By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 6, November 1893
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McClure's Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 6, November 1893" ***

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

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

[Illustration: Sincerely yours

Frank R. Stockton]

                          MCCLURE’s MAGAZINE.

             VOL. I.        NOVEMBER, 1893.         No. 6.

   Copyright, 1893, by S. S. MCCLURE, Limited. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

  “INCURABLE.” A GHETTO TRAGEDY.                                    478
  “HUMAN DOCUMENTS.”                                                487
  THE PERSONAL FORCE OF CLEVELAND. By E. Jay Edwards.               493
  PATTI AT CRAIG-Y-NOS. By Arthur Warren.                           501
  ONCE ABOARD THE LUGGER. By “Q.”                                   515
  SONG. By Thomas Lovell Beddoes.                                   523
  THE HOUSE WITH THE TALL PORCH. By Gilbert Parker.                 533
  STRANGER THAN FICTION. By Doctor William Wright.                  535
  THE SURGEON’S MIRACLE. By Joseph Kirkland.                        555


  FRONTISPIECE                                                      466
  MISS EDITH M. THOMAS.                                             467
  A CORNER OF THE DRAWING-ROOM.                                     472
  THE DINING-ROOM.                                                  476
  VIEW FROM A WINDOW IN THE TOWER.                                  477
  A. CONAN DOYLE.                                                   488
  R. E. PEARY, C. E., U. S. N.                                      489
  CAMILLE FLAMMARION.                                               491
  F. HOPKINSON SMITH.                                               492
  GROVER CLEVELAND.                                                 494
  CRAIG-Y-NOS.                                                      502
  CRAIG-Y-NOS AND TERRACES FROM THE RIVER.                          503
  MADAME PATTI’S FATHER.                                            504
  MADAME PATTI AT EIGHTEEN.                                         504
  MADAME PATTI IN 1869 AND IN 1877.                                 505
  THE DINING-ROOM.                                                  506
  THE CONSERVATORY.                                                 507
  MADAME’S BOUDOIR.                                                 508
  THE SITTING-ROOM.                                                 509
  THE FRENCH BILLIARD-ROOM.                                         510
  THE ENGLISH BILLIARD-ROOM.                                        511
  SIGNOR NICOLINI.                                                  512
  A BIT IN THE PARK. THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE.                         513
  THE PROSCENIUM OF CRAIG-Y-NOS THEATER.                            514
  THE LECTURE-ROOM OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTION.                        528
  PROFESSOR DEWAR’S LECTURE-TABLE.                                  529
  THE “COMPRESSORS.”                                                531
  DOCTOR LUYS.                                                      547
  ESTHER, DOCTOR LUYS’ SUBJECT.                                     550
  ESTHER IN THE LETHARGIC STATE.                                    551
  THE ACTION OF WATER.                                              552
  ANXIETY CAUSED BY HELIOTROPE.                                     554
  THE EFFECT OF THYME.                                              554
  TERROR CAUSED BY FRANKINCENSE.                                    554
  ABE WAS FOLLOWING THE PLOUGH.                                     555
  AND EPHE HE WAS TICKLED.                                          556
  AND SHE PITCHED IN.                                               556
  FIRST SPIRT OF BLOOD.                                             557
  “DO YOU KNOW ME?”                                                 558




_Nature provides no lovelier mise-en-scène for a story, a poem or, a
“conversation” than is to be found in the sylvan and pastoral world
that looks out upon the gradual crescendo of the Blue Ridge mountains
in northern New Jersey._

    _“Those green-robed senators of mighty woods,_
    _Tall oaks----”_

_Tall beeches, hickories, chestnuts, and maples, too, rise on all sides
to clothe fertile slope or wilder acclivity. Those who have never
experimentally proved what riches the landscape-loving eye counts for
its own in this portion of the State may still hold to the calumnious
tradition that all Jersey is flat and unprofitable to the searcher for
the beautiful in pictorial nature. There is no hilltop of this gracious
country that does not rise to salute some yet more sightly hill; no
sunny hollow or winding dell that does not seem the key to some Happy
Valley beyond, where a Rasselas might be content to abide forever; no
woodland glade that would not satisfy Leigh Hunt’s description,_

    _“Places of nestling green, for poets made.”_

[Illustration: MISS EDITH M. THOMAS.]

_Yet it would hardly be judicious for a poet to live here, lest he
should be diverted altogether from thoughts of work, and, like the bees
in Florida, lend himself to present enjoyment, without forecast of the

_“Give me health and a day,” says Emerson, “and I will make the pomp
of emperors ridiculous.” While we venture no such reduction of royal
heads, we are rich in the sense of privilege and of immunity from all
the troubled voices of the world, given such a scene, such a fair
September morning._

_The Holt, the wooded hill on which stands Mr. Stockton’s home, rises
on three sides--gently, leisurely; nothing abrupt, but as befits the
site for an ideal homestead. Even were no houses made with hands
erected in this place, the noble grove, comprising the whole congress
of good trees and true, that yield fuel and timber for man’s use, would
enclose and tapestry around a sort of spacious woodland chamber for the
abode of contemplation and comfort. In truth, close beside the ample
piazza, a group of stately pines, joined in brotherly love, securely
roof over a little parlor where the gentle shower would scarce admonish
a loiterer in a rustic seat._

_Down this easy slope the trees descend to make a green, dream-lighted
dell, through which we see the winding course of a wood-path, where the
pilgrim of a day may saunter. So sauntering, or tarrying, the pilgrim
proceeds leisurely along; at last, a little climb and a deft turn of
the path deliver us into a sweetly secluded nook christened “Studio

_And now to return to the sheltering eaves of the “Holt” and repair to
the study. Yonder is the great desk, as full, it may be, of hives and
honey as were the pockets of the Bee Man of Orn!_

_There is the bookcase, containing, among its volumes of reference
and service, sundry eccentricities of literature: “Mr. Salmon,” for
instance, with his exhaustive “Geographical and Historical Grammar,”
sandwiching between its useful rules and tables tidbits of valuable
information, including such subjects as “Cleopatra’s Asp;” adding also
“a few paradoxes,” otherwise childish riddles, wherewith the simple
olden time was wont to amuse itself. Here, on the walls hangs the
sampler of one of the ladies Stockton, long since skilled with the
“fine needle and nice thread.” Close beside this notable needlework
hangs a parchment, the will of one of the forefathers of the house, who
held it no “baseness to write fair,” if this scarcely faded engrossing
bespeaks the writer’s creed in penmanship. Here, a grim, gaunt
candlestick does picket duty all by itself: it is a bayonet taken from
the last battlefield of the South--a bayonet inverted, the point thrust
into a standard, the stock serving as socket for the candle. In this
rapid survey of the room, the lines of old Turberville attract the eye,
where they appear inscribed over the mantel:_

    _“Yee that frequent the hilles and highest holtes of all,_
    _Assist mee with your skilful quilles, and listen when I call.”_


_On the mantel reposes a wickedly crooked dirk, sheathed and quiescent
now. It is the weapon that slew the redoubted Po Money, a Dacoit chief,
of whom the missionary who consigned it to the present owner naïvely
observes, on his card of presentation, “Since he would never repent, it
seemed best that he should be out of the world.”_

_By this window are flowers, a few; by choice a vase for each; for
here the individuality of a flower is prized, and the crowded and
discomfited loveliness of flowers in the mass is not tolerated. So
a day-lily, or an early dahlia, may have its place, by itself, in
undisputed queendom. A branch of vari-colored “foliage plant” completes
the decorative floral company. But who is this--coming as in dyed
garments from Bozrah--that reposes among these pied leaves, beneath
their “protective coloring”? A cramped prisoner but a few hours before,
in the world, but not of it. The bright creature rests in the sunny
window until its wings gain strength to lift and bear it away._

       *       *       *       *       *

_Guest._ And so you will give me the fancy of packing the butterfly
back into his case?

_Host._ Yes, I give up all claim upon it. It is yours to have and to
hold--only see that the poor fellow isn’t hurt in packing him up.

_Guest._ That deserves caution. This is the second lucky suggestion
that has come in my way to-day. Both are too good to be lost. The muse
learns thrift and treasures up all suggestions.

_Host._ How does your muse ordinarily get her suggestions?

_Guest._ Oh, in all sorts of ways; from reading, from some one’s mere
chance expression; sometimes from the particular insistence of some
object in nature to be seen or heard; as though it had been waiting for
its historian to come along. Usually, with the object is associated
some slight touch of pathos. Dreams, too, offer suggestions. These
suggestions, of course, are fantastic. They often have a touch of
absurdity which the muse wisely omits, generally taking them for their
allegorical face value. I dreamed once of seeing a rich cluster of
purple blossoms, heavy with dew. The name, I learned was “honey-trope,”
and so I transplanted the flower, root and branch, into a small garden
plot of verses. I would think some of your whimsical situations and
characters might come in this way.


_Host._ No, I don’t remember deriving suggestions from actual dreams;
but I owe a great many to day-dreams. I used to entertain myself in
this way constantly when a schoolboy. In walking home from school I
would take up the thread of a plot and carry it on from day to day
until the thing became a serial story. The habit was continued for
years, simply because I enjoyed it--especially when walking. If anybody
had known or asked me about it I should have confessed that I thought
it a dreadful waste of time.

_Guest._ But it proved, I dare say, a sort of peripatetic
training-school of fiction.

_Host._ Perhaps it might be called so. At any rate, years after, I
used to go back to these stories for motives, especially in tales
written for children. But there was another way in which, in later
years, I have made use of day-dreams. I often woke very early in the
morning--too early to think of rising, even if I had been thriftily
inclined--and after some experimenting I found that the best way to put
myself to sleep again was to construct some regular story.

_Guest._ (Stockton stories do not have that effect in the experience of

_Host._ Some regular story carried through to the end. I would begin
a story one morning, continue it the next, and the next, until it ran
into the serial. Some of these stories lasted for a long time; one ran
through a whole year, I know. I got it all the way from America to

_Guest._ Perhaps you anticipated reality. For a friend of mine who
reads every book of travels in Africa which she can lay hands on,
firmly believes that the Dark Continent will be opened up as a pleasure
and health resort for the whole world! But what became of the story?

_Host._ Well, a long time after, a portion of it came to light again
in “The Great War Syndicate.” The idea of “Negative Gravity” was
taken from another day-dream, the hero of which invented all sorts of
applications of negative gravity, and from these I made a selection for
the printed story.

_Guest._ Delightful--for we may hear from this hero again. I hope he is
inexhaustible. How fortunate to have a treasure-house of characters and
exploits. You have only to open the door and whatever you want comes
out! You don’t have to go to any “Anatomy of Melancholy” or Lemprière,
or Old Play, where somebody else is going, too, and will anticipate
you--the hard luck of some of the rhyming fraternity!

_Host._ Of course, some suggestions are wholly involuntary. You do not
know how or whence they come. I think of a good illustration of this
involuntary action of the mind in conjuring up suggestion for a story.
Some time ago, as I was lying in a hammock under the trees, I happened
to look up through the branches and saw a great patch of blue sky
absolutely clear. I said to myself: “Suppose I saw a little black spot
appear in that blue sky.” I kept on thinking. Gradually the idea came
of a man who _did_ see such a little spot in the clear sky. And now I
am working up this notion in a story I call “As One Woman to Another.”

_Guest._ You literally had given you less than the conditions given for
describing a circle, for you had but a simple point to start with. One
might conclude, all that is necessary is to fix upon some central idea,
no matter how slight, and then the rest will come, drawn by a kind of
mysterious attraction toward the centre.


_Host._ Ah, but it will not do for the professional writer to depend
upon any such luck or chance, for if you wait for suggestions to come
from the ether or anywhere else, you _may_ wait in vain. You must begin
something. If the mind has been well stored with incident and anecdote,
these will furnish useful material, but not the plot. It is often
necessary to get one’s self into a proper condition for the reception
of impressions, and then to expose the mind, thus prepared, to the
influence of the ideal atmosphere. If the proper fancy floats along it
is instantly absorbed by the sensitive surface of the mind, where it
speedily grows into an available thought, and from that anything can

_Guest._ But with the maker of verse such a resolution sometimes so
offends the muse that she turns upon her votary with the most inhuman
cruelty. Once I resolved, yes, deliberately resolved, to write some
verses about the American Indian--to the effect that he must soon bid
good-by and take his place with all broken and departed dynasties of
the world--the goal to be some far western region of mournful and dying
splendors. The first result of this resolution was rather encouraging.
It was:

    “Now, get thee on, beyond the sunset----”

There inspiration stopped short, limping for lack of half a foot! Each
morning, on first waking up, I tried to fill out the line. At last, one
morning it was done, presto!--quite taken out of my hands. The result
was totally involuntary, I may say.

_Host._ Well, how did the lines run?


    “Now get thee on beyond the sunset--git!”

_Host._ Yes, that was cruel! I suppose you could never finish the poem
after that. But poets must have to do a great deal more waiting than
any other class of literary workers, for they have to wait not only
for ideas but for words, which, in poetry, have so much to do with the
mechanism of the verse as well as the expression of the idea.


_Guest._ What the _Dii Majores_ may do, or may have done, I could not
presume to say; but with us verse-makers, sometimes it is only the
_words_ that do come, at first. The sense, import, and whole motive
sometimes arrive much later. This ought to be kept a secret, for it
is not to our credit. But I remember once, some one used the phrase,
“For the time being.” It was immediately invested with a subtle extra
value which seemed left to me to discover and define. Any maker of
verse, I should guess, would in the same way be followed up continually
by refrains and catch-words--the mere gossip of Parnassus, one might
say. You have the fragments of a puzzle; they are scattered; some are
missing. They must be hunted up and fitted together. Sometimes the
last will be first and the first will be last, when the metrical whole
is completed. For example of how detached and meaningless these first
suggestions may be, take this line and a half:

    “In the dim meadows flecked with asphodel,
    I shall remember!”

It was months after this suggestion came to me that I found the context
and motive of the verse. I had to wait for the rest, and take whatever


_Host._ This subject of suggestions, and how they come, is an
interesting one. It reminds me of what the astronomers tell us of
certain methods they employ. For instance, they expose, by means of
telescopic action, a sensitive photographic plate to the action of
light from portions of the heavens where nothing is seen. After a long
exposure they look at the plate, and something may be seen that was
never seen before--star, nebulæ, or perhaps a comet--something which
the telescope will not reveal to the eye. As an instance of my use
of this exposure plan I will mention this: some years ago I read a
great deal about shipwrecks--a subject which always interests me--some
accounts in the daily papers and some sea stories, such as those of
Clark Russell, who is my favorite marine author, and the question
came into my mind: “Is it possible that there should be any kind of
shipwreck which has not been already discovered?” For days and days I
exposed my mind to the influence of ideas about shipwrecks. At last a
novel notion floated in upon me, and I wrote “The Remarkable Wreck of
the Thomas Hyke.” I have since had another idea of an out-of-the-way
shipwreck, which I think is another example of a wreck that has never
occurred; but this is a variation and amplification of a wreck about
which I read.

_Guest._ Has it ever happened that any of your fancies turned out to be
actual fact? Truth is said to be stranger than fiction.

_Host._ In some instances just that thing has happened. In one story
I had a character whose occupation was that of an analyzer of lava,
specimens being sent to him from all parts of the world. In this
connection a foreigner inquired of him if there were any volcanoes near
Boston, to which city he was on his way. This preposterous idea was, of
course, quickly dismissed in the story. But I received a letter from a
scientific man in New England who thought I would like to know that,
not far from Boston, but in a spot now covered by the ocean, there
existed in prehistoric times an active volcano. As to the practical
application of some of my fanciful inventions, I may say that two
young ladies on Cape Cod imitated the example of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs.
Aleshine, and having put on life preservers, and each taking an oar,
found no difficulty in sweeping themselves through the water, after the
fashion of the two good women in the story. I will also say that the
Negative Gravity machine is nothing but a condensed balloon. As soon
as a man can make a balloon which can bear his weight and can also be
put in a money belt, he can do all the things that the man in the story
did. I may also say that naval men have written to me stating that it
is not impossible that some of the contrivances mentioned in “The Great
War Syndicate” may some day be used in marine warfare. I myself have
no doubt of this, for there is no reason why a turtle-backed little
ironclad, almost submerged, should not steam under the stern of a great
man-of-war like the “Camperdown,” and having disabled her propeller
blades, tow her _nolens volens_ into an American port, where she could
be detained until peace should be declared.

_Guest._ I would not like to live in the port in whose harbor the
captive vessel was detained.

_Host._ It might be disagreeable; perhaps it would be better to keep
the captured vessel continually on the tow-path through unfrequented


_Guest._ But we were speaking of the necessity of having a definite
purpose at the outset of a piece of work.

_Host._ It amounts to a necessity, almost. For instance, if I am about
to write a fairy tale, I must get my mind in an entirely different
condition from what it would be were I planning a story of country life
of the present day. With me the proper condition often requires hard
work. The fairy tale will come when the other kind is wanted. But the
ideas of one class must be kept back and those of the other encouraged
until at last the proper condition exists and the story begins. But I
suppose you poets do not set out in this way.

_Guest._ It would be a revelation to the public to be let into the
secret of some of our “motives,” and the various ways we have of
mingling “poetic-honey” and “trade-wax,” as Tom Hood calls it. The
spur of necessity, real or fancied, is often a capital provocation
to eloquence. I know a woman who writes verses, who is not only
unnecessarily neglectful of worldly interests, but is careless in
detail, and self-indulgent and absent-minded. On one occasion, losing
quite a sum of money from her pocket-book, and wishing to give herself
a lesson to be remembered, she set herself the task of writing
certain verses to defray the expenses of her carelessness, as it
were. Involuntarily, and yet with a kind of grim fitness in things,
the subject that came to hand was, “Losses.” The poem was written and
disposed of, and the writer was square with her conscience once more;
and the poem was not manifestly worse for having a prosaic prompting
behind it. It is well, I think, that the public doesn’t always fathom
these little hidden sequences in our logic.


_Host._ Speaking of “hidden sequences in logic,” as you call them,
reminds me of a story a little girl told me. There was a nest in a
tree, and the nest was full of young birds. One very forward one always
would sit on the edge of the nest, and had several falls in this way.
The old birds picked it up repeatedly, and told it that it would most
certainly be caught by cats. After they found that it would not reform,
the mother-bird took it by one wing and the father-bird took it by the
other, and together they carried it to London, where they left it. I
could not imagine why they carried it to London; but a day or two later
I discovered that the little girl had been reading the story of Dick
Whittington, which was founded on the fact that there were no cats in

_Guest._ I am constantly surprised at the adroitness children manifest
in their little stories. Where does it vanish when they grow older?
If almost any child kept up the promise of its story-telling infancy,
every grown person would be a clever novelist. But there was a question
I had in mind to ask you while we were on the subject of suggestion and
plot. Do you ever receive any available ideas from other people?

_Host._ Yes, a great many excellent suggestions have come to me from
others. But the better they are the less I like to use them, for a good
idea deserves hard work, and when the work were done I would not feel
that the story were really mine. In a few cases I have used suggestions
from other people. For instance, there have been publishers who desired
a story written upon a certain incident or idea.

_Guest._ The sense of ideal property is strong. One feels an honest
indignation at taking what belongs to another, even though but a
thought, and that of no account to the thinker, in his own opinion of
it. Nevertheless, you feel how easily this ideal property of his might
be “realized” with just a touch of art. Somehow, that touch of art,
contributed by you, you feel would not quite make the material yours.

_Host._ I have been thinking why it is that very often the work of
an author of fiction is not as true as the work of an artist, and I
have concluded that the artist has one great advantage over the author
of fiction, and over the poet, even. The artist has his models for
his characters--models which he selects to come as near as possible
to what his creations are going to be. The unfortunate author has no
such models. He must rely entirely upon the characters he has casually
seen, upon reading, upon imagination. How I envy my friend Frost! Last
summer, when he wished to sketch a winter scene in Canada, he had
a model sitting with two overcoats on, and the day was hot. Now, I
couldn’t have any such models. I should have to describe my cold man
just by thinking of him.


_Guest._ Or learn to shiver, yourself, like the boy in “Grimm’s
Tales”--and describe that!

_Host._ But it is a serious matter. The best artists have live models
to work from. But your writer of fiction--how, for instance, can he see
a love scene enacted? He must describe it as best he can, and, although
he may remember some of his own, he will never describe those.

_Guest._ Goethe was able to overcome such objections, I believe; and
Heine tells us that,

    “Out of my own great woes
    I make my little songs.”

But please go on.

_Host._ I think the beautiful young heroine of fiction generally
gives the author of love stories a great deal of trouble. Such
ladies exist, and their appearances may be described; but it is very
difficult to find out what they would do under certain conditions
necessary to the story, and therefore the author is obliged to rely
upon his imagination, or upon the few examples he has met with in
his reading, where men or women have delivered love-clinics at their
own bedsides, or have had the rare opportunities of describing them
at the bedsides of others. For this reason people who are not in
love, and whose actions are open to the observations of others, are
often better treated by the novelist than are his lovers. I have
sometimes thought that a new profession might be created--that of
Literary Model. Of course we would have none but the very highest
order of dramatic performers, but such assistance as they might
be able to give would be invaluable. Suppose the writer wanted to
portray the behavior of a woman who has just received the tidings of
the sudden death of her rejected lover. How does a writer, who has
never heard such intelligence delivered, know what expressions of
face, or what gestures, to give to his heroine in this situation? How
would the intense, high-strung, nervous woman conduct herself? How
would the fair-haired, phlegmatic type of women receive the news? The
professional literary model might be enormously useful in delineating
the various phases assumed by one’s hero or heroine.

_Guest._ The idea is certainly novel. But I’m afraid the professional
literary model, if a woman, would never be content with “well enough.”
She would want to excel herself; and, if you didn’t employ her
constantly, would be devising new rôles for herself to fill. She would
be super-serviceable.

_Host._ Perhaps. But such zeal could easily be restrained. It might be
a good idea for a novel-writer to have a study near the greenroom of
a theatre, and then between the acts he might send for this or that
performer to give him a living picture of a certain character in a
certain situation. It might not take a minute to do this. By the way,
the writer’s model would have a better time than one who sat for an
artist, for the sittings would generally be very short.

_Guest._ All the world’s a stage, and a thoroughly good actor might
make a good literary model. But all sorts of people must help as
models, by simply going on with their own little dramas of life, before
the eyes of the sagacious author.

_Host._ That is true enough, so far as the comedy scenes of the play
are concerned. But, as I said before, who is going to set the author
the copy for tragedy or love scenes? Occasionally you get oblique
views--mere intimations of such scenes. I wish I had had the good
fortune to see what a lady of my acquaintance saw a while ago. She
is one of the very few who have ever seen a proposal of love and its
acceptance, carried on before spectators, exactly as if the contracting
parties were alone. The scene took place in a street car between two
young persons of foreign tongue, one of whom was about to take a
steamer; and the man knew that what he had to say must be said then or
never said at all. With the total oblivion of the presence of others
these two opened their hearts to each other, the affair proceeded
through all its stages, and the compact was sealed. This would have
been a rare opportunity for a literary artist.

[Illustration: THE DINING-ROOM.]

_Guest._ How perverse fate is in this respect! It seems as if there
were a conspiracy to show up the most dramatic scenes either just
before we come into the audience or just after we have left. But, take
it all in all, I suppose the material we are best fitted to make use
of is the kind that sooner or later comes in our way. We only take
what we can easiest assimilate; the novelist his own proper food, the
essayist another sort, the writer of verse the “cud of sweet and bitter
fancies,” most likely. Have I asked a great many questions? I want to
ask just one more--have you ever written any poetry? It is a pet theory
of mine that everybody has, at some time or other, made verses because
he couldn’t help it--it’s instinctive! Now for a clean confession.

_Host._ Let me see. Yes, now I remember one such effort. I devised a
poem, and two lines at the beginning of it and two lines at the end of
it came readily into my mind. But I had only written two or three lines
when a breeze came up and blew my paper away.

_Guest._ Lost, like the Sibylline books! Do you remember what the lines

_Host._ Only the first two and the last two, which had been in my mind
for some time. Those I put on paper are entirely gone.

_Guest._ Can you give me the lines and the intervening argument?

_Host._ The poem began thus:

    “We walked in a garden of roses,
    Miss Jane, Sir Cupid, and I.”

The story then proceeded to the effect that Sir Cupid and I walked
through the narrow alleys side by side, while Miss Jane always flitted
some distance in front, and would never stop that I might overtake her.
I entreated her to wait for me, but she always laughed, and declined,
hurrying on, sometimes picking a white rose, sometimes a red, and
always answering, when she spoke at all, that the paths were not wide
enough for three. After a good deal of this fruitless chase I became
disheartened, and, with my companion, Sir Cupid, left the garden. The
poem concluded thus:

    “The next time I looked into the garden
    The rascal was walking with her.”

Now, will you not take these lines and these ideas and finish the
poem?[1] I shall never be able to do it.

_Guest._ Ah! Those Sibylline leaves should have blown into the hands of
a Dobson. But we’ll try at restoring the lost passages.

_Host._ The experiment may lead to great things. I almost think I see
a new volume, with the title, “Collaborative Verses,” etc. And now
choose whether you will go for a drive to Green Village or to the Black

_A Gentle Voice of Deprecation._ Oh! don’t take her to Green Village!
There isn’t anything remarkable there. She will like the Black Meadows
much more.


_Guest._ Yes, there might be adventures in such a region. And I want
to put in a plea to be taken to that sylvan road where you saw the
original sign of the Squirrel Inn.

_Host._ Well, it shall be to the Black Meadows, and so, on!

       *       *       *       *       *


_A Collaborative Poem by E. M. T. and F. R. S._

    We walked in a garden of roses,
      Miss Jane, Sir Cupid, and I--
    Nay, rather, she walked by herself,
      And never would answer me why.

    The more I besought her, still farther
      And farther she flitted ahead,
    Laughing and scattering roses--
      Roses, the white and the red.

    At last she gave me her “reason;”
      Surely I “ought to have known”--
    “Sir Cupid”--and--“Three are too many,”
      She’d walk with me, if alone!

    So, lost in the maze of the roses,
      Forever she flitted before;
    And I said, with a sigh, to Sir Cupid:
      “I’ll follow the truant no more!”

    The next time I drew near to the roses,
      I listened; I heard a faint stir,
    And when I looked into the garden
      The rascal was walking with her!

    Then softly I crept in, and caught her;
      She blushed, but would not be free.
    By keeping Sir Cupid between us
      There was room in those alleys for three.




Author of “Children of the Ghetto.”


    “Cast off among the dead, like the slain that lie in the
    grave. Whom thou rememberest no more, and they are cut off
    from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in dark
    places, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou
    hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Thou hast put mine
    acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto
    them; I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye wasteth
    away by reason of affliction. I have called daily upon thee, O
    Lord, I have spread forth my hands unto thee.”--_Eighty-eighth

There was a restless air about the Refuge. In a few minutes the friends
of the patients would be admitted. The incurables would hear the
latest gossip of the Ghetto, for the world was still very much with
these abortive lives, avid of sensations, Jewish to the end. It was an
unpretentious institution--two corner houses knocked together--near the
east lung of London; supported mainly by the poor at a penny a week,
and scarcely recognized by the rich, so that paraplegia and vertigo
and rachitis and a dozen other hopeless diseases knocked hopelessly
at its narrow portals. But it was a model institution all the same,
and the patients lacked for nothing except freedom from pain. There
was even a miniature synagogue for their spiritual needs, with the
women’s compartment religiously railed off from the men’s, as if these
grotesque ruins of sex might still distract each other’s devotions.

Yet the rabbis knew human nature. The sprightly hydrocephalous
paralytic, Leah, had had the chair she inhabited carried down into
the men’s sitting-room to beguile the moments, and was smiling
fascinatingly upon the deaf blind man who had the Braille Bible at
his fingers’ ends, and read on as stolidly as St. Anthony. Mad Mo had
strolled vacuously into the ladies’ ward, and, indifferent to the
pretty, white-aproned Christian nurses, was loitering by the side of a
weird, hatchet-faced cripple, with a stiletto-shaped nose supporting
big spectacles. Like most of the patients, she was up and dressed. Only
a few of the white pallets ranged along the walls were occupied.

“Leah says she’d be quite happy if she could walk like you,” said Mad
Mo, in complimentary tones. “She always says Milly walks so beautiful.
She says you can walk the whole length of the garden.” Milly, huddled
in her chair, smiled miserably.

“You’re crying again, Rachel,” protested a dark-eyed, bright-faced
dwarf, in excellent English, as she touched her friend’s withered hand.
“You are in the blues again. Why, that page is all blistered.”

“No, I feel so nice,” said the sad-eyed Russian in her quaint, musical
accent, “You sall not tink I cry because I am not happy. When I read
sad tings--like my life--den only I am happy.”

The dwarf gave a short laugh that made her pendant earrings oscillate.
“I thought you were brooding over your love affairs,” she said.

“Me!” cried Rachel. “I lost too young my leg to be in love. No, it is
Psalm lxxxviii that I brood over. ‘I am afflicted and ready to die from
my youth up.’ Yes, I was only a girl when I had to go to Königsberg to
find a doctor to cut off my leg. ‘Lover and friend hast thou put far
from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.’”

Her face shone ecstatic.

“Hush!” whispered the dwarf, with a warning nudge and a slight nod
in the direction of a neighboring waterbed, on which a pale, rigid,
middle-aged woman lay with shut, sleepless eyes.

“Se cannot understand Englis,” said the Russian girl, proudly.

“Don’t be so sure. Look how the nurses here have picked up Yiddish!”

Rachel shook her head incredulously. “Sarah is a Polis’ woman,” she
said. “For years dey are in England and dey learn noding.”

“_Ich bin krank! Krank! Krank!_” suddenly moaned a shrivelled Polish
grandmother, as if to corroborate the girl’s contention. She was
squatting monkey-like on her bed, every now and again murmuring her
querulous burden of sickness, and jabbering at the nurses to shut all
the windows. Fresh air she objected to as vehemently as if it were
butter or some other heterodox dainty.


Hard upon her crooning came blood-curdling screams from the room
above, sounds that reminded the visitor he was not in a Barnum show,
that the monstrosities were genuine. Pretty Sister Margaret--not yet
indurated--thrilled with pity, as before her inner vision rose the
ashen, perspiring face of the palsied sufferer, who sat quivering all
the long day in an easy-chair, her swollen, jelly-like hands resting
on cotton-wool pads, an air pillow between her knees, her whole frame
racked at frequent intervals by fierce spasms of pain, her only
diversion faint, blurred reflections of episodes of the street in the
glass of a framed picture: yet morbidly suspicious of slow poison in
her drink, and cursed with an incurable vitality.

Meantime Sarah lay silent, bitter thoughts moving beneath her white,
impassive face like salt tides below a frozen surface. It was a strong,
stern face, telling of a present of pain and faintly hinting of a past
of prettiness. She seemed alone in the populated ward, and, indeed,
the world was bare for her. Most of her life had been spent in the
Warsaw Ghetto, where she was married at sixteen, nineteen years before.
Her only surviving son--a youth whom the English atmosphere had not
improved--had sailed away to trade with the Kafirs. And her husband had
not been to see her for a fortnight.

When the visitors began to arrive her torpor vanished. She eagerly
raised the half of her that was not paralyzed, partially sitting up.
But gradually expectation died out of her large gray eyes. There was a
buzz of talk in the room--the hydrocephalous girl was the gay centre of
a group; the Polish grandmother who cursed her grandchildren when they
didn’t come, and when they did, was denouncing their neglect of her to
their faces; everybody had somebody to kiss or quarrel with. One or
two acquaintances approached the bed-ridden wife, too, but she would
speak no word, too proud to ask after her husband, and wincing under
the significant glances occasionally cast in her direction. By and by
she had the red screen placed round her bed, which gave her artificial
walls and a quasi-privacy. Her husband would know where to look for her.

“Woe is me!” wailed her octogenarian countrywoman, rocking to and fro.
“What sin have I committed to get such grandchildren? You only come to
see if the old grandmother isn’t dead yet. So sick! So sick! So sick!”

Twilight filled the wards. The white beds looked ghostly in the
darkness. The last visitor departed. Sarah’s husband had not yet come.

“He is not well, Mrs. Kretznow,” Sister Margaret ventured to say in her
best Yiddish. “Or he is busy working. Work is not so slack any more.”
Alone in the institution she shared Sarah’s ignorance of the Kretznow
scandal. Talk of it died before her youth and sweetness.

“He would have written,” said Sarah, sternly. “He is wearied of me. I
have lain here a year. Job’s curse is on me.”

“Shall I to him,” Sister Margaret paused to excogitate the word,

“No. He hears me knocking at his heart.”

They had flashes of strange savage poetry, these crude yet complex
souls. Sister Margaret, who was still liable to be startled, murmured
feebly, “But----”

“Leave me in peace!” with a cry like that of a wounded animal.

The matron gently touched the novice’s arm, and drew her away. “I will
write to him,” she whispered.

Night fell, but sleep fell only for some. Sarah Kretznow tossed in
a hell of loneliness. Ah, surely her husband had not forgotten her;
surely she would not lie thus till death--that far-off death her strong
religious instinct would forbid her hastening! She had gone into the
Refuge to save him the constant sight of her helplessness and the cost
of her keep. Was she now to be cut off forever from the sight of his

The next day he came by special invitation. His face was sallow, rimmed
with swarthy hair; his under lip was sensuous. He hung his head, half
veiling the shifty eyes.

Sister Margaret ran to tell his wife. Sarah’s face sparkled.

“Put up the screen!” she murmured, and in its shelter drew her
husband’s head to her bosom and pressed her lips to his hair.

But he, surprised into indiscretion, murmured: “I thought thou wast

A beautiful light came into the gray eyes.

“Thy heart told thee right, Herzel, my life, I was dying for a sight of

“But the matron wrote to me pressingly,” he blurted out.

He felt her breast heave convulsively under his face; with her hands
she thrust him away.

“God’s fool that I am--I should have known; to-day is not visiting day.
They have compassion on me--they see my sorrows--it is public talk.”

His pulse seemed to stop. “They have talked to thee of me,” he faltered.

“I did not ask their pity. But they saw how I suffered--one cannot hide
one’s heart.”

“They have no right to talk,” he muttered, in sulky trepidation.

“They have every right,” she rejoined, sharply. “If thou hadst come to
see me even once--why hast thou not?”

“I--I--have been travelling in the country with cheap jewelry. The
tailoring is so slack.”

“Look me in the eyes! The law of Moses? No; it is a lie. God shall
forgive thee. Why hast thou not come?”

“I have told thee.”

“Tell that to the Sabbath fire-woman! Why hast thou not come? Is it so
very much to spare me an hour or two a week? If I could go out like
some of the patients, I would come to thee. But I have tired thee out

“No, no, Sarah,” he murmured uneasily.

“Then why----”

He was covered with shame and confusion. His face was turned away. “I
did not like to come,” he said desperately.

“Why not?” Crimson patches came and went on the white cheeks; her heart
beat madly.

“Surely thou canst understand?”

“Understand what? I speak of green and thou answerest of blue.”

“I answer as thou askest.”

“Thou answerest not at all.”

“No answer is also an answer,” he snarled, driven to bay. “Thou
understandest well enough. Thyself saidst it was public talk.”

“Ah-h-h!” in a stifled shriek of despair. Her intuition divined
everything. The shadowy, sinister suggestions she had so long beat back
by force of will took form and substance. Her head fell back on the
pillow, the eyes closed.

He stayed on, bending awkwardly over her.

“So sick! So sick! So sick!” moaned the grandmother.

“Thou sayest they have compassion on thee in their talk,” he murmured
at last, half deprecatingly, half resentfully. “Have they none on me?”

Her silence chilled him. “But thou hast compassion, Sarah,” he urged.
“Thou understandest.”

Presently she reopened her eyes.

“Thou art not gone?” she murmured.

“No; thou seest I am not tired of thee, Sarah, my life. Only----”

“Wilt thou wash my skin and not make me wet?” she interrupted bitterly.
“Go home. Go home to her!”

“I will not go home.”

“Then go under like Korah.”

He shuffled out. That night her lonely hell was made lonelier by the
opening of a peephole into paradise--a paradise of Adam and Eve and
forbidden fruit. For days she preserved a stony silence toward the
sympathy of the inmates. Of what avail words against the flames of
jealousy in which she writhed?

He lingered about the passage on the next visiting day, vaguely
remorseful; but she would not see him. So he went away sulkily
indignant, and his new housemate comforted him, and he came no more.

When you lie on your back all day and all night, you have time to
think, especially if you do not sleep. A situation presents itself in
many lights from dawn to dusk, and from dusk to dawn. One such light
flashed on the paradise and showed it to her as but the portico of
purgatory. Her husband would be damned in the next world, even as she
was in this. His soul would be cut off from among its people.

On this thought she brooded till it loomed horribly in her darkness.
And at last she dictated a letter to the matron, asking Herzel to come
and see her.

He obeyed, and stood shame-faced at her side, fidgeting with his peaked
cap. Her hard face softened momentarily at the sight of him, her bosom
heaved, suppressed sobs swelled her throat.


“Thou hast sent for me?” he murmured.

“Yes; perhaps thou didst again imagine I was on my deathbed?” she
replied, with bitter irony.

“It is not so, Sarah. I would have come of myself, only thou wouldst
not see my face.”

“I have seen it for twenty years--it is another’s turn now.”

He was silent.

“It is true all the same. I am on my deathbed.”

He started. A pang shot through his breast. He darted an agitated
glance at her face.

“Is it not so? In this bed I shall die. But God knows how many years I
shall lie in it.”

Her calm gave him an uncanny shudder.

“And till the Holy One, blessed be He, takes me, thou wilt live a daily

“I am not to blame. God has stricken me. I am a young man.”

“Thou art to blame!” Her eyes flashed fire. “Blasphemer! Life is sweet
to thee, yet perhaps thou wilt die first.”

His face grew livid.

“I am a young man,” he repeated tremulously.

“Thou dost forget what Rabbi Eliezer said: ‘Repent one day before thy
death’--that is to-day, for who knows?”

“What wouldst thou have me do?”

“Give up----”

“No, no,” he interrupted. “It is useless. I cannot. I am so lonely.”

“Give up,” she repeated inexorably, “thy wife.”

“What sayest thou? My wife! But she is not my wife. Thou art my wife.”

“Even so. Give me up. Give me Gett [divorce].”

His breath failed, his heart thumped at the suggestion.

“Give thee Gett!” he whispered.

“Yes. Why didst thou not send me a bill of divorcement when I left thy
home for this?”

He averted his face. “I thought of it,” he stammered. “And then----”

“And then?” He seemed to see a sardonic glitter in the gray eyes.

“I--I was afraid.”

“Afraid!” She laughed in grim mirthlessness. “Afraid of a bed-ridden

“I was afraid it would make thee unhappy.” The sardonic gleam melted
into softness, then became more terrible than before.

“And so thou hast made me happy instead!”

“Stab me not more than I merit. I did not think people would be cruel
enough to tell thee.”

“Thine own lips told me.”

“Nay, by my soul,” he cried, startled.

“Thine eyes told me, then.”

“I feared so,” he said, turning them away. “When she--came into my
house, I--I dared not go to see thee--that was why I did not come,
though I always meant to, Sarah, my life. I feared to look thee in the
eyes. I foresaw they would read the secret in mine--so I was afraid.”

“Afraid!” she repeated, bitterly. “Afraid I would scratch them out!
Nay, they are good eyes. Have they not seen my heart? For twenty years
they have been my light. Those eyes and mine have seen our children

Spasmodic sobs came thickly now. Swallowing them down, she said: “And
she--did she not ask thee to give me Gett?”

“Nay; she was willing to go without. She said thou wast as one
dead--look not thus at me. It is the will of God. It was for thy sake,
too, Sarah, that she did not become my wife by law. She, too, would
have spared thee the knowledge of her.”

“Yes, ye have both tender hearts! She is a mother in Israel, and thou
art a spark of our father Abraham.”

“Thou dost not believe what I say?”

“I can disbelieve it and still remain a Jewess.” Then, satire
boiling over into passion, she cried, vehemently: “We are threshing
empty ears. Thinkst thou I am not aware of the judgments--I, the
granddaughter of Reb Shloumi? Thinkst thou I am ignorant thou couldst
not obtain a Gett against me--me, who have borne thee children,
who have wrought no evil? I speak not of the Beth-Din, for in this
impious country they are loath to follow the judgments, and from the
English Beth-Din thou wouldst find it impossible to obtain the Gett
in any case, even though thou didst not marry me in this country,
nor according to its laws. I speak of our own Rabbonim--thou knowest
even the Maggid would not give thee Gett merely because thy wife is
bed-ridden. That--that is what thou wast afraid of.”

“But if thou art willing,” he replied, eagerly, ignoring her scornful

His readiness to accept the sacrifice was salt upon her wounds.

“Thou deservest I should let thee burn in the lowest Gehenna,” she

“The Almighty is more merciful than thou,” he answered. “It is He that
hath ordained it is not good for man to live alone; and yet men shun
me--people talk--and she--she may leave me to my loneliness again.”
His voice faltered with self-pity. “Here thou hast friends, nurses,
visitors. I--I have nothing. True, thou didst bear me children, but
they withered as by the evil eye. My only son is across the ocean; he
hath no love for me or you.”

The recital of their common griefs softened her toward him.

“Go,” she whispered. “Go and send me the Gett. Go to the Maggid; he
knew my grandfather. He is the man to arrange it for thee with his
friends. Tell him it is my wish.”

“God shall reward thee. How can I thank thee for giving thy consent?”

“What else have I to give thee, my Herzel, I, who eat the bread of
strangers? Truly says the proverb: ‘When one begs of a beggar, the Herr
God laughs!’”

“I will send thee the Gett as soon as possible.”


“Thou art right, I am a thorn in thine eye. Pluck me out quickly.”

“Thou wilt not refuse the Gett when it comes?” he replied,

“Is it not a wife’s duty to submit? Nay, have no fear. Thou shalt have
no difficulty in serving the Gett upon me. I will not throw it in the
messenger’s face. And thou wilt marry her?”

“Assuredly. People will no longer talk. And she must bide with me. It
is my one desire.”

“It is mine likewise. Thou must atone and save thy soul.”

He lingered uncertainly.

“And thy dowry?” he said at last. “Thou wilt not make claim for

“Be easy--I scarce know where my cesubah [marriage certificate] is.
What need have I of money? As thou sayest, I have all I want. I do not
even desire to purchase a grave--lying already so long in a charity
grave. The bitterness is over.”

He shivered. “Thou art very good to me,” he said. “Good-by.”

He stooped down; she drew the bedclothes frenziedly over her face.

“Kiss me not!”

“Good-by, then,” he stammered. “God be good to thee!” He moved away.

“Herzel!” She had uncovered her face with a despairing cry. He slouched
back toward her, perturbed, dreading she would retract.

“Do not send it--bring it thyself. Let me take it from thy hand.”

A lump rose in his throat. “I will bring it,” he said, brokenly.

The long days of pain grew longer; the summer was coming, harbingered
by sunny days, that flooded the wards with golden mockery. The evening
Herzel brought the Gett, Sarah could have read every word on the
parchment plainly if her eyes had not been blinded by tears.

She put out her hand toward her husband, groping for the document
he bore. He placed it in her burning palm. The fingers closed
automatically upon it, then relaxed, and the paper fluttered to the
floor. But Sarah was no longer a wife.

Herzel was glad to hide his burning face by stooping for the fallen
bill of divorcement. He was long picking it up. When his eyes met hers
again, she had propped herself up in her bed. Two big round tears
trickled down her cheeks, but she received the parchment calmly, and
thrust it into her bosom.

“Let it lie there,” she said stonily, “there, where thy head hath lain.
Blessed be the true Judge!”

“Thou art not angry with me, Sarah?”

“Why should I be angry? She was right--I am but a dead woman. Only no
one may say Kaddish for me--no one may pray for the repose of my soul.
I am not angry, Herzel. A wife should light the Sabbath candles, and
throw in the fire the morsel of dough. But thy house was desolate;
there was none to do these things. Here I have all I need. Now thou
wilt be happy, too.”

“Thou hast been a good wife, Sarah,” he murmured, touched.

“Recall not the past, we are strangers now,” she said, with recurrent

“But I may come and see thee--sometimes?” He had stirrings of remorse
as the moment of final parting came.

“Wouldst thou reopen my wounds?”

“Farewell, then.”

He put out his hand timidly. She seized it and held it passionately.

“Yes, yes, Herzel! Do not leave me! Come and see me here--as a friend,
an acquaintance, a man I used to know. The others are thoughtless--they
forget me--I shall lie here--perhaps the Angel of Death will forget me,
too.” Her grasp tightened till it hurt him acutely.

“Yes, I will come--I will come often,” he said, with a sob of physical

Her clasp loosened. She dropped his hand.

“But not till thou art married,” she said.

“Be it so.”

“Of course, thou must have a ‘still wedding.’ The English Synagogue
will not marry thee.”

“The Maggid will marry me.”

“Thou wilt show me her cesubah when thou comest next?”

“Yes, I will borrow it of her.”

A week passed. He brought the marriage certificate.

Outwardly she was calm. She glanced through it.

“God be thanked!” she said, and handed it back.

They chatted of indifferent things, of the doings of the neighbors.
When he was going she said: “Thou wilt come again?”

“Yes, I will come again.”

“Thou art so good to spend thy time on me thus. But thy wife. Will she
not be jealous?”

He stared, bewildered by her strange, eery moments.

“Jealous of thee!” he murmured.

She took it in its contemptuous sense, and her white lips twitched. But
she only said: “Is she aware thou hast come here?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Do I know? I have not told her.”

“Tell her.”

“As thou wishest.”

There was a pause. Presently the woman spoke.

“Wilt thou not bring her to see me? Then she will know that thou hast
no love left for me.”

He flinched as at a stab. After a painful moment he said, “Art thou in

“I am no marriage jester. Bring her to me. Will she not come to see an
invalid? It is a Mitzvah [good deed] to visit the sick. It will wipe
out her trespass.”

“She shall come.”

She came. Sarah stared at her for an instant with poignant curiosity;
then her eyelids drooped to shut out the dazzle of her youth and
freshness. Herzel’s wife moved awkwardly and sheepishly. But she was
beautiful; a buxom, comely country girl from a Russian village, with a
swelling bust and a cheek rosy with health and confusion.

Sarah’s breast was racked by a thousand needles; but she found breath
at last.

“God bless--thee, Mrs.--Kretznow,” she said gaspingly. She took the
girl’s hand. “How good thou art to come and see a sick creature!”

“My husband willed it,” the new wife said, in clumsy deprecation. She
had a simple, stupid air that did not seem wholly due to the constraint
of the strange situation.

“Thou wast right to obey. Be good to him, my child. For three years he
waited on me, when I lay helpless. He has suffered much. Be good to

With an impulsive movement she drew the girl’s head down to her and
kissed her on the lips. Then, with an anguished cry of “Leave me for
to-day!” she jerked the blanket over her face and burst into tears. She
heard the couple move hesitatingly away. The girl’s beauty shone on her
through the opaque coverings.

“O God!” she wailed, “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, let me die now!
For the merits of the patriarchs take me soon, take me soon!”

Her vain, passionate prayer, muffled by the bedclothes, was wholly
drowned by ear-piercing shrieks from the ward above--screams of agony
mingled with half-articulate accusations of attempted poisoning--the
familiar paroxysm of the palsied woman who clung to life.

The thrill passed again through Sister Margaret. She uplifted her
sweet, humid eyes.

“Ah, Christ!” she whispered, “if I could die for her!”





A. CONAN DOYLE, whose father was an artist, was born in Edinburgh, in
1859. He began to write at the early age of seventeen, while studying
medicine. He wrote some sixty short stories in the ten years before
he became known through his widely-read “Sherlock Holmes” tales, and
he has since given to the reading world such sustained efforts as
“The White Company,” “Micah Clarke,” “The Refugees,” and “The Great
Shadow.” Conan Doyle has given up the practice of medicine, in order
to devote himself to literature exclusively. He is a close student of
old romances, a great admirer of Scott and Fenimore Cooper, and has
lectured on George Meredith, whom he places at the head of contemporary
novel writers.

The Arctic explorer, R. E. PEARY, C. E., U. S. N., was born in
Pennsylvania, forty years ago. His family having removed to Maine in
his childhood, he lived there till after reaching manhood. He was
graduated at Bowdoin College, and, eight years ago, was selected by
competitive examination to be one of the civil engineers of the United
States Navy, with the same rank and pay as that of lieutenant. But he
is improperly called “Lieutenant” in the press. He has written for
magazines, geographical journals, and newspapers. His report on his
experiences in Nicaragua as a civil engineer appeared in the “National
Geographical Magazine.” His report on his reconnoissance of the
Greenland inland ice in 1886, and especially his reports and articles
on the North Greenland Expedition, have made him widely known. His book
on this last expedition was nearly completed when he again started on
another Greenland expedition a few months ago.

CAMILLE FLAMMARION, the French astronomer, was born in 1842. He
received his education in ecclesiastical seminaries; first at Langres
and afterwards in Paris. He was a student in the Imperial Observatory
from 1858 till 1862, when he became editor of the “Cosmos.” In 1865 he
was made scientific editor of “Siècle.” He began about this time to
lecture on astronomy, and a few years later his giving in his adhesion
to spiritualism brought him great notoriety. In 1868 he made a number
of balloon ascents, in order to study the condition of atmosphere
at high altitudes, but he is above all an astronomer. He is called
in France a “_vulgarisateur_” of astronomy, which means that he has
presented to the people, in a picturesque and easily comprehended
manner, the science of astronomy. His notable works are: “The Imaginary
World and the Real;” “Celestial Marvels;” “God in Nature;” “History
of Heaven;” “Scientific Contemplations;” “Aerial Voyages;” “The
Atmosphere;” “History of this Planet;” and “The Worlds of Heaven.”

F. HOPKINSON SMITH was born in Baltimore, Md., October 23, 1838. By
profession Mr. Smith is a civil engineer, and he has built a number of
public edifices, many under contract with the United States. It was
Mr. Smith who built the Race Rock Lighthouse, off New London Harbor,
in Long Island Sound, between 1871 and 1877. In 1879 he built the
Block Island breakwater. Mr. Smith has achieved success as a writer
and lecturer. His best known water colors are “In the Darkling Wood”
(1876); “Pegotty on the Harlem” (1881); “Under the Towers, Brooklyn
Bridge” (1883); “In the North Woods” (1884); and “A January Thaw”
(1887). Mr. Smith has also illustrated his own books, the books of
others, and many magazine articles. Mr. Smith’s well-read books are:
“Col. Carter of Cartersville;” “A White Umbrella in Mexico;” “Well-worn
Roads of Spain, Holland, and Italy”; “Old Lines in New Black and
White;” “A Day at Laguerre’s, and Other Days;” and “The Tile Club.”


[Illustration: AGE 4.]

[Illustration: AGE 14.]

[Illustration: AGE 22.]

[Illustration: AGE 28.]


R. E. PEARY, C. E., U. S. N.

[Illustration: AGE 3.]

[Illustration: AGE 22. 1875.]

[Illustration: AGE 31. 1884.]

[Illustration: AGE 33. 1886.]

[Illustration: AGE 36. 1889.]


[Illustration: AGE 18.]

[Illustration: AGE 22.]

[Illustration: TO-DAY.]


[Illustration: AGE 17.]

[Illustration: AGE 25.]

[Illustration: AGE 45.]

[Illustration: TO-DAY.]



In his eulogium upon President Garfield, Mr. Blaine touched with
impressive emphasis upon the rapidity with which honors came to him.
Within six years after Williams College had sent Garfield forth
equipped, “he was successively president of a college, State Senator
of Ohio, Major-General of the Army of the United States, and a
Representative-elect to the national Congress. A combination of honors
so varied, so elevated, within a period so brief and to a man so young,
is without precedent or parallel in the history of the country.”

Those whose privilege it was to hear that matchless eulogy will not
forget the meaning glance with which Mr. Blaine, lifting his eyes from
his manuscript, swept that splendid company before him, the President
and his Cabinet, the Justices of the Supreme Court, in their silken
robes, the deliberate Senate and impetuous House, and the remaining
distinguished heroes of the war, in brilliant uniform, as though saying
to them, “You at least can understand how wonderful a thing it is to so
speedily gain such honors as these.”

Yet before the echoes of this eulogy had ceased, a political career had
been begun which was to be more marvellous in its successes and the
celerity of its successive achievements than that of Garfield. Within
ten years after Mr. Blaine pronounced this eulogy, a man then unknown
beyond the city in which he lived had been chosen Governor of New York
by a plurality unparalleled in the history of any State; had stepped
from that office before its term was ended to the chair of the Chief
Executive of the nation, and had again been elected to the presidency;
and elected the second time while a private citizen--an unmatched
political honor.

The swiftly succeeding successes of Garfield are no longer unparalleled
and unprecedented; that distinction is now Grover Cleveland’s. Carrying
a torch as a private in evening campaign processions in 1880, he was to
be four years later the successful presidential candidate of his party.
He had gained no distinction for subtle or extraordinary strategy;
he had not sat as a member in a legislative hall; his name had been
associated with no important measure conceived and executed for public
good; not of social inclination, not greatly learned, possessing
no wide acquaintance, and having somewhat limited experience, he,
nevertheless, revealed himself to the American people within the short
space of two years as a man of extraordinary personal force, the
quality of which is a puzzling mystery, which men of intellectual power
seem to find a fascination in trying to analyze.

What is this mysterious and impressive quality? We may tell its
manifestations; its influence has made history.

“What is it that is so impressive and overwhelming about your friend
Governor Cleveland?” said a distinguished politician to the late Daniel
Manning, at a time when Mr. Manning was with great skill directing the
politics that had Cleveland’s first presidential nomination in view.

“I do not know what it is, but I know that it is there,” was Mr.
Manning’s reply.

“My political intuitions are infallible,” said Governor Tilden, after a
single interview with Mr. Cleveland; “and I am of opinion that this man
is of somewhat coarse mental fibre and disposition, but of great force
and stubbornly honest in his convictions.”

“His name should be Petros,” Mr. Blaine once said of Mr. Cleveland,
“for when he has once formed opinions he stands upon them with the
firmness of a granite foundation.”

It would be possible to quote many similar opinions uttered by able
men who have had opportunity to see and study Mr. Cleveland. Some of
these opinions do not wholly compliment Cleveland’s mental powers. But
all of the opinions, whether uttered by political friends or enemies,
have this in common: they express amazement, not so much at the swift
successes of his career, as for that mystic personal quality which has
made him able to hold the politicians of his party in the hollow of
his hand, to defy political conventionalities, to break down machines,
and, above all, to gain the confidence of the American people. This
personal quality, which has given him these victories, he seems to have
furnished no hint of in his childhood or youth. Before he came to his
majority he must have led an unimpressive life, for those who knew him
in those early days have no anecdote to tell of him which suggests that
anything he did or said was of uncommon quality.


The Buffalo bar at that time was a brilliant one. The leaders of it
were men of great ambition. It would have been impossible for a young
man, and especially for a young Democrat, to have gained influence with
those men had there not been even then some personal quality which won
their respect; and Mr. Cleveland gained a great measure of respect
while he was still a very young man, and he seems to have been able to
form close and permanent intimacies with young men whose advantage in
beginning life had been much greater than his. He passed swiftly from
the ranks of the poor law-student to the companionship of such men.

When young Bissell, fresh from his successful career at Yale College,
blessed with some wealth, and possessing all the advantages which
gentle social relations give, returned to Buffalo from his college
life, one of his closest intimacies was developed with Grover
Cleveland. Mr. Folsom, one of the brightest men at the Buffalo bar,
must have been early impressed by this quality of Cleveland’s, for he
took the young man into partnership, and before Cleveland was thirty
years of age he had established, with men of intellectual power, a
standing not due to unusual mental gifts, but to this same personal
quality which has made him conspicuous above other Americans for the
past twelve years.

In 1884, after Mr. Cleveland’s nomination for the presidency, President
Arthur was asked if he knew the man whom the Democratic party had

“I know him slightly, and have heard much of him,” was the President’s
reply. “I know that he is a good companion among the rather worldly men
at the Buffalo bar, or was when he was there; but I also know this of
him: he is a man of splendid moral fibre, and I have been told that his
fidelity to his convictions and professional duties is regarded by his
associates at the Buffalo bar as something wonderful. I do not think
that he is a man of strong, original mind, but he is the faithfullest
man to what he believes to be right and his duty that his party has--at
least in New York State.”

Roscoe Conkling, not long after Mr. Cleveland’s nomination, was asked
if he knew the Democratic candidate, and Mr. Conkling replied, with
more of emphasis than he was accustomed to employ in speaking of any
public man at that time:

“I do not know much about Mr. Cleveland as a politician, but my
impression is that he is no politician, as the word is commonly
understood. But I do know this about him. As a lawyer he prepares his
cases well, as thoroughly, perhaps, as any man whom I have known in my

Mr. Manning said, after he had retired from Mr. Cleveland’s cabinet:

“Whatever may be said of the President as to his relations with the
politicians, this much must be said, that he has never done anything
since he has been in the White House for any selfish, personal motive,
and that he is the most conscientious man in his adherence to what he
believes to be his duty, and in his attempts to make out his duty when
he is not entirely clear about it, that I have ever seen; and I do not
believe any President has ever exceeded him in these respects.”

One of the greater powers in one of the greatest railway systems of the
United States, not long ago meeting a company of friends at a private
dinner in the Union League Club, sat for some time listening to the
very interesting and acute analyses of Cleveland which were made by
many brilliant men who were in that party.

This railway prince, for that word justly describes him, at last said:

“I do not think any of you has touched upon what is, after all, the
quality which has made Mr. Cleveland what he is in American politics.
I had some reason to know wherein his power lies, at a time when he
probably had no other thought of his future than the expectation of
earning a competence at the bar. It so happened that I was associated
with certain litigations in which Mr. Cleveland was employed as
counsel. He was not employed either for or against the interests which
I represented, for they were merely incidental to these suits. I was
amazed, after a little experience with him, to see the way in which
he worked. I thought I had seen hard work and patient fidelity, but
I never saw a lawyer so patient and so faithful to his clients as
Cleveland was. I remember speaking about it to an eminent lawyer who
has since become a judge, and he told me that Grover Cleveland was the
most conscientious man in his relations with his clients that he had
ever met. I spoke of it to somebody else, and that man told me that
Cleveland had once actually lost a case by over-conscientiousness and
too thorough preparation. He had examined his witnesses so persistently
and exhaustively in private, and had pursued the case in all its
details with such supreme drudgery, that when his witnesses went upon
the stand their testimony seemed to the jury to be almost parrot-like;
to be so glib, so perfectly consistent, that it seemed as though there
must be a weakness in the case, and that such perfection must have
come from rehearsals. For that reason the jury decided against him,
although he won the case afterwards on appeal.

“Now, I am satisfied that it is just this quality in that man which
made it possible for him, in Buffalo, where the Republican party was
predominant, to gain minor political victories, and it certainly was
that which brought to him such Republican support as enabled him to
carry the city in a mayoralty election. We have been seeing just
this thing manifested throughout the country since Cleveland became
prominent. There probably never was a President since Washington who
so completely gained the confidence of a great element in the opposing
party as Mr. Cleveland has done; and you can’t explain it in any other
way than that just as in Buffalo, in his professional struggles, or
in political contests, he was believed to be a faithful man, rigid
and true in his convictions; so the opinion has spread throughout
the United States, and is entertained by a great many members of the
opposing political party, that here is a man who is absolutely true
to his own convictions and who is faithful to his responsibilities as
he understands them. Now, I have seen enough of American politics to
know that while our people admire talent, and sometimes go into spasms
of enthusiasm over men who have emotional qualities which appeal to
the masses, and which make them personally popular, yet, after all,
there is an abiding faith in sincerity, fidelity, and character which
compels the American masses to choose the man who has these qualities
rather than that one who has brilliant talents; and I think there is
no doubt that it was a latent suspicion that Mr. Blaine did not always
possess that higher character, while endowed with far more brilliant
genius than Mr. Cleveland possesses, which caused the people to choose
Cleveland rather than Blaine in 1884.”

We had some indication that this railway prince was correct in his
estimate, at a time during the past summer when Mr. Cleveland was in
some peril of physical ailment. The greatest of American advocates,
himself an ardent Republican, a man whom his party would be delighted
to honor if he would permit it, having heard of Mr. Cleveland’s
illness, said to a friend:

“I am more deeply interested in these reports about Mr. Cleveland’s
health than I can tell you. I have every confidence in Mr. Cleveland’s
integrity of purpose, and in the sincerity of his desire to lift these
financial questions above the range of partisanship, and it would be
a terrible misfortune for this country if he were to be disabled by
illness at this time.”

This from a man who did not vote for Cleveland, who had never met
him more than once or twice, but who had intuitively recognized
that quality which is Cleveland’s power. Again, another man, one of
preëminent genius in the world of finance, a very strong Republican,
having also heard that Mr. Cleveland was seriously ill, went to a
friend who had intimacy with the President, and said:

“I wish you would find out for me whether it is true that the
President is in danger. I have heard that it is so, and if it is, it
is the blackest cloud upon our horizon to-day. I did not vote for
Mr. Cleveland, for I do not believe in some of the principles of his
party, and I do not agree with him in some of his views. Yet if he had
been the candidate of my party I would gladly have voted for him, for
I think he is the most conscientious man I ever knew. I have perfect
faith in his fidelity to his sense of duty, and I have never seen an
action of his as President which I thought was inspired simply by a
desire for partisan advantage. I think he is the faithfullest public
man that we have had since Lincoln in his adherence to his convictions.”

There is only one word that will give a name to this quality that
distinguishes Mr. Cleveland, and that is, CHARACTER--that quality which
Emerson describes as a reserve force which acts directly and without
means, whose essence, with Mr. Cleveland, is the courage of truth.

Not long ago a group of notable men were discussing Cleveland as a
politician, and they seemed to be agreed that in the sense in which the
word “politician” is customarily used he is not a man of remarkable
ability, and there were anecdotes told to justify such opinion as that.
His nomination for governor was the result of as purely political
manipulation as New York State has ever seen, but he had no part in it.
Those who were sincerely urging his nomination permitted him to take
no part in these politics, for they had learned that he was possessed
of two weaknesses as a politician, which, unless he were restrained,
would be likely to defeat their plans: one of them the political fault
of honesty. It was displayed in Buffalo once, when, it being proposed
to nominate him for mayor, and the ticket agreed upon having been shown
to him, he declared, with expressions more emphatic than pious, that he
would not permit his name to go on the ticket upon which was the name
of a certain man whom he believed to be unworthy, although this man had
great political influence.

Another weakness, from the politicians’ point of view, is a seeming
incapacity to understand the need of organization in political work. It
is not only incapacity to understand the need, but also ignorance of
the way in which organization can be effected. It has been revealed in
all of Mr. Cleveland’s campaigns. After his election as Governor of New
York by a plurality of nearly two hundred thousand, his availability as
a presidential candidate was recognized, and, later, was strengthened
by the assurance that his messages while Mayor of Buffalo had brought
him the respect and confidence of the independent element; yet
Mr. Cleveland’s friends very soon discovered that if they were to
bring about his nomination for President, it must be done through
organization of which he was either ignorant or to which he would be
indifferent. So Mr. Cleveland had almost no part in that splendid game
of 1884. He knew almost nothing of those things which were being done
for him. Mr. Manning and the others had taken him up at first because
of his availability; but Mr. Manning soon discovered that a man might
be available and still be as ignorant of the science of politics, as
understood by those who make it a professional pursuit, as a child.

After Mr. Cleveland became President, he sometimes drove his friends
almost to distraction by his seeming incapacity to understand movements
in the game of politics, which his friends suggested to him. A number
of them went to him some time near the middle of his term as President,
to set forth the political condition in New York State. They were
men of long training and considerable achievement in politics. They
had made successes both in New York City and New York State. They
spoke to him with freedom--some of them with bluntness. They said
to Mr. Cleveland that the then Governor of New York, Mr. Hill, was
constructing with unusual cunning and consummate ability a political
machine which might not be friendly, and was perhaps likely to be
actively hostile, to him; and then, with much of detail, they showed
Mr. Cleveland how he could break down such organization, utterly
scatter it, and create and maintain in New York State one upon which
he could rely with serenity. The merest tyro in politics can easily
understand with what chagrin and astonishment these friends departed
from his presence, because he did not seem to have been impressed in
the slightest by their assertion that he was in political danger in New
York State, and did not appear to comprehend the methods which they
suggested by which the danger could be overcome.

Then again, in the spring and summer of 1892, when it seemed for a time
as though the tide was setting against his nomination, when it was
certain that the most powerful influence ever arrayed against a leading
candidate for a presidential nomination had been secured, and one
which, according to all precedent, would be successful, Mr. Cleveland
astonished and almost vexed those friends of his who were working
in and out of season to bring about his nomination, by professing
indifference to the opposition of the New York State delegation, and
of some of the most powerful politicians in the Democratic party. He
had been at the Victoria Hotel one evening, listening in an almost
perfunctory way to the plaints and warnings of his friends. He had no
suggestions to offer, no advice to give. A stranger seeing him there
would have thought that he was not one of that company holding this
consultation, but perhaps a friend, there by chance, whose presence was
not offensive, and was therefore tolerated.

At last, complaining of the warmth of the evening, he proposed a
stroll; then, taking two friends by their arms, he walked slowly up
Fifth Avenue, and astonished them by saying:

“These things which you have told me do not alarm me at all. They can
do their worst, and yet I shall be nominated in spite of them.”

And, later on, after his prediction was justified, and his name in
the Chicago Convention had triumphed over all political precedent,
and conquered the most powerful and perfect opposition ever arrayed
against a candidate, while there was still grumbling and bitter
feeling and revengeful threats of New York State, he again amazed
these friends by saying to them, when they proposed a certain form of
counter-organization to prevent treachery, “No, no, do not do it. Let
them do their worst; I can be elected without New York.”

At a time when the financial clouds were gathering last spring, a
little company of politicians, who were personal friends as well,
called upon Mr. Cleveland by appointment, and were received in that
upper chamber through which for many days a persistent procession
filed before the President asking for office. Mr. Cleveland planted
himself firmly for an instant before each supplicant, so firmly that it
almost seemed to these friends of his standing a little way off that
his determination to be persuaded by no appeal to emotion, gratitude,
friendship, or by any other thing than fitness revealed itself even in
the rigidness of the muscles of his body. Patiently listening to each
request and making perfunctory response, the President then received
the next and then the next, and no man of all that number who thus met
him knew whether his plea had met with favor or refusal. At last the
throng was gone, the doors were closed, and there came to the face of
the President a strange, hard look, tinged with something of surprise,
and turning to his friends who remained he threw himself wearily
into his chair and was silent for a moment. When he spoke there was
something of sadness, something of reproach, in his tone and manner,
and he said:

“You have seen a picture which I see every day, and you may now know
why it is that my ears must be deaf to such appeals; why I scarcely
hear the words they speak; why I almost fear that with most men who
seek with great persistence political office the sense of truth is apt
to be blunted, and why, therefore, it is imperative for me to be always
suspicious.” Then the President added, with something of indignation:

“But how any man who is a good citizen can come to me now and plead
for office, when there is impending financial calamity, I cannot
understand. Politics! Is it possible that the politicians do not see
that the best as well as the imperative politics now is that which will
bring the country back to financial prosperity?”

Some hours later, one of that company had another glimpse of the
President. Washington was still for the night. The White House was
dark, excepting for a light that burned in the room where the President
works. At his desk sat the man who had said in the morning that his
ears were deaf to the office-seekers’ appeals, and yet with patient
drudgery he was now examining the indorsements and recommendations of
the different applicants, as he had been doing for hours. Then, taking
up his pen, he began to write. The pen seemed scarcely ever to stop,
and, watching through the partly opened door that led into an outer
office, the President’s friend was reminded by it of something which
he had read or heard. “Where have I heard or seen something which that
sight brings to my memory?” he asked himself. The impression remained
with him after he left Washington, until at last, taking down from his
library shelf a biography, he read this passage:

“Since we sat down I have been watching a hand which I see behind the
window of that room across the street. It fascinates my eye; it never
stops. Page after page is finished and put upon a heap of manuscript,
and still the hand goes on unwearied, and so it will be till candles
are brought, and God knows how long after that. It is the same every
night. I well know what hand it is--’tis Walter Scott’s.”

Cleveland is not, however, indifferent to political organization. He
believes in it; he supports it. That was revealed at the conference
which he held in October, 1892, in the Victoria Hotel, with some of
the leaders of what is called the Democratic machine in New York. Some
time there will be a revelation of what was said and done there in
all detail, and it will furnish important light upon Mr. Cleveland’s
character as well as his more purely political capacity. This much
is known: that he did there and with emphasis maintain the right and
duty of party men to form associations, to submit to discipline, and
to act by common agreement--in other words, to use a colloquialism,
he “recognized the machine.” But he also made one magnificent
manifestation of that higher quality of his which is his character,
for when there was something like threatening intimation made by one
of those present, Mr. Cleveland declared that rather than do the thing
that was asked of him he would withdraw from the ticket, and the
country would know why he had withdrawn; and, after he said that, he
held those men who had dared to make such intimation of threat subdued
and supple in the hollow of his fist, from which condition they have
not strayed from that day to this.

He would have been a failure in the House of Representatives as
a parliamentary leader, probably a failure as a debater. The
parliamentary leader is for his party always, right or wrong, and
Mr. Cleveland could never have assumed command incurring such
responsibilities as that. His intellectual processes are not quick
enough for the give and take of debate. Blaine or Garfield, Randall
or Thurman, would have overmatched him. Probably no member of
either House has more greatly interested him than Mr. Reed, who in
all respects, excepting personal force, differs from him. Each has
expressed something of regard for the personal qualities of the other,
and there has come to light a keen interest in Mr. Cleveland’s eyes
as friends have described Reed, the parliamentary leader and debater,
to him. He has never seen Reed standing in the aisle just beyond his
desk, a throng of associates with hot, eager faces surrounding him, he
towering above them, his head thrust slightly forward and a little to
one side, a half-whimsical, half-defiant curl upon his lips, and the
sneer of the coming sarcasm already betrayed by suggestive swelling
of his nostrils; or else with the placid, serene, and tantalizing
composure with which he prepares to hurl an epigram, already in his
mind, at his antagonists. Nor has Mr. Cleveland seen that readiness
to deliver almost tiger-like ferocity of attack if it be needed. The
black flag--no quarter asked or given--hoisted when necessary, that
furious, all-controlling, unconquerable determination to win, to beat
down opposition at all hazards and any cost except outright dishonor,
straining even a little toward unfair advantage when that and nothing
else will win, and expecting to meet unfairness in return; bent on
winning--somehow, anyhow, but winning--Mr. Cleveland has never seen
such impressive spectacle as Reed makes when at his finest as the
champion of his party in parliamentary battle and debate. But they have
told him of these things, and he has seemed not to tire, but to delight
to hear them.

He could not do that. He would stand by a principle or fall with it.
Reed might beat him down in a turbulent body like the House, but he
would go down like Galileo, crying, “But the world DOES move!”

Mr. Cleveland has himself recognized this intellectual defect, if it be
one, for last spring, when a company of New York friends were speaking
to him about the financial condition, he said, with great earnestness,
“I do not quite see where I am; I must have time;” and then added a
favorite expression of his, “My head is in a bag now; I cannot see
clearly.” But these men, when they heard him say this, realized that
when he did see clearly, as he believed, then his convictions would
become established, and it would almost be as easy to move the earth
from its axis as to shift him from them.

When he met his first cabinet, there were gathered around the table
two men of extraordinary brilliancy of intellect, another of splendid
repute and vast experience, and all of them were men of perhaps finer
intellectual quality, and certainly had many advantages, both natural
and acquired, which he did not possess. Yet Secretary Whitney, speaking
of this meeting to an old college friend of his, some time after, said,
“When we met the President in the cabinet room, we had not been there
ten minutes before we realized that ‘Where MacGregor sat, there was the
head of the table.’” Whitney himself was the only member of the cabinet
who was younger than Cleveland, and three members of it had been active
in public life before Cleveland was admitted to the bar.

After Mr. Cleveland had been elected to the presidency the second time,
but before his inauguration, he spent an evening with a gentleman whose
political experience began with the formation of the Republican party.
They were together in Mr. Cleveland’s library in New York, until long
past midnight. The conversation touched upon public men and political
history, and it was then revealed to his visitor that Mr. Cleveland
had that order of intellect which absorbs not from books but from
personal contact with men of experience. It was evident that he had
learned far more of public men than he was believed to know, and he had
gleaned this information by persistent inquiry. It was made plain that
he got such grasp of public questions as he possessed, by searching
investigation, not of books, but of men’s minds and experience. Late
that night Mr. Cleveland asked his visitor about Lincoln, being anxious
to know everything that this man could tell him about the Republican
party’s first President; and when Mr. Cleveland put a certain question
to his friend, then it was made plain that Lincoln’s career had been
deeply studied by Mr. Cleveland, and that he anxiously sought to
learn the secret of his mastery of men and direction of events. That
question was, “How was Mr. Lincoln able to overcome the politicians, to
defeat conspiracies, to control a half-rebellious and not personally
loyal cabinet, and to maintain himself in spite of attack, open and
insidious?” And the visitor, who knew Lincoln well, said in reply,
“Mr. Cleveland, Lincoln did this because he weighed every act by his
judgment of what the estimation of the plain people of the country
would be about it. He reached over the heads of the politicians,
and out to that great body of American citizens whom he called ‘the
plain people.’ He believed that the plain people were year in and out
accurate in their judgments, and he believed that the man who had their
confidence could face the politicians with contempt even, because he
was sure to be right.”

For some moments Mr. Cleveland said nothing, and then, with great
impressiveness and something of serenity, he said, “I have long seen
that. The public man cannot go astray who follows the plain people, nor
can the politician err who respects their impulses.” In this single
remark we have probably the secret revealed of the influence which
controls Mr. Cleveland.

It has been said of Mr. Cleveland that Republicans have supported him
because he is a better man than his party, but the assertion seems a
flippant and thoughtless one. Mr. Cleveland is no better than the best
ideals of the Democratic party, although he is immeasurably better than
the false and abhorrent influences and elements which have been pleased
to associate themselves with that party. At its best the Democratic
party is a splendid force. Mr. Cleveland is esteemed better than his
party by some Republicans, because his party has not always been true
to its principles. But he is a true Democrat.



Two queens travel from the Paddington station of the Great Western
Railway in London to their palatial homes--the Queen of England,
and the Queen of Song. If you ask at Paddington for directions to
Craig-y-Nos Castle, the porters will inform you with not less alacrity
than they would have shown had you inquired the way to Windsor. And
you observe they delight in the duty. They make you as comfortable
as possible for your two-hundred-mile journey. You depart with the
circumstance of an ambassador. Had you been accredited to the foot of
the throne by some reigning monarch of the continent you could not be
more thoughtfully attended by the railway serving-men. You are a guest
of Madame Patti, and that, in the eyes of these honest fellows, is as
good as being a guest of Queen Victoria.

I pulled up at the end of a broiling hot day in August, at a wee
bit station on the top of a Welsh mountain. The station is called
“Penwyllt;” it overlooks the Swansea Valley, and stands about half-way
between Brecon and the sea. When a traveller alights at Penwyllt there
is no need to question his purpose. He can have but one destination,
and that is Craig-y-Nos Castle. A carriage from the castle was awaiting
me, and we set off down the steep road to the valley, a sudden turn
showing the Patti palace there on the banks of the Tawe. The place was
two miles distant, and a thousand feet below our wheels, but I could
see an American flag flying from the square tower, and there it waved
during the successive days of my visit; for it is Madame Patti’s way
to welcome a guest with the emblem of his nationality. A prettier
compliment is not conceivable.

Mr. Gladstone, in a vein of pleasantry, once told Madame Patti that he
would like to make her Queen of Wales. But she is that already, and
more. She is Queen of Hearts the world over, and every soul with an
ear is her liege. But, literally, in Wales Madame Patti is very like
a queen. She lives in a palace; people come to her from the ends of
the earth; she is attended with “love, honor, troops of friends;” and
whenever she stirs beyond her own immediate domain the country folk
gather by the roadside, dropping courtesies, and throwing kisses to her
bonny majesty.

Her greeting of me was characteristic of this most famous and fortunate
of women, this unspoiled favorite of our whirling planet. A group of
her friends stood merrily chatting in the hall, and, as I approached,
a dainty little woman with big brown eyes came running out from the
centre of the company, stretched forth a hand, spoke a hearty welcome,
and accompanied it with the inimitable smile which has made slaves of
emperors. The vivacious and charming creature was Madame Patti, or, as
we know her in private life, Madame Patti-Nicolini. Her husband is a
handsome man of fifty-eight, though he looks twenty years younger. He
is as devoted as if he were the newly accepted lover of an entrancing
lass in her teens, and though his English is rather hazardous, he
contrives to get about bravely in Wales.

My visit could not have been more happily timed. I found a sort of
family party at Craig-y-Nos, and there was no stiff ceremonial to be

NOTE.--Our illustrations of Craig-y-Nos, interior and exterior, are
reproductions from photographs specially taken for MCCLURE’S MAGAZINE
by W. Arthur Smith, Swansea, South Wales.--ED. as the case usually is
in British country-houses. La Diva’s guests were intimate friends, and
chiefly a company of fair English girls who pass every summer with her.
When the guests, in full dinner-dress, assembled in the drawing-room,
I found that we covered five nationalities--Italian, German, French,
English, and American--and while we awaited the appearance of our
hostess, the gathering seemed like a polyglot congress.

As the chimes in the clock-tower pealed the hour of eight, a pretty
vision appeared at the drawing-room door. It was Patti, royally
bedecked. The defects of the masculine mind leave me incapable
of describing the attire of that sparkling little woman. But the
spectacle brought us to our feet, bowing as if we had been a company
of court-gallants in the “spacious days of great Elizabeth,” and we
added the modern tribute of applause, which our queen acknowledged with
a silvery laugh. I remember only that the gown was white, and of some
silky stuff, and that about La Diva’s neck were loops of pearls, and
that above her fluffy chestnut hair were glittering jewels. With women
it may be different, but no man can give a list of Patti’s adornments
on any occasion; he knows only that they become her, and that he sees
only her radiant face. Before our murmurs of delight had ceased, Patti,
who had not entered the room, but merely stood in the portal of it,
turned, taking the arm of the guest who was to sit at her right hand,
and away we marched in her train, as if she were truly the queen,
through the corridors to the conservatory, where dinner was served.

[Illustration: CRAIG-Y-NOS.]

It was my privilege at the castle table to sit at Madame Patti’s left.
At her right was one whose friendship with her dates from the instant
of her first European triumph, thirty-two years ago. I was taken into
the family, as it were. But the best of my privilege was that it
brought me so near our hostess, and made easy conversation possible.
The delight of those _déjeuners_ and dinners at Craig-y-Nos is not to
be forgotten. There is a notion abroad that these meals are held in
state; but they are not. There is merely the ordinary dinner custom
of an English mansion. The _menu_, though, is stately enough, for the
art culinary is practised in its most exquisite fashion there. The
dining-room is very seldom used, for, handsome as that apartment is,
Patti, and her guests too, for that matter, prefer to eat in the great
glass room which was formerly the conservatory and is still called so.
There we sit, as far as outlook goes, out of doors, for, in whatever
direction we gaze, we look up or down the Swansea Valley, across to
the mountains, and along the tumbling course of the river Tawe. To the
imminent neglect of my repast, I sat gazing at the wood-covered cliffs
of Craig-y-Nos (Rock-of-the-Night) opposite, and listening to the
ceaseless music of the mountain stream. Patti, noticing my admiration
for the view, said, “You see what a dreadful place it is in which I
bury myself.”


“‘Bury’ yourself! On the contrary, you have here all the charms of
life, and you seem to have discovered the fountain of perpetual youth.
A ‘dreadful’ place? Indeed, it is a paradise in miniature!”

“But one of your countrymen says that I hide far from the world among
the ugly Welsh hills. He writes it in an American journal of fabulous
circulation, and I suppose people believe the tale, do they not?” La
Diva laughed heartily at the thought of a too credulous public, and
then she added: “Really, they do write the oddest things about my home,
as if it were either the scene of Jack the Giant-killer’s exploits on
the top of the Beanstalk, or a prison in a desolate land.”

After visiting Patti at Craig-y-Nos one need no longer wonder why this
enchanting woman sings “Home, Sweet Home” with such feeling. For she
inhabits a paradise. There is not anywhere a lovelier spot, nor is
there elsewhere a place so remote and at the same time so complete in
attractiveness, and in every resource of civilization.

The dinner passed on merrily. Merrily is exactly the word to describe
it. Up and down the table good stories flew, sometimes faster than
we could catch them. Nobody likes a good joke better than Patti, and
when she heard one that particularly pleased her she would interpret
it to some guest who had not sufficiently mastered the language in
which the original anecdote was told. It was delightful comedy, and
after watching it with high pleasure, while La Diva spoke in a brace
of languages, I said: “I wonder if you have what people call a native
tongue, or whether in all of them you are ‘native and to the manner

“Oh, I don’t know so many,” she replied, “only--let’s see--English,
German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.”

“And which language do you speak best, if I may ask?”

“I really don’t know. To me there is no difference, as far as readiness
goes, and I suppose that in all of them readiness helps.”

[Illustration: MADAME PATTI’S FATHER.]

“But you have a favorite among them?”

“Oh, yes, Italian. Listen!” And then she recited an Italian poem. Next
to hearing Patti sing, the sweetest sound is her Italian speech. I
expressed my delight, and she said:

“Speaking of languages, Mr. Gladstone paid me a pretty compliment a
little while ago. I will show you his letter to-morrow, if you care to
see it.”

Patti forgets nothing. The next day she brought me Mr. Gladstone’s
letter. The Grand Old Man had been among her auditors at Edinburgh,
and after her performance he went upon the stage to thank her for the
pleasure he had felt in listening to her songs. He complained a little
of a cold which had been troubling him, and Patti begged him to try
some lozenges which she had found useful. That night she sent a little
box of them to Mr. Gladstone, and the statesman acknowledged the gift
with this letter:

                                        “6 ROTHESAY TERRACE, EDINBURGH,
                                                    _October 22, 1890._


    “I do not know how to thank you enough for your charming gift.
    I am afraid, however, that the use of your lozenges will not
    make me your rival. _Voce quastata di ottante’ anni non si

    “It was a rare treat to hear from your Italian lips last
    night the songs of my own tongue, rendered with a delicacy of
    modulation and a fineness of utterance such as no native ever
    in my hearing has reached or even approached. Believe me,

        “Faithfully yours,

            “W. E. GLADSTONE.”


This letter very naturally gave our conversation a reminiscent turn,
and, after some talk of great folk she has known, I asked Madame
Patti what had been the proudest experience in her career. “For a
great and unexpected honor most gracefully tendered, nothing that has
touched me deeper than a compliment paid by the Prince of Wales and a
distinguished company, at a dinner given in honor of the Duke of York
and the Princess May, a little while before their wedding. The dinner
was given by Mr. Alfred Rothschild, one of my oldest and best friends.
There were many royalties present, and more dukes and duchesses than
I can easily remember. During the ceremonies the Prince of Wales
arose, and to my great astonishment, proposed the health of his ‘old
and valued friend Madame Patti.’ He made _such_ a pretty speech,
and in the course of it said that he had first seen and heard me in
Philadelphia in 1860, when I sang in ‘Martha,’ and that since then
his own attendance at what he was good enough to call my ‘victories
in the realm of song’ had been among his most pleasant recollections.
He recalled the fact that on one of the occasions when the princess
and himself had invited me to Marlborough House, his wife had held up
little Prince George, in whose honor we were this night assembled,
and bade him kiss me, so that in after life he might say that he had
‘kissed the famous Madame Patti.’ And then, do you know, that whole
company of royalty, nobility, and men of genius rose and cheered me and
drank my health. Don’t you think that any little woman would be proud,
and ought to be proud, of a spontaneous tribute like that?”

It is difficult, when repeating thus in print such snatches of
autobiography, to suggest the modest tone and manner of the person
whose words may be recorded. It is particularly difficult in the
case of Madame Patti, who is as absolutely unspoiled as the freshest
_ingénue_. Autobiography such as hers must read a little fanciful to
most folk; it is so far removed from the common experiences of us all,
and even from the extraordinary experiences of the renowned persons we
usually hear about. But there is not a patch of vanity in Patti’s sunny
nature. Her life has been a long, unbroken record of success--success
of a degree attained by no other woman; no one else has won and held
such homage; no one else has been so wondrously endowed with beauty and
genius and sweet simplicity of nature--a nature unspoiled by flattery,
by applause, by wealth, by the possession and exercise of power. Patti
at fifty is like a girl in her ways, in her thoughts, in her spirit,
in her disinterestedness, in her enjoyments. Time has dimmed none of
her charms, it has lessened none of her superb gifts. She said to me
one day: “They tell me I am getting to be an old woman, but I don’t
believe it. I don’t feel old. I feel young. I am the youngest person of
my acquaintance.” That is true enough, as they know who see Patti from
day to day. She has all the enthusiasms and none of the affectations of
a young girl. When she speaks of herself it is with the most delicious
frankness and lack of self-consciousness. She is perfectly natural.


[Illustration: MADAME PATTI IN 1869 AND IN 1877.]

She promised to show me the programme of that Philadelphia performance
before the Prince of Wales so long ago, and the next day she put
it before me. It is a satin programme with gilt fringe, and its
announcement is surmounted by the Prince of Wales’s feathers. At that
Philadelphia performance Adelina Patti made her first appearance before
royalty. In the next year she made her London début. It was at Covent
Garden, as Amina in “La Sonnambula.” The next morning Europe rang with
the fame of the new prima donna from America. “I tried to show them
that the young lady from America was entitled to a hearing,” said she,
as we looked over the old programmes.

[Illustration: THE DINING-ROOM.]

“And has the ‘young lady from America’ retained that spirit of national
pride, or has she become so much a citizen of the world that no corner
of it has any greater claim than another upon her affections?”

“I love the Italian language, the American people, the English country,
and my Welsh home.”

“A choice yet catholic selection. The national preferences, if you
can be said to own any, have reason on their side. Your parents were
Italian, you were born in Spain, you grew from girlhood to womanhood in
America, you first won international fame in England, and among these
Welsh hills you have planted a paradise.”

“How nice of you! That evening at Mr. Alfred Rothschild’s, the Prince
of Wales asked me why I do not stay in London during ‘the season,’ and
take some part in its endless social pleasures. ‘Because, your Royal
Highness,’ I replied, ‘I have a lovely home in Wales, and whenever
I come away from it I leave my heart there.’ ‘After all,’ said the
prince, ‘why should you stay in London when the whole world is only too
glad to make pilgrimages to Craig-y-Nos?’ Wasn’t that pretty?”

I wish I could somehow convey the _naïveté_ with which the last three
words were uttered. The tone expressed the most innocent pleasure
in the world. Indeed, when Patti speaks in this way she seems to be
wondering why people should say and do so many pleasant things in her
behalf. There is an air of childish wonder in her look and voice.

I said: “All good republicans have a passion for royalty. I find that
an article about a king or a queen or a prince is in greater demand in
the United States than anywhere else in the world. Do tell me something
more about the Prince and Princess of Wales. I promise you, as a
zealous democrat, that no one on the far side of the Atlantic will skip
a word. Have the prince and princess visited Craig-y-Nos?”

“No. But they were coming here a couple of years ago. See--here is the
prince’s letter fixing the date. But it was followed by their sudden
bereavement, and then for many, many months they lived in quiet and
mourning, only coming forth in their usual way just before the recent
royal wedding. They sent me an invitation to the wedding festivities.
But alas! I could not attend them. I had just finished my season, and
was lying painfully ill with rheumatism. You heard of that? For weeks
I suffered acutely. It’s an old complaint. I have had it at intervals
since I was a child. But about the royal wedding. When the Prince and
Princess of Wales learned that I was too ill to accept their gracious
invitation, they--well, what do you suppose they did next?”

“Something very apt and graceful.”

“They sent me two large portraits of themselves, bearing their
autographs, and fitted into great gilt frames. You shall see the
portraits after dinner. They occupy the place of honor in Craig-y-Nos

[Illustration: THE CONSERVATORY.]

We had reached the coffee stage of the dinner, and the cigars were
being passed. The ladies did not withdraw, according to the mediæval
and popular English habit, but the company remained unbroken, and while
the gentlemen smoked, the ladies kept them in conversation. Presently,
some one proposed Patti’s health, and we all stood, singing “For She’s
a Jolly Good Fellow.”

That put the ball of merriment in motion. One of the young ladies, a
goddaughter of our hostess, carolled a stanza from a popular ditty. At
first I thought it audacious that any one should sing in the presence
of La Diva. It seemed an act of sacrilege. But in another instant we
were all at it, piping the chorus, and Patti leading off. The fun of
the thing was infectious. The song finished, we ventured another,
and Patti joined us in the refrains of a medley of music-hall airs,
beginning with London’s latest mania, “Daisy Bell, or a Bicycle Made
for Two,” and winding up with Chevalier’s “Old Kent Road” and the
“Coster’s Serenade,” Coburn’s “Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo,”
and the transatlantic “Daddy Wouldn’t Buy me a Bow-Wow.”

Madame turned with an arch look--“You will think our behavior

“On the contrary, I find it very jolly, not to say a rare experience;
for it is not everybody who has heard you sing comic songs.”

Patti’s answer was a peal of laughter, and then she sat there singing
very softly a stanza of “My Old Kentucky Home,” and as we finished the
chorus she lifted a clear, sweet note, which thrilled us through and
through, and stirred us to rapturous applause. “What have I done?”
Patti put the question with a puzzled look. The reply came from the
adjoining library: “High E.” One of our number had run to sound the
piano pitch. Then I recalled what Sir Morell Mackenzie had told me a
little while before he died. I was chatting with the great physician in
that famous room of his in Harley Street. We happened to mention Madame
Patti. “That great singer,” said Sir Morell, “has the most wonderful
throat I have ever seen; it is the only one I have ever seen with the
vocal chords in absolutely perfect condition after many years of use.
They are not strained, or warped or roughened, but, as I tell you, they
are absolutely perfect. There is no reason why they should not remain
so ten years longer, and with care and health twenty years longer.”

[Illustration: MADAME’S BOUDOIR.]

Remembering this, I asked Madame Patti if she had taken extraordinary
care of her voice. “I have never tired it,” said she; “I never sing
when I am tired, and that means that I am never tired when I sing.
And I have never strained for high notes. I have heard that the first
question asked of new vocalists nowadays is ‘How high can you sing?’
But I have always thought _that_ the least important matter in singing.
One should sing only what one can sing with perfect ease.”

“But in eating and drinking? According to all accounts you are most
abstemious in these things.”

“No, indeed. I avoid very hot and very cold dishes, otherwise I eat and
drink whatever I like. My care is chiefly to avoid taking cold, and to
avoid indigestion. But these are the ordinary precautions of one who
knows that health is the key to happiness.”

[Illustration: THE SITTING-ROOM.]

“And in practising? Have you rigid rules for that? One hears of
astounding exercise and self-denial.”

“Brilliant achievements in fiction. For practising I run a few scales
twenty minutes a day. After a long professional tour I let my voice
rest for a month and do not practise at all during that time.”

During my visit to Craig-y-Nos we usually spent our evenings in the
billiard-rooms. There are two at the castle, an English room and a
French one. In the French room there is the great orchestrion which
Madame Patti had built in Geneva at a cost of twenty thousand dollars.
It is operated by electricity, and is said to be the finest instrument
of the kind in the world. Monsieur Nicolini would start it of an
evening, and the wonderful contrivance would “discourse most eloquent
music” from a repertoire of one hundred and sixteen pieces, including
arias from grand operas, military marches, and simple ballads. Music
is the one charm that Madame Patti cannot resist. The simplest melody
stirs her to song. In the far corner from the orchestrion she will sit,
in an enticing easy-chair, and hum the air that is rolling from the
organ-pipes, keeping time with her dainty feet, or moving her head as
the air grows livelier. Now and again she sends forth some lark-like
troll, and then she will urge the young people to a dance, or a chorus,
and when every one is tuned to the full pitch of melody and merriment
she will join in the fun as heartily as the rest. I used to sit and
watch her play the castanets, or hear her snatch an air or two from
“Martha,” “Lucia,” or “Traviata.”

One night the younger fry of us were chanting negro melodies, and Patti
came into the room, warbling as if possessed by an ecstasy. “I love
those darky songs,” said she, and straightway she sang to us, with
that inimitable purity and tenderness which are hers alone, “Way Down
Upon the Swanee River,” and “Massa’s in the Cold, Cold Ground,” and
after that “Home, Sweet Home,” while all of us listeners felt the tears
rising, or the lumps swelling in our throats.


Guests at Craig-y-Nos are the most fortunate of mortals. If the guest
be a gentleman, a valet is told off to attend upon him; if the guest
be a lady, a handmaid is placed at her service. Breakfast is served in
one’s room at any hour one may choose. Patti never comes down before
high noon. She rises at half-past eight, but remains until twelve in
her apartments, going through her correspondence with her secretary,
and practising a little music. At half-past twelve an elaborate
_déjeuner_ is served in the glass pavilion. Until that hour a guest is
free to follow his own devices. He may go shooting, fishing, riding,
walking, or he may stroll about the lovely demesne, and see what manner
of heavenly nook nature and Patti have made for themselves among the
hills of Wales. Patti’s castle is in every sense a palatial dwelling.
She saw it fifteen years ago, fell in love with it, purchased it, and
has subsequently expended at least half a million dollars in enlarging
and equipping it. The castellated mansion, with the theatre at one
end and the pavilion and winter garden at the other, shows a frontage
of fully a thousand feet along the terraced banks of the Tawe. But
the place has been so often described that it is unnecessary for me
to repeat the oft-told story, or to give details of the gasworks,
the electric-lighting station, the ice-plant and cold-storage rooms,
the steam-laundry, the French and English kitchens, the stables, the
carriage-houses, the fifty servants, the watchfulness of Caroline
Baumeister, the superintending zeal of William Heck. These matters are
a part of the folk-lore of England and America. But I would like to say
something of Patti’s little theatre. It is her special and particular
delight. She gets more pleasure from it than from any other of the many
possessions of Craig-y-Nos. It is a gem of a place, well-proportioned
and exquisitely decorated. Not only can the sloping floor be quickly
raised, so that the auditorium may be transformed into a ballroom,
but the appurtenances of the stage are the most elaborate and perfect
extant. For this statement I have the authority of an assistant
stage-manager of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. This expert
was supervising some alterations at the Patti theatre while I was at
Craig-y-Nos, and he told me that the pretty house contained every
accessory for the production of forty operas.

Occasionally Patti sings at concerts in her theatre. All her life she
has treasured her voice for the public; she has never exhausted it by
devising an excess of entertainment for her personal friends. So most
of the performances in the little theatre are pantomimic. Although
Patti seemed to me always to be humming and singing while I was at the
castle, yet there was nothing of the “performing” order in what she
did. She merely went singing softly about the house, or joining in our
choruses, like a happy girl.

I remember that one morning, while a dozen of us were sitting in the
shade of the terrace, the ladies with their fancy work, the gentlemen
with their books and cigars, we heard from the open windows above us a
burst of song, full-throated like a bird’s. It was for all the world
like the notes of an English lark, which always sings in a kind of
glorious ecstasy, as it mounts and mounts in the air, the merrier as it
climbs the higher, until it pours from its invisible height a shower
of joyous song. No one among us stirred. La Diva thought us far away
up the valley, where we had planned an excursion, but we had postponed
the project to a cooler day. We were afraid of disturbing Madame, so we
kept silent and listened. Our unseen entertainer seemed to be bustling
about her boudoir, singing as she flitted, snatching a bar or two
from this opera and that, revelling in the fragment of a ballad, and
trilling a few scales like my friend the lark. Presently she ceased,
and we were about to stir, when she began to sing “Comin’ Thro’ the
Rye.” She was alone in her room, but she was singing as gloriously
as if to an audience of ten thousand persons in the Albert Hall. The
unsuspected group of listeners on the terrace slipped from their own
control and took to vigorous hand-smiting and cries of delight.


“Oh, oh, oh!” said the bird-like voice above.

We looked up, and saw Patti leaning out at the casement.

“Oh,” said she, “I couldn’t help it, really I could not. I am so happy!”

At luncheon Madame proposed an entertainment in the theatre for the
evening. We were to have “Camille” in pantomime.

She persuaded Monsieur Nicolini to be the Armand Duval. Nicolini had
never cared to act in the little theatre, but now he consented to make
his début as a pantomimist, and he proved to be a master of the art. He
had learned it, in fact, at the Conservatoire, when, as a young man,
he had studied for the stage. “In those days,” says he, “the study of
pantomime was part of an actor’s training. Pity it is not so now.”

The preparations for the pantomime went on apace. Among the guests were
several capable amateurs. The performance began a little after ten on
the evening of the following day. Some musicians were brought from
Swansea. A dozen gentlefolk hastily summoned from the valley, those
of us among the guests who were not enrolled for the pantomime, and a
gallery full of peasantry and servants, made up the audience. We had
“Camille” in five acts of pantomime, and altogether it was a capital
performance, and a memorable one. Of course, Madame Patti and her
husband carried off the honors. There was a supper after the play, and
the sunlight crept into the Swansea Valley within two hours after we
had retired.

[Illustration: SIGNOR NICOLINI.]

I said to Patti after the pantomime, “You do not seem to believe that
change of occupation is the best possible rest. You appear to me to
work as hard at rehearsing and acting in your little theatre as if you
were ‘on tour.’”

“Not quite. Besides, it isn’t work, it is play,” replied the miraculous
little woman. “I love the theatre. And, then, there is always something
to learn about acting. I find these pantomime performances very useful
as well as very pleasant.”

Every afternoon about three o’clock Patti and her guests go for a
drive, a small procession of landaus and brakes rattling along the
smooth country roads. You can see at once that this is Patti-land. The
cottagers come to their doors and salute her Melodious Majesty, and all
the children of the country-side run out and throw kisses. “Oh! the
dears,” exclaimed the kind-hearted cantatrice as we were driving toward
the village of Ystradgynlais (they call it “Ist-rag-dun-las”), one
afternoon, “I should like to build another castle and put all those
mites into it, and let them live there amid music and flowers!” And I
believe that she would have given orders for such a castle straightway,
had there been a builder within sight.


On the way home Patti promised me “a surprise” for the evening. I
wondered what it might be, and when the non-appearance of the ladies
kept the gentlemen waiting in the drawing-room at dinner-time I was the
more puzzled. Nicolini, to pass the time, showed us some of Madame’s
trophies. It would be impossible to enumerate them, because Craig-y-Nos
Castle is like another South Kensington Museum in the treasures it
holds. Every shelf, table, and cabinet is packed with gifts which
Madame Patti has received from all parts of the earth, from monarchs
and millionaires, princes and peasants, old friends and strangers.
There is Marie Antoinette’s watch, to begin with, and there are the
new portraits of the Prince and Princess of Wales, to end with. There
is a remarkable collection of portraits of royal personages, presented
to Madame Patti by the distinguished originals on the occasion of her
marriage to M. Nicolini. Photographs of the Grand Old Man of Politics
and the Grand Old Man of Music rest side by side, on a little table
presented by some potentate. Gladstone’s likeness bears his autograph,
and the inscription: “_Con tanti e tanti complimenti_;” Verdi’s, his
autograph, and a fervid tribute written in Milan a year ago. There are
crowns and wreaths and rare china; there are paintings and plate and I
know not what, wherever one looks. If one were to make Patti a gift,
and he had a king’s ransom to purchase it withal, he would find it
difficult to give her anything that would be a novelty, or that would
be unique, in her eyes. She has everything now. For my part, I would
pluck a rose from her garden, or gather a nosegay from a hedgerow,
and it would please her as truly as if it were a priceless diadem.
She values the thought that prompts the giving, rather than the gift
itself. She never forgets even the smallest act of kindness that is
done for her sake. And she is always doing kindnesses for others. I
have heard from the Welsh folk many tales of her generous charities.
And to her friends she is the most open-handed of women. There was one
dank, drizzly day while I was at Craig-y-Nos. To the men this did not
matter. The wet did not interfere with their projected amusements.
But every lady wore some precious jewel which Patti had given her
that morning--a ring, a brooch, a bracelet, as the case might be. For
the generous creature thought her fair friends would be disappointed
because they could not get out of doors that day. How could she know
that every one in the castle welcomed the rain because it meant a few
hours more with Patti?

The “surprise” she had spoken of was soon apparent. The ladies came
trooping into the drawing-room attired in the gowns and jewels of
Patti’s operatic rôles. Patti herself came last, in “Leonora’s” white
and jewels. What a dinner party we had that night--we men, in the prim
black and white of “evening dress,” sitting there with “Leonora,” and
“Desdemona,” and “Marguerite,” and “Rachel,” and “Lucia,” and “Carmen,”
and “Dinorah,” and I know not how many more! Nobody but Patti would
have thought of such merry masquerading, or, having thought of it,
would have gone to the trouble of providing it.

Of course, we talked of her favorite characters in opera, and then
of singers she has known. She said it would give her real pleasure
to hear Mario and Grisi again, or, coming to later days, Scalchi and
Annie Louise Cary. The latter being an American and a friend, I was
glad to hear this appreciation of her from the Queen of Song. “Cary
and Scalchi were the two greatest contraltos I have ever known; and
I have sung with both of them. I remember Annie Louise Cary as a
superb artist, and a sweet and noble woman.” I said “Hear, hear,” in
the parliamentary manner, and then Patti added: “Now we will go into
the theatre again. There is to be another entertainment.” It was, of
all unexpected things, a magic-lantern show. Patti’s magic-lantern is
like everything else at Craig-y-Nos, from her piano to her pet parrot,
the only one of its kind. It is capable of giving, with all sorts of
“mechanical effects,” a two-hours’ entertainment every night for two
months without repeating a scene. Patti invited me to sit beside her
and watch the dissolving views. It seemed to me that it would be like
this to sit by the queen during a “state performance” at Windsor.
Here was Patti Imperatrice, dressed like a queen, wearing a crown of
diamonds, and attended by her retinue of brilliantly attired women and
attentive gentlemen of the court. And it was so like her to cause the
entertainment to begin with a series of American views, and to hum
softly a verse of “Home, Sweet Home,” as we looked out upon New York
harbor from an imaginary steamship inward bound.


The next morning I started from Craig-y-Nos for America. As the
dog-cart was tugged slowly up the mountain-side the Stars and Stripes
saluted me from the castle tower, waving farewell as I withdrew from my
peep at paradise.


BY “Q.”

Early last fall there died in Troy an old man and his wife. The woman
went first, and the husband took a chill at her grave’s edge, when he
stood bareheaded in a lashing shower. The loose earth crumbled under
his feet, trickling over, and dropped on her coffin-lid. Through two
long nights he lay on his bed without sleeping, and listened to this
sound. At first it ran in his ears perpetually, but afterwards he
heard it at intervals only, in the pauses of acute suffering. On the
seventh day he died, of pleuro-pneumonia; and on the tenth (a Sunday)
they buried him. For just fifty years the dead man had been minister
of the Independent chapel on the hill, and had laid down his pastorate
two years before, on his golden wedding day. Consequently there was a
funeral sermon, and the young man, his successor, chose II. Samuel, i.
23, for his text: “Lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their
death they were not divided.” Himself a newly married man, he waxed
dithyrambic on the sustained affection and accord of the departed
couple. “Truly,” he wound up, “such marriages as theirs were made in
heaven.” And could they have heard, the two bodies in the cemetery had
not denied it; but the woman, after the fashion of women, would have
qualified the young minister’s assertion in her secret heart.


When, at the close of the year 1839, Reverend Samuel Bax visited Troy
for the first time, to preach his trial sermon at Salem chapel, he
arrived by Bontigo’s van, late on a Saturday night, and departed again
for Plymouth at seven o’clock on Monday morning. He had just turned
twenty-one, and looked younger, and the zeal of his calling was strong
upon him. Moreover, he was shaken with nervous anxiety for the success
of his sermon; so that it is no marvel if he carried away but blurred
and misty impressions of the little port, and the congregation that
sat beneath him that morning, ostensibly reverent, but actually on
the lookout for heresy or any sign of weakness. Their impressions, at
any rate, were sharp enough. They counted his thumps upon the desk,
noted his one reference to “the original Greek,” saw and remembered
the flush of his young face and the glow in his eye as he hammered the
doctrine of the redemption out of original sin. The deacons fixed the
subject of these trial sermons, and had chosen original sin, on the
ground that a good beginning was half the battle. The maids in the
congregation knew beforehand that he was unmarried, and came out of
the chapel knowing also that his eyes were brown, that his hair had
a reddish tinge in certain lights, that one of his cuffs was frayed
slightly, but his black coat had scarcely been worn a dozen times,
with other trifles. They loitered by the chapel door until he came out,
in company with Deacon Snowden, who was conveying him off to dinner.
The deacon, on week days, was harbor-master of the port, and on Sundays
afforded himself roasted duck for dinner. Lizzie Snowden walked at her
father’s right hand. She was a slightly bloodless blonde, tall, with
a pretty complexion, and hair upon which it was rumored she could sit
if she were so minded. The girls watched the young preacher and his
entertainers as they moved down the hill, the deacon talking, and his
daughter turning her head aside as if it were merely in the section of
the world situated on her right hand that she took the least interest.

“That’s to show ’en the big plait,” commented one of the group behind.
“He can’t turn his head hes way, but it stares ’en in the face.”

“An’ her features look best from the left side, as everybody knows.”

“I reckon, if he’s chosen minister, that Lizzie’ll have ’en,” said a
tall, lanky girl. She was apprenticed to a dressmaker and engaged to
a young tinsmith. Having laid aside ambition on her own account, she
flung in this remark as an apple of discord.

“Tenifer Hosken has a chance. He’s fair-skinned hissel’, and Lizzie’s
too near his own color. Black’s mate is white, as they say.”

“There’s Sue Tregraine. She’ll have more money than either, when her
father dies.”

“What, marry one o’ Ruan!” the speaker tittered, despitefully.

“Why not?”


The only answer was a shrug. Ruan is a small town that faces Troy
across the diminutive harbor, or, perhaps, I should say that Troy looks
down upon it at this slight distance. When a Trojan speaks of it he
says, “Across the water,” with as much implied contempt as though he
meant Botany Bay. There is no cogent reason for this, except that the
poorer class at Ruan earns its livelihood by fishing. In the eyes of
its neighbors the shadow of this lonely calling is cast upwards upon
its wealthier inhabitants. Troy depends on commerce, and employs these
wealthier men of Ruan to build ships for it. Further it will hardly
condescend. In the days of which I write intermarriage between the
towns was almost unheard-of, and even now it is rare. Yet they are
connected by a penny ferry.

“Her father’s a shipbuilder,” urged Sue Tregraine’s supporter.

“He might so well keep crab-pots, for all the chance she’ll have.”

Now there was a Ruan girl standing just outside this group, and she
heard what was said. Her name was Nance Trewartha, and her father was a
fisherman, who did, in fact, keep crab-pots. Moreover, she was his only
child, and helped him at his trade. She could handle a boat as well as
a man, she knew every sea-mark up and down the coast for forty miles,
she could cut up bait, and her hands were horny with handling ropes
from her childhood. But on Sundays she wore gloves, and came across
the ferry to chapel, and was as wise as any of her sex. She had known
before coming out of her pew that the young minister had a well-shaped
back to his head, and a gold ring on his little finger with somebody’s
hair in the collet, under a crystal. She was dark, straight, and
lissome of figure, with ripe lips and eyes as black as sloes, and she
hoped that the hair in the minister’s ring was his mother’s. She was
well aware of her social inferiority; but--the truth may be told--she
chose to forget it that morning, and to wonder what this young man
would be like as a husband. She had looked up into his face during
sermon time, devouring his boyish features, noticing his refined
accent, marking every gesture. Certainly, he was comely and desirable.
As he walked down the hill by Deacon Snowden’s side, she was perfectly
conscious of the longing in her heart, but prepared to put a stop to
it, and go home to dinner as soon as he had turned the corner and
passed out of sight. Then came that unhappy remark about the crab-pots.
She bit her lip for a moment, turned, and walked slowly off towards the
ferry, full of thought.


Three weeks later Reverend Samuel Bax received his call.

He arrived, to assume his duties, in the waning light of a soft January
day. Bontigo’s van set him down, with a carpet-bag, bandbox, and chest
of books, at the door of the lodgings which Deacon Snowden had taken
for him. The house stood in the North Street, as it is called. It was
a small, yellow-washed building, containing just half a dozen rooms,
and of these the two set apart for the minister looked straight upon
the harbor. Under his sitting-room window was a little garden, and at
the end of the garden a low wall, with a stretch of water beyond it
and a bark that lay at anchor but a stone’s throw away, as it seemed,
its masts overtopping the misty hillside that closed the view. A green
painted door was let into the garden wall--a door with two flaps, the
upper of which stood open; and through this opening he caught another
glimpse of gray water.

The landlady, who showed him into this room and at once began to
explain that the furniture was better than it looked, was hardly
prepared for the rapture with which he stared out of the window. His
boyhood had been spent in a sooty Lancashire town, and to him the green
garden, the quay door, the bark, and the stilly water seemed to fall
little short of Paradise.

“I reckoned you’d like it,” she said. “An’, to be sure, ’tis a blessing
you do.”

He turned his stare upon her for a moment. She was a benign-looking
woman of about fifty, in a short-skirted gray gown and widow’s cap.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because, leavin’ out the kitchen, there’s but four rooms, two for you
an’ two for me; two facin’ the harbor, an’ two facin’ the street. Now,
if you’d took a dislike to this look-out I must ha’ put you over the
street an’ moved in here mysel’. I do like the street, too, there’s so
much more doin’.”

“I think this arrangement will be better in every way,” said the young

“I’m main glad. Iss, there’s no denyin’ that I’m main glad. From
upstairs you can see right down the harbor, which is prettier again.
Would’ee like to see it now? O’ course you would--an’ it’ll be so
much handier for answerin’ the door, too. There’s a back door at the
end o’ the passage. You’ve only to slip a bolt an’ you’m out in the
garden--out to your boat, if you choose to keep one. But the garden’s a
tidy little spot to walk up an’ down in an’ make up your sermons, wi’
nobody to overlook you but the folk next door, an’ they’m churchgoers.”


After supper that evening the young minister unpacked his books and was
about to arrange them, but drifted to the window instead. He paused
for a minute or two, with his face close to the pane, and then flung
up the sash. A faint north wind breathed down the harbor, scarcely
ruffling the water. Around and above him the frosty sky flashed with
innumerable stars, and behind the bark’s masts, behind the long chine
of the eastern hill, a soft radiance heralded the rising moon. It was
the new moon, and while he waited, her thin horn pushed up, as it were,
through the furze brake on the hill’s summit, and she mounted into the
free heaven. With upturned eyes the young minister followed her course
for twenty minutes, not consciously observant, for he was thinking
over his ambitions, and at his time of life these are apt to soar with
the moon. Though possessed with zeal for good work in this small
seaside town, he intended that Troy should be but a stepping-stone in
his journey. He meant to go far. And while he meditated his future,
forgetting the chill in the night air, it was being decided for him by
a stronger will than his own. More than this, that will had already
passed into action. His destiny was actually launched on the full
spring tide that sucked the crevices of the gray wall at the garden’s

A slight sound drew the minister’s gaze down from the moon to the
quay-door. Its upper flap still stood open, allowing a square of
moonlight to pierce the straight black shadow of the garden wall.

In this square of moonlight were now framed the head and shoulders of a
human being.

The young man felt a slight chill run down his spine. He leaned forward
out of the window and challenged the apparition, bating his tone, as
all people bate it at that hour.

“Who are you?” he demanded, “and what is your business here?”

There was no reply for a moment, though he felt sure his voice must
have carried to the quay-door. The figure paused for a second or two,
then unbarred the lower flap of the door and advanced across the wall’s
shadow to the centre of the bright grassplot under the window. It was
the figure of a young woman. Her head was bare and her sleeves turned
up to the elbows. She wore no cloak or wrap, to cover her from the
night air, and her short-skirted, coarse frock was open at the neck.
As she turned up her face to the window, the minister could see by the
moon’s rays that it was well-favored.

“Be you the new preacher?” she asked, resting a hand on her hip and
speaking softly up to him.

“I am the new Independent minister.”

“Then I’ve come for you.”

“Come for me?”

“Iss; my name’s Nance Trewartha, an’ you ’en wanted across the water,
quick as possible. Old Mrs. Slade’s a-dyin’ to-night, over yonder.”

“She wants me?”

“She’s one o’ your congregation, an’ can’t die easy till you’ve seen
her. I reckon she’s got something ’pon her mind; an’ I was to fetch you
over, quick as I could.”

As she spoke the church clock down in the town chimed out the hour, and
immediately after, ten strokes sounded on the clear air.

The minister consulted his own watch, and seemed to be considering.

“Very well,” said he, after a pause. “I’ll come. I suppose I must cross
by the ferry.”

“Ferry’s closed this two hours, an’ you needn’t wake up any in the
house. I’ve brought father’s boat to the ladder below, an’ I’ll bring
you back again. You’ve only to step out here by the back door. An’ wrap
yourself up, for ’tis a brave distance.”

“Very well. I suppose it’s really serious.”

“Mortal. I’m glad you’ll come,” she added, simply.

The young man nodded down in a friendly manner, and going back into the
room, slipped on his overcoat, picked up his hat, and turned the lamp
down carefully. Then he struck a match, found his way to the back door,
and unbarred it. The girl was waiting for him, still in the centre of
the grassplot.

“I’m glad you’ve come,” she repeated, but this time there was something
like constraint in her voice. As he pulled to the door softly, she
moved and led the way down to the water side.

From the quay-door a long ladder ran down to the water. At low water
one had to descend twenty feet and more; but now the high tide left
but three of its rungs uncovered. At the young minister’s feet a small
fishing-boat lay ready, moored by a short painter to the ladder. The
girl stepped lightly down and held up her hand.

“Thank you,” said the young man, with dignity, “but I do not want help.”

She made no answer to this; but, as he stepped down, went forward and
unmoored the painter. Then she pushed gently away from the ladder,
hoisted the small foresail, and, returning to her companion, stood
beside him for a moment with her hand on the tiller.

“Better make fast the foresheet,” she said, suddenly.

The young man looked helplessly at her. He had not the slightest
idea of her meaning, did not, in fact, know the difference between a
foresheet and a mainsail. And it was just to find out the depth of his
ignorance that she had spoken.

“Never mind,” she said, “I’ll do it myself.”

She made the rope fast and took hold of the tiller again. The sails
shook, and filled softly as they glided out from under the wall. The
soft breeze blew straight behind them, the tide was just beginning to
ebb. She slackened the mainsheet a little, and the water hissed as they
spun down under the gray town towards the harbor’s mouth.

A dozen vessels lay at anchor below the town quay, their lamps showing
a strange orange-yellow in the moonlight; between them the minister
saw the cottages of Ruan glimmering on the eastern shore, and above
them the coastguard station, with its flagstaff, a clear white upon
the black hillside. It seemed to him that they were not shaping their
course for the little town.

“I thought you told me,” he said at length, “that Mrs.--the dying
woman--lived across there.”

The girl shook her head. “Not in Ruan itsel’--Ruan parish. We’ll have
to go round the point.”

She was leaning back and gazing straight before her, towards the
harbor’s mouth. The boat was one of the class that serves along that
coast for hook and line as well as drift-net fishing, clinker built,
about twenty-seven feet in the keel and nine in the beam. It had no
deck beyond a small cuddy forward, on top of which a light hoarfrost
was gathering as they moved. The minister stood beside the girl, and
withdrew his eyes from this cuddy roof to contemplate her.

“Do you mean to say,” he asked, “that you don’t take cold wearing no
wrap or bonnet on frosty nights like this?”

She let the tiller go for a moment, took his hand by the wrist and laid
it on her own bare arm. He felt the flesh, but it was firm and warm.
Then he withdrew his hand hastily, without finding anything to say. His
eyes avoided hers. When, after half a minute, he looked at her again,
her gaze was fixed straight ahead upon the misty stretch of sea beyond
the harbor’s mouth.

In a minute or two they were sweeping between the tall cliff and the
reef of rocks that guard this entrance on either side. On the reef
stood a wooden cross, painted white, warning vessels to give it a wide
berth; on the cliff a gray castle, with a battery before it, under the
guns of which they spun seaward, still with the wind astern.


Outside the sea lay as smooth as within the harbor. The wind blew
steadily off the shore, so that, close-hauled, one might fetch up or
down channel with equal ease. The girl began to flatten the sails, and
asked her companion to bear a hand. Their hands met over a rope, and
the man noted with surprise that the girl’s was feverishly hot. Then
she brought the boat’s nose round to the eastward, and, heeling gently
over the dark water, they began to skirt the misty coast, with the
breeze on their left cheeks.

“How much farther?” asked the minister.

She nodded towards the first point in the direction of Plymouth.
He turned his coat-collar up about his ears, and wondered if his
duty would often take him on such journeys as this. Also he felt
thankful that the sea was smooth. He might, or might not, be given to
seasickness; but somehow he was sincerely glad that he had not to be
put to the test for the first time in this girl’s presence.

They passed the small headland, and still the boat held on its way.


“I had no idea you were going to take me this distance. Didn’t you tell
me the house lay beyond the point we’ve just passed?”

To his amazement the girl drew herself up, looked him straight in the
face, and said:

“There’s no such place.”


“There’s no such place. There’s nobody ill at all. I told you a lie.”

“You told me a lie--then why in the name of common sense am I here?”

“Because, young minister--because, sir, I’m sick o’ love for you, an’ I
want ’ee to marry me.”

“Great heaven!” the young minister muttered, recoiling, “is the girl

“Ah, but look at me, sir.” She seemed to grow still taller as she stood
there, resting one hand on the tiller and looking at him with perfectly
serious eyes. “Look at me well before your fancy lights ’pon some
other o’ the girls. To-morrow they’ll be all after ’ee, an’ this’ll
be my only chance; for my father’s no better’n a plain fisherman, an’
they’re all above me in money an’ rank. I be but a common Ruan girl,
an’ my family is counted for naught. But look at me well; there’s none
stronger nor comelier, nor that’ll love thee so dear!”

The young man positively gasped. “Set me ashore at once!” he commanded,
stamping his foot.

“Nay, that I will not till thou promise, an’ that’s flat. Dear lad,
listen--an’ consent, consent--an’ I swear to thee thou’ll never be
sorry for’t.”

“I never heard such awful impropriety in my life. Turn back; I order
you to steer back to the harbor at once!”

She shook her head. “No, lad, I won’t. An’ what’s more, you don’t know
how to handle a boat, an’ couldn’t get back by yoursel’, not in a

“This is stark madness. You--you abandoned woman, how long do you mean
to keep me here?”

“Till thou give in to me. We’m goin’ straight t’wards Plymouth now, an’
if th’ wind holds--as ’twill--we’ll be off the Rame in two hours. If
you haven’t said me yes by that, maybe we’ll go on; or perhaps we’ll
run across to the coast o’ France----”

“Girl, do you know that if I’m not back by daybreak I’m ruined?”

“And oh, man, man! can’t ’ee see that I’m ruined, too, if I turn back
without your word? How shall I show my face in Troy streets again, tell

At this sudden transference of responsibility the minister staggered.

“You should have thought of that before,” he said, employing the one
obvious answer.

“O’ course I thought of it. But for love o’ you I made up my mind to
risk it. An’ now there’s no goin’ back.” She paused a moment and then
added, as a thought struck her, “Why, lad, doesn’t that prove I love
’ee uncommon?”

“I prefer not to consider the question. Once more--will you go back?”

“I can’t.”

He bit his lips and moved forward to the cuddy, on the roof of which he
seated himself sulkily. The girl tossed him an end of rope.

“Dear, better coil that up an’ sit upon it. The frost’ll strike a chill
into thee.”

With this she resumed her old attitude by the tiller. Her eyes were
fixed ahead, her gaze passing just over the minister’s hat. When he
glanced up he saw the rime twinkling on her shoulders and the starshine
in her dark eyes. Around them the firmament blazed with constellations,
up to its coping. Never had the minister seen them so multitudinous
or so resplendent. Never before had heaven seemed so alive to him. He
could almost hear it breathe. And beneath it the little boat raced
eastward, with the reef-points pattering on its tan sails.

Neither spoke. For the most part the minister avoided the girl’s eyes,
and sat nursing his wrath. The whole affair was ludicrous; but it meant
the sudden ruin of his good name, at the very start of his career.
This was the word he kept grinding between his teeth: “ruin,” “ruin.”
Whenever it pleased this madwoman to set him ashore he must write to
Deacon Snowden for his boxes and resign all connection with Troy. But
would he ever get rid of the scandal? Could he ever be sure that, to
whatever distance he might flee, it would not follow him? Had he not
better abandon his calling once and for all? It was hard!

A star shot down from the Milky Way and disappeared in darkness behind
the girl’s shoulder. His eyes, following it, encountered hers. She left
the tiller and came slowly forward.

“In three minutes we’ll open Plymouth Sound,” she said, quietly; and
then, with a sharp gesture, flung both arms out towards him. “Oh, lad,
think better o’t, an’ turn back wi’ me. Say you’ll marry me, for I’m
perishin’ o’ love.”

The moonshine fell on her throat and extended arms. Her lips were
parted, her head was thrown back a little, and for the first time the
young minister saw that she was a beautiful woman.

“Ay, look, look at me,” she pleaded. “That’s what I’ve wanted ’ee to do
all along. Take my hands; they’m shapely to look at and strong to work
for ’ee.”

Hardly knowing what he did, the young man took them; then in a moment
he let them go--but too late; they were about his neck.

With that he sealed his fate for good or ill. He bent forward a little,
and their lips met.

So steady was the wind that the boat still held on her course; but no
sooner had the girl received the kiss that she knew to be a binding
promise than she dropped her arms, walked off, and shifted the helm.

“Unfasten the sheet here,” she commanded, “and duck your head clear o’
the boom.”

As soon as their faces were set for home, the minister walked back to
the cuddy roof and sat down to reflect. Not a word was spoken till they
reached the harbor’s mouth again, and then he pulled out his watch. It
was half-past four in the morning.

Outside the battery point the girl hauled down the sails and got out
the sweeps; and together they pulled up under the still sleeping town
to the minister’s quay-door. He was clumsy at this work, but she
instructed him in whispers, and they managed to reach the ladder as the
clocks were striking five. The tide was far down by this time, and
she held the boat close to the ladder while he prepared to climb. With
his foot on the first round he turned. She was white as a ghost, and
trembling from top to toe.

“Nance--did you say your name was Nance?”

She nodded.

“What’s the matter?”

“I’ll--I’ll let you off if you want to be let off.”

“I’m not sure that I do,” he said, and stealing softly up the ladder
stood at the top and watched her boat as she steered it back to Ruan.

Three months after they were married, to the indignant amazement of the
minister’s congregation. It almost cost him his pulpit, but he held on
and triumphed. There is no reason to believe that he ever repented of
his choice, or, rather, of Nance’s. To be sure, she had kidnapped him
by a lie; but perhaps she had wiped it out by fifty years of honest
affection. On that point, however, I, who tell the tale, will not




From “Torrismond,” Sc. iii.

    _How many times do I love thee, dear?_
        _Tell me how many thoughts there be_
            _In the atmosphere_
            _Of a new fall’n year,_
      _Whose white and sable hours appear_
        _The latest flake of eternity--_
      _So many times do I love thee, dear._

      _How many times do I love, again?_
        _Tell me how many beads there are_
            _In a silver chain_
            _Of evening rain_
      _Unravelled from the tumbling main_
        _And threading the eye of a yellow star--_
      _So many times do I love again._




The science of chemistry, like that of geography, has its undiscovered
North Pole. Four hundred and sixty-one degrees below the freezing point
of the Fahrenheit thermometer (−274° C.) lies a mysterious, specially
indicated degree of cold which science has long been gazing toward and
striving to attain, wondering meanwhile what may be the conditions
of matter at this unexplored point. Its existence has long been
indicated and its position established in two different ways, viz.,
the regularly diminishing volumes of gases, and the steady falling off
in the resistance made by pure metals to the passage through them of
electricity under increasing degrees of cold. This point, to which both
these processes tend as an ultimate, is called the zero of absolute
temperature. By more than one eminent observer it is supposed to be
the temperature of inter-stellar space, the normal temperature of the
universe. Whether or not this supposition be correct, the efforts which
have been made and are still in progress to reach this degree of cold
have been many, diverse, and ingenious; the equipment of the explorer
being not boats, condensed foods, and the general machinery of ice
exploration, but all the varied resources of mechanics and of chemistry
which can be combined to compass the extremest degrees of cold.

All the world has heard of Professor James Dewar, and of his late great
triumphs in the liquefaction of oxygen gas and the solidification of
nitrogen and air. The sensation caused by his extraordinary results won
him at once the congratulations of many scientific men, the profuse
encomiums of the press, and the flattering recognition of appreciative
royal personages. This was largely due to the fact that in the search
for this unknown and mysterious point he had plunged much deeper than
any chemist before him into the regions of low temperature, and had
arrived within sixty degrees Centigrade of the point itself. This
exciting and not uneventful journey downward did not take him beyond
the confines of his own laboratory, but his description of it, as well
as of the properties of matter under extreme cold, has something of
the fascination, to the mind possessed of ordinary chemical curiosity,
of the story of a Stanley, a Nansen, or a Peary, describing the
peculiarities of countries in which they, of all men, have been the
first to set their feet.

Professor Dewar, who was born in Kincardine-on-Forth in 1842, was
educated at the University of Edinburgh, where his natural and special
gifts as a chemist were developed by Sir Lyon Playfair, at that
time Professor of Chemistry in the university. The perspicacity and
tenacity of purpose which are characteristic of so many Scotchmen were
eminently the inheritance of Sir Lyon’s young assistant, and between
that period and the present a long series of original investigations
in all departments of chemistry have won for Professor Dewar at his
prime the Jacksonian Professorship of Natural Experimental Philosophy
at Cambridge University, the Fullerian Professorship of Chemistry at
the Royal Institution, the Fellowship of the Royal Society, the degree
of Doctor of Laws, and other dignities, which make great alphabetical
richness after his name upon scientific occasions of state. Personally,
he is of middle height and strong build, with a clearly cut face, full
of character. His speech, faintly flavored with the accent of Scotia,
is exact and emphatic; and his manner, whether he is concentrated
upon a scientific demonstration in his laboratory or traversing the
speculative questions of the hour in ordinary conversation in his
drawing-room, has the earnestness of the profound scientist, very
agreeably tempered by the polish of the traveller and cosmopolitan man
of the world. His absorption in scientific pursuits has not denied
him a very marked esthetic development, and his residential suite of
apartments at the Royal Institution is filled with treasures, rare
tapestries, bronzes, and carvings, picked up at continental dépôts or
purchased at the sales of great collections, which would make a highly
interesting article in themselves. To her husband’s scientific sense of
the value of age in wines, Mrs. Dewar adds her original researches in
the matter of choice teas, and it is averred by the eminent membership
of the Royal Institution that the degree of domestic civilization which
prevails on the third floor of the building is quite as high and more
potentially attractive than the stage of scientific civilization which
rules in the theatre, the libraries, and the laboratories of the floors
below. Like most Scotchmen, however, Professor Dewar is simple in his
tastes, and is more deeply stirred by a frozen gas or an antique bronze
than anything in the way of bisques or _suprêmes_. His heart, which
shows no signs of low temperature, is mainly in his laboratory, and he
leads the way there, down a flight of stone steps to the basement, with
a readiness that very clearly exhibits his latent enthusiasm.


Moreover, it is a laboratory eminently calculated to excite the
enthusiasm of anybody, being, in fact, the most famous laboratory known
to chemical science. The workshop of Sir Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday,
and Doctor Thomas Young, to say nothing of lesser and still famous
men, it is a nest in which more great discoveries have been hatched
than any other of its kind on earth. Here it was that Young conducted
the experiments which gave us the undulatory theory of light. Here
Davy, covering, nearly a hundred years ago, almost the whole field of
chemistry and electricity, made clear those principles which science
and applied science since his time have developed to the marvellous
degrees of to-day. A little room leading to the right of the main
laboratory was the scene of all Faraday’s experiments in magnetism, and
a cellar on its south side is known to this day as “Davy’s Froggery,”
from the fact that Davy kept in it hundreds of live frogs for use in
his experiments. Professor Dewar, whose sense of the inspiration of
his surroundings is clearly deep, dwells upon them with interest,
and tells how on one occasion a barrel of live frogs, imported by
Davy from France, burst at the docks, causing astonishment there and
consternation in the laboratory when Davy learned of his loss. It was
in this laboratory that Faraday first liquefied chlorine gas, sending
thereupon that famously curt note to Dr. Paris, the biographer of Davy,
in 1823:

    “DEAR SIR:--The oil you noticed yesterday turns out to be
    liquid chlorine.

        “Yours faithfully,

            “MICHAEL FARADAY.”

All of Faraday’s work in the liquefaction of gases, the discovery of
new hydrocarbons, the study of the changes of steel through the slight
admixture of other metals, the improvement of optical glass, and the
long list of results which are to-day represented in millions of tons
of products from thousands of factories, were obtained within these
four walls. And nothing could better illustrate the earnestness and
modesty of the great chemist than a little anecdote which Professor
Dewar, standing in the centre of the room, calls to mind. “I never met
Faraday,” says he, “but Tyndall told me this story of him. The first
time Tyndall entered this laboratory, Faraday led him to this point and
said: ‘Tyndall, this is a sacred spot. This is the spot on which Davy
separated sodium and potassium.’”

The laboratory of to-day, however, looks very little like a scene of
chemical industry. It has more the air of a machine shop, equipped
with power and mechanical appliances of a very heavy kind. Instead of
bottles and multi-colored liquids, all is metal and steam. The room
is about thirty feet wide and fifty deep, the north front consisting
entirely of glass windows opening on a well-lighted interior court.
In the left-hand corner, at the back, is a large steam-engine, while
a smaller one occupies the corner diagonally across. Shafts, wheels,
and belting run to two large air-pumps and three steel compressors,
each about the size and shape of a small travelling trunk, and used
respectively for compressing oxygen, nitrous oxide, and ethylene. A
fourth compressor, or double compressing chamber, is cylindrical in
form, and is wrapped in thick white flannel. This is the source of the
liquefied oxygen. The system which Professor Dewar has followed is not
novel in its general principles, as he explains. Specifically, however,
it contains many new inventions which he does not wish made public.
They are mainly in the nature of stop-cocks and valves, which it took
long study to invent, and which became perfect only after many failures
and costly experiments. To liquefy oxygen, he simply used pressure at
low temperatures; but as, up to 1878, both oxygen and nitrogen after
repeated trials were looked upon as permanent gases, it may be imagined
that the attainment of temperatures low enough was a problem which
required an extraordinary command of mechanics as well as of chemistry
to practically solve.


“The process of liquefying oxygen, briefly speaking,” says the
professor, “is this. Into the outer chamber of that double compressor I
introduce, through a pipe, liquid nitrous oxide gas, under a pressure
of about 1,400 pounds to the square inch. I then allow it to evaporate
rapidly, and thus obtain a temperature around the inner chamber of
−90° C. (−130° F.). Into this cooled inner chamber I introduce
liquid ethylene, which is a gas at ordinary temperatures, under a
pressure of 1,800 pounds to the square inch. When the inner chamber
is full of ethylene, its rapid evaporation under exhaustion reduces
the temperature to −145° C. (−229° F.). Running through this inner
chamber is a tube containing oxygen gas under a pressure of 750 pounds
to the square inch. The ‘critical point’ of oxygen gas, that is, the
point above which no amount of pressure will reduce it to a liquid,
is −115° C., but this pressure, at the temperature of −145° C., is
amply sufficient to cause it to liquefy rapidly. In drawing off the
liquid under this pressure, I lose nine-tenths of it by evaporation,
and I have not yet seen how to diminish that loss. Every pint of it
which I collect therefore represents ten pints manufactured. In all,
I have thus far collected and used about fifty gallons, and the cost
of machinery and experiments, very generously met by subscription
among members of the Royal Institution and others, has been about
five thousand pounds sterling.” It should be here stated that one of
the most generous contributors to the fund has been Professor Dewar
himself, a large fraction of the sum having come out of his own pocket.


Going more into detail, he makes clear some of the mechanical and
chemical difficulties which beset him in the work. “The secret of my
success,” he continues, “has been the mechanical arrangements combined
with the use of ethylene. This is a volatile hydrocarbon, and is the
chief illuminating constituent of coal gas. The only means of keeping
it liquid for any length of time is to surround it with solid carbonic
acid. Faraday was the first to call attention to the properties of
ethylene, and we manufacture it by heating sulphuric acid in a glass
retort protected by an iron cover to 160° C. Alcohol heated to 160°
C. is allowed to drip into it and ethylene results, passing off as a
gas, which is stored, after being purified. It is then compressed by
two pumps, the first with a six-inch plunger and six-inch stroke, and
the second a two-inch plunger and six-inch stroke. This liquefies it
under the pressure stated. It is nasty stuff to handle, as, whenever
it becomes mixed, by leakage or otherwise, with nitrous oxide or air,
an explosion is imminent, and we have had not a few explosions in the
course of the work. It liquefies at −103° C. (−152.4° F.), and when
boiled in a partial vacuum absorbs a large amount of latent heat.
The failure of preceding attempts to liquefy oxygen is due to lack
of knowledge of its ‘critical point,’ and the law which that phrase
describes. As long ago as 1851, Natterer subjected oxygen to a pressure
of 2,800 atmospheres, or over thirty tons to the square inch. He
obtained no result, because, as I have said, no amount of pressure will
affect it above −115° C. I liquefy it at −145° C. for two reasons.
The lower the temperature at which it is liquefied, the less is the
pressure required upon the oxygen and the greater is the amount of
latent heat which it absorbs in evaporating. By evaporating, under
exhaustion, oxygen liquefied at −145° C., I get as low as −200° C.,
which I could not do were it liquefied at a higher temperature.


“Having obtained the liquid oxygen,” he continues, turning to the long
table below the windows, “the question was how to store it for working
purposes, with the least possible loss by evaporation. After various
trials and experiments, we devised a set of vacuum vessels, each
consisting of a tube or bottle for the liquid oxygen, sealed at the
neck in a second tube or bottle, from which the air had been exhausted.
I found the cheapest and best method of getting a vacuum to be the old
Torricellian one of driving out the air with mercury vapor and then
condensing the vapor. This had a further advantage. The tube containing
the liquid oxygen was so cold that it froze the mercury vapor, and
coated itself with a perfect metallic mirror, which by its reflection
still further diminished the loss by radiated heat from the outside.”
Without more ado, he lifted from a small frame one of the vacuum
vessels referred to. It was a white glass jar, inside of which was what
seemed to be a round metallic ball. Open at the neck, this ball was a
bottle nearly filled with liquid oxygen, and by the light which reached
it through the neck of the bottle it was a very clear pale blue liquid,
which was evaporating quietly in a single thread of tiny bubbles, like
a glass of champagne which has become nearly still.

It was one of those moments which Faraday would doubtless have
regarded as solemn. To behold, for the first time, a liquid which
your professors of chemistry have assured you was a gas and always
would be a gas, is an experience which does not occur many times in a
lifetime. After that, a sight of perpetual motion or the square of the
circle would leave you calm. To know, furthermore, that this strange
gas, which is the prime agent of all life, which is eight-ninths of
all water and three-fourths of the entire earth, has been laid captive
by science, reduced to a form which cannot fail to shed a flood of
light on any number of abstruse problems in chemistry and mechanics,
excites a deeper feeling. The pale blue liquid, which is strangely
lustrous, seems truly magical. Moreover, it is a great surprise to see
the liquid, which you expect to find under great pressure and ready to
blow its containing vessel to pieces, evaporating quietly in the air,
protected from heat by a vacuum on one side and its own cold vapor on
the other. And so you can do nothing but stare at it in amazement, and
gently shake the bottle, and turn from it to its discoverer with a
feeling which is not entirely dissociated from awe. It has lost all
its impressiveness to the professor, however, for he is busy preparing
to illustrate some of its properties--an interesting introduction in
themselves to the conditions which prevail twice as far below the
freezing point of water as its boiling point lies above.


He begins by pouring some of the oxygen into a test tube, white fumes
appearing as he does so from the freezing of the moisture in the
surrounding air. Then he drops into the liquid oxygen in the test tube
a bit of phosphorus. Despite the flaming energy with which these two
combine at ordinary temperatures, there is no action. The phosphorus is
as unaffected as a chip of wood in water. He takes it out and pours in
some pure alcohol, whose freezing point is much below that of mercury.
It freezes with a slight sputter into what you can only call alcohol
ice. He takes out the ice and holds a match to it. There is no sign
of combustion. Placed on a glass dish the alcohol ice melts into a
thick, oily liquid, which also declines to burn. In a few seconds,
however, it warms to its ordinary thinness and burns as hungrily as
ever. Then comes an exhibition of the “spheroidal state.” A drop of
water thrown towards a red-hot stove does not touch the stove, because
the evaporation is so rapid that the forming gas lifts the water and
keeps it moving about. Precisely the same thing occurs when the oxygen
is dropped over a flat glass dish at the temperature of the air, which
is red-hot to the oxygen, comparatively speaking. It dances about,
shaking and boiling furiously. As he pours it, a tiny drop splashes
on the professor’s hand, and he flings it off with a quick jerk. “It
makes a sore worse than a burn,” he explains, “if it ever touches the
skin.” Then he drops some of it into water. It floats quietly, and
as it boils off into gas, freezes a cup of water around it, floating
about comfortably in its own boat. Then came curious evidence of its
magnetic properties. Pouring a little into a flat cup of rock salt,
he placed the cup between the poles of an electro-magnet, the one
which Faraday used. The boiling liquid, the moment that the circuit
was completed, flew to the two terminals _en masse_ and clung there,
still boiling away rapidly on the two points. A piece of cotton wool
soaked in the liquid was held closely to one of the points, until all
the oxygen had been sucked out of it, when it hung suspended between
them. Liquid oxygen has a magnetic property, he said, which is about
1,000 as compared with 1,000,000, the magnetic property of iron. It is
a non-conductor of electricity, and a spark one-tenth of a millimetre
long from a coil machine, which would give a long spark in the air,
would not pass through the liquid. It gave a flash now and then as a
bubble of oxygen vapor came between the terminals. Liquid oxygen is, in
fact, a high insulator.

Liquid oxygen at atmospheric pressure boils at −184° C. (−229.2°
F.). By evaporating it under a diminished pressure, he gets much
higher degrees of cold, and these have enabled him to both liquefy
and solidify nitrogen and air. The experiment illustrating this
was not only interesting; it was difficult to believe. In a double
vacuum vessel the centre of which was an open test tube, and the
second compartment a reservoir of liquid oxygen connected with an
exhaust pump, he so lowered the pressure that the oxygen boiled
tumultuously. As it did so, drops of clear liquid began to form on
the sides of the test tube and gather at the bottom. It was liquid
air, the oxygen and nitrogen of the atmosphere liquefying together at
a temperature of −197.2° (−322.9° F.). He poured some of the liquid
air into a second tube, and then showed how the nitrogen, which
liquefies at a temperature fourteen degrees below oxygen, boiled off
first. A smouldering splinter of wood held at the mouth of the tube
was extinguished. A few moments later when it was again held there,
it burst into brilliant flame. The nitrogen had all evaporated, and
the oxygen was coming off. He explained that air became solid under
pressure at −207° C. (−340.6° F.). It was a structureless glass, and
he had not determined whether or not the oxygen in it was solid or
was held suspended as a jelly. Nitrogen solidified under pressure at
−210° C. (−346° F.). It was a white crystalline substance. He had no
knowledge as yet whether oxygen crystallized in solidifying, but his
belief was that it would not.

[Illustration: THE “COMPRESSORS.”]

Concerning hydrogen, most elusive of all the gases, he had no present
expectation of attaining liquefaction. Its critical point was below
−210° C., and its boiling point −250° C. He had no means as yet of
attacking the problem. In fact, the only thermometer he was able to
use at these low temperatures was one which used hydrogen expansion
as a measure of temperature. His main reliance in measuring low
temperatures was a thermo-electric junction. Deeply interesting also
was his description of liquid ozone, that strange form of oxygen which
though identical with it in constitution is different in molecular
arrangement. He obtains twenty per cent. of ozone from liquid oxygen
by electrical stimulation, the ozone being of a very dark blue color,
as dark as concentrated indigo. It is highly unstable, a beam of light
having caused it to explode on one occasion, and its study even in
small quantities requires all the delicacy of manipulation which is
one of the special directions in which Professor Dewar as a chemist
occupies the foremost rank.

Through all these explanations, and others too elaborate and too
technical for these pages, he had spoken in the clear, emphatic way
which is characteristic of men who deal with abstruse subjects, and
desire, from long habit, to present them with the maximum of clearness
and the minimum of words. His speech is incisive, the utterances of an
energetic and concentrated mind. Over a cup of tea upstairs, however,
he spoke more slowly and dwelt with interest upon some of the many
strange results which have already met his eyes in the region of −200°

“As we approach the zero point of absolute temperature,” said he, “we
seem to be nearing what I can only call the death of matter. Pure
metals undergo molecular changes which cannot yet be defined, but which
entirely alter their characteristics as we know them. Tensile strength,
electrical resistance, in fact, the whole character of the metal as we
are acquainted with it, appears to change. At −200°, for instance, iron
becomes as good an electrical conductor as copper, while it is more
than probable that at the zero of absolute temperature, if not before,
the electrical resistance of all metals reaches its zero point. The
alloys do not follow the same rule, being much less affected. Carbon
is a strange exception, its electrical resistance increasing with cold
and decreasing with heat. The effect upon colors is also remarkable,
and opens up a wide field for experiment and investigation. In fact,
the most marked and immediate effect of my experiments will appear, I
think, in the field of magneto-optics. You have seen a red oxide of
mercury turn yellow when cooled to the temperature of liquid oxygen,
and regain its original color upon returning to the temperature of
the air. In the same way, sulphur becomes white. Bichromate of potash
becomes also white. A solution of iodine in alcohol becomes colorless,
as does ferric chloride, a deep red at the temperature of the air. They
all regain their colors upon returning to the ordinary temperature.
At these low temperatures chemical action ceases, as you have seen.
I supposed the rule was invariable, but found that a photographic
plate placed in liquid oxygen was still acted upon by energy from the
outside, and at even −200° C. was sensitive to light.

“The effect upon bacterial life is also not what one would expect.
Though it is destroyed by boiling in water, a temperature of 100°
C., it can still endure unaffected a degree of cold much greater in
proportion. I have submitted putrefying blood, milk, seeds, etc., for
the space of an hour, to a temperature of −182° C., but found that they
afterwards went on putrefying or germinating as the case happened to
be. This is interesting in one way, as it gives color to Lord Kelvin’s
suggestion that the first life might have been brought to this planet
by a seed-bearing meteorite, though it does not explain,” he added
with a smile, “how the meteorite was originally equipped with seeds.
It shows, however, that spores may live upon a planet through long
periods of low temperature. In the phenomena of diminishing electrical
resistance and its final disappearance, I look for much new light upon
the mystery of electricity itself. The changes in the characteristics
of metals already observed enlock lessons whose scope we have not yet
begun to measure. In fact,” said he, “for a long time to come I shall
confine myself to the many fields of research which the temperatures
already attained have opened up.”

Concerning the zero of absolute temperature, Professor Dewar
was disinclined to theorize. As to its being the temperature of
inter-stellar space, he has not yet come to any final conclusion,
though he expressed the view that the strange white and shining night
clouds which have puzzled the astronomers were composed of carbonic
acid gas frozen solid. Nor does he yet, despite the temperatures
reached, see how the zero is to be attained. He, like the Arctic
explorers of the past, has reached a point beyond which no appliances
of modern science can carry him. The mysteries which cluster about
this point are so many, however, that the efforts to reach it will be
untiring from this time forth. That its discovery will be a key to
many unsolved problems in electricity, in matter, in light, and the
great inscrutable mystery of life itself, is not to be doubted. This
is an age of constant change in scientific conceptions and traditions,
every marked advance in any one science tending to cause more or less
of a readjustment of existing views in every other. Science has long
been editing the Book of Genesis with an unsparing pen, and with the
attainment of the zero of absolute temperature the command “Let there
be light” may take on a meaning which the profoundest philosopher or
scientist of the present time cannot remotely conceive.



No one ever visited at it except the little chemist, the avocat and
Medallion; and Medallion, though merely an auctioneer, was the only
one on terms of intimacy with its owner, an old seigneur who for many
years had never stirred beyond the limits of his little garden. At rare
intervals he might be seen sitting in the large stone porch which gave
overweighted dignity to the house, itself not very large. An air of
mystery surrounded the place: in summer the grass was rank, the trees
seemed huddled together in gloom about the house, the vines appeared
to ooze on the walls, and at one end, where the window-shutters were
always closed and barred, a great willow drooped and shivered; in
winter the stone walls showed naked and grim among the gaunt trees and
furtive shrubs.

None who ever saw the seigneur could forget him--a tall figure with
stooping shoulders; a pale, deeply-lined, clean-shaven face; and a
forehead painfully white, with blue veins showing; the eyes handsome,
penetrative, brooding, and made indescribably sorrowful by the dark
skin around them. There were those in Pontiac, such as the curé, who
remembered when the seigneur was constantly to be seen in the village;
and then another person was with him always, a young, tall youth, his
son. They were fond and proud of each other, and were religious and
good citizens in a high-bred, punctilious way. Then the seigneur was
all health and stalwart strength. But one day a rumor went abroad that
the seigneur had quarrelled with his son because of the wife of Farette
the miller. No one outside knew if the thing was true, but Julie, the
miller’s wife, seemed rather to plume herself that she had made a
stir in her little world. Yet the curious habitants came to know that
the young man had gone, and after a good many years his having once
lived there was almost a tradition. But the little chemist remembered
whenever he set foot inside the tall porch; the avocat was kept in mind
by papers which he was called upon to read and alter from time to time;
the curé never forgot, because when the young man went he lost not one
of his flock, but two; and Medallion, knowing something of the story,
had it before him with gradually increasing frequency; besides, he
had wormed a deal of truth out of the miller’s wife. He knew that the
closed, barred rooms were the young man’s; and he knew, also, that the
old man was waiting, waiting, in a hope which he never even named to

One day the silent old housekeeper came rapping at Medallion’s door,
and simply said to him, “Come--the seigneur!” Medallion went, and
for hours sat beside the seigneur’s chair, while the little chemist
watched and sighed softly in a corner, now and again rising to feel
the sick man’s pulse and to prepare a draught. The housekeeper
hovered behind the high-backed chair, and when the seigneur dropped
his handkerchief--now, as always, of the exquisite fashion of a past
century--put it gently in his hand, and he would incline his head ever
so gently, and wipe his pale, dry lips with it.

Once when the little chemist touched his wrist, his dark eyes rested on
him with inquiry, and he said: “How long?”

It was useless trying to shirk the persistency of that look. “Ten
hours, perhaps, sir,” he said with painful shyness.

The seigneur seemed to draw himself up a little, and his hand grasped
his handkerchief tightly for an instant; then he said: “So long? Thank
you.” Then, after a little, his eyes turned to Medallion, and he
seemed about to speak, but still kept silent. His chin dropped on his
breast, and for a time he was motionless and shrunken; but still there
was a strange little curl of pride--or disdain--to his lips. At last
he drew up his head, his shoulders heavily came erect to the carved
back of the chair, where, strange to say, the stations of the cross
were figured, and he said with a cold, ironical voice: “The angel of
patience has lied.”

The evening wore on, and there was no sound save the ticking of the
clock, the beat of rain upon the windows, and the deep breathing of the
seigneur. Presently he started, his eyes opened wide, and his whole
body seemed to listen. “I heard a voice,” he said.

“No one spoke, my master,” said the housekeeper.

“It was a voice without,” he said.

“Monsieur,” said the little chemist, “it was the wind in the eaves.”

His face was almost painfully eager and sensitively alert. “Hush,” he
said, “I hear a voice in the tall porch.”

“Sir,” said Medallion, laying a hand respectfully on his arm, “it is

With a light on his face and a proud, trembling energy, he got to his
feet. “It is the voice of my son,” he said. “Go, go, and bring him in.”


No one moved. But he was not to be disobeyed. His ears had been
growing keener as he neared the subtle atmosphere of that brink where
a man strips himself to the soul for a lonely voyaging, and he waved
the woman to the door. “Wait,” he said, as her hand fluttered at the
handle, “take him to another room. Prepare a supper such as we used to
have. When it is ready I will come. But listen, and obey me. Do not
tell him that I have but half a dozen hours of life. Go, and bring him

It was as he said. She found the son, weak and fainting, fallen within
the porch, a worn, bearded man, returned from failure and suffering and
the husks of evil. They clothed him and cared for him, and strengthened
him with wine, while the woman wept over him, and at last set him at
the loaded, well-lighted table. Then the seigneur came in, leaning his
arm very lightly on that of Medallion, with a kingly air, and, greeting
his son before them all as if they had parted yesterday, sat down. For
two hours they sat there, and the seigneur talked gayly, with a color,
and his fine eyes glowing; at last he rose, lifted his glass, and said:
“The angel of patience is wise: I drink to my son.” He was about to say
something more, but a sudden whiteness passed over his face. He drank
off the wine and, as he put the glass down, shivered, and fell back in
his chair. “Three hours short, chemist,” he said, and smiled, and was






I proceed with this chapter in the first person, though the story came
to me at second-hand. My tutor, the Reverend W. McAllister, narrated it
to me, in the words in which he had heard it from a youthful cousin,
and I am able to give it almost in the same words and in the form in
which I wrote it out as an exercise in composition.

The scene described does not, however, rest on the authority of Mr.
McAllister or his friend, but on the testimony of all who knew the
Brontës in their home life. The same scene has been described to me
by old men whose memory extended back to matters in the last century,
and quite recently, when visiting the place, an aged neighbor pointed
out the exact spot where he himself had witnessed the Brontës engaged
in their amusements. The story is so characteristic that I give it _in
extenso_, and with all details, as I got it:

“In 1824 I made my first great journey out into the big world,
accompanied by my elder brother. I was then very young. The nature of
our business obliged us to go on foot, and the distance traversed was
two or three miles.

“Our errand brought us into the midst of the Brontës, and as we had to
remain there six or seven hours, I had an opportunity of seeing, under
various aspects, that extraordinary and unique family, whose genius
came to be revealed a few years later by three little girls, on English

“I first saw a group of the Brontë brothers together. I think there
were six of them, and they were marching, in step, across a field
towards a level road. Their style of marching, and whole appearance,
arrested my attention. They were dressed alike, in home-spun and
home-knitted garments, that fitted them closely, and showed off to
perfection their large, lithe, and muscular forms. They were all over
six feet high, but, with their close-fitting apparel and erect bearing,
they appeared to me to be men of gigantic stature. They bounded lightly
over all the fences that stood in their way, all springing from the
ground and alighting together, and they continued to march in step
without an apparent effort, until they reached the public road, and
then they began, in a business-like way, to settle conditions, in
preparation for a serious contest.

“A few men and boys watched the little group of Brontës timorously,
from a distance, but curiosity drew my brother and myself close up to
where they were assembled. They did not seem to notice us, or know that
we were present, but proceeded with a match of rolling a large metal
ball along the road. The ball seemed to be about six pounds weight,
and the one who could make it roll furthest along the road would be
declared the winner.

“The contest was to them an earnest business. Every ounce of elastic
force in the great, muscular frames was called into action, and there
was a profusion of strange, strong language that literally made my
flesh to creep, and my hair to stand on end. The forms of expression
which they used were as far from commonplace as anything ever written
by the gifted nieces; and as the uncles’ lives were on a lower plane
of civilization, and their scant education had not reduced their
tongues to the conventional forms of speech, they gave utterance to
their thoughts with a pent-up and concentrated energy never equalled in
rugged force by the novelists.

“I had never seen men like the Brontës, and I had never heard language
like theirs. The quaint conceptions and glowing thoughts and ferocious
epithets that struggled for utterance, at the unlettered lips of the
Irish Brontës, revealed the original quarry from which the vicar’s
daughters chiselled the stones for their artistic castle-building, and
disclosed the original fountain from which they drew their pathos and
passion. Similar fierce originality and power are felt to be present
in everything produced by the English Brontës, but in their case the
intensity of energy is held in check by the Branwell temperament, and
kept under restraint by education and culture.

“The match over, and the sweep-stakes secured, the brothers returned
to their harvest labor as they went, clearing, like greyhounds, every
fence that stood in their way. At that time no fame attached to the
Brontë name, but the men that I had come upon were so different from
the local gentry, farmers, flax-dressers, and such like people, who
lived around them, that I became, all at once, deeply interested in

“From a distance I watched their shining sickles flashing among the
golden grain, and caught snatches of song, which I afterwards found to
be from Robert Burns. My interest, however, in the Brontës was shared
by no one. They were then neither prophets nor heroes in their own
country, and they were regarded with a kind of superstitious dread by
their neighbors, rather than with interest or curiosity.

“Young as I then was, I persevered with my inquiries, and my curiosity
was rewarded. I learned that the Brontës had a brother a clergyman in
England, ‘a fine gentleman,’ then on a visit with them, and that the
Brontë family were in the habit of holding an open-air concert every
favorable afternoon in a secluded glen below their house. I remember
wondering if the clergyman ever broke out in the vigorous vernacular
of his kith and kin, but I was especially interested in the open-air

“My brother and I, by the nature of our errand, could not return home
till late in the evening, and as we were at leisure we made up our
minds to assist at the concert. On pretence of gathering blackberries
we explored the glen and discovered the place. No one would accompany
us, and we were told, with looks of terror, that it would be at our
peril if we went to the concert, as the brothers had ‘the black art,’
and were, above all men, to be avoided. We resolved notwithstanding to
go as spectators, and waited with impatience till the day’s work should
be over.

“About six o’clock a horn was blown, and the reapers suddenly dropped
their sickles and strolled down leisurely to the concert glen. We had
already preceded them, and taken our places on a high ridge bordering
the glen, in a thicket of low brushwood.

“Three sisters were the first to arrive on the scene. They brought
a spinning-wheel, a supply of oat-bread and buttermilk, and a green
satchel which contained a violin. The men sat astride the trunk of
a prostrate tree, and disposed of their afternoon collation in an
incredibly short space of time, one wooden bowl, or _noggin_, supplying
milk to each.

“Scarcely had the frugal meal been ended when one of the brothers began
to thrum the fiddle, and quick as lightning two of the sisters and the
other brothers were whirling and spinning airily over the grass. The
other sister was busily plying her spinning-wheel and watching the
moving scene. In turns each of the sisters took her place at the wheel,
and the one relieved instantly plunged into the mazes of the dance.

“The girls were tall, like their brothers, and picturesque in their
red tippets. Like their brothers, they were handsome and graceful.
They were mature maidens, but they had not lost their elegant figures,
or their fresh white and red complexions. Their homemade dresses,
though of plain woollen material and simply made, fitted them well,
and were in perfect harmony with their rustic surroundings. Their hair
hung in ringlets round their shoulders, and they moved with unconscious
gracefulness, whirling over the greensward as if they scarcely touched
it, or mazing through a ‘country dance’ or an ‘eight-part reel,’ or
waltzing round and round in a manner to make the onlooker giddy.

“There was nothing in the whole performance suggestive of the rough
peasant, or the country clown. All was exquisite grace and courtesy.
The musician was also relieved from time to time, each of the brothers
taking his turn at the violin.

“The scene was of the most weird and romantic character. The place
selected for the family dance was in a secluded widening of the glen,
down which flows a little stream that makes a murmuring noise as it
tumbles over stones, and among the roots of alder and willow. It was
wide enough to give full scope for extended galops, and sufficient for
all the exigencies of Sir Roger de Coverley. The ground was thickly
carpeted with grass, and surrounded by large trees with overhanging
branches. The trees were festooned with ivy and honeysuckle. Sweetbrier
and wild roses overflowed the hedges in great profusion, and ‘Flowering
Sally,’ in pink bunches, fringed the brook.

“The sun was sinking in the west, throwing dark shadows down the sides
of the Newry mountains, and shedding a pale glory on Slieve Donard and
the other lofty peaks of the Mourne range. Close by stood the Knock
Hill, generally sombre and unpicturesque, but on that occasion it
glowed in the parting rays. The little valley, as it dipped downward,
opened out to the west, and through the opening the setting sun poured
a rich flood of light on the animated groups, mating each dancer with
a long, dark shadow, and doubling the number of figures that tripped
lightly over the grass.

“As the sun dropped behind the ridge of Armagh the concert came to an
end, after a long bout of Scotch jigs, in which two and two in a row
danced opposite to each other, chased by their tall, unearthly shadows.
The closing scene was a great effort of endurance, but none seemed to
weary, and with a few skips into the air, the arms raised in curves
above the head, and the fingers being made to crack, all was still.

“There were four spectators of this wonderful family gathering--my
brother and myself, a goat that was quietly barking a tree beside us,
and pausing occasionally to look at the frantic display, and, on the
other side of the valley from where we were, the clergyman brother,
who walked to and fro, in solemn black, apparently in meditation, and
taking no notice of the gleeful recreation of his brothers and sisters.

“There was no dawdling when the dance was over. Each of the brothers
bowed with an air of gallantry to each of the sisters, and then one
of the brothers caught up the spinning-wheel, and, poising it on his
shoulder, strode up the homeward side of the glen. All followed smartly
and disappeared, in company with the sober figure in black.

“We slipped out of the bower where we had sat entranced, and hurried
homeward, with feelings of uncertainty as to the reality of things, in
the gathering darkness.”

This is the most complete account I have ever heard of the
summer-evening concerts held by the Brontës. Others had often seen
these large-limbed, sinewy children of Anak dancing on the green with
their flying shadows; but they had failed to appreciate the sylphlike
motions of the maidens, or the stately curvetting of the gigantic
brothers, and looked on the whole exhibition as something uncanny, and
as tending to confirm the popular belief that the Brontës had dealings
with the powers of the nether world.

The unique forms and forceful language of the Brontës were lost
on their commonplace neighbors, who looked on them as strange and
dangerous people. In fact, they were not regarded with much favor by
the people of the district, from whom they carefully held aloof; and
the belief that they were in league with the devil received a certain
amount of confirmation, as we shall see by and by.

When I first began to take an interest in the Brontës I was admonished,
in a mysterious manner, to have nothing to do with such people. I was
advised to keep out of their way, lest I should hear their odious
language, and it was even hinted that they might in some Satanic way do
me bodily harm.

I am bound to say that matters in this respect have not altered
much since for the better. My attempts, recently, to get accurate
information on special points, regarding the Brontës and their ways,
have been looked upon as a kind of craze, out of which, I have been
assured, I was never likely to reap much credit. And even educated
people, when replying to my inquiries on matters of fact, have
sometimes felt called on to remind me that I was taking much pains with
regard to a dangerous and outlandish family.

In fact, the Brontës paid the penalty for being a little cleverer than
the people with whom they came in contact, and with whom they never
associated. The Brontës looked down on the people of their own rank
in life, and permitted no familiarities of any kind; and the only
person who ever joined in their dances, as far as is known, was Farmer
Burns. As they held aloof from everybody, they were only known by their
strange language and odd ways. Imagination filled up the unknown, and
gossips, as usual, made the most of every little circumstance. The fact
that Mrs. Brontë had once been a Catholic prejudiced in no small degree
the minds of Protestants against the children.

The clergyman’s presence in no way restrained the mirthful exuberance
of the dancers. Before he left home he was always one of the party, and
on his visits from college and from his living he often joined in their
mirth, as formerly. But on the occasion referred to by Mr. McAllister
he seemed uninterested in the familiar scene.

He was probably thinking of his precocious little women, Maria and
Elizabeth, whom he had left at Cowan Bridge school a month before; or
his heart may have been in the Haworth vicarage with the motherless
little girls, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, who were under the care of
their prim maiden aunt. Even then the children were wise beyond their
years, though, in their narrow world, they had scarcely begun to
accumulate the experience which enabled them to give local form and
color to their father’s stories.



The concert glen and romantic brook witnessed very different ceremonies
from that just described. At one period an awful drama took the place
of lissome glee, when Hugh Brontë, “the giant,” in wild passion, sought
to come into actual bodily conflict with the devil.

The potato blight fell as a crushing blow on the hopes of the Brontës,
and proved the turning-point of their fortunes. They were growing in
prosperity, and had enlarged their farm by the savings of many years.
Through industry and frugality they had added field to field until
their material success seemed to be assured; but while they were
rejoicing in the position to which they had attained, the potato crop
blackened, and melted away before their eyes.

Ireland at that period had two kinds of tenant farmers. One resembled
the drowsy oriental, who basks in the sun, and seems content, not to
live, but to exist.

In Ireland a large number of people on the land simply existed in
those days. They knew that if they drained or improved their farms
the landlords would raise their rents, so as to sweep away the entire
profits arising from their improvements. They were well aware that any
enlargement or brightening of their homesteads would cause the agent to
scent superfluous money, and put on the screw; for a tenant would be
more likely to make an effort to hold on to a comfortable house than to
an uncomfortable one. Every staple of thatch put upon the leaky roof,
or bucket of whitewash brushed on to the sooty walls of the cabin, gave
the landlord a new hold on the tenant, and supplied the agent with
a new pretext for increasing the rent for his master, or securing a
present for himself. And there were agents so kindly disposed towards
the miserable tenants that they preferred one pound as a present to
themselves to two pounds added to the landlord’s rent-roll.

Under these circumstances tenants of the indolent type did not drain
their lands or improve the appearance of their houses; and if they
had thriving cattle they kept them concealed in remote fields when
the agent was about; and when they were obliged to meet either agent
or landlord, they decked themselves out like Jebusites, in ragged and
squalid garments. It thus happened that landlords and land agents never
saw their tenantry except in rags, and thus the tenants contrived to
order themselves lowly and reverently to their betters.

The land of the thriftless brought forth potatoes in plenty. A little
lime and dike scourings, mixed together, sufficed for manure. The
potato seed was planted on the lea-sod, and covered up in ridges four
or five feet wide. The elaborate preparation for planting potatoes in
drills was then unheard of. Cabbage plants were dibbled into the edges
of the ridges, and the potatoes and cabbages grew together. Abundant
supplies of _West-reds_ and _Yellow-legs_ and _Copper-duns_, with large
Savoy and Drumhead cabbages, only needed to be dug and gathered, to
maintain existence.

Oats, following the potato crop, provided rough, wholesome bread, and
little yellow rats of Kerry cows supplied milk. Great stalwart men and
women lived on potatoes three times a day, with bread and buttermilk
and an occasional egg. Sometimes, in the autumn, a lean and venerable
cow would be fed for a few weeks on the after grass (flesh put on in
a hurry being considered more tender) and then killed, salted, and
hung up to the black back in the kitchen for family use. This _pièce
de résistance_ was the only flesh-meat ever known in the homes of such

Two pigs, fattened yearly on potatoes, and a few lambs, taken from
the early clover, met the demands of the landlord. The wool of the
sheep, spun, knitted, or woven at home, supplied scant, but sufficient,
wardrobes. For fuel they had whins, or furze, cut from the fences, and
turf from the bogs. The fire was preserved by _raking_ a half-burned
turf every night in the ashes, but a coal to light the fire was
occasionally borrowed from more provident neighbors, and carried by a
pair of tongs from house to house. Matches were unknown in those days.

The men broke stones by the roadsides, on warm days, for pocket-money
or tobacco, and the women obtained their little extras by the produce
of their surplus eggs, which they carried to market in little osier

Existence in such homes flowed smoothly, one year being exactly like
another. The people had no prospects, no hopes, no ambitions. They
lived from hand to mouth, and, while all went well, the fulness of each
day was sufficient for their simple wants. In their diurnal rounds they
gathered their _creels_ of potatoes, and drove their Kerry cows to the
fields, golden with tufted ragweeds and purple with prickly thistles.

Such people seldom had their rents raised or their improvements
confiscated, for the simple reason that they never made improvements,
and never sought, through sustained effort, to better their conditions.
They had no margin beyond the bare necessaries of life, no resources to
fall back upon, in case of calamity. With barely enough to supply their
daily wants, they lived on the verge of starvation, and when the famine
came they starved.

The Brontës were people of a different fibre. They would not
succumb without a struggle. They had advanced from the Emdale cabin
to the Lisnacreedy cottage, and thence to the house and farm in
Ballynaskeagh. The primitive corn-kiln, with its insignificant and
precarious profits, had been abandoned for the lucrative occupation of
macadamizing roads, and cultivating the land.

The Brontës worked hard, and were frugal as well as industrious. They
had hoarded the savings of many years, and invested all in a new farm,
and they felt that they had a right to look forward to a condition of
prosperity and independence.

The class to which the Brontës belonged differed widely from the inert
and feckless farmers that encumbered many a bankrupt estate. They did
not live from hand to mouth, spending each day’s efforts on each day’s
wants, and passing the summer in an easy doze. No people on earth
slaved and saved as they did. They worked late and early. Their wives
and daughters and little children rose with the sun, and labored the
live-long day. Every good thing raised on the farm went to market, to
meet the landlord’s exactions, and to add to the little store. Butter,
bacon, fowl, eggs, and such like, raised by the laborious housewife,
were sacred to the landlord, and to the hoard accumulated against the
rainy day.

For such slaves there was little recreation except a half holiday
on Christmas Day, with a party display on the Twelfth of July or
the Seventeenth of March. No toil, however, could crush out of them
the desire to better their lot, but their moiling and saving seldom
resulted in anything more brilliant than a five-pound note to pay a
son’s passage to America, or a twenty-pound portion for the daughter.

The industry of the Brontës was not in vain. They lived under the
best landlords that Ireland has ever produced. “The Sharman estate,”
now known as “the Sharman-Crawford property,” has been blessed by a
succession of Christian landlords, who recognized that landed property
had duties as well as privileges, and who have made it their life work
to propagate their doctrines by peaceful persuasion.

On the Sharman estate the Brontës had a fair field for their
industries. They worked in absolute harmony, as far as appeared to the
outside world. They were a loving family in their way, but without the
shows of love. Their home was all the world to them, and they clung to
it, in early life, with something of the affectionate attachment that
Emily Brontë and her sisters afterwards manifested towards the sombre
parsonage at Haworth. They were healthful, hopeful and happy in their
farm, with the growing signs of plenty around them.

At this juncture the potato blight, which cracked the framework of
Ireland’s economic arrangements, blasted the Brontë paradise. The
affection of the farmer towards his growing crops is in proportion to
the solicitude with which he has watched over them; but the Brontës
only learned fully what a treasure the potato crop had been to them
when it was taken away. Never had their farm seemed so beautiful, or
the potatoes appeared so bountiful, but, in a night, the fields were
smitten black, and the stench of rotting leaves filled the air. The
tubers became rotten and repulsive, instead of being white and floury.

Many theories were advanced to account for the calamity. Pamphlets were
published and sermons preached, to show that national disaster had
followed on the heels of national wrongdoing. Seasons for humiliation
and fasting and prayer were set apart, to supplicate Almighty God to
take away the awful judgment.

The Brontë mind never ran smoothly with the common current. To them the
evil appeared to be simply the work of the devil. The Brontës held the
simple old Zoroastrian creed that everything beneficent was the work of
God, and everything maleficent the work of the Evil One.

Such opinions were not confined to the Brontës. As children we were
given to understand that frosted blackberries were _clubbed_ by the
devil, who had blown his breath upon them as he passed by; and of
course we all knew that the old Enemy, with the club foot, lurked in
the blackberry bushes.

Servants and common laborers held to the belief, no doubt prompted
and fortified by the action of the Brontës, that the devil went bodily
from potato field to potato field, in his work of destruction; and many
reports got into circulation, that he had been actually seen among the
potatoes, in the form of a black dog or black bull, but that he always
vanished in a flash of lurid light when challenged.

Hugh Brontë no more doubted that the devil, in bodily form, had
destroyed the potato crop than he doubted his own existence. He saw the
prop struck from under the family by a malignant enemy, and he would
not tamely submit to the personal injury. It was both cruel and unjust
that the devil, who never did any work, should pollute the fruits of
their toil. He would shame the fiend out of his foul work; and for this
purpose he would go deliberately to the field, and gather a basketful
of rotten potatoes. These he would carry solemnly to the brink of the
glen, and, standing on the edge of a precipice, call on the fiend to
behold his foul and filthy work; and then, with great violence, dash
them down as a feast for the fetid destroyer. This ceremony of feasting
the fiend on the proceeds of his own foul work was often repeated,
with fierce and desperate energy; and the Devil’s Dining-room is still
pointed out by the neighbors.

I knew a man who witnessed one of these scenes. He spoke of Hugh
Brontë’s address to the devil as being sublime in its ferocity. With
bare, outstretched arms, the veins in his neck and forehead standing
out like hempen cords, and his voice choking with concentrated passion,
he would apostrophize Beelzebub, as the bloated fly, and call upon him
to partake of the filthy repast he had provided. The address ended with
wild, scornful laughter as Brontë hurled the rotten potatoes down the

The dramatic power of the ceremony was so real, and the spell of
Brontë’s earnestness was so contagious, that my informant, who was
not a superstitious man, declared that for a few seconds after the
challenge was given he watched in terror, expecting the fiend to



The fight between Welsh Brontë and Sam Clarke of Ballynaskeagh was an
era-making event. The contest took place long before my time, but I had
a precise and full account of the battle from two eye-witnesses. No
encounter of the kind in County Down ever made such a noise, or left
such a lasting impression. Like the flight of Mahomet or the founding
of Rome, it became a fixed point around which other events ranged

Women would speak of their children as born, or their daughters
married, so many years before or after the fight; and old men, in
referring to their ages, would tell how they had been present when
Welsh Brontë licked Sam Clarke, and that they must have been of such
an age at the time. It was one of those famous encounters which only
required the pen of Pindar to give it immortality in epic form.

The history of the affair which I here submit embodies the conclusions
at which I have arrived, after comparing twenty or thirty versions;
but I am specially indebted to the late Mr. John Todd of Croan, who
was present at the battle with his brother James, and who narrated the
incidents of the contest, with many picturesque details. I should add,
however, that the Todds were friends of the Brontës, and told the story
with the warmth of partisans.

Welsh Brontë had a sweetheart called Peggy Campbell, and she had a
little, delicate, deformed brother who used to go to Ballynafern
school on crutches. Some of the big healthy boys thoughtlessly amused
themselves by tormenting the little cripple. He often arrived home with
his clothes torn and daubed with mud, and sometimes showing in his
person the signs of ill-treatment. After the manner of school-boys, he
would never tell on his tormentors. Welsh’s sweetheart, however, had
discovered the cowardly and cruel treatment to which her little brother
had been subjected, and appealed to Welsh to protect him.

Welsh had, no doubt, often heard the story of his father’s wrongs,
when a child, and, at a hint from Peggy, constituted himself the
champion of the injured boy. He went to Sam Clarke, who was a near
relative of the chief offenders, and begged him to interfere.

Clarke, who was said to be something of a bully, advised Brontë to
mind his own business, and Brontë replied that that was the exact
thing he was doing; and then he added, as a threat, that unless Clarke
restrained his brutal relatives he would chastise them himself. Hot
words ensued, and Brontë and Clarke parted with expressions of mutual

Welsh Brontë’s blood was up. His sense of justice was roused on behalf
of an ill-used child, and his feelings of chivalry impelled him to
become the champion of his sweetheart’s brother.

Meanwhile the boys were meditating vengeance on their victim, who, in
addition to the crime of meek endurance, had, they believed, proved a
_sneak_, by telling of their misdeeds.

Welsh Brontë resolved to watch the children on their way home from
school on the following day. He took up his position in a clump of
trees somewhere near the glen. He waited long, but the school-children
did not appear, and, thinking that perhaps they had returned home by
another path, he left his ambush to resume his work. Suddenly he heard
hilarious cheering and piteous cries, and hurrying towards the spot
from which the noise came, he found the school engaged in the ceremony
of “_ducking_ the _clash beg_,” or tale-bearer.

They had taken the poor little cripple’s crutches from him, and had
placed him in the middle of a pond of water, up to his neck, and then,
having taken hands, they danced round the pond, chanting, “Clash beg!”
“Clash beg!” “Clash beg!”

Welsh Brontë took in the situation at a glance, and captured the two
biggest Clarkes before they knew he was near. He then compelled them
to wade into the pond, and support gently to the edge their victim.
When they had placed him on the dry ground, he was so exhausted that he
could neither stand nor support himself on his crutches, and Brontë
obliged the Clarkes to carry him home on their backs, time about, the
water dripping down their clothes. They did as Brontë directed them,
but only after considerable chastisement.

The other children had fled home in alarm, and had given a highly
colored description of the inhuman manner in which Brontë was treating
the Clarkes. Some of them reported that he had actually drowned them
in the pond. On that night a challenge from Sam Clarke reached Welsh
Brontë, and was instantly accepted.

The time for angry words had gone, and all preliminary formalities were
carried out according to rule, and with perfect courtesy. “Seconds”
were appointed, the day was fixed, and a professional pugilist, who
resided at Newry, was engaged to act as referee. Both men went into
close training, and the event was awaited with the most intense
excitement for ten miles round.

The day, a charming summer day, at last arrived. A crowd numbering
ten thousand--some estimated the number at from thirty to fifty
thousand--assembled. They came together from Newry, Banbridge,
Rathfriland, Dromore, Hilltown, Warrenpoint, Loughbrickland, and other
towns and districts. Such an assemblage of the scoundrelism of that
region had never been drawn together before. But they were not all
scoundrels, for public opinion had not, at that time, affixed the stamp
of infamy indelibly to the brutal exhibitions of the ring; and it was
said that a number of sporting clergymen and country gentlemen were
present, undisguised and unashamed.

Many circumstances rendered the field famous. The mothers of the
combatants had fed their sons for the fray like gamecocks; oat-bread
and new milk were the staple food which was supposed to give muscle,
strength, and endurance.

Shortly before the fight Clarke’s mother, when giving him his last meal
before the encounter, said to him, “Sam, my son, may you never get bit
or sup from me more, if you do not lick the mongrel.”

This Spartan speech spread through the field like wildfire, and such
was the code of honor, on that occasion, that the exhortation was much
blamed, and led to a strong current of popularity in favor of Brontë.
The word “mongrel,” referring to the fact that her son’s antagonist
had had a Catholic mother, was considered unfitting to be used in
connection with the noble encounter that was about to take place.

The ring was roped off in the hollow of a green field; the multitude
stood on the rising ground around, and all could see the entire ring.
Three or four hundred men were enrolled as “special order preservers,”
and stood in a circle round the ring, two or three deep. The seconds
and referee and umpire were in their places at the opposite sides of
the ring.

The hour fixed to begin was twelve o’clock, and prompt to the minute
the two combatants strode down leisurely through the crowd, each with
his sweetheart leaning on his arm; their mothers already occupied seats
of honor outside the ring.

Clarke was an older and maturer man than Brontë, and much bigger.
Beside him, Brontë, in his tight-fitting homespun, looked slender and
youthful and overmatched.

In consequence of the ungenerous and unguarded words spoken by Clarke’s
mother, sympathy, as we have seen, was already on Brontë’s side, and
this was greatly increased by the natural feeling that prompts the
generous to take the weak side.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, the original cause of the
quarrel was wholly lost sight of before the fight began. No one seemed
to give a thought to the circumstance that Brontë had got into the
affair by espousing the cause of a helpless boy. After listening to
an account of the fight, from some old man who had witnessed it, I
have often asked what it was about, and I have generally got for
answer, “Oh, it was just a fight,” my question being evidently deemed
irrelevant, and somewhat silly.

The champions stepped into the ring, and their sweethearts with them.
As each stripped he handed his clothes to his future wife, and these
two women stood, each with her lover’s garments on her arm, till the
matter was decided.

Time was not accurately kept, but the battle was said to have lasted
three or four hours. At first Clarke had the advantage in strength
and weight, but Brontë, who had long arms, was lithe and active and
wiry, and did not seem to weary as the day wore on. On the contrary,
Clarke began to show signs of fatigue, but the spectators thought he
was simply husbanding his strength. Throughout the whole contest not a
word was heard. Suddenly, Miss Campbell’s voice rang out clear in the
silence: “Welsh, my boy, go in and avenge my brother, and the mongrel.”

Peggy Campbell, by her woman’s instinct, discerned that the hour for
the final effort and victory had come. Welsh responded like a lightning
flash. A few awful moments followed. The spectators held their breaths
and some fainted, others covered their eyes with their hands, or
averted their faces. Terrific crushing and crashing blows were heard
all over the field, and when the blows ceased to resound, Sam Clarke
was lying a motionless heap in the ring.

The crowd, after the long suspense and hushed silence, lost all control
of themselves, and wanted to rush in and chair the victor, but the
“special order preservers” held the ring, and the sea of human beings
surged against them in vain.

Welsh Brontë declined to receive congratulations until he had deposited
his antagonist safely at home in bed. The fight was followed by no evil
consequences, and Sam Clarke and Welsh Brontë became fast friends from
that day forth.

All were agreed as to the closing scene. During the last few seconds
the fight became so fierce and furious that the blood of the spectators
ran cold. Nothing like it for wild fury and Titanic ferocity had ever
been witnessed, and no such battle has ever, since or before, been
fought in County Down.



The glen, on the edge of which the Brontës lived, lay secluded among
the hills, remote from the more frequented thoroughfares of the
country. It was a beautiful and romantic spot by day, but lonesome
and desolate at night. For miles round it had the reputation of being
haunted, and few passed that way after dark. Those who were obliged to
do so heard unnatural splashes in the stream, and rustlings among the
bracken, and strange moanings and sobbings among the trees, when there
was not a breath of air stirring.

Strange and fitful cries were said to be heard in the glen, and doleful
wailings, as of some one in agony.

Long ago, according to tradition, a woman had been murdered in the
glen by her false lover and betrayer. Hugh Brontë had told the story,
with minute details and local color, till everybody who frequented the
gatherings at the kiln knew it by heart.

The villain had enticed his victim to Rathfriland fair, on pretence
of getting the wedding ring. He had there attempted to strangle her,
but she had escaped from his grasp, and was making her way home to her
mother, through fields and byways, when, according to one of Patrick
Brontë’s unpublished songs:

    “Over hedges and ditches he took the near way,
    Until he got before her on that dismal day.”

He waylaid her in the lonely glen, and murdered her under circumstances
of great atrocity. On that night the ghost of the murdered woman
rushed upon the assassin, and, with a wild scream, dragged him from
his bed and through the window of his cabin, and down, down, down,
with unearthly yells, to the bottomless pit. The whole story was told
in verse, I believe, by Patrick Brontë, and sung to a sad air at local
gatherings. It ran partly thus:

    “This young man he went to his bed all in a dreadful fright.
    And Kitty’s ghost appeared to him, it was an awful sight.
    She clasped her a-rums round him, saying, You’re a false young man,
    But now I’ll be avenged of you, so do the best you can.”

The punishment was, according to local sentiment, well deserved; but
both were doomed to walk the earth for a thousand years. They had made
their abode in the glen, hence the doleful and dismal voices.

Another circumstance added to the horror with which the glen was
regarded at night. It was said that, at a remote period, a man who had
been robbed committed suicide, at a crossing of the brook. He was still
living when found with his throat cut, and up to his last breath he
continued to moan, with a gurgling sound, “There were ten tenpennies in
my pocket at the river.”

I believe the story was founded on fact. A man had committed suicide
under the circumstances narrated, but in quite a different part of
the country. The deed, however, had come to be located in the Brontë
glen, and increased the superstitious awe with which the place was then
regarded. A snipe frequented the spot at night, and as people attempted
to cross, it would start with a sudden screech from almost beneath
their feet. The bird with the unearthly yell was supposed to be the
spirit of the unfortunate man.

On one occasion Hugh Brontë was riding home with a neighbor. When they
had reached the glen a headless man appeared on the road in front of
them. The neighbor’s horse stood shivering, as if rooted to the ground,
but Brontë’s horse, without any appearance of fear, walked up to the
dreadful object, and Brontë, unmoved, and without pause or word, simply
cracked his whip at it, and it disappeared in a flash of light.

Ghost baiting became a passion with the Brontës, and though they were
too proud to associate much with their neighbors, they were not averse
to being stared at and talked of by them.

The mill at the lower end of the glen, where now stand Mr. Ratcliffe’s
dwelling-house and offices, was haunted. Lights flitted through it at
night, and no one would go near it after sunset. When the terror was
at its height Hugh Brontë armed himself with a sword and a Bible, and
went alone to encounter the ghost or devil, or whatever it might be.

The neighbors, who saw Brontë marching to his doom, stood afar off in
the darkness, and awaited the result. Unearthly noises were heard, and
it was clear that a serious contest was proceeding. After a long delay
Brontë returned, bruised and battered and greatly exhausted, but he
would give no account of what had transpired.

His secrecy regarding his adventure increased the terror of the
superstitious, for it was given out and believed that Brontë, having
been worsted in the encounter, saved his life by making some compact
with the fiend or ghost. And some even believed that he was ever after
in league with the powers of darkness.

This fearsome theory seemed to be confirmed by Hugh Brontë’s subsequent
action. One dark and dismal night, the ghost in the glen began to wail
like a child in distress. The people barred their doors, covered their
heads in bed with their blankets, and stopped their ears, to keep out
the unearthly sounds; but Hugh Brontë went down quietly to the glen,
and soothed the ghost until by little and little its moaning died away.

On several occasions it was believed that Hugh was actually seen in the
glen, standing with his hand on the mane of a magnificent black horse,
but when any neighbor drew near, the black horse dwindled into a great
black cat, which kept purring around Brontë, and rubbing itself against
his legs. As soon as the neighbor withdrew, the cat would again develop
into the large black horse, and Brontë was often seen riding up and
down upon it, near precipices and ravines where there was no path!

There was also supposed to be a white-sheeted figure that used to
frequent the glen, carrying a little child in her arms. It was said
that she was in the habit of asking for a night’s lodging, but never
seemed disposed to accept it. She generally kept her face covered, or
averted, but when it was exposed it proved to be a toothless, grinning
skull, with a light shining from each eyeless socket.

One of the Brontë sisters and her daughter lived in a house near by, in
which a man called Fraser had hanged himself. The house was declared
to be haunted. Apparitions appeared in it, both by day and night, but
especially at night. Noises were heard in the rooms during the hours of
darkness. When the inmates slept at night, something like a huge frog
with claws used to rush up the clothes from the foot of the bed, settle
on their chests, and almost suffocate them.

Hugh went to his sister’s house one night, taking his gun with him. He
upbraided Fraser for his ungallant and mean conduct in frightening lone
women, and then called on him to come out like a man and face him. But
nothing appeared, the ghost evidently declining to face a loaded musket.

Brontë was importunate in his challenge, taunting Fraser’s ghost with
all kinds of sarcastic gibes and accusations, that he might irritate
it into appearing, but the ghost would not be drawn. Then he fired off
his gun, and challenged the ghost to meet him face to face, using every
scornful and reproachful epithet to drive it into a passion, but all in

On the following night Hugh returned to the haunted house with a
fiddle, and tried to coax the ghost to appear in response to the music.
The ghost, however, remained obdurate, regardless alike of threats,
reproaches, and blandishments. Brontë returned home that night in a
state of wild excitement. All the way he incessantly called on Fraser
to come and shake hands with him, and make up their quarrel.

He retired to bed in a delirium of frenzy, and during the night the
ghost appeared to him, and gave him a terrific squeeze, from which he
never recovered. He died shortly after in great suffering, upbraiding
Fraser for his heartless cruelty and cowardice, and he declared, dying,
that when he reached the land of shadows he would take measures to
prevent Fraser from haunting his sister and niece. After Hugh’s death
the rumblings and apparitions ceased to trouble his sister’s house.

The great horror, however, of the haunted glen was the _Headless
Horseman_. The phantom generally made its appearance among thickets of
tangled bushes, which no horse could penetrate, and glided silently
over uneven and broken ground, where no horse could have gone.

It always appeared to be ridden and guided by a man in flowing robes,
whose feet were firmly in the stirrups and whose hands held the bridle,
but whose head had been chopped off, leaving only a red and jagged

The ghastly spectacle was so minutely described by the Brontës that
others carried the picture of it in their imaginations, and it is
not to be wondered at if many thought they saw the spectre among the
shimmering shadows of the trees.

A neighbor of the Brontës, Kaly Nesbit, a very old and, I believe,
a very good man, once gave to a number of us a vivid account of the
apparition. He told the story with great earnestness, and with apparent
conviction as to its truth. I give his account as nearly as I can in
his own quaint language:

“I heerd the horse nichering in the glen. It was not the voice of a
horse but of a fiend, for it came out of the bowels of the earth, and
shook the hills, and made the trees quake. Besides, there was no room
for a horse on the steep bank, and among the bushes and brablack.

”I had just had a drap of whiskey, about a noggin, and I wasn’t a bit
afeard of witch or warlock, ghost or devil, and so I stepped into the
glen to see for myself whatever was to be seen.

“At first I could not see any inkling of a horse, but I heerd the
branches swishing along his sides, at the lower end of the glen. Then
I saw a large dark object as big as a haystack coming nixt me, and
walking straight through trees and bushes as if they were mere shadows.

“I juked down behind a hedge of broom, and as I hunkered in the shadow
he came on in the slightly dusk light. The horse was as big as four
horses, and at a distance I thought the rider was a huge blackavised
man; but when he came fornenst me the moon fell full upon him through
a break in the trees, and then I saw that he was crulged up on the
saddle, and that only a red and ghastly stump stuck up between his
shoulders, where his head should have been.

”I escaped unseen, but just as the terrible thing passed me it nichered
again horribly, and I saw sparks of fire darting out of its mouth.

“It then turned and cut triangle across the valley, passing over the
cockpit, and walking upon the air, as it emerged into the moonlight.
It walked up straight against the steep edge of the quarry-pit, and
vanished into the bank. I saw it vanishing by degrees, like a shadow,
at first black, but growing lighter and lighter, till it entirely
disappeared, and there was nothing on the high bank where it stopped
but the bright moonlight.”

Kaly Nesbit had the reputation of being a very good man. I knew him
pretty well, especially as a near relative of his had been my kind
old nurse, who imparted to me much Brontë lore. I am sure he believed
the fascinating story he told; but a noggin of whiskey is a rather
indefinite quantity, and Kaly Nesbit, on that night, may have had his
faculties for hearing and seeing in a rather sensitive condition.

However that may have been, his sober and earnest account of the
monstrous spectre, confirming, as it did, the wildest stories of the
Brontës, created a profound impression.



(Illustrated with photographs of Doctor Luys’s patients, taken at the
Charity Hospital in Paris.)

The scientific world is greatly interested in the dispute between
the believers in the value of hypnotic experiments for purposes of
therapeutics and psychology, and those who stigmatize the wonderful
results which the former claim to have obtained, as the mere outcome of
delusion or fraud.

[Illustration: DOCTOR LUYS.]

Ever since the possibility of producing phenomena by the effect of
animal magnetism was established, and their medical value asserted,
by Frederick Anthony Mesmer, in his theory of mesmeric cures, the
most violent hostility has been provoked. Volumes of controversy have
been written, the most ardent of the writers being Nees Von Esenbeck,
Kieser, Enemoser, Carus and Kluge amongst the Germans, and Deleaze and
Foissac among the French.

The report made by the commission appointed by the French Academy
of Sciences, the principal members of which were Benjamin Franklin,
Lavoisier, Bailly, and Guillotin, pronounced the whole theory of
Mesmer charlatanry, asserting that “there is no proof of the existence
of the animal magnetic fluid; that this fluid, having no existence,
is consequently without utility; and that the violent effects to
be observed are due to the manipulations, to the excitement of the
imagination, and to that sort of mechanical imitation which leads us to
repeat anything which produces an impression on the senses.”

The consensus of opinion among scientists was opposed to the soundness
of the theory of hypnotism. Yet such men as Laplace, Agassiz, Hufeland,
Sir William Hamilton, and Doctor William Carpenter were always among
its stanch supporters, so far as the fundamental facts were concerned.


The novel development of the subject on sharply defined lines of
scientific method owes itself to J. Braid, a surgeon of Manchester,
England, who first published the results of his studies in 1840. But
it was many years before his studies became widely known and had
their due weight. He now shines _primus inter pares_ among those
who have shed most light on a perplexing problem. But just as the
modern French art school built itself upon the work of the Englishman
Constable, so it took the genius and enthusiasm of such investigators
as Doctors Charcot and Luys, and of Colonel Rochas d’Aiglun to carry on
Braid’s beginnings. These three scientists of recognized worth never
proclaimed that the secrets of hypnotism have been solved, or that its
possibilities have been more than foreshadowed; they simply asserted
that the results already obtained, many being practical in an eminent
degree, give encouragement to pursue their investigations.


It is my purpose to simply set forth that which has come under my
personal observation at the Charité Hospital, whose doctor-in-chief,
Doctor Luys, is to-day the most enthusiastic believer in experiments on
the hypnotic phenomena.


The hypnotic experiments practised by the doctor-in-chief of the
Charité Hospital, may be roughly divided into two classes. The first
are experiments of a speculative kind, that is to say, such as do not
produce practical effects. The second class includes such as often
produce such results. These last experiments are mainly the diagnosis
of patients by subjects in the hypnotic state, the cure of nervous
disorders by the transfer of the same from patients to subjects in the
hypnotic state, and the cure of moral and physical maladies by the
power of suggestion.

The hypnotic state is divided by Doctor Luys into five phases of
intensity: somnambulism, fascination, catalepsy, lethargy, and
hypo-lethargy, with various intermediary phases which have not yet been
tabulated. The hypnotic state in one or other of its phases is produced
in the subject or patient in two ways; by word of command or by the
use of the rotative mirror. The rotative mirror is often used where
hypnotic influence is first applied to an individual. This mirror much
resembles that used by bird catchers for snaring larks. It is composed
of four arms, overlaid with bright, polished metal. The arms revolve
by clockwork on a pivot, at a tremendous rate of speed. The patient is
seated in a high-backed chair with his back to the light, which shines
full on the mirror, and is bidden to keep his eyes fixed upon it, and
simultaneously to desire to be sent to sleep. The clockwork sets the
mirror in rotary motion with a dazzling effect. Sleep is not invariably
produced. Many persons are refractory; but, as a rule, in about twenty
per cent. of the cases the operation is successful, and after a period
varying from five to twenty minutes the patient is seen to drop to


“The eyes,” says a writer on the subject, “are first attracted by the
rays of light which flash from the wings of the mirror, then little
by little, and at the end of a period which varies according to the
temperament of the patient, a kind of fascination is produced, the
lids get tired and imperceptibly close, the head falls back, and the
patient sleeps a sleep which seems natural, but which is really one
of the first phases of the hypnotic sleep.” In other cases, that is
to say, in the case of patients who are more predisposed, a slight
shock is manifested during the state of fascination, due, no doubt, to
the sudden contraction of some muscle or system of muscles, and the
patient falls into a deep sleep, breathing hard. He is then completely
insensible, and apt for the reception of suggestion, having passed
quickly through the several stages of the hypnotic sleep, sometimes
to the last. In most cases, however, where the doctor has to do with
subjects who have often been hypnotized, the simple word of command,
without passes or gestures of any kind, suffices. With these he has
but to say, “Go to sleep,” and they fall at once into a hypnotic state
of greater or lesser profundity. Doctor Luys is, however, the sole
possessor of hypnotism I have seen who has this power; and both Charcot
and his assistant, Doctor Encausse, as well as Colonel Rachas, are
obliged to enforce their commands with certain gestures of the hands
and influence of the eyes.


Doctor Luys says: “From the social point of view, these new states
of instantaneous loss of consciousness into which hypnotic or merely
fascinated subjects may be made to pass deserve to be considered
with lively interest. As I shall have to explain to you later, the
individual in these novel conditions no longer belongs to himself; he
is surrendered, an inert being, to the enterprise of those who surround
him. He may be induced to become a homicide, an incendiary or suicide,
and all these impulses deposited in his brain during sleep become
forces stored up silently, which will then burst forth at a given
moment, causing acts like those performed by the really insane. All
these are real facts which you may meet with this very day in ordinary

This is, indeed, one of the most dangerous features of hypnotism, that
a being, apparently in perfect possession of himself, may be forced
to do things by the potency of a command given to him in a trance, a
fatal edict which he does not in the least remember, but is constrained
mechanically to obey. Doctor Luys and his _confrères_ insist that,
unjust as it may appear, the plea of having acted irresponsibly under
the effect of a hypnotic suggestion cannot, when the safety of society
is involved, be admitted as an excuse any more than drunkenness. This
justifies the French law that none but licensed physicians should
practise hypnotic experiments.


Fortunately for the science of hypnotism the same energy towards useful
acts can be stimulated, and it is just this entire obedience of which
the professors take advantage for the practice of their healing art.
Thus the confirmed drunkard, the man of vicious habits, the lazy child,
the kleptomaniac, the suicidal or homicidal maniac can be cured. More
wonderful things have been achieved. The patient’s willpower can be
so intensified as to enable him to resume mastery of parts of the
body which, as the result of such nervous disorders as paralysis,
he may have entirely lost. Cases of ague, tic nerveux, neuralgia,
and analogous disorders have been cured by repeatedly enjoining the
patient, while in the hypnotic state, to conquer his trouble.


These cures may be divided into two classes, the first effected by
auto-suggestion, that is to say, by inspiring the patient with the
determination to get the better of his disorder; and, second, those
effected by the transfer of the disorder from the patient in his
ordinary state to a subject in the hypnotic state.

In the same class may be named numerous cases of persons to whom
hypnotism has been administered, just as chloroform is in other cases,
as an anæsthetic: as, for instance, the case of a girl who came to the
hospital maddened with toothache, and who, once in the hypnotic state,
into which she was thrown by the influence of the revolving mirrors,
allowed two molar teeth, which till then had caused her the most
excruciating agony, to be removed without a sign of discomfort.


The second class of cures are, however, by far the most interesting
and the most wonderful. These are the “direct cures,” which are called
cures by transfer. This is the method used. One of the subjects
attached to Doctor Luys’ clinic--such subjects being persons who have
proved themselves very susceptible--is sent to sleep by a word of
command from the doctor, and in this state grasps the hands of the
patient who desires to be cured. In some cases the hands of the subject
are laid upon the patient’s head. The subject is now described as
“tapping” the patient of the nervous disorder that affects him. During
the process of the transfer an assistant passes a magnetized iron bar
over the arms and bodies of both patient and subject. The transfer
usually lasts about three minutes. During this period the subject, or
the person in the hypnotic state, assumes the individuality of the
patient for the nonce, and can answer the doctor’s questions as to the
patient’s state and progress. Thus it is the former and not the latter
whom the doctor will question how the case is progressing and what
ameliorations may be felt, and the subject will answer. In the cases
which I saw, the patient in every case described what the subject had
said about his state, symptoms, and progress as absolutely true and
exact. It is further stated that no injury whatever is wrought on the
substitute. While relieving the patient from whom the transfer is made,
this vicarious agent is considerably benefited.


The detection of imposture on the part of the subject has invariably
resulted in immediate dismissal.


All the experiments described above are, if genuine (but scientific
camps are divided on the question of their genuineness), of practical
value. The same thing may be said of another series of test studies,
which are also being pursued, though the value is less in degree.
Doctor Luys says that the subject in the hypnotic state has an
intensely increased visual faculty. Indeed, one of the symptoms of
this state is a very noticeable alteration of the appearance of the
eye. It is stated by the doctor, and the experiments publicly made may
be considered as convincing, that, thanks to this increased visual
faculty, the hypnotic subject is able to see in the human face what is
entirely hidden to ordinary sight.


For some time past the doctor had established that when a magnet is
presented to a hypnotic subject in one of the phases of trance, the
effect produced varies, according as the north or south pole, that is
to say, the negative or the positive end of the magnet, is offered. The
north pole in all cases produces a state of intense delight, expressed
by gestures and outcries of pleasure. The subjects in this case declare
that they see at the end of the magnet emanations of a beautiful blue
light. When the bar is reversed the greatest horror and disgust at once
affect the subject. If asked what it is that causes this dismay the
subject will answer that it is the sight of a fearful red light playing
around the end of the magnet.


Investigating further in this direction the doctor has discovered that
the same subjects can detect in the human face emanations corresponding
to those seen at the ends of the magnetic bar. Thus from the left eye
and left ear and left corner of the mouth in persons in a good state of
health, blue emanations can be seen by the hypnotized person, according
to the declarations of such subjects.

In cases of persons, however, suffering from nervous disorders, or from
the results of diseases or accidents, the colors vary. Thus, according
to one of the subjects, the red light proceeding from the right eye of
a person affected with shortsightedness and fatigue of the organ was
largely spotted with violet. Violet is the characteristic color in all
cases of great nervous fatigue. Black, green, and multi-colored flames
have been described by the subjects as showing from persons suffering
with various forms of nervous disorder. A man who had been wounded
in the eye with a rapier was characterized, at an interval of three
months, by two different subjects, who, according to Doctor Luys, had
had no means of inter-communication, as emitting a green light from the
injured organ.


If it can be established that certain diseases produce in those
suffering from them a variation in the color of the emanations, which
are perceptible to the hypnotic subject, the existence and nature of
the disease will be certified by the tint.

Amongst the experiments which have been classified as of a speculative
kind, and distinct from those of practical worth, none are more
interesting than those that involve the presentation to subjects in
the hypnotic state, of various substances and medicines contained in
hermetically sealed tubes. The manifestations, according as the tube
is presented on the right or the left side of the subject, indicate
emotions of a diametrically opposite nature. Thus, when a tube
containing ordinary red pepper was offered to the left, or, as the
doctor calls it, the blue side, of a girl subject in the hypnotic
state, symptoms of keen pleasure were discernible, which changed
suddenly to an expression of violent disgust when the tube was carried
to the red or right side. According to the doctor, the human being is
double, and does not feel the same on his red as on his blue side.
Thyme presented to one patient produced terrifying hallucinations; in
another it called forth an expression of calm delight. Singularly, in
the application of thyme there was a physiological effect, also, on
the thyroid gland of the throat, the size of the neck being increased
from thirty to thirty-three centimetres, or somewhat more than an inch.
Morphine in one patient bred fancies of an evidently terrifying nature;
in another, an intense drowsiness. The effect of frankincense presented
to the left of the neck was an emotion of terror. Some water in a tube,
held near the left side of a hypnotic subject’s head, caused a series
of spasms resembling those usual to patients suffering from hydrophobia.




The doctor maintains that in each case the patient was in total
ignorance of the contents of the tube. Indeed, in looking over the
illustrations of this article, which are direct reproductions from
_unretouched_ photographs, one can hardly help believing, with Doctor
Luys, that the effect is actual, not simulated. In conclusion, who can
tell but that these strange experiments will be looked upon some day as
the first lisps of a new science?





Author of “Zury,” “The Captain of Company K,” etc.

“Poor Abe Dodge.”

That’s what they called him, though he wasn’t any poorer than other
folks--not so poor as some. How could he be poor, work as he did and
steady as he was? Worth a whole grist of such bait as his brother, Ephe
Dodge, and yet they never called Ephe poor--whatever worse name they
might call him. When Ephe was off at a show in the village, Abe was
following the plough, driving a straight furrow, though you wouldn’t
have thought it to see the way his nose pointed. In winter, when Ephe
was taking the girls to singing school or spelling bee or some other
foolishness--out till after nine o’clock at night, like as not--Abe was
hanging over the fire, holding a book so the light would shine, first
on one page and then on the other, and he turning his head as he turned
the book, and reading first with one eye and then with the other.

There, the murder’s out! Abe couldn’t read with both eyes at once. If
Abe looked straight ahead he couldn’t see the furrow--nor anythin’
else, for that matter. His best friend couldn’t say but what Abe Dodge
was the cross-eyedest cuss that ever was. Why, if you wanted to see
Abe, you’d stand in front of him; but if you wanted Abe to see you,
you’d got to stand behind him, or pretty near it. Homely? Well, if you
mean downright “humbly,” that’s what he was. When one eye was in use
the other was out of sight, all except the white of it. Humbly ain’t no
name for it. The girls used to say he had to wake up in the night to
rest his face, it was so humbly. In school you’d ought to have seen him
look down at his copybook. He had to cant his head clear over and cock
up his chin till it pointed out of the winder and down the road. You’d
really ought to have seen him, you’d have died. Head of the class,
too, right along; just as near to the head as Ephe was to the foot;
and that’s sayin’ a good deal. But to see him at his desk! he looked
for all the world like a week-old chicken, peekin’ at a tumblebug! And
him a grown man, too, for he stayed to school winters so long as there
was anything more the teacher could teach him. You see, there wasn’t
anything to draw him away; no girl wouldn’t look at him--lucky, too,
seein’ the way he looked.


Well, one term there was a new teacher come--regular high-up girl,
down from Chicago. As bad luck would have it, Abe wasn’t at school the
first week--hadn’t got through his fall work. So she got to know all
the scholars, and they was awful tickled with her--everybody always
was that knowed her. The first day she come in and saw Abe at his desk,
she thought he was squintin’ for fun, and she upped and laughed right
out. Some of the scholars laughed too, at first; but most of ’em, to do
’em justice, was a leetle took back; young as they was, and cruel by
nature. (Young folks is most usually always cruel--don’t seem to know
no better.)


Well, right in the middle of the hush, Abe gathered up his books and
upped and walked outdoors, lookin’ right ahead of him, and consequently
seeing the handsome young teacher unbeknown to her.

She was the worst cut up you ever did see; but what could she do or
say? Go and tell him she thought he was makin’ up a face for fun? The
girls do say that come noon-spell, when she found out about it, she
cried--just fairly cried. Then she tried to be awful nice to Abe’s
ornery brother Ephe, and Ephe he was tickled most to death; but that
didn’t do Abe any good--Ephe was jest ornery enough to take care that
Abe shouldn’t get any comfort out of it. They do say she sent messages
to Abe, and Ephe never delivered them, or else twisted ’em so as to
make things worse and worse. Mebbe so, mebbe not--Ephe was ornery
enough for it.

’Course the school-ma’am she was boardin’ round, and pretty soon it
come time to go to ol’ man Dodge’s, and she went; but no Abe could she
ever see. He kept away, and as to meals, he never set by, but took a
bite off by himself when he could get a chance. (’Course his mother
favored him, being he was so cussed unlucky.) Then when the folks was
all to bed, he’d come in and poke up the fire and peek into his book,
but first one side and then the other, same as ever.

Now what does school-ma’am do but come down one night when she thought
he was abed and asleep, and catch him unawares. Abe knowed it was her,
quick as he heard the rustle of her dress, but there wasn’t no help for
it, so he just turned his head away and covered his cross-eyes with his
hands, and she pitched in. What she said I don’t know, but Abe he never
said a word; only told her he didn’t blame her, not a mite; he knew she
couldn’t help it--no more than he could. Then she asked him to come
back to school, and he answered to please excuse him. After a bit she
asked him if he wouldn’t come to oblige her, and he said he calculated
he was obligin’ her more by stayin’ away.

[Illustration: AND EPHE HE WAS TICKLED.]

Well, come to that she didn’t know what to say or do, so, woman-like,
she upped and cried; and then she said he hurt her feelings. And the
upshot of it was he said he’d come, and they shook hands on it.

Well, Abe kept his word and took up schoolin’ as if nothing had
happened; and such schoolin’ as there was that winter! I don’t believe
any regular academy had more learnin’ and teachin’ that winter than
what that district school did. Seemed as if all the scholars had turned
over a new leaf. Even wild, ornery, no-account Ephe Dodge couldn’t help
but get ahead some--but then he was crazy to get the school-ma’am;
and she never paid no attention to him, just went with Abe. Abe was
teachin’ her mathematics, seeing that was the one thing where he knowed
more than she did--outside of farmin’. Folks used to say that if Ephe
had Abe’s head, or Abe had Ephe’s face, the school-ma’am would have
half of the Dodge farm whenever ol’ man Dodge got through with it; but
neither of them did have what the other had, and so there it was, you

[Illustration: AND SHE PITCHED IN.]

Well, you’ve heard of Squire Caton, of course; Judge Caton, they call
him, since he got to be Judge of the Supreme Court--and Chief Justice
at that. Well, he had a farm down there not far from Fox River, and
when he was there he was just a plain farmer like the rest of us,
though up in Chicago he was a high-up lawyer, leader of the bar. Now it
so happened that a young doctor named Brainard--Daniel Brainard--had
just come to Chicago and was startin’ in, and Squire Caton was
helpin’ him, gave him desk-room in his office and made him known to
the folks--Kinzies, and Butterfields, and Ogdens, and Hamiltons, and
Arnolds, and all of those folks--about all there was in Chicago in
those days. Brainard had been to Paris--Paris, France, not Paris,
Illinois, you understand--and knew all the doctorin’ there was to know
then. Well, come spring Squire Caton had Doc Brainard down to visit
him, and they shot ducks and geese and prairie chickens and some wild
turkeys and deer, too--game was just swarmin’ at that time. All the
while Caton was doin’ what law business there was to do; and Brainard
thought he ought to be doin’ some doctorin’ to keep his hand in, so he
asked Caton if there wasn’t any cases he could take up--surgery cases
especially he hankered after, seein’ he had more carving tools than
you could shake a stick at. He asked him particularly if there wasn’t
anybody he could treat for “strabismus.” The squire hadn’t heard of
anybody dying of that complaint; but when the doctor explained that
strabismus was French for cross-eyes, he naturally thought of poor
Abe Dodge, and the young doctor was right up on his ear. He smelled
the battle afar off; and ’most before you could say Jack Robinson the
squire and the doctor were on horseback and down to the Dodge farm,
tool-chest and all.

Well, it so happened that nobody was at home but Abe and Ephe, and
it didn’t take but few words before Abe was ready to set right down,
then and there, and let anybody do anything he was a mind to with his
misfortunate eyes. No, he wouldn’t wait till the old folks come home;
he didn’t want to ask no advice; he wasn’t afraid of pain, nor of what
anybody could do to his eyes--couldn’t be made any worse than they
were, whatever you did to ’em. Take ’em out and boil ’em and put ’em
back if you had a mind to, only go to work. He knew he was of age and
he guessed he was master of his own eyes--such as they were.

[Illustration: FIRST SPIRT OF BLOOD.]

Well, there wasn’t nothing else to do but go ahead. The doctor opened
up his killing tools and tried to keep Abe from seeing them; but Abe
he just come right over and peeked at ’em, handled ’em, and called ’em
“splendid”--and so they were, barrin’ havin’ them used on your own
flesh and blood and bones.

Then they got some cloths and a basin, and one thing and another, and
set Abe right down in a chair. (No such thing as chloroform in those
days, you’ll remember.) And Squire Caton was to hold an instrument that
spread the eyelid wide open, while Ephe was to hold Abe’s head steady.
First touch of the lancet, and first spirt of blood, and what do you
think? That ornery Ephe wilted, and fell flat on the floor behind the

“Squire,” said Brainard, “step around and hold his head.”

“I can hold my own head,” says Abe, as steady as you please. But Squire
Caton, he straddled over Ephe and held his head between his arms, and
the two handles of the eye-spreader with his hands.

It was all over in half a minute, and then Abe he leaned forward, and
shook the blood off his eyelashes, and looked straight out of that eye
for the first time since he was born. And the first words he said were:

“Thank the Lord! She’s mine!”

About that time Ephe he crawled outdoors, sick as a dog; and Abe spoke
up, says he:

“Now for the other eye, doctor.”

“Oh,” says the doctor, “we’d better take another day for that.”

“All right,” says Abe; “if your hands are tired of cuttin’, you can
make another job of it. My face ain’t tired of bein’ cut, I can tell

“Well, if you’re game, I am.”

So, if you’ll believe me, they just set to work and operated on the
other eye, Abe holding his own head, as he said he would, and the
squire holding the spreader. And when it was all done, the doctor was
for putting a bandage on to keep things quiet till the wounds all
healed up, but Abe just begged for one sight of himself, and he stood
up and walked over to the clock and looked in the glass, and says he:

“So that’s the way I look, is it? Shouldn’t have known my own
face--never saw it before. How long must I keep the bandage on, doctor?”

“Oh, if the eyes ain’t very sore when you wake up in the morning, you
can take it off, if you’ll be careful.”

“Wake up! Do you s’pose I can sleep when such a blessing has fallen on
me? I’ll lay still, but if I forget it, or you, for one minute this
night, I’ll be so ashamed of myself that it’ll wake me right up!”

Then the doctor bound up his eyes and the poor boy said “Thank
God!” two or three times, and they could see the tears running down
his cheeks from under the cloth. Lord! It was just as pitiful as a
broken-winged bird!

How about the girl? Well; it was all right for Abe--and all wrong for
Ephe--all wrong for Ephe! But that’s all past and gone--past and gone.
Folks come for miles and miles to see cross-eyed Abe with his eyes as
straight as a loon’s leg. Doctor Brainard was a great man forever after
in those parts. Everywhere else, too, by what I heard.

When the doctor and the squire come to go, Abe spoke up, blindfolded as
he was, and says he:

“Doc, how much do you charge a feller for savin’ his life--making a man
out of a poor wreck--doin’ what he never thought could be done but by
dyin’ and goin’ to kingdom come?”

“Oh,” says Doc Brainard, says he, “that ain’t what we look at as pay
practice. You didn’t call me in; I come of myself, as though it was
what we call a clinic. If all goes well, and if you happen to have a
barrel of apples to spare, you just send them up to Squire Caton’s
house in Chicago, and I’ll call over and help eat ’em.”

[Illustration: “DO YOU KNOW ME?”]

What did Abe say to that? Why, sir, he never said a word; but they do
say the tears started out again, out from under the bandage and down
his cheeks. But then Abe he had a five-year-old pet mare he’d raised
from a colt--pretty as a picture, kind as a kitten, and fast as split
lightning; and next time Doc come down Abe he just slipped out to the
barn and brought the mare round and hitched her to the gate-post, and
when Doc come to be going, says Abe:

“Don’t forget your nag, doctor; she’s hitched at the gate.”

Well, sir, even then Abe had the hardest kind of a time to get Doc
Brainard to take that mare; and when he did ride off, leadin’ her, it
wasn’t half an hour before back she came, lickety-split. Doc said she
broke away from him and put for home, but I always suspected he didn’t
have no use for a hoss he couldn’t sell nor hire out, and couldn’t
afford to keep in the village--that was what Chicago was then. But
come along toward fall Abe he took her right up to town, and then the
doctor’s practice had growed so much that he was pretty glad to have
her; and Abe was glad to have him have her, seeing all that had come to
him through havin’ eyes like other folks--that’s the school-ma’am, I

How did the school-ma’am take it? Well, it was this way. After the
cuttin’ Abe didn’t show up for a few days, till the inflammation got
down and he’d had some practice handlin’ his eyes, so to speak. He just
kept himself to himself, enjoying himself. He’d go around doin’ the
chores, singing so you could hear him a mile. He was always great on
singin’, Abe was, though ashamed to go to singin’-school with the rest.
Then, when the poor boy began to feel like other folks, he went right
over to where school-ma’am happened to be boardin’ round, and walked
right up to her and took her by both hands, and looked her straight in
the face, and said:

“Do you know me?”

Well, she kind of smiled and blushed, and then the corners of her
mouth pulled down, and she pulled one hand away, and--if you believe
me--that was the third time that girl cried that season, to my certain
knowledge--and all for nothin’ either time!

What did she say? Why, she just said she’d have to begin all over again
to get acquainted with Abe. But Ephe’s nose was out of joint, and Ephe
knowed it as well as anybody, Ephe did. It was Abe’s eyes to Ephe’s

Married? Oh, yes, of course; and lived on the farm as long as the old
folks lived, and afterwards, too; Ephe staying right along, like the
fool he always had been. That feller never did have as much sense as a
last year’s bird’s nest.

Alive yet? Abe? Well, no. Might have been if it hadn’t been for Shiloh.
When the war broke out Abe thought he’d ought to go, old as he was,
so he went into the Sixth. Maybe you’ve seen a book written about the
captain of Company K of the Sixth. It was Company K he went into--him
and Ephe. And he was killed at Shiloh--just as it always seems to
happen. He got killed, and his worthless brother come home. Folks
thought Ephe would have liked to marry the widow, but, Lord! she never
had no such an idea! Such bait as he was compared to his brother. She
never chirked up, to speak of, and now she’s dead too, and Ephe he just
toddles round, taking care of the children--kind of a he dry-nurse;
that’s about all he ever was good for, anyhow.

My name? Oh, my name’s Ephraim--Ephe they call me, for short; Ephe
Dodge. Abe was my brother.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McClure's Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 6, November 1893" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.