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Title: Scribner's Magazine, Volume 26, July 1899
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scribner's Magazine, Volume 26, July 1899" ***

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

Jonathan Ingram, Melissa McDaniel and the Online Distributed

Transcriber's Note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  [Illustration: DANIEL WEBSTER.
   Engraved by Gustav Kruell; after a daguerreotype in the possession of
   Josiah J. Hawes, Boston.]





     Copyright, 1899,
     By Charles Scribner's Sons.

     Printed by
     Trow Directory, Printing and Bookbinding Company,
     New York, U. S. A.



  ACCENT, A QUESTION OF. Point of View,                            380

    WAS CHOSEN,                          LIEUT.-COL. J. D. MILEY,  320
    Illustrated with drawings by Jules Guérin and F. D.
    Steele, from photographs.

  "AMERICAN LANGUAGE, THE." Point of View,                         762


  AMERICAN URBANITIES. Point of View,                              121

  ANNE. A Story,                     MRS. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON,  116

    Illustrations drawn from photographs taken by Frederick
    A. Cook, M.D., during the recent voyage of the "Belgica."

           FREDERICK A. COOK, M.D. (Of the "Belgica" Expedition),  705
    With drawings from the author's photographs.

  ARCHIBALD, JAMES F. J.  _Havana Since the Occupation_,            86

    IN. Field of Art,                     FREDERIC CROWNINSHIELD,  381



      Illustrated by A. B. Frost,                                   34
    V. HOW JESS WENT A-FIDDLIN',                                   310

  AUTHOR'S STORY, AN,                           MAARTEN MAARTENS,  685

                                         and CHARLOTTE M. MARTIN,  588
   Illustrated by J. Fulleylove,

  BAXTER, SYLVESTER.  _The Great November Storm of 1898_,          515

  BIRRELL, AUGUSTINE.  _John Wesley--Some Aspects of the
    Eighteenth Century in England_,                                753

    _The Royal Intent_,                                            496
    _A Royal Ally_,                                                221

  BROWNELL, W. C.  _The Painting of George Butler_,                301

  BUTLER, THE PAINTING OF GEORGE,                 W. C. BROWNELL,  301
    With reproductions of Mr. Butler's work.

  CAHAN, ABRAHAM.  _Rabbi Eliezer's Christmas_,                    661

  CHANNING, GRACE ELLERY.  _Francisco and Francisca_,              227

  CHAT, E. G.  _The Foreign Mail Service at New York_,              61

  CHINON,                                     ERNEST C. PEIXOTTO,  737
    Illustrated by Mr. Peixotto,

  COLTON, ARTHUR.  _The Portate Ultimatum_,                        713

  COLVIN, SIDNEY.  _See Stevenson Letters_.

  COOK, FREDERICK A., M.D.  _The Possibilities of
    Antarctic Exploration_,                                        705

  COPLEY BOY, A,                                  CHARLES WARREN,  326
    Illustrated by F. C. Yohn,

  CROWNINSHIELD, FREDERIC.  _The Use and Abuse of
    Decorative Conventions in Architecture_,                       381

  CUBA.  See _Havana Since the Occupation_.

  DAVIS, RICHARD HARDING.  _The Lion and the Unicorn_,             129

     Field of Art,
     Illustrated from telephotographs by Dwight L. Elmendorf.      765

    Illustrations from photographs and prints in the
    collections of Peter Gilsey, Douglas Taylor, and
    John Drew, and from a Painting by Sully, engraved
    by H. Wolf; with Biographical Notes by Douglas Taylor.

  ELMENDORF, DWIGHT L.  _Telephotography_,                         457

  ENGLISH VOICE ON THE AMERICAN STAGE. Point of View,              123

    Architecture, The Use and Abuse of Decorative Conventions
      in,                                                          381
    Art in the Schools--First Considerations,                      509
    Art in the Schools--The New York Photographs,                  637
    Dewey Reception in New York, The Sculptures of the,            765
    Modern House, One Way of Designing a,                          125
    Painters Who Express Themselves in Words, Concerning,          254

    Illustrated by Walter Appleton Clark.

  GIBSON, C. D.  _The Seven Ages of American Women_,               669

  GORREN, ALINE.  _American Society and the Artist_,               628

  GRANT, ROBERT.  _Search-Light Letters_,                     104, 364

  HADLEY, ARTHUR T.  _The Formation and the Control of
    Trusts_,                                                       604

  HARRIS, JOEL CHANDLER.  _The Chronicles of Aunt
    Minervy Ann_,                                    34, 310, 413, 439

    Illustrated with drawings by Jules Guérin, E. C. Peixotto,
    T. Chominski, and F. D. Steele, and from photographs.

  HOAR, SENATOR GEORGE F.  _Daniel Webster_,                   74, 213

  "HUNDRED THOUSAND COPIES, A." Point of View,                     253

  INANIMATE OBJECTS, ETIQUETTE TOWARD. Point of View,              636

  IRLAND, FREDERIC.  _Where the Water Runs Both Ways_,             259

    Illustrations from paintings by Mr. Wores.

  KNOX, JUDSON.  _The Man from the Machine_,                       447

  LA FARGE, JOHN.  _Concerning Painters Who Express
    Themselves in Words_,                                          254

  LA FARGE, JOHN,                                  RUSSELL STURGIS,  3
    Illustrations from unpublished drawings and from paintings
    by Mr. La Farge.

    Illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy.

  MAARTENS, MAARTEN.  _An Author's Story_,                         685

    Illustrated by W. R. Leigh.

  MAN FROM THE MACHINE, THE,                         JUDSON KNOX,  447
    Illustrated by F. D. Steele.

  MAN ON HORSEBACK, THE,                     WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE,  538
    Illustrated by A. I. Keller.

    Honoré de Balzac_,                                             588

  MATTHEWS, BRANDER.  _In the Small Hours_,                        502

  MAX--OR HIS PICTURE,                             OCTAVE THANET,  739
    Illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy.

  MILEY, LIEUT.-COL. J. D.  _Aguinaldo's Capital_,                 320

  MILITARISM AND WOMEN. Point of View,                             507

  MODERN HOUSE, ONE WAY OF DESIGNING A. Field of Art,              125

  NAVY, ON A TEXT FROM THE. Point of View,                         763

  PAGE, THOMAS NELSON.  _The Spectre in the Cart_,                 179

    Field of Art,                                  JOHN LA FARGE,  254

  PEACEMAKER, THE,                                   BLISS PERRY,  643
    Illustrated by F. C. Yohn.

  PEIXOTTO, ERNEST C.  _Chinon_,                                   737

  PERRY, BLISS.      {_The White Blackbird_,                        96
                     {_The Peacemaker_,                            643

  PHILIPPINES. See _Aguinaldo's Capital_.

  "PLAY'S THE THING, THE,"                    ALBERT WHITE VORSE,  167
     Illustrations by W. Glackens, reproduced in color.

  PHOTOGRAPHY, PICTORIAL,                       ALFRED STIEGLITZ,  528
    Illustrated by the author's photographs.

    Accent, A Question of,                                         380
    American Language, The,                                        762
    American Urbanities,                                           121
    English Voice on the American Stage, The,                      123
    "Hundred Thousand Copies, A,"                                  253
    Inanimate Objects, Etiquette Toward,                           636
    Militarism and Women,                                          507
    Navy, On a Text from the,                                      763
    Superstitious, A Convention of the,                            634
    Vain Seeking, A,                                               506
    Women, The Public Manners of,                                  122
    World with No Country, A,                                      635

  PORTATE ULTIMATUM, THE,                          ARTHUR COLTON,  713
    Illustrated in color by W. Glackens.

  PRAED, THE EDUCATION OF,                    ALBERT WHITE VORSE,  290
    Illustrated by Henry McCarter.

  QUILLER-COUCH, A. T. _The Ship of Stars_,     47, 234, 354, 402, 611

  RABBI ELIEZER'S CHRISTMAS,                       ABRAHAM CAHAN,  661
    Illustrated by W. Glackens.

  REAL ONE, THE,                            JESSE LYNCH WILLIAMS,  620
    Illustrated by Henry Hutt.

  ROYAL ALLY, A,                        WILLIAM MAYNADIER BROWNE,  221
    Illustrated by A. I. Keller.


  ROYLE, EDWIN MILTON.  _The Vaudeville Theatre_,                  485

    Author of "Wild Illustrated by Animals I Have Known."
    Mr. Thompson.

  SEARCH-LIGHT LETTERS,                             ROBERT GRANT.
     III. Letter To a Young Man Wishing To Be an American,         104
     IV. Letter To a Political Optimist,                           364

  SENIOR READER, THE,                      ARTHUR COSSLETT SMITH,  725
    Illustrations by Albert Sterner.

  SEVEN AGES OF AMERICAN WOMEN, THE,                C. D. GIBSON,  669
    A series of drawings.

  SHIP OF STARS, THE,                    A. T. QUILLER-COUCH (Q.),
    Chapters XIV.-XXIX.,                                  47, 234, 351
    (_Concluded_.),                                           402, 611

  SMALL HOURS, IN THE,                          BRANDER MATTHEWS,  502

  SMITH, ARTHUR COSSLETT.  _The Senior Reader_,                    725

  SPECTRE IN THE CART, THE,                   THOMAS NELSON PAGE,  179
    Full-page illustration by F. C. Yohn.

    Edited by       SIDNEY COLVIN.
    FROM BOURNEMOUTH, 1884-85,                                      20
    DRAWING by E. C. Peixotto.
    BOURNEMOUTH (CONTINUED), 1885-86,                              242
    SARANAC LAKE--WINTER, 1887-88,                                 338
      Illustrated with drawings from photographs by Jules
    THE VOYAGE OF THE CASCO; HONOLULU (JULY, 1888-JUNE, 1889),     469
    LIFE IN SAMOA: NOVEMBER, 1890-DECEMBER, 1894,                  570

  STEVENSON, MRS. ROBERT LOUIS.  _Anne_,                           116

  STIEGLITZ, ALFRED.  _Pictorial Photography_,                     528

    Illustrations by H. W. Ditzler.

  STURGIS, RUSSELL.  _John La Farge_,                                3

  SUPERSTITIOUS, A CONVENTION OF THE. Point of View,               634

  TELEPHOTOGRAPHY,                           DWIGHT L. ELMENDORF,  457
    Illustrated by the author's photographs and

  THANET, OCTAVE.  _Max--Or His Picture_,                          739

  THOMPSON, ERNEST SETON.  _The Trail of the Sandhill Stag_,       191

                                    President of Yale University.

  VAILLANTCOEUR,                                  HENRY VAN DYKE,  153
    Illustrated by Walter Appleton Clark.

  VAIN SEEKING, A. Point of View,                                  506

  VAN DYKE, HENRY.  _Valiantcoeur_,                                153

    Illustrations by W. Glackens.

  VORSE, ALBERT WHITE.      {"_The Play's the Thing_,"             167
                            {_The Education of Praed_,             290
                            {_American Seamen in the
                               Antarctic_,                         700

  WARREN, CHARLES.  _A Copley Boy_,                                326

    Illustrated from drawings by Henry McCarter, Jules
    Guérin, E. C. Peixotto, W. R. Leigh, C. L. Hinton,
    G. A. Shipley, and G. W. Peters.

                                              GEORGE F. HOAR,  74, 213
                                       Senator from Massachusetts.
    With a portrait and fac-similes.

    CENTURY IN ENGLAND,                        AUGUSTINE BIRRELL,  753

    Illustrated with photographs by the author, and with
    drawings by Jules Guérin, H. L. Brown, and Howard Giles
    from photographs.

  WHITE BLACKBIRD, THE,                               BLISS PERRY,  96

  WHITE, WILLIAM ALLEN.  _The Man on Horseback_,                   538

  WILLIAMS, JESSE LYNCH.      {_The Water-Front of New York_,      385
                              {_The Real One_,                     620

  WOMEN, THE PUBLIC MANNERS OF. Point of View,                     122

  WORES, THEODORE.  _Japanese Flower Arrangement_,                 205

  WORLD WITH NO COUNTRY, A. Point of View,                         635


  ADVERTISING SIGN, AN,                        MARVIN R. VINCENT,  751

  BALLAD,                                      J. RUSSELL TAYLOR,  220

  CELEBRANTS, THE,                                 CAROLYN WELLS,   85
    Illustrated by Oliver Herford.

  CRICKET SONG, THE,                              R. H. STODDARD,  526
    Illustrations in color by Harvey Ellis.

  ENDURING, THE,                            JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY,  103

  HERB O' GRACE, THE,                              ARTHUR COLTON,  401
    Illustrated by Orson Lowell.

  HEY NONNY NO. A Song,                     MARGUERITE MERINGTON,  416

  HUSH! A Sonnet,                               JULIA C. R. DORR,  120

  LONELINESS,                                        J. H. ADAMS,  712

  NARCISSUS,                                  GUY WETMORE CARRYL,  525

  NEMESIS,                                   BENJAMIN PAUL BLOOD,   72

  OLD HOME HAUNTS, THE,                        F. COLBURN CLARKE,  289
    Illustrated by Henry Hutt.

  POPPY-GARDEN, IN A,                            SARA KING WILEY,  325

  ROMANCE                                                          363

  SILENT WAYFELLOW, THE,                            BLISS CARMAN,  446

  SLUMBER SONG, A. _For the Fisherman's Child_,   HENRY VAN DYKE,  298
    Illustrated by Maude Cowles.

  SONG WITH A DISCORD, A,                          ARTHUR COLTON,  603

  SUICIDE, THE,                                    EDWIN MARKHAM,  551

  TEARS. A Sonnet,                       LIZETTE WOODWORTH REESE,  569

  THREE KINGS, THE.                           HARRISON S. MORRIS,  653
    A Christmas Ballad,
    Illustrated in color by Walter Appleton Clark;
    decorations by T. Guernsey Moore.

  URBAN HARBINGER, AN,                              E. S. MARTIN,  190
    With an illustration by W. Glackens.

  VEERY-THRUSH, THE,                           J. RUSSELL TAYLOR,  350

  WIND AT THE DOOR, THE,                            BLISS CARMAN,  652


VOL. XXVI. JULY, 1899. NO. 1.


By Russell Sturgis

  [Illustration: A Study.]

The artist of four hundred years ago, or of any great time for
individual effort as opposed to the associated and unrecorded work of
more primitive times, was a many-sided man. He was probably a
traveller, if not a monk; he was almost certainly a man of adventure;
a man of thought, whether monk or layman. The artist did not travel
far; but he encountered more personal risk between Florence and Naples
than our contemporary does in voyaging to the Isles of Summer; he
encountered in Sicily, in Hungary, or in Spain a people as remote from
him as the Japanese are from us; and he had still Constantinople and
Cairo to visit, places more distant and as inaccessible to him as
Thibet or Kafiristan in the nineteenth century. The old artist was
something of a scholar, too, with a habit of study and meditation, if
not master of many books. And, moreover, the old artist was very much
in love with his work and loved to play with it as well as to work in
it; so that he touched many materials, handled many processes, and
used many methods of artistic utterance. Again it is worth noting that
no one had discovered, in 1499, that architecture was an art to be
practised without regard to the other manifestations of the artistic
spirit; nor yet that the sculptor and the painter were two workmen
whose art was to be practised apart from and independent of building
or other industrial occupation.

All these things have been so much changed of late that it is
noticeable in Mr. La Farge's life that he should be, in many ways,
like a painter of old time, that is, traveller, reader, collector and
student; colorist and decorator; painter in large and in little. He
has been a working artist for forty years, and has done many things.
He has made many book illustrations which have been published and many
which have never been given to the world. The illustrations to
Browning's book, "Men and Women," as it was originally published in
1855, are among these; and there are reproduced here the full-page
design for the beginning of _Protus_ and also two studies for _Fra
Lippo Lippi_:

     The little children round him in a row
     Of admiration, half for his beard and half
     For that white anger of his victim's son.

This was early work. The illustration to _Misconceptions_ is as
mystical as that for _Protus_; and that which concludes _Bishop
Blougram's Apology_ is as realistic as these studies of children.

  [Illustration: Study for Browning's "Men and Women."]

Then, still of his early days, are to be considered the faithful
little studies and close-to-nature drawings which served as a
foundation for a structure of knowledge which was to pile itself high
enough. _Sic itur ad astra_; and with a different result from the
tower-building recorded in Genesis. The reproduction given [on page 9]
is from a sketch-book of 1860; and the work has been a careful drawing
in black on white, done in the flat country about Bayou Têche. These
are drawings _in values_, or made for values; that is to say, the
relative force of darkness or of light is carefully preserved. A
certain green of the trees may be lighter than the blue, still water
below, but is very much darker than the same water where it reflects
the pale evening sky; the reflection in the water of those same trees
is a shade or two darker than the mass of trees themselves; and so on,
forever. Of the same epoch is this drawing of a beacon [page 10], a
flaming cresset, a signal light seen against a night sky. These are
warnings to steamboats on the Mississippi to avoid a shoal or to make
a landing. Other studies, those of pure line and those of masses,
those of his youth and those of his maturity, are scattered over these

He has produced also a very great number of water-color drawings,
generally small, and very commonly having for their subjects pieces of
foreground detail, such as one or several blossoms in a pool of water,
or a water-lily or two afloat on the surface of a still pond. It might
almost be said that his water-colors were generally of such detail as
this, except that the work done during his journeys into tropical and
oriental lands has resulted differently.

Again he has produced, during those years of work, a few large
pictures painted in oil-color or by a process which he learned in his
youth and in which melted wax has a part; though this is not the
encaustic process of antiquity or of modern revival. One or two of
these are portraits, several are landscapes, several are studies of
interesting details which he wished to preserve and which for some
reason or other had struck him as more easily rendered on a large
scale and in the more solid material; and some are, to all appearance,
concepts for mural decoration--advance studies for that which was to
be painted on a still larger scale, or in combination with other parts
of a large composition, and finally to be fixed upon the wall where it
was to remain permanently. Some, also, of the water-colors produced
in recent years are, though not large in superficies, very large in
treatment. A glowing color composition suggested by the mountain
country of Fiji, a monochrome study of a river landscape in Japan, may
be as grandiose in character and may contain as much matter, both in
represented detail and in artistic purpose, as an oil-painting of four
times the surface-measurement. Some illustrations given on another
page of this treatise may partly show the qualities here suggested.

  [Illustration: Study for Browning's "Men and Women."]

He has produced, also, a few such mural paintings as those whose
intention is assumed in the last paragraph. Of these, much the largest
is that which covers the end wall of the Church of the Ascension in
New York. There are others in St. Thomas's Church and in the Church of
the Incarnation, both in New York City; the interior of Trinity Church
in Boston was painted by him with a series of figure subjects, though
the chromatic treatment of this interior does not include any large
single painting of great importance; and of late years, two lunettes
in the Villard-Reid house in New York and one in the Walker Art
Gallery at Bowdoin College have been added to this summary list. There
is reproduced here the last-named picture [page 17]; a picture of
fantastic subject in the "literary" or narrative sense. _Athens_ is
its given name; but it represents Pallas making a drawing of the
lovely and unadorned genius of the open country or wood, while the
robed and crowned impersonated City looks affectionately at both the
subject and the recording goddess. To be classed under the head of
mural paintings also is the remarkable composition of small pictures
involved in a large design with panels and arabesques, which decorates
the wooden vaults of that gallery in Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt's house,
which used to be called the Water-Color Room, and which now, since the
alteration of the house and the removal of this painted vault into the
new building, may be considered the gallery of entrance for stately
entertainments. To a limited extent, the work of other painters is
associated with his own in the last-named achievement, as also in
Trinity Church. In this, the work of the artist comes very near to
decoration pure and simple. The reader is not to understand that any
sharp distinction is made here between decoration and that painting
which is not so designated. It is to be hoped that he, the reader,
will see as he reads that to deny this distinction is part of the
life-purpose of John La Farge; a purpose which his critic is glad to
recognize and to second. It is merely with reference to its
placing--to its apparent intended service--to its fixed location and
its consequent exclusion from the category of "gallery pictures" or
"easel pictures" that the words decoration and decorative are here
applied to certain paintings. For throughout his career this artist
has leaned strongly toward the treatment of his expressional and
significant painting in a decorative way.

  [Illustration: Panel, from One of the Ceilings in Cornelius
   Vanderbilt's House. Inlaid glass, ivory, bronze, marble and silver,
   and mother-of-pearl.]

  [Illustration: Figure from the Vanderbilt Ceiling.]

Decoration in the more usual sense has been also a large part of his
work. Thus, when in 1878 he contracted with Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt
for a carved ceiling, it appeared that his intentions in the matter
were those which could have been suggested only by a mind full of the
decorative idea. "A carved ceiling" might have been almost anything;
but this one was an elaborate composition of colored sculpture, or, if
you please, of polychromy in relief; certainly one of the most
remarkable undertakings of the time. What seem to be (for the true
constructional character of the ceiling is not here guaranteed) what
seem to be the beams, the constructional part of the ceiling, were of
light-colored walnut. The panels within were filled with figures of
armed warriors and of draped women of about half life-size, and these
panels were framed by rim within rim, moulding within moulding, of
elaborate sculptured pattern. All these sculptured patterns, all these
figures, were invested with color in a way which it is hard to
describe; for different chosen woods, alloys of metal of which some
are of Japanese origin, opaque and colored glass, ivory,
mother-of-pearl, and even coral are combined to give delicately tinted
color and subtle variety of surface to the work. That ceiling has been
broken up; but there has been great good judgment shown in its
rearrangement. The panels of the ceiling are now arranged so that they
are well lighted both by day and by night, and show admirably.
Although the original design has disappeared, the separate panels,
each with its enclosing mouldings and woodwork, at least four by six
feet in superficies, are well displayed. One of these panels is here
engraved [page 6]. Here also is given part of a decorative frieze in
which castings specially made of blue glass were used with ivory and
with carvings in solid _nacre_, in combination with the carved walnut.

  [Illustration: Dry Bed of the Dayagawa River.
   _Drawn by John La Farge._]

  [Illustration: Study for Values.]

Similar work has been done by Mr. La Farge in connection with his own
paintings, and sometimes where no paintings were used. This use, on a
large scale, of rich material, rich in color, in surface and in
lustre, as a medium for sculpture, is almost peculiar to this artist
among modern men. Others who have cared for color in sculpture have
played with it, rather, in small objects of the cabinet; and this
remains true in a general way in spite of a pleasant use of enamel in
some French work in bronze of a more important or, at least, more
pretentious character.

At a time not far removed from the undertaking of the ceiling and the
mantelpiece above mentioned, a monument was put up in the Newport
Cemetery under the direction of Mr. La Farge [page 16]. He associated
with himself in this task the sculptor, since so widely known, but
then a young man, Augustus St. Gaudens, who had already worked with
him on the carved and colored ceiling. Every student of architectural
designs will be struck by the informal character of this design: the
steps which are clearly not meant to be ascended and which have an
obvious symbolic meaning; the horizontal cross sunk in the table of
the monument in such a way that few persons can be so placed as to see
it favorably; the inscription carved upon the butt or foot of that
cross; the apparently disproportionate slenderness of the upright
cross with its thin cylindrical shaft; the placing of other
inscriptions on the body of the massive base in which no specially
arranged panels or medallions have been prepared for them; and, most
of all, the treatment of the leaf sculpture which, though composed
carefully enough and far enough in itself from being a piece of crude
realism, is yet realistic in its disposition--suggesting the natural
fall of sprays and branches of leafage allowed to dry and harden in
the sun. No architect--as we now understand the term--no architect,
even one who had kept himself free from the neo-classic influence and
the teaching of the schools, could have designed such a piece as this.
It is the more interesting to see how the highly trained decorative
artist who has not been fettered by the taught maxims of the
architect's school or the architect's office has handled this
problem--a problem rarely met by decorators of modern experience.

About 1876 these same demands upon him for decoration led him to the
careful observation of ancient stained glass, with a view to providing
the modern world with something which might be to it what the windows
of Reims Cathedral and Fairford Church were to the Middle Ages. It
appeared to the modern artist that there was still a course open to
him which had not been tried by the decorators of the Middle Ages,
early or late. It appeared that the modern materials and processes of
glassmaking might give to the artist in glass a "palette" such as the
mediæval man had never possessed. What is called opal glass, opaline,
and also opalescent glass may be said to have formed the basis of a
new system of window decoration, though the other essential, the
leaden framework, was to play its own part in the artistical result.
Uncolored opaline glass has a milky-white look when seen by reflected
light; but by transmitted light its color passes from a cloudy
bluish-gray to red, with a yellow spark. If, now, such glass be
charged with color of many shades, the chromatic effects producible by
the combination of such translucent materials, at once contrasting in
color and harmonized by the opaline quality, might prove successful
beyond what had been known. To this, then, La Farge set himself; to
obtain glass of richness, depth, and glow of color hitherto
unattempted, and in a multitude of tints; so that, whereas the
thirteenth-century artist had five or six colors in all, susceptible
of nothing more than a gradation from darker to lighter, as the glass
was thicker or thinner or more or less thickly flashed--now, colors
were to be supplied by the score, each color capable of these same
gradations in darker and lighter, and each color harmonized with all
the other colors by the common quality of softness and a certain misty
iridescence caused by the opaline stain. Even in a piece of glass so
brilliant in color that the opalescence is hardly perceptible, its
presence in that part of the general chromatic scheme will surely be

  [Illustration: On the Bayou Têche; Study for Values.]

A window is, when considered as a work of fine art in color, a
translucent composition, there being no part of it which can appeal to
the eye by other than transmitted light. The artist has, then, the
need of something strong to lean upon, some background, some _fond_
upon which to relieve his more brilliant pieces of translucency; for
it can be easily understood that color composition which is wholly
translucent will tend toward feebleness, toward paleness, toward a
certain evanescent and doubtful character of its colors, from which it
must be saved. This needed background was found in the use of the
leads; that is to say, of those strips of lead made generally in the
form of a capital I, in which the edges of the separate pieces of
glass are held. By taking these leads as the artistic sub-structure of
the composition, by placing them where needed, and by cutting the
glass accordingly, by combining the colors of the glass in such a way
as to allow the leads to be put where they were needed for this
purpose of background, results were obtained which no artist in glass
had ever yet attempted. La Farge's use of leads, in this way, remains
peculiarly his own in the subtlety and refinement of the linear
design. Occasionally, indeed, a certain amount of opaque painting, of
that solid non-translucent painting which the men of the Middle Ages
used continually, has been used to increase the area of his lead
sash-bars or to diminish the brilliancy of a background. All artists
recognize the need of the _repentir_, of the amendment made after the
work is partly done, or even, to all eyes but their own, completed;
and painting in opaque color has been used by La Farge when it has
appeared that the lead-sash was not quite sufficient for the
background needed. In like manner, painting in translucent colored
enamels has been used by him where it has appeared to him that no
glass available would produce the tone desired. As such instances are
occasional and rare, these devices are not a part of the essence of La
Farge's work in glass, and they are mentioned here merely because
their existence must be understood as accidental. The treatment of
heads and hands and other necessarily nude parts of the body, in order
that these surfaces may harmonize with the generally unpainted drapery
and background, would require pages of discussion if entered upon at

  [Illustration: Study of a Mullein-stalk.]

The purpose of this article is not, however, to dwell in detail upon
the historical development of his art, but to criticise it in its main
features, and to institute an inquiry into those traits of La Farge's
personality which have made his work especially interesting to all
persons who care for the retention of noble design in that which is
obviously novel, original, modern in art.

  [Illustration: Study of a Beacon.]

In the first place, then, Mr. La Farge is very individual as a
designer. He hardly belongs to any school of designers. The reader
will suggest at once that, as there is no school of designers at the
present day, a man of force is compelled to be individual; and this
dictum will be readily accepted. Inasmuch as there has been no time
since La Farge reached the age of intelligence and of interest in
art--no time when he has not been a student of Japanese art; inasmuch
as he began, as long ago as 1860, to buy and study what few pieces of
Japanese art and handicraft he could find--it has been thought that he
is strongly influenced by Japanese design; but this it will be hard
to establish. His design is individual and personal, and it is that
whether we take design to mean his way of conceiving the human figure;
or his way of composing human figures in large groups with care for
the effect of line and mass; or whether we think, rather, of the
filling of the panel or the canvas, the parallelogram or the
half-circle, with masses of color and tendencies of line.

  [Illustration: Study for a Decoration for a Page of Browning's "Men
   and Women," 1861.]

Now, in this individuality of his art, there is a weaker as well as a
stronger side. It cannot be ignored by those who admire his larger and
statelier designs that they lack something of stateliness. The figures
in his small woodcuts are carried out of the strict and grave system
of academic drawing into an extreme of freedom of gesture and
movement, and that with the evident purpose of expressing in the
strongest possible way the intense meaning of the artist; but this
hardly allows of mention except as a virtue. Bishop Hatto in his
screaming agony, as the rats attack him on every side while he
crouches at the foot of the column on the capital of which the cat has
taken refuge (for each and all the details of which see Southey's
poem)--Bishop Hatto is almost liquified, has almost lost the solid
substance of his corporeal form, in his horror and hopelessness. Enoch
Arden, "the long-haired, long-bearded solitary," hardly shows the
strong man, the vigorous sailor under his rags and through his
squalor; the emphasis is laid on the fourteen years' solitary
confinement in this lonely island, and the "strong heroic soul" which
the poet drew has not interested the artist as part of this design.
These are small drawings for wood-engraving and for book illustration;
but the same character of design occurs again and again in the larger
and statelier pieces; and it may there be less easy to accept. The
impression made upon a student of mural painting, ancient and modern,
by such a painting as that in the Church of the Ascension is that it
is, in a sense, lacking in repose. The Adoring Angels around the
risen Saviour are individual in their gestures, in the pose of their
bodies, in the expression of their faces. They are personalities
rather than parts of a "Glory of Angels." The figure of Christ itself
has the same peculiarity and is marked by a singularly free and
unconventional pose of the body and gesture of the right arm,
suggestive rather of the teacher of men than of the Son taken up to
his Father. Moreover, this effect as of too much movement and
incident, as of too little stability and gravity, is heightened by the
flowing drapery, which is so marked a feature of the composition that
it remains uppermost in the minds of many students to the very end of
their study of the picture. Something of this may be seen in the
illustration given here of the noble window which was sent to the
Exhibition of 1889 [page 15]. The subject is the Sealing of the
Servants of God. These groups are of indubitable truth and power as
illustrations of the passage in the Apocalypse; but as parts of a
solemn color design another standard needs to be applied to them.

  [Illustration: Study for the Wolf-Charmer.]

  [Illustration: Another Study for the Wolf-Charmer.]

So much for the less agreeable side of this familiar and personal way
of designing. In the favorable aspect there would, of course, be very
much to be said, for he is no illustrator, he is no story-teller, he
is no composer of pictured fable or pictured record who does not
understand how to give his figures that life and movement, that action
and expression, which will explain all that is explainable of their
purpose and their function. Nothing, for instance, can be more perfect
as a bit of mystical story-telling than the Wolf-Charmer, the picture
in which the gaunt and haggard magician, with his pipe at his lips,
comes out of the forest surrounded by his drove of gigantic wolves.
Two studies for the wolves are given here; and the spirit of the
design is interesting to trace in them. To give the savage creatures
something more than their due size, and, above all, something more
than their due ferocity, is a natural and obvious device; but to
express, as the artist has expressed, their familiarity with their
leader, their sympathy with him, their spirit entering into his as he
heads and controls them, is something admirable in descriptive art. So
in that grim picture in which some part of the spirit of feudal Japan
is contained; the picture which tells the tale of little Kio-Sai; the
rushing and turbulent stream between its high banks is gray and sombre
as if with the swollen waters of a flood; and upon it, whirled along
in its course, the severed head which frightened the child floats face
upward with something of its living expression still lingering about
the eyes and lips, but still as dead, as corpse-like as a severed head
could be. This powerful drawing, made within the last two years, is to
be cited as a characteristic specimen of expressional art. There is
nothing in the picture but whirling water and floating head; and yet
the stern, fierce, half-savage, feudal system of Japan, which
coexisted with an almost too subtle refinement of manners and of
thought, both literary and artistic, is expressed in this little
square of grave coloring. So, in the numerous South Sea Island studies
which have filled many a frame and delighted so many a student of
water-color drawings, it is hard to say whether the pictures of
movement and action, of fishing with cormorants, of riding and
marching, of bustle and life, or the pictures of tropical and oriental
men and women in repose, are more delightful--half naked girls
carrying canoes, seated dancers going through the sacred movements of
the _siva_, portraits of individuals, and studies of groups intended
to preserve for the artist the recollection, and for the instruction
of those at home the singular life, of these brown islanders, so
different from the negroids of the southern groups, so over-civilized
in ceremony and tradition, with all their lack of policing and of
steady social conditions. In all this work the artist's indifference
to the accepted conventional ways of expressing his meaning is
altogether fortunate for his art. He knows how to tell a story in
pictures which have very much, if not all, of his highest artistic
qualities, and this he would hardly be capable of were he more
fettered than he is by the rules of the academies as to how the action
of man should be put into form and color.

  [Illustration: The Floating Head.]

In connection with this matter, the question comes up how far Mr. La
Farge is a thorough draughtsman. It hardly becomes one who is not
ready to go into the minute examination of his work, figure by figure,
to challenge its merit in the way of anatomical correctness and
academic severity of drawing; but it is to be said, at least, that the
strongest reason exists for the belief that many of the draped figures
would prove incorrect if an absolutely accurate drawing of the nude
body in the position assumed by the draped figure could be laid upon
the drapery. It is difficult here to express one's exact meaning,
because there is no such thing as an absolutely correct drawing of the
nude body in any position; but if we take a draped angel or a draped
St. Peter or a draped Buddhist priest from this gallery of pictured
men and women, we can imagine the consummate draughtsman, the Paul
Veronese of the present, if there were such a man, pointing out that a
figure seated or standing in that position could not get within the
drapery which the artist has pictured. We can even imagine the painter
aware of the fact--in advance of all criticism by others. It will be
observed that La Farge has seldom painted the nude. His early work
involved a great deal of drawing, both from the nude model and in the
way of designed and composed nude figures. Naked figures represented
on a small scale, as among his numerous Eastern subjects, exist, of
course, in his work in great numbers; but the nude in the larger
European sense of elaborately rendered, well modelled, thoroughly
understood naked figures, male and female, is rare in his work. Mural
painting in churches hardly allows of that; glass is, of course,
wholly foreign in its purpose and mission from such art as includes
the nude, and hardly allows even of the naked hands and head. Now, let
it be admitted for the moment not only that La Farge is not given to
drawing the nude, but even that he has not done consummate work in
that direction; let that be admitted, and let us then see how that
affects his pictures and drawings. It need not be asked whether it
affects the decorative value of his work--considered as a body of art
it cannot affect it badly; we need think, now, only of fine drawing
considered by itself. It is a part of the true traditional doctrine of
art that no man should paint from the model, nude or draped; that no
man should draw from the model, nude or draped, with the intention of
using the drawing upon his wall surface or canvas. It is a tradition
which ought to have been left intact as it came from older men, that
when the artist composes it is his duty to forget his anatomy and to
forget the preparatory drawings which he has made by hundreds, and to
draw directly upon his canvas or sheet of paper the figure which he
now conceives as a part of his design, the figure which he desires to
put into his composition as one of its elements. He is free then to do
what La Farge himself does freely, to compare this result with the
model, nude or draped, or first nude and then draped; but this
comparison has for its purpose, not the correction of the drawing or
the picture with reference to its anatomical correctness nearly so
much as it has in view the lifelike appearance of the figure. Given a
draped figure which does not seem to stand quite as firmly upon its
feet, or to be moving quite as freely, as the composer himself
desires, it is required by consultation of the model to rectify those
errors in the drawing which have led to this unfortunate result and to
give to that figure the lifelike character which it does not yet

  [Illustration: A Study.]

  [Illustration: Study for Bacchanal Drawing.]

  [Illustration: Study for the Watson Window, 1889.
   This is the one carried out and sent to the Paris Exposition.]

It is a characteristic of Mr. La Farge's art as a painter that he is
primarily a colorist. Now it is fairly safe to say that no man since
the great Venetians has been at once a consummate draughtsman of the
human figure and a consummate master of color; and that apparently the
mind of the workman cannot lead his artistic production in such paths
that both of these excellences may be attained at once. The workman,
if he is sincere, and if he is well advised, follows the course which
is easiest for him, and if he conceives of every figure and every
group of figures with their setting of landscape or architecture
primarily as a piece of splendid coloring, to be taken from nature as
an abstract piece of coloring, and so modified that it will tell as
an abstract piece of coloring on canvas or on wall--if that is the
artist's object he will not improve the work produced on these lines
by giving his time and strength to the proposed consideration of
accuracy of drawing.

  [Illustration: Monument in Newport Cemetery Erected Under the
   Direction of John La Farge and Augustus St. Gaudens.]

To ask whether La Farge's work would be artistically better if it were
consummate in drawing is to ask a question which no one can answer. It
is certain that no wise student will go to La Farge to learn figure
drawing in the technical sense. It is not that which his art offers
the student. There are, however, two large pictures, which can hardly
be challenged--the two lunettes in the Villard-Reid house; and it is
probable that if these pictures were within easy reach of the public,
and could be seen as the wall paintings in the Congressional Library
can be seen by all the world and every day, they would tend to raise
the general opinion of La Farge's capacity and range as a painter
beyond what even his admirers now hold. The pictures represent "The
Dance" and "Music." In each of them, smiling landscape forms the
background, a landscape not to be called sunny because the work of the
true colorist hardly allows of sunshine. Sunshine and full glowing
color are not generally found possible of simultaneous presentation,
and La Farge certainly makes no attempt to combine them. If, then, we
consider one of these two groups of six or eight maidens invested in
rather bright and high-lighted colors and set off by a landscape
somewhat deeper in tone than their own figures--if we consider each of
these pictures as a mural painting intended to be festal in character
and to glorify and heighten the beauty of the room which it adorns,
while at the same time it is in itself a piece of coloring of almost
the highest quality--we have then, perhaps, the fairest and most
complete idea of what one of these lunettes is as a work of art--what
it has been in the artist's well-realized purpose. The beauty of
composition in line and mass in either of the pictures, noticeable as
it is, is not important in comparison. The power of line-composition
is not very rare; except in its very highest manifestation, it is
almost like correct spelling; necessary, but deserving no special
remark. But when it is said of any picture that it is a piece of
coloring of the highest or almost the highest rank, there has been
said of it the utmost that can be said of a work of graphic art. It is
not claimed that color is essentially greater or nobler than form, but
that color is the graphic artist's especial domain, in which he alone
can rule; and further, that color is peculiarly artistical, ideal,
abstract, and in this way loftier. Is it possible for the mind of man
to conceive of anything more perfect, more remote from, and, in a
sense, superior to, whatever else there is in the world of humanity
than a color composition of the highest quality? There is only one
product of the human mind which can be compared with it; a musical
composition of the highest class; a symphony of Beethoven, alone, can
be compared to a great composition by Titian. That such a color-gift
and such a color-purpose are to be seen in all of Mr. La Farge's work
alike would be hardly too much to say. The touch of the consummate
colorist is not as evident, but is as discoverable by one who knows
how to look, in a piece of nature-study from Fiji, six inches square,
as it is in a large composition of saints and angels. The disposition
and the power to give to tinted paper the glow, the radiance, the
wealth and charm of that strange and inexplicable thing, the mingling
of tints into a resulting color-scheme--these are in small work the
same essentially that they are in large. Nor is the background of the
Ascension picture in the eponymic church to be exalted above the bits
of hillside and surf in the drawings of oceanic life, otherwise than
as its greater size allows it greater splendor.

  [Illustration: "Athens." Mural Painting in the Walker Art Gallery at
   Bowdoin College.]

That this power over color is the life and soul of the decorator need
hardly be urged. Decoration which is applied to a flat surface and
which is not in relief, except, perhaps, to a slight extent and
occasionally, has for its main object, its main _desideratum_,
richness or refinement of coloring, or both. If one has a wall to
decorate, the first idea of the true decorator is to invest it with
splendor or with delicate strength of color. He seeks for fresco, or
the encaustic process, or mosaic, or, as in modern times, oil-painting
upon a strained canvas, indifferently and according to the spirit of
his time and the practice of his contemporaries; but his object is one
and the same--to invest his wall or ceiling with noble color. Little
may he care what the subject of the painting or mosaic may be.
According to the requirements of the epoch or community in which he
lives, it may be a procession of saints or a dance of bacchanals; the
primary object which he has in view is to procure a most enjoyable
and delightful piece of color--and other things are of secondary
importance. Glass, then, would seem to be especially prepared for La
Farge's work, and La Farge especially prepared for glass. Consider the
memorial window which fills a window-opening in a church at North
Easton, Mass., a town which owes much to the lady whose memory is thus
honored. Upon a background of broken and changing blue are relieved
the three figures larger than life-size which nearly fill the opening.
Two of these figures are clothed, one in drapery of the most vivid
green, the other in drapery of orange-brown; that is to say, these are
the general colors offered to the eye of the spectator by the infinite
number of minor tints, all passing into one another in subtle
gradation, which make up the general mass of drapery. It is to be
observed, then, that these figures are also seen to be clothed in
rags, and that the idea, the notion of wretchedness and tatters is
maintained in spite of the sumptuous clothing of glowing color which
invests it all. That is an instance as good as can be found of what
the colorist has to do in this world. He does not ask whether beggars
have ever been dressed in such garments as have been described, but he
has to express the two-fold image, Beggary and splendid color, and out
of these he makes up his work of art, as unlike as may be to anything
in nature, but none the worse for that. To return to mural painting;
there is one merit which all La Farge's brother-painters agree in
awarding to him, and that is the power of putting a painting upon the
wall so that it does not change the character of the wall as a part of
the building. His painting takes nothing away from the solidity of the
wall which it invests. The upright mass retains its rigidity and
weight, it still carries the roof, it still holds firmly to the
adjoining walls, it is a massive and trustworthy part of the
construction, and the painted picture has added to rather than taken
from its permanent and resting quality. How this is done is fully as
inexplicable as is the glow and splendor of color itself. No one can
say abstractly and without having the picture immediately before him
how any such result is attained, nor is it easy to explain the
picture, even to the looker-on, in any such terms as will fully
express this quality. It is one of the most valuable qualities which
mural painting can possess--mural painting which fluctuates between
the flatness which is also feebleness and a kind of realism which
carries with it the effect of out-of-doors--of a hole in the wall. The
same thing obtains in his minor work, and here the background, the
temple, or rock, forty feet away, is as perfectly detached from the
foreground figures as would be a distant and airy mountain miles away,
while still the picture remains flat cardboard or flat canvass
invested with light and shade and color.

We are brought naturally to the consideration of Mr. La Farge's
landscape. He is not generally considered as a landscape painter; and
yet he has produced a great deal of landscape in the secondary or
accessory part of his work. He has also painted landscape of first
intention, so to speak, landscape which is nothing but landscape, and
that, at different times in his life; always succeeding, and yet
always turning away from landscape to what seems to be his chosen work
of figure subject used decoratively. Landscape-painting is
unquestionably the art of our epoch, the one branch of the art of
painting which this century has excelled in; and, therefore, La Farge
was inevitably drawn toward landscape painting, he being a man of his
time, if also a man of strong individual peculiarities. It would be
hard for a student of art in the abstract, a theorizer, a critic and a
lover of the arts of the past, to avoid painting landscape when
everybody around him is painting landscape; and accordingly La Farge
has turned his attention to that, but the odd thing is that he has not
stayed there, that he has not continued to be a landscape painter
primarily. It would seem to the hasty observer of landscape painting
that this department of art alone would have afforded material for all
of his artistic dreams and for all his artistic purposes, for what is
more truly decorative than landscape such as is shown in the wonderful
Paradise Valley? That picture is made up of light and color. The
surface of thick, lush, summer grass, the surface of rock dimly seen,
the surface of ocean, the hazy sky, all together go to form a mass of
glowing and yet delicate color the like of which it is very hard to
find in simple landscape anywhere in ancient or modern art. Until
recent years there were only half a dozen such pictures of wide
landscape, numerous as were his studies in that style; for otherwise
his finished landscapes were chiefly those composed of foreground
rock, of iris seen against a wild-rose covered bank, of three or four
water-lily blossoms and a dozen little buds floating on still water;
or else they were landscape backgrounds to figure subjects in which
the landscape was evidently made, of deliberate purpose, a thing of
less intention and of inferior interest. During the last ten years,
however, La Farge has produced an immense number of singularly
effective drawings in monochrome and in color, made either on the spot
in Samoa, in Fiji, in Japan, or elsewhere in the far East, or made
after his return home, from studies carefully noted during his stay
abroad. Of these landscape drawings, some are of extended and really
vast stretches of country. Mountains are introduced which are several
miles away, and show in relief against a pale sky, every detail of the
mountain being rendered as the eye could have seen it from the point
of view occupied by the painter, and the whole wrought into a
wonderfully glowing panorama of green passing into blue against the
green mystery of the firmament. There are also among these drawings
pictures which are Turnerian in their love of and sympathy with mist
and vapor and their enjoyment of pure and delightful color produced by
sunlight upon such vapor. Among these are four drawings of the Valley
of Tokio seen from a hill above the city, the vision of the artist
reaching across the valley and including its whole extent and the
mountains which form the boundary. In other words, each of these
landscapes includes a range of one hundred square miles of country at
least, and its investing and overflowing drapery of cloud and of
low-lying vapor; and yet these were four small drawings, mere studies
on leaves of a sketch-book. It is the greatest misfortune to Americans
that they have been scattered among four different owners. If it were
possible for the Boston Museum, under its wise direction, to gather
these four drawings into its ownership and to exhibit them side by
side well lighted and isolated from other conflicting art, a real
service would be done to the whole community of art students; for
there is in them an abundance of the true landscape feeling, of the
true landscape sympathy, of that love of the magnificence, and the
refinement of nature which no transcript can give, but which the
thought of the artist when stimulated powerfully by the contemplation
of the glory of nature will transfer to his material medium.

Much of this character exists in the sepia drawing of the "Dry Bed of
the Dayagawa River," [page 7] which hardly needs analysis in words,
since it is capable of fairly complete reproduction.

  [Illustration: A Study.]

  [Illustration: Skerryvore.]


Edited by Sidney Colvin


In order of date the letters now to be quoted follow next on those
from the French Riviera which were printed in the April number. When
in the late spring of 1884 Stevenson was prostrated by the worst of
all his many attacks of hemorrhage from the lung, he was still
residing in that chalet at Hyères which he had hoped to make his
permanent abode. Partly the renewed failure of his health, and partly
a bad outbreak of cholera in the old Provençal town, which occurred in
the ensuing summer, compelled him to abandon this hope. As soon as he
recovered strength enough to be able to travel by even the easiest
stages, he moved to Royat in Auvergne, and thence in the course of
July to England. After consultation with several doctors, all of whom
held out good hopes of ultimate recovery in spite of the gravity of
his present symptoms, he moved to Bournemouth. Here he found in the
heaths and pine-woods some distant semblance of the landscape of his
native Scotland, and in sandy curves of the Channel coast a passable
substitute for the bays and promontories of his beloved Mediterranean.
At all events he liked the place well enough to be willing to try it
for a home: and such it became for all but three years, from
September, 1884, to August, 1887. These, although in the matter of
health the worst and most trying years of his life, were in the matter
of work some of the most active and successful. For the first two or
three months the Stevensons occupied a lodging on the West Cliff
called Wensleydale; for the next three or four, from December, 1884,
to March, 1885, they were tenants of a house named Bonallie Towers,
pleasantly situated amid the pine-woods of Branksome Park; and
lastly, about Easter, 1885, they entered into occupation of a house of
their own, given by the elder Stevenson to his son, and re-named by
the latter Skerryvore, in reminiscence of one of the great lighthouse
works carried out by the family firm off the Scottish coast. During
all the time of Stevenson's residence at Bournemouth he was compelled
to lead the life, irksome to him above all men, but borne with
invincible sweetness and patience, of a chronic invalid and almost
constant prisoner to the house. He was hardly ever free for more than
a few weeks at a time from fits of hemorrhage, fever, and prostration,
accompanied by the nervous exhaustion and general distress consequent
equally upon the attacks themselves and upon the remedies which the
physicians were constrained to employ against them. A great part of
his time was spent in bed, and there almost all his literary work was
produced. Often for days, and sometimes for weeks together, he was
forbidden to speak aloud, and compelled to carry on conversation with
his family and friends in whispers or with the help of pencil and
paper. The few excursions to a distance which he attempted--most
commonly to my house, at the British Museum, once to Matlock, once to
Exeter, and once in 1886 as far as Paris--these excursions almost
always ended in a break-down and a hurried retreat to home and bed.
Nevertheless, seizing on and making the most of every week, nay, every
day and hour of respite, he contrived to produce work surprising
alike, under the circumstances, by quantity and quality. During the
first two months of his life at Bournemouth the two plays _Admiral
Guinea_ and _Beau Austin_ were written in collaboration with Mr.
Henley. In 1885 he published three volumes, viz.: _More New Arabian
Nights_, the _Child's Garden of Verses_, and _Prince Otto_ (the two
latter, it is true, having been for the most part written a year or
two earlier, at Hyères). In 1886 appeared _The Strange Case of Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_ and _Kidnapped_, the two books which, together
with _Treasure Island_, did most to win for him the fame and honor
which he ever afterward enjoyed among readers on both sides of the
Atlantic. At the same time he was a fairly frequent contributor of
essays to magazines and of stories to Christmas annuals and other
periodical collections. The year 1887, the last of his life in the old
country, was chiefly, with the exception of the _Life of Fleeming
Jenkin_, a year of collections and re-prints; in it were published
_Underwoods, The Merry Men_, _Memories and Portraits_, and the _Black
Arrow_ in volume form.

The correspondence of these three invalid years at Bournemouth is
naturally in a less buoyant key than that of the relatively
flourishing and happy year at Hyères which preceded them. But it is
none the less full of interest, and of that vivid play of mood and
character which never failed in him whether he was sick or well. The
specimens which I shall here give will be taken, with a few
exceptions, from his communications with his brother men of letters,
including some whose acquaintance or friendship he had now for the
first time formed, as Mr. Henry James, Mr. William Archer, and Mr.
Locker-Lampson, besides such intimate friends and associates of
earlier days as Mr. Henley, Mr. Gosse, Mr. Symonds and myself.

But first come two or three to his parents and other correspondents:

     Sunday, 28th September, 1884.

MY DEAR PEOPLE,--I keep better, and am to-day downstairs for the first
time. I find the lockers entirely empty; not a cent to the front. Will
you pray send us some? It blows an equinoctial gale, and has blown for
nearly a week. Nimbus Britannicus; piping wind, lashing rain; the sea
is a fine colour, and wind-bound ships lie at anchor under the Old
Harry rocks, to make one glad to be ashore.

The Henleys are gone, and two plays practically done. I hope they may
produce some of the ready.--I am, ever affectionate son,

  R. L. S.

     October 3rd, 1884.

DEAR MR. CHATTO.--I have an offer of £25 for Otto from America. I do
not know if you mean to have the American rights; from the nature of
the contract, I think not; but if you understood that you were to sell
the sheets, I will either hand over the bargain to you, or finish it
myself and hand you over the money if you are pleased with the
amount. You see, I leave this quite in your hands. To parody an old
Scotch story of servant and master: if you don't know that you have a
good author, I know that I have a good publisher. Your fair, open, and
handsome dealings are a good point in my life, and do more for my
crazy health than has yet been done by any doctor.--Very truly yours,


[Mr. Stevenson, the elder, had read the play of _Admiral Guinea_,
written in September by his son and Mr. Henley in collaboration, and
had objected, with his usual energy of expression, to the stage
confrontation of profane blackguarding, in the person of Pew, with
evangelical piety in that of the reformed slaving captain who gives
his name to the piece.]

       (The three B's),
         (November 5th, 1884).

MY DEAR FATHER,--Allow me to say, in a strictly Pickwickian sense,
that you are a silly fellow. I am pained indeed, but how should I be
offended? I think you exaggerate; I cannot forget that you had the
same impression of the _Deacon;_ and yet, when you saw it played, were
less revolted than you looked for; and I will still hope that the
_Admiral_ also is not so bad as you suppose. There is one point,
however, where I differ from you very frankly. Religion is in the
world; I do not think you are the man to deny the importance of its
rôle; and I have long decided not to leave it on one side in art. The
opposition of the _Admiral_ and Mr. Pew is not, to my eyes, either
horrible or irreverent; but it may be, and it probably is, very ill
done: what then? This is a failure; better luck next time; more power
to the elbow, more discretion, more wisdom in the design, and the old
defeat becomes the scene of the new victory. Concern yourself about no
failure; they do not cost lives, as in engineering; they are the
_pierres perdues_ of successes. Fame is (truly) a vapour; do not think
of it; if the writer means well and tries hard, no failure will injure
him, whether with God or man.

I wish I could hear a brighter account of yourself; but I am inclined to
acquit the _Admiral_ after having a share in the responsibility. My very
heavy cold is, I hope, drawing off; and the change to this charming
house in the forest will, I hope, complete my re-establishment.--With
love to all, believe me, your ever affectionate,


[About the same time, Mr. T. Stevenson was in some hesitation as to
letting himself be proposed for the office of President of the Royal
Society of Edinburgh.]

     November, 1884.

MY DEAR FATHER,--I have no hesitation in recommending you to let your
name go up; please yourself about an address; though, I think, if we
could meet, we could arrange something suitable; but what you propose
would be well enough in a way; but so modest as to suggest a whine.
From that point of view it would be better to change a little; but
this, whether we meet or not, we must discuss. Tait, Crystal, the
Royal Society, and I, all think you amply deserve this honour and far
more; it is not the True Blue to call this serious compliment a
"trial"; you should be glad of this recognition. As for resigning,
that is easy enough if found necessary; but to refuse would be husky,
unsatisfactory, and a trifle rotten. _Sic subs._

  R. L. S.

My cold is still very heavy; but I carry it well. Fanny is very much
out of sorts, principally through perpetual misery with me. I fear I
have been a little in the dumps, which, _as you know, sir_, is a very
great sin. I must try to be more cheerful; but my cough is so
severe--my uvula, larynx, and pharynx being all to pot--that I have
sometimes most exhausting nights and very peevish wakenings. However,
this shall be remedied, and last night I was distinctly better than
the night before. There is, my dear Mr. Stevenson (so I moralise
blandly as we sit together on the devil's garden-wall), no more
abominable sin than this gloom, this plaguey peevishness; why (say I)
what matters it if we be a little uncomfortable--that is no reason
for mangling our unhappy wives. And then I turn and _girn_ on the
unfortunate Cassandra.--Your fellow culprit, R. L. S.

With reference to the two following letters, it should be explained
that Stevenson and his old Edinburgh friend and comrade, Mr. Baxter
(who was also his man of business), were accustomed in their
correspondence, as the whim took them, to merge their own identities
in those of two fictitious personages, Johnson-Thomson and
Thomson-Johnson, ex-elders of the Kirk and types of a certain cast of
Edinburgh character. Their language is of the broadest Scots; and for
some readers it may be desirable to mention that "hoast" means cough
and "sculduddery" loose talk.

     November 11th.

MY DEAR CHARLES,--I am in my new house, thus proudly styled, as you
perceive: but the deevil a tower ava' can be perceived (except out of
window); this is not as it should be; one might have hoped, at least,
a turret. We are all vilely unwell. I put in the dark watches
imitating a donkey with some success, but little pleasure; and in the
afternoon I indulge in a smart fever, accompanied by aches and
shivers. There is thus little monotony to be deplored; and what might
still weigh upon me my wife lightens by various inexplicable attacks,
now in the pleasant morn, now at the noon of night. I, at least, am a
_regular_ invalid; I would scorn to bray in the afternoon; I would
indignantly refuse the proposal to fever in the night. What is bred in
the bone will come out, sir, in the flesh; and the same spirit that
prompted me to date my letter regulates the hour and character of my
attacks.--I am, sir, yours,


     Postmark, BOURNEMOUTH,
     13th November, 1884.

MY DEAR THOMSON,--It's a maist remarkable fac', but nae shüner had I
written yon braggin', blawin' letter aboot ma business habits, when
bang! that very day, my hoast begude in the aifternune. It is really
remaurkable; it's providenshle, I believe. The ink wasnae fair dry,
the wards werenae well ooten ma mouth, when bang, I got the lee. The
mair ye think o't, Thomson, the less ye'll like the looks o't.
Proavidence (I'm no sayin') is all verra weel _in its place_; but if
proavidence has nae mainners, wha's to learn't? Proavidence is a fine
thing, but hoo would you like proavidence to keep your till for ye?
The richt place for proavidence is in the Kirk; it has naething to do
wi' private correspondence between twa gentlemen, nor freendly cracks,
nor a wee bit word of sculduddery ahint the door, nor, in shoart, wi'
ony _hole-and-corner wark_, what I would call. I'm pairfec'ly willin'
to meet in wi' Proavidence, I'll be prood to meet in wi' him, when my
time's come and I _cannae doe nae_ better; but if he's to come
skinking aboot my stairfit, damned, I might as weel be deid for a' the
comfort I'll can get in life. Cannae he no be made to understand that
it's beneath him? Gosh, if I was in his business, I wouldnae steer my
heid for a plain, auld ex-elder that, tak him the way he taks himsel',
's just aboot as honest as he can weel afford, an' but for a wheen
auld scandals, near forgotten noo, is a pairfectly respectable and
thoroughly decent man. Or if I fashed wi' him ava', it wad be kind o'
handsome like; a punnote under his stair door, or a bottle o' auld,
blended malt to his bit marnin', as a teshtymonial like you ye ken sae
weel aboot, but mair successfu'.

Dear Thomson, have I ony money. If I have, _send it_ for the loard's


[The following to Mr. Henry James, who from about this time began to
be a frequent and ever welcome visitor at the Bournemouth home, refers
to the essay of R. L. S. called a "Humble Remonstrance," which had
just appeared in Longman's Magazine. Mr. James had written holding out
the prospect of a continuance of the friendly controversy which had
thus been opened up between them on the aims and qualities of

     December 8th, 1884.

MY DEAR HENRY JAMES,--This is a very brave hearing from more points
than one. The first point is that there is a hope of a sequel. For
this I laboured. Seriously, from the dearth of information and
thoughtful interest in the art of literature, those who try to
practice it with any deliberate purpose run the risk of finding no fit
audience. People suppose it is "the stuff" that interests them; they
think, for instance, that the prodigious fine thoughts and sentiments
in Shakespeare impress by their own weight, not understanding that the
unpolished diamond is but a stone. They think that striking
situations, or good dialogue, are got by studying life; they will not
rise to understand that they are prepared by deliberate artifice and
set off by painful suppressions. Now, I want the whole thing well
ventilated, for my own education and the public's; and I beg you to
look as quick as you can, to follow me up with every circumstance of
defeat where we differ, and (to prevent the flouting of the laity) to
emphasise the points where we agree. I trust your paper will show me
the way to a rejoinder; and that rejoinder I shall hope to make with
so much art as to woo or drive you from your threatened silence. I
would not ask better than to pass my life in beating out this quarter
of corn with such a seconder as yourself.

Point the second, I am rejoiced indeed to hear you speak so kindly of
my work: rejoiced and surprised. I seem to myself a very rude,
left-handed countryman; not fit to be read, far less complimented, by
a man so accomplished, so adroit, so craftsmanlike as you. You will
happily never have cause to understand the despair with which a writer
like myself considers (say) the park scene in Lady Barberina. Every
touch surprises me by its intangible precision; and the effect when
done, as light as syllabub, as distinct as a picture, fills me with
envy. Each man among us prefers his own aim, and I prefer mine; but
when we come to speak of performance, I recognise myself, compared
with you, to be a lout and slouch of the first water.

Where we differ, both as to the design of stories and the delineation
of character, I begin to lament. Of course, I am not so dull as to ask
you to desert your walk; but could you not, in one novel, to oblige a
sincere admirer, and to enrich his shelves with a beloved volume,
could you not, and might you not, cast your characters in a mould a
little more abstract and academic (dear Mrs. Pennyman had already,
among your other work, a taste of what I mean), and pitch the
incidents, I do not say, in any stronger, but in a slightly more
emphatic key--as it were an episode from one of the old (so-called)
novels of adventure? I fear you will not; and I suppose I must
sighingly admit you to be right. And yet, when I see, as it were, a
book of Tom Jones handled with your exquisite precision and shot
through with those side-lights of reflection in which you excel, I
relinquish the dear vision with regret. Think upon it.

As you know, I belong to that besotted class of man, the invalid; this
puts me to a stand in the way of visits. But it is possible that some
day you may feel that a day near the sea and among pinewoods would be
a pleasant change from town. If so, please let us know; and my wife
and I will be delighted to put you up and give you what we can to eat
and drink (I have a fair bottle of claret).--On the back of which,
believe me, yours sincerely,


P.S.--I reopen this to say that I have re-read my paper, and cannot
think I have at all succeeded in being either veracious or polite. I
knew, of course, that I took your paper merely as a pin to hang my own
remarks upon; but, alas! what a thing is any paper! What fine remarks
can you not hang on mine! How I have sinned against proportion and,
with every effort to the contrary, against the merest rudiments of
courtesy to you! You are, indeed, a very acute reader to have divined
the real attitude of my mind, and I can only conclude, not without
closed eyes and shrinking shoulders, in the well-worn words

     Lay on, Macduff!

[During a crippling fit of ill-health, Stevenson had received a
commission for a sensational story for the Christmas number of the
_Pall Mall Gazette_. The commission ended in his sending the managers
of the paper a recast of a gruesome tale which he had written and
condemned in the Highlands three years before, _The Body-Snatcher_.
He rightly thought this beneath his own standard of merit, and would
not take the full fee which had been offered for it. Two of the
following letters to Mr. Henley refer to this matter: Bloody Jack, or
Jacques, let it be understood, was his regular nickname for his
arch-enemy, hemorrhage from the lungs.]

     [Dec. 1884.]

DEAR MAN,--1st Disagreeable. Do try and lay your hands on these three
poems; they were surely not lost in transmission? It seems hard I
should have to make them a _third_ time.

2d Disagreeable. I have done a kind of a damned machine for the P. M.
G., and have near died of it--(weakness, insomnia, Bloody
Jacquerie)--and am now so dissatisfied that I have told them not to
pay me till I see a proof. I think, or I fear I will think, it is not
worth the money offered; in which case, of course, I will not take
it.--Yours ever,

     The pale wreck,           }
     The spectral phantom,     }  R. L. S.
     The abhorred miscarriage, }

     [Dec. 1884.]

DEAR LAD,--I have made up my mind about the P. M. G., and send you a
copy, which please keep or return. As for not giving a reduction, what
are we? Are we artists or city men? Why do we sneer at stockbrokers? O
nary; I will not take the £40. I took that as a fair price for my best
work; I was not able to produce my best; and I will be damned if I
steal with my eyes open. _Sufficit._ This is my lookout. As for the
paper being rich, certainly it is; but I am honourable. It is no more
above me in money than the poor slaveys and cads from whom I look for
honesty are below me. Am I Pepys, that because I can find the
countenance of "some of our ablest merchants," that because ---- and
---- pour forth languid twaddle and get paid for it, I, too, should
"cheerfully continue to steal"? I am not Pepys. I do not live much to
God and honour; but I will not wilfully turn my back on both. I am,
like all the rest of us, falling ever lower from the bright ideas I
began with, falling into greed, into idleness, into middle-aged and
slippered fireside cowardice; but is it you, my bold blade, that I
hear crying this sordid and rank twaddle in my ear? Preaching the
dankest Grundyism and upholding the rank customs of our trade--you,
who are so cruel hard upon the customs of the publishers? O man, look
at the Beam in our own Eyes; and whatever else you do, do not plead
Satan's cause, or plead it for all; either embrace the bad, or respect
the good when you see a poor devil trying for it. If this is the
honesty of authors--to take what you can get and console yourself
because publishers are rich--take my name from the rolls of that
association. 'Tis a caucus of weaker thieves, jealous of the
stronger.--Ever yours,


You will see from the enclosed that I have stuck to what I think my
dues pretty tightly in spite of this flourish; these are my words for
a poor ten-pound note!

  [Illustration: Stevenson's Skye Terrier "Bogue."
   From a photograph made at Hyères.]

     [Christmas, 1884.]

MY DEAR LAD,--Here was I in bed; Bloody Jack; not writing, not
hearing, and finding myself gently and agreeably ill used; and behold
I learn you are bad yourself. Get your wife to send us a word how you
are. I am better decidedly. Bogue got his Christmas card, and behaved
well for three days after. It may interest the cynical to learn that I
started this hæmorrhage by too sedulous attentions to my dear Bogue.
The stick was broken; and that night Bogue, who was attracted by the
extraordinary aching of his bones, and is always inclined to a serious
view of his own ailments, announced with his customary pomp that he
was dying. In this case, however, it was not the dog that died. (He
had tried to bite his mother's ankles.) I have written, with the aid
of bloudie Jack, a long and peculiarly solemn paper on the technical
elements of style. It is path-breaking and epoch-making; but I do not
think the public will be readily convoked to its perusal. Did I tell
you that S. C. had risen to the paper on James? At last! O but I was
pleased; he's (like Johnnie) been lang, lang o' comin', but here he
is. He will not object to my future manoeuvres in the same field, as
he has to my former. All the family are here; my father better than I
have seen him these two years; my mother the same as ever. I do trust
you are better, and I am yours ever, R. L. S.

     [Winter, 1884-5.]

DEAR HENLEY,--We are all to pieces in health, and heavily handicapped
with Arabs. [Stories for the _New Arabian Nights_.] I have a dreadful
cough, whose attacks leave me _ætat 90_. Fanny is quite gone up with
my bad health. I never let up on the Arabs, all the same, and rarely
get less than eight pages out of hand, though hardly able to come
downstairs for twittering knees.

I shall put in ----'s letter. He says so little of his circumstances
that I am in an impossibility to give him advice more specific than a
copybook. Give him my love, however, and tell him it is the mark of
the parochial gentleman who has never travelled to find all wrong in a
foreign land. Let him hold on, and he will find one country as good as
another; and in the meanwhile let him resist the fatal British
tendency to communicate his dissatisfaction with a country to its
inhabitants. 'Tis a good idea, but it somehow fails to please. In a
fortnight, if I can keep my spirit in the box at all, I should be
nearly through this Arabian desert; so can tackle something
fresh.--Yours ever, R. L. S.

      Winter, 1884-5.]

DEAR BOY,--I trust this finds you well; it leaves me so-so. The
weather is so cold that I must stick to bed, which is rotten and
tedious, but can't be helped.

I find in the blotting book the enclosed, which I wrote to you the eve
of my blood. Is it not strange? That night, when I naturally thought I
was coopered, the thought of it was much in my mind; I thought it had
gone; and I thought what a strange prophecy I had made in jest, and
how it was indeed like to be the end of many letters. But I have
written a good few since, and the spell is broken. I am just as
pleased, for I earnestly desire to live. This pleasant middle age into
whose port we are steering is quite to my fancy. I would cast anchor
here, and go ashore for twenty years, and see the manners of the
place. Youth was a great time, but somewhat fussy. Now in middle age
(bar lucre) all seems mighty placid. It likes me; I spy a little
bright café in one corner of the port, in front of which I now propose
we should sit down. There is just enough of the bustle of the harbour
and no more; and the ships are close in, regarding us with
stern-windows--the ships that bring deals from Norway and parrots from
the Indies. Let us sit down here for twenty years, with a packet of
tobacco and a drink, and talk of art and women. By the by, the whole
city will sink, and the ships too, and the table, and we also; but we
shall have sat for twenty years and had a fine talk; and by that time,
who knows? exhausted the subject.

I send you a book which (or I am mistook) will please you; it pleased
me. But I do desire a book of adventure--a romance--and no man will
get or write me one. Dumas I have read and re-read too often; Scott,
too, and I am short. I want to hear swords clash. I want a book to
begin in a good way; a book, I guess, like _Treasure Island_, alas!
which I have never read, and cannot though I live to ninety. I would
God that some one else had written it! By all that I can learn, it is
the very book for my complaint. I like the way I hear it opens; and
they tell me John Silver is good fun. And to me it is, and must ever
be, a dream unrealised, a book unwritten: O my sighings after romance,
or even Skeltery, and O! the weary age which will produce me neither!


The night was damp and cloudy, the ways foul. The single horseman,
cloaked and booted, who pursued his way across Willesden Common, had
not met a traveller, when the sound of wheels--


"Yes, sir," said the old pilot, "she must have dropped into the bay a
little afore dawn. A queer craft she looks."

"She shows no colours," returned the young gentleman musingly.

"They're a-lowerin' of a quarter-boat, Mr. Mark," resumed the old
salt. "We shall soon know more of her."

"Ay," replied the young gentleman called Mark, "and here, Mr.
Seadrift, comes your sweet daughter Nancy tripping down the cliff."

"God bless her kind heart, sir," ejaculated old Seadrift.


The notary, Jean Rossignol, had been summoned to the top of a great
house in the Isle St. Louis to make a will; and now, his duties
finished, wrapped in a warm roquelaure and with a lantern swinging
from one hand, he issued from the mansion on his homeward way. Little
did he think what strange adventures were to befall him!--

That is how stories should begin. And I am offered HUSKS instead.

     What should be:            What is:

     The Filibuster's Cache.    Aunt Anne's Tea Cosy.
     Jerry Abershaw.            Mrs. Brierly's Niece.
     Blood Money: A Tale.       Society: A Novel.

  R. L. S.

[The following letters to myself refer to a project, eagerly embraced
at first, but afterward abandoned for want of time and strength, for a
short life of Wellington to be contributed to a series edited by Mr.
Andrew Lang for Messrs. Longman. In the third letter to me, and in
that to Mr. J. A. Symonds which follows it, are expressed something of
the feelings of distress and bitterness with which, in common with,
but even more deeply than most Englishmen of sense and spirit,
Stevenson at this time felt the national disgrace of Gordon's fate in
the Soudan.]

     Jan. 4th, 1885.

DEAR S. C.,--I am on my feet again, and getting on my boots to do the
_Iron Duke_. Conceive my glee: I have refused the £100, and am to get
some sort of royalty, not yet decided, instead. 'Tis for Longman's
_English Worthies_, edited by A. Lang. Aw haw!

Now look here, could you get me a loan of the Despatches, or is that a
dream? I should have to mark passages I fear, and certainly note pages
on the fly. If you think it a dream, will Bain get me a second-hand
copy, or who would? The sooner, and cheaper, I can get it the better.
If there is anything in your weird library that bears on either the
man or the period, put it in a mortar and fire it here instanter: I
shall catch. I shall want, of course, an infinity of books: among
which, any lives there may be; a life of the Marquis Marmont (the
Maréchal), _Marmont's Memoirs_; _Greville's Memoirs_; _Peel's
Memoirs_; _Napier_; that blind man's history of England you once lent
me; Hamley's _Waterloo_; can you get me any of these? Thiers, idle
Thiers also. Can you help a man getting into his boots for such a huge
campaign? How are you? A good new year to you. I mean to have a good
one, but on whose funds I cannot fancy: not mine, leastways; as I am a
mere derelict and drift beam-on to bankruptcy.

For God's sake remember the man who set out for to conquer Arthur
Wellesley, with a broken bellows and an empty pocket.--Yours ever.


     Jan. or Feb. 1885.

DEAR S. C.,--I have addressed a letter to the G. O. M. _à propos_ of
Villainton; and I became aware, you will be interested to hear, of an
overwhelming respect for the old gentleman. I can _blaguer_ his
failures; but when you actually address him, and bring the two
statures and records to confrontation, dismay is the result. By mere
continuance of years, he must impose; the man who helped to rule
England, before I was conceived, strikes me with a new sense of
greatness and antiquity, when I must actually beard him with the cold
forms of correspondence. I shied at the necessity of calling him plain
"Sir"! had he been "My lord," I had been happier; no, I am no
equalitarian. Honour to whom honour is due; and if to none, why, then,
honour to the old!

These, O Slade Professor, are my unvarnished sentiments: I was a
little surprised to find them so extreme, and, therefore, I
communicate the fact.

Belabour thy brains, as to whom it would be well to question. I have a
small space; I wish to make a popular book, nowhere obscure, nowhere,
if it can be helped, unhuman. It seems to me the most hopeful plan to
tell the tale, so far as may be, by anecdote. He did not die till so
recently, there must be hundreds who remember him, and thousands who
have still ungarnered stories. Dear man, to the breach! Up, soldier of
the iron dook, up, Slades, and at 'em! (which, conclusively, he did
not say: the at 'em-ic theory is to be dismissed). You know piles of
fellows who must reek with matter; help! help!

  R. L. S.

      Feb. 1885.]

MY DEAR COLVIN,--You are indeed a backward correspondent, and much may
be said against you. But in this weather, and O dear! in this
political scene of degradation, much must be forgiven. I fear England
is dead of Burgessry, and only walks about galvanised. I do not love
to think of my countrymen these days; nor to remember myself. Why was
I silent? I feel I have no right to blame any one: but I won't write
to the G. O. M. I do really not see my way to any form of signature,
unless "your fellow criminal in the eyes of God," which might disquiet
the proprieties.

About your book, I have always said go on. [This refers to some kind
of a scheme, I forget what, for the republication of stray
magazine-work of mine under the title Pictures, Places, and People.]
The drawing of character is a different thing from publishing the
details of a private career. No one objects to the first, or should
object, if his name be not put upon it; at the other, I draw the line.
In a preface, if you choose, you might distinguish: it is besides, a
thing for which you are eminently well equipped, and which you would
do with taste and incision. I long to see the book. People like
themselves (to explain a little more); no one likes his life, which is
a misgotten issue, and a tale of failure. To see these failures either
touched upon, or _coasted_, to get the idea of a spying eye and
blabbing tongue about the house is to lose all privacy in life. To see
that thing, which we do love, our character set forth, is ever
gratifying. See how my _Talk and Talkers_ went; everyone liked his own
portrait, and shrieked about other people's; so it will be with yours:
if you are the least true to the essential, the sitter will be
pleased: very likely not his friends, and that from _various motives_.

  R. L. S.

When will your holiday be? I sent your letter to my wife, and forget.
Keep us in mind, and I hope we shall be able to receive you.

     Feb. 1885.

MY DEAR SYMONDS,--Yes, we have both been very neglectful. I had horrid
luck: catching (from kind friends) two thundering influenzas in August
and November; I recovered from the last with difficulty: also had
great annoyance from hæmorrhagic leaking; but have come through this
blustering winter with some general success; in the house, up and
down. My wife, however, has been painfully upset by my health. Last
year, of course, was cruelly trying to her nerves; Nice and Hyères are
bad experiences; and though she is not ill, the doctors tell me that
prolonged anxiety may do her a real mischief. She is now at Hyères
collecting our goods; and she has been ill there, which has upset my
liver and driven me to the friendly calomel on which I now mainly
live: it is the only thing that stops the bleeding, which seems
directly connected with the circulation of the liver.

I feel a little old and fagged, and chary of speech, and not very sure
of spirit in my work; but considering what a year I have passed, and
how I have twice sat on Charon's pier-head, I am surprising. The
doctors all seem agreed in saying that my complaint is quite unknown,
and will allow of no prognosis.

My father has presented us with a very pretty home in this place, into
which we hope to move by May. My _Child's Verses_ come out next week.
_Otto_ begins to appear in April. _More New Arabian Nights_ as soon as
possible. Moreover, I am neck deep in Wellington; also a story on the
stocks: _The Great North Road_. O, I am busy! Lloyd is at college in
Edinburgh. That is, I think, all that can be said by the way of news.

Have you read _Huckleberry Finn_? It contains many excellent things;
above all, the whole story of a healthy boy's dealings with his
conscience, incredibly well done.

My own conscience is badly seared: a want of piety; yet I pray for it,
tacitly, every day; believing it, after courage, the only gift worth
having; and its want, in a man of any claims to honour, quite
unpardonable. The tone of your letter seemed to me very sound. In
these dark days of public dishonour, I do not know that one can do
better than carry our private trials piously. What a picture is this
of a nation! No man that I can see, on any side or party, seems to
have the least sense of our ineffable shame: the desertion of the
garrisons. I tell my little parable that Germany took England, and
then there was an Indian Mutiny, and Bismarck said: "Quite right: let
Delhi and Calcutta and Bombay fall; and let the women and children be
treated Sepoy fashion," and people say: "O, but that is very
different!" And then I wish I were dead. Millais (I hear) was painting
Gladstone when the news came of Gordon's death; Millais was much
affected, and Gladstone said: "Why? _It is the man's own temerity!_"
But why should I blame Gladstone, when I too am a Bourgeois? when I
have held my peace? Why did I hold my peace? Because I am a sceptic:
_i.e._ a Bourgeois. We believe in nothing, Symonds; you don't, and I
don't; and there are two reasons, out of a handful of millions, why
England stands before the world dripping with blood and daubed with
dishonour. I will first try to take the beam out of my own eye;
trusting that even private effort somehow betters and braces the
general atmosphere. See, for example, if England has shown (I put it
hypothetically) one spark of manly sensibility, they have been shamed
into it by the spectacle of Gordon. Police-Officer Cole is the only
man that I see to admire. I dedicate my _New Arabs_ to him and Cox, in
default of other great public characters.--Yours ever most


     March 16th, 1885.

MY DEAR HAMERTON,--Various things have been reminding me of my
misconduct: First, Swan's application for your address; second, a
sight of the sheets of your _Landscape_ book; and last, your note to
Swan, which he was so kind as to forward. I trust you will never
suppose me to be guilty of anything more serious than an idleness,
partially excusable. My ill-health makes my rate of life heavier than
I can well meet, and yet stops me from earning more. My conscience,
sometimes perhaps too easily stifled, but still (for my time of life
and the public manners of the age) fairly well alive, forces me to
perpetual and almost endless transcriptions. On the back of all this,
any correspondence hangs like a thunder-cloud; and just when I think I
am getting through my troubles, crack, down goes my health, I have a
long costly sickness, and begin the world again. It is fortunate for
me I have a father, or I should long ago have died; but the
opportunity of the aid makes the necessity none the more welcome. My
father has presented me with a beautiful house here--or so I believe,
for I have not yet seen it, being a cage bird but for nocturnal
sorties in the garden. I hope we shall soon move into it, and I tell
myself that some day perhaps we may have the pleasure of seeing you as
our guest. I trust at least that you will take me as I am, a
thoroughly bad correspondent, and a man, a hater, indeed, of rudeness
in others, but too often rude in all unconsciousness himself; and that
you will never cease to believe the sincere sympathy and admiration
that I feel for you and for your work.

About the _Landscape_ [Mr. Hamerton's book so called], which I had a
glimpse of while a friend of mine was preparing a review, I was
greatly interested, and could write and wrangle for a year on every
page; one passage particularly delighted me, the part about
Ulysses--jolly. Then, you know, that is just what I fear I have come
to think landscape ought to be in literature; so there we should be at
odds. Or perhaps not so much as I suppose, as Montaigne says it is a
pot with two handles, and I own I am wedded to the technical handle,
which (I likewise own and freely) you do well to keep for a mistress.
I should much like to talk with you about some other points; it is
only in talk that one gets to understand. Your delightful Wordsworth
trap I have tried on two hardened Wordsworthians, not that I am one
myself. By covering up the context, and asking them to guess what the
passage was, both (and both are very clever people, one a writer, one
a painter) pronounced it a guide-book. "Do you think it an unusually
good guide-book?" I asked, and both said, "No, not at all!" Their
grimace was a picture when I showed the original.

I trust your health and that of Mrs. Hamerton keep better; your last
account was a poor one. I was unable to make out the visit I had
hoped, as (I do not know if you heard of it) I had a very violent and
dangerous hæmorrhage last spring. I am almost glad to have seen death
so close with all my wits about me, and not in the customary lassitude
and disenchantment of disease. Even thus clearly beheld I find him not
so terrible as we suppose. But, indeed, with the passing of years, the
decay of strength, the loss of all my old active and pleasant habits,
there grows more and more upon me that belief in the kindness of this
scheme of things, and the goodness of our veiled God, which is an
excellent and pacifying compensation. I trust, if your health
continues to trouble you, you may find some of the same belief. But
perhaps my fine discovery is a piece of art, and belongs to a
character cowardly, intolerant of certain feelings, and apt to
self-deception. I don't think so, however; and when I feel what a weak
and fallible vessel I was thrust into this hurly-burly, and with what
marvellous kindness the wind has been tempered to my frailties, I
think I should be a strange kind of ass to feel anything but

I do not know why I should inflict this talk upon you; but when I
summon the rebellious pen, he must go his own way; I am no Michael
Scott, to rule the fiend of correspondence. Most days he will none of
me; and when he comes, it is to rape me where he will,--Yours very


[With Mr. Will H. Low as intermediary, Stevenson had now been entering
into relations with Messrs. Scribner's Sons for the publication of his
works in America. The following letter refers to this matter and to
Mr. Low's proposed dedication to R. L. S. of one of the poems of Keats
which he had been illustrating.]

     March 13th, 1885.

MY DEAR LOW,--Your success has been immense. I wish your letter had
come two days ago: _Otto_, alas! has been disposed of a good while
ago; but it was only day before yesterday that I settled the new
volume of Arabs. However, for the future, you and the sons of the
deified Scribner are the men for me. Really they have behaved most
handsomely. I cannot lay my hand on the papers, or I would tell you
exactly how it compares with my English bargain: but it compares well.
Ah! if we had that copyright, I do believe it would go far to make me
solvent, ill health and all.

I wrote you a letter to the Rembrandt, in which I stated my views
about the dedication in a very brief form. It will give me sincere
pleasure; and will make the second dedication I have received: the
other being from John Addington Symonds. It is a compliment I value
much; I don't know any that I should prefer.

I am glad to hear you have windows to do; that is a fine business, I
think; but alas! the glass is so bad nowadays; realism invading even
that, as well as the huge inferiority of our technical resource
corrupting every tint. Still, anything that keeps a man to decoration
is in this age, good for the artist's spirit.

By the way, have you seen James and me on the novel? James, I think in
the August or September--R. L. S. in the December _Longman_. I own I
think the _école bête_, of which I am the champion, has the whiphand
of the argument; but as James is to make a rejoinder, I must not
boast. Anyway the controversy is amusing to see. I was terribly tied
down to space, which has made the end congested and dull. I shall see
if I can afford to send you the April _Contemporary_--but I daresay
you see it anyway--as it will contain a paper of mine on style, a sort
of continuation of old arguments on art in which you have wagged a
most effective tongue. It is a sort of start upon my Treatise on the
Art of Literature: a small, arid book that shall some day appear.

With every good wish from me and mine (should I not say "she and
hers"?) to you and yours, believe me yours ever,


Do you see much of Marius Townsend? Are you next door to the Doctor's
Daughter? or does "North" refer to another "Washington Square" than
Henry James's?

[The following to Mr. Gosse refers to the publication of that
gentleman's life of Gray, in Mr. Morley's series of English Men of
Letters, and of the writer's own, now classic, volume, _A Child's
Garden of Verses_.]

     March 12, 1885.

MY DEAR GOSSE,--I was indeed much exercised how I could be worked into
Gray; and lo! when I saw it, the passage seemed to have been written
with a single eye to elucidate the ... worst?... well, not a very good
poem of Gray's. Your little life is excellent, clean, neat, efficient.
I have read many of your notes, too, with pleasure. Your connection
with Gray was a happy circumstance; it was a suitable conjunction.

I did not answer your letter from the States, for what was I to say? I
liked getting it and reading it; I was rather flattered that you wrote
it to me; and then I'll tell you what I did--I put it in the fire.
Why? Well, just because it was very natural and expansive; and thinks
I to myself, if I die one of these fine nights, this is just the
letter that Gosse would not wish to go into the hands of third
parties. Was I well inspired? And I did not answer it because you were
in your high places, sailing with supreme dominion, and seeing life in
a particular glory; and I was peddling in a corner, confined to the
house, overwhelmed with necessary work, which I was not always doing
well, and, in the very mild form in which the disease approaches me,
touched with a sort of bustling cynicism. Why throw cold water? How
ape your agreeable frame of mind? In short, I held my tongue.

I have now published on 101 small pages _The Complete Proof of Mr. R.
L. Stevenson's Incapacity to Write Verse_, in a series of graduated
examples with table of contents. I think I shall issue a companion
volume of exercises: "Analyse this poem. Collect and comminate the
ugly words. Distinguish and condemn the _chevilles_. State Mr.
Stevenson's faults of taste in regard to the measure. What reasons can
you gather from this example for your belief that Mr. S. is unable to
write any other measure?"

They look ghastly in the cold light of print; but there is something
nice in the little ragged regimen; for all; the blackguards seem to me
to smile; to have a kind of childish treble note that sounds in my
ears freshly; not song, if you will, but a child's voice.

I was glad you enjoyed your visit to the States. Most Englishmen go
there with a confirmed design of patronage, as they go to France for
that matter; and patronage will not pay. Besides, in this year
of--grace, said I?--of disgrace, who should creep so low as an
Englishman? "It is not to be thought of that the flood"--ah,
"Wordsworth," you would change your note were you alive to-day!

I am now a beastly householder, but have not yet entered on my domain.
When I do, the social revolution will probably cast me back upon my
dung heap. There is a person called Hyndman whose eye is on me; his
step is beHynd me as I go. I shall call my house Skerryvore when I get
it: SKERRYVORE: _c'est bon pour la poéshie_. I will conclude with my
favourite sentiment: "The world is too much with me."

  The Hermit of Skerryvore.

  Author of "John Vane Tempest: a Romance," "Herbert and Henrietta: or
  the Nemesis of Sentiment," "The Life and Adventures of Colonel Bludyer
  Fortescue," "Happy Homes and Hairy Faces," "A Pound of Feathers and a
  Pound of Lead," part author of "Minn's Complete Capricious
  Correspondent: a Manual of Natty, Natural, and Knowing Letters," and
  editor of the "Poetical Remains of Samuel Burt Crabbe, known as the
  melodious Bottle-Holder."

     Uniform with the above:

  "The Life and Remains of the Reverend Jacob Degray Squah," author of
  "Heave-yo for the New Jerusalem." "A Box of Candles; or the Patent
  Spiritual Safety Match," and "A Day with the Heavenly Harriers."

[The two following letters refer to the sudden death of Professor
Fleeming Jenkin, with whom, and with his wife, Stevenson from his
early student days maintained unbroken kindness and friendship.]

     [Midsummer, 1885].

MY DEAR MRS. JENKIN,--You know how much and for how long I have loved,
respected, and admired him; I am only able to feel a little with you.
But I know how he would have wished us to feel. I never knew a better
man, nor one to me more lovable; we shall all feel the loss more
greatly as time goes on. It scarce seems life to me; what must it be
to you? Yet one of the last things that he said to me was, that from
all these sad bereavements of yours he had learned only more than ever
to feel the goodness and what we, in our feebleness, call the support
of God; he had been ripening so much--to other eyes than ours, we must
suppose he was ripe, and try to feel it. I feel it is better not to
say much more. It will be to me a great pride to write a notice of
him: the last I can now do. What more in any way I can do for you,
please to think and let me know. For his sake and for your own, I
would not be a useless friend: I know, you know me a most warm one;
please command me or my wife, in any way. Do not trouble to write to
me; Austin, I have no doubt, will do so, if you are, as I fear you
will be, unfit.

My heart is sore for you. At least you know what you have been to him;
how he cherished and admired you, how he was never so pleased as when
he spoke of you; with what a boy's love, up to the last, he loved you.
This surely is a consolation. Yours is the cruel part: to survive; you
must try and not grudge to him his better fortune, to go first. It is
the sad part of such relations that one must remain and suffer; I
cannot see my poor Jenkin without you. Nor you indeed without him; but
you may try to rejoice that he is spared that extremity. Perhaps I (as
I was so much his confidant) know even better that you can do, what
your loss would have been to him; he never spoke of you but what his
face changed; it was--you were--his religion.

I write by this post to Austin and to the Academy.--Yours most



MY DEAR MRS. JENKIN,--I should have written sooner, but we are in a
bustle and I have been very tired, though still well. Your very kind
note was most welcome to me. I shall be very much pleased to have you
call me Louis, as he has now done for so many years. Sixteen, you say?
is it so long? It seems too short now; but of that we cannot judge and
must not complain.

I wish that either I or my wife could do anything for you; when we
can, you will, I am sure, command us.

I trust that my notice gave you as little pain as was possible. I
found I had so much to say, that I preferred to keep it for another
place and make but a note in the Academy. To try to draw my friend at
greater length, and say what he was to me and his intimates, what a
good influence in life and what an example, is a desire that grows
upon me. It was strange, as I wrote the note, how his old tests and
criticisms haunted me; and it reminded me afresh with every few words
how much I owe to him.

I had a note from Henley, very brief and very sad. We none of us yet
feel the loss; but we know what he would have said and wished.

Do you know that Dew-Smith has two photographs of him, neither very
bad; and one giving a lively, though not flattering air of him in
conversation? If you have not got them, would you like me to write to
Dew and ask him to give you proofs?

I was so pleased that he and my wife had at last made friends; that is
a great pleasure. We found and have preserved one fragment (the head)
of the drawing he made and tore up when he was last here. He had
promised to come and stay with us this summer. May we not hope, at
least, some time soon to have one from you?--Believe me, my dear Mrs.
Jenkin, with the most real sympathy, your sincere friend,


Dear me, what happiness I owe to both of you!

     October 22nd, 1885.

MY DEAR LOW,--I trust you are not annoyed with me beyond forgiveness:
for indeed my silence has been devilish prolonged. I can only tell you
that I have been nearly six months (more than six) in a strange
condition of collapse when it was impossible to do any work and
difficult (more difficult than you would suppose) to write the merest
note. I am now better, but not yet my own man in the way of brains,
and in health only so-so. I turn more towards the liver and dyspepsia
business, which is damned unpleasant and paralysing; I suppose I shall
learn (I begin to think I am learning) to fight this vast, vague
feather-bed of an obsession that now overlies and smothers me; but in
the beginnings of these conflicts, the inexperienced wrestler is
always worsted; and I own I have been quite extinct. I wish you to
know, though it can be no excuse, that you are not the only one of my
friends by many whom I have thus neglected; and even now, having come
so very late into the possession of myself, with a substantial capital
of debts, and my work still moving with a desperate slowness--as a
child might fill a sandbag with its little handfuls--and my future
deeply pledged, there is almost a touch of virtue in my borrowing
these hours to write to you. Why I said 'hours' I know not; it would
look blue for both of us if I made good the word.

I was writing your address the other day, ordering a copy of my next,
_Prince Otto_, to go your way. I hope you have not seen it in parts;
it was not meant to be so read; and only my poverty (dishonourably)
consented to the serial evolution.

I will send you with this a copy of the English edition of the
_Child's Garden_. I have heard there is some vile rule of the
post-office in the States against inscriptions; so I send herewith a
piece of doggerel which Mr. Bunner may, if he thinks fit, copy off the
fly leaf.

Sargent was down again and painted a portrait of me walking about in
my own dining-room, in my own velveteen jacket and twisting as I go my
own moustache; at one corner a glimpse of my wife, in an Indian dress
and seated in a chair that was once my grandfather's, but since some
months goes by the name of Henry James's, for it was there the
novelist loved to sit--adds a touch of poesy and comicality. It is, I
think, excellent; but is too eccentric to be exhibited. I am at one
extreme corner; my wife, in this wild dress and looking like a ghost,
is at the extreme other end; between us an open door exhibits my
palatial entrance hall and a part of my respected staircase. All this
is touched in lovely, with that witty touch of Sargent's; but of
course it looks dam queer as a whole.

Pray let me hear from you and give me good news of yourself and your
wife, to whom please remember me.--Yours most sincerely, my dear Low,


(To be continued.)

  [Illustration: "Well, he can't lead _me_."--Page 35.]


By Joel Chandler Harris



While in Halcyondale attending the county fair I had a good many talks
with Aunt Minervy Ann, who was the cook, housekeeper, and general
superintendent of Major Tumlin Perdue's household. Some of these
conversations have been reported on account of the whiff and flavor of
old times which caused them to live in my mind, while others perhaps
as important have been forgotten.

In the published reports of these conversations the name of Hamp, Aunt
Minervy's husband, often occurs. When a slave, Hamp had belonged to an
estate which was in the hands of the Court of Ordinary (or, as it was
then called, the Inferior Court), to be administered in the interest
of minor heirs. This was not a fortunate thing for the negroes, of
which there were above one hundred and fifty. Men, women, and children
were hired out, some far and some near. They came back home at
Christmas-time, enjoyed a week's frolic, and were then hired out
again, perhaps to new employers. But whether to new or old, it is
certain that hired hands in those days did not receive the
consideration that men gave to their own negroes.

This experience told heavily on Hamp's mind. It made him reserved,
suspicious, and antagonistic. He had few pleasant memories to fall
back on, and these were of the days of his early youth, when he used
to trot around holding to his old master's coat-tails--the kind old
master who had finally been sent to the insane asylum. Hamp never got
over the idea (he had heard some of the older negroes talking about
it) that his old master had been judged to be crazy simply because he
was unusually kind to his negroes, especially the little ones. Hamp's
after-experience seemed to prove this, for he received small share of
kindness, as well as scrimped rations, from those who hired him.

It was a very good thing for Hamp that he married Aunt Minervy Ann,
otherwise he would have become a wanderer and a vagabond when freedom
came. Even as it was, he didn't miss it a hair's breadth. He "broke
loose," as he described it, and went off, but finally came back and
tried to persuade Aunt Minervy Ann to leave Major Perdue. How he
failed in this has already been reported. He settled down, but he
acquired no very friendly feelings toward the white race.

He joined the secret political societies strangely called "Union
Leagues," and aided in disseminating the belief that the whites were
only awaiting a favorable opportunity to re-enslave his race. He was
only repeating what the carpet-baggers had told him. Perhaps he
believed the statement, perhaps not. At any rate, he repeated it
fervently and frequently, and soon came to be the recognized leader of
the negroes in the county of which Halcyondale was the capital. That
is to say, the leader of all except one. At church one Sunday night
some of the brethren congratulated Aunt Minervy Ann on the fact that
Hamp was now the leader of the colored people in that region.

"What colored people?" snapped Aunt Minervy Ann.

"We-all," responded a deacon, emphatically.

"Well, he can't lead _me_, I'll tell you dat right now!" exclaimed
Aunt Minervy Ann.

  [Illustration: He wore a blue army overcoat and a stove-pipe
   hat.--Page 36.]

Anyhow, when the time came to elect members of the Legislature (the
constitutional convention had already been held), Hamp was chosen to
be the candidate of the negro Republicans. A white man wanted to run,
but the negroes said they preferred their own color, and they had
their way. They had their way at the polls, too, for, as nearly all
the whites who would have voted had served in the Confederate army,
they were at that time disfranchised.

So Hamp was elected overwhelmingly, "worl' widout een'," as he put it,
and the effect it had on him was a perfect illustration of one aspect
of human nature. Before and during the election (which lasted three
days) Hamp had been going around puffed up with importance. He wore a
blue army overcoat and a stove-pipe hat, and went about smoking a big
cigar. When the election was over, and he was declared the choice of
the county, he collapsed. His dignity all disappeared. His air of
self-importance and confidence deserted him. His responsibilities
seemed to weigh him down.

He had once "rolled" in the little printing-office where the machinery
consisted of a No. 2 Washington hand-press, a wooden imposing-stone,
three stands for the cases, a rickety table for "wetting down" the
paper, a tub in which to wash the forms, and a sheet-iron
"imposing-stone." This chanced to be my head-quarters, and the day
after the election I was somewhat surprised to see Hamp saunter in. So
was Major Tumlin Perdue, who was reading the exchanges.

"He's come to demand a retraction," remarked the Major, "and you'll
have to set him right. He's no longer plain Hamp; he's the Hon.
Hamp--what's your other name?" turning to the negro.

"Hamp Tumlin my fergiven name, suh. I thought 'Nervy tol' you dat."

"Why, who named you after me?" inquired the Major, somewhat angrily.

"Me an' 'Nervy fix it up, suh. She say it's about de purtiest name in

The Major melted a little, but his bristles rose again, as it were.

"Look here, Hamp!" he exclaimed in a tone that nobody ever forgot or
misinterpreted; "don't you go and stick Perdue onto it. I won't stand

"No, suh!" responded Hamp. "I started ter do it, but 'Nervy Ann say
she ain't gwine ter have de Perdue name bandied about up dar whar de
Legislatur's at."

Again the Major thawed, and though he looked long at Hamp it was with
friendly eyes. He seemed to be studying the negro--"sizing him up," as
the saying is. For a newly elected member of the Legislature, Hamp
seemed to take a great deal of interest in the old duties he once
performed about the office. He went first to the box in which the
"roller" was kept, and felt of its surface carefully.

"You'll hatter have a bran new roller 'fo' de mont's out," he said,
"an' I won't be here to he'p you make it."

Then he went to the roller-frame, turned the handle, and looked at the
wooden cylinders. "Dey don't look atter it like I use ter, suh; an'
dish yer frame monst'us shackly."

From there he passed to the forms where the advertisements remained
standing. He passed his thumb over the type and looked at it
critically. "Dey er mighty skeer'd dey'll git all de ink off," was his
comment. Do what he would, Hamp couldn't hide his embarrassment.

Meanwhile, Major Perdue scratched off a few lines in pencil. "I wish
you'd get this in Tuesday's paper," he said. Then he read: "The Hon.
Hampton Tumlin, recently elected a member of the Legislature, paid us
a pop-call last Saturday. We are always pleased to meet our
distinguished fellow-townsman and representative. We trust Hon.
Hampton Tumlin will call again when the Ku-Klux are in."

"Why, certainly," said I, humoring the joke.

"Sholy you-all ain't gwine put dat in de paper, is you?" inquired
Hamp, in amazement.

"Of course," replied the Major; "why not?"

"Kaze, ef you does, I'm a ruint nigger. Ef 'Nervy Ann hear talk 'bout
my name an' entitlements bein' in de paper, she'll quit me sho. Uh-uh!
I'm gwine 'way fum here!" With that Hamp bowed and disappeared. The
Major chuckled over his little joke, but soon returned to his
newspaper. For a quarter of an hour there was absolute quiet in the
room, and, as it seemed, in the entire building, which was a brick
structure of two stories, the stairway being in the centre. The
hallway was, perhaps, seventy-five feet long, and on each side, at
regular intervals, there were four rooms, making eight in all, and,
with one exception, variously occupied as lawyers' offices or sleeping
apartments, the exception being the printing-office in which Major
Perdue and I were sitting. This was at the extreme rear of the

  [Illustration: "Sholy you-all ain't gwine put dat in de paper, is
   you?"--Page 36.]

I had frequently been struck by the acoustic properties of this
hallway. A conversation carried on in ordinary tones in the
printing-office could hardly be heard in the adjoining room.
Transferred to the front rooms, however, or even to the sidewalk
facing the entrance to the stairway, the lightest tone was magnified
in volume. A German professor of music who for a time occupied the
apartment opposite the printing-office was so harassed by the
thunderous sounds of laughter and conversation rolling back upon him
that he tried to remedy the matter by nailing two thicknesses of
bagging along the floor from the stairway to the rear window. This
was, indeed, something of a help, but when the German left, being of
an economical turn of mind, he took his bagging away with him, and
once more the hall-way was torn and rent, as you may say, with the
lightest whisper.

Thus it happened that, while the Major and I were sitting enjoying an
extraordinary season of calm, suddenly there came a thundering sound
from the stairway. A troop of horse could hardly have made a greater
uproar, and yet I knew that less than half a dozen people were
ascending the steps. Some one stumbled and caught himself, and the
multiplied and magnified reverberations were as loud as if the roof
had caved in, carrying the better part of the structure with it. Some
one laughed at the misstep, and the sound came to our ears with the
deafening effect of an explosion. The party filed with a dull roar
into one of the front rooms, the office of a harum-scarum young lawyer
who had more empty bottles behind his door than he had ever had briefs
on his desk.

"Well, the great Gemini!" exclaimed Major Perdue, "how do you manage
to stand that sort of thing?"

I shrugged my shoulders and laughed, and was about to begin anew a
very old tirade against caves and halls of thunder, when the Major
raised a warning hand. Some one was saying----

"He hangs out right on ol' Major Perdue's lot. He's got a wife there."

"By jing!" exclaimed another voice; "is that so? Well, I don't wanter
git mixed up wi' the Major. He may be wobbly on his legs, but I don't
wanter be the one to run up ag'in 'im."

The Major pursed up his lips and looked at the ceiling, his attitude
being one of rapt attention.

"Shucks!" cried another; "by the time the ol' cock gits his bellyful
of dram, thunder wouldn't roust 'im."

A shrewd, foxy, almost sinister expression came over the Major's rosy
face as he glanced at me. His left hand went to his goatee, an
invariable signal of deep feeling, such as anger, grief, or serious
trouble. Another voice broke in here, a voice that we both knew to be
that of Larry Pulliam, a big Kentuckian who had refugeed to
Halcyondale during the war.

"Blast it all!" exclaimed Larry Pulliam, "I hope the Major will come
out. Me an' him hain't never butted heads yit, an' it's gittin' high
time. Ef he comes out, you fellers jest go ahead with your
rat-killin'. _I_'ll 'ten' to him."

"Why, you'd make two of him, Pulliam," said the young lawyer.

"Oh, I'll not hurt 'im; that is, not _much_--jest enough to let 'im
know I'm livin' in the same village," replied Mr. Pulliam. The voice
of the town bull could not have had a more terrifying sound.

Glancing at the Major, I saw that he had entirely recovered his
equanimity. More than that, a smile of sweet satisfaction and
contentment settled on his rosy face, and stayed there.

"I wouldn't take a hundred dollars for that last remark," whispered
the Major. "That chap's been a-raisin' his hackle at me ever since
he's been here, and every time I try to get him to make a flutter he's
off and gone. Of course it wouldn't do for me to push a row on him
just dry so. But now----" The Major laughed softly, rubbed his hands
together, and seemed to be as happy as a child with a new toy.

"My son," said he after awhile, "ain't there some way of finding out
who the other fellows are? Ain't you got some word you want Seab
Griffin"--this was the young lawyer--"to spell for you?"

Spelling was the Major's weakness. He was a well-educated man, and
could write vigorous English, but only a few days before he had asked
me how many, _f_'s there are in _graphic_.

"Let's see," he went on, rubbing the top of his head. "Do you spell
_Byzantium_ with two _y_'s, or with two _i_'s, or with one _y_ and one
_i_? It'll make Seab feel right good to be asked that before company,
and he certainly needs to feel good if he's going with that crowd."

So, with a manuscript copy in my hand, I went hurriedly down the hall
and put the important question. Mr. Griffin was all politeness, but
not quite sure of the facts in the case. But he searched in his books
of reference, including the Geographical Gazette, until finally he was
able to give me the information I was supposed to stand in need of.

While he was searching, Mr. Pulliam turned to me and inquired what day
the paper came out. When told that the date was Tuesday, he smiled and
nodded his head mysteriously.

"That's good," he declared; "you'll be in time to ketch the news."

"What news?" I inquired.

"Well, ef you don't hear about it before to-morrer night, jest inquire
of Major Perdue. He'll tell you all about it."

Mr. Pulliam's tone was so supercilious that I was afraid the Major
would lose his temper and come raging down the hallway. But he did
nothing of the kind. When I returned he was fairly beaming. The Major
took down the names in his note-book--I have forgotten all except
those of Buck Sanford and Larry Pulliam--and seemed to be perfectly
happy. They were all from the country except Larry Pulliam and the
young lawyer.

After my visit to the room, the men spoke in lower tones, but every
word came back to us as distinctly as before.

"The feed of the bosses won't cost us a cent," remarked young Sanford.
"Tom Gresham said he'd 'ten' to that. They're in the stable right
now. And we're to have supper in Tom's back room, have a little game
of ante, and along about twelve or one we'll sa'nter down and yank
that derned nigger from betwixt his blankets, ef he's got any, and
leave him to cool off at the cross-roads. Won't you go 'long, Seab,
and see it well done?"

  [Illustration: Inquired what day the paper came out.--Page 38.]

"I'll go and see if the supper's well done, and I'll take a shy at
your ante," replied Mr. Griffin. "But when it comes to the balance of
the programme--well, I'm a lawyer, you know, and you couldn't expect
me to witness the affair. I might have to take your cases and prove an
alibi, you know, and I couldn't conscientiously do that if I was on
hand at the time."

"The Ku-Klux don't have to have alibis," suggested Larry Pulliam.

"Perhaps not, still--" Apparently Mr. Griffin disposed of the matter
with a gesture.

When all the details of their plan had been carefully arranged, the
amateur Ku-Klux went filing out, the noise they made dying away like
the echoes of a storm.

Major Perdue leaned his head against the back of his chair, closed his
eyes, and sat there so quietly that I thought he was asleep. But this
was a mistake. Suddenly he began to laugh, and he laughed until the
tears ran down his face. It was laughter that was contagious, and
presently I found myself joining in without knowing why. This started
the Major afresh, and we both laughed until exhaustion came to our

"O Lord!" cried the Major, panting, "I haven't had as much fun since
the war, and a long time before. That blamed Pulliam is going to walk
into a trap of his own setting. Now you jest watch how he goes out

"But I'll not be there," I suggested.

"Oh, yes!" exclaimed the Major, "you can't afford to miss it. It'll be
the finest piece of news your paper ever had. You'll go to supper with
me--" He paused. "No, I'll go home, send Valentine to her Aunt Emmy's,
get Blasengame to come around, and we'll have supper about nine.
That'll fix it. Some of them chaps might have an eye on my house, and
I don't want 'em to see anybody but me go in there. Now, if you don't
come at nine, I'll send Blasengame after you."

"I shall be glad to come, Major. I was simply fishing for an

"_That_ fish is always on your hook, and you know it," the Major

As it was arranged, so it fell out. At nine, I lifted and dropped the
knocker on the Major's front door. It opened so promptly that I was
somewhat taken by surprise, but in a moment the hand of my host was on
my arm, and he pulled me inside unceremoniously.

  [Illustration: "I was on the lookout," the Major explained.]

"I was on the lookout," the Major explained. "Minervy Ann has fixed to
have waffles, and she's crazy about havin' 'em just right. If she
waits too long to make 'em, the batter'll spoil; and if she puts 'em
on before everybody's ready, they won't be good. That's what she says.
Here he is, you old Hessian!" the Major cried, as Minervy Ann peeped
in from the dining-room. "Now slap that supper together and let's get
at it."

"I'm mighty glad you come, suh," said Aunt Minervy Ann, with a
courtesy and a smile, and then she disappeared. In an incredibly short
time, supper was announced, and though Aunt Minervy has since informed
me confidentially that the Perdues were having a hard time of it at
that period, I'll do her the credit to say that the supper she
furnished forth was as good as any to be had in that town--waffles,
beat biscuit, fried chicken, buttermilk, and coffee that could not be

"How about the biscuit, Minervy Ann?" inquired Colonel Blasengame, who
was the Major's brother-in-law, and therefore one of the family.

"I turned de dough on de block twelve times, an' hit it a hunderd an
forty-sev'm licks," replied Aunt Minervy Ann.

"I'm afeard you hit it one lick too many," said Colonel Blasengame,
winking at me.

"Well, suh, I been hittin' dat away a mighty long time," Aunt Minervy
Ann explained, "and I ain't never hear no complaints."

"Oh, I'm not complainin', Minervy Ann." Colonel Blasengame waved his
hand. "I'm mighty glad you did hit the dough a lick too many. If you
hadn't, the biscuit would 'a' melted in my mouth, and I believe I'd
rather chew on 'em to get the taste."

"He des runnin' on, suh," said Aunt Minervy Ann to me. "Marse Bolivar
know mighty well dat he got ter go 'way fum de Nunited State fer ter
git any better biscuits dan what I kin bake."

Then there was a long pause, which was broken by an attempt on the
part of Major Perdue to give Aunt Minervy Ann an inkling of the
events likely to happen during the night. She seemed to be both hard
of hearing and dull of understanding when the subject was broached; or
she may have suspected the Major was joking or trying to "run a rig"
on her. Her questions and comments, however, were very characteristic.

"I dunner what dey want wid Hamp," she said. "Ef dey know'd how
no-count he is, dey'd let 'im 'lone. What dey want wid 'im?"

"Well, two or three of the country boys and maybe some of the town
chaps are going to call on him between midnight and day. They want to
take him out to the cross-roads. Hadn't you better fix 'em up a little
snack? Hamp won't want anything, but the boys will feel a little
hungry after the job is over."

"Nobody ain't never tell me dat de Legislatur' wuz like de Free
Masons, whar dey have ter ride a billy goat an' go down in a dry well
wid de chains a-clankin'. I done tol' Hamp dat he better not fool wid
white folks' do-in's."

"Only the colored members have to be initiated," explained the Major,

"What does dey do wid um?" inquired Aunt Minervy Ann.

"Well," replied the Major, "they take 'em out to the nearest
cross-roads, put ropes around their necks, run the ropes over limbs,
and pull away as if they were drawing water from a well."

"What dey do dat fer?" asked Aunt Minervy Ann, apparently still
oblivious to the meaning of it all.

"They want to see which'll break first, the ropes or the necks," the
Major explained.

"Ef dey takes Hamp out," remarked Aunt Minervy Ann,
tentatively--feeling her way, as it were--"what time will he come

"You've heard about the Resurrection Morn, haven't you, Minervy Ann?"
There was a pious twang in the Major's voice as he pronounced the

"I hear de preacher say sump'n 'bout it," replied Aunt Minervy Ann.

"Well," said the Major, "along about that time Hamp will return. I
hope his record is good enough to give him wings."

"Shuh! Marse Tumlin! you-all des fool'n' me. I don't keer--Hamp ain't
gwine wid um. I tell you dat right now."

"Oh, he may not want to go," persisted the Major, "but he'll go all
the same if they get their hands on him."

"My life er me!" exclaimed Aunt Minervy Ann, bristling up, "does
you-all 'speck I'm gwine ter let um take Hamp out dat away? De fus'
man come ter my door, less'n it's one er you-all, I'm gwine ter fling
a pan er hot embers in his face ef de Lord'll gi' me de strenk. An' ef
dat don't do no good, I'll scald um wid b'ilin' water. You hear dat,
don't you?"

"Minervy Ann," said the Major, sweetly, "have you ever heard of the

"Yasser, I is!" she exclaimed with startling emphasis. She stopped
still and gazed hard at the Major. In response, he merely shrugged his
shoulders and raised his right hand with a swift gesture that told the
whole story.

"Name er God! Marse Tumlin, is you an' Marse Bolivar and dish yer
young genterman gwine ter set down here flat-footed and let dem
Ku-kluckers scarify Hamp?"

  [Illustration: "Dat's some er 'Nervy Ann's doin's, suh." Page 43.]

"Why should _we_ do anything? You've got everything arranged. You're
going to singe 'em with hot embers, and you're going to take their
hides off with scalding water. What more do you want?" The Major spoke
with an air of benign resignation.

Aunt Minervy Ann shook her head vigorously. "Ef deyer de Kukluckers,
fire won't do um no harm. Dey totes der haids in der han's."

"Their heads in their hands?" cried Colonel Blasengame, excitedly.

"Dat what dey say, suh," replied Aunt Minervy Ann.

Colonel Blasengame looked at his watch. "Tumlin, I'll have to ask you
to excuse me to-night," he said. "I--well, the fact is, I have a
mighty important engagement up town. I'm obliged to fill it." He
turned to Aunt Minervy Ann: "Did I understand you to say the Ku-Klux
carry their heads in their hands?"

"Dat what folks tell me. I hear my own color sesso," replied Aunt
Minervy Ann.

"I'd be glad to stay with you, Tumlin," the Colonel declared;
"but--well, under the circumstances, I think I'd better fill that
engagement. Justice to my family demands it."

"Well," responded Major Perdue, "if you are going, I reckon we'd just
as well go, too."

"Huh!" exclaimed Aunt Minervy Ann, "ef gwine's de word, dey can't
nobody beat me gittin' way fum here. Dey may beat me comin' back, I
ain't 'sputin' dat; but dey can't beat me gwine 'way. I'm ol', but I
got mighty nigh ez much go in me ez a quarter-hoss."

  [Illustration: In the third he placed only powder.--Page 44.]

Colonel Blasengame leaned back in his chair and studied the ceiling.
"It seems to me, Tumlin, we might compromise on this. Suppose we get
Hamp to come in here. Minervy Ann can stay out there in the kitchen
and throw a rock against the back door when the Ku-Klux come."

Aunt Minervy Ann fairly gasped. "_Who? Me?_ I'll die fust. I'll t'ar
down dat do'; I'll holler twel ev'ybody in de neighborhood come
a-runnin'. Ef you don't b'lieve me, you des try me. I'll paw up dat

Major Perdue went to the back door and called Hamp, but there was no
answer. He called him a second time, with the same result.

"Well," said the Major, "they've stolen a march on us. They've come
and carried him off while we were talking."

"No, suh, dey ain't, needer. I know right whar he is, an' I'm gwine
atter 'im. He's right 'cross de street dar, colloguin' wid dat ol'
Ceely Ensign. Dat's right whar he is."

  [Illustration: We administered to his hurts the best we could.--Page

"Old! Why, Celia is young," remarked the Major. "They say she's the
best cook in town."

Aunt Minervy Ann whipped out of the room, and was gone some little
time. When she returned, she had Hamp with her, and I noticed that
both were laboring under excitement which they strove in vain to

"Here I is, suh," said Hamp. "'Nervy Ann say you call me."

"How is Celia to-night?" Colonel Blasengame inquired, suavely.

This inquiry, so suddenly and unexpectedly put, seemed to disconcert
Hamp. He shuffled his feet and put his hand to his face. I noticed a
blue welt over his eye, which was not there when he visited me in the

"Well, suh, I speck she's tolerbul."

"_Is she? Is she? Ah-h-h!_" cried Aunt Minervy Ann.

"She must be pretty well," said the Major. "I see she's hit you a clip
over the left eye."

"Dat's some er 'Nervy Ann's doin's, suh," replied Hamp, somewhat

"Den what you git in de way fer?" snapped Aunt Minervy Ann.

"Marse Tumlin, dat ar 'oman ain't done nothin' in de roun' worl'. She
say she want me to buy some hime books fer de church when I went to
Atlanty, an' I went over dar atter de money."

"_I himed 'er an' I churched 'er!_" exclaimed Aunt Minervy Ann.

"Here de money right here," said Hamp, pulling a small roll of
shinplasters out of his pocket; "an' whiles we settin' dar countin' de
money, 'Nervy Ann come in dar an' frail dat 'oman out."

"Ain't you hear dat nigger holler, Marse Tumlin?" inquired Minervy
Ann. She was in high good-humor now. "Look like ter me dey could
a-heerd 'er blate in de nex' county ef dey'd been a-lis'nin'. 'Twuz
same ez a picnic, suh, an' I'm gwine 'cross dar 'fo' long an' pay my
party call."

Then she began to laugh, and pretty soon went through the whole
episode for our edification, dwelling with unction on that part where
the unfortunate victim of her jealousy had called her "Miss 'Nervy."
The more she laughed the more serious Hamp became.

  [Illustration: "I'd a heap rather you'd pull your shot-gun on me than
   your pen."--Page 46.]

At the proper time he was told of the visitation that was to be made
by the Ku-Klux, and this information seemed to perplex and worry him
no little. But his face lit up with genuine thankfulness when the
programme for the occasion was announced to him. He and Minervy Ann
were to remain in the house and not show their heads until the Major
or the Colonel or their guest came to the back door and drummed on it
lightly with the fingers.

Then the arms--three shot-guns--were brought out, and I noticed with
some degree of surprise, that as the Major and the Colonel began to
handle these, their spirits rose perceptibly. The Major hummed a tune
and the Colonel whistled softly as they oiled the locks and tried the
triggers. The Major, in coming home, had purchased four pounds of
mustard-seed shot, and with this he proceeded to load two of the guns.
In the third he placed only powder. This harmless weapon was intended
for me, while the others were to be handled by Major Perdue and
Colonel Blasengame. I learned afterward that the arrangement was made
solely for my benefit. The Major and the Colonel were afraid that a
young hand might become excited and fire too high at close range, in
which event mustard-seed shot would be as dangerous as the larger

At twelve o'clock I noticed that both Hamp and Aunt Minervy Ann were
growing restless.

"You hear dat clock, don't you, Marse Tumlin?" said Minervy as the
chimes died away. "Ef you don't min', de Ku-kluckers'll be a-stickin'
der haids in de back do'."

But the Major and the Colonel were playing a rubber of seven-up (or
high-low-Jack) and paid no attention. It was a quarter after twelve
when the game was concluded and the players pushed their chairs back
from the table.

"Ef you don't fin' um in de yard waitin' fer you, I'll be fooled
might'ly," remarked Aunt Minervy Ann.

"Go and see if they're out there," said the Major.

"_Me_, Marse Tumlin? _Me?_ I wouldn't go out dat do' not for ham."

The Major took out his watch. "They'll eat and drink until twelve or a
little after, and then they'll get ready to start. Then they'll have
another drink all 'round, and finally they'll take another. It'll be a
quarter to one or after when they get in the grove in the far end of
the lot. But we'll go out now and see how the land lays. By the time
they get here, our eyes will be used to the darkness."

The light was carried to a front room, and we groped our way out at
the back door the best we could. The night was dark, but the stars
were shining. I noticed that the belt and sword of Orion had drifted
above the tree-tops in the east, following the Pleiades. In a little
while the darkness seemed to grow less dense, and I could make out the
outlines of trees twenty feet away.

Behind one of these trees, near the outhouse in which Hamp and Aunt
Minervy lived, I was to take my stand, while the Major and the Colonel
were to go farther into the wood-lot so as to greet the would-be
Ku-Klux as they made their retreat, of which Major Perdue had not the
slightest doubt.

"You stand here," said the Major in a whisper. "We'll go to the
far-end of the lot where they're likely to come in. They'll pass us
all right enough, but as soon as you see one of 'em, up with the gun
an' lam aloose, an' before they can get away give 'em the other
barrel. Then you'll hear from us."

Major Perdue and Colonel Blasengame disappeared in the darkness,
leaving me, as it were, on the inner picket line. I found the
situation somewhat ticklish, as the saying is. There was not the
slightest danger, and I knew it, but if you ever have occasion to
stand out in the dark, waiting for something to happen, you'll find
there's a certain degree of suspense attached to it. And the
loneliness and silence of the night will take on shape almost
tangible. The stirring of the half-dead leaves, the chirping of a
belated cricket, simply emphasized the loneliness and made the silence
more profound. At intervals, all nature seemed to heave a deep sigh,
and address itself to slumber again.

In the house I heard the muffled sound of the clock chime one, but
whether it was striking the half-hour or the hour I could not tell.
Then I heard the stealthy tread of feet. Some one stumbled over a
stick of timber, and the noise was followed by a smothered exclamation
and a confused murmur of voices. As the story-writers say, I knew that
the hour had come. I could hear whisperings, and then I saw a tall
shadow steal from behind Aunt Minervy's house, and heard it rap gently
on the door. I raised the gun, pulled the hammer back, and let drive.
A stream of fire shot from the gun, accompanied by a report that tore
the silence to atoms. I heard a sharp exclamation of surprise, then
the noise of running feet, and off went the other barrel. In a moment
the Major and the Colonel opened on the fugitives. I heard a loud cry
of pain from one, and, in the midst of it all, the mustard-seed shot
rattled on the plank fence like hominy-snow on a tin roof.

The next instant I heard some one running back in my direction, as if
for dear life. He knew the place apparently, for he tried to go
through the orchard, but just before he reached the orchard fence, he
uttered a half-strangled cry of terror, and then I heard him fall as
heavily as if he had dropped from the top of the house.

It was impossible to imagine what had happened, and it was not until
we had investigated the matter that the cause of the trouble was
discovered. A wire clothes-line, stretched across the yard, had caught
the would-be Ku-Klux under the chin, his legs flew from under him, and
he had a fall, from the effects of which he did not recover for a long
time. He was a young man about town, very well connected, who had gone
into the affair in a spirit of mischief. We carried him into the
house, and administered to his hurts the best we could; Aunt Minervy
Ann, be it said to her credit, being more active in this direction
than any of us.

On the Tuesday following, the county paper contained the news in a
form that remains to this day unique. It is hardly necessary to say
that it was from the pen of Major Tumlin Perdue.

"Last Saturday afternoon our local editor was informed by a prominent
citizen that if we would apply to Major Purdue we would be put in
possession of a very interesting piece of news. Acting upon this hint,
ye local yesterday went to Major Perdue, who, being in high
good-humor, wrote out the following with his own hand:

"'Late Saturday night, while engaged with a party of friends in
searching for a stray dog on my premises, I was surprised to see four
or five men climb over my back fence and proceed toward my residence.
As my most intimate friends do not visit me by climbing over my back
fence, I immediately deployed my party in such a manner as to make the
best of a threatening situation. The skirmish opened at my
kitchen-door, with two rounds from a howitzer. This demoralized the
enemy, who promptly retreated the way they came. One of them, the
leader of the attacking party, carried away with him two loads of
mustard-seed shot, delivered in the general neighborhood and region of
the coat-tails, which, being on a level with the horizon, afforded as
fair a target as could be had in the dark. I understand on good
authority that Mr. Larry Pulliam, one of our leading and deservedly
popular citizens, has had as much as a quart of mustard-seed shot
picked from his carcass. Though hit in a vulnerable spot, the wound is
not mortal.--T. PERDUE.'"

I did my best to have Mr. Pulliam's name suppressed, but the Major
would not have it so.

"No, sir," he insisted; "the man has insulted me behind my back, and
he's got to cut wood or put down the axe."

Naturally this free and easy card created quite a sensation in
Halcyondale and the country round about. People knew what it would
mean if Major Perdue's name had been used in such an off-hand manner
by Mr. Pulliam, and they naturally supposed that a fracas would be the
outcome. Public expectation was on tiptoe, and yet the whole town
seemed to take the Major's card humorously. Some of the older citizens
laughed until they could hardly sit up, and even Mr. Pulliam's friends
caught the infection. Indeed, it is said that Mr. Pulliam, himself,
after the first shock of surprise was over, paid the Major's audacious
humor the tribute of a hearty laugh. When Mr. Pulliam appeared in
public, among the first men he saw was Major Perdue. This was natural,
for the Major made it a point to be on hand. He was not a ruffler, but
he thought it was his duty to give Mr. Pulliam a fair opportunity to
wreak vengeance on him. If the boys about town imagined that a row was
to be the result of this first meeting, they were mistaken. Mr.
Pulliam looked at the Major and then began to laugh.

"Major Perdue," he said, "I'd a heap rather you'd pull your shot-gun
on me than your pen."

And that ended the matter.



By A. T. Quiller-Couch




Before winter and the long nights came round again, Taffy had become
quite a clever carpenter. From the first his quickness fairly
astonished the Bryanite, who at the best was but a journeyman and soon
owned himself beaten.

"I doubt," said he, "if you'll ever make so good a man as your father;
but you can't help making a better workman." He added, with his eyes
on the boy's face, "There's one thing in which you might copy 'em. He
hasn't much of a gift, _but he lays it 'pon the altar_."

By this time Taffy had resumed his lessons. Every day he carried a
book or two in the satchel with his dinner, and read or translated
aloud while his father worked. Two hours were allowed for this in the
morning, and again two in the afternoon. Sometimes a day would be set
apart during which they talked nothing but Latin. Difficulties in the
text of their authors they postponed until the evening, and worked
them out at home, after supper, with the help of grammar and

The boy was not unhappy, on the whole; though for weeks together he
longed for sight of George Vyell, who seemed to have vanished into
space, or into that limbo where his childhood lay like a toy in a
lumber-room. Taffy seldom turned the key of that room. The stories he
imagined now were not about fairies or heroes, but about himself. He
wanted to be a great man and astonish the world. Just how the world
was to be astonished he did not clearly see, even in his dreams; but
the triumph, in whatever shape it came, was to involve a new gown for
his mother, and for his father a whole library of books.

Mr. Raymond never went back to his books now, except to help Taffy.
The Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews was laid aside. "Some
day!" he told Humility. The Sunday congregation had dwindled to a very
few, mostly farm people; Squire Moyle having threatened to expel any
tenant of his who dared to set foot within the church.

In the autumn two things happened which set Taffy wondering.

During the first three years at Nannizabuloe old Mrs. Venning had
regularly been carried downstairs to dine with the family. The sea-air
(she said) had put new life into her. But now she seldom moved from
her room, and Taffy seldom saw her except at night, when--after the
old childish custom--he knocked at her door to wish her pleasant
dreams and pull up the weights of the tall clock which stood by her
bed's head.

One night he asked, carelessly, "What do you want with the clock?
Lying here you don't need to know the time; and its ticking must keep
you awake."

"So it does, child; but, bless you, I like it."

"Like being kept awake?"

"Dear, yes! I have enough of rest and quiet up here. You mind the
litany I used to say over to you?--Parson Kempthorne taught it to us
girls when I was in service with him; 'twas made up, he said, by
another old Devonshire parson, years and years ago--

     When I lie within my bed
     Sick in heart and sick in head,
     And with doubts discomforted,
         Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

     When the house do sigh and weep--

That's it. You wouldn't think how quiet it is up here all day. But at
night, when you're in bed and sleeping, all the house begins to talk;
little creakings of the furniture, you know, and the wind in the
chimney, and sometimes the rain in the gutters running--it's all talk
to me. Mostly it's quite sociable too; but sometimes, in rainy
weather, the tune changes, and then it's like some poor soul in bed
and sobbing to itself. That's when the verse comes in:

     "When the house do sigh and weep
     And the world is drowned in sleep,
     Yet my eyes the watch do keep,
         Sweet Spirit, comfort me!

"And then the clock's ticking is a wonderful comfort. _Tick-tack,
tick-tack!_ and I think of you stretched asleep and happy and growing
up to be a man, and the minutes running and trickling away to my


"My dear, I'm as well off as most; but that isn't saying I sha'n't be
glad to go and take the pain in my joints to a better land. Before we
came here, in militia-time, I used to lie and listen for the buglers,
but now I've only the clock. No more bugles for me, I suppose, till I
hear them blown on t'other side of Jordan."

Taffy remembered how he too had lain and listened to the bugles; and
with that he suddenly saw his childhood, as it were a small round
globe set within a far larger one and wrapped around with other folks'
thoughts. He kissed his grandmother and went away wondering; and as he
lay down that night it still seemed wonderful to him that she should
have heard those bugles, and more wonderful that night after night for
years she should have been thinking of him while he slept, and he
never have guessed it.

One morning, some three weeks later, he and his father were putting on
their oilskins before starting to work--for it had been blowing hard
through the night and the gale was breaking up in floods of rain--when
they heard a voice hallooing in the distance. Humility heard it too
and turned swiftly to Taffy. "Run upstairs, dear. I expect it's
someone sent from Tresedder Farm; and if so, he'll want to see your
father alone."

Mr. Raymond frowned. "No," he said; "the time is past for that."

A fist hammered on the door. Mr. Raymond threw it open.

"Brigantine--on the sands--half a mile this side of the lighthouse!"
Taffy saw across his father's shoulder a gleam of yellow oilskins and
a flapping sou-wester' hat. The panting voice belonged to Sam Udy--son
of old Bill Udy--a laborer at Tresedder.

"I'll go at once," said Mr. Raymond. "Run you for the coast-guard."

The oilskins went by the window; the side gate clashed to.

"Is it a wreck?" cried Taffy. "May I go with you?"

"Yes, there may be a message to run with."

From the edge of the towans, where the ground dipped steeply to the
long beach, they saw the wreck, about a mile up the coast and, as well
as they could judge, a hundred or a hundred-and-fifty yards out. She
lay almost on her beam-ends, with the waves sweeping high across her
starboard quarter, and never less than six ranks of ugly breakers
between her and dry land. A score of watchers--in the distance they
looked like emmets--were gathered by the edge of the surf. But the
coast-guard had not arrived yet.

"The tide is ebbing, and the rocket will reach. Can you see anyone

Taffy spied through his hands, but could see no one. His father set
off running and he followed, half-blinded by the rain, at every fourth
step foundering knee-deep in loose sand or tripping in a rabbit hole.
They had covered three-fourths of the distance when Mr. Raymond pulled
up and waved his hat as the coast-guard carriage swept into view over
a ridge to the right and came plunging across the main valley of the
towans. It passed them close--the horses fetlock-deep in sand, with
heads down and heaving, smoking shoulders; the coast-guardsmen with
keen strong faces like heroes'--and the boy longed to copy his father
and send a cheer after them as they went galloping by. But something
rose in his throat.

He ran after the carriage, and reached the shore just as the first
rocket shot singing out toward the wreck. By this time at least a
hundred miners had gathered, and between their legs he caught a
glimpse of two figures stretched at length on the wet sand. He had
never looked on a dead body before. The faces of these were hidden by
the crowd; and he hung about the fringe of it, dreading and yet
courting a sight of them.

The first rocket was swept down the wind to leeward of the wreck. The
chief officer judged his second beautifully and the line fell clean
across the vessel and all but amidships. A figure started up from the
lee of the deckhouse and springing into the main shrouds grasped it
and made it fast. The beach being too low for them to work the cradle
clear above the breakers, the coast-guardsmen carried the shore end of
the line up the shelving cliff and fixed it. Within ten minutes the
cradle was run out, and within twenty, the first man came swinging

Four men were brought ashore alive, the captain last. The other two of
the crew of six lay on the sands, with Mr. Raymond kneeling beside
them. He had covered their faces, and, still on his knees, gave the
order to lift them into the carriage. Taffy noticed that he was obeyed
without demur or question. And there flashed on his memory a gray
morning, not unlike this one, when he had missed his father at
breakfast: "He had been called away suddenly," Humility had explained,
"and there would be no lessons that day," and had kept the boy indoors
all the morning and busy with a netting-stitch he had been bothering
her to teach him.

"Father," he asked as they followed the cart, "does this often

"Your mother hasn't thought it well for you to see these sights."

"Then it _has_ happened often?"

"I have buried seventeen," said Mr. Raymond.

That afternoon he showed Taffy their graves. "I know the names of all
but two. The bodies have marks about them--tattooed, you know--and
that helps. And I write to their relatives or friends, and restore
whatever small property may be found on them. I have often wished to
put up some grave-stone, or a wooden cross, with their names. I keep a
book and enter all particulars, and where each is laid."

He went to his chest in the vestry and took out the volume--a cheap
account book, ruled for figures. Taffy turned over the pages.

_Nov. 3rd. 187-. Brig "James and Maria:" J. D., fair-haired, height 5
ft. 8 in., marked on chest with initials and cross swords, tattooed,
also anchor and coil of rope on right fore-arm: large brown mole on
right shoulder-blade. Striped flannel drawers: otherwise naked: no
property of any kind.

Ditto. Grown man, age 40 or thereabouts: dark; iron gray beard;
lovers' knot tattooed on right fore-arm, with initials R. L., E. W.,
in the loops: clad in flannel shirt, guernsey, trousers (blue
sea-cloth), socks (heather-mixture), all unmarked. Silver chain in
pocket, with free-mason's token: a half-crown, a florin, and
four-pence_----and so on. On the opposite page were entered the full
names and details afterwards discovered, with notes of the Vicar's
correspondence, and position of the grave.

"They ought to have grave-stones," said Mr. Raymond. "But as it is I
can only get about thirty shillings for the funeral from the county
rate. The balance has come out of my pocket--from two to three pounds
for each. From the beginning the squire refused to help to bury
sailors. He took the ground that it wasn't a local claim."

"Hullo!" said Taffy: for as he turned the leaves his eye fell on this

_Jan. 30th, 187-. S. S. "Rifleman" (all hands). Cargo, China-clay: W.
P., Age, about eighteen, fair skin, reddish hair, short and curled,
height 5 ft. 10¾ in. Initials tattooed on chest under a three-masted
ship and semi-circle of seven stars; clad in flannel singlet and
trousers (cloth): singlet marked with same initial in red cotton:
pockets empty_----

"But he was in the navy!" cried Taffy, with his finger on the entry.

"Which one? Yes, he was in the Navy. You'll see it on the opposite
page. He deserted, poor boy, in Cork Harbor, and shipped on board a
tramp steamer as donkey-man. She loaded at Fowey and was wrecked on
the voyage back. William Pellow he was called; his mother lives but
ten miles up the coast; she never heard of it until six weeks after."

"But we--I, I mean--knew him. He was one of the sailor boys on Toby's
van. You remember their helping us with the luggage at _Indian
Queen's_? He showed me his tattoo marks that day."

And again he saw his childhood as it were set about with an enchanted
hedge, across which many voices would have called to him, and some
from near, but all had hung muted and arrested.

The inquest on the two drowned sailors was held next day at the
_Fifteen Balls_, down in Innis village. Later in the afternoon, the
four survivors walked up to the church, headed by the Captain.

"We've been hearing," said the Captain, "of your difficulties, sir:
likewise your kindness to other poor sea-faring chaps. We have liked
to make ye a small offering for your church, but sixteen shillings is
all we can raise between us. So we come to say that if you can put us
on to a job, why we're staying over the funeral, and a day's work or
more after that won't hurt us one way or another."

Mr. Raymond led them to the chancel and pointed out a new beam, on
which he and Jacky Pascoe had been working a week past, and over which
they had been cudgelling their brains how to get it lifted and fixed
in place.

"I can send to one of the miners and borrow a couple of ladders."

"Ladders? Lord love ye, sir, and begging your pardon, we don't want
ladders. With a sling, Bill, hey?--and a couple of tackles. You leave
it to we, sir."

He went off to turn over the gear salved from his vessel, and early
next forenoon had the apparatus rigged up and ready. He was obliged to
leave it at this point, having been summoned across to Falmouth, to
report to his agents. His last words before starting were addressed to
his crew. "I reckon you can fix it now, boys. There's only one thing
more, and don't you forget it: any man that wants to spit must go

That afternoon Taffy learnt for the first time what could be done with
a few ropes and pulleys. The seamen seemed to spin ropes out of
themselves like spiders. By three o'clock the beam was hoisted and
fixed; and they broke off work to attend their shipmates' funeral.
After the funeral they fell to, again, though more silently, and
before nightfall the beam shone with a new coat of varnish.

They left early next morning, after a good deal of handshaking, and
Taffy looked after them wistfully as they turned to wave their caps
and trudged away over the rise toward the cross-roads. Away to the
left in the wintry sunshine, a speck of scarlet caught his eye against
the blue-gray of the town. He watched it as it came slowly toward him,
and his heart leapt--yet not quite as he had expected it to leap.

For it was George Vyell. George had lately been promoted to "pink" and
made a gallant figure on his strapping gray hunter. For the first time
Taffy felt ashamed of his working suit and would have slipped back to
the church. But George had seen him, and pulled up.

"Hullo!" said he.

"Hullo!" said Taffy; and, absurdly enough, could find no more to say.

"How are you getting on?"

"Oh, I'm all right." There was another pause. "How's Honoria?"

"Oh, she's all right. I'm riding over there now; they meet at
Tredinnis to-day." He tapped his boot with his hunting crop.

"Don't you have any lessons now?" asked Taffy, after awhile.

"Dear me, yes; I've got a tutor. He's no good at it. But what made you

Really Taffy could not tell. He had asked merely for the sake of
saying something. George pulled out a gold watch.

"I must be getting on. Well, good-by!"


And that was all.



They could manage the carpentering now. And Jacky Pascoe, who in
addition to his other trades was something of a glazier, had taken the
damaged east window in hand. For six months it had remained boarded
up, darkening the chancel. Mr. Raymond removed the boards and fixed
them up again on the outside, and the Bryanite worked behind them
night after night. He could only be spied upon through two lancet
windows at the west end of the church, and these they curtained.

But what continually bothered them was their ignorance of iron-work.
Staples, rivets, hinges were for ever wanted. At length, one evening
toward the end of March, the Bryanite laid down his tools.

"Tell 'ee what 'tis, Parson. You must send the boy to someone that'll
teach 'er smithy-work. There's no sense in this cold hammering."

"Wheelwright Hocken holds his shop and cottage from the Squire."

"Why not put the boy to Mendarva the Smith, over to Benny Beneath?
He's a first-rate workman."

"That is more than six miles away."

"No matter for that. There's Joll's Farm close by; Farmer Joll would
board and lodge 'en for nine shilling a week, and glad of the chance;
and he could come home for Sundays."

Mr. Raymond, as soon as he reached home, sat down and wrote a letter
to Mendarva the Smith and another to Farmer Joll. Within a week the
bargains were struck, and it was settled that Taffy should go at once.

"I may be calling before long, to look you up," said the Bryanite,
"but mind you do no more than nod when you see me."

Joll's Farm lay somewhere near Carwithiel, across the moor where Taffy
had gone fishing with George and Honoria. On the Monday morning when
he stepped through the white front gate, with his bag on his shoulder,
and paused for a good look at the building, it seemed to him a very
comfortable farmstead, and vastly superior to the tumble-down farms
around Nannizabuloe. The flagged path, which led up to the front door
between great bunches of purple honesty, was swept as clean as a

A dark-haired maid opened the door and led him to the great kitchen at
the back. Hams wrapped in paper hung from the rafters, and strings of
onions. The pans over the fireplace were bright as mirrors, and
through the open window he heard the voices of children at play as
well as the clacking of poultry in the town-place.

"I'll go and tell the mistress," said the maid; but she paused at the
door. "I suppose you don't remember me, now?"

"No," said Taffy, truthfully.

"My name's Lizzie Pezzack. You was with the young lady, that day, when
she bought my doll. I mind you quite well. But I put my hair up last
Easter, and that makes a difference."

"Why, you were only a child."

"I was seventeen last week. And--I say, do you know the Bryanite, over
to Innis?--Preacher Jacky Pascoe?"

He nodded, remembering the caution given him.

"I got salvation off him. Master and mis'ess, they've got salvation
too; but they take it very quiet. They're very fond of one another; if
you please one you'll please both. They let me walk over to
prayer-meetin' once a week. But I don't go by Mendarva's shop--that's
where you work--though 'tis the shortest way; because there's a woman
buried in the road there, with a stake through her, and I'm a terrible
coward for ghosts."

She paused as if expecting him to say something; but Taffy was staring
at a "neck" of corn, elaborately plaited, which hung above the
mantle-shelf. And just then Mrs. Joll entered the kitchen.

Taffy--without any reason--had expected to see a middle-aged
house-wife. But Mrs. Joll was hardly over thirty; a shapely woman,
with a plain, pleasant face and auburn hair, the wealth of which she
concealed by wearing it drawn straight back from the forehead and
plaited in the severest coil behind. She shook hands.

"You'll like a drink of milk before I show you your room?"

Taffy was grateful for the milk. While he drank it, the voices of the
children outside rose suddenly to shouts of laughter.

"That will be their father come home," said Mrs. Joll and going to the
side-door called to him. "John, put the children down; Mr. Raymond's
son is here."

Mr. Joll, who had been galloping round the farmyard with a small girl
of three on his back, and a boy of six tugging at his coat-tails,
pulled up, and wiped his good-natured face.

"Glad to see you," said he, coming forward and shaking hands, while
the two children stared at Taffy.

After a minute, the boy said, "My name's Bob. Come and play horses,

Farmer Joll looked at Taffy shyly. "Shall we?"

"Mr. Raymond will be tired enough already," his wife suggested.

"Not a bit," declared Taffy; and hoisting Bob on his back, he set off
furiously prancing after the farmer.

By dinner-time he and the family were fast friends, and after dinner
the farmer took him off to be introduced to Mendarva the Smith.

Mendarva's forge stood on a triangle of turf beside the high-road,
where a cart-track branched off to descend to Joll's Farm in the
valley. And Mendarva was a dark giant of a man with a beard like those
you see on the statues of Nineveh. On Sundays he parted his beard
carefully and tied the ends with little bows of scarlet ribbon; but on
week days it curled at will over his mighty chest. He had one
assistant whom he called "the Dane;" a red-haired youth as tall as
himself and straighter from the waist down. Mendarva's knees had come
together with years of poising and swinging his great hammer.

"He's little, but he'll grow," said he, after eying Taffy up and down.
"Dane, come fore and tell me if we'll make a workman of 'en."

The Dane stepped forward and passed his hands over the boy's shoulders
and down his ribs. "He's slight, but he'll fill out. Good pair o'
shoulders. Give's hold o' your hand, my son."

Taffy obeyed; not very well liking to be handled thus.

"Hand like a lady's. Tidy wrist, though. He'll do, master."

So Taffy was passed, given a leathern apron, and set to his first task
of keeping the forge-fire raked and the bellows going, while the
hammers took up the music he was to listen to for a year to come.

This music kept the day merry; and beyond the window along the bright
high-road there was usually something worth seeing--farm-carts,
jowters' carts, the doctor and his gig, pedlars and Johnny-fortnights,
the miller's wagons from the valley-bottom below Joll's Farm, and on
Tuesdays and Fridays, the market van going and returning. Mendarva
knew or speculated upon everybody, and, with half the passers-by,
broke off work and passed the time of day, leaning on his hammer. But
down at the farm all was strangely quiet, in spite of the children's
voices; and at night the quietness positively kept Taffy awake,
listening to the pur-r of the pigeons in their cote against the
house-wall, thinking of his grandmother awake at home and listening to
the _tick-tack_ of her tall clock. Often when he woke to the early
summer daybreak and saw through his attic-window the gray shadows of
the sheep, still and long, on the slope above the farmstead, his ear
was wanting something, asking for something; for the murmur of the sea
never reached this inland valley. And he would lie and long for the
chirruping of the two children in the next room and the drawing of
bolts and clatter of milk-pails below stairs.

He had a plenty to eat, and that plenty simple and good; and clean
linen to sleep between. The kitchen was his, except on Saturday
nights, when Mrs. Joll and Lizzie tubbed the children there; and then
he would carry his books off to the best parlor, or stroll around the
farm with Mr. Joll and discuss the stock. There were no loose rails in
Mr. Joll's gates, no farm implements lying out in the weather to rust.
Mr. Joll worked early and late, and his shoulders had a tell-tale
stoop--for he was a man in the prime of life, perhaps some five years
older than his wife.

One Saturday evening he unburdened his heart to Taffy. It happened at
the end of the hay-harvest, and the two were leaning over a gate
discussing the yet unthatched rick.

"What I say is," declared the farmer, quite inconsequently, "a man
must be able to lay his troubles 'pon the Lord. I don't mean his work,
but his troubles; and go home and shut the door and be happy with his
wife and children. Now I tell you that for months--iss, years--after
Bob was born, I kept plaguing mysel' in the fields, thinking that some
harm might have happened to the child. Why, I used to make an excuse
and creep home, and then if I see'd a blind pulled down, you wouldn't
think how my heart'd go thump; and I'd stand wi' my hand on the
door-hapse an' say, 'If so be the Lord have took'n, I must go and
comfort Susan--not my will but Thine, Lord--but, Lord, don't 'ee be
cruel this time!' And then find the cheeld right as ninepence and the
blind only pulled down to keep the sun off the carpet! After awhile my
wife guessed what was wrong--I used to make up such poor twiddling
pretences. She said, 'Look here, the Lord and me'll see after Bob;
and if you can't keep to your own work without poking your nose into
ours, then I married for worse and not for better.' Then it came upon
me that by leaving the Lord to look after my job I'd been treating Him
like a farm-laborer. It's the things you can't help He looks
after--not the work."

A few evenings later there came a knock at the door, and Lizzie, who
went to open it, returned with the Bryanite skipping behind her.

"Blessings be upon this here house!" he cried, cutting a sort of
double-shuffle on the threshold. He shook hands with the farmer and
his wife, and nodded toward Taffy. "So you've got Parson Raymond's boy

"Yes," said Mrs. Joll; and turned to Taffy. "He've come to pray a bit;
perhaps you would rather be in the parlor?"

Taffy asked to be allowed to stay; and presently Mr. Pascoe had them
all down on their knees. He began by invoking God's protection on the
household; but his prayer soon ceased to be a prayer. It broke into
ejaculations of praise--"Friends, I be too happy to ask for
anything--Glory, glory! The blood! The precious blood! O deliverance!
O streams of redemption running!" The farmer and his wife began to
chime in--"Hallelujah!" "Glory!" and Lizzie Pezzack to sob. Taffy,
kneeling before a kitchen chair, peeped between his palms and saw her
shoulders heaving.

The Bryanite sprang to his feet, over-turning the settle with a crash.
"Tid'n no use. I must skip. Who'll dance wi' me?"

He held out his hands to Mrs. Joll. She took them, and skipped once
shamefacedly. Lizzie, with flaming cheeks, pushed her aside. "Leave me
try, mis'ess; I shall die if I don't." She caught the preacher's
hands, and the two leapt about the kitchen. "I can dance higher than
mis'ess! I can dance higher than mis'ess!" Farmer Joll looked on with
a dazed face. "Hallelujah!" "Amen!" he said at intervals, quite
mechanically. The pair stood under the bacon rank and began to whirl
like dervishes--hands clasped, toes together, bodies leaning back and
almost rigid. They whirled until Taffy's brain whirled with them.

With a louder sob, Lizzie let go her hold, and tottered back into a
chair, laughing hysterically. The Bryanite leaned against the table,

There was a long pause. Mrs. Joll took a napkin from the dresser and
fell to fanning the girl's face, then to slapping it briskly. "Get up
and lay the table," she commanded; "the preacher'll stay to supper."

"Thank 'ee, ma'am, I don't care if I do," said he; and ten minutes
latter they were all seated at supper and discussing the fall in wheat
in the most matter-of-fact voices. Only their faces twitched, now and

"I hear you had the preacher down to Joll's last night," said Mendarva
the Smith. "What'st think of 'en?"

"I can't make him out," was Taffy's colorless but truthful answer.

"He's a bellows of a man. I do hear he's heating up th' old Squire
Moyle's soul, to knack an angel out of 'en. He'll find that a job and
a half. You mark my words, there'll be Hamlet's ghost over in your
parish one o' these days."

During work-hours Mendarva bestowed most of his talk on Taffy. The
Dane seldom opened his lips, except to join in the Anvil Chorus--

     Here goes one--
       Sing, sing, Johnny!
     Here goes two--
       Sing, Johnny, sing!
     Whack'n till he's red
     Whack'n till he's dead
       And whop! goes the widow with a brand new ring!

and when the boy took a hammer and joined in, he fell silent. Taffy
soon observed that a singular friendship knit these two men, who were
both unmarried. Mendarva had been a famous wrestler in his day, and
his great ambition now was to train the other to win the County belt.
Often, after work, the pair would try a hitch together on the triangle
of turf, with Taffy for stickler; Mendarva illustrating and
explaining, the Dane nodding seriously whenever he understood, but
never answering a word. Afterwards the boy recalled these bouts very
vividly--the clear evening sky, the shoulders of the two big men
shining against the level sun as they gripped and swayed, their long
shadows on the grass under which (as he remembered) the poor
self-murdered woman lay buried.

He thought of her at night, sometimes, as he worked alone at the
forge: for Mendarva allowed him the keys and use of the smithy
overtime, in consideration of a small payment for coal, and then he
blew his fire and hammered with a couple of candles on the bench and a
Homer between them; and beat the long hexameters into his memory. The
incongruity of it never struck him. He was going to be a great man,
and somehow this was going to be the way. These scraps of iron--these
tools of his forging--were to grow into the arms and shield of
Achilles. In its own time would come the magic moment, the shield find
its true circumference and swing to the balance of his arm, proof and

     ἐν δ' ἐτίθει ποταμοῖο μέγα σθένος Ὠκεανοῖο
     ἄντυγα παρ' πυμάτην σάκεος πύκα ποιητοῖο.



His apprenticeship lasted a year and six months, and all this while he
lived with the Jolls, walking home every Sunday morning and returning
every Sunday night, rain or shine. He carried his deftness of hand
into his new trade, and it was Mendarva who begged and obtained an
extension of the time agreed on. "Rather than lose the boy I'll tache
'en for love." So Taffy stayed on for another six months.

He was now in his seventeenth year--a boy no longer. One evening, as
he blew up his smithy fire, the glow of it fell on the form of a woman
standing just outside the window and watching him. He had no silly
fears of ghosts; but the thought of the buried woman flashed across
his mind and he dropped his pincers with a clatter.

"'Tis only me," said the woman. "You needn't to be afeared." And he
saw it was the girl Lizzie.

She stepped inside the forge and seated herself on the Dane's anvil.

"I was walking back from prayer-meeting," she said. "'Tis nigher this
way, but I don't ever dare to come. Might, I dessay, if I'd somebody
to see me home."

"Ghosts?" asked Taffy, picking up the pincers and thrusting the bar
back into the hot cinders.

"I dunno; I gets frightened o' the very shadows on the road sometimes.
I suppose, now, you never walks out that way?"

"Which way?"

"Why, toward where your home is. That's the way I comes."

"No, I don't." Taffy blew at the cinders until they glowed again.
"It's only on Sundays I go over there."

"That's a pity," said Lizzie, candidly. "I'm kept in, Sunday evenings,
to look after the children while farmer and mis'ess goes to Chapel.
That's the agreement I came 'pon."

Taffy nodded.

"It would be nice now, wouldn't it--" She broke off, clasping her
knees and staring at the blaze.

"What would be nice?"

Lizzie laughed confusedly. "Aw, you make me say 't. I can't abear any
of the young men up to the Chapel. If me and you----"

Taffy ceased blowing. The fire died down and in the darkness he could
hear her breathing hard.

"They're so rough," she went on, "And t'other night I met young Squire
Vyell riding along the road, and he stopped me and wanted to kiss me."

"George Vyell? Surely he didn't?" Taffy blew up the fire again.

"Iss he did. I don't see why not, neither."

"Why he shouldn't kiss you?"

"Why he shouldn't want to."

Taffy frowned, carried the white hot bar to his anvil and began to
hammer. He despised girls, as a rule, and their ways. Decidedly Lizzie
annoyed him: and yet as he worked he could not help glancing at her
now and then, as she sat and watched him. By and by he saw that her
eyes were full of tears.

"What's the matter?" he asked, abruptly.

"I--I can't walk home alone. I'm afeared."

He tossed his hammer aside, raked out the fire, and reached his coat
off its peg. As he swung round in the darkness to put it on, he
blundered against Lizzie or Lizzie blundered against him. She clutched
at him nervously.

"Clumsy! can't you see the doorway?"

She passed out, and he followed and locked the door. As they crossed
the turf to the highroad, she slipped her arm into his. "I feel safe,
that way. Let it stay, co!" After a few paces, she added, "You're
different from the others--that's why I like you."


"I dunno; but you _be_ diff'rent. You don't think about girls, for one

Taffy did not answer. He felt angry, ashamed, uncomfortable. He did
not turn once to look at her face, dimly visible by the light of the
young moon--the Hunter's moon--now sinking over the slope of the hill.
Thick dust--too thick for the heavy dew to lay--covered the cart-track
down to the farm, muffling their footsteps. Lizzie paused by the gate.

"Best go in separate," she said; paused again and whispered, "You may,
if you like."

"May do what?"

"What--what young Squire Vyell wanted."

They were face to face now. She held up her lips, and as she did so,
they parted in an amorous murmurous little laugh. The moonlight was on
her face. Taffy bent swiftly and kissed her.

"Oh, you hurt!" With another little laugh, she slipped up the
garden-path and into the house.

Ten minutes later Taffy followed, hating himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

For the next fortnight he avoided her; and then, late one evening, she
came again. He was prepared for this, and had locked the door of the
smithy and let down the shutter while he worked. She tapped upon the
outside of the shutter with her knuckles.

"Let me in!"

"Can't you leave me alone?" he answered, pettishly. "I want to work,
and you interrupt."

"I don't want no love-making--I don't indeed. I'll sit quiet as a
mouse. But I'm afeared, out here."


"I'm afeared o' the ghost. There's something comin'--let me in, co!"

Taffy unlocked the door and held it half open while he listened.

"Yes, there's somebody coming, on horseback. Now, look here--it's no
ghost, and I can't have you about here, with people passing. I--I
don't want you here at all; so make haste and slip away home--that's a
good girl."

Lizzie glided like a shadow into the dark lane as the trample of hoofs
drew close, and the rider pulled up beside the door.

"You're working late, I see. Is it too late to make a shoe for
Aide-de-camp here?"

It was Honoria. She dismounted and stood in the doorway, holding her
horse's bridle.

"No," said Taffy; "that is, if you don't mind the waiting."

With his leathern apron he wiped the Dane's anvil for a seat, while
she hitched up Aide-de-camp and stepped into the glow of the

"The hounds took us six miles beyond Carwithiel: and there, just as
they lost, Aide-de-camp cast his off-hind shoe. I didn't find it out
at first, and now I've had to walk him all the way back. Are you alone


"Who was that I saw leaving as I came up?"

"You saw someone?"

"Yes." She nodded, looking him straight in the face. "It looked like a
woman. Who was she?"

"That was Lizzie Pezzack, the girl who sold you her doll, once. She's
a servant down at the farm where I lodge."

Honoria said no more for the moment, but seated herself on the Dane's
anvil, while Taffy chose a bar of iron and stepped out to examine
Aide-de-camp's hoof. He returned and in silence began to blow up the

"I dare say you were astonished to see me," she remarked at length.


"I'm still forbidden to speak to you. The last time I did it,
grandfather beat me."

"The old brute!" Taffy nipped the hot iron savagely in his pincers.

"I wonder if he'll do it again. Somehow I don't think he will."

Taffy looked at her. She had drawn herself up, and was smiling. In her
close riding-habit she seemed very slight, yet tall, and a woman
grown. He took the bar to the anvil and began to beat it flat. His
teeth were shut, and with every blow he said to himself "Brute!"

"That's beautiful," Honoria went on. "I stopped Mendarva, the other
day, and he told me wonders about you. He says he tried you with a
hard-boiled egg and you swung the hammer and chipped the shell all
round without bruising the white a bit. Is that true?"

Taffy nodded.

"And your learning--the Latin and Greek, I mean; do you still go on
with it?"

He nodded again, toward a volume of Euripides that lay open on the

"And the stories you used to tell George and me; do you go on telling
them to yourself?"

He was obliged to confess that he never did. She sat for awhile
watching the sparks as they flew. Then she said, "I should like to
hear you tell one again. That one about Aslog and Orm, who ran away by
night across the ice-fields and took a boat and came to an island with
a house on it, and found a table spread and the fire lit, but no
inhabitants anywhere--You remember? It began 'Once upon a time, not
far from the city of Drontheim, there lived a rich man----'"

Taffy considered a moment and began "Once upon a time, not far from
the city of Drontheim----" He paused, eyed the horse-shoe cooling
between the pincers, and shook his head. It was no use. Apollo had
been too long in service with Admetus, and the tale would not come.

"At any rate," Honoria persisted, "you can tell me something out of
your books: something you have just been reading."

So he began to tell her the story of Ion, and managed well enough in
describing the boy and how he ministered before the shrine at Delphi,
sweeping the temple and scaring the birds away from the precincts; but
when he came to the plot of the play and, looking up, caught Honoria's
eyes, it suddenly occurred to him that all the rest of the story was a
sensual one and he could not tell it to her. He blushed, faltered, and
finally broke down.

"But it was beautiful," said she, "so far as it went; and it's just
what I wanted. I shall remember that boy Ion now, whenever I think of
you helping your father in the church at home. If the rest of the
story is not nice, I don't want to hear it."

How had she guessed? It was delicious, at any rate, to know that she
thought of him, and Taffy felt how delicious it was, while he fitted
and hammered the shoe on Aide-de-camp's hoof, she standing by with a
candle in either hand, the flame scarcely quivering in the windless

When all was done, she raised a foot for him to give her a mount.
"Good-night!" she called, shaking the reins. Taffy stood by the door
of the forge, listening to the echoes of Aide-de-camp's canter, and
the palm of his hand tingled where her foot had rested.



He took leave of Mendarva and the Jolls just before Christmas. The
smith was unaffectedly sorry to lose him. "But," said he, "the Dane
will be entered for the Championship next summer, so I s'pose I must
look forward to that."

Everyone in the Joll household gave him a small present on his
leaving. Lizzie's was a New Testament, with her name on the fly-leaf,
and under it "Converted, April 19, 187-." Taffy did not want the gift,
but took it rather than hurt her feelings.

Farmer Joll said, "Well, wish 'ee well! Been pretty comfiable, I hope.
Now you'm goin', I don't mind telling 'ee I didn't like your coming a
bit. But now 'tis wunnerful to me you've been wi' us less'n two year';
we've made such progress."

At home Taffy bought a small forge and set it up in the church, at the
west end of the north aisle. Mr. Raymond, under his direction, had
been purchasing the necessary tools for some months past; and now the
main expense was the cost of coal, which pinched them a little. But
they managed to keep the fire alight, and the work went forward
briskly. Save that he still forbade the parish to lend them the least
help, the old Squire had ceased to interfere.

Mr. Raymond's hair was grayer; and Taffy might have observed--but did
not--how readily, toward the close of a day's laborious carpentry, he
would drop work and turn to Dindorf 's _Poetæ Scenici Græci_, through
which they were reading their way. On Sundays, the congregation rarely
numbered a dozen. It seemed that as the end of the Vicar's task drew
nearer, so the prospect of filling the church receded and became more
shadowy. And if his was a queer plight, Jacky Pascoe's was a queerer.
The Bryanite continued to come by night and help, but at rarer
intervals. He was discomforted in mind, as anyone could see; and at
length he took Mr. Raymond aside and made confession.

"I must go away; that's what 'tis. My burden is too great for me to

"Why," said Mr. Raymond, who had grown surprisingly tolerant during
the past twelve months, "what cause have you, of all men, to feel
dejected? You can set the folk here on fire like flax." He sighed.

"That's azackly the reason--I can set 'em afire with a breath; but I
can't hold 'em under. I make 'em too strong for me--_and I'm afeard_.
Parson, dear, it's the gospel truth; for two years I've a been
strivin' agen myself, wrastlin' upon my knees, and all to hold this
parish in." He mopped his face. "'Tis like fightin' with beasts at
Ephesus," he said.

"Do you want to hold them in?"

"I do and I don't. I've got to try, anyway. Sometimes I tell mysel'
'tis putting a hand to the plough and turning back; and then I reckon
I'll go on. But when the time comes, I can't. I'm afeard, I tell 'ee."
He paused. "I've laid it before the Lord, but He don't seem to help.
There's two voices inside o' me. 'Tis a terrible responsibility."

"But the people, what are you afraid of their doing?"

"I don't know. You don't know what a runaway hoss will do, but you're
afeard all the same." He sank his voice. "There's wantonness, for one
thing--six love-children born in the parish this year, and more
coming. They do say that Vashti Clemow destroyed her child. And Old
Man Johns--him they found dead on the rocks under the Island--he
didn't go there by accident. 'Twas a calm day, too."

As often as not Taffy worked late--sometimes until midnight--and blew
his forge-fire alone in the church, the tap of his hammer making
hollow music in the desolate aisles. He was working thus one windy
night in February, when the door rattled open and in walked a totally
unexpected visitor--Sir Harry Vyell.

"Good-evening! I was riding by and saw your light in the windows
dancing up and down. I thought I would hitch up the mare and drop in
for a chat. But go on with your work."

Taffy wondered what had brought him so far from his home at that time
of night, but asked no questions. And Sir Harry placed a hassock on
one of the belfry steps and, taking his seat, watched for awhile in
silence. He wore his long riding boots and an overcoat with the collar
turned up about a neck-cloth less nattily folded than usual.

"I wish," he said at length, "that my boy George was clever like you.
You were great friends once--you remember Plymouth, hey? But I dare
say you've not seen much of each other lately."

Taffy shook his head.

"George is a bit wild. Oxford might have done something for him; made
a man of him, I mean. But he wouldn't go. I believe in wild oats to a
certain extent. I have told him from the first he must look after
himself and decide for himself. That's my theory. It makes a youngster
self-reliant. He goes and comes as he likes. If he comes home late
from hunting, I ask no questions; I don't wait dinner. Don't you agree
with me?"

"I don't know," Taffy answered, wondering why he should be consulted.

"Self-reliance is what a man wants."

"Couldn't he have learnt that at school?"

Sir Harry fidgeted with the riding-crop in his hands. "Well, you see,
he's an only son----. I dare say it was selfish of me. You don't mind
my talking about George?"

Taffy laughed. "I like it."

Sir Harry laughed too, in an embarrassed way. "But you don't suppose I
rode over from Carwithiel for that? You're not so far wrong, though.
The fact is--one gets foolish as one grows old--George went out
hunting this morning, and didn't turn up for dinner. I kept to my
rule, and dined alone. Nine o'clock came; half-past; no George. At ten
Hoskings locked up as usual, and off I went to bed. But I couldn't
sleep. After awhile, it struck me that he might be sleeping here over
at Tredinnis; that is, if no accident had happened. No sleep for me
until I made sure; so I jumped out, dressed, slipped down to the
stables, saddled the mare and rode over. I left the mare by Tredinnis
great gates and crept down to Moyle's stables like a house-breaker;
looked in through the window, and, sure enough, there was George's
gray in the loose box to the right. So George is sleeping there, and
I'm easy in my mind. No doubt you think me an old fool?"

But Taffy was not thinking anything of the sort.

"I couldn't wish better than that. You understand?" said Sir Harry,

"Not quite."

"He lost his mother early. He wants a woman to look after him, and for
him to think about. If he and Honoria would only make up a match....
And Carwithiel would be quite a different house."

Taffy hesitated, with a hand on the forge-bellows.

"I dare say it's news to you, what I'm telling. But it has been in my
mind this long while. Why don't you blow up the fire? I bet Miss
Honoria has thought of it too; girls are deep. She has a head on her
shoulders. I'll warrant she'd send half a dozen of my servants packing
within a week. As it is, they rob me to a stair. I know it, and I
haven't the pluck to interfere."

"What does the old Squire say?" Taffy managed to ask.

"It has never come to _saying_ anything. But I believe he thinks of
it, too, when he happens to think of anything but his soul. He'll be
pleased; everyone will be pleased. The properties touch, you see."

"I see."

"To tell you the truth, he's failing fast. This religion of his is a
symptom; all of his family have taken to it in the end. If he hadn't
the constitution of a horse, he'd have been converted ten years before
this. What puzzles me is, he's so quiet. You mark my words"--Sir Harry
rose, buttoned his coat and shook his riding-crop prophetically--"he's
brewing up for something. There'll be the devil of a flare-up before
he has done."

       *       *       *       *       *

It came with the midsummer bonfires. At nine o'clock on St. John's
Eve, Mr. Raymond read prayers in the church. It was his rule to
celebrate thus the vigils of all saints in the English calendar and
some few Cornish saints besides; and he regularly announced these
services on the preceding Sundays; but no parishioner dreamed of
attending them.

To-night, as usual, he and Taffy had prayed alone; and the lad was
standing after service at the church door, with his surplice on his
arm (for he always wore a surplice and read the lessons on these
vigils), when the flame of the first bonfire shot up from the headland
over Innis village.

Almost on the moment a flame answered it from the point where the
lighthouse stood; and within ten minutes the horizon of the towans was
cressetted with these beacon-fires; surely (thought Taffy) with many
more than usual. And he remembered that Jacky Pascoe had thrown out a
hint of a great revival to be held on Baal-fire Night (as he had
called it).

The night was sultry and all but windless. For once the tormented sands
had rest. The flame of the bonfires shone yellow--orange-yellow--and
steady. He could see the dark figures of men and women passing between
him and the nearest, on the high wastrel in front of Tredinnis great
gates. Their voices reached him in a confused murmur, broken now and
then by a child's scream of delight. And yet a hush seemed to hang
over sea and land: an expectant hush. For weeks the sky had not
rained. Day after day, a dull indigo blue possessed it, deepening with
night into duller purple, as if the whole heavens were gathering into
one big thunder-cloud, which menaced but never broke. And in the hush
of those nights a listener could almost fancy he heard, between
whiles, the rabbits stirring uneasily in their burrows.

By and by, the bonfire on the wastrel appeared to be giving out specks
of light, which blazed independently; yet without decreasing its own
volume of flame. The sparks came dancing, nearer and larger; the
voices grew more distinct. The spectators had kindled torches and were
advancing in procession to visit other bonfires. The torches, too,
were supposed to bless the fields they passed across.

The procession rose and sank as it came over the uneven ridges like a
fiery snake; topped the nearest ridge and came pouring down past the
churchyard wall. At its head danced Lizzie Pezzack, shrieking like a
creature possessed, her hair loose and streaming, while she whirled
her torch. Taffy knew these torches; bundles of canvas steeped in tar
and fastened in the middle to a stout stick or piece of chain.
Lizzie's was fastened to a chain, and as he watched her uplifted arm
swinging the blazing mass he found time to wonder how she escaped
setting her hair on fire. Other torch-bearers tossed their arms and
shouted as they passed. The smoke was suffocating, and across the
patch of quiet graveyard the heat smote on Taffy's face. But in the
crowd he saw two figures clearly--Jacky Pascoe and Squire Moyle; and
the Bryanite's face was agitated and white in the glare. He had given
an arm to the Squire, who was clearly the centre of the procession,
and tottered forward with jaws working and cavernous eyes.

"He's saved!" a voice shouted.

Others took up the cry. "Saved!" "The Squire's saved!" "Saved
to-night--saved to glory!"

The Squire paused, still leaning on the Bryanite's arm. While the
procession swayed around him, he gazed across the gate, as a man who
had lost his bearings. No glint of torchlight reached his eyes; but
the sight of Mr. Raymond's surpliced figure, standing behind Taffy's
shoulders in the full glare, seemed to rouse him. He lifted a fist and
shook it slowly.

"Com'st along, sir!" urged the Bryanite.

But the Squire stood irresolute, muttering to himself.

"Com'st along, sir!"

"Lev' me be, I tell 'ee!" He laid both hands on the gate and spoke
across it to Mr. Raymond, his head nodding while his voice rose.

"D'ee hear what they say? I'm saved. I'm the Squire of this parish,
and I'm going to Heaven. I make no account of you and your church. Old
Satan's the fellow I'm after, and I'm going to have him out o' this
parish to-night or my name's not Squire Moyle."

"That's of it, Squire!" "Hunt' en!" "Out with 'en!"

He turned on the shouting throng.

"Hunt 'en? Iss fay I will! Come along, boys--back to Tredinnis! No,
no"--this to the Bryanite--"we'll go back. I'll show 'ee sport,
to-night--we'll hunt th'ould Divvle by scent and view. I'm Squire
Moyle, ain't I? And I've a pack o' hounds, ha'n't I? Back, boys--back,
I tell 'ee!"

Lizzie Pezzack swung her torch. "Back--back to Tredennis!" The crowd
took up the cry, "Back to Tredinnis!" The old man shook off the
Bryanite's hand, and as the procession wheeled and re-formed itself
confusedly, rushed to the head of it, waving his hat--

"Back!--Back to Tredinnis!"

"God help them," said Mr. Raymond; and taking Taffy by the arm, drew
him back into the church.

       *       *       *       *       *

The shouting died away up the road. For three-quarters of an hour
father and son worked in silence. The reddened sky shed its glow
gently through the clear glass windows, suffusing the shadows beneath
the arched roof. And, in the silence, the lad wondered what was
happening up at Tredinnis.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jim the Whip took oath afterward that it was no fault of his. He had
suspected three of the hounds for a day or two--Chorister, White, Boy,
and Bellman--and had separated them from the pack. That very evening
he had done the same with Rifler, who was chewing at the straw in a
queer fashion and seemed quarrelsome. He had said nothing to the
Squire, whose temper had been ugly for a week past. He had hoped it
was a false alarm--had thought it better to wait, and so on.

The Squire went down to the Kennels with a lantern, Jim shivering
behind him. They had their horses saddled outside and ready; and the
crowd was waiting along the drive and up by the great gates. The
Squire saw at a glance that two couples were missing, and in two
seconds had their names on his tongue. He was like a madman. He
shouted to Jim to open the doors. "Better not, maister!" pleaded Jim.
The old man cursed, smote him across the neck with the butt-end of his
whip, and unlocked the doors himself. Jim, though half-stunned,
staggered forward to prevent him, and took another blow which felled
him. He dropped across the threshold of Chorister's kennel, the doors
of all opened outwards, and the weight of his body kept this one shut.
But he saw the other three hounds run out--saw the Squire turn with a
ghastly face, drop the lantern and run for it as White Boy snapped at
his boot. Jim heard the crash of the lantern and the snap of teeth,
and with that he fainted off in the darkness. He had cut his forehead
against the bars of the big kennel, and when he came to himself, one
of the hounds was licking his face through the grating.

       *       *       *       *       *

Men told for years' after how the old Squire came up the drive that
night, hoof to belly; his chin almost on mare Nonesuch's neck; his
face like a man's who hears hell cracking behind him; and of the three
dusky hounds which followed (the tale said) with clapping jaws and
eyes like coach-lamps.

       *       *       *       *       *

Down in the quiet church Taffy heard the outcry, and, laying down his
plane, looked up and saw that his father had heard it too. His mild
eyes, shining through his spectacles, asked, as plainly as words:
"What was _that_?"


For a minute--two minutes--they heard nothing more. Then out of the
silence broke a rapid, muffled beat of hoofs; and Mr. Raymond clutched
Taffy's arm as a yell--a cry not human, or if human, insane--cut the
night like a knife and fetched them to their feet. Taffy gained the
porch first, and just at that moment a black shadow heaved itself on
the churchyard wall and came hurling over with a thud--a clatter of
dropping stones--then a groan.

Before they could grasp what was happening, the old Squire had
extricated himself from the fallen mare, and came staggering across
the graves.

"Hide me!----"

He came with both arms outstretched, his face turned sideways. Behind
him, from the far side of the wall, came sounds--horrible shuffling
sounds, and in the dusk they saw the head of one of the hounds above
the coping and his fore-paws clinging as he strained to heave himself

"Save me! Save----"

They caught him by both arms, dragged him within and slammed the door.


The word ended with a thud as he pitched headlong on the slate
pavement. Through the barred door, the scream of the mare Nonesuch
answered it.

(To be continued.)


By E. G. Chat

  [Illustration: Mail Arriving in Foreign Department.
   On the left the Chief Clerk is checking off the returns from the
   clerks, on the right, who have emptied sacks of mail. New loads are
   coming in in the rear.]

"Steamer's mail!!!" This loud call, echoing throughout the foreign
room in the Post-office Building, is the equivalent of the "Clear ship
for action" on the man-of-war. Instantly distributors leave their
separating cases, stampers abandon their "blocks," the electric
stamp-cancelling machine temporarily ceases its humming, buzzing
rattle, every available clerk or porter gets ready for the fray, and
the whole force charges with alacrity on the fast accumulating pile,
as sack after sack is dumped on a low, large table, at times entirely
hid from sight by bags with labels indicating their origin, thousands
of miles away, whether from the confines of Siberia, or the shores of
the Indian Ocean.

The sight, even to men familiar with the work, is inspiring,
especially when at times two, and on certain occasions three, steamers
land their cargo of sacks at the same hour. Not infrequently this
happens when some one thousand and odd sacks have to be made ready for
an outgoing steamer, and then the foreign force is fairly on its
mettle, and may well be compared again to the crew of a battle-ship
when it has to fight fire inside and fire from the enemy outside. Here
again, as on the battle-ship, organization and years' training tell.
The wagon-loads of sacks melt before the vigorous and steady onslaught
as did the Spanish fleet before Dewey's guns, and in a short while the
room is cleared and the "field-day" over.

  [Illustration: Sea Post-office Room.
   One clerk empties the sacks, and throws the letter packages to
   another clerk at the case while he distributes the papers into
   the sack rack.]

It would be difficult, in this great cosmopolitan city of New York, to
find a person who does not make use of this foreign service, yet
strange to relate is the fact that, outside of the clerks immediately
handling these mails, hardly anyone can be found who knows, or even
has the slightest idea of the International Postal Union system.
Perhaps this is accounted for by the comparatively very recent
establishment of said system, and its growth so immediate and rapid
that the public has not so far "caught up" with it.

The system was aptly described by Postmaster-General Gary at the
opening of the Washington Postal Congress, in 1897, as "one of the
grandest projects of the century." No other agency is responsible to
such an extent for the tremendous expansion of great ideals and the
exchange of views between nations characteristic of the last quarter
of this century.

Previous to 1875, when the Treaty of Bern, assented to and ratified by
twenty-two nations, took effect, the exchange of mails between
separate nationalities was done under such difficulties, and subject
to delays and mishaps of so many kinds, that a normal growth and
improvement in keeping with the progress of civilization was out of
the question. In 1840 the foreign mail from England for the United
States, carried on the Great Western, consisted of two sacks of mail.
As late as 1873 a steamer from Europe with 20,000 letters on board was
considered a record breaker. To-day the Cunard steamers and other
transatlantic ships carrying what is called a "full European mail,"
usually bring some two hundred thousand letters, and an average of
three hundred sacks of newspapers and printed matter for New York
City, not to mention the five hundred and odd sacks for Canada,
Mexico, and transpacific countries, and a few United States exchange
offices, which are now taken direct to the trains and not handled at
the New York office.

The working unit of the International Postal Union system is the
"Exchange Office." Each postal administration selects these
despatching and receiving centres according to quantity of mail
handled at any particular point. In European countries many of these
offices are on trains from one important point to another, and are
called Travelling Exchange offices. They receive and despatch mails in
the same manner as offices located in large cities. There are also
exchange offices located on steamship lines, and they are called Sea
Post-offices. No matter where located, these offices all conduct
business on the same lines, and handle mail in the same manner
throughout the world. The rules and regulations of this service are
adopted by Postal Congresses, meeting about every six years and under
the general supervision of the International Bureau of the Postal
Union located at Bern, Switzerland, and supported by funds from all
governments represented in the Union according to the respective
importance of their mail service.

  [Illustration: Transferring Mails from an Ocean Greyhound to the
   Post-office Boat, Postmaster General, through the Chutes.]

Only through these exchange offices can correspondence go from one
country to another, as no other offices are provided with the clerical
force and system necessary to the handling of international mails. It
is at times difficult to explain to business people that a North
German Lloyd steamer calling at Gibraltar and Naples will carry mail
for Naples only, and that a letter addressed to Gibraltar by that
particular steamer cannot be delivered at that port, but will be
carried all the way to Naples, whence it will be re-despatched to
Gibraltar through a more or less circuitous route. This is because
Gibraltar is not an "exchange office" with New York, and "closed
mails" are not sent thereto from New York. A "closed mail," as the
name indicates, is a mail duly tied up, sealed, and labelled with the
name of the exchange office to which it is sent, and not to be opened
until it gets there, passing sometimes through four or five countries
before reaching its destination. No other kind of mails is carried by
steamers, yet the answer will often be made to inquiries, that a
certain letter would have been sent "in open mail" to London or
elsewhere. This does not mean that the mail in which the letter in
question would be sent is despatched "opened," but that it is sent in
the "closed" mail for London, there to be opened and disposed of by
the London clerks, just as if it had been mailed in London. This
course is followed with all correspondence for offices abroad, or even
entire countries, which is not in sufficient quantity to justify the
establishment of an exchange; and the mails for these offices or
countries is sent to the foreign exchange office with the best
facilities for disposing of it. Thus mail for Liberia will be sent
sometimes to Hamburg, Germany, and at other times to Liverpool,

  [Illustration: On Board the Postmaster General, at the End of the
   Chute--Receiving, Piling, and Checking Off Sacks.]

  [Illustration: Some Sample Labels from Abroad.

     Belgian label--string made fast through wooden block with
       wax seal and a second block of compressed lead.
     Paraguay label--plain linen.
     Austrian label--wooden block, string sealed with wax.
     German white leather label.
     Argentine label--strong, ordinary leather.
     Norwegian label--cardboard--string sealed on back with wax.]

A closed mail consists of ordinary letters, printed matter, and other
articles, and of registered articles. Sometimes all these elements
will be enclosed in the same sack, or they may be despatched in
separate sacks, when in sufficient quantity. The registered mail is
tied up and sealed in distinctive red-striped sacks, and then these
sacks are enclosed in ordinary mail-sacks, tied up and labelled in
exactly the same manner as the sacks containing ordinary letters, so
that it is impossible to tell from the outside which sack contains
registered matter. A mail may consist of one sack only, containing all
classes of correspondence, or it may be composed of a large number of
sacks. In either case it is accompanied by a letter bill, enclosed in
one of the sacks. This letter bill is one of a series beginning on
January 1st of each year, being numbered with consecutive numbers to
each foreign exchange office. Thus when Naples receives a mail from
New York containing the letter bill numbered 65, and the previous mail
received at that office had Letter Bill No. 63, Naples knows that mail
with Letter Bill No. 64 is missing, and immediately notifies New York
of the fact in a form called "Bulletin of Verification." This form is
in use for official correspondence between all offices in the Postal
Union regarding irregularities of all sorts discovered in the mails of
one office for another. A record of the number of each mail and the
particulars of its despatch being kept by each office, the inquiry
from Naples in the above instance would immediately be investigated,
and that office notified that the missing mail had been sent on such a
date, by such a steamer, etc.; or, if more was known concerning its
fate, as in the case of the mails sent per La Bourgogne last July,
mention would be made of the fact. The Russian travelling exchange
office of Kibarty to St. Petersburg frequently receives the mails sent
from this office every Wednesday in inverted order, that is, the mail
sent by a fast White Star liner at noon on Wednesday, may be received
a few hours ahead of the mail sent by a slower American line steamer
which sailed at 10 A.M. on the same day. The occurrence is so often
repeated that one would think it would go unnoticed, and the Russian
office would wait a few hours anyway before notifying New York that a
mail is missing, but such is not the case, and the bulletin "Your mail
No. ---- is missing," is immediately sent to New York, followed next
day by another bulletin, "Your mail No. ---- has arrived." At the New
York office the first bulletin is always held until receipt of the
second, which is sure to follow and renders investigation unnecessary;
they are called "Katie didn't," and "Katie did." Many bulletins are
received subsequent to the holidays with best wishes for Christmas or
New Year from one office to another. They are mostly all in English,
French, or Spanish, and are, at times, more or less humorous, if not
pathetic, as was one received from Martinique about the time Cervera's
ill-fated fleet was hovering near that island. A mail from New York
had just been received at St. Pierre, and in one of the sacks the
horrified French Director of Posts had found a cat in the last stages
of decomposition. He had sent for the American Consul to view the
remains, and his bulletin to the New York office regarding this
irregularity was a model of official French. It stated how the smell
of that dead cat had penetrated every corner of his office, and one
could read between the lines that he suspected the whole affair to be
a joke played upon him by the Yankee postal clerks. The event was duly
investigated in the New York office, but beyond the fact that one
member of the numerous pussy tribe in the mail building was missing,
little else could be positively ascertained. That the cat could have
been sent in that bag as a joke was not to be thought of for an
instant, but it was presumed that in its wandering among the piles of
mail-sacks in the basement, pussy had found the sack for Martinique
awaiting to be sealed, and had concluded to take a nap therein. The
sack was probably tied up and sealed soon afterward, and the unwilling
stow-away had been sent to the steamer. Later on it was reported by
the purser of the steamer that he suspected there was something alive
in one of the mail-bags, but such is the respect for postal seals that
he never thought to open the sack in the presence of witnesses and
release the animal. Thrown in the mail-room with other sacks on top of
it, there could be no doubt that poor pussy had been smothered before
passing the Hook, and his condition when landed at Martinique must
have been such as to fully justify and explain the ill-disguised
indignation of the French officials.

  [Illustration: In the Newspaper Division. Throwing papers into boxes
   for all parts of the world.]

The letter bill describes minutely the mail it accompanies, states how
many sacks of letters, how many sacks of papers, and how many articles
registered, describing each registered article separately, except in
cases of heavy registered mails, when a separate descriptive list is
sent in addition to the letter bill. Thus it is easy for the office of
destination to verify the mail it receives and ascertain whether any
is missing.

Small closed mails are at times enclosed inside of closed mails for
other offices; for instance, the mails made up at Paris for Guatemala
are in a sack duly sealed and labelled as aforesaid, but this sack is
put inside of one of the bags for the New York office, and in such
cases the fact is noted on the letter bill sent with the New York

  [Illustration: Samples of Ordinary Letters.
   For Government of Simbursk, Russia. For Finland. For Hungary.]

The business of the foreign clerks when a foreign mail is received in
the manner described in our first lines is to open promptly every sack
received, inspect and dispose of contents, and report to the chief
clerk the result from each sack thus opened. Each clerk takes hold of
one of the sacks piled on the table, and throws it on another table
used for opening the mails. He cuts open the fastenings, keeping the
label separate, and also the letter-bill, if he happens to find it in
the sack; if several classes of mail matter are found therein, he
pushes the ordinary letters over to one side, sweeps the newspapers
into large four-wheeled baskets near by, takes to another place the
smaller enclosed mails addressed to other offices, and lays the
registered sack on the chief clerk's desk, where a man from the
registry division will receive it and give a receipt for it. The clerk
then calls out to the chief clerk the result of his examination,
"Lisbon-Reg.-Bill and 1 Honolulu"--which means that in the sack just
opened he found the mail from Lisbon for New York with the
letter-bill, registered articles and a smaller closed mail for
Honolulu. Like the rattle of musketry these calls are fired at the
chief clerk, who marks everything on a tally-sheet, which will later
on be compared with the advices received from the foreign offices on
each letter-bill; and if any discrepancy is found it will be
investigated, resulting in a bulletin of verification to office of
origin, or in something worse for the foreign clerk who made an
erroneous announcement of the contents, if the fault is laid to him.
In a few minutes, sometimes an hour or more, an entire mail is opened
and the room cleared, the registry man getting away to his department
with all the registered mails, and the newspaper force wheeling away
the baskets full of newspapers and packages. The letters are then
divided into four parts--those for New York City proper, those for the
rest of the United States and Canada, those for foreign countries
which have been sent in open mail to New York, and those which are
unpaid or partially prepaid. Many foreign offices make a separation of
the mails for New York City from those for other places, but this is a
matter of accommodation and reciprocal arrangements between exchange
offices; and the work of separation is, strictly speaking, that of the
foreign clerks in any office. The newspapers are treated in the same
manner as the letters. All city mail is then sent to the city
department for final distribution and delivery, and that for other
parts of the United States and Canada is sent to the domestic mail
division for despatch. All letters and mail addressed to other
countries are retained in the foreign division, and included in the
next mail for these countries. The unpaid and short-paid mail is
"rated up" before delivery to other divisions. This mail is put up
under distinctive labels. The despatching offices have marked on each
article the amount of deficiency in prepayment. No matter where
originating, this amount is marked in French money (centimes). The
letter "T" (initial of French word "tax") is also stamped on covers.
The foreign clerks at the receiving office calculate, in the money of
their country, the amount of deficiency and double it up, stamping
this charge on the covers for collection by office of delivery.

  [Illustration: Despatching a Mail--Sacks Loaded on Trucks.
   Despatching clerk, on the left, tallying off mails, sack by sack.
   Foreign mails are delivered to trucks sent by the Steamship
   Companies and are receipted for at the door of New York Post

This work, and also that of separating New York mail and mail for the
principal States and cities, is done by the sea post-offices in
steamers of the North German Lloyd, Hamburg-American, and American
Lines; and when mails are received by either of these steamers they
are ready for delivery in a much shorter time than when received by
other vessels. In addition to the sea post-office service, the
transfer service has also in the last two or three years materially
reduced the work at the foreign department in the New York office.

No sooner has the "ticker" reported the Campania or other big liner
"off Fire Island" than a veteran of the transportation department,
accompanied by a few clerks and porters, hastens to the foot of
Cortlandt Street and boards the Postmaster-General, the flag-ship of
the post-office fleet. The boat was built for this service, and is
equipped with spacious mail-rooms, chutes for transboarding sacks, and
other expediting appliances. Steam is up, and she is off down the bay
to meet the big steamer. She makes fast to her sides, and the mails
are received aboard through the chutes, while the clerks check and
verify the number received on a sort of invoice called "way bill,"
prepared by the London, Havre, or sea post-office. Frequently the
passengers are still awaiting the quarantine doctor while the mails
are speeding on their way to the Battery, where the New York City
sacks are landed; then to the Pennsylvania Railroad, then to the foot
of Forty-second Street, where wagons await the mails for the Grand
Central Depot. Thus a great saving in time is often made, while
formerly the whole mail went first to the docks of the several
transatlantic lines, then by wagons to the General Post-Office, then
again by wagons to the different depots. When the mails are handled by
sea post-offices during the sea-trip, they generally arrive ready for
the trains, and little but what is for New York City proper comes to
the general office; but the large and heavy mails on the Cunard and
White Star Lines, also on the French Line, are not thus assorted, and
fully two-thirds has to come to the foreign division to be handled as
previously described.

We have explained to a great extent so far what seems to pertain to
the incoming mails only; but we said at the start that the foreign
mail is worked throughout the world in every exchange office very much
after the same pattern, and it will now be easier to explain the
handling of mail going from the United States to other countries.
There are in the United States several exchange offices besides New
York, but, with the exception of New Orleans and San Francisco, the
mails they make up consist only of matter originating at each of these
offices. Mail for some of the Central American republics is sent to
New Orleans, and mail for transpacific countries goes mostly to San
Francisco. All other mail, no matter where dropped in the letter-box,
comes to the New York office through the instrumentality of the
Railway Mail Service. Letters for abroad are tied up in bundles, and
labelled "New York Foreign." Some of the railway mail offices make a
preliminary separation by countries, and many bundles reach New York
labelled "Russia," "Switzerland," etc.; but as there are many exchange
offices in these foreign countries, these bundles have again to be
opened at New York, and assorted, although this first separation
facilitates the process. The bundles are cut open, and the letters are
all passed through the electric machine or stamped by hand, the
"back-stamp" thus impressed showing their date of arrival in New York.

This is not done with letters originating in New York City, the date
and time of mailing being in that case shown in the stamp-mark
cancelling the postage-stamps, and being held sufficient for records.
The mail having been "back-stamped," goes on a low shelf in front of
each distributor, and is then assorted according to destination. The
"separating case" consists of nine rows of boxes, ten boxes in each
row. Many of the boxes bear the names of exchange offices in Europe or
those reached by steamers for Europe. There are also boxes for other
parts of the world, in which letters are deposited to be later on
taken to another special "separating case" for these countries. In
each separating case there is a box where unpaid or short-paid letters
are deposited. A special clerk takes them out, weighs them, marks
thereon the deficient postage, and stamps them "T," when they are
assorted on a separate case and tied up in bundles under labels
indicating that the contents of the bundles consist of short-paid
mail. They go in the same sacks as ordinary letters. When a box
bearing the name of an exchange office is full (about one hundred and
fifty letters), the contents are taken out, divided into two parts,
the largest letters being laid across both parts, and the whole is
tied up in a sheet of strong manila paper. String is not spared in
this process, and so securely and strongly are these packages tied
that they have been known to remain in the water for days and weeks at
times, and when found, with the exception of the top letters and the
edges, they were yet in a condition to permit delivery to persons for
whom they were intended. Many people, no doubt, some weeks after the
Elbe disaster, remember having received letters with a paster
attached, stating that the letter had been found in the North Sea, in
a bag originating in Norway and sunk with the Elbe. This was the only
sack of mail ever recovered from that steamer. The same was true of
the mail recovered from the Oregon, sacks being found far down the
Jersey coast days after the wreck of that steamer, and forwarded to
New York, where, after being dried, most of the letters were found to
be deliverable.

The package thus wrapped and tied is labelled with the printed name of
the exchange office for which its contents are intended, and thrown
into a large basket. When the basket is full, it is wheeled over to
the pouching rack, an iron frame divided into sections, each section
bearing the name of an exchange office, and provided with four hooks
which hold open a mail sack. The pouching clerk takes the packages of
letters, reads the labels thereon, and throws them into the proper
sack. When full (about seventy-five pounds), the sack is taken down
and ready for tying and sealing up. The last sack taken down receives
the letter-bill for the exchange office of destination. The sack is
tied, and a label bearing the name of the office for which it is
destined is inserted in the string. After several turns have been
taken, both ends of the string are passed through the holes at the
bottom of a small tin cup which is subsequently filled with hot wax,
so that the string cannot be removed without its being cut open (see
illustration on page 71). In this country labels made of good Holland
linen are used fresh for each sack. In other countries other material
is employed, some using leather, some wood, some strong cardboard. The
return of labels of any value is generally requested, and they are
used over and over until worn out. Great Britain does not use labels
of any kind, but has the address of each sack stencilled on the sack
itself, thus: "London for New York." This, of course, renders the sack
useless for any other service. In the United States the labels are
white for letter sacks, buff for papers, and cardinal red for
registered mails.

The newspapers are assorted in the basement of the Post-office, very
much in the same fashion as letters, but they are not tied up in
bundles. The separating cases into which they are thrown are so made
that a sack hanging at the lower end of the box receives the mail thrown
therein, and when full, it is ready for tying, labelling, and sealing
up. In this department are received the queerest odds and ends going
through the mails to foreign countries, newspapers especially being
selected to hide in their folds sundry articles of every description
sent to friends "in the auld country." Jewelry, from the penny kind to
really valuable articles, handkerchiefs galore, baby's dressing
outfits, rattlesnake skins, plugs of tobacco, cucumbers--these and
many other curios of every description are found and stopped. If the
address of the sender appears on the package, it is returned to him
direct. Otherwise it goes to the Dead Letter Office, where it is kept
a certain length of time awaiting to be claimed. The unclaimed part is
finally sold at auction.

In the letter department there are also curiosities, but of another
kind. The greatest part of the letters addressed to Santa Claus in
Greenland, or other Northern lands, are treated by the foreign clerks.
There are also many mysteries to be unravelled in the queer
hieroglyphics which are supposed to be the addresses of letters,
especially those going to Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and even Italy.
Clerks of the foreign department are not linguists; but the same
characters recurring so constantly soon appear familiar, and they
experience no trouble in "boxing" the letters to the proper office.

When a mail has closed, no more letters or papers are put in the
assorting boxes, but everything that was there is taken out, tied,
labelled, and sacked. The letter-bills are then prepared, and after
all the sacks are sealed the way-bills are made up in duplicate
copies. A full European mail _via_ Queenstown or _via_ Southampton
averages nine to twelve hundred sacks, fully two-thirds of which have
been made up in the New York office. The way-bill describes this large
mail only as so many letter-sacks and so many paper-sacks from the New
York office, or the Chicago, or other office of origin, for Paris, or
for Dublin, etc., and when the steamers land the mail at its port of
arrival, the way-bills are used to check and verify the number of
sacks landed. One copy of the way-bill is returned to New York with a
receipt from the official at the port of destination, and the
responsibility of this office for the mails ceases. Their further
transportation will be the business of the administration which has
received them.

The Parcels Post system is also taken care of by the clerks of the
foreign department, but as it is a system based on special conventions
or agreements between any two countries, it is not within the sphere
of an article relating to the international mail service as regulated
by the Postal Union Conventions. The exchange of large parcels,
however, as well as of ordinary correspondence, is one of the
improvements which remain for future postal congresses to introduce in
the system. At present, the United States parcels' post exchange is
confined to the West Indies, Central America, Mexico, Hawaii, and
Newfoundland. Ordinary merchandise not exceeding eleven pounds can be
forwarded under that system for twelve cents a pound.

  [Illustration: United States System of Tying, Sealing, and Labelling

The general supervision over all American exchange offices is centred
in the Office of Foreign Mails, in Washington, but the fact that over
ninety per cent. of foreign mail matter is handled, or passes through
the New York office would make exceedingly advantageous, especially
for business interests all over the country, the transfer to New York
of the supreme direction of that service. Many times questions have to
be decided and steps taken at short notice, delay being the great
bugaboo of postal officials, and in such cases constant and daily
touch with a system ever increasing and improving would be of
incalculable benefit. The New York force, however, is so well trained,
its superintendents and clerks are so completely acquainted with every
detail of the system, that so far the business world has not suffered
from the present arrangement. It certainly has not gained. A
flattering testimonial of this efficiency of the New York foreign
force is found in a report to his government of the New Zealand Postal
Agent residing at San Francisco and in charge of the important
British-Australian Mail Service. "I find," says he, "that the New York
officials are extremely anxious to make the best connections and are
indefatigable in their efforts to expedite the transfer of mails.
Messrs. Maze and Boyle,[1] Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent
of mails in New York City, are particularly energetic and watchful,
and no stone is left unturned at that office to further our interests
in that direction, and the mails are often transferred to tugs and
sent after the Atlantic liners when late."


[1] Lately appointed Post-office Inspector.


_"Vicisti, Galilæo"_


     Above the fallen sculpture
       Of the pantheon of the Past,
     One haggard face looks heavenward
       A challenge to the last.
     Behold that levelling NEMESIS,
       Who rears her balance still,
     Scorning a Good that flowers
       From roots of good and ill:
     A Tonic from the mixture
       Of mortal gall and balm!
     A foam of their equation--
       Fume of waste and compensation,
     Which the Cup of trituration
       Wreathes with victory and calm!

     But oh, thou ruthless goddess,
       With never-favoring eyes,
     Is Heaven so poor that justice
       Metes the bounty of the skies?
     So poor that every blessing
       Fills the debit of a cost!
     That all process is returning,
       And all gain is of the lost!

     How shalt thou poise the courage
       That covets all things hard?
     How pay the love unmeasured
       That could not brook reward?
     How prompt self-loyal honor--
       Supreme above desire,
     That bids the strong die for the weak,
       The martyr sing in fire?
     Why do I droop in bower,
       And sigh in sacred hall?
     Why stifle under shelter,
       Yet where through forest tall
     The rime of hoary winter
       In stinging spray resolves,
     I sing to the northwind's fury,
       And shout with the starving wolves?

     Up through a hundred tumults
       I won to fields of peace:
     A veteran scarred and grizzled,
       On furlough, or release.

     I roam the heights of freedom,
       And through the mists of death
     I hail the thrones supernal
       With bold and jovial breath.

     What of thy priests confuting
       Of fate, and form and law--
     Of being and essence, and counterpoise
       Of poles that drive and draw?
     Ever a compensation--
       Some pandering purchase still!
     But the vehm of achieving reason
       Is the all-patrician WILL!


     Lo! where the world is quiet
       That heeds not me, nor thee,
     I watch while the healing planets
       Refreshen the brackish sea;
     My vision of hope and progress
       Has passed with thin day-light,
     And the SAME, in its ancient splendor,
       Is new in the blooming night:
     Then swathe thy locks with shadows,
       And poppied wreaths entwine,
     And steep in thy pagan nectar
       The nightshade's 'trancing vine:
     Yet a voice shall pierce thy stupor,
       And thou shalt not forget:
     "My locks, which the dews have laden,
       With drops of the night are wet....
     Take thought for no to-morrow!...
       Let the dead bury their dead!..."
     What boots it that IMMANUEL hath
       Not where to lay His head!


     Sorrow no more nor glory
       Shall toss my even beam.
     Rest, rest thy weary balance!
       I am dreaming of the dream
     Wherein neither pain nor pleasure--
     Wherein neither toil nor treasure--
     Wherein neither guess nor measure
       May be, nor yet may seem,--
     A dream of life Ideal,
       That knows its own control,--
     Whose ends are at the centre,
       And whose balance is the whole.



By George F. Hoar

In one respect Daniel Webster is the most striking figure in our
history, and one of the few most striking figures in all history. That
is, in the impression he made on everybody--that, great as were his
achievements, he was himself greater than his greatest achievement.

Franklin, Webster, and Emerson are the three great New Englanders.
Each of them was a great public teacher. If Webster did not lack, at
least he did not manifest, Franklin's wonderful common-sense, as
applied to common things and common life. He had not Emerson's
profound spiritual discernment or wonderful poetic instinct. But his
intellect seems like a vast quarry. When you have excavated the great
rocks at the surface, you know there is an inexhaustible supply left.
When he died, the people felt as if the corner-stone of the Capitol
had been removed; as if the elephant had died that bore the universe
on its back.

Emerson's portraiture of Webster at Bunker Hill is made up of a few
strokes. But it reveals the whole secret. Great as were the things
that Webster said, profound as was his reasoning, lofty as are the
flights of his imagination, stirring as are his appeals to the
profoundest passions of his countrymen, there is a constant feeling
that Jove is behind these thunderbolts. That is the contrast between
him and so many other orators. Even in Choate and Phillips you are
admiring the phrase and the elocution, and not the men. In Webster you
are thinking of the man, and not the phrases. The best things that he
said do not seem to his listener to be superior, and rarely seem to
his listener to be equal, to the man who said them. There is plenty of
reserve power behind--

     ... Half his strength he put not forth, but checked
     His thunder in mid-volley.

Emerson also said of him, "His strength was like the falling of a
planet; his discretion, the return of its due and perfect curve."

Nothing certainly can be more profitable for youth who desire to
cultivate the capacity for public speaking for the purpose of
addressing juries, legislative bodies, or popular assemblies, than the
study of the style, the delivery, and the method of preparation of him
whom nearly all his countrymen think the foremost American orator, and
whom many of them think the foremost orator who ever spoke the English
tongue. Many admirable critics have dealt with these topics.[2]

Mr. Winthrop has told,[3] in his own delightful way, the story of one
of Webster's compositions, famous at the time, now almost forgotten.

Mr. Winthrop says also truly of Daniel Webster:

"Daniel Webster, unlike Everett or Choate, was all deliberation, both
in matter and manner. I do not believe that it ever occurred to him
what gestures he should make, or that he ever remembered what gestures
he had made. His words seemed to flow spontaneously and often slowly,
whether from his lips or his pen, as from a profound and exhaustless
reservoir of thought. Of him it might be, and perhaps often has been,

     "... Deep on his front engraven
     Deliberation sat, and public care."

He says of Webster's eloquence that it was the eloquence of clear,
cogent argument, and of occasional deep emotion, expressed in clear,
forcible Saxon words--sometimes adorned by most felicitous quotations
and sometimes by magnificent and matchless metaphors.

James Parton says:

"He discovered, he says, that the value as well as the force of a
sentence depends chiefly upon its meaning, not its language, and that
great writing is that in which much is said in a few words, and those
words the simplest that will answer the purpose. Having made this
notable discovery, he became a great eraser of adjectives, and toiled
after simplicity and directness."

Edward Everett, who knew Mr. Webster very intimately, says:

"Perhaps the noblest bursts--the loftiest flights, the last and
warmest tints of his discourses of this kind--were the unpremeditated
inspiration of the moment of delivery."

I suppose, from all I can gather, that Mr. Webster, with very few
exceptions indeed, committed to writing nothing but the heads of his
speeches. But they were, nearly all of them, upon subjects constantly
in his thoughts. He had undoubtedly matured sentences and phrases
which came to his mind in leisure moments, and which came to his
memory under the stimulant of great occasions and great audiences, in
addressing juries or public assemblies or the Senate, with which he
ornamented his discourses, or strengthened his argument. Most of the
speeches we have only as they came to us in the imperfect reporting of
the time. Some of them, like the oration at Plymouth, he probably
revised carefully before they were published. We have his own
testimony that this was true of the well-known "morning drum-beat"
passage in the speech on the President's Protest.

Still, the testimony is abundant that some of his best passages must
have come from an inspiration while he was upon his feet. Mr. Winthrop
gives an account of one; Mellen Chamberlain, a most accomplished
critic and observer, another. And there are plenty of others floating
about. Judge Chamberlain says one thing of him, which I dare say may
have been said before and since. It explains Webster's influence over
his auditors and over posterity. He says:

"He was perfectly sane, and it may be the most perfectly sane orator
who ever spoke English."

       *       *       *       *       *

I have in my possession a good many of Mr. Webster's manuscripts,
including his preparations for speeches, letters from him to intimate
friends and from his intimate friends to him, a good many bound
volumes of political pamphlets, some of them with the autographs of
famous authors, and some of his books. From these I select a few which
relate to important and interesting events in his life, or throw some
additional light upon his habit and method of preparation for public
speaking, adding some explanation and comment.

One of the greatest debates in our parliamentary history, only
surpassed in importance in Mr. Webster's public life by the debate
with Hayne on Foot's Resolution and the debate on the Compromise
measures in March, 1850, is the debate on the Sub-Treasury in the
early part of the year 1838. Silas Wright introduced the Sub-Treasury
Bill January 16, 1838. January 30, 1838, the bill came on for a second
reading, and Mr. Wright made an elaborate speech in its support. The
next day Mr. Webster spoke. His speech, which is wholly a reply to
Wright, makes no allusion whatever to Mr. Calhoun. It is reported in
the fourth volume of his works, page 432. I have before me Mr.
Webster's notes of preparation for that speech. They constitute a mere
brief, all included on six pages of letter-paper, and mostly
consisting of mere catch-words. The first sentence or two, however,
indicate the difference between Webster and the supporters of the

"Let the government attend to its own business; and let the people
attend to theirs."

"Let the government take care of the currency for its own revenue; for
all other purposes, let it leave it to the States and to the people."

"Ominous and disheartening sentences. Yet the whole spirit of the
Administration and of this bill."

There is no hint in these notes, except the above, of any of the
eloquent and weighty sentences with which the speech abounds.

February 15, 1838, Mr. Calhoun spoke on the Independent Treasury Bill.
(See, for this speech, his Works, vol. 3, page 202.) He makes an
allusion to one of Mr. Webster's arguments, viz., his claim that the
government should furnish paper currency. But the speech contains
nothing personal or calculated to excite challenge and reply. March
10, 1838, Calhoun makes a second speech on the same bill (reported,
Works, vol. 3, page 244). That speech, also, contains hardly any
allusion to Mr. Webster. It is devoted almost wholly to a reply to
Clay, between whom and Calhoun a very angry personal altercation had
arisen. March 12, 1838, Mr. Webster delivered his second speech on the
Sub-Treasury, which is reported in his Works, vol. 4, page 424. It
occupies seventy-six pages there. Of this, the last thirty-three are a
reply to Mr. Calhoun. Calhoun said in his answer, which was made on
the 22d of the same month, that Webster delivered this part of his
speech with great vehemence, and evidently considered it the most
important portion of his remarks. So much of the speech as is a reply
to Mr. Calhoun, however, deals chiefly with a speech made by him at
the extra session in September, 1837, and with a letter known as the
"Edgefield Letter," written by Mr. Calhoun to his constituents in the
vacation. I have Mr. Webster's entire preparation for this speech. It
is in Webster's handwriting, and consists of eight heads, all on one
page of a sheet of small note-paper, labelled on the back, in
Webster's handwriting, "Heads of my speech on the Sub-Treasury," and
is as follows:

"No. 1. General state of the country and credit system."

"No. 2. Our pecuniary condition and question of excess."

"No. 3. Is the measure suited to the condition of the country?"

"No. 4. Is it a just exercise of our powers?"

"No. 5. Mr. C.'s speech, September 19."

"No. 6. Mr. C.'s letter, November 3."

"No. 7. Mr. C.'s speech, February 15."

"No. 8. Identity of commerce."

Besides this, Mr. Webster wrote out the concluding part of the speech
in twenty-one pages of a rather small letter-paper, of which I have
the last eight, which correspond to about three of the seventy-six
pages which the whole speech occupies in the printed report. This part
seems to have been corrected again and again. A fac-simile of a part
of one of these pages is here given, showing how careful was Mr.
Webster's revision and correction. The whole page runs:

"Sir, the spirit of Union is particularly liable to temptation, &
seduction, in moments of peace & prosperity. In war, this spirit is
strengthened, by a sense of common danger, & by a thousand
recollections of ancient efforts, & ancient glory, in a common cause.

"In the calms of a long peace, & the absence of all apparent causes of
great alarm, things near gain an ascendancy over things remote. Local
interests & feelings overshadow national sentiments. Our attention,
our regard, & our attachment, are ever more solicited to what touches
us closest, feel less and less the attraction of a distant orb. Such
tendencies, we are bound by true patriotism, & by our love of union,
to resist."

Mr. Calhoun replied to this speech of Webster, March 22, 1838, in a
speech reported in his Works, vol. 3, pages 279-330. Calhoun had both
Webster and Clay on his hands in this debate. He certainly bore
himself with great courage and ability. The South had no reason to be
ashamed of her champion, so far as this was a struggle of pure
intellect. When Calhoun got through, Webster instantly rose and
answered him in the speech beginning with the famous passage about
carrying the war into Africa, reported in Webster's Works, vol. 4,
page 500, but not found in the _Globe_. The _Globe_ at that time was a
weekly paper, containing very imperfect reports of the daily debates
in the Senate. An appendix was published at the end of the session,
which had some of the more important speeches written out from the
reporters' notes or from other sources, probably under the supervision
of their authors. This speech ended the discussion between Calhoun and
Webster on this particular measure, although the debates on financial
and other questions for several preceding and succeeding years make,
in substance, but one long debate between these two famous champions,
in which the whole issue between North and South, slavery and freedom,
State rights and national powers, was under discussion.

  [Illustration: Fac-simile of a part of one of the concluding pages of
   Webster's draft of his speech in reply to Calhoun, March 12, 1838.]

One passage in this speech explains the following note here given in
fac-simile, from John Tyler to Mr. Webster, his Secretary of State,
written when Jackson broke the silence of the Hermitage:

  [Illustration: "The old Lion still roars. See Genl. Jackson's letter
   among those which are sent.
   J. T."]

"On the broad surface of the country, Sir, there is a spot called 'the
Hermitage.' In that residence is an occupant very well known, and not
a little remarkable both in person and character. Suppose, Sir, the
occupant of the Hermitage were now to open that door, enter the
Senate, walk forward, and look over the chamber to the seats on the
other side. Be not frightened, gentlemen; it is but fancy's sketch.
Suppose he should thus come in among us, Sir, and see into whose hands
has fallen the chief support of that administration, which was, in so
great a degree, appointed by himself, and which he fondly relied on to
maintain the principles of his own. If gentlemen were now to see his
steady military step, his erect posture, his compressed lips, his
firmly knitted brow, and his eye full of fire, I cannot help thinking,
Sir, they would all feel somewhat queer. There would be, I imagine,
not a little awkward moving and shifting in their seats. They would
expect soon to hear the roar of the lion, even if they did not feel
his paw."

This speech Mr. Everett declared to be the ablest and most effective
of Mr. Webster's speeches on the currency. Lord Overstone, than whom
there was never a higher authority upon finance in England, produced a
copy of it before a committee of the House of Commons, by whom he was
examined, and said it was one of the ablest and most satisfactory
discussions of these subjects he had ever seen. He afterward spoke of
Mr. Webster as a master who had instructed him upon these matters.

There are notes of a speech on the currency which occupy two pages and
three and one-half lines of common letter-paper. The two sentences at
the close sum up not only Webster's final conclusion after a life of
reflection upon the subject, but, I believe, the final conclusion of
the country as to the great doctrine of protection. "The sacrifice
made by reducing prices must necessarily fall on labor."

"If price of cotton reduced, at home, may be not abroad. So other

"But labor is fixed down to the place. If you reduce its price, it has
no escape. The whole result, then, of reducing cost of production
comes merely to this--that the capitalist shall manufacture at a less
price, and deduct the loss in price from the labor of his workmen.
This is the whole of it.

"I am for protecting labor. I am for enabling it to clothe itself
well, feed itself well, and educate itself. I am desirous of giving to
labor here, in its competition with capital, advantages which it does
not possess elsewhere.

"Every man, who contemplates reduction, must survey the condition of
other countries, with which we have great intercourse."

Mr. Webster went to Washington to attend the session of December,
1832, under the burden of a great responsibility. He had borne his
share in the great debate in which he established the authority of the
Union against the doctrine of nullification in a manner which had won
for him the undying regard of the vast majority of his countrymen.
President Jackson had done his part in asserting his determination to
uphold the Constitution at all hazards and against all enemies. In all
that, the President and Mr. Webster were in thorough accord. But he
had no sympathy with President Jackson's desire to overthrow the
banking system, to provide simply instrumentalities for the government
to transact its business, leaving the business of the country to look
out for itself. On the other hand, a considerable portion of his own
party, led by Mr. Clay, desired to compromise with nullification, and
so to modify the tariff as to leave South Carolina a substantial
victory, and save her pride from being compelled to submission to the
superior strength of the government. With this element Mr. Webster had
no sympathy. Again, Jackson claimed to be the direct representative of
the people, desired to extend the power of the executive and to
circumscribe the legislative power, especially that of the Senate. In
resisting that encroachment Webster and Calhoun were in complete
accord. So Mr. Webster could have no permanent alliance or
co-operation either with Jackson, Calhoun, or Clay.

  [Illustration: Fac-simile of the First Paragraph of Webster's

Mr. Webster prepared for himself the following statement of the
principles which were to govern his own course in this great
emergency. Some of its language is found in his speech in the Senate
of February 8, 1833. But with that exception, it has never, I believe,
been made public until now. It is the chart which governed his course
in that part of his public life of far greatest public importance, and
the part of his public conduct on which his own fame must rest:


     "1. To sustain the administration, in executing the laws; to
     support all measures, necessary to supply defects in the
     existing system; & to counteract the proceedings of South
     Carolina; to limit all their measures, & all this support, to
     the fair purpose of executing the laws, with moderation &
     temperance, but with inflexible firmness;--to share this
     responsibility with the Administration, frankly & fairly,
     without expressing any want of confidence, & without mingling
     other topics, with the consideration of these measures.

     "2. Not to give up, or compromise, the _principle of
     protection_; nor to give any pledges, personal or public, for
     its abandonment at any time hereafter.

     "3. To bring down the revenue to the just wants of the Govt.:
     but this not to extend so far as to prevent Congress from
     making, for a limited time, a distribution of the proceeds of
     the sales of the public lands among the States, if Congress
     shall see fit to make such distribution: nor so far as to
     prevent appropriations to such objects of Internal improvement,
     as Congress may think deserving of national aid.

     "4. To revise the Act of last session, with close scrutiny, &
     entire candor; & to reduce duties, in all cases, where such
     reduction can, with any fairness, be asked, & with any safety,
     granted; having just regard, to the necessities of the Country
     in time of war, to the faith plighted by existing & previous
     laws to the reasonable protection of capital, & especially to
     the security of the interests of _labor & wages_.

     "5. If Congress shall not, before the end of the next session
     of Congress, pass a law for the distribution of the proceeds of
     the public lands, among the States, those proceeds to be
     regarded as so much general revenue, applicable to the ordinary
     purposes of Government; & the duties on imports to be so much
     farther reduced as may, by this means, become necessary.

     "6. Provision to be made to direct the framing of proper issues
     in law, feigned or real, with a view to submit to the judgment
     of the Supreme Court of the U. S. the question, whether
     Congress possesses the Constitution to lay & collect duties on
     articles imported, for the avowed and only purpose of
     protecting & encouraging domestic products & manufactures.

     "7. If the land bill shall pass, then some measure to be
     adopted to limit, practically, grants by Congress to objects of
     Internal Improvement, to such as in their nature transcend the
     powers & duties of separate States.

     "8. A Comee. of the Senate to sit in the recess to take into
     consideration the law of the last session (according to Art.
     4),--to make a detailed Report, the first day of next session;
     accompanied by such a bill, as they may recommend, for the
     purpose of adjusting the Revenue to the necessities of

     "NOTE.--My idea would be, that this Comee. should meet in
     Boston, Oct. 1, & prosecute its inquiries, in Boston,
     Providence, N. Y., Philadelphia & Pittsburg, if thought

     "The Comee. to consist of one N. E. member

     one from Middle States,
     one from N. W. States,
     one from S. W. States,
     one from Southern States."

It is very unpleasant to think that the great sentences of the Reply
to Hayne, which the country knows by heart, were never delivered by
Mr. Webster in the Senate chamber as we have them. Yet so it is. The
speech was taken down in short-hand by Joseph Gales, one of the
editors of the _National Intelligencer_, and one of the best
stenographic reporters of that day. He was requested by Mr. Webster
beforehand to report his speech, which he did. He wrote out his
short-hand report at length. That report was submitted to Mr. Webster,
and he, with it in his possession, wrote out in his own hand a revised
version of the speech. Mr. Everett says, in the Life prefixed to his
edition of Mr. Webster's Works, that Mr. Webster had Gales's report
but a part of a day. But it is absolutely impossible that Mr. Everett
is correct, although the statement was published in Mr. Webster's
lifetime. The short-hand notes, and the speech as written out from
them by Gales, and the speech in Mr. Webster's handwriting, are now
all in the possession of the Boston City Library. They were purchased
of Mrs. Gales, widow of Joseph Gales, for the sum of $575 by Robert C.
Winthrop, acting in behalf of himself and twenty-two other subscribers
who gave $25 each for the purpose. Mr. Webster wrote out the whole of
it, although about a third of his manuscript is missing, not, however,
the most important or the best known portion. The draught itself shows
traces of revision and reconsideration by Mr. Webster in the matter
of the structure of some important sentences. He changes Gales's
report a great deal, and then in revision makes corrections again and
again of his own draught. We give the famous passage about
Massachusetts, and the noble peroration, as they are reported by the
accurate short-hand writer, doubtless literally as they were spoken,
and the passages as finally composed by Mr. Webster and now familiar
to the world. The sentences actually spoken well account for the great
impression made upon the auditors. They are such as Webster would have
been likely to utter on a great occasion and great theme. But we do
not like to think that any word or syllable among those that have
stirred our hearts from our earliest boyhood did not, in fact, come
from the inspired lips of the great patriot and orator. The emotion is
like that felt when a lover of Milton sees the manuscript of Comus or
Lycidas in the library at Cambridge, and learns that any other than
the fit word and perfect phrase could ever have occurred to the poet
to express his thought. The exquisite beauty of the verse still
abides. But the sense that it was an inspiration is gone.

It is said that when Milo in his exile read Cicero's speech in his
defence, he exclaimed, "O Cicero, hadst thou spoken thus, Milo would
not be now eating figs at Marseilles." We cannot say that of the Reply
to Hayne. Its grandeur is there as it came unpremeditated and fresh
from heart and brain. But it is a little unpleasant to think that the
phrases that all Americans know by heart differ so much from those
which commanded the applause of the listening Senate on that great day
which settled in the tribunal of reason the fate of the Republic.

_The Passage about Massachusetts as Actually Spoken_

"Sir, I shall be led on this occasion into no eulogium on
Massachusetts. I shall paint no portraiture of her merits, original,
ancient or modern. Yet, sir, I cannot but remember that Boston _was_
the cradle of liberty, that in Massachusetts (the parent of this
accursed policy so eternally narrow to the West), etc., etc., etc. I
cannot forget that Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill _are_ in
Massachusetts, and that in men and means and money she _did_
contribute more than any other State to carry on the Revolutionary
war. There was not a State in the Union whose soil was not wetted with
Massachusetts blood in the Revolutionary war, and it is to be
remembered that of the army to which Cornwallis surrendered at
Yorktown a majority consisted of New England troops. It is painful to
me to recur to these recollections even for the purpose of
self-defence, and even to that end, sir, I will not extol the
intelligence, the character and the virtue of the people of New
England. I leave the theme to itself, here and everywhere, now and

_As Written Out by Mr. Webster and Printed_

"Mr. President, I shall enter on no encomium upon Massachusetts. She
needs none. There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves. There
is her history; the world knows it by heart. The past, at least, is
secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill;
and there they will remain forever. The bones of her sons, falling in
the great struggle for Independence, now lie mingled with the soil of
every State from New England to Georgia; and there they will lie
forever. And Sir, where American Liberty raised its first voice, and
where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in
the strength of its manhood and full of its original spirit. If
discord and disunion shall wound it, if party strife and blind
ambition shall hawk at and tear it, if folly and madness, if
uneasiness under salutary and necessary restraint, shall succeed in
separating it from that Union, by which alone its existence is made
sure, it will stand, in the end, by the side of that cradle in which
its infancy was rocked; it will stretch forth its arm with whatever of
vigor it may still retain over the friends who gather round it; and it
will fall at last, if fall it must, amidst the proudest monuments of
its own glory, and on the very spot of its origin."

_Peroration as Actually Spoken_

"When my eyes shall be turned for the last time on the meridian sun, I
hope I may see him shining bright upon my united, free and happy
country. I hope I shall not live to see his beams falling upon the
dispersed fragments of the structure of this once glorious Union. I
hope I may not see the flag of my country with its stars separated or
obliterated; torn by commotions, smoking with the blood of civil war.
I hope I may not see the standard raised of separate State rights,
star against star, and stripe against stripe; but that the flag of the
Union may keep its stars and its stripes corded and bound together in
indissoluble ties. I hope I shall not see written as its motto,
'_First_ liberty, and _then_ union.' I hope I shall see no such
delusive and deluded motto on the flag of that country. I hope to see,
spread all over it, blazoned in letters of light and proudly floating
over land and sea, that other sentiment, dear to my heart, 'Union
_and_ Liberty, now and forever, one and inseparable.'"

_Peroration as Written Out by Mr. Webster and Printed_

"When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in
heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored
fragments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant,
belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be,
in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather
behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored
throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies
streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted,
nor a single star obscured, bearing for its motto, no such miserable
interrogatory as 'What is all this worth?' nor those other words of
delusion and folly, 'Liberty first and Union afterwards'; but
everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on
all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and
in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to
every true American heart, Liberty _and_ Union, now and forever, one
and inseparable!"

The family of one of Mr. Webster's colleagues have a story which has
been repeated to me several times, but, so far as I know, has never
been published, that the delegation were somewhat anxious lest Mr.
Webster did not fully appreciate the strength of Hayne's attack, and
the grave responsibility he had to bear in the reply. One of them at
the request of his associates called on Mr. Webster that morning at
his boarding-house, to communicate to him their great anxiety. He
found him alone in the parlor of his dwelling, walking up and down,
and humming to himself the refrain of the old English hunting-song:

     Tantivy, tantivy,
     This day a stag must die.

He concluded there was no occasion for any further alarm.

When Mr. Webster went to the Senate next morning, as he made his way
through the crowded chamber to his seat, John M. Clayton, of Delaware,
said to him: "Mr. Webster, I hope you are primed and loaded this
morning." "Five fingers, sir," was the reply, with a gesture as if
pointing to a gun-barrel.

Mr. Winthrop says: "Of his emotions he said himself not long
afterward, 'I felt as if every thing I had ever seen or read or heard
was floating before me in one grand panorama, and I had little else to
do than to reach up and cull a thunderbolt and hurl it at him.'"

What he said to Hiram Ketcham, of the Reply to Hayne, is true of
nearly all his great speeches:

"In one sense I had no preparation whatever, but in another sense I
was fully prepared. I did not know what words I should use when I rose
to my feet, nor the order of argument in which I should proceed. These
came to me under the excitement of debate. But I understood the
subject as well as I was capable of understanding it. I had studied
it; I had often urged similar arguments before other tribunals, and in
this sense of the term I was thoroughly prepared."

It is clear that there was absolutely no time for the preparation of
the language of Webster's Reply to Hayne. He had made an
extemporaneous reply to Hayne--to an elaborate speech of Hayne's--the
morning after it was delivered. Hayne replied to him, and Webster,
after a single night's interval, made in two successive days the most
famous speech in American history.

We may sum up what we know of Mr. Webster's habit of preparation and
composition as follows:

First. He spoke always upon great subjects.

Second. They were subjects upon which he had long meditated with the
expectation that he would be called upon to discuss them in public.

Third. He had matured in his mind the arguments on great public
questions, and also eloquent thoughts and sentences which had occurred
to him during such meditations, ready for use when such occasion came.

Fourth. With these exceptions his speeches were usually
unpremeditated, both as to language and order of arrangement, except
so far as he jotted down some points or heads just before he spoke.

Fifth. In some few instances he wrote out his speeches beforehand,
making occasional corrections and interlineations, which in general
did not seriously change or improve his first expression.

Sixth. Many of the speeches we have, especially those made in the
Senate or made to political assemblies, are as taken down by the
reporters, and not revised by him.

Seventh. Some few, as for example, the Plymouth Oration and the Reply
to Hayne, were carefully revised and largely written out by him

Eighth. He was quite susceptible to the stimulant of the audience or
the occasion, which not infrequently excited him to the very loftiest
and most effective eloquence.

Ninth. In general, Webster's style was not a Saxon style. It was of a
somewhat ponderous latinity. But on a few occasions, when his mind
rose to a white heat, all the resources of our language, whatever
their origin, were at his command in amplest measure.

Tenth. In general he mastered his subjects; his subject did not master
him. Solidity, sincerity, gravity, self-restraint, characterized his
every thought and every utterance. But sometimes the volcano poured
out its molten lava.

Mr. Webster made an impression upon the people of Massachusetts, in
his time, as of a demi-god. His magnificent presence, his stateliness
of manner, his dignity, from which he never bent, even in his most
convivial and playful moments, his grandeur of speech and bearing, the
habit of dealing exclusively with the greatest subjects, enabled him
to maintain his state. His great, sane intelligence pervades every
thing he said and did. But he has left behind few evidences of
constructive statesmanship. There is hardly a great measure of
legislation with which his name is connected, and he seems to us now
to have erred in judgment in a great many cases, especially in
undervaluing the great territory on the Pacific. He consented readily
to the abandonment of our claim to the territory between the
forty-ninth parallel and that of fifty-four forty, which would have
insured our supremacy on the Pacific, and have saved us from the
menace and rivalry there of the power of England. He voted against the
treaty by which we acquired California. That, however, is a proof of a
larger foresight than that of any of his contemporaries. Alone he
foresaw the terrible Civil War, to which everybody else of his time
was blind. What even he did not foresee was the triumphant success of
the Union arms. It is hardly to be doubted that if the Civil War had
come in 1850 or 1851 instead of 1861 its result would have been
different. But Mr. Webster's great service to the country, a service
second to that of Washington alone, is that he inspired in the people
to whom union and self-government seemed but a doubtful experiment,
the sentiment of nationality, of love of the flag, and a passionate
attachment to the whole country. When his political life began, we
were a feeble folk, the bonds of the Union resting lightly upon the
States, the contingency of disunion contemplated without much
abhorrence by many leading men, both North and South. Mr. Webster
awoke in the bosom of his countrymen the conception of national unity
and national greatness. It has been said more than once that the guns
of our artillery in the great battles of the Civil War were shotted
with the Reply to Hayne.

A few years ago the State of New Hampshire presented to the United
States for the Memorial Hall a statue of Webster--a ceremonial in
which I had some part. After it was over, I got a letter from a brave
Union soldier, who told me he had been stationed as a sentinel in a
place in the woods where several sentries had been killed within a
short time by a shot from the thicket. As he paced up and down on his
midnight watch, thinking that at any moment his death-shot might ring
out from the darkness and gloom about him, he kept up his heart by
repeating to himself, over and over again, the great closing sentences
of the Reply to Hayne, ending with the well-known words, "Liberty and
Union, now and forever, one and inseparable."

       *       *       *       *       *

History has not yet settled the question of the motive that inspired
the 7th of March speech.[4] Doubtless there were good and patriotic
men, men who had loved him till that hour, who went to their graves
believing that Webster fell--fell like Lucifer, Son of the Morning.
There are doubtless men living who think so to-day. To the thought of
these men Whittier gave voice in his terrible Ichabod, which is said
to have wounded the great heart of its subject more than any other
stroke that ever smote his mighty forehead. But the general judgment
of his countrymen, first mellowing and softening into the belief which
Whittier himself expressed in his later and tender poem, "The Lost
Opportunity," seems gradually coming to the conclusion that Webster
differed from the friends of freedom of his time, not in a weaker
moral sense, but only in a larger and profounder prophetic vision.
When he resisted the acquisition of California, he saw what no other
man saw, the certainty of the Civil War. It was not given even to him
to foresee its wonderful and victorious result. When he compromised he
saw in like manner the danger he tried to avert. He did not see the
safety only to be attained through the path of danger and strife. I
was one of those who in the conceit and presumption of youth, a lover
of the liberty to which he then seemed to me to be recreant, judged
him severely. But I have learned better in my old age. I think of him
now only as the best type of the farmer's boy of the early time; as
the great example of the New England character of the day of his
earlier manhood; as the great defender and lover of Massachusetts, as
the orator who first taught his country her own greatness, and who
bound fast with indissoluble strength the bands of union; as the first
of American lawyers, the first of American orators, the first of
American statesmen, and as the delightful citizen and neighbor and
friend, of whom the people of his town said when he was laid in the

"How lonesome the world seems;" and of whom his nearest friend said,
when he died:

"From these conversations of friendship no man--no man, old or
young--went away to remember one word of profanity, one allusion of
indelicacy, one impure thought, one unbelieving suggestion, one doubt
cast on the reality of virtue, of patriotism, of enthusiasm, of the
progress of man--one doubt cast on righteousness, or temperance, or
judgment to come."

[A second paper to follow.]


[2] Among them are:

     Edward Everett. See Life of Webster prefixed to his

     Article in _North American Review_, October, 1830, Vol.
     31, p. 463.

     Article in _North American Review_, July, 1835, Vol. 41,
     p. 231.

     Article in _Littell's Living Age_, 1859, Vol. 63.

     Eulogy, "Daniel Webster Speeches," Vol. 4, p. 186.

     Robert C. Winthrop, SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE, January,
     1894, Vol. xv., p. 118. "Speeches," Vol 4, p. 377.

     Rufus Choate, "Speeches," pp. 479, 493.

     Edwin P. Whipple. "Webster's Great Speeches," Introduction,
     _North American Review_, July, 1844.

     Mellen Chamberlain, in _Century Magazine_, September,
     1893, p. 709.

     Henry Cabot Lodge, in _Atlantic Monthly_, Vol. 49, February,

     Julius H. Ward, in _International Review_, February,
     1882, p, 124.

     General S. P. Lyman, "Daniel Webster," 2 Vols., D.
     Appleton & Co., 1853.

     James Parton, in _North American Review_, January,
     1867, Vol. 104, p. 65.

     J. H. B. Latrobe, in _Harper's Magazine_, February,
     1882, Vol. 64, p. 428.

     Charles W. March, "Reminiscences of Congress."

[3] SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE, 1894, Vol. xv., p. 118.

[4] When I came into the House of Representatives in 1869, one of the
reporters told me that he had the manuscript of Mr. Webster's 7th of
March speech, which Mr. Webster gave him. It contained a few sentences
carefully composed, but which were spoken almost exactly as they were
written. But the larger part of the speech, according to this
reporter, seemed to be extempore.

Perhaps, however, I ought to say that I told this story to Mr.
Winthrop, who told me he thought it could not be accurate, because he
called at Mr. Webster's house the evening before the 7th of March, and
as he went in heard Mr. Webster reading aloud to his son, Fletcher,
parts of the speech which he delivered the next day, and when he was
shown into the room he found Mr. Webster with a considerable pile of
manuscript before him, which he had no doubt was the speech for the
next day.


By Carolyn Wells

     With a shout of joy the rocket stars
       Shot up through the evening air,
     Triumphantly they reached the sky
       And the stars of God were there.
     "Make way!" the rocket stars cried out.
       "Make way, and give us place;
     We have a mission to perform,
       We've travelled leagues of space.
     We're sent up here to celebrate
       A glorious country's birth--
     Make way! But a moment we can stay,
       Ere we die and fall to earth."

     Then spake the old and kindly stars,
       "Ye be bright, oh rocket-spawn,
     But we are here since the morning stars
       Sang at Creation's dawn.
     By the Master Hand we were hurled on high
       To celebrate the day.
     We, too, but shine for the moment Time,
       And then we fade for aye.
     But have your way, oh tiny sparks,
       And while ye may, shine on."
     Ere the kindly voices ceased to speak,
       The rocket stars were gone.

  [Illustration: Entrance to Havana Harbor, showing Mud-dunes in the


By James F. J. Archibald

  [Illustration: Milk Vender.]

It is six months since the American administration in Havana began,
and in that time many important changes have been made and many more
are well under way; and the new ideas that are eventually destined to
supplant the customs of the last century are fast taking a firm hold
on the country. Even for those who have tried to follow this progress
in detail in the newspapers it is not easy to realize the full extent
of what has been accomplished, or of the steady hard work that is
going on. Very few bear in mind the fact that a comparatively large
section of our regular army is engaged in it here and elsewhere in
Cuba. Without the blare of trumpets and without the inspiring strains
of music the same heroes that came home fever-stricken, wan, and worn
from that terrible struggle before Santiago are again facing a more
subtle danger and fighting none the less hard and all in the same
cause, but now there are no flaring headlines in our daily press, no
bulletins to tell of the fight, because it is only against an unseen
foe and there is no noise--but the hard work is there. Regiment after
regiment of the volunteers goes home, but these men who "serve for
pay" are sent down to the island again before they have rid themselves
of the fever contracted while standing knee-deep in water in the
trenches around Santiago. Now, it is hard work all day long under a
burning tropical sun and many nights of weary patrol in the pest-hole
of all creation--plain hard work to start a republic on the list of
nations, to teach a people how to govern themselves who have before
known nothing but the lash. All honor is due to these men who are
doing this work; and our people are too prone to forget it, simply
because the actual results are not immediately and always in evidence.

I saw the Eighth United States Infantry, just plain regulars from
nowhere, before El Caney, and again I saw them in Havana patrolling
the streets night and day, with two nights a week in bed. The
regiment had by no means recovered from the Santiago campaign, and
every day some one would be taken with that bone-racking fever that
burns the life slowly out unless checked by a transfer to a Northern
clime. But with it all there was no complaining, and they were
soldiers in these times as well as in the field. Every private seemed
to have the success of the commanding general at heart, and every
officer watched with pride the daily improvement in the capital city.

  [Illustration: The Lieutenant-Governor's Palace.
   Two of the largest sewers of the city empty into the harbor at this

The staff shares the danger with the line, and their work is the same
steady, uninteresting grind. The engineers face death just as surely
constructing sewers as they do digging trenches during an advance, the
aides whether carrying despatches to a brigade on the firing line or
reporting on some infested quarter in the city, and the surgeons
whether attending the wounded at the front or Yellow Jack in some
charity hospital. There is no glory for them if they succeed in this
fight against death and disease, and they will get no thanks, for it
is simply their duty.

  [Illustration: Poultry Vender.]

The work has been going steadily on and is now well in hand, but it
will be a long time before we shall be able to turn the island over to
the Cuban people, and we cannot withdraw our forces until every detail
of the new government has been thoroughly tested. A generation of
education seems to be the only solution of the Cuban problem that
confronts the American people, that they may keep the promise made to
the civilized world to establish a stable form of government for an
excitable little nation that does not know its own mind, and that is
so divided that internal strife is always inevitable. Not merely an
education of letters is needed, but an education in cleanliness, in
religion, and in respect for superior knowledge of affairs; and it is
that education that the American army officer has been giving since
the first day of January, in the face of obstacles thrown in the way
by the very people who will eventually reap the benefits of his
labors. That the American people should for any other object than
personal gain want to cleanse their city, organize their government,
and teach them how to rule themselves, does not seem possible to them,
and it is on account of this distrust that the work of establishing
order is made difficult and at many times disagreeable.

  [Illustration: A Street Corner.]

During the sovereignty of Spain no Cuban was ever consulted on any
part of the administration of the affairs of the island, and for this
reason they are largely ignorant of all the requirements of
organization, unmindful of the necessity of proper municipal sanitary
arrangements, and incompetent to cope with the suffering of their own

When our forces first occupied Havana the city was in a state of
chaos, without the restraint of law, and the officers and men of the
evacuating army had virtually an officially recognized license to do
their will, no matter what it might dictate. Some Spanish officials
had destroyed nearly all of the records of the island in the archives
of the public buildings; and the result of this work, apparently done
merely from spite, will be felt for many years to come, especially in
the matter of the records of real-estate transfers, as at the present
time it is almost impossible to obtain a clear title to any piece of
property. In some cases the records were totally destroyed or carried
away, and in others they were hopelessly disarranged so as to render
them quite useless; the work showing that it was done by someone who
understood the records and knew just what papers would be missed the
most. An instance of this mischief may be given in the Department of
Engineers, where they either destroyed or carried away every map or
plan showing the location or construction of the sewers of the city;
and by the loss of those plans the American engineers are compelled to
hunt out the different mains, and it more than doubles their labor. In
the matter of the real-estate records it will take years to get them
in a condition that will be satisfactory to the demands of legal
evidence in the transfer of property.

General Ludlow is doing excellent work in the matter of bringing
Havana out of the unhealthful condition it was in when he took
command, and it is a work that will take many months of hard labor and
in which, in all probability, many lives will be sacrificed. He is
greatly hampered in his work by not being able to make his department
reports direct to Washington, as the course through division military
channels is exceedingly slow.

  [Illustration: A Typical Street.]

The condition of Havana in December, when the first of our Army of
Occupation arrived, was filthy beyond all possibility of description.
There being no sanitary arrangements for the poor or in the abodes of
the poorer classes, the streets and the court-yards of some of these
houses were in a disgusting condition. The most surprising feature was
the total lack of all modesty; and these people really considered it
in the light of a great oppression, and as a direct infringement upon
their liberty and upon their rights, that the Americans should compel
them to obey sanitary laws. The people of all classes were in the
habit of throwing refuse of all sorts into the street, and there was
no attempt made to carry it away, the rains being depended upon to
clean the streets. There were carcasses of animals that had reached
such a state of decay that it was possible to detect the terrible odor
for many blocks, and yet the presence of this nuisance did not seem to
annoy, in the slightest degree, those at whose door it lay, while to
an American it was almost impossible to pass in the vicinity.

  [Illustration: Columbus Market, showing Street Cleaners in the

The lack of a proper sewerage system is the cause of nearly all the
disease and pestilence that have made Havana one of the most dreaded
ports of the world. There are more and better sewers than is generally
supposed, but the cause of their breeding sickness is the fact that
they are, in many cases, open to the street by man-holes, and they all
empty into the harbor immediately in front of the city. Two of the
main sewers flow into the channel of the harbor directly under the
Lieutenant-Governor's Palace, in which General Ludlow lives and in
which he has his head-quarters; one empties under the Maestranza de
Artilleria, in which some of the troops were quartered; and from these
mains flow all the filth of Havana, that pest-hole of disease, while
at all times there arises a sickening odor, and it will be the
greatest of wonders if there is not much sickness among our troops,
who are accustomed to cleanliness at home. The one thing that always
is the most noticeable to Americans on their arrival in any of the
towns or cities of Cuba is the offensive odor that is ever present.

The public buildings were in such a condition that not one of them
could be used until they had been thoroughly cleaned. General Brooke
made his head-quarters in the Vedado, a charming suburb, on account of
the condition of the Captain-General's Palace, which, although it was
occupied at the time of the evacuation by the Captain-General, was in
such a condition that there were over thirty wagon-loads of filth
hauled out of it.

All of the prisons, except the Presidio of Havana, were in a
disgusting state of filth, but the same hard work has turned them into
healthy buildings.

  [Illustration: The New Havana Police, Organized Under the Supervision
   of Ex-Chief McCullagh, of New York, Parading in the Prado.

   Chief McCullagh and Chief-of-Police Menocal on the sidewalk to the
   right of the picture.]

Under the direction of Lt-Colonel W. M. Black, an officer of the
regular Engineer Corps, the city has already become clean, and the
death-rate is decreasing every month; and if the dreaded plague is
averted this summer it will be owing to his labors, although he would
in no wise be at fault were it to appear. Colonel Black has had most
of the undesirable work, for in his department is included all of the
street cleaning, sewers, harbor dredging, and cleaning all of the
public buildings. Havana must remain in the same unhealthful condition
as long as the main sewers empty into the harbor, as this is almost
tideless and is little better than a stagnant pond; and although the
water at the surface does not appear to be very foul, its condition is
seen when a steamer moves along in the harbor and her screw stirs up
the bottom, which creates the usual vile odor. It is the plan of the
new administration to turn all of the sewers into the sea several
miles from the city, the natural grade making the work comparatively
easy, and in this way the greatest fault will be remedied--that of
pouring the refuse into the harbor. When the dredging of the harbor
commences in earnest and the narrow streets are dug up to lay the
sewers, then will probably come a terrible sickness; and as a great
portion of the labor must come from the United States we are surely
destined to pay still more dearly for the freedom we are establishing
for the Cuban people.

  [Illustration: General Ludlow, Military Governor of Havana.]

Surface street cleaning has done more to make Havana cleanly than
anything else, and it was but a short time after the occupation that
the city began to show the effects of this work. It was amusing to
note the astonishment of many of the inhabitants when the first few
squads of sweepers commenced work; and the idea of cleaning an unpaved
street seemed to amuse them more than to impress them, as the majority
did not know what it meant to sweep even their houses. Large gangs of
native labor were given work in this department at good wages, not
only for the sake of the work that was to be done, but also to allow
them to earn their support; and among these street workmen were many
gentlemen of standing in society who embraced the first opportunity to
earn bread for starving families. The residents of Havana did not fare
badly during the war, but the planter from the interior, whose estate
had been burned and devastated, whose stock had been killed, by both
the Cuban and the Spanish forces, and who had been compelled to move
into the city by an edict from the Spanish, although there had been no
arrangement made for his maintenance, suffered terribly.

  [Illustration: Captain General's Palace and the Mayor's Office.
   Camp of the Second United States Artillery in the foreground.]

The employment of these large numbers of men will also solve the
problem of ridding the island of the depreciated Spanish currency, for
all of this labor is paid in American money, and already the merchants
are showing their preference for it.

One of the most interesting features of the change in affairs in Cuba
is the Church, and the change that must be made in the administration
of the affairs of that body. The Church being a part and department of
the state and entirely dependent upon the government for its support,
suddenly finds itself compelled to find other means of revenue. The
Church of Cuba is not one that Catholicism could be proud of, except
in the orders of women, for nearly all of the men's orders live in old
monasteries a picturesque but inactive life of comparative comfort.
Here are the same monks that one sees in Spain, the brown garb of the
Franciscan with the sandalled feet, or the white and black of the
Dominicans. Captain E. St. J. Greble, of General Ludlow's staff, has
had charge of the poor of the Havana province and has worked night and
day, with his heart in the work, to relieve the suffering; and he
called at all of the churches to see what they needed, but none of
them seemed in need, and yet their people were dying of want. Not so,
however, with the women of the Church, for they had worked faithfully
to accomplish what had been left undone. The Sisters of Mercy, the
Sisters of Charity, the Order of the Sacred Heart, and several others
had their convents filled with women and children of all ages and in
all conditions of want, caring for them and many times denying
themselves to feed their charges. One sister told us that they had not
expected any help from us, as we were considered a Protestant nation
and they dreaded our coming; and great tears rolled down her cheeks as
we unloaded food and medicines for her charges. These noble women
assist our officers in their work and are a marked contrast to the
monks. There seems to be a total lack of any religious feeling; and on
Sundays very few ever enter the churches, but the day is spent in
pleasure and revel. Each Sunday of the Carnival which takes place
during Lent, crowds of maskers throw flour and _confetti_ all day and
spend the night in dancing. Many pounds of flour were thus thrown away
every Sunday, while thousands were suffering from hunger, yet great
indignation was raised when the waste was prohibited, much of the
flour used being what had been issued to Cuban Relief Committees for
the poor.

  [Illustration: The Cathedral of Havana.
   In the foreground can be seen one of the sewer openings, and to the
   right of the picture a second one appears.]

Organizing the police and the courts for the city was one of the most
difficult tasks that were accomplished during the reconstruction; and
although it is well started it will take many months to perfect these
departments. Major John Gary Evans, U.S.V., a former Governor of
South Carolina, has had this portion of the work under his care and
has organized a creditable force from the material at hand. Major
Evans has been recently mustered out of the service, and Captain W. L.
Pitcher, of the Eighth Infantry, has been put in charge of the work,
and being a thorough soldier and a man of great diplomatic tact, he is
just the man for the position at this critical period.

Always having been governed, the Cubans here again showed their lack
of power to govern. The officers seemed to think their duties
consisted of wearing a smart uniform and sitting over some liquid
refreshment in a café; and only as they realize the importance of
their office under American teaching will they cease to be dismal

  [Illustration: Street in the Poor Quarter, showing Sunday Decoration
   of Flags.]

  [Illustration: Beggars at a Church Entrance.]

Cuban politics also enter into the difficulty. When the Assembly
deposed Gomez from the head of the army, and the parade and mass
meeting in his honor were called, General Ludlow gave orders that they
should be allowed to have their celebration as long as they were
orderly; but in direct violation of this order, Chief Menocal
instructed the police, who had only been patrolling a few days, to
stop the parades, and in this way the rioting was caused. There is a
total disregard for keeping the rolls, although they are told about it
every day. One of the police officers was found dead in the grounds of
the Summer Palace, where Gomez and his followers were living, having
been shot through the head and having been dead several days; yet at
police head-quarters they had not noticed that he was absent from
duty, from the fact that no roll was kept. It is this sort of thing
that it is well for the persons to know who will very soon commence to
demand that we withdraw our forces and allow the Cubans to govern

Two of the most characteristic and at the same time unpleasant
features, may be noted among those that have disappeared during the
new administration of affairs. One is the ever-present professional
street-beggar who infested the streets, invaded the cafés, and stood
guard at every church-door; the other is the horrible bone-pit in the
Cristobal Colon Cemetery. There are few prettier places allotted to
the resting of the dead than this cemetery, on the outskirts of the

  [Illustration: Harbor Boats.]

  [Illustration: A Court-yard in the Tenement District.]

The entrance to the enclosure is superb, the chapel is impressive, and
the monuments are costly works of art, but away off in a far corner of
the unused part of the cemetery was an enclosure about seventy-five
feet square and fifty feet deep, with ghastly skulls and bones in all
conditions of preservation, and piles of burial cases of all degrees
from a costly casket down to a cracker-box or an oil-can. This is the
inhuman manner of disposing of the bodies buried in a plot upon which
the rental is not renewed every three years. There is ample room that
is unused, so it is not the lack of space that causes the disturbing
of the rest of the dead; it must be merely for gain for the cemetery
corporation. In many cases the bodies of the poor are never buried at
all, but at one side of the cemetery is a building, called the
"Dead-house," in which arrangements are made for burning the bodies
with lime until there is nothing left but the bones, which are then
thrown into this pit. Thousands upon thousands were here in a pile
that was fully forty feet deep and as large as the area of the pit.

The residents of Havana did not seem to know of the presence of this
place, and if any did they seemed to take it as a matter of course,
and no notice was taken of the horrible custom; but when the Americans
took charge it was the most talked-of place in Havana, and became one
of the sights of the city, creating such an amount of adverse
criticism that the cemetery authorities caused dirt to be thrown in
the pit to cover the bones.

  [Illustration: A Franciscan Monk.]

Not only in Havana have reforms been going on, but all over the island
the same work is being done by the American officers and men. Under
General Fitzhugh Lee the province of Havana has seen the same radical
changes, and all of the little towns have been washed and fed and
begin to live anew.

  [Illustration: Court-yard of the Carcel, the City Prison.]

The entire island is a great park that needs no artificial training to
enhance its beauty, and it is destined to become the winter resort of
all the Eastern States. But great administrative improvements in the
ports, besides the police and material ones noted, will be necessary
before this can happen. For instance, it would do much for the island
if the port of Havana could be freed from the high pilot fees,
anchorage fees, docking fees, and fees of all sorts that make it
impossible for small craft to enter. Even the large steamers do not
dock, but cargo has to be lightered out and passengers are compelled
to use the small boats that swarm the harbor.

The people have not even begun to realize that the soldiers are there
to help them in the establishment of their republic; to them a soldier
means oppression, and the presence of armed troops gives them the idea
that we are trying to keep the territory that we have paid so dearly
to conquer. Not only must the Cubans realize what our troops, both
officers and men, are doing, but our own people should realize it in
the same sense. It is easy to criticise, but a nation cannot be built
in a day; and whether they are establishing stable government in Cuba
and Porto Rico by diplomacy, or by the sword in the Philippines,
Americans should feel, concerning these new duties, that those on the
spot often know best the needs of the situation; that the regular army
are American soldiers, and that of what they are doing the nation will
be proud in years to come.


By Bliss Perry

Mid-afternoon in August; a scarcely perceptible haze over the line of
hills that marched northward into the St. Lawrence valley; and here,
under the fir balsams back of the great dingy Morraway Hotel, coolness
and quiet. Through the lower boughs of the balsams gleamed the lake,
blue-black, unsounded, reticent. Behind their slender cone-darkened
tops glistened the bare shoulders of Morraway Mountain in full
sunlight; and overhead hung one of those caressing, taunting,
weather-breeding skies that mark the turning point of the brief
northern summer.

Curled up at one end of a broken rustic seat under the shadow of the
balsams was a strenuous little woman of thirty-five, conscientiously
endeavoring to relax. The habitual distress of her forehead was
mitigated by a negligent, young-girlish manner of doing up her hair;
she was carelessly dressed, too, and as she read aloud to her
companion from _The Journal of American Folklore_ she kept swinging
one foot over the edge of the seat until the boot-lacings were
dangling. The printed label upon the cover of the _Journal_ bore the
name of Miss Jane Rodman, Ph.D.

Miss Rodman's niece was stretched on the brown, fragrant,
needle-covered slope, pretending to listen. Her face was turned
dreamily toward the lake. Her head rested upon her left hand, which
was long, sunburned, and bare of rings. In the palm of her right hand
she balanced from time to time a little silver penknife, and then with
a flash of her wrist buried the point in the balsam-needles, in a
solitary and aimless game of mumble-the-peg. She was not particularly
attracted by what her learned aunt was reading to her about the
marriage rites of the Bannock Indians. In fact she buried the knife
with a trifle more spirit than usual when the article came to an end.

Miss Rodman pencilled some ethnological notes upon the margin of the
_Journal_. "There's another valuable article here, Olivia," she said,
tentatively. "It's upon Blackfeet superstitions. Don't you think I'd
better read that too?"

The younger woman nodded assent, without looking up. She was
gloriously innocent of any scientific interest, and yet grateful for
her aunt's endeavor to entertain her. Miss Rodman began eagerly, and
Olivia Lane silently shifted her position and tried to play
mumble-the-peg with her left hand. Ten minutes passed.

"Then there's a footnote," Miss Rodman was saying, mechanically.
"Compare the Basque legend about the white blackbird whose singing
restores sight to the blind."

The girl looked up suddenly. "What was that?" she asked.

"The white blackbird whose singing restores the sight to the blind,"
repeated Miss Rodman, in a softer voice.

Olivia moved restlessly and then sat up, with fingers clasped about
her knees. There was a red tinge upon her round sun-browned cheek,
where it had nestled in the palm of her hand. "A--white--blackbird?"
she inquired, with the incredulous inflection of a child.

The elder woman nodded--that kindly pitying nod with which a
science-trained generation recognizes and, even in recognizing,
classifies, the old poetic superstitions of the race. But her pity was
really for the tall, supple, low-voiced girl at her feet: this brave,
beautiful creature who was slowly growing blind.

Olivia glanced at her, with great brown eyes that betrayed no sign of
the fatal web that nature was steadily weaving in their depths. There
was a slight smile upon her lips. Each of the women knew what was in
the other's mind.

Miss Rodman laid down the _Journal_. "I shouldn't have read it, dear,"
she said, at last. "I didn't know what was coming."

"But it is such a pretty fancy!" exclaimed Olivia. "I shall be looking
for white blackbirds under every bush, Auntie."

She drew a long breath--too long, alas! for a girl of twenty--and then
with a sort of unconscious feminine instinct patted her heavy hair
more closely into place and began to brush the balsam-needles from the
folds of her walking-skirt.

Miss Rodman made no answer. There seemed to be nothing to say. In this
matter of Olivia's eyes nature was playing one of her countless petty
tragedies; science, the counter-player, stood helpless on the stage,
and Olivia herself was outwardly one of the coolest of the few

She had done all that could be done. Dr. Sands, the rising specialist,
an intimate friend of the Lanes and the Rodmans, had sent her to
London to consult Watson, and Watson's verdict was not reassuring.
Then he had sent her to Forget, at Paris, and Forget had shaken his
head. Finally Dr. Sands had advised her to come here to the Morraway
region for the air and the perfect quiet. Once a month he dropped
everything in New York and came up himself to make an examination and
give his brief report. At the end of June he had told Miss Rodman that
Olivia had perhaps one chance in five of keeping her eyesight. A month
later he pronounced it one chance in fifty. Dr. Sands stayed three
days at the Morraway Hotel that time, before giving his opinion, and a
more difficult professional duty he had never had to perform. If she
were only some girl who walked into his office and out again, like the
hundreds of others, it would have been different, but to tell Olivia
Lane seemed as brutal as it would have been to strike her. And on this
August evening he had promised to come again.

By and by Miss Rodman slipped down from the rustic bench and seated
herself by her niece. The girl stroked her aunt's shoulder lightly.
Everything that could be said had been said already, when the horror
of that great darkness had not drawn quite so near.

And yet there was one question which Olivia longed to ask, though she
feared the answer; trembling either way, as a child that asks whether
she may run to snatch a glistening shell upon the beach even while
another wave is racing to engulf it. Olivia's blindness was that
black, all-engulfing wave. And the treasure which she might catch to
her bosom, childlike, ere the dark wave fell?

"Auntie," demanded Miss Lane, abruptly, "have you told Mr. Allan about
my eyes?"

Miss Rodman hesitated a moment. "Yes, dear," she replied; and she
added, with an aunt's prerogative, "Why?"

"I wished him to know," answered Olivia, simply. "And I preferred not
to speak of it myself. I am glad you told him."

Miss Rodman flushed a little. She was about to speak, apparently, but
her niece interrupted her.

"He's coming to take us over to the Pines before supper, if he
finishes his map. It seems to me that a government geologist has a
very easy time, Auntie. Or isn't Mr. Allan a serious-minded

Her tone was deliciously quizzical; she was conscious of a secret
happiness that made her words come fast and sure.

"I should think the field work would always be interesting," replied
Miss Rodman, with more literalness than was demanded by the occasion.
"The preparation of the maps seems to me purely mechanical drudgery.
If the Survey had a respectable appropriation, Dr. Allan would be left
free for other things. Some of his work has been very brilliant."

The girl laughed. It always amused her to hear Miss Rodman, Ph.D.,
give Elbridge Allan his Munich title. It was like that old story of
the Roman augurs bowing solemnly to each other with a twinkle in the

_"Hoho! hahei! hoho!"_ sang a big, boyish voice from the direction of
the Morraway Hotel.

_"Hoho! hahei! Hahei! hoho!"_

Olivia turned and waved her hand toward the voice. "He doesn't get the
intervals of that Sword-song exactly according to Wagner," she
commented. "But what a Siegfried he would make for size!"

He came striding down the woodland path, shouting out the Sword-song
and waving his pipe; a superb, tan-faced fellow of twenty-five,
clean-built, clean-shaven, clear-eyed. His heavy hob-nailed field
shoes were noiseless upon the moss. The loose, gray golf suit--with
coat unbuttoned--showed every line of his athlete's figure, as he kept
time to the rhythm of that splendid chant. When he neared the ladies,
he lifted his cap, and all the sunlight that strayed through the
balsam branches seemed to fall upon his face.

Miss Rodman gazed at him admiringly. "Isn't he magnificent!" she

Olivia did not hear her. "He knows!" she kept saying to herself. "And
yet he is coming!"

"Hail!" cried Allan, waving cap and pipe together. "O ye idle women!"

"But we've been reading," explained Miss Rodman.

He picked up the _Journal of Folklore_ and flung it down again. "Worse
yet!" he insisted. "You ought to be tramping. Come, let's go over to
the Pines."

"Is the map finished?" asked Olivia.

"Done, and despatched to an ungrateful government. I'm going to strike
work for two days, to celebrate; then we begin triangulations on the
north side of the lake. Well, aren't you coming?"

He put out his hand and swung Miss Rodman to her feet. Olivia had
risen without assistance and was looking around for her hat. Allan
handed it to her.

"I have some letters to write," said Miss Rodman. "I believe I won't

The geologist's face expressed polite regret. Olivia was busied with
her hat-pins.

"But Miss Lane may go," continued her aunt. "You might take Dr. Allan
over in the canoe, Olivia. That would save time."

The girl nodded, outwardly demure, inwardly dancing toward that
bright, wave-thrown shell. "Very well," she said, "if Mr. Allan will
trust himself again to the Water-Witch."

"Either of us could swim ashore with the Water-Witch in our teeth,"
laughed the geologist. "Come ahead!"

They started down the steep, shadowy path to the lake, the two tall,
lithe figures swaying away from each other, toward each other, as they
wound in and out among the trees.

Miss Rodman felt a trifle uncomfortable. She had not been altogether
honest when Olivia asked her if Mr. Allan knew about her eyes. In fact
she realized that she had been rather dishonest. She had indeed told
the geologist--what he might have guessed for himself--that Miss
Lane's eyes gave her serious trouble, and that she had been forbidden
to use them. But she had not told him that Olivia was going blind. It
was obvious that he liked the girl, and Miss Rodman shrank from
letting the tragic shadow of Olivia's future darken these summer
months unnecessarily. She recognized instinctively that the
geologist's attitude toward her ward might be altered if he were
conscious of the coming catastrophe. She wanted--yes, she owned to
herself that she wanted--to have Elbridge Allan so deeply in love with
Olivia that even if the worst came true he would but love her the
better for her blindness. But to tell him prematurely might have
spoiled everything. So reasoned Miss Rodman, Ph.D.

Yet, as she stood watching the disappearing pair, she was conscious of
a certain irritation. If only he had not come singing through the
woods at just the moment when she was about to explain to Olivia that
she had not told him the worst! For she felt sure, now, that she would
have explained, if they had not been interrupted. Well, she would
confess to Olivia after supper! And Miss Rodman gathered up the
_Journal of Folklore_ and the other reviews, and sauntered back to the
hotel. Ethics, after all, had been only her minor subject when she
took her doctor's degree; she felt strongest in ethnology.

Meanwhile old Felix, at the boat-house, sponged out the tiny birch
canoe, and scowled as Allan stepped carelessly into the bow with his
big hob-nailed shoes. Miss Lane tucked up the cuffs of her shirt-waist
to keep them from the drip of the paddle, and Allan pocketed her
sleeve-buttons. Then old Felix pushed them off. He had rented boats
there for thirty years, ever since those first grand seasons of the
Morraway Hotel, when the Concord coaches ran, and before the railroad
had gone up the other valley, and left the Morraway region to a mild
decay. Thirty years; but he had never seen a girl whom he fancied as
much as Olivia Lane. He had pushed so many couples off from the old
wharf in his time, and never a finer pair than this, yet he liked
Olivia better alone. He did not know why he disliked the geologist,
except that Allan had broken an oar in June and had forgotten to pay
for it.

The pair in the Water-Witch grew rather silent, as the canoe crept
over the deep, mountain-shadowed water. Allan smoked his pipe
vigorously, his eyes upon Miss Lane; she seemed wholly occupied with
her paddling. As they neared the shore he warned her once or twice
when the canoe grazed the sharp edges of protruding basalt; but each
time she avoided them with what appeared to him extraordinary skill.
In reality she could not see them, and thought he understood.

She gave him her hand as she stepped ashore, and was conscious that he
retained it a moment longer than mere courtesy demanded. He kept close
to her side as they breasted the steep mountain-path. Whenever they
stopped to rest, each could hear the other's breathing. Now and then,
at a rock-strewn rise, he placed his fingers beneath her elbow, to
steady her. He had never done it before.

"He knows!" she kept saying to herself, deep down below all words. "He
knows! And he wants me to feel that it makes no difference!" It
thrilled her like great music. Let the dark wave break, if it must; it
could not rob her of the shining treasure. She could yet be loved,
like other women. The darkness without would not be so dreadful, if
all those lamps that Heaven meant to be lighted in a woman's soul were

They reached the crest of the knoll, where a dozen ragged white pines
towered. Beneath them curved the lake, growing darker already as the
western sky began to blaze. Olivia seated herself against one of the
pines, and, removing her hat, leaned back contentedly. It was so good
to breathe deep and free, to feel the breeze at her temples, to have
the man who loved her reclining at her feet. All this could yet be
hers, whatever happened!

And all at once, upon one of the lower branches of the pine, she was
aware of a white blackbird. The utter surprise sent the color from her
face; then it came flooding back again. In a tumult of unreasoning
joy, of girlish superstition, she bent forward and caught Allan by the
shoulder, pointing stealthily at the startled bird.

"The white blackbird!" she whispered, rapturously.

He glanced upward indifferently, wondering at Miss Lane's ecstatic
face. He did not know that she cared particularly for birds.

"It's an albino," he remarked. "I've seen him three or four times this
summer. They have one in the museum at St. Johnsbury."

"Hush!" exclaimed, Olivia, with a low, intense utterance that almost
awed him. "It may sing!"

But the bird fluttered its cream-white wings, and disappeared into the
upper branches of the pine.

"It's too late," said the geologist. "Blackbirds don't sing after

"Oh, you don't understand!" she cried, half-starting from her seat and
peering upward into the dusky, breeze-swept canopy. "The white
blackbird is the Restorer of Sight!"

He looked puzzled.

"There's a legend!" she exclaimed. "Auntie and I learned it this very
afternoon. The singing of a white blackbird restores sight to the

"Well," he said, carelessly, rapping the ashes out of his pipe, "what
of that?" And he looked up in her face again, thinking that her
luminous brown eyes had never been so lovely.

He saw them change and grow piteous, even as he spoke.

"Didn't Auntie tell you?" she demanded.

He shook his head.

She grew white, and a moan escaped her lips. The truth dawned, clear
and pitiless. Aunt Jane had failed to tell him plainly, and Elbridge
Allan--her lover, as she had believed--was yet in ignorance of her

But the girl had had a long training in courage, and she spoke
instantly. "Mr. Allan, I am in all probability going to be absolutely
blind. They said that in Paris and London last summer, and they gave
me a year. Dr. Sands told me a month ago that I had but one chance in

Her voice was quiet and even, but she did not trust herself to look at
Elbridge Allan. She gazed out over the gloomy lake toward the
sun-tipped peak of Morraway Mountain, and waited. She would know, now.
So many times had she waited, like this, for a verdict from the
doctors, but her heart had never seemed to stop quite still before.
She heard him make a surprised movement, but he did not speak.

"I knew Billy Sands in college," he said awkwardly at last. "He was
too lazy then to walk across the yard when the bell rang."

"He is an old friend of ours," she replied, in swift loyalty. "No one
could have been more kind----"

She stopped, realizing that he was embarrassed.

"Miss Lane," he broke out, "it's terrible! I had no idea it was as
serious as that. I'm sorrier than I can say. Is Billy Sands really the
best man to go to? There used to be a wonderful oculist in Munich. By
Jupiter, it's too bad! Do you know, I think you're immensely brave.
I--I wish I might be of some service."

Slowly she turned her eyes from the mountain-top, and looked straight
into his face. It was a handsome face, full of boyish trouble, of
genuine sympathy, of tenderness, even. And that was all there was
there. His eyes fell. The stillness was so great that she could hear
overhead the sleepy flutter and chirp of the white blackbird, the
Restorer of Sight. And she was blind no longer: she comprehended, in
that one instant, that he did not love her.

"I am so sorry----" he began again.

"I am sure of that, Mr. Allan," she interrupted. "But it is really
better not to talk about it. It cannot be helped. And Auntie and I
seldom speak of it." She wished to be loyal to her aunt, through all.

Allan nodded his head. He was thinking that it was a little unfair in
Miss Rodman to let a young fellow go on--well, yes, liking a
girl--without telling him that she was liable to be blind.

Olivia found herself trembling. Oh, if he would only go away! She
could bear it, if she were alone! If he only would not lie there and
look regretful and pathetic!

From far up the valley to the southward floated the faint whistle of
the evening express. "Mr. Allan," said Olivia, suddenly, "you _can_ do
me a great service. Dr. Sands is coming on that train, and I promised
Auntie to have a carriage sent for him. I forgot it. Would you mind
attending to it? You might take the footpath down to Swayne's, and
telephone, and I'll bring over the canoe."

Allan rose, with a look of relief which he could not quite disguise.
"You're sure you don't mind going back alone?" he asked.

"Not at all."

With a long troubled look at the girl's downcast face he turned away
and hurried down the slope toward Swayne's. His own dream-castle was
in ruins, too; for a month past he had begun to picture Olivia's tall
charming figure in the castle entrance. She had all that he could
possibly have desired in a woman: beauty, grace, humor, wealth--and
she had seemed to like him--and now she was going blind! It was too
bad--too bad. He felt very hard hit. He stopped to light his pipe, and
then strode on, discontentedly.

Olivia threw herself face downward upon the soft, sun-warmed
pine-needles, and lay there sobbing. It was hard to give him up;
harder still to feel that he had never loved her at all. She had
simply been mistaken. Childlike, she had fancied it was the sea-shell
that was singing, when in reality the music was only the echo from her
own pulse-beats. Wave after wave of maidenly shame throbbed to her
cheeks and throat. She had wanted to be loved, before that pall was
flung over her life, and while she could still be to her lover as
other women were to theirs. But she had had no right--no right!

Moment by moment her girlhood seemed to slip away from her, like some
bright vision that flees at day-break. She felt already the terrible
helplessness of her doom, the loneliness of a blind woman who is
growing old. High overhead the solitary, mateless white blackbird
smoothed his creamy wings and settled himself to rest among the
soughing branches. Morraway Mountain grew gray and distant. The mist
began to rise from the swarthy lake. Between the trunks of the ancient
pines the sunset glowed more and more faintly. The wind began to
whisper solemnly in the woods. And still the girl lay prostrate
between the roots of the great pine, praying to be forgiven for her

       *       *       *       *       *

It was quite dusk when she arose. With some difficulty she found the
path and hurried downward, stumbling often and once falling. But her
courage rose with the very play of her muscles. She had to grope with
her hands to find the canoe, so thickly hung the mist already above
the lake. There were lights moving at old Felix's boat-house, but
Olivia could not see them. She seated herself in the Water-Witch, took
her bearing from the vague masses of mountain shadow, and began to
paddle with long, firm strokes. As the canoe shot into deep water, she
was conscious that something scraped its frail side. In another moment
the water was pouring over her ankles and knees. She stopped paddling
to feel for the leak, and instantly the canoe began to settle.

With a powerful effort the girl freed herself from it as it sank,
although she went under once and lost her hold upon the paddle. But
she was a practised swimmer, and though the water chilled her through
and through she struck out in what she fancied was the right
direction. After a dozen strokes the shore seemed farther away, and
she swam back in growing fear to the spot where she thought the canoe
had sunk, in the hope of picking up the paddle. Round and round she
swam, with a slow side-stroke, trying to find it, but it had drifted

She was getting bewildered in the mist, and the huge shadows that
loomed above the lake seemed all alike. She called once or twice, and
then remembered that Felix had probably gone home, and that no one
could possibly hear her at the hotel. She turned on her back and
floated awhile, to collect herself, and then, keeping her eyes on a
certain shadowy outline in the fog, she struck out again with
desperate coolness. Even if she were quite wrong, the lake was only
half a mile wide here, and she had made a half mile so often.

If only her clothing did not pull her down so terribly! She had to
turn over and float, in order to rest, and in so doing she lost her
wavering landmark. A cry of terror escaped her, and with that the
water slapped over her face for the first time. She shook it out of
her nostrils and began to swim in a circle, peering vainly through the
curtain of fog. The shadows had all melted again into one vast shadow.
Her strength was going now; every stroke was an agony. She called--not
knowing that she did so--all the life-passion of youth vibrating in
the clear voice; then she turned on her back to float once more,
making a gallant, lonely, losing fight of it to the very last....

She felt quite warm now, and all of a sudden she ceased to have any
fear. This was the way God was taking to keep her from growing blind;
she had been as brave as she could, but now that nightmare of
life-long helplessness was over. It was not to be Blindness, after
all. Death, beautiful, silent-footed, soft-voiced Death had
outstripped Blindness, and was enfolding her--murmuring to

And as she closed her eyes contentedly, old Felix, swearing
tremulously, leaned out of his boat and drew her in.

       *       *       *       *       *

But it was the two men in the other boat who carried Miss Lane up to
the Morraway Hotel. One of them was Elbridge Allan, pale and
disconcerted; the other a dark, quick-eyed, square-lipped man, who
dismissed the geologist rather abruptly, after Olivia had been taken
to Miss Rodman's room.

"But she's my friend, Dr. Sands," he pleaded.

"And mine. And my patient besides, Mr. Allan," pronounced Dr. Sands.

"Then, Doctor," said Allan, nervously, "you must let me ask you a
question. Miss Lane told me three hours ago that she was going blind.
I was--I don't mind saying--very much upset by it. Is it true?"

"Miss Lane's eyes are in a very serious condition," replied Dr. Sands,
in his slightly bored, professional voice, while he measured the other
man from head to foot.

"There is no chance?"

"I would not say that," was the brusque answer. "There is always a
chance. You will of course pardon me for not discussing my patient?"

There was a quiet finality about this query which did not invite
conversation, and Allan turned irresolutely away.

It was in the middle of the next forenoon before Dr. Sands allowed
Olivia to talk. She lay on the couch in her aunt's room, a fire of
maple logs roaring on the hearth, a cold fine rain whistling against
the shaking windows. The turn of the year had come. Miss Rodman had
gone off to get some sleep. The famous young oculist was poking
determinedly at the fire and calling himself hard names. He might have
known that that handsome geologist would make himself obnoxious to
Olivia Lane!

"Doctor," spoke Olivia.

"Yes, Miss Lane." He was at her side in a moment.

"Do you know," she said, "I saw a white blackbird yesterday, just as
clearly! It restores sight by its singing, only it was too late in the
year for it to sing." There was a gentle irony in her voice, like the
echo of her old bravery.

"Was it you who took me out of the water?" she asked, after a pause.

He shook his head. "I wasn't lucky enough. It was Felix."

"Last night," said Miss Lane, slowly, "I didn't want to be taken out.
The water seemed just the place for me. But this morning I feel very
much stronger--Oh, very strong indeed!" She lifted one hand, to show
how powerful she was, but it fell back upon the rug that covered her.

The doctor nodded. He was wondering about Elbridge Allan.

"I can bear anything," she went on. "You see I have had to think it
all through. You are going to tell me that there is no chance, are you
not? There was but one in fifty, you said." It was not hope, but only
a great patience, that shone softly in her eyes.

"If you have held your own for the last month, we'll call it one in
forty-nine," he replied. "But you see I don't know yet whether you
have held your own. I don't know anything to-day, Olivia, except that
I love you. I have loved you ever since I sent you to London."

She moved her head wearily, as if she could not comprehend.

"Of course it's very stupid in me to say so this morning," he
exclaimed, ruefully. "But I have waited too long already." He was
still thinking of Elbridge Allan.

"But I am going blind!" she cried, flinging out her hands.

"Very likely, dear," he replied. "Yet that has nothing to do with

She gave him a long, long look, the tears starting.

"It is _you_ that I am in love with," he said, slowly. "But of course
we will keep on making a good fight for the eyes."

"I--can't--think," cried Olivia. And indeed she seemed to be back in
the unsounded water again, shrouded by shadowy forms, surrendering
herself helplessly to a power mightier than her own. Only it was not
Death that was murmuring now; it was Life, gallant, high-hearted,
all-conquering Life, whose most secret name is Love. And as in that
other supreme moment it was awe that the girl felt rather than fear.
"Not--now--," she whispered. "Not--yet. I--can't--think."

"Well, don't!" he exclaimed, eagerly, "I don't wish you to think. If
you stop to think, you'll refuse me."

Olivia smiled faintly.

"I want you to go to sleep again," he declared. In an instant he had
drawn down the shades and placed the screen before the fire. "And when
you wake up," he continued, "I shall be right here, Olivia;--and
always--right--here.--I think that's about what I want to say," he
added, with a curious husky little laugh.

The room was too dark for him to see the delicate color surge into
Olivia's pale face. But her eyelids closed slowly, obediently, and he
went softly out.


By James Whitcomb Riley

     A misty memory--faint, far away
     And vague and dim as childhood's long-lost day--
     Forever haunts and holds me with a spell
     Of awe and wonder indefinable:--
     A shoeshop-wall.--An ancient temple, drawn
     Of crumbling granite, sagging portico
     And gray, forbidding gateway, grim as woe;
     And o'er the portal, cut in antique line,
     The words--cut likewise in this brain of mine--
     _"Would'st have a friend?--Would'st know what friend is best?
     Have GOD thy friend: He passeth all the rest."_

     Again the old shoemaker pounds and pounds
     Resentfully, as the loud laugh resounds
     And the coarse jest is bandied round the throng
     That smokes about the smoldering stove; and long,
     Tempestuous disputes arise, and then--
     Even as all like discords die again;
     The while a barefoot boy more gravely heeds
     The quaint old picture, and tiptoeing reads
     There in the rainy gloom the legend o'er
     The lowering portal of the old church door--
     _"Would'st have a friend?--Would'st know what friend is best?
     Have GOD thy friend: He passeth all the rest."_

     So older--older--older, year by year,
     The boy has grown, that now, an old man here,
     He seems a part of Allegory, where
     He stands before Life as the old print there--
     Still awed, and marvelling what light must be
     Hid by the door that bars Futurity;--
     Though ever clearer than with eyes of youth,
     He reads with his old eyes--and tears forsooth--
     _"Would'st have a friend?--Would'st know what friend is best?
     Have GOD thy friend: He passeth all the rest."_



By Robert Grant


I wrote this once as a definition of Americanism: "It seems to me to
be, first of all, a consciousness of unfettered individuality coupled
with a determination to make the most of self." In short, a compound
of independence and energy. To you, in the earnest temper of mind
which your letter of inquiry suggests, this definition may seem a
generality of not much practical value; declarative of essential
truth, yet only vaguely helpful to the individual. Yet I offer it as a
starting-point of doctrine, for to my thinking the people of the
United States who have impressed themselves most notably on the world
have possessed these two traits, independence and energy, in marked
degree. And to you, whatever your condition in life, if you consider,
it must be apparent that manly self-respect and enterprising force are
essential to character and good citizenship, and that the prominence
accorded to these qualities by those who have analyzed the component
parts of our nationality is a distinction which should be perpetuated
and reinforced by succeeding generations.

Nevertheless, the counsel seems to approximate a glittering generality
for the reason that the opportunities for acting upon it no longer
sprout on every bush as in the forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies
of the present century when we were a budding nation and much of our
territory was still virgin soil. I write "seems to approximate"
advisedly, for the opportunities are just as plenty, merely less
obvious. Yet here again I must make this qualification--one which
recalls doubtless the favorite aphorism employed to meet the plea that
the legal profession is over-crowded--that there is always an
abundance of room on the top benches. Indisputably the day has passed
when the ambitious and enterprising American youth could have fruit
from the tree of material fortune almost by stretching out his hand.
Now he has to climb far, and the process is likely to be slow and
discouraging. The conditions peculiar to a sparse population in a new
country rich in resources have almost ceased to exist, and, though a
young nation still, we are face to face with the problems which
concern a seething civilization where almost every calling seems full.
Now and again some lucky seeker for fortune still finds it in a brief
twelve-month, but for the mass of American young men the opportunities
for speedy, dazzling prosperity have ceased to exist. Those who win
the prizes of life among us nowadays owe their success, in all but
sporadic cases, to unusual talents, tireless zeal and unremitting
labor, almost as in England, and France, and Germany. So also, with
the passing of the period when enterprise and ambition were whetted by
the promise of sudden and vast rewards, have disappeared many of the
traits, both external and psychological, which were characteristic of
our early nationality. The buffalo is nearly extinct, and with him is
vanishing much of the bluff, graceless assertiveness of demeanor which
was once deemed essential by most citizens to the display of native
independence. Our point of view has changed, broadened, evolved in so
many ways that it were futile to do more than indicate by a general
description what is so obvious. Partly by the engrafting and adoption
of foreign ideas and customs, partly by the growth among us of new
conditions beyond the simple ken of our forefathers, our national life
has become both complex and cosmopolitan. If we, who were once prone
to believe our knowledge, our manners, and our customs to be
all-sufficient, have been borrowing from others, so we in our turn
have been imitated by the older nations of Europe, and the result is
an approximation in sympathies and a blurring of distinctions.
Political differences and race superficialities of expression seem a
larger barrier than they really are, for in its broader faiths and
vision the civilized world is becoming homogeneous. The ocean cable
and the facilities for travel have palsied insular prejudice and
lifted the embargo on the free interchange of ideas. The educated
American sees no resemblance to himself in the caricatures of
twenty-five years ago, and rejoices in the consciousness that the best
men the world over are essentially alike. This, perhaps, is only
another way of reasserting that human nature is always human nature,
but this old apothegm has a clearer significance to-day than ever

Yet the opportunities for the display of enterprise and independence
remain none the less distinct because we are becoming a cosmopolitan
community and the old spectacular flavor has been kneaded out of the
national life. Much of our free soil has been appropriated by an army
of emigrants from Europe, and in connection with this fact the saying
is rife that every foreigner seems infused with a new dignity from the
moment that he becomes an American. This may be bathos in individual
cases, yet it is the offspring of truth. Still it remains equally true
that we have an enormous foreign population whose ideas and standards
are those which they brought with them. Proud as these men and women
may be of their new nationality, and eager as they may be to aid in
the promotion of good citizenship, their very existence here in large
numbers has altered the conditions of the problem of Americanism. The
problem involved is no longer that of the winning of a new land by a
free, spirited people under a republican form of government, but the
larger equation of the evolution of the human race. Americanism to-day
stands in a sense more accurate than before as the experiment of
government of the people, for the people, and by the people, and for
the most complete amalgamation of the blood of Christendom which the
human race has ever known. We have lately been celebrating our
centennial anniversaries. Already the great figures of our early
history seem remote. The struggle with which we are concerned is more
intense and broader than theirs: It is the progress of human society.
You, whom I am addressing, find yourself a unit in a vast,
heterogeneous population and a complex civilization. You live in the
midst of the most modern aspirations and appliances, and cheek by jowl
with the joy and sorrow, the comfort and distress, the virtue and vice
of a great democracy. Your birthright of independence and energy finds
itself facing essentially the same perplexities as those which
confront the inhabitants of other civilizations where the tide of
existence runs strong and exuberant. If our nationality is to be of
value to the world, Americanism must stand henceforth for a
rectification of old theories concerning, and an application of fresh
vitality to the entire problem of human living.

Love of country should be a part of the creed both of him who counsels
and him who listens, yet I deem it my duty, considering the nature of
our topic, to suggest that there are not a few in the world,
foreigners chiefly, who would be disposed to answer your inquiry how
best to be an American, by citing _Punch's_ advice to persons about to
marry, "don't!" It does credit to your love of country that you have
assumed a true American to be a consummation devoutly to be emulated.
Humility on this subject has certainly never been a national trait,
and I cannot subscribe to any such doubt myself. But yet again let me
indicate that across the water the point is at least mooted whether
the seeker for perfect truth would not be nearer success if incarnated
under almost any other civilized name. Let me hasten to add that I
believe this to be due to national prejudice, envy, and lack of
intelligent discrimination, especially the latter, in that the
foreigner is mistaken as to the identity of the true American. It
behooves you therefore to ascertain carefully who the true American
is, for even my defence seems to hint at the suggestion that all
Americans are not equally admirable. Forty years ago an intimation
that all Americans were not the moral and intellectual, to say nothing
of the physical, superiors of any Englishman, Frenchman, German or
Italian alive would have subjected a writer to beetling criticism;
but, as I have already intimated, we have learned a thing or two since
then. And it is not a little thing to have discovered that, though
their hearts were right and their intentions good, our forefathers
were not so abnormally virtuous and wise as to entitle them or us to
an exclusive and proscriptive patent of superiority. We glory in them,
but while we revere them as the fosterers and perpetuators of that
fine, energetic, high-minded, probing spirit which we call the
touch-stone of Americanism, we are prepared, with some reluctance, yet
frankly, when cornered, to admit that they did not possess a monopoly
of righteousness or knowledge.

I shall assume, then, that you, in common with other citizens, have
reached this rationally patriotic point of view and are willing to
agree that we are not, as a nation, above criticism. If you are still
inclined to regard us, the plain people of these United States, as a
mighty phalanx of Sir Galahads in search of the Holy Grail, the
citation of a few facts may act aperiently on your mind and wash away
the cobwebs of hallucination. For instance, to begin from the
political standpoint, our acquirement of Texas and other territory
once belonging to Mexico suggests the predatory methods of the Middle
Ages rather than an aspiring and sensitive national public temper. The
government of our large cities has from time to time been so
notoriously corrupt as to indicate at least an easy-going, shiftless,
civic spirit in the average free-born municipal voter. It is a matter
of common knowledge that in the legislative bodies of all our States
there is a certain number of members whose action in support of or
against measures is controlled by money bribes. From the point of view
of morals, statistics show that poverty and crime, drunkenness and
licentiousness in our large cities are little less rife than in the
great capitals of Europe; and you have merely to read the newspapers
to satisfy yourself that individuals from the population of the small
towns and of the country districts from the eastern limit of Maine to
the southwestern coast of California are capable of monstrous murders,
rank thefts, and a sensational variety of ordinary human vices. It
were easy to illustrate further, but this should convince you that the
patriotic enthusiast who would prove the people of the United States
to be a cohort of angels of light has verily a task compared with
which the labors of Sisyphus and other victims of impossibility fade
into ease. Even our public schools, that favorite emblem of our
omniscience, have been declared by authority to merit interest, but by
no means grovelling admiration, on the part of the effete peoples of

We will proceed then on the understanding that, whatever its past, the
present civilization of the United States reveals the every-day human
being in his or her infinite variety, and that the true American must
grasp this fact in order to fulfil his destiny. If our nation is to be
a lamp to the civilized world, it will be because we prove with time
that poor human nature, by virtue of the leaven called Americanism,
has reached a higher plane of intelligent virtue and happiness than
the world has hitherto attained. Who then is the true American? And
what are the signs which give us hope that the people of the United
States are capable of accomplishing this result? What, too, are the
signs which induce our censors and critics to shake their heads and
refuse to acknowledge the probability of it?


I will begin with the inverse process and indicate a list of those who
are not true Americans, and yet who are so familiar types in our
national community that the burden of proof is on the patriot to show
that they are not essentially representative.

No. 1. _The Plutocratic Gentleman of Leisure who Amuses
Himself._--Here we have a deliberate imitation of a well-known figure
of the older civilizations. The grandfather by superior ability,
industry, and enterprise has accumulated a vast fortune. His
grand-children, nurtured with care, spend their golden youth in mere
extravagant amusement and often in dissipation. There are many
individuals in our so-called leisure class who devote their lives to
intelligent and useful occupation, but there is every reason for
asserting that the point of view of the child of fortune in this
country is significantly that of the idler--and a more deplorable
idler than he of the aristocracies of Europe whom he models himself
on, for the reason that the foreigner is less indifferent than he to
intellectual interests. Is there any body of people in the world more
contemptible, and anybody among us more useless as an inspiring
product of Americanism, than the pleasure-seeking, unpatriotic element
of the very rich who, under the caption of our best society, arrogate
social distinction by reason of their vulgar ostentation of wealth,
their extravagant methods of entertainment and their aimless
pleasure-loving lives? To vie with each other in lavish outlay, to
visit Europe with frequency, to possess steam-yachts, to bribe
custom-house officers, to sneer at our institutions and, save by an
occasional check, to ignore all the duties of citizenship, is an
off-handed epitome of their existence. And in it all they are merely
copy-cats--servile followers of the aristocratic creed, but without
the genuine prestige of the old-time nobilities. And in the same
breath let me not forget the women.

(_Note._--"I was afraid you were going to," said my wife, Josephine.
"Women count for so much here, and yet their heads seem to become
hopelessly turned as soon as they are multi-millionnaires.")

Women indeed count for much here, and yet it is they even more than
the men who are responsible for and encourage the mere pleasure-loving
life among the leisure class. A ceaseless round of every variety of
money-consuming, vapid amusement occupies their days and nights from
January to January, and for what purpose? To marry their daughters to
foreign noblemen? To breed scandal by pursuing intimacies with other
men than their husbands? To demonstrate that the American woman, when
she has all the opportunities which health, wealth, and leisure can
bestow, is content to become a mere quick-witted, shallow voluptuary?

You will be told that these people are very inconsiderable in number,
that they really exercise a small influence, and that one is not to
judge the men and women of the United States by them. It is true that
they are not very numerous, though their number seems to be
increasing, and I am fain to believe that they are not merely out of
sympathy with, but alien in character to, the American people as a
whole; and yet I cannot see why an unfriendly critic should not claim
that they are representative, for they are the lineal descendants of
the men from every part of the land who have been the most successful
in the accumulation of wealth. Their grandfathers were the pioneers
whose brains and sinews were stronger than their fellows in the
struggle of nation-building; their fathers were the keenest and not
presumptively the most dishonest men of affairs in the country. Not
only this; but though the plain people of the nation affect to
reprobate this class as un-American and evil, yet the newspapers, who
aim to be the exponents of the opinions of the general mass and to
cater to their preferences, are constantly setting forth the doings of
the so-called multi-millionnaires and their associates with a
journalistic gusto and redundancy which reveals an absorbing interest
and satisfaction in their concerns on the part of the everyday public.

Undeniably there are no laws which prohibit the wealthy from
squandering their riches in futile extravagance and wasting their time
in empty frivolities, nor is our leisure class peculiar in this when
compared with the corresponding class in other countries, unless it be
in a more manifest bent toward civic imbecility. But, from the point
of view of human progress, is it not rather discouraging that the most
financially prosperous should aspire merely to mimic and outdo the
follies of courts, the heartless levity and extravagance of which have
been among the instigators of popular revolution? Surely, if this is
the best Americanism, if this is what democracy proffers as the flower
of its crown of success, it were more satisfactory to the sensitive
citizen to owe allegiance to some country where the pretensions to
omniscient soul superiority were more commensurate with the results

No. 2. _The Easy-going Hypocrite._--Here is another slip from the tree
of human nature, which flourishes on this soil with a sturdy growth. A
large section of the American people has been talking for buncombe,
not merely since years ago the member of Congress from North Carolina
naïvely admitted that his remarks were uttered solely for the
edification of the town of that name, and so supplied a descriptive
phrase for the habit, but from the outset of our national
responsibilities. To talk for effect with the thinly concealed purpose
of deceiving a part of the American people all of the time has been
and continues to be a favorite practice with many of the politicians
of the country. Yet this public trick of proclaiming sentiments and
opinions with the tongue in the cheek is the conspicuous
surface-symptom of a larger vice which is fitly described as
hypocrisy. There is a way of looking at this accusation which deprives
it of part of its sting, yet leaves us in a predicament not very
complimentary to our boasted sense of humor. It is that the free-born
American citizen means so well that he is habitually dazzled by his
own predilections toward righteousness into utterances which he as a
frail mortal cannot hope to live up to, and consequently that he is
prone to express himself in terms which none but the unsophisticated
are expected to believe. In other words, that he is an unconscious
hypocrite. However harmless this idiosyncrasy may have been as a
preliminary trick of expression, there is no room for doubt that the
plea of unconsciousness must cease to satisfy the most indulgent moral
philosopher after a very short time. Yet we have persevered in the
practice astonishingly, until it may be said that hyperbole is the
favorite form of public utterance on almost any subject among a large
class of individuals, in the expectation that only a certain
percentage will not understand that the speaker or writer is not
strictly in earnest. In this manner the virtuous and the patriotic are
enabled to give free vent to their emotions and to set their
fellow-citizens and themselves highest among the people of the earth
without other expenditure than words, resolutions, or empty laws. The
process gently titillates the self-esteem of the performer so that he
almost persuades himself for the time being that he believes what he
is saying: He appreciates that his hearers like better to have their
hopes rehearsed as realities at the expense of veracity than to be
reminded of imperfections at the expense of pride: And he rejoices in
those whom he has fooled into believing that their hopes have been
realized, and that all the virtue which he tremendously stands for is
part and parcel of the national equipment. Under the insidious
influence of this mode of enlightenment the everyday keen American
citizen goes about with his head in the air, knowing in his secret
heart that one-half of what he hears from the lips of those who
represent him in public is buncombe, but content with the shadow for
the substance, and wearing a chip on his shoulder as a warning to
those who would assert that we are not really as virtuous and as noble
as our spokesmen have declared.

For instance, to return to the concrete, consider the plight of a
police commissioner in most of our large cities. Those interested in
the suppression of vice appear before the legislature and urge the
maintenance of a vigorous policy. Acts are passed by the law-makers
manifesting the intention of the community to wage vigorous war
against the social evil and the sale of liquor, and prescribing
unequivocal regulations. The appointing power is urged to select a
strong man to enforce these laws. Supposing he does, what follows?
Murmurs and contemptuous abuse. Murmurs from what is known as the
hard-headed, common-sense portion of the community, who complain that
the strong man entrusted with authority does not show tact; that what
was expected of him was judicious surface enforcement of the law
sufficient to beguile reformers and cranks, and give a semblance of
improvement, not strict, literal compliance. They will tell you that
the social evil can no more be suppressed than water can be prevented
from running down hill, and that the explicit language of the statutes
was framed for the benefit of clergymen, and that no one else with
common sense supposed it would be enforced to the letter by any
intelligent official. The very legislators who voted to pass the laws
will shrug their shoulders rancorously and confide to you the same
thing; yet in another breath assert to their constituents that they
have fought the fight in defence of white-robed chastity and the
sacred sanctity of the home.

Now, is this Americanism, the very best Americanism? Surely not. It
has an Anglo-Saxon flavor about it which it is easy to recognize as
foreign and imported. Englishmen have been asserting for centuries
that they were fighting the fight in defence of white-robed chastity
and the sanctity of the home, to the amusement of the rest of the
world, for in spite of the fact that the laws demand a vigorous policy
and the British matron and the Sunday-school Unions declare that the
home is safe, those familiar with facts know that London is one of the
most disgustingly impure cities in the world, and that the youth let
loose upon its streets is in very much the same predicament as Daniel
in the den of lions, without the same certainty of rescue. And why?
Because the hard-headed, common-sense British public sanctions
hypocrisy. They tell you that they are doing their utmost to crush the
evil. This is for the marines, the British matron, and the
Sunday-school Unions. But let a strong man attempt to banish from the
streets the shoals of women of loose character, and what an
unmistakable murmur would arise. How long would he remain in office?

It may be that the social evil can no more be suppressed than water
can be prevented from running down hill. That is neither here nor
there for the purposes of this illustration. But to demand the passage
of laws, and then to abuse and undermine the influence of those who
try to enforce them is a vice more subversive to national character
than the fault of Mary Magdalene and her unpenitent successors, both
male and female.

Take, again, our custom-house regulations concerning persons returning
home from abroad. The law demands a certain tariff, yet it is
notorious that a large number of so-called respectable people are able
to procure free entry for their effects by bribes to the subordinates.
And why? Because those who passed the law devised it to cajole a
certain portion of the community; but those charged with the
enforcement of it, in deference to its unpopularity, are expected to
make matters at the port smooth for travellers with easy-going
consciences. Hence the continued existence at the New York
Custom-house of the shameless bribe-taker in all his disgusting
variety. Authority from time to time puts on a semblance of integrity
and discipline, but the home-comer continues to gloat over the old
story of double deceit, his own and another's. Is this the best
Americanism? Yet these are American citizens who offer the bribe, who
pocket it, and who allow the abuse to exist by solemnly or
good-naturedly ignoring it. Consider the diversity of our divorce
laws. It is indeed true that opinions differ as to what are and what
are not suitable grounds for divorce, so that uniformity of
legislation in the different States is difficult of attainment; yet
there is reason to believe that progress toward this would be swifter
were it not for the convenience of the present system which allows men
and women who profess orthodoxy a loop-hole of escape to a less
rigorous jurisdiction when the occasion arises. Similarly, in the case
of corporation laws, it is noticeable that not far removed from those
communities where paid-up capital stock and other assurances of good
faith are required from incorporators, some State is to be found where
none of these restrictions exist. Thus an appearance of virtue is
preserved, self-consciousness of virtue flattered, a certain number
deluded, and yet all the conveniences and privileges of a hard-headed,
easy-going civilization are kept within reaching distance.

No. 3. _The Worshipper of False Gods._--It is a commonplace of foreign
criticism that the free-born American is insatiate for money, and that
everything else pales into insignificance before the diameter of the
mighty dollar. That is the favorite taunt of those who do not admire
our institutions and behavior, and the favorite note of warning of
those who would fain think well of us. No one can deny that the
influence and power of money in this country during the last thirty
years have been enormous. One reason for this is obvious. The
magnificent resources of a huge territory have been developed during
that period. Men have grown rich in a night, and huge fortunes have
been accumulated with a rapidity adapted not merely to dazzle and stir
to envy other nations, but to turn the heads of our own people. We
have become one of the wealthiest civilizations, and our
multi-millionnaires are among the money magnates of the world. Yet
popular sentiment in public utterance affects to despise money, and
inclines to abuse those who possess it. I write "affects," for here
again the point of hypocrisy recurs to mind, and even you very likely
would be prompt to remind me that, according to our vernacular, to
make one's pile and make it quickly is a wide-spread touch-stone of
ambition. True enough it is that there has been, and is, room for
reproach in the aggressiveness of this tendency, and yet the seeming
hypocrisy is once more unconscious in that the popular point of view
intends to be sincere, but the situation has been too dazzling for
sober brains and high resolves. For let it be said that keenness of
vision and a capacity for escaping from the trammels of conventional
and inveterate delusions are essentially American traits, and as a
consequence no one more clearly than the American citizen appreciates
the importance of material resources as a factor of happy living, and
none so definitely as he refuses to be discouraged by the priestly
creed that only a few can be comfortable and happy in this life and
that the poor and miserable will be recompensed hereafter for their
earthly travails. His doctrine is that he desires, if possible, to be
one of that comfortable and happy few, and in the exuberance of his
consciousness that human life is absorbing, he fortifies the capacity
to make the most of it by the quaint, convincing statement that we
shall be a long time dead. His quick-witted, intelligent repugnance to
the old theory that the mass should be cajoled into dispensing with
earthly comforts has helped to give a humorous, material twist to his
words; and yet, I venture to assert, has left his finer instincts
unperverted, except in the case of the individual. This combination of
an extraordinary opportunity and a shrewd intelligence has, however,
it must be admitted, produced a considerable and sorry crop of these
individuals guided by the principle that wealth is the highest good,
and should be sought at the expense of every scruple. Their many
successes in the accomplishment of this single purpose have served to
create the impression that the whole nation is thus diseased, and have
done the greater harm of dwarfing many an aspiring nature, spell-bound
by the cloud-capped towers and gorgeous palaces which sheer
money-making has established. As a result the best Americanism is
menaced both by the example of accumulation without conscience, and
the dangerous public atmosphere which this generates, in that the
common eye is caught by the brilliance of the spectacle, and the
common mind lured to meditate imitation at every sacrifice. So they
say of us that the American hero is the man of material successes,
"the smart man" who "gets there" by hook or crook, and that we are
content to ask no embarrassing questions as to ways and means,
provided the pecuniary evidences of attainment are indisputable. The
patriotic American resents this as a libel, and maintains that this
type of hero-worship is but a surface indication of the public soul,
just as the horrors of the divorce court are but a surface indication
of the general conditions of married life. Yet the patriot must admit
that there is danger to the noble aspirations which we claim to
cherish as Americans from the bright, keen, easy-going, metallic,
practical, hard-headed, humorous citizen, male and female, whose aim
is simply to push ahead, at any cost, and who in the process does not
hesitate to part with his spiritual properties as being cumbersome,
unremunerative and somewhat ridiculous. The materialist is no new
figure in human civilization. "Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow
we die," is but the ancient synonyme for "we shall be a long time
dead." A deep, abiding faith in the serious purposes of humanity has
ever been obvious to us Americans as a national possession, however
foreigners may deny it to us, but the American nature is at the same
time, as I have suggested, essentially practical, level-headed, and
inquiring, and is ever ready with a shrewd jest to dispute the sway of
traditions founded on cant or out-worn ideas. It behooves you then, if
you would be a true American, to beware overstepping the limit which
separates aspiring, intelligent, winsome common-sense from the
philosophy of mere materialism. There lies one of the great perils of
democracy; and unless the development of democracy be toward higher
spiritual experiences, Americanism must prove a failure. Keen
enjoyment of living is a noble thing, so too is the ambition to
overcome material circumstances, and to command the fruits of the
earth. A realization of the possibility of this, and an emancipation
from dogmas which foreordained him to despair, has evolved the alert,
independent, progressive American citizen, and side by side with him
the individual whom the less enlightened portion of the community have
enshrined in their hearts under the caption of a smart man. This
popular hero, with his taking guise of easy-going good nature,
assuring his admirers by way of flippant disposition of the claims of
conscience and aspiration that "it will be all the same a hundred
years hence" is the kind of American whom every patriot should seek to
discredit and avoid imitating.


The foregoing suggestions will suffice, I think, to demonstrate to you
that we are not uniformly a nation of Sir Galahads, and that certain
types of Americanism, if encouraged and perpetuated, are likely to
impair the value and force of our civilization. But having dispelled
the hallucination that we are uniformly irreproachable, I would remind
you that, in order to be a good American, it is even more necessary
for you to appreciate the fine traits of your countrymen than to be
keenly alive to their shortcomings. There are two ways of looking at
any community, as there are two ways of looking at life. The same
landscape may appear to the same gaze brilliant, inspiring, and
interesting, or flat, homely, and unsuggestive, according as the eye
of the onlooker be healthy or jaundiced. It is easy to fix one's
attention on the vulgar and heartless ostentation of the rich, on the
cheapness and venality of some of our legislators, on the evidences of
hypocrisy and false hero-worship, materialism, and superficiality of a
portion of our population, and in doing so to forget and overlook the
efficacy and finer manifestations of the people whose lives are the
force and bulwark of the state. It is easy to go through the streets
of a large city and note only the noise and smoke and stir, coarse
circumstance and coarser crime, neglecting to remember that beneath
this kernel of hard, real life the human heart is beating high and
warm with the hopes and desires of the spirit. It is not necessary for
a human being, it is essentially not necessary for an American, to
look at life from the point of view of what the eye beholds in the
hours of soul-torpor. True is it that Americanism stands to-day as
almost synonymous with the struggle of democracy, and that the equal
development of the life of the whole people for the common good is
what most deeply concerns us; but this does not mean that it is right
or American to adhere to what is ordinary and low, because it is still
inevitable that the ideals and standards of the mass should not be
those of the finest spirits. It was an American who bade you hitch
your wagon to a star, and you have only to reflect in order to recall
the spiritual vigor, the righteous force of will, the strength of
aspiring mind, the patriotic courage, the tireless soul-struggle of
the early generations of choicely educated, simply nurtured Americans.
Their thought and conscience, true and star-seeking even in its
limitations, laid the foundations of law and order, of civic liberty
and private welfare, of national honor and domestic repute. Their
enterprise and perseverance, their grit and suppleness of intelligence
wrested our broad Western acreage from the savage and--

       *       *       *       *       *

(_Note._--I was here interrupted in the fervor of this genuine
peroration by my wife Josephine's exclamation, "Oh, how atrociously
they abused and persecuted those poor Indians, shunting them off from
reservation to reservation, cheating them out of their lands and

It is not agreeable to be held up in this highwayman fashion when one
is warming to a subject, but there is a melancholy truth in
Josephine's statement which cannot be utterly contradicted. Still this
is what I said to her: "My dear, I had hoped you understood that I had
referred sufficiently to our national delinquencies, and that I was
trying to depict to my correspondent the other side of the case.
However just and appropriate your criticism might be under other
circumstances, I can only regard it now as misplaced and unfortunate."
I spoke with appropriate dignity. "Hoity, toity, toity me!" she
responded. "I won't say another word.")

       *       *       *       *       *

--wrested our broad Western acreage from the savage, and in less than
half a century transformed it into a thriving, bustling, forceful
civilization. Their ingenuity, their restless spirit of inquiry, their
practical skill, their impatience of delay and love of swift decisive
action have built countless monuments in huge new cities in the
twinkling of an eye, in the marvellous useful inventions which have
revolutionized the methods of the world, the cotton-gin, the
steamboat, the telegraph, the telephone, the palace-car--in the eager
response made to the call of patriotism when danger threatened the
existence of their country, and in the strong, original,
clear-thinking, shrewdly acting, quaint personalities which have
sprung from time to time from the very soil, as it were, in full
mental panoply like the warriors of the Cadmean seed. Their stern
sense of responsibility, their earnest desire for self-improvement,
their ambitious zeal to acquire and to diffuse knowledge have founded,
fostered, and supported the system of public schools and
well-organized colleges which exist to-day in almost every portion of
the country. The possessors of these qualities were Americans--the
best Americans. Their plan of life was neither cheap nor shallow, but
steadfast, aspiring, strong, and patient. From small beginnings, by
industry and fortitude, they fought their way to success, and produced
the powerful and vital nation whose career the world is watching with
an interest born of the knowledge that it is humanity's latest and
most important experiment. The development of the democratic principle
is at the root of Americanism, but whoever, out of deference to what
may be called practical considerations, abates one jot the fervor of
his or her desire to escape from the commonplace, or who, in other
words, forsakes his ideals and is content with a lower aim and a lower
outlook, in order to suit the average temper, is false to his
birthright and to the best Americanism.

It has been one of the grievances of those whose material surroundings
have been more favorable and who have possessed more ostensible social
refinement than the mass of the population, that they were regarded
askance and excluded from public service and influence. There used to
be some foundation for this charge, but the counter plea of the
complainants of lack of sympathy and distrust of country was still
more true, and an explanation and, in a large measure, a justification
of the prejudice. True strength and refinement of character has always
in the end commanded the respect and admiration of our people, but
they have been roughly suspicious of any class isolation or assumption
of superiority. It has been difficult accordingly for that type of
Americans who arrogated tacitly, but nevertheless plainly, the
prerogatives of social importance, to take an active part in the
responsibilities of citizenship. They have been mistrusted, and
sneered at, and not always unjustly, for they have been prone to
belittle our national institutions and to make sport of the social
idiosyncrasies of their unconventional countrymen for the
entertainment of foreigners. And yet the people have never failed to
recognize and to reverence the fine emanations of the spirit as
evidenced by our poets, historians, thinkers, or statesmen. Our
forceful humanitarian and ethical movements, our most earnest reforms
found their most zealous and untiring supporters among the rank and
file of the people. Abraham Lincoln was understood last of all by the
social aristocracy of the nation. Emerson's inspiration found an
answering chord in every country town in New England. True it is that
on the surface the popular judgment may often seem superficial and
cheap in tone, but the wise American is chary of accepting surface
ebullitions as the real index of the public judgment. He understands
that mixed in with the unthinking and the degenerate is a rank and
file majority of sober, self-respecting men and women, whose instincts
are both earnest and original, and who are to be depended on in every
serious emergency to think and act on the side of civilizing progress.
It is the inability to appreciate this which breeds our civic censors,
who are led by their lack of perspective to underestimate the
character of the people and to foretell the ultimate failure of our

The increase of wealth and a wider familiarity with luxury and comfort
through the country has made a considerable and more important class
of those whose material and social surroundings are exceptional. The
participation of the citizens of this class in the affairs of
government is no longer discouraged--on the contrary, it is welcomed
by the community. Indeed, many men have secured nomination and
election to office solely because of their large means, which enabled
them to control men and caucuses in their own favor.

(_Note._--An appearance of spontaneity is preserved in these cases by
the publication of a letter from leading citizens requesting the
candidate to stand for office. He thereupon yields to the overwhelming
invitation of the voters of the district, and his henchmen do the

But though the possession of wealth and social sophistication are no
longer regarded as un-American, the public sentiment against open or
tacit assumption of social superiority, or a lack of sympathy with
democratic principles, is as strong as ever. It is incumbent,
therefore, on you, if you would be an American in the best sense, to
fix your ideal of life high, and at the same time to fix it in
sympathy with the underlying American principle of a broad and
progressive common humanity, free from caste or discriminating social
conventions. It is not necessary for you to accept the standards and
adopt the behavior of the superficial and imperfectly educated, but it
is indispensable that you accept and act on the faith that your
fellow-man is your brother, and that the attainment of a freer and
more equal enjoyment of the privileges of life is essential to true
human progress. We have, as I have intimated, passed through the
pioneer stage of national development; we have tilled our fields,
opened our mines, built our railroads, established our large
cities--in short, have laid the foundations of a new and masterful
civilization; it now remains for us to show whether we are capable of
treating with originality the old problems which confront complex
societies, and of solving them for the welfare of the public and the
consequent elevation of individual character.

The originality and clearness of the American point of view has always
been a salient national characteristic. Hitherto its favorite scope
has been commercial and utilitarian. Yankee notions have been
suggestive of sewing-machines, reapers, and labor-saving contrivances,
or the mechanism of rushing trade. Now that we have caught up with the
rest of the world in material progress and taught it many tricks, it
remains for the true American to demonstrate equal sagacity and
clear-headedness in dealing with subtler conditions. To be sure the
scope of our originality has not been entirely directed to things
material, for we have ever asserted with some vehemence our devotion
to the things of the spirit, squinting longingly at them even when
obliged to deplore only a passing acquaintance with them because of
lack of time. The splendid superficiality of the army of youth of both
sexes in the department of intellectual and artistic exertion, which
has been one of the notable features of the last thirty years, has
shown clearly enough the true temper and fibre of our people. To
regard this superficiality as more than a transient symptom, and
thereby to lose sight of the genuine intensity of nature which has
animated it, would indicate the shallow observer. Our youth has been
audacious, self-confident, and lacking in thoroughness because of its
zeal to assert and distinguish itself, and thus has justly, in one
sense, incurred the accusation of being superficial, but it has
incurred this partially because of its disposition to maintain the
privileges of individual judgments.

Our young men and women have been blamed for their lack of reverence
and their readiness to form conclusions without adequate knowledge or
study in the teeth of venerable opinion and convention. Indisputably
they have erred in this respect, but indisputably also the fault is
now recognized, and is being cured in the curriculum of education.
Yet, evil as the fault is, the traits which seem to have nourished
it--unwillingness to accept tradition and a searching, honest
clearness of vision--are virtues of the first water, and typical of
the best national character. There are many persons of education and
refinement in our society who accept as satisfactory and indisputable
the old forms and symbols which illustrate the experience, and have
become the final word of the older civilizations in ethics, politics,
and art. They would be willing that we should become a mere complement
to the most highly civilized nations of Europe, and they welcome every
evidence that we are becoming so. As I have already suggested to you,
the nations of the world are all nearer akin in thought and impulse
than formerly, but if our civilization is to stand for anything, it
must be by our divergence from the conclusions of the past when they
fail to pass the test of honest scrutiny, not by tame imitation.
Profoundly necessary as it is that we should accept with reverence the
truths of experience, and much as our students and citizens may learn
from the wisdom and performance of older peoples, it behooves the
American to prize and cherish his birthright of independent judgment
and freedom from servile adherence to convention. Almost everything
that has been truly vital in our production has borne the stamp of
this birthright.

The American citizen of the finest type is essentially a man or woman
of simple character, and the effect of our institutions and mode of
thought, when rightly appreciated, is to produce simplicity. The
American is free from the glamour or prejudice which results from the
conscious or unconscious influence of the lay figures of the old
political, social, or religious world, from the glamour of royalty and
vested caste, of an established or dominant church, of aristocratic,
monkish, or military privilege. He is neither impelled nor allured to
subject the liberty of conscience or opinion to the conventions
appurtenant to these former forces of society. For him the law of the
state, in the making of which he has a voice, and the authority of his
own judgment are the only arbiters of his conduct. He accords neither
to fineness of race nor force of intellect the right of aristocratic
exclusiveness which they have too often hitherto claimed. To the
cloistered nun he devotes no special reverence; he sees in the haughty
and condescending fine gentleman an object for the exercise of his
humor, not of servility; he is indifferent to the claim of all who by
reason of self-congratulation or ancient custom arrogate to themselves
special privileges on earth, or special privileges in heaven. This
temper of mind, when unalloyed by shallow conceit, begets a quiet
self-respect and simple honesty of judgment, eminently serviceable in
the struggle to live wisely.

To the best citizens of every nation the most interesting and vital of
all questions is what we are here for, what men and women are seeking
to accomplish, what is to be the future of human development. For
Americans of the best type, those who have learned to be reverent
without losing their independence and without sacrifice of
originality, the problem of living is simplified through the
elimination of the influence of these symbols and conventions. Their
outlook is not confused or deluded by the specious dogmas of caste.
They perceive that the attainment of the welfare and happiness of the
inhabitants of earth is the purpose of human struggle, and that the
free choice and will of the majority as to what is best for humanity
as a whole is to be the determining force of the future. To those who
argue that the majority must always be wrong, and that as a corollary
the will of the cheap man will prevail, this drift of society is
depressing. The good American in the first place, recognizing the
inevitability of this drift, declines to be depressed; and in the
second, without subscribing to the doctrine that the majority must be
wrong, exercises the privilege of his own independent judgment,
subject only to the statute law and his conscience.

There is a noble strength of position in this; there is a danger, too,
in that it suggests a lack of definiteness of standard. Yet this want
of precision is preferable to the tyranny of hard and fast
prescription. It is clear, for instance, that if the men and women of
civilization are determined to modify their divorce laws so as to
allow the annulment of marriage when either party is weary of the
compact, no canon or anathema of the church will restrain them. Nor,
on the other hand, will the mere whim or volition of an easy-going
majority force them to do so. The judgment of men and women
untrammelled by precedent and tradition and seeking simply to
ascertain what is best and wisest for all will settle the question.
Though the majority will be the force that puts any law into effect,
the impulse must inevitably come from the higher wisdom of the few,
and that higher wisdom in America works in the interest of a broad
humanity, free from the delusions of outworn culture. The wisdom of
the few may not seem to guide, but in the end the mass listens to true
counsel. Honesty toward self and toward one's fellow-man, without fear
or favor, is the leavening force of the finest Americanism, and, if
persevered in, will lead the many, sooner or later, with a compelling
power far beyond that of thrones and hierarchies. The wise application
of this doctrine of the search for the common good in the highest
terms of earthly condition to the whole range of economic, social, and
political questions is what demands to-day the interest and attention
of earnest Americans. The problems relating to capital and labor, to
the restraint of the money power, to the government of our cities, to
the education of all classes, to the status of divorce, to the
treatment of paupers and criminals, to the wise control of the sale of
liquor, to equitable taxation, and to a variety of kindred matters are
ripe for the scrutiny of independent, sagacious thought and action. To
the consideration of these subjects the best national intelligence is
beginning to turn with a fresh vigor and efficiency, but none too
soon. Though democracy and Americanism have become largely identical,
the spread of the creed of a broader humanity in the countries of
civilization where autocratic forms of government still obtain, has
been so signal and productive of results that the American may well
ask himself or herself if our people have not been slovenly and
vain-glorious along the paths where it seemed to be their prerogative
to lead. Certainly in the matter of many of the civic and humanitarian
problems which I have cited, we may fitly borrow from the recent and
modern methods of those to whom we are apt to refer, in terms of
condescending pity, as the effete dynasties of Europe. They have in
some instances been more prompt than we to recognize the trend of ours
and the world's new faith.


In this same connection I suggest to you that in the domain of
literary art an Englishman--a colonist, it is true, and so a little
nearer allied to us in democratic sentiment--has more clearly and
forcibly than anyone else expressed the spirit of the best
Americanism--of the best world-temper of to-day. I refer to Rudyard
Kipling. Human society has been fascinated by the virility and
uncompromising force of his writings, but it has found an equal
fascination in the deep, simple, sham-detesting sympathy with common
humanity which permeates them. He has been the first to adopt and
exalt the idea of the brotherhood of man without either condescension
or depressing materialistic realism. He has interpreted the poetry of
"the trivial round and common task" without suggesting impending soup,
blankets, and coals on earth and reward in heaven on the one hand, or
without emphasizing the dirtiness of the workman's blouse on the
other. His imagery, his symbols and his point of view are essentially
alien to those of social convention and caste. Yet his heroes of the
engine-room, the telegraph-station, the Newfoundland Banks, and the
dreary ends of the earth, democratic though they are to the core,
appeal to the imagination by their stimulating human qualities no less
than the bearers of titles and the aristocratic monopolists of culture
and aspiration who have been the leading figures in the poetry and
fiction of the past. Strength, courage, truth, simplicity and
loving-kindness are still their salient qualities--the qualities of
noble manhood--he expounds them to us by the force of his sympathy,
which clothes them with no impossible virtues, yet shows them, in the
white light of performance, men no less entitled to our admiration
than the Knights of King Arthur or any of the other superhuman figures
of traditional æsthetic culture. He recognizes the artistic value of
the workaday life in law courts and hospitals and libraries and mines
and factories and camps and lighthouses and ocean steamers and
railroad trains, as a stimulus to and rectifier of poetic imagination,
negativing the theory that men and women are to seek inspiration
solely from what is dainty, exclusive, elegantly romantic, or
rhapsodically star-gazing in human conditions and thought. This is of
the essence of the American idea, which has been, however, slow to
subdue imagination, which is the very electric current of art, to its
use by reason chiefly of the seeming discord between it and common
life, and partly from the reluctance of the world to renounce its diet
of highly colored court, heaven and fairy-land imagery; partly, too,
because so many of the best poets and writers of America have adopted
traditional symbols. The school of great New England writers which has
just passed away were, however, the exponents of the simple life, of
high religious and intellectual thought amid common circumstance. They
stood for noble ideals as the privilege of all. Yet their mental
attitude, though scornful of pomp and materialism, was almost
aristocratic; at least it was exclusive in that it was not wholly
human, savoring rather of the ascetic star-gazer than the full-blooded
appreciator of the boon of life. Their passion was pure as snow, but
it was thin. Yet the central tenet of their philosophy, independent
naturalness of soul, is the necessary complement to the broad human
sympathy which is of the essence of modern art. The difficulty which
imagination finds in expressing itself in the new terms is natural
enough, for the poet and painter and musician are seemingly deprived
of color, the color which we associate with mystic elegance and
aristocratic prestige. Yet only seemingly. Externals may have lost the
dignity and lustre of prerogative; but the essentials for color
remain--the human soul in all its fervor--the striving world in all
its joy and suffering. There is no fear that the tide of existence
will be less intense or that the mind of man will degenerate in
æsthetic appreciation, but it must be on new lines which only a master
imbued with the value and the pathos of the highest life in the common
life as a source for heroism can fitly indicate. There lies the future
field for the poet, the novelist, and the painter--the idealization of
the real world as it is in its highest terms of love and passion,
struggle, joy, and sorrow, free from the condescension of superior
castes and the mystification of the star-reaching introspective
culture which seeks only personal exaltation, and excludes sympathy
with the every-day beings and things of earth from its so-called
spiritual outlook.


By Fanny V. de G. Stevenson

Anne was walking down the slope of a hill at the time of the first
stirring of dawn on a spring morning. She was an old woman, now, her
youth lying years behind her; but she had not been one to fall easily
into the sere and yellow leaf. Though frail in health, she had kept
her manifold interests sharp and lively; pictures gave her pleasure
keen as of yore, and there was no critic of literature more quick than
she to detect a lapse in taste or art, nor with a readier appreciation
of style, originality, or even intention. She was, at last, however,
forced to believe that she was growing old. She _was_ old, and the
days were flying past her with an incredible rapidity. She rebelled
with passionate fierceness against the inevitable, approaching end. As
bitterly as for herself (she was sixty and past), she resented the
fact that John, her husband, stood even nearer the final catastrophe
than she; John, whom, though ten years her senior, she had petted and
spoiled like a child. Hers had always been the dominant mind. John,
older and aging more rapidly than she, had now become absolutely
dependent on her, almost for his thoughts. Their marriage was blessed
with no children, wherefore all the motherly instincts of the wife had
been lavished on the husband. "My very love has made him helpless,"
thought Anne; "pray God he be called before me."

She walked more quickly, in time with her thoughts, which now wandered
along devious pathways through the past. The scenes she recalled were
nothing in themselves, no more than most elderly people keep stored in
their memories; but to her, who had played the principal parts, they
were of the liveliest interest. The day she and John took possession
of the house that had been their own ever since was as vivid as
yesterday. Nay, more vivid, for she was not at all sure concerning
yesterday; she had had a headache, and was stupid, and had slept a
good deal; and John dozed in his chair; there was nothing to remember
in yesterday.

But that first day in the new house, both so proud, so fond, so full
of plans; and it was all over. The plans matured or failed, and they
were only two old people, conscious of ever-failing strength, careful
of draughts, easily tired--well, no, not so very easily tired after
all, at least not Anne, or at least not to-day. It must be the early
morning, or the spring weather. She had heard of old people who
recovered their faculties in a sort of Indian summer, possibly her
Indian summer was about to burst into a mature blossoming. She felt so
light on her feet, so uplifted as with a wholesome, altogether
delightful intoxication. The sensation carried her far back to her
childhood, to a first day in the garden after a winter's illness. How
she skipped, and ran, and laughed. She was conscious to-day of the
same pure joy in living. It was like being a child again. And those
sad, querulous days, yesterday, and the days and years before--that
was the child's illness; such a long illness, ever-increasing, with
but one terrible cure.

But not even that fancy could depress Anne to-day, glorious to-day,
this day of ten thousand! She laughed aloud, pretending, as children
pretend, that she had, unknowing, drunk of the golden elixir; her eyes
should be unclouded, her cheeks flower-fresh, her scant, white locks
changed to rings of softest brown; a tall, slim slip of a girl, as
John first met her. At the foot of the meadow where she kept tryst
with John there used to be a still pool where she preened her feathers
while waiting for her gallant. She looked about for a pool, smiling at
this vanity in an old woman; but suppose--suppose--?

Of course she was always properly dressed and coifed as became one of
her station and fortune, with a certain well-bred deference to the
prevailing modes, and she owned to a nice taste in lace and jewels.
Jane, her maid, had been very much remiss when she laid out the gown
her mistress wore this morning. It must be a new one, by the way, or
an old one remodelled; it was not in her usual style, but of a
singular cut, stiff, plain, and ungraceful in its prim folds. However,
it was white, and white was still Anne's color. And what matters a
gown when one is in so high a humor?

The valley below was everywhere covered with a white rime which ran in
sparkles as the sun touched it. It should be sharply cold, Anne
thought, but she felt no chill. Frost generally passed over the high
ground, while it nipped the lower. She hoped it had spared the tender
plants in her garden, and the budding peaches. Already the crocuses
were in bloom, and the lilacs showed a few timid, scented leaves. Anne
was very fond of her garden, and it was one of her grievances against
time that she could no longer tend it in person.

She had forgotten why she searched for the pool; she was a little
confused, doubtless the effect of yesterday's headache--nothing
unpleasant, rather a delightful, dizzy jumbling of thoughts, ideas,
remembrances. At any rate, here was the pool, clear and unruffled; new
grass was springing on its banks, and here and there woolly brown
bosses showed where ferns were sprouting. She would fetch John here
one day--if he were able to walk so far. John used to like a pool when
his sight was stronger; not in Anne's way; her liking was innocent and
sentimental. John would bring his microscope and discover the most
wonderful things in water that appeared absolutely pure. Decidedly she
must manage to fetch John.

Anne leaned over and looked into the pool. She leaned farther, lower,
turned her head this way and that, and then drew back in utter
bewilderment. There was no reflection of her face in the water! She
was overwhelmed with disappointment. This enchanting rejuvenation,
then, was only a dream. She could almost have wept; not quite, for the
dream still held her as in an embrace of joyousness. She wondered what
her body looked like, lying on its bed while its soul was roaming the
fields. She pitied it, the worn, frail, old body, as though it were a
thing separate from herself. It had suffered in its fairly long life,
and had endured many contrarieties, but there had been more than
compensating happinesses, and no great sorrows. She hoped it slept
well. John's dear, white head would be lying on the pillow beside it.
"Oh," she thought, "I wish I could give my dream to John. Well, it
shall be the best dream in the world if John is only to have it at
second hand."

In the certainty that she was dreaming, Anne now gave her imagination
a free rein. False shame is out of place in a dream. She gambolled
like a prisoned kid set free, and sang--softly, lest the dream should
be shattered. As the day advanced wild things came out of the wood;
squirrels, and other animals so shy by nature that she had only seen
them, heretofore, at a distance, stopped beside her and conversed
together in their own language. She saw what no naturalist has ever
beheld, God's creatures at home and unafraid. She laid her hand on the
head of a doe as it drank at a pool, and ran with it feather-footed.
She spurned the earth and took long, smooth flights over the
undergrowth like a bird sailing on the wing.

Suddenly she became aware of a voice, clear and penetrating, that
spoke the name--_Anne_. A face was before her, vaguely familiar, a
face of her childhood.

"Marian!" she cried; "my mother's cousin, Marian."

"You remember me, dear Anne."

"You--you went to India," murmured Anne in a maze; "I thought--mother
talked of you to us children--your portrait in the school-room----"

"Yes, I went to the Indies; I died there when you were a little child.
You were always much in my mind, for I loved your mother, and you were
her favorite. So she did not allow my name to be forgotten? She talked
of me to her children, and she kept my portrait."

"Did you say--died!" repeated Anne, who had given an involuntary start
at the word. "I wonder if I am really meeting your spirit in a dream?
It might be. Why should it not?"

"You certainly are meeting my spirit, which is myself, but not in a
dream, dear."

Anne felt a thrill of terror. What if this were not a dream? "_I_ am
not dead?" She looked at Marian with frightened, questioning eyes.

"You must be dead," was the answer, "else how should you be here? Your
mother used to write me that you had unusual powers; I never had. You
might, as a mortal, possibly see me, but I could not be conscious of
you unless you were as real as myself."

Anne stared hard at her companion. "I have, it is true," said she,
"imagined I saw spirits, but they were not like you; they were
phantoms, ghosts, immaterial." She hesitated, and then took Marian's
hand in hers. "This hand is as solid as my own. If I believed you were
dead--if I thought I was--dead--myself, oh, it would be appalling!"

"My dear Anne," said Marian, "we are both spirits; we were always
spirits, only in the body we were chained spirits. Material or
immaterial only means a point of view, not a difference."

"I am no spirit," said Anne. "I am of the earth, and the flesh; all my
thoughts are with, and on the earth, and of the earth. As to you,
Marian, I don't know. There is an uncertainty in my mind--no, I mean
an enlightenment; I don't know what to call it--an apprehension.
Marian, do you mind? I thought heaven was a very different place. I
should expect something more serious, more solemn. The idea of an
everlasting sabbath used to depress me. I have no desire for such a

"Heaven! Heaven! Did you think you were in heaven? Oh, no, this is not
heaven. I trust there may be a heaven, and a future life, but this is
not heaven. I only _know_ about this world in which I exist, and that
it is immeasurably better than that other world we have both happily

"It is all so different from one's dreams," said Anne. "Dreams," she
repeated; "dreams. Marian, did you long for those you left behind?
Were you lonely without them? Or were you with them, following all
their affairs with sympathy and understanding?"

"No," replied Marian, "I knew no more of my loved ones in the past
life than they knew of me. That is the worst of it, both now and
before; the separation, the waiting. I wish I had had more faith in
the old days. I wish my faith were greater now. My dearest ones left
me when I was no more than thirty, and I was eighty when I died. It
was a long waiting. You were a little child, then, and you must have
been well in years when----"

"Don't, don't!" cried Anne; "don't repeat that dreadful word! I am
not, I cannot be! And yet I know, and hate the knowledge, that it must
come to me very soon, for I am, as you say, an old woman. Let me enjoy
this beautiful dream wherein I am still young. But is this youth? When
I look at you, Marian, you are not old, but you are not young. My
intellect will not conceive it what it is."

"If you would only believe me," said Marian, "that we are both
relieved of the burden of the flesh with all its infirmities and
limitations. It is that, only that. There can be no pain where there
is no flesh to suffer."

"And no sorrow?" asked Anne.

"Sorrow," replied Marian, "that is of the mind, and the mind is part
of ourselves."

"Separation is the worst," replied Anne. "Separation." "Suppose," she
thought, "that I am really in another existence, where then is my
dear, old John, my husband?"

"Marian," she cried out, "I must go home; at once!"

"But my dear," said Marian, "you cannot; as a mortal you could not
come here; how then can you now go there? Oh, Anne, there are many
loved ones waiting for you here. Many who loved you. We knew you would
arrive suddenly; we were warned of that; I came first--it was thought
best--to prepare you for the great meeting."

"I tell you," said Anne, sharply, "I am going home. John will miss me.
I have been too long away already."

"Your mother, Anne, she is coming," pleaded Marian.

"Not mother, nor father, nor friends beloved can come between John and
me. I must see John first. Something may have happened."

She looked about her. "I don't quite know where I am. There should be
people about. I see no one to put me on the road."

"Anne," said Marian, "neither you nor I can find that road."

"Oh, come with me," cried Anne, "help me to find John; I must find

The two women moved together hand in hand down the hill into the

"I can make out nothing in this bewildering fog," said Anne, peering
out from under her hand. "Whenever I seem just about to recognize a
familiar place or object, it is to be blotted out by the fog. There
was no fog before. Oh, Marian, it should be hereabouts; our house
should be here!"

Marian withdrew her hand from Anne's.

"You disturb me," she said; "what you are doing is unlawful. Come
away; something mortal might appear. If you will not, Anne, you drive
me from you; I dare not stay."

Anne stood alone, trying to pierce with her gaze the fog which grew
perceptibly thinner. The elm, and then the shrubbery of her garden
began to show darkly, like shadows. She drew closer, for now the house
itself loomed up, large and imposing, but in some intangible way
different. The walls, the doors, the windows, all were there, all in
their appointed places. What, then, was the indefinable change? It
used to be considered such a pleasant house, so cheerful, so gay with
its hanging creepers, and the bright curtains at the windows. Two
years running a bird had nested in the cornice over the porch. But
to-day it presented an aspect of gloom that was forbidding in the
extreme. It gave the impression of a house to be avoided, a place
where wrong things had happened, or might happen. Anne, now that she
was so near that a word spoken aloud would reach her husband's ear,
and she had only to lift the knocker and enter her own door, shrank
back with an odd reluctance. She would walk round to the study first,
and look through the window. Perhaps John would be there, reading, or
writing a letter, and, without doubt, wondering what had become of his
wife. The blinds were closed. How like John not to think of opening
them. With all the blinds down like that, people would think there was
a death----

John was sitting by the table, leaning forward, apparently asleep. He
was so still, so quiet. Oh, if anything had happened to John! No; he
raised his head as though he heard someone call, looking straight in
his wife's eyes. Why did he not speak? What ailed him to look like
that? Anne remembered that she was behind the closed blinds. His eyes
had a strained look as though he almost saw her.

"John! John!" she cried.

The old man shivered and looked vaguely round him. Anne noticed that
he had no fire. The hoar-frost of the morning, that looked so
beautiful, he would feel that; he was very sensitive to changes of
temperature and weather. His clothes, too, looked thinner than he was
in the habit of wearing--and with a great black patch on one sleeve!
Anne must see to this at once. John was less fit than ever to take
care of himself. He looked so feeble, so old, so much older than she
had thought. Ah, what would John do without her? Her heart yearned
over him with the tender compassion of the strong for the weak, the
deep affection that belongs to the habit of a lifetime--stronger than
the love of youth.

"John, John, my husband!"

Again he turned his face toward the window, a leaden gray face. Slow
tears ran down his furrowed cheeks and fell on his breast.

"Oh, what is it? Oh, my poor old husband!"

Anne flew to the closed door and snatched at the knocker. Her hands
closed on vacancy. Her own house, her home, John's home, and she could
not get in! Back she ran to the window. He was still there, his head
lying on his clenched hands. As though from a long distance, thin and
faint, his voice came to Anne, broken with weeping. He was calling on
her name--"_Anne, Anne!_"

"Oh, my dear old husband, do you miss me so sorely? John, John, open
the window and let me in!"

He moved, as though in answer, but sank back again with a weary shake
of his head. Anne lifted her arms and struck at the wall. That it
should prove "such stuff as dreams are made on" gave her no surprise.
She was beside John; nothing else was of importance. A shadowy
serving-maid opened a door, looked wildly round, shuddered, and fled.
John seemed conscious of her presence; oh, why not, then, of Anne's?

She knelt beside him, she laid her hands on his, she murmured all the
foolish endearing phrases that were their own; but he saw nothing, he
heard nothing.

"Oh, my dear old husband," she said; "husband of my youth and of my
old age; we are one; we cannot be parted. I will not leave you. I
shall wait beside you."

John turned with seeing eyes. "_Anne!_" he cried, with a loud voice,
as his head fell on her breast.

Together they passed out of the house, paying no heed to what was left
behind, nor to the terrified call of the serving-maid, "Help, help,
master is dead!"


By Julia C. R. Dorr

     O hush thee, Earth! Fold thou thy weary palms!
       The sunset glory fadeth in the west;
       The purple splendor leaves the mountain's crest;
     Gray twilight comes as one who beareth alms,
     Darkness and silence and delicious calms.
       Take thou the gift, O Earth! on Night's soft breast
       Lay thy tired head and sink to dreamless rest,
     Lulled by the music of her evening psalms.
       Cool darkness, silence, and the holy stars,
         Long shadows when the pale moon soars on high,
           One far, lone nightbird singing from the hill,
       And utter rest from Day's discordant jars;
         O soul of mine! when the long night draws nigh
           Will such deep peace thine inmost being fill?


It is more than a full generation, it is going on for half a century,
since Thackeray, lecturing on Charity and Honor, in New York, paid the
street-manners of the city the pretty compliment that all readers
ought to remember:

[Sidenote: American Urbanities]

     I will tell you when I have been put in mind of the courteous
     gallantry of the noble knight, Sir Roger de Coverley, of
     Coverley Manor, of the noble Hidalgo Don Quixote of la Mancha:
     here, in your own omnibus-carriages and railway-cars, when I
     have seen a woman step in, handsome or not, well-dressed or
     not, and a workman in hob-nailed shoes, or a dandy in the
     height of the fashion, rise up and give her his place.

"Omnibus-carriages" have given way altogether to the horse-car; and
the horse-car has ceded to the elevated train, to the cable-car, to
the under-ground trolley. These vehicles subsist, but in what one of
them could the admiring tourist see repeated as a rule what was,
without question, the rule in 1852?

"The age of chivalry is gone" from the public conveyances of New York.
Apparently it has gone farther from New York than from any other
American city. At least that is the conclusion to which a New Yorker
is reluctantly driven who has occasion to visit other American cities.
The boorishness of New York is now what impresses the British tourist.
Stevenson made his first appearance in New York a matter of seventeen
years after Thackeray's last appearance, and he in turn recorded his
observation. It was that he was received in casual places where he was
personally unknown with a surprising mixture of "rudeness and
kindness." But what struck him first, struck him in the face, so to
say, was the rudeness. The healing kindness came after, and the final
conclusion was that New Yorkers (he was careful not to say Americans)
were well-meaning and kind-hearted people who had no manners. The good
intentions and the kind hearts may be questioned by any spectator of
the scramble at a station of any one of the elevated roads during the
crowded hours, where male creatures may be seen using the superior
strength of their sex to arrive at seats in advance of women. Even
where this is not put too grossly in evidence, it is plain to the
spectator of the scramble that the age of chivalry is gone.

The travelling New Yorker becomes aware that this is largely local. A
Southern newspaper man, writing from New York to his paper, not long
ago, noted its manners with even a touch of horror. "When I saw a man
sitting in a car in which a woman was standing," he says, "I knew that
I was far from home." A very recent British observer, the clever
author of "The Land of The Dollar," proceeding from New York to
Philadelphia, recorded his refreshment at happening upon an American
town where the inhabitants were not too busy, when the stranger
thanked them for a piece of information, to answer "You're very

When the New Yorker goes abroad at home, he finds unwelcome
confirmation of the suggestion that his own city is the most
unmannerly of all. The New Englander has undoubtedly a way, as Anthony
Trollope noted, of giving you a piece of information as if he were
making you a present of a dollar. But for all that, the sensitive
stranger finds himself much less rasped at the end of a day in Boston,
than at the end of a day in New York. As you go Southward, the level
of manners rises in proportion almost to the respective stages of
social culture reached in the colonial times, when Josiah Quincy found
in Charleston a degree of "civility" and "elegance" such as the good
Bostonian recorded that he had never seen, nor expected to see, on
this side of the Atlantic. One is driven, in view of the Southern
courtesy, to wonder whether there may not be something in Goethe's
defence of the duello, to the effect that it is more desirable that
there should be some security in the community against a rude act than
that all men should be secure of dying in their beds.

But this explanation does not account for the fact that in whatever
direction the New Yorker goes from home he finds better manners of the
road, manners of the street-car, manners of the elevator, than those
he left. Western cities, unless they be Southwestern also, have not
the soothing softness and deference of Southern manners, but there is
in these a recognition on the part of the human brother whom you
casually encounter, of your human brotherhood which you are by no
means so sure of eliciting from the casual and promiscuous New Yorker.
The Chicagoan will tell you in detail what you want to know, even
though, as Mr. Julian Ralph has remarked, he makes you trot alongside
of him on the sidewalk while he is telling it. And in an elevator in
which there is a woman, the Chicagoan hats are as promptly and
automatically doffed as the Bostonese, while in this regard it is New
York and not Philadelphia that is the Quaker city.

"Ethnic" explanations of the bad manners of New York will occur to
many readers, which "it may be interesting not to state." These mostly
fall to the ground before the appalling fact that Chicago is
better-mannered. The elevated roads are great demoralizers. It is
barely that primitive human decency escapes from the "Sauve qui peut"
and "Devil take the hindmost" of that mode of transit, to say nothing
of the fine flower of courtesy. Let us hope it is all the doing of the
elevated roads.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: The Public Manners of Women]

It is painful to have to say that inquiry among males for an
explanation of the degeneration just mentioned reveals yet another
lamentable decline in chivalry. For it is a fact that the current
masculine hypothesis attributes it to the women themselves. This is a
reversion to a state of things which prevailed long before the age of
chivalry had come. The scandalous behavior of Adam, in devolving upon
the partner and fragment of his bosom the responsibility for his
indulgence in the "_malum prohibitum_" of Eden, has been frequently
cited in assemblages of Woman in proof of the innate and essential
unchivalrousness of Man. It is there regarded as, to say the least of
it, real mean.

The citation may not appear germane to an appeal for merely equal
rights, which is the professed object of the "woman-women," but it is
surely pertinent to the male contention that woman would get more by
throwing herself upon the mercy of man than by appealing to his
justice. If we take a more modern view of the origin of the relations
of the sexes, it is evident that only that minimum of courtly
consideration for the weaker vessel which was needful for the
preservation of the species was to be expected from a gentleman whose
habits had only just ceased to be arboreal, and that the age of
chivalry must have been a very long time in coming.

It is, all the same, a fact that, when a son of Adam of the younger
generation is asked how, in a public conveyance, he can retain both
his seat and his equanimity while a daughter of Eve is standing, he is
apt to recur to the third chapter of Genesis, and to put the blame on
"the woman thou gavest to be with me." "You don't even get thanked for
it," he will say. His father, and much more his grandfather, would
have been ashamed to offer that excuse. It would have been ruled out
as invalid, even if accurate; and the heir of all the ages who makes
it does not put it to the proof often enough to know whether it is
accurate or not.

But it must be owned that there is too much truth in it. Woman's
inhumanity to man is a good deal in evidence. The late Senator Morton,
of Indiana, was, it will be remembered, an invalid and a cripple. He
came into a company at the capital one day in a state of great
indignation because, in a street-car crowded with young women, not one
had offered him a seat, and he had been compelled to make the journey
painfully and precariously supported upon his crutches. The like of
this may very often be seen. Humanity, consideration for weakness and
helplessness, is the root of which chivalry is the fine flower. The
Senator's experience was not unique, was not even exceptional. It is a
startling proposition that man's inhumanity to man is less than
woman's, but the time seems to give it some proof. At any rate, a man
evidently disabled would not be allowed to stand in a public
conveyance in which able-bodied men were seated, even in the most
unchivalrous part of our country, which I have given some reasons for
believing to be the city of New York. And, if that be true, it seems
that the assumption of the right of an able-bodied woman to remain
seated while a disabled man is standing is an assumption that the
claims of chivalry are superior to those of humanity. On the other
hand, it may fairly be said that the selfishness of women with regard
to the wayfaring man is more thoughtless and perfunctory than the
selfishness of men with regard to the wayfaring woman. In this
country, at least, this latter is in all cases felt to be a violation
of propriety and decency. The native American feels himself to be both
on his defence and without defence, when he is arraigned for it. This
was illustrated one day in a car of the New York elevated road, in
which a middle-aged woman was standing in front of a young man who was
sitting. Fixing him with her glittering eye, she said, calmly but
firmly, "Get up, young man, I want that seat." The conscience-stricken
youth rose meekly and automatically at the summons, and left his seat
the spoil of the Amazonian bow and spear.

However it may be with woman's inhumanity to man, there can be no
question about her inhumanity to woman. It does "make countless
thousands mourn." And this not alone in the familiar sense in which

     Every fault a tear may claim,
     Except an erring sister's shame.

Whatever male has assisted at a function at which males are not
supposed to assist, and at which the admixture of males is so small as
to be negligible, has seen sights as astonishing in their way as the
sights witnessed by the rash males who, at the peril of their lives,
smuggled themselves into those antique mysteries from which they were
expressly excluded. Nowhere in the gatherings of men does shameless
selfishness find so crude an expression as, say, at a crowded matinée.
It could not be exhibited at a prize-fight, for the exhibitor would
subject himself to prompt personal assault. But the female bully is
without fear as without shame. She elbows her way through and past her
timid sisters, takes tranquil possession of the standing-places they
have reserved by occupation, and scatters them to flight as the fierce
hawk the pavid doves. Of course the bullies are a small minority, but
one hawk suffices to flutter the most populous dove-cote, and to
characterize the assemblage which it dominates. The young man who
excuses his own bad manners by blaming "the woman" only emphasizes his
want of chivalry; but the validity of his plea is more deniable than
its accuracy.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: The English Voice on the American Stage]

In the play of "Pudd'nhead Wilson," made out of Mark Twain's book by
Frank Mayo, the evil genius combines in his veins the bad blood and
craven instincts of two races. The _rôle_ was given, when first
presented, a remarkable impersonation in which there was a subtle
mingling of a white man's presumption and a negro's animalism. But the
creator of the part was the brother of a leading English poet! An
American actor essayed the _rôle_ in the second season with decidedly
less success. In "The Heart of Maryland," a strenuous developing of
Civil War emotions and events, the fate of the hero, a soldier whose
devotion to the North alienates him from father and sweetheart, was
given in both its first two seasons to actors of good schooling
indeed, but distinctly English. The "leading juvenile," supposedly a
Confederate officer with all a Southron's manner of speech, was also
most pronouncedly a Briton in tongue, build, and carriage. In that
exciting coil about a lovable spy--"Secret Service"--not exactly the
villain, but the chief meddler with the hero's plans, was on the
programme a Virginia gentleman, but on the stage entirely British.

Multiplying examples is unnecessary; there is enough food for
reflection in these three recent plays. They are all marked with
particular Americanism, and a prominent share of that Americanism is
entrusted to actors foreign-born and foreign-bred.

We are so used here to accepting certain mannerisms of speech as
indigenous to, and proper to, the theatre, and so many of our actors
follow British pronunciation and inflection, that we hardly see the
extent to which the natively English voice prevails on our stage. Once
the thing gets on one's nerves, however, it is most noticeable.
Indeed, the presence of English actors on the American stage is so
pervasive of everything, from farce-comedy to society-tragedy, that
they fairly invest our national drama.

Now of all insularities the most abominable, the one most to be
shunned by this country is artistic insularity. It is an excellent
cosmopolitanism that gives our patronage so generously to the greatest
foreign stars, although it is bald snobbery that often leads us to
favor mediocre importations over native genius. But it is surely
carrying our worldliness too far when we accept and approve the
hopeless incapacity of foreigners to enact _rôles_ demanding American
local color. This may substantiate our proverbial patience, but it
deals hard with our boasted sense of the incongruous. So much have
unlike environments in a hundred years differentiated the two races
that an English impersonation of an American character can never be
acceptable to real criticism.

The reason for the sway of English actors over our stage is not far to
seek. It is not that the best of them can act better than our best,
for we have in our little day produced a very few of the greatest
actors, tragic and comic. And we still have an excellent array of the
plebs of the stage. It is the middle class--which is ever the grand
average and backbone of any organization--that is not satisfactory and
must draw on foreign aid. The average middle-class actor in England
supplies the demand, for he is far above our similar caste in training
and finish, and for good reason. In England the stage is taken more
seriously than here, at least by the players. There an actor enters
upon his career with the same desire for the thoroughness that comes
from humble beginnings and complete experience as anyone entering upon
any other profession. He may cherish vague hopes of greatness--as
every American lawyer hopes to be President--but he is content if his
lot is cast in respectable places, where the labor is agreeable and
the compensation decent. The result is an army of thoroughly drilled
actors that can do almost anything well, though they may do nothing

In the United States, however, where opinion still maligns the
business of the actor, he is likely to look on his career as a mere
trade or as a too, too high art. Our actor is either one whose
ambitions lead him to hitch his wagon to a star and scorn all
sublunary things, or one stolidly content to please--not the
aristocratic groundlings, but the skylings. Of these two sorts of
actor, the former thinks a legitimate minor part too far beneath him
to justify serious preparation, the latter thinks it too far above
him. There is, consequently, an inadequate list of native actors
sufficiently prepared in technic to do well anything that comes to
hand. The tendency, too, of an American actor, having hit upon a
success in one kind of character, to make an exclusive specialty of it
and devote a lifetime to one range of parts, is both due to the
besetting commercialism of our stage and responsible for much of its
lack of versatility. The manager, finding no well-equipped, highly
adaptable rank-and-file at home, turns naturally to the one source of
unfailing supply--England.

In the few stock companies that survive the old _régime_, the English
voice is particularly prevalent. For the English origin of these
actors essaying American _rôles_ is discoverable by the voice almost
more than by the bearing. Though we of the United States and they of
the United Kingdom approximate considerably in language, we are
radically different in speech. The British actor rather modifies than
accentuates the arpeggios of Piccadilly, but it is only a long life in
America and a plasticity uncommon in his race that can disguise him.
His curious scale-singing is an unfailing wonder to the American. In
the American play it can never be anything but a hopeless incongruity.


  [Illustration: Venetian Balcony. Close of Fifteenth Century: Modern


This is set forth in a monograph, the title of which may be translated
and abbreviated thus: Drawings of the house of the brothers Bagatti
Valsecchi in Milan at No. 7 Via di Santo Spirito. One very general,
very abstract, very little detailed ground-plan explains what the
house is, considered as a building occupying a piece of ground, and
doing certain definite work. Evidently it was thought that more should
not be allowed the public, concerning a house of habitation. From this
it appears that the house is a single very large dwelling of which the
dimensions on the ground may be taken at one hundred feet of frontage
by sixty feet or rather less of depth. This, however, is the
measurement of the whole plot of ground; for the house covers it all,
and light for the rearmost rooms and corridors is obtained by three
separate courts surrounded by arcades. The front on the street is
deeply recessed so as to give a façade of some fifty-five feet at the
bottom of the court; with two projecting wings of different widths;
the projection, or depth of the court, being of about eighteen feet.
And now comes the essential thing--that which forms the peculiarity of
the building, and the immense and radical diversity between the scheme
proposed by its designer and that adopted by any Parisian
master-workman who may have a _hotel privé_ to build. The Milan house
is in every respect, in its general design and in the minutest detail,
that which might have been built about 1475 in the same town and on
the same street. The front is of brick and terra-cotta, except that
the door-piece in the middle of the recessed façade, the podium, so to
speak, or sub-wall of the basement story, standing some four feet
high, is of stone; and that a part of one of the wings where it is
opened up in the large doorway below communicating with a kind of shop
or business-room, and, above, into arcades with a projecting balcony,
is also of cut stone. This stone would have been taken to be marble
but that the legends expressly speak of _pietra_, and it is probable
that Istrian or some other hard white or light gray stone is used. Of
stone also are the pillars which carry the vaulting of the cloisters,
or galleries, which surround the courts within, and many pilasters,
jamb-pieces, dadoes, parapets, and balustrades of the interior; as
well as the columns of the _logetta_ which crowns one of the wings
projecting on the street, and a similar and larger one on the court
within. The walls of the courts, except for the stone work above
described and for certain cornice bands which are evidently of
terra-cotta, are entirely finished in _sgraffito_; or scratched
decoration on hard plaster, fit to bear the moderate climate of Milan,
together with certain modelling in very low relief, which is
intermingled with the scratched or incised work, and closely
harmonizes with it. One interesting detail of the undertaking must be
mentioned here: pieces of ancient work have been built into the
structure rather freely, and these are so perfectly in the style that
they do not attract attention to themselves. They need, in fact, the
legends which announce their presence. This is one way of saying that
the collected fragments of antiquity have been carefully chosen with
the view to being of one style, of one epoch, of one character, and
that the building has been built in the style so fixed. At the
principal doorway there are four ancient medallions of the character
which sculptors of the fifteenth century enjoyed; that is to say, they
are enlargements of Roman coins. The secondary or wing doorway, spoken
of above as communicating with what seems to be a kind of shop, is
entirely antique, with pilasters filled with carving in the sunken
panels. In the spandrels of the arch above are two more antique
medallions, and an antique pilaster in marble from Mantua is set in
the small reëntrant angle formed between this piece of the front and
the adjoining house, which projects slightly beyond the Casa Bagatti.
Ancient iron work is used for the two windows which flank the central
doorway, and by way of emphasis the other windows on that story are
without grilles. Iron work in the head of the side doorway already
described as antique is announced as made up of ancient parts; and it
may be admitted here that all this wrought iron is of somewhat earlier
date than the structure generally; a breach of that harmony which has
been insisted on above, but one which might easily be considered as
quite characteristic of good, fine, imaginative fifteenth century
work, when the Renaissance builders would have rejected carvings in
the Gothic spirit, but would have admitted iron work of that character
without trouble. Above this ancient doorway an ancient Venetian
balcony, also of stone, is worked into the double arcade, of which
mention has been made. Two large and elaborate wooden ceilings are
used in the open cloisters which surround the courts, and it is worthy
of commendation that they seem to have been put in place without
restoration, with nothing more than necessary repairs or necessary
strengthening, and that no attempt has been made to give them a
freshly finished modern look. An ancient doorway of carved wood opens
upon one of these porticoes; an ancient _vera di pozzo_, or cistern
head, from Venice stands in the middle of that court; an ancient
marble fountain and basin; an ancient triple tabernacle with
sculptured figures of saints; another tabernacle with an Adoration,
and a multiplicity of minor pieces of carving, are worked into the
building, including an admirable lion, of heraldic character and
supporting a shield of arms, set upon a newel at the foot of the great
staircase; and, finally, a very great amount of ancient ironwork in
the way of hinges, door-handles, knockers, awning-rings, and the
like, is used in the work.

  [Illustration: Graffito: the Certosa near Pavia. Unfinished; from an
   Old Picture.]

The use of this ancient material suggests the true solution of the
difficulty which every one must feel; how such a thing as this can be
fine when we generally find such imitative work rather mean, rather
lazy, rather expressive of the disposition to shirk one's duty than a
thing to be commended. It might be objected in the first place that
here evidently there has been no reluctance to undertake hard work,
for the fitting of old and new details into the same general design,
while the character of the old decoration has not been marred in the
least, is difficult work enough for any workman. This, however, it is
not necessary to urge. The essential thing in the whole situation is
this: The reproduction of the fifteenth century house is practicable
where the real fifteenth century house might have stood. In Milan, on
a quiet by-street of the old city, we can imagine this house having
remained intact and unaltered from some time in the second half of the
fifteenth century until now. Had any family been rich enough and
possessed of the spirit of continuity, that building would have been
so preserved. The climate allows of it; the habits of the people would
make it easy; one family, or, as perhaps in this case, the families of
two brothers, may inhabit such a mansion, and might have inhabited it
at any time from 1575 onward for three hundred years. Moreover, there
is no time when such a house might not have been built. At least, if
we admit that the artists of earlier days were incapable of deliberate
and faithful copying of details--that is all that would separate a
house built on these lines in the eighteenth century from this one of
to-day. The traditions have remained, the masons have worked on these
lines, the stone-cutters have wielded the chisel just as their
forefathers did before them; nothing but a deliberate resolve to call
into prominence the traditional knowledge and the traditional habits
which have lingered among the workmen has been necessary in order to
call into existence this memory of the past.

  [Illustration: Largest Inner Court with Graffiti; Vestibule with
   Ancient Wooden Ceiling.]

You could not build in that way in another country. This house on the
streets of Paris would have been an absurdity. In Milan it represents
the wholesome feeling of national and local sentiment, family pride
perhaps, a sense of what is fitting, a sense of continuity, all that
is noble and dignified in the sentimental or theoretical side of fine
art--it is this and nothing worse or lower than this which has
directed this interesting piece of work. In France, as we have said,
and still more strongly in the United States, such a piece of work
would have been a mere _tour de force_, a mere piece of deliberate
copying, and, still more, a deliberate avoidance of the critical
problem--how to plan and build an American city house. In north Italy
it is the legitimate and wholly sensible scheme of building an
old-fashioned Milanese house to serve new Milanese purposes--and
anyone may respect and sympathize with such an undertaking as that.

  [Illustration: Smaller Inner Court: Graffiti and Stucco Ornaments in
   Low Relief.]

The full title of the work above-mentioned is as follows:


     Fausti et Iosephi Frarum de Bagatis Opus An. Dei. MDCCCXCV.

The reader will note in the Italian title the difference in spelling,
as of the proper names, caused by the antique form in which it is

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