largely in her life. She reminded me of
Washington's campaigns which were not usually immediately fruitful.
McKinley's mother or Moody's mother or Garfield's mother, like Bunyan's
Pilgrim, was in heaven before she had come at it by the consummation of
glory in the life of her son. All her wishes and prayers were more than
met. But there was the day by day life that had to be lived while this
fruition was in a very remote future. I visited the home of a mother who
said her happiness would be complete if she could only see her son
fitted for life and well settled in it.

The slogan "Back to the land" carries a meaning a little obscured until
one recalls the conditions of a generation ago when the people lived
closer to nature than they do now. We can only go back to a place where
we were. It implies an earlier connection with land that we can go back
to it. It may have been a family connection. This spirit of association
is seen in that singular expression, "Thou hast been our dwelling place"
(How a residence for us?) "In all generations." We must then have lived
in what has gone before, if we had our dwelling place in former

_One an Illustration of Many_

In the generation just gone a mother wanted her son to have a better
educational equipment and suggested, no matter what the sacrifice, that
they leave the land and move to town to put the boy into a higher grade
of schools. Her husband opened a general country store of the old type
for the sale of anything the people needed and if he did not have it he
would get it. He sold everything from needles to nails, from harvesters
to quinine capsules, from ready-made boots to dried codfish. It was a
convenience to have the post office boxes in a front corner of the store
which was a place of general resort. I recall the frequent sight, a
farmer's wife, paying for postage stamps by handing out eggs from a
basket up to any number the postmaster might indicate. I once saw an
article lying upon the counter that I desired to buy and said to the
storekeeper that I would take it. The woman put out her hand
deprecatingly and said, "I am trading for it." Now this is what she
meant,--the country merchant had fixed the price on his wares. Then when
farm produce is offered in exchange he presumes to fix the price on that
also. One of the parties to the transaction is left out of the account.
"If you fix the price on yours ought I not to fix the price on mine?" He
cannot live without the store and the store cannot live without the
customer. A basis of agreement must be reached. Cannot you give me a
little better trade? We speak of a storekeeper as in trade in a large
city. The expression has come with the people from their earlier homes.
One of the causes of the high price of living is the use of the
telephone in ordering supplies hastily from the store which are paid
for, in the lump, without visiting the stores and stalls and considering
the relative value of the commodities in view of all the facts. Any one
knows that on visiting the market and seeing the great variety of
supplies offered for sale he used his money in a different way from what
he expected. In Washington, where Daniel Webster used to go to market
with a basket on his arm, the people are finding themselves benefited by
the free open air in going to the tempting remarkable markets.

_The Lure of the Store_

The general store in our town was a landmark. It was central to the
community. In it gathered each evening the men of the place and
questions of the day were discussed around the old drum stove. Store
haunting developed into a habit in winter when there was little to do.
Here men played checkers through long evenings and tried to reach the
king row. This place of merchandise was a political hotbed. It filled a
place that even the church could not supply, also in exposing evil doers
to scorn. Skulduddery would here get some body blows. Public opinion is
police, ever on the alert, without pay in a small town. "Opinion is the
queen of the world." It is feared and is the chief deterrent. Both men
and women are saved by it, which is very much more active and a better
recognized agency in small places than in great. It pretty nearly rules
the town. People bow to it. Town talk has an unequalled power to
regulate, restrain and actually govern conduct. In small communities the
real ruler can be rightfully named the Public.

The store was the place for the born story-teller. A man with thrilling
adventures in the seven seas found in this "senate" a responsive
auditory. A woman knew where her husband could be found if any one
called and wanted to see him.

_He Lived With His Mother's Spirit_

Ibsen represents the Master Builders as oppressed by a strange fear. He
hears the young knocking at the door and he fears that the young will
enter in and dispossess him. A mother, with nobleness of nature and
sweetness of disposition, is too magnanimous for such an apprehension.
In my visit no one needed to inquire who was the mother of one man whom
I met, his success and the honors paid him bore testimony to her worth.
Providence was kind to him. I remember the mother so revered by the son,
as fragile yet dignified, and the fineness of the feminine element
imparted gentility to her boy. Watch the expression on such a face, keep
your gaze fixed on it and you will learn a lesson for life. A man's
nature when submitted to tests turns on its quality. He was sought in
society and was the life of many a company. "Did you ever meet his
mother?" was asked. "No." "Well, if you had you would understand him. He
is what she made him." To these sons the mothers reveal themselves. To
them, the mothers are no more alike than fair women are alike in the
eyes of their worshippers. A mother's love has a peculiar carrying
quality. The real significance of her patience is not seen at once. It
is like orders given to a sea commander, not to be opened until he gets
into a certain latitude. "What I do thou knowest not now."
After-meanings are disclosed with touching beauty.


_Astonished as if He Had Seen a Vision_

In determining what kind of women these mothers were we are to compare
their standards, not with ours now, but with the standards of the times
in which they lived.

When revisiting the earth the ordinary life of the people had in it a
great fascination. I wonder that the pleasures of memory and association
are not more vividly realized in connection with the people we have
known. The lessons are very salutary. With the hope of having my ideas
more nearly approach my ideals I resolved increasingly to cultivate
admiration. If called upon off-hand to cite one of the most striking
impressions it would be that a pure, beautiful, intelligent, and
well-bred woman "is the most attractive object of vision and
contemplation in the world." I thought that nature had lavished her
gifts about equally without and again within the human family. It is not
a question of six of one and half a dozen of the other, but of half a
dozen and a dozen. There is no answer to the question, What will God
give us when he takes the sea? It is its only parallel. Without
detracting from it there is also a world of beauty in an amazing river,
always arriving, always departing; its banks wondrously deeply colored
with green and gold. The mountains and the canyon and the waterfall have
commanding attractions. These are without the human race, but for
objects of study and enthusiasm and deference I turn to those made but
little lower than the angels and crowned with glory and honor.

Let me add another recollection of the moment, that my eyes, my ears, my
whole soul seemed sometimes to be just opening upon what appeared to me
a new fact that such a mother of charming character, such as I used to
see, was the day-star of that apotheosis of mother which reached its
climax in the last year of the German war. A nation does not know what
it has until it comes to exhibit it.

_Retrospect is Cheering_

The son of such a mother who became philanthropic looked benevolent. The
commercialized look their part. Business men are in the saddle. Sons
succeed sires as we pass into trade. The teachers and accountants and
the scholars looked somewhat bookish. The boys had been making faces.
Each man had made his. I never knew a man equally transfigured with one
I saw. It is not guessing, it is not flattery, it is exact truth. It is
not to be discussed under general rules. It is a real case with a
particular history. It is a confirmed expression. It has atmosphere,
almost a dim remote shade of halo. This is labeled on him for the
townspeople to read. It fell to me thus to take a few short lessons in
heredity. On returning to the homes of these people I remembered the
pictures they had upon their walls that were all new and different to
boyhood's eyes and seemed a real part of the make-up of the town. I now
turn to the belief that they had their influence on the families. The
religious portrayal of the child Samuel and so of others were silent
evangelists and remained right there till they fixed an impression. I
remember that mothers held their boys up to these pictures and
encouraged them to talk to them, which they did, and now they report
the conversation. Queenly mothers! Blessed among women shall they be!

    "All my fears are laid aside,
    If I but remember only
    Such as these have lived and died!"

You may think that children cannot understand or don't care. They can
understand and they do care. It is not a matter of the mind only but of
the instinct. Mother's chair and father's Bible make a place for
themselves in the family history. In one year, 1782, there were born in
four families residing in three different states Daniel Webster, John C.
Calhoun, Lewis Cass, and Martin Van Buren. The families were
undistinguished as such from the multitude of others about them. Not so,
however, with the sons, for just the reason that has now come under our

The woman who stands in her humble doorway and waves her tearless adieu
to her brave enlisted son is no less a hero than he. She remains to keep
the home fires burning and suffers a thousand deaths through her
affections and fears. She makes the larger sacrifice for she would give
many lives for the boy who has but one to lose.

_No Love Like Mother Love_

A mother with a baby lying across her knees was asked, "Do you love it?"
She looking up, her face radiant, with the light indescribable, said,
taking a very deep breath, "I love it so that if Christ had not gone to
Calvary to give my boy life eternal, if by so doing I could secure life
eternal for him, I would go to hell that he might go to heaven."

A soldier, returning home, was telling a mother about her son found
dying on the field after a battle. Said she, "I wish I had been there."
"You were there all right," was the rejoinder, "you came first to the
boy's mind. He had your name on his lips when he died." The mother has
first place when the boy is in the stress of life. Ambulance men and
nurses find her in sweet companionship when they reach the wounded boy.
These were his passions, love of mother, home, and country. We had the
evidences on the surface of the life that was lived within.

If Archimedes had a station on which to rest his lever he could move the
world. The world had been moved by a power unknown to him. Our country
is the station where the lever rested.

"_Turning the Bend in the Road_"

Never before in all the history of our world have so many deaths
occurred from war in so short a time. The very gates of death would seem
to have been literally crowded by such multitudes passing through them.
The soldiers have given to the world "a new death." Fresh inspiration
was imparted to the French heart by the soldier at Verdun, a mere lad,
who, wounded, called upon the dead to rise and fight the Germans. There
is a spiritual partnership between dead heroes and living patriots. The
Kaiser, in addressing his troops, made this utterance, "No mercy will be
shown, no prisoners will be taken. The Huns, under King Attila, made a
name for themselves which is still mighty in traditions and legends
today." He omitted from his thought that part of the "traditions and
legends" on which our minds are dwelling. The old chroniclers relate
that Peter and Paul appeared to Attila in camp and terrified him with
threats, a visit immortalized by Raphael. This factor that a governor of
Judea had not reckoned with, was suggested to Pilate's wife. A woman's
intuitions do not ask to have a cautionary signal repeated. She does not
mean to invite tragedy and go spell-bound to destruction. An
acknowledged leader in modern art, Kaulbach, so depicts character and so
sees it in action and situation as to take a spectator by storm. With
great power he reveals the spirits of the Huns and Romans who perished
under the walls of the eternal city as renewing the combat in the air. A
characteristic trait of the Germans appears by displaying the ruler of
the Huns as an equal with the figure of the Teutonic "Gott." The Huns
who destroyed seventy cities in Greece and barbarously murdered eleven
thousand virgins, whose bones are preserved in the church of St. Ursula
in Cologne, found that angel forces were against them. Those whom they
had slain reappeared so that they had to encounter an immortal
assemblage which had been mustered to resist them.

_Presence of Our Celestial Helpers_

"Alas, my master, how shall we do?" said the servant of Elisha in
terror, when, his eyes being opened, he saw the mountains full of horses
and chariots of fire. Our soldiers with rapturous joy testified that
guardian spirits watched over them. The Scriptures abound with allusions
to invisible benefactors. Shakespeare, to whom no side of human nature
was unknown, with splendid genius, having to deal with the irresolute
temper of Hamlet, calls to his aid a factor from the militant hosts of
heaven. "Look! my lord! It comes." It was his father's spirit in arms.
"Lend thy serious hearing to what I shall unfold, list, list, oh list."
It is often stated that the great Charlemagne is not dead but on
occasions places himself at the head of the nation, to lead it forward
again to victory and glory. The world does not fight its battles for
nothing. It would be just as erroneous to speak lightly of Marathon or
Waterloo or Bunker Hill, or Vicksburg, or the third Battle of Piave
which ended the German war by removing Austria-Hungary from the field
and creating an indefensible Bavarian front, as it would be to
underrate the significance of our recent national awakening. On
revisiting the earth I felt in every place a great ground swell of
national feeling. War is the last thing in the world to go according to
program. This keeps people guessing and wakeful and interesting to
others because they are themselves so interested. The whole country had
become a great university for the study of folks in their elemental
character. We can get a helpful vision when we take a straight look at
people, elevated in feeling so preoccupied as to be unconscious of the
self-revelation they are making. Shakespeare is right when he makes love
control the destinies of his heroines. They may aspire reasonably but
they were never meant to trample upon their own hearts and the hearts of
others. We believe there are few men whose ambition has not been at some
time during their lives the very slave of their affections. The great
yearning of old and young in affections as well as intellect is to be
appreciated. We are sure that there is a friend or lover for us
somewhere, a companion for every thought and wish.

_Out of Evil Cometh Good_

The mother has come to her own as a by-product of the war. Such is her
elevation that you will explore the pages of history and read the annals
of mankind in vain to find anything that is a parallel to it. And now
comes Governor Coolidge of Massachusetts stating by proclamation that
when Lincoln's mother, "a wonderful woman, faded away in his tender
years from her death bed in humble poverty, she dowered her son with
greatness. There can be no proper observance of a birthday which forgets
the mother." It has been a profoundly moving thought, when crossing the
ocean, that two miles underneath there lay the live Atlantic telegraph
cord stretching from one shore to the other. Vitalized with living
messages of love and welfare, with the speed of lightning, on Mother's
Day, the mysterious current communicated to the country the number of
letters and the weight of the mail in tons that were on their way to
gladden the mother who was keeping the home fires burning. Some women
who are mothers started a wave of moral power which will never cease to
roll until it has enveloped the earth. "Thy son liveth" is an assurance
that, with a new accent, is now given when a boy makes the supreme
sacrifice. His life hitherto has been but preparative. The separation of
the living and the dead is less complete than formerly. The voters in
Baldwin, Maine, paid tribute to the only boy that, from that town, died
in the service, by standing, one hundred and fifty of them, in silence
with their heads bowed. It is reported that the lips of three or four of
the veterans moved as though uttering a prayer for the lad. Thus a new
attitude is taken by many people toward death and towards the departed.
Some say they feel as close as ever to those who, though they have
turned a leaf in their biography, are characters in a story that still
goes on. The feature of the war has been "the thinning of the veil
between life and death." Forever living, incapable of death, seems the
new verdict touching those promising young men who while they paid the
price, bequeathed to those who survived, the glory and the honor.

_Pushed by Unseen Hands_

It is believed that we have lived to see the meting out of some divine
awards. "Germany's collapse is the most dramatic judgment in the history
of the world." In all the growth of Christianity, no such certitude has
been so universally and emphatically expressed, touching the continuance
of human personality. It is the diapason of a new literature produced by
the war. It colors correspondence. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle feels that
death has not robbed him of his son's companionship. The family feeling
seems to continue unimpaired. "We are seven" is the sentiment, when "we
are not all here," but "some are in the church-yard laid."

    "All houses wherein men had lived and died
    Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
    The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
    With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

    We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,
    Along the passages they come and go;
    Impalpable impressions on the air,
    A sense of something moving to and fro."



There are three things which every man persuades himself he can do
better than anyone else: poke the fire, handle the reins, and tell a
story. Unless the poker is hidden, the next man will take it and give
the embers two or three additional touches. This is a universal trait.
In case of peril, it is instinct in a man, to make motions in reaching
out to take the lines. If a story is known to another person, it is pure
nature in him on hearing it told, to show how some detail might have
been better rendered. I add a fourth thing that a person wants to
improve upon no matter who is handling it. If my splendid teacher were
again instructing me out of a book showing the difference between memory
and recollection I would have to bite my tongue to compel it to silence.
I should indeed of all men be the most miserable unless I could bear
testimony. You say the miracle of memory has been the theme of your
study. That for a summer was mine. It is common for scholars, taking
what they call a palimpsest, an ancient manuscript and applying chemical
process to so renovate it as to enable them to plainly read it. The
effusions of later profane poets and the recent chronicles of monks have
been over-spread upon the precious parchments. The orations of Cicero
and precious versions of the New Testament have been over-laid and were
regarded as lost. The early inscriptions were supposed to be effaced
from our own memories.

_Books Written by Ourselves_

But a magician, in an instant, seemed to touch, with a sponge, the whole
surface of the memory, and things that had been invisible were found to
be well embalmed and made immortal. All that had become dim was found to
be stereotyped forever. Thus every stage of one's existence leaves him
some memorial of its presence in the life of today. I did not know what
large deposits I had once been making in the bank of memory. This is
occasioned by the fact that a boy lives his first years more keenly
alive, to the things about him, than does a man. Even our food does not
later have its earlier relish. If a man thinks, that what he recalls of
a thing, when absent from it, is the whole of his memory of it, he very
much underestimates the fact. It is the glow of youth, the freshness of
heart, that give us those bright memories by which we save the past from
the extinguishing stroke of oblivion,

    "Like to some dear, familiar strain,
    For which we ask and ask again,
    Ever, in its melodious store,
    Finding a spell unheard before."

The flaming sword which once guarded the gates of our youthful paradise
is not turned against us preventing, as in the case of our first
parents, our return to our early homes, as many persons, by keeping at a
distance, appear to believe. One can approach this Eden boldly. The
password at the gate is Welcome. Any pilgrim like myself will have his
astonishment divided between the disclosure made of his own power of
recollection and of the unforeseen suggestiveness of the place, when
memory faithful to her task unties her budget.

It was a blessing to me to be well born, yet I was born with neither a
gold nor a silver spoon in my mouth. My warfare has been at my own
charges. While my classmates and associates were enjoying a winter
vacation, I taught a country school. There is a choice spot to me. To
revisit the earth without viewing that scene and unclasping, there, the
book of memory would be like quitting London before one has stood within
the shadowed aisles of Westminster or coming back from Italy without
entering the gates of the Eternal City.

_A Hard Road to Travel_

I thought I had seen mud before but slow progress to the rural
school-house gave me a deep experience of it. Any evidence of road
making could not be found. There was a track, we could not lose it, yet
you could not make much headway in it. The condition of the road
conditioned the opening of the school. The roads were three rods wide
and often three feet deep, particularly when the frost was coming out of
the ground. They then became yeasty, which heaves the sub-soil, and
stirs and mixes the surface loam, in preparation for seed sowing in the
spring. It was not a time to be abroad. Traveling was then a very
different act from that which it has now become. The conditions were
beyond conception and utterance. As memory is the recognizing faculty,
it identified, on the way, the same old farmhouse hastening indeed to
its ruin, the same old fire which glows upon the ample hearth, the same
old well thumbed Bible which lies, as ever, upon the altar, the same
"old oaken bucket" which hangs in the well. My heart made me so familiar
with the neighborhood that I could have mapped it, from recollection,
without other aid. The vividness of everything touched me. It was like
an experience of reading snowbound in Whittier's old home. It is like
standing in the presence of the Lion of Lucerne after being indebted
only to memory for a conception of a strange reality. No words can
possibly describe the impression. All the men that lived hereabouts were
so well known to me that were my imagination strong enough I might
almost have seen their ghosts. Many of those I knew in active life had
passed the summit and were going down the hill; indeed some have already
gone out of sight. The names and works of some of them are now nearly
stranded on the stream of time. But they once exercised a powerful
influence on the local life of their day. We plodded our way to school
and all carried our dinners. At noon-tide we were brought into a fine

_Teaching and Learning_

I never had such close association with boys and girls. Some of the
warm-hearted little creatures would exchange portions of their dinner
with each other, not for variety only but as an expression of kindly
feeling. The generosity of the little people was a very real and fine
thing. They give what they want. They love to bestow. It is to them a
pleasure and a luxury. When they met on the first day of school it was
pathetic to see the intensity of their pleasure on being again with each
other. They lived on scattered farms, miles apart, and were gladder to
see one another than anybody should be. No one ought to feel so isolated
and detached, or, on the other hand, so yoked up with adults as if on
the principle of breaking in a colt with a cart-horse. They love to be
with those of their own age and kind. They return to the original
meaning of fellowship, fellow in the same ship. Many of their interests
are the same. Their destination is identical. A young man's social
nature craves the companionship of his mates. He is susceptible most of
all to the influences of good or evil from young persons of his own age
and tastes and ambitions in life. We are told distinctly what "the
fellowship of kindred minds" is like.

_Transported Back to the Past_

In one hand, I hold, as I write, that marvel of creative volumes
Webster's spelling book, of which more than a million copies are still
sold annually. "The boy that stole the apples," as in "Fable First," is
still in a composed attitude in the tree just where he placed himself
long years ago waiting for "The old man to try what virtue there was in
stones." It is remarkable that every individual in school recited from
Webster's spelling-book. If I could choose a picture of myself it would
be at the time when I sat in a country school-house and had a little
Abecedarian that hung down her head and kept one thumb in her mouth,
stand at my knee learning letters beginning with the "perpendicular
reading" on the alphabetical page and coming later, in an eventful day,
to "horizontal reading" beginning, of course, with the monosyllabic and
well-remembered words, "Go on." The wonder that abides with me is how
those tiny scholars that had only set foot on the first step of
learning's ladder, were kept in school after being taught only in three
or four brief intervals during the day to know their letters, by sight,
and as some one expressed it also by name, for six wearisome hours with
nothing doing to enable them to beguile their time. The Kindergarten was
yet to be. The scheme of public transportation by which all scholars are
assembled at one central point in a township and graded and given
instruction by methods adapted to their years had never then come to the
attention of the people not even in their dreams. With no slates, no
stationery, no desks in front of them, no attention from anyone, their
natures as playful as kittens, accustomed to the sweep of the fields,
full of animal spirits and frolic, packed for the day in a box-like room
when, to use their expression "school's up," out they would rush
tumultuously to enjoy God's great and good out-of-doors. To "keep
school" my implements of learning were a ruler, a bell, and a Bible. The
"district" supplied a water-pail and tin dipper. About midway to recess
after "school's in," as a reward for fine behavior, one envied scholar
was designated to pass the water. In this common sacrament we all
partook, in beautiful communion of spirit, day after day from the same
rusty dipper, microbe, baccilli, and other like organisms not being then

_A Boy a "Feeble Beginning of a Mighty End"_

As soon as the school was established civilization was safe. Many of the
scholars were almost men and women in size, but they were not as old as
their stature indicated. A real responsibility fell upon the teacher,
for all the training that some young citizens ever had, was obtained in
one of these little crowded school-houses that dot the farming
communities of the state. Many began an active useful life without
troubling any other school, college, or academy. At their freedom year,
came to many of them a point where their education stopped and their
adult life began. It gave to my work a peculiar interest, as I tried
like John Adams, when teaching in Worcester, to regard the school as the
world in miniature, that before me were the country's future jury-men,
judges, tradesmen, capitalists, law-makers and office-holders. One only
had to imagine, what might prove true, that a certain boy was to go upon
the bench of the Superior Court, as proved to be the case in one of my
classes, that another was to be a titled clergyman, as came true, that
others were to be honored in the high administration of executive
offices, it turned out to be a fact, in order to stimulate a teacher to
that course of effort, without which youth fitted for those respective
offices would be lost. What government we had was never called
government. I never happened to find any bad boys. A thorough search in
the gallery of memory has been made in vain to discover them. Anyway
they did not exist to me. I taught branches that I had never myself
taken in school. My mind was let out to its limit to keep one day ahead
of my classes.

_Human Nature Unchanged_

Life was full orbed in that little "knowledge box" as it was sometimes
used for meeting by the Society of Friends and so on "fourth day," for a
little space of time, school gave way to a Quaker wedding. The very
profound and continued silence that preceded the ceremony made it
extremely impressive. I shut my eyes and it all comes before me. The
beauty of the bride, and the maxim accords with truth, she that is born
of beauty is half married, she needs to borrow nothing of her sisters,
gave her that attractiveness which conferred an immediate power over
others. This beau ideal of a young Quakeress, her simple, modest,
consistent apparel, which was chiefly drab, relieved by the use of dark
olive colored material, enlisted everyone's attention. Without the aid
of priest or magistrate, without prayer or music, after a fitting quiet
interval, they took each other by the hand and in the presence of
witnesses, among them all the school, including the teacher, solemnly
and calmly promised to take each other for husband and wife, to live
together in the fear of God, faithfully, so long as they should live. A
record was then produced for signatures. It was signed by the happy
company, the bride using her new name. After the relatives had signed,
good feeling so prevailed that the scholars down to those of few years
added their signatures, which detracted nothing from the legality of the

    "O! not in the halls of the noble and proud,
    Where fashion assembles her glittering crowd;
    Where all is in beauty and splendor arrayed,
    Were the nuptials perform'd of the meek Quaker maid.

    'Twas there, all unveil'd, save by modesty, stood
    The Quakeress bride, in her pure satin hood;
    Her charms unadorned by garland or gem,
    Yet fair as the lily just pluck'd from its stem.

    The building was humble, yet sacred to Him
    Before whom the pomp of religion is dim;
    Whose presence is not to the temple confined,
    But dwells with the contrite and lowly of mind."

Here I formed my strange liking, to which I have to plead guilty, for
country boys. These sturdy little men did not complain of their lot
though at times it was hard. They had the ring of the genuine coin. With
entire naturalness they assumed that they had their own way to make.
Their calculations were not based upon a legacy. A young man in need of
money who has expectation from an unmarried aunt looks upon toil in a
different way from what he would if she had nothing to bestow. "What is
the matter with Kansas?" When this question was raised it was found that
she had been helped, and by that act she was done for.

_The Coronation of Labor_

Here is the secret of country boys when they go up to the city. They are
not done for. The reflex influence of this is often a hindrance. It is
not self help. It overlooks economy, enterprise, personal initiative,
and intense application. The young man with money usually takes a young
partner from the country to get the practical ability and energy. The
country home is like a bee-hive for industry in every profitable way.
Farm life looks toward more productiveness. Eight or ten hour limits are
not observed in days that are from morn to dusk. The country boy does a
lot of unrequited labor. He hitches up, breaks out the road, and takes
the whole bunch to the evening singing school. He takes off the wagon
body, puts it upon runners, and stows it so full of mortal souls that
they had to be cautioned, by their parents, as the sons of Jacob were by
their father, "not to fall out by the way." Lay a plank on the ground,
someone has truly said, and a million people can walk it without thought
of losing balance. Lift it twenty-five feet and only one in a thousand
will dare to walk it. Lift it one hundred feet and not more than one in
a million will venture upon it. Country boys keep their balance near the
ground. As persons grow stilted they lose their poise. If they have a
disposition to rise higher it is by the old way of climbing, step by
step, making each rise count one. They are not at first familiar with
the elevator to carry them up and so suppose that their chance is by the
stair-case. "One thing I must observe," says an Englishman, writing from
Andover, "that I think wants rectifying, and that is their pluming pride
when adjoined to apparent poverty." John G. Brady had not only "apparent
poverty," but the real thing when deserted by his father, when he was
made a ward of a Children's Aid Society. He became governor of Alaska.
Some such boys were ravenous for knowledge. They were awkward and
uncouth but possessed minds that were bright, vigorous, susceptible, and
retentive. It was a joy to teach them.

_Not Criticism, Just Description_

"You're a colt," said a farmer, "bye and bye you will grow to be a staid
old horse. Till you do steady down and lose your coltish tricks I will
enter with you into the spirit of your colthood, for I know you're not
vicious. There is not a streak of evil in your nature." I saw a fine
picture at one of the world's fairs of the School of Charlemagne, at the
moment that Alcuin is informing the emperor that the poor boys have
surpassed the rich in scholarship. It is a symbol of the way that things
level up in every country. Country boys learn to feel their way, which
is the healthiest method, and I have had frequent painful occasions to
contrast it with the plunging method that we are frequently called to
witness. At no other point, at the same exposition to which I have
referred, were gathered so dense a crowd as about the model school for
the blind. A poor girl without sight was reading about some boys that
came upon a hive of wild bees and honey. When a word seemed difficult to
her, she would instinctively apply both hands to the pages. Men coming
from all quarters into this presence would unconsciously uncover their
head. Feeling one's way excites sympathy. The poor have the gospel
preached to them. Have any of the rulers believed on Him? No, no, no, it
was the common people that heard Him gladly. City merchants advertising
for a clerk often say, "One from the country preferred." I used to see
the boys studying the map of the future and laying out work for manhood
and age. Their longings were to be men. They were panting to have a part
in the great drama of life and would rush in as soon as any door was
open. It did not occur to them that the world already owed them a
living, that they were to be fed by the raven. The man who calls upon
Jupiter was to put his own shoulder to the wheel.

_To Go to the Top, First Go to the Bottom_

It is a riddle that persons, like the Lawrences, coming from the
country, Groton, into the city out-step the natives and become their
masters. Country life and country education are at least practical and
invigorating to body and mind and hence those who are thus qualified
triumph in the race of life. Country training and experience serve as a
foothold for progress. Amos Lawrence, the initial genius in Boston in
that line of merchant princes that founded Lawrence and the mills in
Lowell and Ipswich (when one of the mills of Ipswich was losing one
hundred dollars a day, one of the Lawrences was sick and the only
comment was "too much Ipswich,") when a clerk in a dry-goods store sold
a parcel of goods, promising to have them delivered in Charlestown by
twelve o'clock M.,--the porter, who was to take them over, failed to
return as soon as was expected,--loaded the goods on a wheelbarrow and
trundled them over the long bridge, through the streets thronged with
ladies and gentlemen, and had them there on time. It was a natural act
of the country boy. A city young man would have felt an inclination to
wait. Andrew Carnegie came over from Scotland with only a sovereign in
his pocket but with sovereignty in his soul and fired a stationary
engine at two dollars and a half a week.

_The Renewal of the Face of the World_

Jeremiah says, "Pharaoh King of Egypt" is but a noise. He agitates the
atmosphere. He is a clamorous self advertiser. On the other hand a
country boy reaching the city is often obliged to raise the simple bread
and butter question. Give us this day our daily bread. I used to find
these boys extremely capable and very warmly affectionate. City boys
gave their mothers what money would buy, while the country boys gave
their mothers what money could not buy, and no one was happier than the
country mother with a letter from her boy telling her that there was so
much love in his letter that he would have trouble in getting it into
the envelope. She thought she saw that he was winning a widening way
into recognition from his employer, also from his associates. Such a man
is likeliest to realize in life all the promise he gave in boyhood. If a
country boy lost a step he felt that he must make it up. I could stand
before that boy, hat in hand, and pay him honor and respect. He is not
top heavy. He is solid. The corner stones of character are laid in
place and well laid. Splendid specimens of boyhood, first work hard to
supply their needs and then go on to make money to supply their wants.
By all the rules of the business world they have earned all that they
have gained.

_Cables Binding to Safe Moorings_

On "first day" there being no school I worshiped with Quakers and never
to this hour have departed from their heaven-born doctrines. When George
Fox prayed, the spirit bearing witness with his spirit, men trembled,
and so were called Quakers because they thus quaked. The wonder is not
that they were agitated, but that people do not quake where they sit in
profound silence until the spirit moves. When a person rises one's first
thought is, There, that's the motion of the spirit, the inner witness.
It is the responsive factor in us that makes the Quaker doctrine take
hold. They have an Inward Light which lighteth every man that cometh
into the world. A friend, a lady with a serene, intelligent, illumined
face, fluent and correct in expression, with most engaging modesty,
moved by the spirit, arose and spoke, with a power stronger than human
genius, her understanding being opened, her heart enlarged, in a manner
wonderful to herself exhorting us to take heed to the light within us.
That was reasonable. Who could say nay to such entreaty assuming that
there is in us that which of itself responds to it, "as face answers to
face in a glass?" In the intense quiet, in the solemn silence, all being
retired into the presence chamber of God, the attitude being that of
Samuel when he said, "Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth" when an angel
voice speaks to us who would not follow whithersoever it leads the way?
"Go feel what I have felt" and you will know by experience how Quakers
get their name. It is a respectful doctrine; it only urges recognition
of what hath shined into our hearts to give us light.

Revisiting the earth I say now, on the site where I taught school, what
I felt then, that Quaker doctrines are as honeycomb, sweet to the soul,
and health to the bones. Even the men's manners are gentle and winsome
and kindly, and kindly enough to proceed from the spirit. When
conducting social affairs I have in uncounted cases asked that we might
imitate the Quakers who before leaving their positions, beginning in the
high seats, shake hands with those on the right and left who are next to
them, it means we are on a level and on good terms, we must be social.

_A Fashion that is Wearing Away_

When men were clad in short clothes, wearing knee buckles, laces, and
ruffles, and frills, and fringes, and finery, and frippery, the Quakers
took strong ground for plain, unaffected simplicity in male attire and
they carried the day. Honor to whom honor is due, I am with them as
usual. The weather worn, long used, hard used little one room, one story
school-house without an entry, is now in declining condition and
exceedingly infirm. It seems broken, decrepit, wears a look of great
age, seems inclined to melancholy and its dissolution is near. The dear
old seminary of letters was not young when I was introduced to it.
Change and decay have passed rapidly upon it. There is no making life
stand still. I went back to it with my heart in my eyes. Its well worn
old threshold and its battered entrance spoke of hospitality to vigorous
youngsters who had reached their freedom year, when education stopped,
and their adult life began. It was assumed that the door, exposed to the
weather, would bind a little at the bottom, and so simultaneously with
putting their hands to the latch the children would strike the door at
the bottom with one of their heavily shod feet. The act was so
unconscious and so natural that no impression was made except on the

_Time Can Obliterate as Well as Create_

The floor of that little edifice wore sundry patches of new white pine
boards which were nailed over the crevices and flaws which gave the
appearance of new cloth in an old garment. This rickety fabric has
ceased forever from the name and form of a seat of learning, but it is
tight full of memories and of public favor. A child when going through a
museum said he liked the sculpture better than a painting because he
could walk around the sculpture. With that feeling of regard for sacred
places and times and things which we felt in our childhood, I viewed
that building and went round about it, that I might tell it to the
generation following. If anyone shall say,

    "A bare old house with windows dim,
    A bare old house is still to him,
    And it is nothing more,"

I shall still look upon it with reverence. It has performed its office
and its pictured form will bring up facts and throng my vacant hours
with beautiful visions. Lord Jeffrey speaks fondly of that "dear retired
adored little window" where he labored and prepared himself for the
arrival of that brighter day which is almost sure to come to those who
are careful to fit themselves for the duties that accompany it.

_A Table of Priorities_

The progress of the allied forces in the German war seemed at first very
slow, partly because of the colossal number of men engaged, but chiefly
because Germany derived a great advantage at the start. It is a
difficult matter to make up for a bad beginning. On revisiting the earth
we seemed to be set down upon a commanding eminence, having a panoramic
view of occurences which showed distinctly the path we had trodden. If
we noticed the milestones, we observed a succession, that was unbroken,
that led directly to the place where, with different ways opened to us,
we made life's vocational adventure. In the light of that first move we
see the way to every subsequent position. Years rise up like the steps
of the Pyramids and more and more extensive becomes the review of life.
How different a landscape looks when we have simply reversed our steps
and are faced the other way. I must always remember it as one of the
pleasures of life, that all the invisible lines that connect every later
service and place of residence were set vibrating from the desk where I
taught my first term of country school when I was seventeen.


_Tremendous Trifles_

Taking deliberately one's position, here, that point in life, of which
everyone's personal history has so many examples, the peak Teneriffe,
the effect of volcanic action, after much slumbering, fills all the
foreground. From such a mount of vision "see thy way in the valley."

    "There's a chain of causes
    Linked to effects,"

that seemed trifles, that, on a review of life, have a new significance.
It can be seen at a glance that all subsequent events are a lengthened
chain from this early landmark, at which, hat in hand, I stood. The
connection is direct, the links are distinctly interlocked. As in the
growth of a stalk of corn, each section makes a close jointure with the
next below it as well as with the next above it, so is it in any
individual career. The same school, the second winter, was needed to
give publicity to a situation, which resulted in an invitation to take
the school at the community center, an elevation which had not even in
dreams and reveries entered my mind. Out of this came an appointment to
teach in a college town and so to this hour every stage has brought
about the next step which the last one made inevitable. In that first
school was struck the medial key-note. It is the C, and the whole melody
of life rests upon it. Some people remark upon fruit and flower, as if
detached and independent of their seed. Not by God's mercy! Personal
history has its teachings, a golden thread runs through it, on which are
strung, a series of events in a logical succession, represented in
pictures unrivalled for their distinctness, delineated by time's own
hand and lifted out into powerful relief. The more widely I looked for
connected events the more I saw. It pleased the Father to command the
light to shine out of darkness. Dull and unimaginative as I am, even I
felt the divinity stir within me, and I found it difficult to suppose
otherwise than that, while the public takes no cognizance of such
things, yet a look into one's personal biography exhibits a moving
picture of Providence. To feel that we are tethered to a place of
beginning, though we live on the other side of the world, is not to say
that we would like to go back there to reside. We are viewing it only as
a factor in our past life. It was like the experience once of reading
Whittier's Hampton Beach when there. It made past history realistic. It
was like standing in the presence of the Lion of Lucerne after being
indebted only to memory for your conception of its vivid character. No
words can possibly describe the impression, of thus revisiting the earth
and doing our own thinking instead of sending some neighbor to do it for

_Critical Periods_

Instead of seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, how much
more self-respecting for each of us to himself stand in the actual
presence of these silent talkers and perceive the guide marks to all the
paths which led us through the tangle of life. Above all else one lesson
blazes out in letters of living light. How careful Providence is about
beginnings. It is only in looking down upon the battle field that we
can clearly discern the maneuvers that lead to victory. We must place
ourselves at a given point, not too remote from the causes, that make
our history, to justly estimate them, if we could begin again, that
tragic wish having been conceded to us, all our activity would be best
used at these clearly discerned centers. To gain greater effectiveness
opportunity here makes his call upon us and comes unawares and his
approach is invariably disguised in humble garb.

    "Master of human destinies am I.
    Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait;
    Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate
    Deserts and seas remote, and passing by
    Hovel, and mart, and palace, soon or late
    I knock unbidden once at every gate.
    Those who doubt or hesitate,
    Condemned to failure, penury, and woe,
    Seek me in vain and uselessly implore;
    I answer not, and I return no more."



When in the company of a citizen, I am reviewing my place of early
residence, while he obviously knows the town well, yet I see all that he
does and recollection faithful to its office supplies me with an image
of the past which he does not perceive. He gets no glimpse of the
panorama that is passing in review before me. In looking over an
illustrated volume of the place there are two pictures on each page.
There is the one I now see, and to my inner sight there is just above it
the one I remember. It is a case of what philosophers call Compound
Perception. The absence of the object is contrasted with its presence.
You imagine it gone, and perceive the blank it would leave. You observe
the object, you also consider it as a negative quantity, for a moment
thinking it away. There is the depot. I do not need to have it pointed
out. Beside this building I instantly see the picture of another station
unobserved by the present generation, which was connected with a
different route. Before the Rock Island and before the Central of Iowa,
we had the underground R. R. In Grinnell that came first. It did a good
business. It had a through line. Its chief station still exists. The
glamor of the past is upon it. I knew the station master. I am on
intimate terms with one of its conductors. When its train was made up
any one could compute its horse-power. The place had public spirit
enough for a half dozen average towns. There is the church where the
college diplomas were awarded. How plainly I also saw the church where I
was, at its completion, an habitual hearer of the Word, that stood on
the same noble corner. I never could understand how any mortal could be
hired to tear down the earlier sacred edifice. It must have been done by
aliens. No one could have bribed me to do it. There isn't money enough.
I would as soon have lifted my hand against her who gave me being. The
fate of Uzza, whom the Lord smote for a smaller impiety, would have
given me alarm.

_A Sort of Homesickness_

All religious annals will be searched in vain for a better example of
the community church. Everybody attended it. All our pleasures were
connected with it. Anyone could get the key to hold a meeting. There was
always something doing. It had a part in everything that interested the
people. When in the Civil War there were victories, the farmers came
in, and there sang Praise God, etc., and when we had reverses there was
a meeting to appoint a fast. Far away down the gallery of memory hangs a
picture. It is a church scene. The figures are the deacons and others,
in colors that are fresh and glowing to this hour. The artist that could
portray them on canvas would be immortalized in that one act. Extremely
fastidious critics would call them old fashioned, but they have at least
this merit, they are life-like. It would be becoming in us to honor them
as they, in their day, honored the community. I recollect nearly every
family that sat under the benign ministry of that church, and could come
near to designating each pew they occupied. There was a kind of
exaltation about the place, which held the fire, in the old days, on
God's altars, and the quaint bare building became as the temple on Mount
Zion. Never in the splendid temples, seen in after life, where the
wealth of princes had been lavished, to decorate the world famous
cathedrals, where stained windows shed an impressive light over the
solemn courts, and where the ponderous organ rolls its deep thunders on
the ear, have I seemed to be so near the Holy of Holies, as on one or
two occasions when my heart was lifted up in that unadorned place of
worship. Once the clergyman had pronounced the blessing and the
congregation were dispersing when I lingered behind to make a single
vow. Tear down that church! I could not have stood it to be present. To
some meeting houses they attach a card giving, in plain letters, the
church's name and age.

_Recollections of Other Years_

If, as a boy, I had been asked to prepare a tablet to place on that
heaven-blessed house of prayer, I should have put up the sign, "The Lord
lives here." There was a solemnity, in its very simplicity, and an
impressiveness not artificial, which to a religious fanatic might easily
seem supernatural.

The large plain room was pervaded, in the evening, by a dim religious
light that proceeded from a few reeking kerosene lamps. Any kind of a
meeting was opened with prayer and much decorum and orderliness were
observed by the citizens, old and young. The church took everything hard
that concerned its own folks. The building was our cradle of liberty.
Both men and boys rocked that cradle. A large sweetly toned bell,
joyously rung by lads at day break on Independence Day, was finer music
to our juvenile ears than would be the combined bands of the world. In
the capitol at Richmond, a painting is exhibited, representing the Earl
of Chatham pointing to a little flame on the altar of liberty. At that
flame how many torches have been lighted. Some have held that the church
must be opened only to old age, but that was not the view then and
there held. I loved the church. I never saw it surpassed. All its ideals
are mine today. I have labored and sacrificed to exhibit them and
realize them in other places. If the older present resident members were
to visit the people that once had their church home with them there,
they would find no trouble in recognizing the leaven which had been
carried away from that sanctuary. Temperaments were different, all were
unlike and individual, with unequal education, with diverse talents, not
able to see with each other's spectacles, yet all learned from each
other and all united on the big things. I feel myself indebted to those
with whom I associated there, some of whom afterward obtained high and
merited distinction. Some of them, God has made princes in the earth.
There is the place where they grew up and there they had their vision of
service. My warmest prayers have always been for their success. A throng
of recollections which I can not repress starts from every corner of the
old church and attends my walks about the streets.

_Through Tears of Memory_

There is no other such dark day as when a boy parts with his home and
his native state for good, to find a home God only knows where, and the
old life that meant so much to him is over. There were our friends,
there was our home, and there are our graves, my father having given
commandment concerning his bones. Pardon me, gentle reader, if for the
moment I speak with a personal accent. An individual cannot inherit his
experience. It is my feeling that it is well to know some part of the
world thoroughly. "He who is everywhere is nowhere." Neither a
globe-trotter, running like a wandering Jew all over the world, nor a
tramp knows the countries he travels over. Here in my early day was a
place without amusements.

The hoe, the hod, the plough, the scythe, the shovel, the woodsaw, and
the axe, these are all old friends of mine. It is possible that as
things are now viewed our sphere had in it a trifle too much of
constraint, that the soul had hardly free play enough to unbend and
recreate the mind, that we settled down too early, like well broken
horses, to the work of life. A little shadow passes over my mind as I
think of the analogy to bitting a horse. But when at sunset all nature
rings the Angelus, we all say in our hearts, God bless the town and all
its people.

_Unterrified Visitors_

"It would be no unprofitable thing," said Increase Mather, "for you to
pass over the several streets and call to mind those who lived here so
many years ago." On my approach, the homes of my day, that now survive,
seemed to come right out to meet me. The old citizens appeared to start
forth from their portrait frames. "They come like shadows and so
depart." The old time town was revivified. The dry bones were stirred
and made to live. The gates opened their arms widely finding us early
residents and bold enough to enter. The same bordered walk led up to the
front door. Houses, Say on. You want to speak. Utter your voices. Tell
your story. I know its truth. You will not startle me. Many appeared to
answer me as I stood, with my greetings, before them. Our old relations
are all in my heart. In my day, everybody knew his neighbor and his
neighbor was everybody. As is known of ancient Athens, at its best,
quoting from an oration writer, "It is impossible for a man in this city
to be of good repute or otherwise without all of us knowing it."

Even the most beautiful scenery needs absence to gain its hold upon us,
and to unite a new and an old revaluation into something better than
either. There is an old proverb, What is ever seen, is never seen. What
is always heard, is never heard. The sound of Niagara becomes inaudible
to the waiters at the hotels. "To feel the same thing always and not to
feel at all, come to the same thing." A man casts his shadow over "A
land where all things always seem the same."

_When the World was Young_

As a boy goes zig-zagging along, dilatorily, of a May morning to school,
in and out, among and around the byways, where anything unusual is
proceeding, he actually knows a town better than many a man who has
lived in it longer, and I would not barter the pleasant memories of my
early home for treasures of gold. I would not exchange even the
impressions made indelibly on my mind for a gift of public office. There
is nothing that I care to take in exchange for my soul. Upon the side of
Mt. Blanc is a little patch of verdure called Le Jardin. It is always
green. In the deserts are oases. In the ocean wastes we find islands of
tropical beauty, so here with nature's extreme fertility we have,
enameled with flowers, what they call in Evangeline's land a Grand Pre,
extending to the horizon's out-most rim.

_You Can't Paint the Sunrise_

In boyhood's happy days, in the jocund season of youth, the grass grew
quietly in the highways of the town, and bleating sheep and frolicsome
calves sported about on the verdant savannas. In the days of which I am
writing, cattle and horses were lawful commoners, and roamed at will
over much of the town plat. On rising early a boy would find a group of
small cattle just in the act of making up its mind that day was
breaking. Some would be rising from their hard beds, some had risen and
commenced to graze, others were still lying as they had reposed all
night, the dew glistening on their hair. Mists were floating over the
low grounds in the swales of the prairies, but the reddening east was
waking all nature into newness of life, and presently, the ever-punctual
sun rose up to do his circuit of the earth. It was a healthy boy's walk
amid the fields of morning and he was enraptured with the delightful
vision. The day began earlier then. It was long, and like a clothes-line
being so extended, required a prop in the middle, hence dinner could not
be deferred then until an evening hour. Noon is now becoming as extinct
as the mastodon. It faded out. It seems unreal, and belongs to the past.
Boys did not carry watches and became quite expert in using a north and
south fence for a divider in finding that medial line that cuts the day
in halves. We still have the expressions A. M. and P. M. but we make
little use of the M. We have God's time, and man's time, for the sake of
daylight saving, but my memory testifies that we used the daylight for
about all it was worth, anyway up to our limit, at both ends of the day.
People then were much more expressive than they are now. If they felt
refreshed and exuberant they did not care who knew it. We used to feel
with Dickens, Give us, oh give us, the man who sings at his work! He
will do more in the same time, he will do it better. He will persevere

    "Amidst the storm the Pilgrims sang,
    And the stars heard, and the sea,
    And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
    To the anthems of the free."

Children were very much more commonly sung to sleep with a mother's foot
upon the rocker of the cradle. If we could take out of our minds the
fact that the hymn most widely used was for children, we all would say,
How beautiful! Pious hymns and patriotic songs were the great leaders.
Down through the corridors of time I can still hear the voices of both
men and women who sang as they wrought. They who found that their wives
did not sing when employed about the house set themselves to find the
reason of the suspension and to remove it. This being done,
unconsciously the house was gladdened again by impromptu song. From the
fact that men worked more in solitary, quiet places, as contrasted with
factories, having heavy machinery, men used to whistle. Some became very
expert. When one man would say, Let's see how does that tune go? the
custom was for the other to take up a few bars by whistling. When
soldiers or parades or processions were passing, if the band should
stop, those marching would take up some patriotic or other air and all
would whistle it. This would spread to the boys on the side walk and
extend through the town, and be revived the next day.

_Another Relic of the Past_

Men worked more hours and had more chores to do, early and late, so
being physically weary, when they sat down to read there was a kind of
physical preparation for it. The eye did not drop on a newspaper
casually at any time. To begin to read required then a kind of personal
adjustment illustrated remotely by that of a person who sits down when
about to partake of a meal. Thus we used to see people take a book, and
get ready to read it as you often see a person now who is about to sing
in public, show what he is going to do by using a moment or two in
getting himself ready for it.

It augurs well to discover more generally established what the French
call the Hotel of God. The Hospital used to be in the same class with
the Hospice. It was originally an outgrowth of the church, through the
element of charity, very much as we find it on missionary ground in
foreign lands. There was usually a chapel included in the construction.

It seemed on review to be the strong and rugged that were struck down,
while the semi-invalids appeared to live to ripe old age. He who wins in
the first round, does not always seem to come out, in the final test,
as the best man. The battle is not to the strong. Like Romulus and Remus
placed in a trough, cast adrift on the Tiber, nourished in the marshes
by a wolf, some persons seem to be strengthened by the worst things to
which they are exposed, while others succumb at their approach. It is
hard to pass this same matter over as applied to the college without
setting down outstanding illustrations. Some who were distinctly strong,
like the pendulum of a dying clock soon passed away.

"_A Flood of Thoughts Comes O'er Me_"

It became a great trial to me that our forbears never half believed one
of the most eloquent and profound statements of the inspired volume.
Recognizing, in faith, these beautiful words, what a mockery is
artificial light, and how unnecessary a watcher. "Surely the darkness
shall cover me, the night shall be light about me, the darkness and the
light are both alike." When a soul had left its body and is wearing a
crown, it was then the custom, when one of our neighbors had been
invited, to be a guest in heaven, for some one of us who felt tenderly
and neighborly to offer to serve as a watcher. It was then counted good
form for someone other than a member of the family to keep awake
throughout the night and that, in no remote part of the house out of
which the spiritual world had just received a tenant. It was then the
rule of my life never to resist my good impulses and to me it seemed to
fall to render this melancholy duty which struck into my soul with
terror. My fright, I suppose would have been less if I had lived a
better life. I noticed the rattling of the plastering over head.


"Deep horror then my vitals froze."

I did not know that a bureau with its closed drawers contained so much
creaking. It seemed a self-starter. A mid-night lunch had been made
ready. I was usually fond of the pleasures of the table, but this repast
was the least welcome of any I ever tasted. I needed no artificial aid
to keep awake. I was far removed from drowsiness. My eyes would not be
surprised at anything in that presence except sleep. This night seemed
as much too long as all other nights seemed to me too short, but I sat
it out alone till the day, to my inexpressible relief, dawned over the
distant fields. Soon after I reached my room some of my associates
called me to wake me for breakfast. "You didn't suppose I was asleep,
did you?" Lord Brougham pretended to die in order to read what was said
of him in the papers. At Athens, Alabama, a minister preached his own
funeral sermon for he said, "I know my own faults and my own good points
as nobody else knows and I am not going to have people after I am gone
talking of a thing they don't understand." The whole affair was arranged
as if it had been the real thing, with the minister's family in the pew
in deepest mourning. By very much of what I had been reading, and by
more, that all along I had been hearing, while my motives were well
enough in volunteering my services as a watcher, yet I was surprised to
find how ill-fitted I was for the office. The minds of ingenuous
childhood would not now be subjected to quite so much frightfulness.
There seems to be something in them when well stirred up, that responds
with fearful alacrity to that kind of address. It can be found any time
in children if one has the lamentable disposition to try to appeal to
it. By an unintended combination of circumstances I had been supplied
with uncommon numbers of ghost stories until I was afraid to be out
alone, particularly in some localities where it was extra dark.

On leaving the neighbor's house for home I would induce someone to stand
in the door until I, after moving rapidly, should shout back that I was

_Stepping Into the Past_

The bogy-man in the cellar is not conjured with in governing children
now as much as formerly, still a child likes those plays best which give
a good deal of exercise to the imagination. So on the other hand the
ills we imagine afflict us most. The microscope magnifies the object
without altering it. How the thoughts of those troubled times of long
ago come trooping over the hills and valleys of memory after so many
years have been passed to our account in the book of the Recording
Angel. There are some sights that we can never forget. Some occurrences
are so scenic and suggestive that they come home unbidden to every man's
heart and are with him in the market and on the street.

_The College Empire_

When I first came on the campus the students' rooms were bare and
uninviting. No freshman's room was carpeted. A mat in front of his desk
and one in front of his bed, a very plain bureau, three or four chairs,
a wash-stand, pail, pitcher and bowl, and a few text-books made the
outfit. An apartment was featured best by what it did not have. We lived
the simple life. "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every
man did that which was right in his own eyes." The new president came in
the morning of an opening educational era, during which more
improvements have been made than occurred in long centuries before. With
great distinction he served his day and its sun sank before the horizon
in its evening splendor and that of his youthful, buoyant successor rose
in its morning glory. The initial steps or incidents in the election of
the present sovereign if ever known are now lost to history. The event
was so spontaneous and natural that we can only say in scriptural
language, Now it came to pass. The vote was only a memorandum. It was
what everyone wanted, everybody expected.

In my day we all knew one another. A college may be good as an
institution of learning and still fall far short of supplying what we
feel this elite college did for us. The elective system has not been
wholly a blessing. If left to himself, a student might elect to follow
the line of the least resistance. In one of these institutions the whole
class never meets together after the first day for any academic purpose.
The class is no longer the social unit it once was. No two men take
exactly the same course.

_Just How it Feels_

A boy's relation to his home is changed the instant his feet betake
themselves to classic ways. His face is set toward an independent
career. It is a beginning of a detachment and the home is behind this
program and perhaps without quite recognizing all the results and
sacrifices that are involved. No family is ever again quite the same
after it has a son graduated from college. The plane of life is lifted
all around. The kind of atmosphere in which he must live and move and
have his being, for four years, will affect him. The traditions and the
predominant type of student character will give him a pull which it is
hoped is in the right direction. Where the majority of the students are
disposed to do right, and to make a serious use of their great
opportunities, the chances are that the graduate will feel his life long
that he paid his tuition to the college, when he was for a fact most
indebted to his associates. All testimony shows that students recite to
the faculty and learn from one another. We are well beyond the old
heresy that a boy goes to college for his mental training, enters
society for his social life, and the church for his religious
development. The college ideal, as stated, is to give a boy opportunity
to do for himself the best he can do, also to do for each student the
best that can be done for him and to give all possible advantage to the
poorest student.

_Just Plain Friends_

We all drank at the same fountain and felt the thrill of the same
spirit. There was no caste or social class. We may well doubt whether
higher life success would have attended us, if we launched from a
different port. An earnest endeavor was made to put a young man on an
equality with the demands of his time. It undertook to furnish a basis
from which it was possible for him to advance himself to that level of
usefulness, in his generation, to which his native gifts relegated him.
The college cannot undertake to supply brains. In the presence of
stupidity even the gods are powerless. I do not need to praise the
college. As Cromwell said of his government, "This is a thing that
speaks loudly for itself." Webster made, in the greatest address ever
delivered to a jury, much of the proverb, Murder will out, but this is
no peculiarity of murder. Character will out, mental discipline will
out, education will out, and the lack of education will out. Without
this item some vocations cannot be entered at all, and there is no
vocation in which the mental training would not be a fine additional

_Rekindled Fires_

At my Alma Mater, on revisiting the earth, in conversation with friends
the inquiry was altogether natural, at Commencement, as to how I would
approach things, if I were to begin my studies again. I would try to
remember that it is the intensity of the work that does the good. A
horse needs, in practice, to be tested at his top speed. He must have
the occasional fast mile to fit him for a real occasion. The mind
requires to be tasked. The faculties ought then to be alert. The need is
of "sinewy thinking." Gird up the loins of the mind. Pull yourself
together. We read of One who, as he prayed, sweat. Study and have it
over. Dawdling over a newspaper is the arch enemy of all this. When one
reads he ought to read with attention. If, by this power, we throw our
whole minds upon an important subject, we make it a prompt and easy
matter of recollection. Genius is really intensity of thought, feeling,
emotion, activity. All the faculties are in earnest. "A man is not
educated, till he has the ability to summon, in case of emergency," said
Webster, "all his mental power in vigorous exercise to effect his
object." The great gain is in the undivided, intense mental power of
application. Be all there. Play hard. To spend two hours on a lesson
that could better be done in one is a suicidal process. The greatest
benefit of study is the trained power to concentrate the faculties. What
one sees, he ought to see strongly. The importance of this matter lies
in the fact, that the habits which a student acquires while pursuing his
studies, generally adhere to him through life.

If I could begin again, I would give my chief attention to disciplinary
study. If a person has a fair library, as every man and woman should
have, he would acquire information, daily, his life long. While a
student, his aim should be discipline. It is a vice for him to spend so
much time over fugitive ephemeral literature which is like the grass, in
the morning it flourisheth, in the evening it withereth. After hard
work, skimming over such gossipy literature as one finds in the papers
may restore tone to the mind but it is not to be classed as reading, but
as recreation. Its effect dies with the day that gave it birth.

Of all my studies, I have rejoiced most in the discipline acquired by
the study of Latin. If I could go back and acquire early a classical
enthusiasm I would make myself sure of the educational passion.

_Fortune Keeps Her Own Secrets_

There is a certain fluency of speech, fertility of expedient and power
of application which a student should cultivate for what Lord Coke
called the "occasion sudden." The appeal to students to aim at good
public speaking, while in college, and to awaken then and there, the
active powers of the soul, is based upon two observations: that Albert
Beveridge like recent orators showed his gait while still in his
university, and that such gifts are not ideal but practical and not
studied merely for their own sake but because of their connection with
our civil liberty. To attain an end so indispensable if, in my studies,
I was worked out to my limit, I would incline to the discussion of
questions that would not send me to the library but into the open air,
themes on which I could prepare myself during a stroll, subjects that I
could stick in the corner of a mirror to formulate while I shaved.

Why did not the negroes do more to help secure their own emancipation?

Can a man change his disposition?

Why do ministers that do not believe in the inspiration of the Bible use
a text? A man will take a text and explain it away. Why did he choose

Is it the brain or the soul that does the thinking? Is our body the
agent or is it a living spirit that uses the organisms? Is it the
imagination whose wings uplift or am I at the center of the circle of my
faculties making use of them?

Is there any causal relation between justice and victory in arms?

_Some Social Features_

This student life establishes certain relationships both with the
institution, also with individuals which are felt to be the choicest
holding of a man's whole later life. The topaz of Ethiopia shall not
equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. Here is a strong
illustration of how deep and enduring are the attachments of an eager
hearted boy. They are more ardent perhaps than they should have been,
but there they are, and the college gains thus a token of attachment
and tender recollection of unreturnable youth. The most exquisite, the
most unforeseen, the most compensative feature of my life has been, my
personal friendship with the professors. Some of them I admired
extravagantly. Silhouetted upon my memory for all time is my first sight
of Professor Leonard F. Parker. I remember a particular day when we
gathered somewhat early for a Sabbath service. Some of us who were to be
his pupils had no acquaintance with him even by sight. Assuming that the
leading scholar of the place would attend the meeting it was for us a
question of identification. Soon there came a man in the succession not
a farmer, possibly a resident clergyman, and some of us thought it might
be he. But something within me said "Query." I tried to make it into the

A good man doubtless, but I wanted to see something in this worshiper
that was not in him. He did not fill the picture. He did not make me
say, It is enough. Soon there came a man who needed no badge, no
signature, no guarantee. His face was an index of him. All of us joined
in a common feeling of relief. We felt his presence. We knew that this
was the man. The bearing of a professional man in those days was more
sedate than now, occasioned by what he thought to be due to his
professorship. He looked upon his office as a high and sacred calling,
and it met all the ends of his ambition if he could be, not teaching
students, but educating men and women. It is said of the Roman
conquerors that they were so used to victory that they carried on their
faces the secret of an imperial people who knew not defeat.

"_Fixing Up_"

There was an obvious neatness about him and a perfection of dress, which
usually requires an absence of anything which draws attention to itself.
He excelled all men whom I have ever known in the teaching profession
for enkindling among his pupils an ardent zeal in their literary
pursuits. A great personal force was needed in those days to teach
disciplinary studies only, in an effective manner, and to dominate the
industrial spirit and the trade spirit by those classical enthusiasms
which were the joy and ornament of his youth. Mercantilism was unbridled
in the general community, yet it is an acknowledged fact, that at the
beginning the responsibility of the teacher has much to do with the
success of the school. No teaching is worth much without enthusiasm, and
enthusiasm is generated by concentrating interest at a focal point. One
cannot teach for more than he is.

A little history is worth a great deal of opinion. By his unusual gifts,
by his out-reaching personal sympathies, by the individual impress of a
great teacher, many of his pupils became interested through him in the
classics. Let him be judged by his product. I never hear President Main
in one of those vigorous, fine-phrased, official statements, in language
impressive, copious and beautiful, the outward sign of an inward grace,
making a sort of an Iliad out of a routine college president's report,
without saying to myself and to others,--That power of statement,
discipline of mind, felicity of speech, the administration itself, if
you please, are the fruitage of patient discipline acquired in his early
and long study of Greek. Alexander of Macedon used to say that he owed
his life to his father, but to his teacher, Aristotle, a greater debt,
for it was that philosopher who taught him how to make the most of life.
While the ability to teach is a treasure committed to earthly vessels,
some are of finer clay than others.

_He Had no Pet Virtue_

The Professor was a natural leader, full of vision and initiative, whose
heart was in his work, and the old college impulse never left him, and
he represents a part of what has given a worthy name and character to
the college. A man gets to do what he is fitted to do. I do not believe
he will be allowed to come back from the other world to this but he will
hardly know what to do with himself when separated from those
interesting associations on which so much of his happiness depended. A
father or mother or both would come to town, wander about the place,
invariably in company with the object of their affection. These parents
are not first of all astronomical, or philosophical, or mathematical,
they are human, and they are not there to hear about the new water-works
or the freshly paved streets, or the perfect miracle of an artificial
lake. They are there because their treasure is, and a kind word spoken
to them about their young hopeful is like a spark of fire upon tinder.
These folks used to wait about the doors and walk the streets and hope
to throw themselves in the Professor's way, with the idea that he would
talk with them a little about their scion. I was once driving the
distance between two railroads and a dark night and a continuous
downpour of rain settled drearily upon me, and I was forced to stop at
random at a farm house, and beg for entertainment. Disposing of my case
in a few words, the family resumed its talk relative to a letter they
had received from the Professor about their descendant in whom were
centered great expectations. And when they had said everything that
could be said, someone, as if by accident, would pull a string and let
loose again the flood of talk about that letter. Someone, coming in, for
a moment, out of the storm, would divert the attention, and then they
would apply the flail again to that letter and thrash out some further
kernels of wheat that they had not at first noticed. The family, of
course, found out that I knew the Professor, and so, although I was to
start in the morning while it was still dark, the mother was
unexpectedly up, and had the table so spread, that she could at once sit
down, when I did, and talk over her happiness and the rewards of her
self-sacrifice in having a boy at college. She had hoped and believed
all that had been written, and yet it was a great comfort to have the
professor say it.

_A Disposition to Build Tabernacles_

He lived close to the people. When Christian, in the Pilgrim's Progress,
found himself in the City of Destruction, he departed speedily out of
it, whereas our professor would consider if the situation was
remediless. I was present when he, having given the best of his life to
the college, under the weight of his years, resigned. It was touching,
as a great American author has pointed out, to see the new attitude that
the community had taken toward him, putting him into a new relationship
and into a new atmosphere, in which it was recognized that he was
undeniably and irresistibly older than he had been. People had hardly
thought that he was not a permanent feature. The evidences of
Christianity stand very much in facts. I point to the fact of his
consistent fruitful life and to the fact of his triumphant peaceful
death. They make a fresh volume on the evidences of Christianity. I have
heard of a man who had one foot in the grave, but here was a man who had
one foot in heaven. Dear friend, and my father's friend, friend of my
youth, and all my later years, teacher, counselor, encourager, model of
my student life, to whom my heart was knit in all the ardor of the first
enthusiasm over the idea of going to college, to whom my obligations are
beyond computation, Thou hast thyself gone to sit at the feet of the
Great Teacher.



I can thankfully say that I have been on earth twice, once walking on
air, when I graduated from college, and again when I, walking across the
College campus, with heart lifted up, tenderly recalling the past, saw
the jejune young hopeful that I used to be and sat down with him under a
birch, the queen of trees,--many savage nations worship trees,--and
debated for an hour with this young blonde, that I met, that I used to
be, this question, Which is better for the person graduating, the
opportunities which were lined up, reaching out their hands to us, that
we had, or the greater academic advantages which the students now enjoy.
I could not seem to make him see that the present advantages develop
opportunities which are quite as acceptable and fruitful as those that
in early days came to us ready-made.

_The Old and New_

Discussion over, this rather immature youngster, that I met, that I used
to be, rising up, I getting up, went down town, or perhaps more
properly, he went down town and I went with him. He found a man, I did
not so easily recognize, that was Sophomoric at about the same period
that he was and I experienced a bad quarter of an hour. The situation
had in it an uncomfortable pinch. I became self-conscious. I found
myself stammering and protesting the past. We had come upon a tall,
sparsely-haired, gray-bearded bent figure, with a smooth shiny head,
with furrows in his cheeks and forehead, having evidently, as Webster so
well said, come down to us from another generation. I knew that he was
of my age but I never dreamed that I was of his. This callow stripling
then started to show us around, and unlike Elihu, in the days of Job,
who apologized for showing his opinion, seeing he was so young, asserted
that once we were led by the clergy, then by lawyers, then by business
men, but that now everything pointed to a great revival of the college
and its influence in affairs. Then he stood right out apart and began to
plaster praise on his own institution. I thought that the young man
gestured too much, and I told him so, but he dramatically with open
mouthed vehemence of adoration told of her spirit, her fellowship. I
tried to use the soft pedal, suggesting that perhaps he had too many
exciting topics to discuss thus in public, and that we might later
adjourn to a restaurant where we could make an afternoon of it. But he
was in high spirits and made his talk like a young man who had the world
at an advantage. It was June in his personal history and the top tide of
his youthful happiness. That part of his existence was so satisfactory
to him that he liked to dwell upon it.

_Words Pale and Inadequate_

I kept noticing that I was much more interesting to this unripe young
sprig, who, I thought, had much to learn, and whose mind seemed like an
unweeded garden, than he was even to me, for I had seen him before,
while I had for him all the interest that is excited by a relic,
something designed by Providence to arrest attention, like those that
after a great convulsion of nature came out of their graves and went
into the city and appeared unto many.

Then this sappy, beardless representative of the rising generation that
I met, that I used to be, with the Aurora-spirit, had the effrontery to
ask me how it happened that a man had but one youth and then came age
and infirmity, while a college, like a nation, seems under favorable
administration to have a re-birth and a renewal of the vitality of youth
twice or even thrice. I thought that the excess of his knowledge was too
much for him and that he was cross examining me, and so side-stepping
the main issue, I stammered out something about the excessive beauty of
the classic town with embowered streets and sunny gardens, a sort of a
metropolis of education, the very capital of a little republic of

There seemed to be equality in all the competitions for the prizes of
student life, with no favors and yet no privilege denied. There was fair
play and all good feeling, with no caste of wealth, and no apology for
the laggard. Even when whipping up a little I flagged miserably in all
the conversation. This lad, in his leading strings, was an incomparable
gossip. I felt that he had a kind of genius for picking up news. Anyway
he used great liberality in the diffusion of it. He was I thought a
charitable reporter. While he had breathed the classic atmosphere of the
place, yet all the books he had to read had been dumped there, like a
sort of terminal moraine. For scholars today the whole stock would be
not only a curiosity, but a relic, being little else than folios on
serious subjects. They were books that must be reverenced, as members of
the eldest liturgical church would reverence the bones of the blessed
martyrs. I inquired, Do you participate in athletics? Yes, by dividing
cord wood into stove lengths, toying with the spade, coquetting with big
bundles of grain. Golf and basket ball were not in his day introduced
into the college curriculum. I thought he was flippant. I felt that
comparisons were odious, as some one must suffer when a comparison is
instituted. So I said with a good deal of voice, My Friend, hear me, I
am older than thou. Your question shows what your diploma cannot cover
nor absolve. Nobody thinks that you lack courage. I wish now that you
would try and be polite.

"_Far Away and Long Ago_"

So far from gratifying this wish, in another connection he put it right
up to me, that I was looking around with complaisance, as though it was
a college of this present size and appearance that I graduated from, but
that such was not the historic fact. It did not seem nice in the
stripling to move right out in the direction of ocular demonstration,
and make particular inquiry of me about the library and chapel and
training field and gymnasium that I used in that college that I
graduated from. His very impudence made him interesting to me. But I
wished he would cultivate more repose and serenity. He had sense enough
to know better but his resources in that direction were not immediately

As we were looking around I observed that this young tyro was all the
time tipping his hat and bowing and scraping as often as a pretty face
came within the horizon, and so I knew that there was a way I could
divert his remarks from poor me, and that was to ask him outright about
the girls. I was astonished that I had not named them to the fledgling
before. I was amazed that I was capable of passing them by so long. He
said that there was nothing like them, that the air was favorable to
their elegance and charm, that there was no place of its size in that
state or in any other that could show fairer specimens of the various
kinds of feminine attractiveness. But in his talk on the comeliness of
the young ladies I noticed that he quoted from an actress who seems to
have said that three things are necessary for success on the stage,
vivacity, ability and beauty, and I told him that I could not be too
thankful that the stage of practical life did not insist on these rigid

_Stepping Stones in Recent History_

It was a holiday within a holiday to traverse the town with this
lambkin. I came to the right place to squarely meet him. Here they
introduce people to themselves. This stripling that I used to be seemed
bent on hiring a horse and carriage to show me about. That was his only
idea of hospitality. On the best streets in town, he did not have far to
go, the livery stables were as convenient to the homes of the people as
the school-houses and churches. A very convenient location was near the
public library. His fear was that all the horses would be already taken
as there were a good many visitors in town. If the high steppers were
out we would find their keepers in more or less rickety arm chairs
tilted back against the side of a wall awaiting their return.

There are two panels placed side by side in the old palace at Potsdam.
The left contains Napoleon refusing the queenly Louise favorable terms
of peace at Tilsit, the right contains the nephew of that Napoleon
receiving notoriously hard terms from the son of the beautiful Louise at
Sedan. Entire shifts in history are vividly seen in companion pictures.
On the left is a picture of the horse with the caption, The Greatest
Pleasure-giver to Man. On the right is the picture of a Ford. All that a
man hath will he give in exchange for an automobile. The left exhibits
what God made, the right, what man made. No one living in the city will
look at a horse. He now shows that he feels that he is something left
over. Survey the specimens that remain, low-headed, tail-switching,
creatures, with an indolent air, shuffling gait, abject, pitiable
objects with mis-shapen, stumbling legs in front. No one doubts but that
it takes all day to go anywhere and return with these antique, stunted,
gaunt-ribbed, swollen-jointed, knock-kneed, piteous-eyed creatures that
now survive. Knowing the pleasure that young people once had in horses
and ponies, it seems odd to find that the rising generation has
almost forgotten their existence.


_Worthy of Unstinted Praise_

But they had a fine history. Stonewall Jackson, the hero of the flank
movement, gained his great victories and his great reputation by the
celerity of his movements, made possible by the familiarity of
Southerners with horses. When pressed in battle the Russians could fall
back sullenly and the Japanese unfamiliar with horses could not strike
their flank nor cut off their retreat. The mastery of nations has
sometimes come from the possession of horses. The amazing spread of
Mohammedanism came from the same sort of ownership. The horse gave to
Paul Revere and to Phil Sheridan their place in history. He was in their
day the greatest factor in strategy and surprise. He is docile,
affectionate, and capable of a deep and lasting attachment. He has a
real craving for human notice. He dislikes to be left in a solitary
position. Essentially by his very nature he must love something. It
touches the heart to have a horse reach out his fore foot and begin to
paw until his master assures him that he recognizes him. This is what
the horse likes. I confess to a feeling of pride when, leaving him
untied at the door, I have gone into a house and have heard him whinny
for me to return when he might have gone off and left me. Although there
were other persons all about he would neigh at my approach and turn his
well-shaped head, full of character, with clear intelligent eyes of the
speaking kind, toward me. Such a warm-blooded sensitive horse will
always exhibit in ways of his own the friendly relations that exist
between us.

_Time Tries All Things_

On revisiting the earth it is found that the owner of a high-stepper,
threatened with speed, can now only lead a shame-faced kind of
existence. If out in the daylight he feels like apologizing to every one
he meets. This man used to electrify the street with his tallyho coach
crowded with gaily dressed guests accompanied by a footman and a
trumpeter, with a hitch of four noble grays showing by their arched
necks and high knee action that they felt pride in belonging to a rich
man. As in the case of the bicycle, the fashion changed abruptly. He had
to load a lot of portable property into the carriage to get some poor
relation to take the outfit for a gift. I find that a person can now buy
a discarded silver-mounted harness for the cost of a halter and that the
people today like an upholstered life. Gasoline spelled the doom of the
horse and it must be said now that Dobbin's future never looked so

There are four new experiences for which no description ever adequately
prepares us, the view of a volcano in violent eruption, a visit to the
home of cliff dwellers (prehistoric peoples who left their homes just as
they used them), a walk on a moving glacier, and the first survey of the
Grand Canyon. I was lifted off my feet by discovering, when talking with
that college youngster and comparing things closely, that the five
senses--sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch--have had another added
to them. Each of those we named over uses a distinctive organ. The
surface of the whole body contributes to the sense of touch. These are
pointed out as the receiving agents of the mind which keeps her hidden
seat and receives communication from the distant provinces of her
empire. They put us in possession of just the information needed
concerning external things. On revisiting the earth it is awakening to
engage in controversy with the young scion of the college that I used to
be, touching learning's last word. He believed that we had all the
possible senses defined and numbered like the fingers on the hand and
now comes the new sense of balance having the exact function we have
been naming. I remember the moment and the place where I was made
conscious of this sixth sense. I did not learn it. I had it. I had
bought a bicycle. I had no teacher. I was sitting on it in the hall
giving the animal a little gentle exercise. "Keep your balance. Employ
what sense you have; you do not need to acquire it, use it." It is so
with aviators. We call them bird men. They were born, like birds, with a
certain innate sense of equilibrium. Birds find out when to go north and
to go south and how to build and line their own nests and where to find
their food and how to maintain themselves in the air. All this is in
them. Nature takes care of that. A small child, learning to walk, shows
that he has an instinctive faculty of adjustment and equipoise and tries
early to get his little legs to support his position. An untutored lad
when mounted thinks he is riding a horse, whereas the quadruped, knowing
at once that the boy does not know anything about his business, allows
him to simply balance himself while he gives him a ride. The boy voyages
like an unballasted ship. He does not acquire a new sense; he follows
his intuitions and all is well. A seed of grain would not differ from a
dust speck or tiny pebble except for what it is, but it is yet to
manifest by its inherent vitality. You would not know, looking at a boy,
that he has this instinct of balance, but he has and he will find it and
use it. As the pilgrim with his staff wends his way to Mecca, so I went
to that place to meet that particular stripling. He was the youngster
that was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found. I wanted to
stay beside him much longer. His heart was young. He was fresh for his

_The World a Wheel_

The skeleton of a horse is given in an automobile catalogue. He is
depicted as a fossil and the statement is made, These animals were used
until about the year 1900. Every man, woman, and child in the state of
South Dakota could be seated at one time in the automobiles owned by the
people of that one state. Eighty per cent of those cars have been bought
in the last two years. It seems like flying or ballooning after jolting
for years in a heavy farm wagon, and what miles they were! The Dutch are
economical of money, but have been very profuse of time. Their
conveyances by sea or land have been slow and "Dutch speed" has grown
into a proverb for tardiness, but now, with scarfs over their heads,
Dutch women loll in the back seats of a Pierce-Arrow with, not the
father, but a son, in the family to drive. While in my earlier life I
had never dodged an automobile and I have never been injured by one
except in my disposition, we are all unspeakably indebted to them for
getting people out-of-doors and for contributing more to the temperance
reformation than all the lectures in Christendom. The automobile
enforces the same abstinence upon the people that the railroads require
of engineers. Automobiles plainly show that the only place for saloons
is that place Rev. William A. Sunday so graphically describes, and while
our streets do not yet come up to the requirements of the boulevards of
the New Jerusalem as described by St. John, yet we are done with those
crossings at the street corners made up of granite stringers. Carriages
had worn down the softer material just before and just after the granite
crossings, so that if a person rode rapidly length-wise of the street he
would jolt and bite his tongue at every intersection. These depressions
in the road were called "Thank you, marms," because persons in passing
each corner would forcibly be made to bow their heads, as if in
expression of gratitude, to some imagined object. Another transformation
has overtaken the community, changing its general appearance in some
cases for the better, almost beyond recognition.

_Pigs is Pigs_

All barns in the towns are upon the market and dealers in lumber have
opened a second-hand department where they dispose of what is left of
the barns to farmers for the construction of granaries. Back to the farm
applies now even to lumber. The horse, the cow, and the pig once formed
a part of the family circle and how kindly and carefully were they
provided for. The execrable back alley was conducted on the pig-sty
basis. How slatternly the old back alley fence would look now that the
parking system is adopted by neighbors. In earlier days the sumptuous
houses were fenced or hedged always. After the old English idea the
grounds were private. It remains now to have fences removed among
denominations. They stand for the old time privacy and exclusiveness
that once prevailed in business. Down south they forced business out
into the open, requiring by ordinance that all employees shall be paid
in the public square. The parking system proceeds upon the principle
that a resident owes something to the town. The present ideal is to
induce people not to shut the blinds or draw the shades when the house
is lighted but to see in the evening how far each little candle can
throw its beams.



At the sight of the Eternal City, Luther prostrated himself and
exclaimed,--Holy Rome, I salute thee. A graduate of Andover, on
approaching the Sacred Hill, feels a disposition to manifest a like
deference. Before him rises the hallowed ground. Andover is not large
but there are those who love her. She was always a good mother to me.
Andover on the map you can cover with your thumb, but you cannot so
cover Andover. Its vital expansive influence has gone out through all
the world and its words to the end of it. In an outburst of passionate
eloquence, Mr. Webster once exclaimed, "What has America given to the
world? It has given to the world the character of Washington." What has
Andover given to the world? There is the East. There is India. There is
our Western coast, where rolls the Oregon. There are our colleges and
churches at home and over seas. In these she has given the world
immortal names that were not born to die. It is said that no man now
living can read even the alphabets of all the languages through which
her sons have sought to interpret the Word of God to the world. Think
the graduates of Andover out of it at that time, and sacred literature
and religious results would drop immeasurably below their actual
attainments. Andover, the very name is beautiful, especially when you
look at it in the light of the old days. Its memories are delightful.
There I sat at the feet of my own Gamaliel.

_The Land We Love_

It is impossible that any institution living or dead, in this country or
any other, ever gained a firmer hold on the affections of her alumni. If
love is the greatest thing in the world, Andover had it in a sort of
double measure. With some knowledge of the whole field I do not know of
any other place that so takes hold of its students on their affectional
side. To do this, all experience teaches that a place must not be too
large. A country home grows tendrils around a man's heart that a house
numbered with others, in a uniformly brick-faced block, fails to do. A
thoroughly cultivated or built-up country is much less beloved by its
people than an open one that is close to nature. A strictly fenced
locality where all surfaces are exclusively appropriated, leaving only
the dusty highways to the people, does not gain the attachment that we
all feel for Andover, beautiful for situation. When the Creator
prepared the Seminary grounds on that crowning elevation he left little
for the hand of man to do in the way of improvement. In my day, the oak
tree was still standing into which Dr. Pearson climbed to locate
buildings, trace the walks and indicate the settings for trees. Being
located in a county that has more people in it than the entire state of
Vermont and four times as much wealth, a county of cities, it has
afforded great opportunity for students to get experience in pulpit work
and the incidental wherewithal. It gave me no trouble or inconvenience
the last year of my studies to earn eight hundred dollars. Most students
on reaching Andover begin, I began like the rest, by occupying the
little Union Chapel on the slope of the Blue Hill in Readville, on the
edge of Hyde Park. The honorarium was five dollars, and the fares from
Boston. In that pulpit, that has meant so much to under-graduates,
Phillips Brooks preached his last sermon. Rev. Samuel F. Smith, author
of America, was on his way to preach there when death overtook him and
arrested his journey.

_Lines Cast in Pleasant Places_

When I sing America I think of Andover. She is what S. F. Smith thought
of, for in a nature stroke, writing the words in Andover, he sings, "I
love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills," just as
Whittier so simply depicts other delightful features of Essex County
which were indelibly impressed upon the sensitive plate of his brain. We
discern the scenery behind the words. This the Swiss heart does when it
is pathetically affected in hearing, in music, as if upon bells, "The
return of the Cows." There never has been a nation without patriotism.
There never has been a people without a God. The author of the hymn so
much used in our great revival of national feeling was in Andover to
study theology and produced our most common expression of patriotism.
Andover was well born. She has beauty in her own right. This is evident
since the first time she sat for her picture. My relations have been
such, that it falls to me at times, having visitors from a remote part
of the land, to entertain them and to show them the East. For typical
New England towns I have usually taken them to Plymouth, Concord and
Andover. These three. But in the matter of a large fairly well-trained
and useful progeny, the greatest of these is Andover. Dr. Henry M.
Storrs used to style the place, the mother of his mind.

_Andover is Different_

It is Acadian. In other residential localities it is their custom not to
point out any celebrities except millionaires. Everything in the
community is leveled to its cash basis and a habit of doing it is
ingrained, and unconsciously money slips into the conversation and out
of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaks. But in Andover names do
not stand just for mere crude wealth. The homes of the professors were
never handled as a commercial proposition. Everything was not computed
in terms of bankable wealth. Prosperity was only one word, another was
welfare. That noun of all nouns, dollar, was not so often heard as the
name Andover. The teaching force is as uncommercialised as Agassiz,
Lafayette, or John Brown. Their wealth is their learning and their
character. "Now how much is he worth?" He is worth a lot to his pupils.
Here is a community which every member belongs to with a conscious
pleasure and pride. All the ideals bounded by the dollar are replaced.
She had an entirely different code of values, which were not pecuniary.

_Where Every Prospect Pleases_

I felt that I was exalted to heaven in point of privilege to be there at
all. Here I had my first view of acres of girls. At the end of the study
hours they would throng through the gates of the Abbott Female
Seminary--"The Fem Sem"--and spread out over the town, young, joyous,
carefree, fresh-faced, handsomely dressed. It was a delight to see them

    "The hill of Zion yields
    A thousand sacred sweets
    Before we reach the Heavenly fields
    Or walk the golden streets."

So many of the books in the library with which I was most familiar, my
father's, were published at Warren F. Draper's in Andover that on
reaching the town, which my imagination had always placed in Class A, I
sent my baggage to the Mansion House that I might not deny myself two
things, to go on foot with much feeling up the long hill, also to get a
first preliminary glimpse of Draper's. Could so much that is good come
out of that Nazareth? It was a travesty on my expectation. I was looking
for a book store like Appletons' or Revell's, or Harpers'. When my
father graduated, there were thirty different parts on the Commencement
programme and I was looking for things on an immense scale like that.

_A World of Tender Memories_

Andover develops the "We" feeling. The students constitute a
brotherhood, while with the years the word grew greatly yet it never
outgrew its original manifestation. That little word We is the talisman
that awakes the consciousness that there must be sympathy, fellowship
and co-operation among students, among those in the same high calling
between pastor and people, as there must be for good results between
teacher and pupil, between physician and patient. The Seminary gave to
us that soul of kindred, which so few understand. It is an essence which
perfumes life. Its influence is nothing less to me than sacred, and the
benefit received is beyond any estimate I compute. In anticipation of a
recent particular visit to that shrine of the heart, for no other
purpose than to express my admiration amounting even to reverence, also
my indebtedness, to that far famed and justly distinguished seat of
learning, I arranged with that useful, unselfish, helpful resident,
Charles C. Carpenter, that we should canvass together the sacred
precincts. Among holy places none is holier than this. My errand there
was to see a great deal and to feel a great deal. I bow with deep
veneration at the remembrance of each one of the ornaments of the place.
We walked about among the friends whom we had known who were resting in
God's acre. The inscriptions made for us a book of remembrance. Some
personality lingered about the most far-away name. We lingered long
where sleep the great who made themselves a record among the mighties.
No other spot in the land, of equal space, contains the dust of so much
eminence. By one of the ironies of history those who differed most,
where the contention was so sharp between them, like Barnabas and Paul,
that they departed asunder, one from the other, come close together in
their burial.

_Andover's Crowning Glory_

When Oliver Alden Taylor, late of Manchester, was graduating from Union
College his biographer says:[1] "We find him deliberating where he
should resort for his theological education. His thoughts were turned
toward Andover, but he says, 'I am afraid of the dislike of elegant
speaking which is said to characterize the faculty.' He was reassured
however with very faint praise, for he writes, 'Dr. Nott tells me that
Andover is not opposed to good speaking, though the graduates are too
generally poor speakers.'" We wish that he could have heard Richard
Salter Storrs, father and son, Horace Hutchinson, Leonard Swain, George
Leon Walker, or either of the brothers, Walter M. or John Henry Barrows,
or as he was speaking of the faculty, Professor Park, or his very close
second, a very different man but highly distinguished for brilliant
uniform work, Austin Phelps.

[Footnote 1: Page 104.]

_A Man of Noble Parts_

While in the Himalaya Mountains they have many exalted peaks, still
there is one that towers above the rest, Mt. Everest, the highest
ascertained point on the surface of the globe. So at Andover there was
a high general range of intellect, yet there existed one master mind
that dominated the whole sphere. The pulpit was his throne. I had never
seen a man take so high a position on the mount of God as Professor
Edwards A. Park, at the crest of his popularity and power, did as he
rose to his own high level in his masterpiece, the Judas sermon. I
remember my delight and wonder. He magnetized his audience. I was
greatly drawn to him. The heart of the congregation touches his. Deep
calleth unto deep. There are those who testify that he became the first
vigorous intellectual presence they ever encountered, and they gained
much from the relation to so great a man. Of larger than ordinary mould,
I suppose no real credit or desert fell to him for rising to his work
like a giant refreshed, any more than belonged to Goliath for wielding a
spear like a weaver's beam in his mighty hand instead of a weapon of
ordinary size. He was one of those rare men who are scarcely ever
duplicated. He was not classed with any one in his own or in previous or
in subsequent times. His appeal was such that one's own moral sense
confirmed all his teachings. The mark of talent is to do easily what is
difficult for others. His imposing almost majestic presence, his
powerful and brilliant intellect, his great learning, his genius, his
uncommon gift of eloquence, his fervor, I do not now describe, after my
memory of it, which shines to me like a star, but according to my idea
cf what now it will seem to a stranger. It is impossible to reproduce
his work in cold type. To attempt it is to spoil it. When we have seen
him reported verbatim--that was not his sermon, only its ghost, its
shade, its tenantless remains. The air about him became electric as he,
having located Judas for a time nearly in front of him, a little to the
right, dealt with him as one of the foes of the household. He considered
his case past praying for. After he had his picture well drawn he put on
more color and the moment he had him well blacked, with sudden great
dramatic effect he swung a perfectly knock-out gesture, saying, "Woe to
that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man
if he had never been born." It needs the Sinai voice to get the effect.

_A Soul Melted Into a Voice_

Passion, unabated emotion pervaded the great effort from the beginning
to the end of the masterpiece. Every sentence, every word had been
pruned of every ineffective syllable, like changing "penetrate" to the
word of one syllable, "pierce". Every idea went to its mark like a
bullet. There was not a cold or weak passage in it. In preparing his
direct discourse he did not stick a stake and cart material to it. His
great thoughts were not drawn from without but from his subject which
he fathomed. He had depth, as someone said, for elephants to swim in
and places for lambs to wade. He seemed from the first to be starting a
great offensive. I took occasionally great delight in a few moments of
his company and I always have congratulated myself that I lived for
three years in the same town, and at the same time with so illustrious a

       *       *       *       *       *

He is one of the stars, a planet I should say, in the firmament of the
pulpit. "Go and feel his power" I used to say; no one can describe it.
Everything seemed to conspire to make my life exceptionally happy and
fortunate at Andover, knowing him at the zenith of his glory. Professor
Park's work had the element of nicety about it. It was fascinating. We
were spell-bound, lost in admiration, even in amazement. His elegance in
diction would make one's sense of beauty ache. "Honor is the substance
of my story," said the imposing, uplifting man starting on his moving
recital, told in his unique, felicitous style, with utterance broken by
emotion, of the life and death of Miss McKeen of Abbott Academy, of
whose board of trustees he had been president for thirty years. That
trinity of qualities, wisdom, eloquence, and pathos, swept everything.
Rhetoric cannot be shut up in a book. Its play of words, even in a
sympathetic auditory, and among vibrant hearers, while it sparkles,



Ernest Renan tells us of the vanished city Is, which, years ago,
disappeared below the waves. Up from those depths, fishermen say, that
on calm summer nights they can hear the bells chiming. In my heart is a
cherished Is. As the years rise and fall I love to hear the harmonies
that float to me from its past. Distance does not dissipate the gentle
sounds and they come to me like echoes from another life. At that
enchanted time I met my heart's ideal and have been wondering ever since
how it happened, that on seeing a certain face, it seems to you
distinctive, set apart from all others. Is it familiar, because you have
seen it before, or is it impressed on you, because it is an expression
of your intuitive sense of what suits you, and what you like and what
you want? The expression, love at first sight, would be intelligible
enough if it was only finished with the words, when one's dream comes
true. When it materializes it is of course all at once. A person busy
with his profession, going along happily and more or less prosperously,
meeting people, judging young folks, almost unconsciously forms an ideal
of face, figure, graciousness, type, temperament, intelligence. This is
the product of half a dozen years. The work of choosing, so far as he is
concerned, is all done. His mind is made up. His idea is clearly
defined. Jesse made Eliab pass before Samuel and the Lord said, "Look
not on his countenance nor on his stature." Then Jesse called Abinadab,
then Shammah, and seven passed in review, when David came along, who was
ruddy and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to,
"That's the one. This is he." First there is an image in the mind, and
when the counterpart appears, instantly, of course, one recognizes it.
Samuel did not shirk any real question nor did he make up his mind
before he had any mind to make up. There was a choice to be made and he
had come to a conclusion so far as he was concerned, and expressed
himself at the earliest moment, without being irresolute or vacillating,
which is an abomination when a social choice is to be made.

_First View of Intimate Friends_

There is in us a tendency to selection and preference of one human being
before all others. This action of the heart is forceful and even almost
irresistible to us and yet may not accord with other persons' ideas of
appropriateness. This strange preference, in its early stages, and in
its strength and duration, is nature's greatest sidelight upon our
individuality. It is entertaining to see what people pass right by and
then to see what they choose. It distinguishes itself most at the
further end of a long life and seems to have an unfading quality which
shows that it is nature itself. This tendency to selection affords
people the strongest argument against Dr. Johnson's position that all
marriages would be better made if they were arranged by the Lord
Chancellor. Also against that multitude of students, of the subject and
writers, who show that marriages seem best, last best, and are best for
a fact, when the parties themselves have little to do in bringing them
about, when all such matters are left to parents and others as in the
royal families who rest everything on the pure merits of the case.

In waking hours, in reveries, and in dreams, pictures had been painted
on the fancy, and now the lenses were given, through which they could be
viewed. A vague and indistinct idea had now taken a form. It was very
unromantic, but it seemed the expression of an intuition. It was like an
acquaintance, accidentally met at the way-side. There seemed to be a
susceptibility hid away, hitherto kept dormant, that the slightest cause
seemed to magnetize.

_Cupid's Marksmanship_

However this may be, there is such instinctive insight in the human
heart, that we often form our opinion, almost instantaneously, and such
impressions seldom change and they are not often wrong. To notice
anything, so casual, sounds like an imprudence and yet it is almost a
revelation. It seems as if we were but renewing the relations of a
previous existence. Some one, from this, goes on to inquire, What will
the doubters of impressions do with a fact like this? Almost everyone
has experienced something similar. In this house, we often speak of our
instant meeting, our introduction, and the destinies which were made to
swing on such a chance acquaintance. It wanted not a word, not a hint,
for within was the consciousness of what was to be. The problem was
solved. My foreshadowing was realized. If a person is looking for a
lesson in Providence, here it is. I could plainly see how I had been led
along. "Come live with me." The irrevocable yoke of life was on us. The
mysteries of Providence are felt in the coincidence of two paths over
surfaces so widely apart. We are astounded at this miracle of meeting. A
breath, a lifting of the hand, an inconceivably small intervention would
have diverted the attention of either of us. There, too, is the miracle
of hinging so much of destiny and of happiness on so small an occasion,
that might easily have been no occasion at all. It is like taking
letters out of the alphabet. The art is in placing them side by side in
such a way as to make words. Use no skill of location and the
arrangement into which they have fallen is inappropriate and
unfortunate. Standing apart the letters are meaningless. Jumbled or
jarred together the chances are very much against their having any
significance, but when brought to their final position, by what they
spell together, they are read of all men with approbation. The first
time that Mr. Paul R. George of Concord, N. H., met the young lady that
became his wife he felt a little click in the neighborhood of his heart.
Now about this "click" to which so many persons bear witness. Men are
great imitators. They follow a crowd. But a hit duck flutters the water.
It is like the late selective draft: a man is touched; he attempts no
evasion; he knows he was selected and comes promptly forward and puts on
the uniform. The way the mind receives this impress, is noticeable in
the further fact that if Paul R. George had been abroad, and the meeting
had been so casual that he received no introduction, it would have been
permanent just the same. The heart never loses anything. Touch the right
string later and the impression is sure to be reproduced. All that is
peculiar about Mr. George's case is his confession. We know that
matrimony is either heaven-made or done in purgatory. The issue seems
too important to turn once for all on the original early choice of an
inexperienced person. An individual is not thus forced to choose once
for all in determining what college he will take. He may choose Williams
and change to Dartmouth. Nor is it an unchangeable choice on entering
business. He may begin with law and change to politics or he may incline
to manufacturing and take to banking. If, however, he enters the
matrimonial field, having put his hand to the plow, there is no turning
around nor looking back.

_Remember Lot's Wife_

There are, however, some good rules for an individual to follow. One,
for example, would be, to take a girl that was a favorite with other
girls. Another to be uninfluenced in your choice by dowry. The question
before the house is matrimony, not money making. Acquire lucre by
another process. Too much is at stake to be moved now by thirty pieces
of silver. The young man was worthy of all admiration who on his wedding
trip asked the bride how much of a dot she had left after paying for her
trousseau. She said, "Half a dollar." "Well," he said, "heave it over
into the canal and let us make an even start." I can better understand
how a girl could be induced to shy a silver coin into the canal than
how she could be reconciled to parting with such a name as she sometimes
must drop. Here is a girl just reported engaged to a soldier. Her name
was Priscilla Weymouth Alden, which tells not only her illustrious
descent but in just what locality, in the old colony, her branch of the
family made its distinguished nest. In this country the wife or maiden
invariably walks by the side of her male companion and never follows
after him in Indian file, like geese returning from pasture. It is
against nature for a man to say "my house" or my this or that. He should
be unable to pronounce the word. In this house our account at the bank
is open for either to check upon. Our exchequer, on the one hand, or our
politics on the other, are a joint affair. The family is the unit. When
Bunker Hill monument was still incomplete interest flagged. Money was
gone. Work came to a full period. An appeal was made to the women of the
land to hold a great fair to obtain the wherewithal so that the builder
should bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying Grace,
grace, unto it. Subscriptions and contributions hurried to its aid from
every section and it rose to "meet the sun in his coming," "to be the
last object on the sight of him who leaves his native shore and the
first to gladden his who revisits it." It is not good for man to work
alone. The house in which a man is married seems to him odd.

_The Supply is Not Exhausted_

Bridgewater is a belle among residential communities. The best place in
this country or in any other to raise girls. The street is attractive.
The house fine, yet it seems distinct, different. I think most men feel
so about the house in which they were married. In all other shrines I
had made a home. Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him away to Padan-Aram to
take a wife from thence, and God appeared unto Jacob again when he came
out of Padan-Aram and blessed him. Under similar conditions the Duke of
Buckingham dropped his purse so that the person finding it might feel
that nothing but good fortune attends the visit to a home like that. I
used to like to go there, yet I had to do, every day, the full work of
an adult at home, and so it became plain that I would get along better
if I could locate both of my interests in the same place. In speaking of
weddings much is said with truth about "the negligible groom." I could
not long live on angel cake and so I had to turn abruptly to face the
prosier plain bread and butter question; so when the bird was caught and
caged I took up the inquiries, What shall we eat and wherewithal shall
we be clothed? It is a merciful provision that this latter question
rests lightly upon the groom for the first decade, as some part of the
hat the bride wore to Washington (it being understood that a wedding
admits no variation but means either a trip to Washington or Niagara
Falls) will reappear as a feature of her headdress with much variation
of location during the next ten years.

The place of the wedding is always a conspicuous shrine. On revisiting
the earth we were strolling around the streets, quite a number of
soldiers were about and were entertaining the girls at a soda fountain,
and one of the enlisted men told a pitiful story about swallowing a pin,
and when a vivacious young lady expressed alarm and sympathy, "Oh," he
said, "no harm could come of it; it was a safety pin."

_Heart Histories_

We go there often and sit on the stone steps of the old Unitarian church
just as we did when we were young and foolish. Times have changed
incredibly since the visit to Padan Aram or else a favorite and very
accomplished writer just at this writing is all dead wrong in throwing
the weight of his great influence against what he calls being "married
without capital." This would cut out the wedding of Dr. Joseph Parker of
the City Temple, London, the greatest expositor of scripture known to
us. "Improvident" is the word his biographer uses "certainly when tested
by the maxims of the world. He was twenty-two without having secured a
definite position." But marriages are to be judged by their history. Let
us hear the eloquent orator himself. He speaks of "Annie, the soul I
loved, the girl who saved me and made me a man." His estimate of her
varied from the opinion the editor we have quoted would have put upon
her. She was gentle, domesticated, cultivated, with a poetic turn of
mind, and like Mary of Bethany, religiously meditative. She read widely,
being now more assiduous than ever in her Bible studies. Her appetite in
this was twofold for her husband and herself. She asked God to bless him
and He blessed them both. He was strong, constituted for public life,
full of fire, and prepared to take the kingdom of heaven by violence. We
feel like questioning Cupid's sanity when he brings together persons of
such diverse natures, training, antecedents, and tendencies, but among
opposites, in disposition, Cupid displays his best achievements. They
took life together as they found it. To have "saved" one of the world's
greatest forces, to have "made him a man" was more than an equivalent
for living on short commons for some few weeks while they were getting
under way. Working out good fortune together is great happiness to many
young people who know each other well and without reservation believe in
each other and in their future. A young man graduating or entering a
business life must make his capital before he can share it. There is
much to be said in favor of what many healthy spirited girls achieve
when their affections are satisfied. Adam was asleep when he chose his
wife and this is one reason why things proved so out of joint. The
strong dissuasive to become "married without capital" would have borne
heavily upon Peter H. Burnett when a clerk in a country store on two
hundred dollars a year, less than four dollars a week beside his board.

_Women Not Gone to the Dogs_

He had met a beautiful girl and one day having dined with her family and
talked with the young lady herself after dinner he came out of the house
and was amazed to discover that the sun was gone from the sky. In a
confused manner I enquired of her father what had become of the sun. He
politely replied, "It has gone down." A new heaven and a new earth
surrounded him. They were married and lived happily ever after. It was
not Mrs. Burnett "and her lesser fraction." An humble home was paradise
to him with the right girl. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
than a stalled ox without it. Sometimes I think that the rich face
greater problems in the matter of marriage than even the poor. Such a
wedding based on affection goes far toward nullifying the phrase
"lottery of marriage." An American girl can marry an English Duke if her
father has money enough. In this country the prevalent sanctity of
marriage can be attributed chiefly to the fact that among the rank and
file, husbands and wives have generally married each other for love.
Perhaps this statement would not apply to the smart set in some
commercial cities. This young man did his best. He became the president
of the Pacific Bank of San Francisco and the first Governor of
California. And as for a young woman she will become quite a heroine, in
hard outward conditions, if her affections are entirely satisfied.
Having spirit and courage and health she often becomes quite a prop to
the prosperity of the household. She does not need to be supported in
idleness by her husband. As between the two, it is often the case that
she can earn about as much as he can. A young lady has just become a
bride who had been receiving a larger salary than her own father ever
earned. In new countries, under pioneer conditions, that is true today,
which was distinctly a fact in early New England, that a marriage was a
partnership, which made for thrift. Of course affection works out her
sums by different rules.

_Shall the Union Survive_

Chinese wives are valued by their weight. French marriages have been
generally happier than the English owing to the comparative ascendency
which the French wives possess over their husbands, or better, the
equality we find that exists between them.

There is a proverbial prejudice in an English establishment against the
interference of a woman in the husband's conduct of his private affairs.
This is that one matter in which any theorist can prove his position,
for in solving the problem it is natural to him to count the hits and
not the misses. He arrays unquestioned facts and depends on those who
follow his recital to jump at the conclusion he desires. It was
suggestive to notice that Governor Burnett, when presenting such a fine
specimen of feminine attractiveness, that while showing us that he was
overwhelmed by it, did not directly describe the girl, but made us infer
what the facts were by the situation and by the results she brought
about. To make you appreciate the Lady of the Lake, Scott alludes to her
in attitude and grace and lets the reader's mind supply the picture.

_Lights in Their Dwellings_

It is astonishing to notice what heroic young women have been doing in
meeting rather hard conditions occasioned in part by the high cost of
living. Give the girl all round confidence, imagine her susceptibilities
and energies to be happily employed, and she will undertake a temporary
encounter with poverty with bravery. The one she has chosen among men
has to meet it whether he will or no. In addressing themselves to that
problem, by united enterprise, some young people have passed their most
joyous years. We find here the magic spell which transforms a house into
a home. Musicians rarely give their best exhibition when singing or
performing in a hostile atmosphere. It is so with women. Happiness is
never an accident. There is no such thing as an accident. Everything has
a cause if we can find it.



Forty years were long enough to eliminate all the Israelites of one
generation. It appears that in that length of time all the adults of one
generation that had dwelt in Egypt were gone except two. Reckoning
things then on a scriptural basis and assuming that all who lived forty
years ago are gone, except two, a grave responsibility obviously rests
upon me, as I have seen more than a generation rise and wane, to let the
people of the present age or period in a definite locality know how
things look in that lifetime just preceding their own. I remember when
we had preaching services Sunday afternoon in all our churches at three
o'clock and by count in our church the attendance often differed only by
two, forenoon, afternoon and evening. I remember when Christmas and
Easter observances were introduced into Sabbath services, it having been
customary from Puritan days in New England to make, on Sunday, next to
no reference to them excepting in Catholic and Episcopal Churches.

_Lost Facts of Local History_

Unless one sticks a stake, at some definite point, say less than a
generation ago, he is not likely to remember that powerful electric
lights have not always been, like the images of the Israelites, on every
high hill and under every green tree. It is hard for me to realize that
at my table I burned the midnight oil in Lynn, particularly when the
next morning was Sunday, and my library during my ministry of twelve
years was never decorated with anything but a student lamp. The city was
in the kerosene oil period. The front hall lamp used to drip petroleum
upon the carpet on the stairs, and I was contributing my full share to
give John D. Rockefeller a start in his oil-refining business, a start
indeed that I hear he has not been slow to appreciate and improve. After
reaching the big hall down town, as the lights supplied to Professor
Churchill, the renowned elocutionist from Andover, seemed dim, I left
the hall and went out and bought a student lamp and had a wick put in
and filled it with kerosene, which if now brought into a blazing
auditorium in these enlightened days would be like holding a candle to
the sun. In a more significant way the city has turned from Darkness
into light.

_Publicity is Light_

We stood in relation to the gambling evil about where the country now
stands in relation to drunkeries, whose death warrant we have lived to
see signed. The hand-writing was written on the wall touching lotteries
but they were winked at when conducted only for sweet charity's sake
even after the death-knell had sounded. In a church fair a fine young
acquaintance got a pony for fifty cents as he held the lucky ticket.
Unless a person has felt it or witnessed it, he little conceives the
fury of the passion to which gambling appeals. When fired up, there are
men who would cross Sheol on a rotten pole to make money in a game of
chance. It starts an appetite that feeding does not satisfy. It seems to
rage by the fuel it feeds on. These lotteries, like the plague of frogs,
were everywhere. For constructing the earliest building of Williams
College, that is in particular the mother of missionaries, a lottery was
granted and $3500 were raised.[2] It goes with the blood in
Massachusetts, for when the State was hard up she used to spring a
lottery, in one of which Harvard College drew four tickets, and
clergymen seemed to have been particularly successful, and teachers for
purposes of publicity were likeliest of all to profit by the turn of
the wheel, till at length the whole gambling fabric suddenly, like the
walls of Jericho, fell down flat.

[Footnote 2: See Harper's Cyclopedia, p. 390, and The Book of Berkshire,
p. 30.]

_Cupid All Smiling_

Here was purely and distinctively an American City. The people were
homogeneous in language, modes of thought and type of character. She had
the specific New England, or Yankee, cast of mind. For her factories,
forces were drawn from the hillsides, particularly of New Hampshire.
There were elderly people, as we shall see, but the prevailing type was
youthful, and the young lady contingent was attractive and had a good
deal of the quality which we call charm. I wrote a column for a local
paper, out of my experience on "Tying the Silken Knot," and Dr. Henry
Hinckley, referring to my contribution and using my title, went beyond
even my testimony, affirming that the City of Shoes furnished more
marriageable material to the square rod than any other city of its size,
and he seemed to attribute the fact, not merely to the incident that
they met here under pleasant auspices, but that they heard in churches
that marriage is honorable and that it is not good for man to be alone.

A couple would come to the parsonage, and if the associate pastor went
to the door the young man would say, "Where's your foreman?" meaning
her husband. As the lady of the Manse was entirely supported by her
wedding fees and had money to lend, and as I married more people than
could be seated in my church, if they should come together at one time,
I have often deeply regretted that in the hurry and toil of removal, it
did not occur to me to invite them all to attend a special service to be
arranged for them, with specific hymns, and a practical address. I think
I can claim for the couples that I made happy, the banner low record in
the small percentage of divorces.

_The Royal Families_

The house of one parishioner was built in the century before the last,
while General Washington was alive and on the earth, and was rich in
history and tradition. A call upon the family was a lesson out of
Colonial Records, the paper on the wall like that at Mt. Vernon, being
of the same period.

    "And, from its station in the hall,
    an ancient timepiece says to all,

    "Through days of sorrow and of mirth,
    Through days of death and days of birth,
    Through every swift vicissitude
    Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,
    And as if, like God, it all things saw,
    It calmly repeats those words of awe

It knew more than I did, and could point out the moon's changes, and the
seasons, and the seconds.

What makes the place? Not any one man, nor any group of men, but the
inner spirit of the city, what I will call the genius of community life,
which gives that indefinable tone that marks the city from the town, and
that when amplified belongs only to an industrial assemblage of people.
I attributed her phenomenal individualism, first to her unpedestaled
idol, Rev. Parsons Cook, D.D., who made so much of individual work and
accountability, also to her antecedents and atmosphere in which men
working alone developed the contemplative habits of shoemakers. As they
kept thinking they kept having new ideas and they had them hard.
Families dwelt apart. Nothing is so revolutionary as the development of
apartment hotels, and particularly of a prodigious number of
restaurants. Her social, charitable and benefit associations must have
arisen in the years under review, from almost a negligible quantity to
well-nigh half a thousand.

_A Social Revolution_

In the self-evolving life of the place there has been a strong trend
toward associated life, which has reconditioned everything. It is
without a parallel in the entire history of the community. Cities are
themselves prominent waymarks in human history. Cincinnatus, when at his
plow, was summoned by voices from the city. The tendency toward
congregate life is witnessed by the enormous increase in the number of
play-houses and in the attendance upon them. In an earlier day one stood
for a time in solitary prominence and has become grandfather to a big
brood. There has been an astounding increase in what I will call the
department of service. If a person is on the street in the late
afternoon when the matinees are over, and the women's clubs, and as well
the errands and social visits, he will see another form of new,
associated life, in the descent by hundreds, upon all the new
delicatessen shops, and similar departments in stores where cooked and
nicely prepared foods are kept for evening tables. If anything has
seemed hungrier than these individuals, it has been the furnace during
severe weather.

_The Glory of the Commonplace_

Because of increasing wealth and education and refinement, people put
out their work more into laundries and bakeries and general mutual
business concerns. This, like mercy, blesses him that gives and him that
takes. If anything is to be inferred from the growth in co-operative
housekeeping in the last generation it will come to some real good,
complete result, surely, in the next decade. Speed the day. It is of
course the solution in part of the servant girl question. What was once
a luxury is now assumed to be a necessity. As things are going, men will
soon refuse a mansion in the skies, unless luxuries are promised that
our ancestors never heard of. We would expect great development in a
rural community that is in the knee-pant period. As Cicero said,
"Nothing is discovered and perfected at the same time." We do well, for
every reason, to make much of what is so delightfully historic.

Even patriotism is grounded and rooted in the past. I like a certain
relish there is in the place. The soul of it, too, suits my fancy.
Things, there, were in some way pitched in the right key. It took New
York a hundred and seventy-five years to gain its first thirty-three
thousand inhabitants. While our industrial city has developed very much
more rapidly, the unlikeness ceases, when it comes to the matter of
crooked streets, which prevail also in Boston, but some one has said
that he does not include Boston when he speaks of the United States. In
the inspired volume we read of a street that was called Straight, but
that term would not be applied to Pearl St. in New York, which hits
Broadway twice. Mr. Ruskin tells us that there is not one straight line
in nature.

_The Missing Link_

Some newly revealed sources of wealth were uncovered, and the city
received her crown. More new men with high grade mechanical skill came
to be employed in the electric-light works than there were in Xenophon's
famous army. A rare opportunity came and she did that which is rarely
done. Some cities are famous for one thing. Kansas City for beef,
Chicago for modesty, Hartford for insurance, Milwaukee for beer,
Atlantic City for Board-walks, and Lynn for her new Boulevard to Nahant
and Swampscott. After a North-Easter, particularly on a high full tide,
when the spray is thrown over the tops of the telephone poles, the sight
is exhilarating. There is education in contact with affairs. The place
came to be the home of a capacious department-school of the mechanical
arts, and of the latest and most popular of all the sciences. Her
graduates filtered out into all the land. The situation was peculiar.
There were sounds in the air like the cracking of the ice, at the
incoming of spring, to prove to everybody that the Labor Movement was on
the way unlike the ice which forms at the bottom and rises to the top.
The Labor Movement was organized from the top downward, rather than from
the bottom up. The reformers felt a disposition to criticize existing
conditions. The custom prevailed of saying things derogatory to the
place. Then came a rather general practice of habitually decrying one's
town. Now there are two or three curious things about this habit of
disliking one's own town. One of them is that this vice seems to coexist
in human nature with even an intense degree of patriotism. Persons who
are second to none in love of country are among those who will permit
themselves to speak sneeringly of their particular town. Another amazing
fact about this evil habit is its prevalence. Max O'Rell has noted that
if you wish to hear some criticism of America you have only to go to
Boston. Persons, who have ever lived in the country, are sure that their
particular village is the worst place for gossip on the globe, and as if
this were not dispraise enough, they will refer to their native towns as
"dead and alive" places, or make some allusion to their having "gone to
seed," or prove to you that the best families have moved elsewhere, or
will apply the epithets "sleepy," "deserted," "God-forsaken," or else
they will sum up their villifications in a single expression and style,
for short, their native place as a "one-horse-town," and express
thankfulness that there are so many roads by which any one can leave it.
We all wish to be delivered from a man who so far from developing what I
will call place-pride, does not speak well of his own folks. I know of
a dog, that is said never to bark except at his own folks. The graduate
of a college, on entering politics is often deprived of his rightful
influence, by the popular feeling, that he feels called upon only to
criticise. But the further peculiarity of the habit of which I am
speaking is that it works on without discrimination. It involves some
places that are entitled to exception.

_Money in all Pockets_

I had heard that money talked, but in this place it walked. It went up
and down the streets. I used to be amazed at the amount of money that
was out of doors. The plenitude of money, especially among young people,
astonished me. I had seen money after harvest, "When the ship comes in,"
but here the young men and women were paid every week, and seemed to
have their money right where they could lay their hands upon it. I had
come from a place where people were well clothed, but here, it was
different, they were well dressed. There were no slums, no streets of
squalor. No quarters given over to the submerged tenth, to the socially
non-elect. There were a few improvident, impoverished or really
unfortunate families. One philanthropist drew the line on helping any
family that showed intemperance or kept a dog.

The Oratorio Society, the far-famed choirs, with a master of
assemblies, more than a captain, a host in himself developing enthusiasm
in vocal music in the public schools, privately employed to visit
Sunday-schools to get everybody to sing, not only had a great influence
in the city, they had too much. They were exclusive, they smothered the
lyceum, displaced the lecture, hushed elocution.

I used to complain publicly that the other arts did not get their

_The Wine of Sweet Remembrance_

As anyone who has lived in the past is expected to utter a wail that the
former days were better than these, I will be true to type and say
plainly that, nature being originally so profuse in her gifts, I greatly
miss the glorious gardens of an earlier day. Blossom Street and Vine
Street and Cherry Street tell, by their names, their own story: and the
tall ranks of the dahlias and the color of the azaleas, still sometimes
seen in miniature kindergartens, faintly indicate the early glories of
the place.

In the good old times we had our sunken gardens. Their surface was often
lower than the grade of the streets, and this low rich soil of deep
alluvium had a perfect fury of productiveness.

So, too, in constructing their earliest House of Prayer, the oldest
Congregational Church in the world[3] that stands on its original
ground, for warmth, not having stoves, they adopted the policy, like the
Germans, of digging themselves in, and laid the sills of their
meeting-house three feet under ground. As they advanced they were
children of fortune in the style and architecture of many of their
public buildings.

[Footnote 3: See Cook's Centuries, p. 30.]

The City Hall, in the period in which it was built, at the close of the
Civil War, was a gem. When I have seen some of the monstrosities worked
off on some of our cities and towns, made hideous under the guise of
architecture, with churches that in design seemed studied insults to the
Deity, I have repeatedly told the builders the exact amount of the fare
to this city where they could at least get their ideas up, obtain a
vision and gain a conception of what a building might become.

_Ancientness is Falling Off_

I have attributed a remarkable escape, speaking broadly, from such
deformities, such travesties on the grace of architecture, the least
developed of the arts, that with pain we are forced to contemplate, to
the fact that this city is conspicuously a place of the people and they
will not stand for cranky, crazy fads and obsessions. At any hour for
forty years, a stranger to fear, with absolute confidence I could point
to buildings that it would be well enough to call perfect of their
kind. Once it would have been tolerable at a great Public Fair to
exhibit inventions, wares, and products under a rough shed; but public
taste has so advanced that at a World's Fair nothing less than a palace
meets the general expectation. On revisiting the earth, one awakens to
the fact that business organizations have set out to have buildings that
are not only commodious and suitable but they must be attractive and

The same fact is apparent in the evolution of railway architecture when
buildings must be pleasing as well as useful.

"_Stray Historical Facts Corralled_"

This city did not happen. She adopted the policy of faith, and made
others believe in her because she believed in herself. She has attended
strictly to business, and has come to hold twice as many people as the
fourth largest state in the Union. In point of population, she is as
much entitled to an exclusive Congressman and to two United States
Senators as a state that is larger than New York, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, and Maryland combined. Or to use a better measure, she exceeds
in population one of the states that would overlay all New England. For
my work, no better place could have been found beneath the all-beholding
sun than this fair, expansive city, on its crescent bay, with its shore
drive where the Indians once held their running matches, which has now
become one of the boulevards of the world. Like the apple trees in an
old New England orchard, the men were marked by individuality. They were
fruitful, needed, prized, each had a place, but they were so different
in the way they stood up. There were active men, gifted in speech, who
had the training that came out of the old Lyceum and the Silsbee Street
Debating Society. Oxford Street Chapel, the home of a sort of
free-for-all religion, became a general receiver for all these
organizations and for reformatory work generally and eloquence was
dog-cheap. I have no doubt that many of these men are dead, but they are
alive to me. I see them as of old. To me they live in the same houses
and have the same peculiarities, and carry, on them, the same years that
they then wore.

_The By-products of Development_

As I had been mixed up for some time with a professional set, I used to
sit in mute surprise to see such men, knowing the value of things, with
practised minds, devoting themselves to business life rather than the
old time professions, to the arts rather than to the sciences. Some of
these men had mental endowment enough to be physicians or Judges in
Court, but they devoted their fine minds to manufacturing. Some of them,
undoubtedly of great ability, did not deem themselves too good for
business or for the world. Men speak of conducting a business, but you
can not conduct a thing that is not moving, any more than a pilot can
steer a boat that is lying still, although I suppose it is possible to
conduct a vehicle when it is headed for the cemetery. They were just
suited to the times, and to the place, and to the task, and each one
seemed to contribute an individual part in making the city the world's
great shoe centre. Some men were strong at home, others were good
advertisers and solicitors and did work in the field from which all the
manufacturers benefited, whose manner of life need not be changed if the
Millennium had already come. For straight-forward, right-minded,
high-principled men, who keep their word, and keep the faith, I am bold
enough to invite the test, laid down in the inspired volume, which the
great patriarch met with such intense concern. First came the overture
that disaster should be averted from an imperiled city if fifty
creditable men should be found in it. He felt some misgiving about
finding fifty and entreated that the number be reduced to forty-five and
then that he be answerable for finding only forty, then thirty, then
twenty, then ten. I believe that if any one there were answering for
that place during the Golden Age, he could not only begin with the
smallest required number, ten, but that he could go up through the
schedule and find twenty, thirty, forty, forty-five, and fifty.

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