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Title: The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (June 1913) - Vol. LXXXVI. New Series: Vol. LXIV. May to October, 1913
Author: Various
Language: English
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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 "The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (June 1913) - Vol. LXXXVI. New Series: Vol. LXIV. May to October, 1913" ***

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                          Transcriber’s Notes

This e-text is based on ‘The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine,’
from June 1913. The table of contents has been added by the transcriber.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation have been retained, but
punctuation and typographical errors have been corrected. Passages
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[Illustration: TEMPLE OF ZEUS AT OLYMPIA

PAINTED FOR THE CENTURY BY JULES GUÉRIN]



      Copyright, 1913, by ~The Century Co.~ All rights reserved.



                             TRAVEL NUMBER

                        ~The Century Magazine~

            ~Vol. LXXXVI~        JUNE, 1913        ~No. 2~



                               CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

  ~The Great St. Bernard.~                _Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg_  161
      Pictures by André Castaigne.

  ~The Training of a Japanese Child.~     _Frances Little_           170
      Pictures from photographs.

  ~Brother Leo.~                          _Phyllis Bottome_          181
      Pictures by W. T. Benda.

  ~The Century’s After-the-war Series.~
    Another View of “The Hayes-Tilden
     Contest”.                            _George F. Edmunds_        192
        Portrait of Ex-Senator Edmunds.

  ~The Grand Cañon of the Colorado.~      _Joseph Pennell_           202
    Six lithographs drawn from
      nature for “The Century.”

  ~If Richard Wagner Came Back.~          _Henry T. Finck_           208
      Portrait of Wagner from photograph.

  ~Portrait of Dorothy McK----.~          _Wilhelm Funk_             211

  “~Black Blood.~”                        _Edward Lyell Fox_         213
      Pictures by William H. Foster.

  ~Skirting the Balkan Peninsula.~        _Robert Hichens_
     IV. Delphi and Olympia.                                         224
        Pictures by Jules Guérin and
          from photographs.

  ~Noosing Wild Elephants.~               _Charles Moser_            240
      Pictures from photographs.

  ~John Quincy Adams in Russia.~
    (Unpublished letters.)
    Introduction and notes by Charles
      Francis Adams. Portraits of John
      Quincy Adams and Madame de Staël                               250

  ~The Century’s American Artists
      Series.~
    Frank W. Benson: My Daughter.                                    264

  ~Sigiriya, “The Lion’s Rock” of
    Ceylon.~                              _Jennie Coker Gay_         265
      Pictures by Duncan Gay.

  ~Noteworthy Stories of the Last
    Generation.~
      Belles Demoiselles Plantation.      _George W. Cable_          273
        With portrait of the author,
          and new pictures by W. M.
          Berger.

  ~Colonel Watterson’s Rejoinder to
    Ex-Senator Edmunds.~                   _Henry Watterson_         285
      Comments on “Another View of ‘The
        Hayes-Tilden Contest.’”

  ~A Paper of Puns.~                      _Brander Matthews_         290
      Head-piece by Reginald Birch.

  ~T. Tembarom.~                          _Frances Hodgson Burnett_
      Drawings by Charles S. Chapman.                                296

  ~Under which Flag, Ladies, Order or
    Anarchy?~                             _Editorial_                309

  ~Newspaper Invasion of Privacy.~        _Editorial_                310

  ~The Changing View of Government.~      _Editorial_                311

  ~The Two-billion-dollar Congress.~      _Editorial_                313

  ~On the Lady and her Book.~             _Helen Minturn Seymour_    315

  ~On the Use of Hyperbole in
    Advertising.~                         _Agnes Repplier_           316

  ~After-Dinner Stories.~
    An Anecdote of McKinley.              _Silas Harrison_           319


VERSE

  ~Off Capri.~                            _Sara Teasdale_            223

  ~At the Closed Gate of Justice.~        _James D. Corrothers_      272

  ~Finis.~                                _William H. Hayne_         295

  ~Invulnerable.~                         _William Rose Benét_       308

  ~A Cubist Romance.~                     _Oliver Herford_           318
      Picture by Oliver Herford.

  ~Old Daddy Do-funny’s Wisdom Jingles.~  _Ruth McEnery Stuart_      319

  ~Limericks.~:
      Text and pictures by Oliver Herford.
      XXIX.   The Kind Armadillo.                                    320



THE GREAT ST. BERNARD

BY ERNST VON HESSE-WARTEGG

WITH PICTURES BY ANDRÉ CASTAIGNE


In a popular guide-book to Switzerland, it is stated that of all Alpine
passes the Great St. Bernard is the least interesting. With this view
the traveling public does not seem to agree, for the St. Bernard is
crossed every year by more people than any other pass. On an average,
twenty thousand annually arrive at the hospice on the summit, and nine
tenths of them during the short summer season, from the beginning of
July to the end of August, which means over three hundred daily.

Now, the whole district of the St. Bernard for many miles around
possesses not one of the vast caravansaries characteristic of the
picturesque mountain-tops in Switzerland,--indeed, not even a modest
inn,--where tourists may find shelter for a few days. Why, then, should
these armies of tourists invade the pass every summer, if it really
offers little of interest?

To me, who have seen almost all the passes from one end of the Alps
to the other, the trip over the Great St. Bernard was most enjoyable.
Though the scenery may not be so beautiful as that of the St. Gotthard,
for instance, it surpasses by far even that and most of the others in
wild grandeur; for nowhere else in the Alps can be found mountains
of bolder aspect and greater height. On the west, near the French
boundary, I need only mention Mont Blanc and Mont Dolent; on the east,
the glacier-covered peaks of Mont Velan, and the towering masses of the
Grand Combin.

The valley of the river Dranse, which is followed by the traveler from
Martigny, in the Rhone valley, to very near the summit, more than eight
thousand feet above the sea, is full of romantic beauty and wildness,
closed in by snow-covered mountains of fantastic shapes, their steep
slopes partly covered with dark pine forests. Nestling on the rocks or
sleeping in the valleys there are a few straggling settlements, with
heavy-visaged natives, apparently of a different race from the Swiss,
and entirely untouched by modern life. They live in tottering, wooden
houses of the quaintest shapes, dark brown with age, and with wooden
barns on stilts attached to them. Only a few villages, as Orsières,
Liddes, and Bourg St. Pierre on the Swiss side, and St. Rémy on the
Italian side, have stone houses along their narrow main thoroughfares.

During the summer months these roads are daily traversed by a motley
crowd of tourists from all parts of the world, traveling on foot, or
in private carriages or postal diligences, for the road is kept in
capital order. Many wayfarers stop at the modest inns to rest and take
a glass of _kirsch_, or even to seek shelter in the old houses when
storms spring up suddenly, blowing furiously down the valleys; or they
may repose on the rotten thresholds of the houses side by side with old
matrons working at their spinning-wheels or with young girls knitting
stockings, and converse with them in their French patois. The men are
frequently employed as guides, and all are in constant intercourse with
modern people from the great capitals of both continents, yet they do
not depart from their ancient manners and ways.

The uncommon tenacity of these mountaineers is surprising, as the
St. Bernard traffic is by no means new. True, the new carriage-road
connecting central Europe, by way of Switzerland, with Italy was
opened only in the first days of August, 1905, when the King of Italy
himself was present, together with the authorities of the neighboring
countries. But the St. Bernard has been a highway for thousands of
years; it has seen many armies in war-time and many caravans with
merchandise in times of peace. More than two hundred years before
Christ, the great Hannibal passed over it with his Carthaginian
legions; over the winding road which Hannibal had constructed Julius
Cæsar led his Roman army down the valley of the Dranse for the conquest
of Gallia and Germania. Emperor Augustus II improved and rebuilt
the road, portions of which are still seen by the side of the new
carriage-road wherever the latter has not been built on the foundation
of the Roman highway.

At the beginning of the Christian era, the summit of the pass was
crowned with a temple in honor of Jupiter, with rest-houses for
travelers. Vestiges of this temple still exist, and in the large and
well-stocked library of the present Hospice of St. Bernard the prior of
the religious order in charge showed me a number of gold and silver
coins, ex-voto figures, tablets, vessels, statuettes, and other objects
found by the priests on the temple site. Indeed, owing to its situation
on the direct geographical line between Italy and the North, the St.
Bernard has been crossed in the course of time by more people than has
any other pass.

The traveler of to-day, arriving at the hospice in a comfortable
carriage within ten hours from the nearest railway-station, and
provided with all the luxuries of modern life, can hardly picture to
himself the terrible privations of the traveler in ancient times, when
settlements were scarce. Provisions had to be carried along for many
miles to these icy regions, most of the time covered with deep snow
which obliterated every trace of roads.

On the evening of my arrival, I went to the plateau where once Jupiter
was worshiped. The small lake beyond which it is situated had still
some ice-cakes floating on its placid surface. Resting there on a
stone, my fancy enlivened this scene of solitude and desolation with
the savage soldiers of heathen times. I imagined that I heard the
cracking and screaking of heavy cart-wheels, the clattering of armor,
the clanking of spears, as the legions toiled wearisomely upward to the
beating of drums and blowing of trumpets. My eyes pictured strange,
stalwart warriors, exhausted from the arduous pull up those steep
valleys, shivering with intense cold, fainting, sinking into the deep
snow. And then an avalanche, breaking loose from the towering mountains
above, came thundering down, dispersing this glittering array, and
burying many under the soft, white, yet deadly, mass.

It was with the object of offering shelter to the weary and of rescuing
those who succumbed to the inclemencies of these forbidding heights
that in the year 962 a pious monk, Bernard, Count of Menthon, whose
home was in Savoy, near Annecy, resolved to devote his life and fortune
to the founding of a hospice on the summit of the pass. He succeeded
in persuading other monks to share with him the dreary life, and thus
founded a holy order, named to-day “Les Chanoines reguliers de St.
Augustin.” Bernard of Menthon himself, afterward canonized by the pope,
was elected first prior, and lived forty years at the hospice. His
tomb is still standing in the Italian town of Novara. According to the
keeper of the royal archives at Turin, whom I consulted on the history
of the hospice, it is first mentioned in a document in the year 1108.

[Illustration: Drawn by André Castaigne. Half-tone plate engraved by R.
Varley

AN AVALANCHE ON THE ST. BERNARD PASS]

In the Middle Ages the hospice, being of great importance in the
intercourse between the north and south of Europe, enjoyed the powerful
support and protection of the great rulers of that period, notably
the German emperors. In return for valuable services, the order was
richly endowed, and became in time exceedingly wealthy and prosperous.
At the beginning of the sixteenth century it possessed no fewer than
ninety-eight livings. The Reformation, however, ended this prosperity,
and since then various misfortunes have carried away most of its once
very large revenues. Its total income is now about eight thousand
dollars, and without the aid received from the Italian and Swiss
governments it would be impossible to offer hospitality to the large
number of tourists that come every year. As many as five hundred have
received free board and lodging in a single day.

It is to be regretted that so few visitors take notice of the
collection-box in the pretty little church. Many well able to pay for
the hospitality they receive do not give even so much as they would pay
for their entertainment in a third-rate inn. The total amount given by
tourists is only a small fraction of the actual expense incurred in
entertaining them. The present King of England, who visited the hospice
when Prince of Wales, sent a piano, and I could not help wondering
how this bulky instrument was brought up the steep mountains. Emperor
Frederick of Germany, with his consort, came in 1883, and the prior
showed me one of their valuable gifts--a volume of Thomas à Kempis,
bearing their signatures.

One must bear in mind that provisions, wood, and all other necessities
of life have to be brought up eight thousand feet from the valleys
below. For miles about the hospice there is not a tree, not a bush or
a single blade of grass, and the view from my window offered nothing
but barren rocks, bleak mountains, glaciers, and snow-fields. The mean
annual temperature is below the freezing-point, being about the same
as Spitzbergen, within the Arctic Ocean! One cannot help admiring the
little group of monks, about twelve in number, who, with an equal
number of lay brothers and servants, live here, in this highest human
habitation of Europe, summer and winter, year after year, till they
die. They do not wear the monk’s capouch, but the ordinary black
sacerdotal robe, with a white cord falling from the neck as a special
distinction.

Their sufferings are sometimes intense. The climate is so severe, and
their duties are so arduous, that their constitutions would soon be
broken down if they were not allowed to recuperate temporarily at their
house in Martigny, their places being taken by other members of this
brave and devoted brotherhood.

On the St. Bernard summit the seasons are unknown. Winter is, so
to speak, perpetual, without spring or autumn or summer, the only
indication of our warm seasons being the melting of the snow, which
sometimes drifts about the three tall stone buildings to a height of
forty feet. The cold is often twenty degrees below zero Fahrenheit and
has been in one instance twenty-nine degrees. When I stayed at the
hospice early in August, the lake behind it was frozen over during the
night, and the monks told me that there have been years when the ice on
its surface did not melt.

Under these conditions, I was not surprised to find among the occupants
of the hospice mostly young men, only one of them being over fifty, and
he had spent twenty consecutive years on the St. Bernard. The hardest
labors of these pious men are during the winter months, notably in
November and February, when numerous poor laborers from Italy venture
to cross in search of work. Unfamiliar with the hardships and dangers
they have to face, they ascend from Aosta over St. Rémy, plodding
wearily through the deep snow, which obliterates all traces of the
road, sometimes covering even the telegraph-poles. At last their
strength gives out, or they are buried under an avalanche, or they lose
their way and cannot proceed from sheer exhaustion. Those who do not
perish owe their lives to the zeal of the monks and the alertness of
the famous dogs of St. Bernard.

Day after day all the monks are out on their beat through the “Valley
of Death” on the north side opening immediately below the hospice, and
the steep snow-fields to the south, each accompanied by a servant and
a dog. They search the surroundings, where every dell, every rock is
familiar to them, with powerful field-glasses. Breaks or dark spots are
detected at once on the white surface, but the surest and never-failing
discoverers of unfortunate victims are the dogs. Their extraordinary
fine scent indicates to them the exact direction in which it is
necessary to search, and the men follow on snow-shoes. Arrived at the
supposed spot, the dogs begin to bark and to scratch in the snow, the
men take to their shovels, and soon the poor wayfarer is discovered.
If life has fled from him, the body is carried up to the hospice and
placed in the little low, desolate stone hut standing at a short
distance from the buildings, the abode of the dead. In this “morgue”
rest the victims of the Alps till their bodies crumble to ashes. There
is no other way of disposing of the dead, since for miles about the
hospice not enough soil can be found to furnish a grave.

[Illustration: Drawn by André Castaigne

INTERIOR OF THE CHAPEL IN THE HOSPICE]

At the time of my visit, only one body of the preceding winter was
lying among the remains of the victims of former years. The others who
had been found had been restored to life.

Many thousands have been rescued from certain death, principally
owing to the cleverness of the dogs, carefully trained to their work.
According to the register kept at the hospice, these dogs, originally
a cross between Newfoundland and Pyrenean, were employed first in the
fifteenth century, and the present breed is undoubtedly descended from
them. To preserve it pure, several dogs are also kept at the two other
settlements of the brotherhood, the Simplon hospice and Martigny. The
expediency of this is shown by the accident of 1825, when nearly all
the dogs at the St. Bernard hospice, together with three lay brothers,
perished in a terrible avalanche on the Swiss slope near the present
“Cantine de Proz,” the highest inn on the way to the hospice, kept
by the Swiss Government as a postal station. Only two or three dogs
survived, and they perpetuated the race.

Now there are about fifteen dogs at the hospice. They are objects of
much petting on the part of travelers, especially ladies, to which they
indulgently submit. In appearance they differ considerably from what
we picture them to be. They are much smaller than the St. Bernard dog
of other countries, but heavier-set and stronger. The hair is white,
coarse, and tight to the skin, with large yellow or reddish-brown
spots, the chest and the lower part of the body being always white.
The long tail is heavy and shaggy, the neck short-set and uncommonly
strong, carrying a large head, with the muzzle short and broad.
The front teeth are mostly visible, and the dogs would look rather
ferocious without the intelligent and withal docile expression of their
large, bright eyes. Many of them have been reproduced on postal cards,
for sale in the large reception-room, one of the few rooms furnished
with a stove. The prior, who is also Swiss postmaster, told me that
on the average one thousand postal cards, mostly with pictures of the
dogs, are daily sent “with hearty greetings” to all parts of the world.
But in the “season,” as many as fifteen hundred have been mailed in a
single afternoon, especially when snow-storms or rain keep the tourists
indoors with nothing to do.

[Illustration: Drawn by André Castaigne

A ST. BERNARD DOG]

The best type of a St. Bernard dog was famous Bary, who, after saving
thirty-nine lives, was unfortunately shot by an English traveler he was
trying to rescue, who mistook him for a wolf. His stuffed skin is now
in the museum at Bern. Since then there has always been a “Bary” among
the dogs. The present dog of that name has already saved three lives,
while Pallas and Diana have saved two each.

St. Bernard dogs, imported mostly from England in recent years,
have become decidedly popular in America. They are chiefly of the
long-haired kind, much larger and with rather flatter heads and longer
muzzles than the dogs at the St. Bernard hospice. Nevertheless, they
are genuine St. Bernards, and are descended from those originally
brought to England from Switzerland for Lord Dashwood, about one
hundred years ago.

In their home country this breed of dogs is by no means confined to the
St. Bernard mountain. Raised in most Alpine valleys, they have become,
so to speak, the national dog of Switzerland, and are foremost in
public favor. While the long-haired type prevails in the lower cantons,
nothing but the short-haired variety are employed at the hospice, the
former type being unfitted for the peculiar mountain work. Enormous
snowfalls in spring and autumn force them sometimes to dig their way
under the snow for two or three days; on occasions they remain in the
icy fields for a week or two, returning to the hospice reduced to mere
skeletons. The coat of the long-haired dogs dries much slower, and the
dripping from the fur congeals, causing rheumatism and other ailments
and making them soon unfit for their work.

[Illustration: Drawn by André Castaigne

THE ST. BERNARD HOSPICE]

The general belief that the original St. Bernard race died out long ago
is unfounded. There can be no doubt that the present dogs are descended
from those kept at the hospice in the Middle Ages, crossed with Danish
bulldogs and Pyrenean dogs about five centuries ago, that they might
inherit size and strength from the former and intelligence and keen
scent from the latter. St. Bernard, the founder of the hospice, is
represented in ancient pictures accompanied by a large white dog. The
insecurity of the much frequented route between Italy and the North in
early times caused the monks to keep dogs for their own protection,
till their usefulness for life-saving purposes made them indispensable
companions.

[Illustration: Drawn by André Castaigne. Half-tone plate engraved by H.
C. Merrill

A BAND OF GIPSIES TRAVELING ALONG THE ST. BERNARD PASS]

Unfortunately, most of the early documents in regard to the dogs were
destroyed by fire, but the existing traditions of the antiquity of the
race are confirmed by the escutcheon of an ancient Swiss family which
I discovered in the archives of the city of Zurich. Four families
of the fourteenth century have dogs as ornaments of the escutcheon
helmet. They are Stubenweg, Aichelberg, Hailigberg, and the counts
of Toggenburg, the latter famous in history and still flourishing
in Austria. The escutcheons are most carefully painted, and show
four distinct and clearly defined types of dogs. The type over the
escutcheon of the family of Hailigberg shows a striking resemblance
to the St. Bernard dog of to-day, with all the characteristic signs.
Mountains crowned by hospices used to be called sacred mountains or
Hailigberg (present style Heiligberg) during the Middle Ages, and from
this it may safely be deducted that the knights of Hailigberg, took the
picture of a hospice dog for their helmet ornament.

For ages the St. Bernard dogs have been trained for their service in a
peculiar manner: one old and one young dog are sent together daily down
the Valley of Death toward the nearest human habitation; two others on
the south side toward St. Rémy, their footprints in the snow indicating
to lost travelers with unfailing certainty the exact line of the road
buried under the snow. The younger dogs are taught by the older ones
to show to travelers the way to the hospice by barking and jumping and
running ahead of them toward the summit of the pass. If they happen
to find a poor half-frozen victim, they try to restore animation by
licking the hands and face. Then they hasten back to the hospice and
announce their discovery by barking.

Great credit is due to the Kynological Society of Switzerland for the
preservation, improvement, and popularization of the hospice dogs in
their pure type. In the latter part of the last century the English
type, as described above, threatened to become generally established as
the correct one. At an international Kynological Congress convened by
that society in Zurich in 1887, the characteristic marks of the pure
hospice type were laid down and acknowledged by the delegates of all
countries, England included. In 1885 the first pure St. Bernard dogs
were introduced into Germany by Prince Albrecht of Solms-Braunfels, and
as they became very popular in a short time, a St. Bernard Club was
organized in Munich in 1891 for the express purpose of improving the
St. Bernard breed by organizing an exposition with competent judges,
and publishing annually a book of genealogy.

The first Napoleon, who crossed the St. Bernard with his army, cavalry,
artillery, and all, between the fifteenth and twenty-first of May,
1800, was very fond of these dogs and kept some in his room while
resting at the hospice. Near the entrance of the largest building,
erected in the seventeenth century, there is a big bell, rung by
travelers to announce their arrival. Opposite the bell a large
marble tablet commemorates the passage of Napoleon, dedicated by the
government of the then republic, now the Swiss canton of Valais. His
army was the last to cross the St. Bernard, and in the place of armies
of soldiers, those of tourists invade the historic pass every year.
They are most numerous in August, for the snow rarely melts before
July and begins to fall again early in September, to stay till the
following July. The poor priests are then left to themselves for about
ten months, when the next summer’s sun makes the carriage-road again
practicable.

The founder of the hospice, with its brotherhood, has at last received
a monument, which he well deserved. His statue was unveiled during the
summer of 1905, and stands on the spot which the many thousands have
had to pass who, after being rescued by his successors, have resumed
their journey to the valleys below and to renewed life.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



THE TRAINING OF A JAPANESE CHILD

BY FRANCES LITTLE

Author of “The Lady of the Decoration,” “The Lady and Sada San,” etc.


The stork has no vacation in Japan, neither does he sleep; and if he
rests, the time and place are known of no man. On the stroke of the
hour, nay, of the quarter, he is faithfully at his work distributing
impartially among rich and poor small bits of humanity. He may be a
wise bird, but if he thinks by the swiftness of his wings to find a
home beneath roof of straw or palace tile unprepared for his coming, he
is mistaken. He will discover that he has failed utterly to comprehend
the joy of the mother to be. A childless woman is of no value in a
land where the perpetuation of the family name is the most vital law
prescribed in its religious and moral teachings. For a Japanese woman,
therefore, the pinnacle of desire is reached when the white bird taps
at her door and lays its precious bundle in her outstretched arms. For
a time at least she has been able to forget the great terror of her
life, divorce, and to make ready for the coming of the child with high
hope and tender joy.

Only two little garments are prepared previously. For the inside, a
tiny kimono of bright yellow, the color supposed to give health and
strength to the body; and for an outer covering, a coat of red, which
color means congratulation. Until the sex of the baby is known, the
wardrobe is thus limited as a matter of economy in time and cloth. If
a boy, he has the sole right to every shade of blue. To the girl fall
the softest pinks and reds. Whichever the sex, every available member
of the family lends a willing hand to the busy task of cutting and
stitching into many shapes the flowered cloth necessary to decorate the
small body.

The tiny wardrobe complete, the household turns its attention to the
preparation of the feast with which to make merry and give thanks to
the gods for so good a gift as a little child, whether it be boy or
girl. The house is swept and garnished. Out in the kitchen, maids run
hither and thither, hurrying the boiling pot, cleansing the already
spotless rice, and scampering to bring the best wine. It is glad
service. The happiness in the coming of the baby is shared by everybody
from the parents to the water-coolie. Hence the eagerness with which
the little house shrine is decorated and offerings of food and sake set
before the benign old image who is responsible for this great favor.
For days preparations go joyfully on, and though the small guest cannot
indulge, a special table is set for him at the feast given in his
honor, when neighbors and friends assemble to offer congratulations
and presents. Later, each present must be acknowledged by the parents
sending one in return.

[Illustration: JAPANESE GIRLS PLAYING THEIR FAVORITE GAME, _ONIGOTO_]

[Illustration: SUPPER-TIME]

[Illustration: DRAWING ON A NEW WHITE SHOJI]

The baby is excused from being present at the festival, but custom
demands that no other engagement interfere with the shaving of his head
on the third day. In the olden days styles in hair-cutting were as
rigidly adhered to as the wearing of a samurai’s sword, but progress
must needs tamper even with the down on a baby’s head. Now the fashion
has lost much of its quaintness, and is mostly uniform. The sides and
back of the head are shaved smooth, while from the crown a fringe is
left to sprout like the long petals of a ragged chrysanthemum. The
length and seriousness of the hair-cutting ceremony depend upon the
self-control of the young gentleman. Regardless of conduct, however, or
of the cost to the nervous system, certain fixed rules are enforced,
which are virtually the only training the child receives in early years.

After the little stranger, all shaven and shorn, is returned to his
private apartments, the elders of the family consult on the grave
matter of choosing a name for him. Often the naming of the baby is a
simple matter, the father or grandfather speaking before the company
the name of some famous man, if the child is a boy, or of some favorite
flower, if it is a girl. For girls, _Hana_, flower, _Yuki_, snow,
_Ai_, love, are the favorites of parents with a poetical strain. The
sterner country-folk choose for their daughters, _Matsu_, pine, _Take_,
bamboo (the bamboo joints are exact; hence the exactness of virtue),
_Ume_, plum, since the plum bears both cold and snow bravely. For boys,
_Ichiro_, first boy, _Toshio_, smart, _Iwao_, strong, and _Isamu_,
brave, are very popular.

Where belief is strong in the power of a name, the family, in holiday
dress, often assembles in a large room. Each writes a name upon a slip
of paper and lays it reverently before the house shrine. From the group
a very young child is chosen and led before this shrine, and the fate
of the name is decided by the small hand which reaches out for a slip.
Though it is a festive occasion, the selection of a name is made with
a seriousness worthy the election of a bishop. Many believe devoutly
that this rite influences the baby’s entire future, and therefore
the one whose slip is chosen incurs from the moment of choice great
responsibility for the child’s welfare.

The next great event in the baby’s existence is on the thirtieth day,
when he is taken to the temple to be offered to the god that rules
over that particular village or city. Dressed in his best suit of
clothes, he is strapped to the back of his mother or nurse, with his
body wrapped almost to suffocation, and usually with his head dangling
from side to side with no protection for face or eyes. Why all Japanese
babies are not blind is one of the secrets of nature’s provision. With
tender women for mothers and affectionate servants for nurses, it is
strange that the little face is seldom shielded from the direct rays of
the sun or the piercing winds of winter. Possibly it is a training for
physical endurance that later in life is a part of his education.

Arrived at the temple, the child is presented to the priest. This
dignitary, with shaven head and clad in a purple gown, reads very
solemnly a special prayer to the god whose image, enshrined in gilt
and ebony, rests within the deep shadows of the temple. He asks his
care and protection for the helpless little creature that lies before
him. At the end of the reading the priest shakes a _gohei_ to and fro
over the child. A _gohei_ resembles nothing so much as a paper feather
duster. Its fluffy whiteness is supposed to represent the pure spirit
of the god, and through some mysterious agency a part of this spirit is
transferred to the child by the vigorous shaking.

For a few more coins, further protection can be purchased for the
little wayfarer. The guaranty of his success and happiness comes in two
small paper amulets on which the priest has drawn curious characters
decipherable only to the priest and the god. Both amulets are given
to the mother, who, with the baby on her back, trots home on her high
wooden geta, or clogs, her face aglow with the contentment possible
only to one whose faith in prayer and priest is sublime. One amulet,
carefully wrapped with the cuttings of the first hair and with the
name, is laid away safely in the house shrine, that the god may not
forget. The other is carried in a gay little bag of colored crape,
which is tied to the sash of the child; for it is believed that it will
ward off sickness and hold all evil spirits at bay.

It must be with a sigh of relief that the baby comes to this stage of
his existence. The numerous rites necessary to a fair start on life’s
highway have been conscientiously performed, the watchful care of the
spirits invoked. Now it is his sole business to kick and grow and feed
like any small healthy animal, to be served as a young prince and to
be adored as a young god. He is the pivot on which the whole household
turns. Often, in the soft shadows of evening, on the paper doors of a
Japanese house is silhouetted a picture where the child is the center
about which the family is grouped in the great act of adoration. It is
a bit of inner life that finds a tender response in the heart of any
beholder.

[Illustration: “SEEKING SOME OBJECT ON WHICH TO BESTOW HIS ADORABLE
SMILE”]

[Illustration: FERTILE SOIL FOR MISCHIEF]

The attitude of the usual family is that obedience is not to be
expected of one so young, consequently nobody is disappointed, and
the effect on the child is telling. He quickly learns his power, and
becomes in turn the trainer and the ruler of the household. In fact, he
is a small king, with only a soft ring of dark hair for a crown, and
a chop-stick in his chubby fist for a scepter. His lightest frown or
smile is a command to all the house, from the poodle with the ingrown
nose to the bent old grandmother. But more willing subjects never bent
before a king of maturer growth. Father and mother, with a train of
relatives, yield glad obedience and stand ever ready for action at the
merest suggestion of a wish.

Alas! for the tried and true theories on early training that have
held for generations in other countries! Alas! for the scores of
learned volumes on child culture! Useless the work of the greatest
psychologists, who sound grave warning as to the direful results should
one fail to observe certain hard-and-fast rules in the training of mind
and body. Grant a few months to a fat, well-fed Japanese baby, and with
one wave of his pink heels he will kick into thin air every tested
theory that scholarly men have grown gray in proving. He snaps in twain
the old saw, “As the twig is bent,” and sends to eternal oblivion
that oft-repeated legend, “Give me a child till its seventh year, and
neither friend nor foe can change his tendencies.” Even the promise of
old, “Children, obey your parents,” loses its value as a recipe for
long life when applied to the baby citizen of old Nippon. It is a rare
exception if he obeys. He lives neither by rule nor regulation, eats
when, where, and what he pleases, then cuddles down to sleep in peace.

[Illustration: “SPECIAL LESSONS FOR THE YOUNG IN HOW TO BOW”]

To the specialist, one such ill-regulated day in a baby’s life
would augur a morning after with digestion in tatters and a ragged
temper. He does not take into account the strange mental and physical
contradictions of the race. Unchecked, the baby has been permitted to
shatter every precept of health, but he awakens as happy as a young
kitten. Fresh, sweet, and wholesome, he crawls from his soft nest of
comfortables and goes about seeking some object on which to bestow his
adorable smile. He is ready to thrive on another lawless day.

There is a mistaken, but popular, belief that a Japanese baby
never cries. There is really no reason why he should. Replete with
nourishment and rarely denied a wish, he blossoms like a wild rose on
the sunny side of the hedge, as sweet and as unrestrained. His life is
full of rich and varied interests. From his second day on earth, tied
safely to his mother’s back under an overcoat made for two, he finds
amusement for every waking hour in watching the passing show. He is the
honored guest at every family picnic. No matter what the hour or the
weather, he is the active member in all that concerns the household
amusements or work. From his perch he participates in the life of the
neighborhood, and is a part of all the merry festivals that turn the
streets into fairy-land. Later, his playground is the gay market-place
or the dim old temples.

[Illustration: “UNDER AN OVERCOAT MADE FOR TWO”]

Up to this time the child has had no suggestion of real training. His
innate deftness in the art of imitation has taught him much. Continual
contact with a wide-awake world has effectively quickened the growth
of his brain, but the strings that have held him steadily to his
mother’s back have stunted the growth of his body. The result is that
when the time comes for that wonderful first day in the kindergarten,
into the play-room often toddles a self-confident youngster whose legs
refuse to coöperate when he makes his quaint bow, but whose keen brain
and correspondingly deft hand work small miracles with blocks and
paint-brush.

In Japan only a blind child could be insensible to color, after long
days under the pink mist of the cherry-blossoms and the crimson
glory of the maples, in the sunny green and yellow fields, or with
mountain slopes of wild azalea for a romping-place and a wonderful
sky of blue for a cover. By inheritance and environment he is an
artist in the use of color. Form, too, is as easy, for when crude toys
have failed to please, it is his privilege to build ships, castles,
gunboats, and temples with every conceivable household article from the
spinning-wheel to the family rice-bucket.

His instinct for play is strong, and after his legs grow steady he
quickly masters games, and to his own satisfaction he can sing any song
without tune or words. In the kindergarten he finds at first new joys
in a play paradise of which he is, as at home, the ruler. Alas! for the
swift coming of grief! For the first time in his life his will clashes
with law, and for the first time he meets defeat, though he rises to
conquer with all his fighting blood on fire. The struggle is swift and
fierce, then behold the mystery of a small Oriental! After the first
encounter, and often before the tears of passion have dried, he bends
to authority, and with only occasional lapses soon becomes a devotee
of the thing he has so bitterly fought. Henceforth _kisoku_, or law,
becomes his meat and drink, the very foundation of living.

[Illustration: ARRANGING FLOWERS]

[Illustration: CHILDREN IN A CHRYSANTHEMUM ARBOR

F · C · G]

It is difficult to say whether this sudden change of heart comes from
an inherited belief in the divine right of rulers or is the first
cropping-out of that Eastern fatalism forcibly expressed in the word
“Shikataganai” (“There is no help for it”). A partial explanation might
be found in the attitude of most Japanese parents to the teacher in
both kindergarten and school. By some strange reasoning they argue
that it is the teacher’s business in life to train children; therefore
from its earliest days the teacher is held before the child as a power
from whose word there is no appeal. Frequently a mother says to her
unmanageable offspring:

“What will happen when the _sensei_ [teacher] hears of your rudeness?”
or, “I shall speak to your teacher to command you to obey me.” Often
the appeal is made direct to the teacher: “My daughter does not bow
correctly,” or “She is neglectful of duty. Please remind her.”

The value of using the teacher as a prop or commander-in-chief lies in
the fact that most of the profession realize their responsibility and
earnestly endeavor to live up to the trust. They seek to share every
experience of the pupil’s life, and are faithful leaders to the highest
ideals they know.

There is a tendency in most Japanese kindergartens to make of them
elementary schools in which much of the spirit of play is lost in an
effort on the part of the teachers to give formal instruction. The
inclination is to fit the child to the rule; to follow to the last
detail a written law, at the sacrifice of spontaneity. Formality finds
steady resistance in the buoyancy of youth; and how childhood will have
its fling, refusing to wear the shackles till it must, is expressed in
the despair of a little Japanese teacher who had worked in vain to make
an unessential point in posture: “I have the great trouble. They just
_will_ kick up their heels spiritually [spiritedly].”

In addition to the gifts, games, and songs usually found in the
kindergartens, there is a specific training in patriotism, loyalty,
and physical endurance by the constant repetition of certain stories
emphasizing these virtues that have been told from generation to
generation. Stories of brave men and women are dramatized. Day after
day the child takes part in these simple plays. So earnest is the
acting, so unwavering are the ideals presented at this very early age,
that the mind is saturated with the principle of the sacrifice of the
individual for the good of the whole.

In all circumstances, stress is laid upon outward courtesy, regardless
of time or consequences. The key-note in the mimic plays is kindness
to a fallen foe. Often there is an organized band of tiny Red Cross
workers, who in full uniform are ever on the alert in the games to
render quick aid to the supposedly wounded. The play is very real and
sincere, and it fosters a spirit of kindness and sympathy never wholly
lost in later years.

From babyhood the diminutive subject hears stories of his glorious
ruler; but sometimes it is in the kindergarten that he is trained to
perform his first great act of reverence to the throne in bowing before
the picture of the emperor. It is a ceremony that touches deeply the
most skeptical heart. On certain days groups of little children, many
still unsteady on their feet, dressed in gay holiday clothes, come
before the pictured image and pay homage to his Majesty by a low,
reverent bow. It is like a flower-garden bending before the greater
brilliancy of the sun. It is the tribute of innocence to power, and no
sovereign lives who would not be a better man for having seen it.

As the first day in the kindergarten is wonderful, so to the child
is the last. He is leaving babyhood behind, and half a day is barely
sufficient for the imposing ceremonies. For weeks he has been patiently
drilled. At the proper hour, with the precision of a mechanical doll
and the dignity of a field-marshal, he graciously accepts from the hand
of the teacher a roll of parchment only slightly shorter than himself.
It is his certificate of graduation, stamped with a large seal, which
inspires a deeper joy than comes later with the Order of the Rising Sun.

The transition from the kindergarten to the primary grade is
accomplished easily, and as the pupil is never supposed or expected to
take the initiative, he has only to follow where he is led. A Japanese
child is as responsive as are the strings of a samisen to the fingers
of a skilled musician, and the leader has only to touch the notes to
create the harmony desired.

During the period of elementary school, the training for boys and
girls is much the same except in special cases when very young boys
are instructed in fencing and jiu-jutsu. In these first years it is a
sharing of all experiences, and the girls pluckily take their chances
in the rough-and-tumble games with the boys. Then comes the parting
of the ways. The sign-post for each points to a difference in school
and subjects. For the boys, the road leads to the sterner things of
life. Every step of the girls’ path is trained for the inevitable
end--marriage. Whatever the future, it never yields--to the girl,
at least--the same golden hours of freedom and equal right to joy
and pleasure as in the glory days of youth. Every boy in Japan is a
prospective soldier or sailor, every girl, a wife; and a training
toward the end best fitting each for the duties involved is the
principal aim of the carefully planned curriculum. In all grades the
teaching is en masse; individual attention is rare.

From the first year of the primary course, through every grade,
the study of morals heads the list. This rather formidable subject
is presented to the very youthful in a most attractive way. Large
pictures are shown illustrating in a charming manner the virtues to be
emphasized. The teacher tells a set story. It is short, but so dramatic
is the manner of telling it, so alluring the trick of hand and voice,
the child’s interest is held as if by magic. The subjects of these
early moral lessons are the “Teacher,” the “Flag,” “Attitude.” Later,
family relations are studied; as, for instance, that of father and
mother, grandparents, etc.

Training in pronunciation and simple lessons in drawing are included
in the first year, with manual work for the boys. The girls begin
preparation for their calling with the first principles of sewing and
the first stitches of crocheting or knitting. In the latter part of the
year practice begins in writing the _kana_, gradually intermixed with
the Chinese ideographs. There are many thousands of these characters,
and they are usually difficult. Necessarily the first steps are simple.
The awkward little fist must be trained to lightness and poise of
brush, delicacy and sureness in touch, for one false stroke in the
intricate structure brings grief. Ignorant of the difficulties in store
for him, the child begins his task merrily, delighted with the lines,
big and bold at first, which resemble funny pictures more than an
alphabet. He practises on everything at hand, from the fresh sand on
the playground to the nearest new, white shoji.

A system of calisthenics, too, is begun early with the child, and
only the unconquerable grace of childhood saves it from a permanent
stiffening of bone and muscle. Happily, studies and gymnastics are
interspersed with generous hours for free play. In all the training
of Japanese children a great deal of outdoor life is planned. There
are historical excursions, geographical excursions for practical
instruction, and jolly ones merely for pleasure, when with a luncheon
of cold rice and pickled plum tied in a _furoshiki_, or handkerchief,
everybody scampers away to the river or mountain for a long happy day.

Every year at school means increased hours and more difficult studies.
Added to these long periods are special lessons for the young in how
to bow, how to stand, how to enter a room, how to lower the eyes,
the placing of each finger on a book when reading, and endless other
regulations. These rules are published in a text-book for the teacher,
who is expected to drill them into the student to the minutest detail.
It seems folly to expect anything from such training but a group of
automata; but underlying this fixed formality is an air of controlled
freedom that is really the foundation of the tremendous respect for
law cherished by the entire nation. Nor is it to be imagined that
continuous training in repression means permanent suppression of high
spirits. This light-hearted race takes joy in the simplest pleasures,
and the imp of mischief finds fertile soil in the brain of any healthy
boy or girl.

During these years the hand of discipline is lightly laid in the home.
The attitude of father and mother is kindly indulgent, and punishments,
if any, cause neither pain nor inconvenience. Current topics involving
the welfare of the country and intimate matters of family life are
freely discussed in the child’s presence. At an early age he absorbs
much information, both wholesome and other. But whatever else may be
neglected in his training, so insistently is held before the heir
day by day the requirements necessary as a man to bear the honors of
the family name, it often works something of a miracle in regulating
conduct.

Next in reverence for the emperor is veneration for ancestors. There
is one form of entertainment and instruction in the home which as an
educative factor plays a large and delightful part in the life of
the children. In the evenings, after the books have been put away,
they gather around the glowing hibachi to hear the grandfather or
grandmother weave the nondescript tales of gods and goddesses, of
loyal, wise, and brave men. If any deed of the day calls for emphasis,
it is skilfully marked by a special story cleverly worded by the aged
narrator. Thus reward or punishment is effectively recited rather than
administered.

But the training of the Japanese child is not all play and easy
studies. Very soon the girls in the home begin lessons in light
household duties, sewing, weaving, and cooking. Koto-playing is an
accomplishment in the education of a girl, flower arrangement a
necessity. To this most difficult art is usually allotted a period of
five years. By tedious and patient practice the small hand must learn
delicacy of touch and deftness in twists, that each leaf and blossom
may express the symbol for which it stands. Every home festival and
feast calls for a certain “poem” in arrangement. This is the duty of
the young daughter of the house, who early must be well versed in the
legends and meaning of flowers.

In ceremonial tea, “O Cha No Yu,” there are especial lessons in
etiquette, which mean days and months of constant application and
repetition of certain attitudes and definite postures, before supple
muscles and youthful spirits are toned to the graceful formality and
modest reserve requisite to every well-bred Japanese girl. Should
the girl’s destiny point to the calling of geisha, or professional
entertainer, the training is severe. At the age of three or four
she is taken in hand by an expert in the business, and the strict
discipline of the training soon robs childhood of its rights. Should
a foolish law compel attendance for a year or so at school, it does
not in the least interfere with long hours of music lessons, dancing
lessons, flower arrangement, lessons in tea-serving, and the etiquette
peculiar to tea-houses. The girl is persuaded or forced into quiet
submission to the hard, tedious work by the glowing pictures of the
butterfly life that awaits her. There is only one standard in the
training of a geisha--attractiveness, and often the price of its
attainment is an irretrievable tragedy.

Education for the child of the East calls for different methods from
that of the West, and fully to understand the training of the Japanese
child one must know the influence and demand for ancestor-worship,
ethics, and the passion for patriotism. In fact, to understand any
part of the system of training, it must be remembered that the whole
moral and national education of the Japanese is based on the imperial
rescript given the people by the emperor in 1890. The rescript is
read in all the schools four times a year. The manner of reading, the
silence, breathless with reverence, in which it is received by the
students, young and old, is a profound testimony to the sacredness of
the emperor’s desires for his people.

The following is a translation, given by the president of the Tokio
University:

    Know ye, Our Subjects:

    Our Imperial Ancestors have founded Our Empire on a basis broad
    and everlasting, and have deeply and firmly implanted virtue;
    Our Subjects, ever united in loyalty and filial piety, have from
    generation to generation illustrated the beauty thereof. This is
    the glory of the fundamental character of Our Empire, and herein
    also lies the source of Our education. Ye, Our Subjects, be filial
    to your parents, affectionate to your brothers and sisters; as
    husbands and wives be harmonious; as friends, true; bear yourselves
    in modesty and moderation; extend your benevolence to all; pursue
    learning and cultivate the arts, and thereby develop intellectual
    faculties and perfect moral powers; furthermore, advance public
    good and promote common interests; always respect the Constitution
    and observe the laws; should emergency arise, offer yourselves
    courageously to the State; and thus guard and maintain the
    prosperity of Our Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and earth.

    So shall ye not only be Our good and faithful subjects, but render
    illustrious the best traditions of your forefathers.

    The Way here set forth is indeed the teaching bequeathed by Our
    Imperial Ancestors, to be observed alike by Their Descendants and
    the subjects, infallible for all ages, and true in all places. It
    is Our Wish to lay it to heart in all reverence, in common with
    you, Our Subjects, that we may all attain to the same virtue.

From the early days to the present, the educational system, which
enters more vitally into the training of a Japanese child than any
other influence, has survived many changes. The authorities have
sought earnestly in every country for the plan best adapted to the
peculiar demands of a country that was progressing by leaps. After the
Restoration, when every sentiment was swinging away from old customs
and traditions, there was a reorganization with the American plan as
a model. Soon, however, the wholesale doctrine of freedom proved too
radical for a country lately emerged from isolation and feudalism,
and much of the German system was introduced, and more rigid control
was exercised over the students. The schools assumed something of a
military atmosphere and the dangers of a too new liberty were laid low
for a while.

It would be difficult in a brief space to estimate the whole influence
of European and American methods on Japanese education. While these
influences, especially those of America, have enjoyed successive waves
of favor and disrepute, it is undoubtedly true that the educational
department is slowly but surely feeling its way to the final adoption
of a general American plan. So far, the most marked tendency of the
Western spirit has been a bolder assertion of individual freedom, less
tolerance of the teacher’s supreme authority, a demand for a more
practical education and not so much eagerness for the Chinese classics.

While to an outsider the present system in many instances seems
needlessly complex, and in frequent danger of a sad and sudden death
from strangulation by its endless red tape, yet a glimpse of the
internal workings of the department is reassuring.

Whatever criticism might be offered as to the methods of training or
defects thereof in school or home, one undeniable truth stands out
boldly: despite its faults, or because of its virtues, the system has
produced men splendidly brave and noble, and women whose lives stand
for all that is tender and beautiful in womanhood and motherhood.

[Illustration]



BROTHER LEO

BY PHYLLIS BOTTOME

WITH PICTURES BY W. T. BENDA


It was a sunny morning, and I was on my way to Torcello. Venice lay
behind us a dazzling line, with towers of gold against the blue lagoon.
All at once a breeze sprang up from the sea; the small, feathery
islands seemed to shake and quiver, and, like leaves driven before
a gale, those flocks of colored butterflies, the fishing-boats, ran
in before the storm. Far away to our left stood the ancient tower of
Altinum, with the island of Burano a bright pink beneath the towering
clouds. To our right, and much nearer, was a small cypress-covered
islet. One large umbrella-pine hung close to the sea, and behind it
rose the tower of the convent church. The two gondoliers consulted
together in hoarse cries and decided to make for it.

“It is San Francesco del Deserto,” the elder explained to me. “It
belongs to the little brown brothers, who take no money and are very
kind. One would hardly believe these ones had any religion, they are
such a simple people, and they live on fish and the vegetables they
grow in their garden.”

We fought the crooked little waves in silence after that; only the high
prow rebelled openly against its sudden twistings and turnings. The
arrowy-shaped gondola is not a structure made for the rough jostling
of waves, and the gondoliers put forth all their strength and skill to
reach the tiny haven under the convent wall. As we did so, the black
bars of cloud rushed down upon us in a perfect deluge of rain, and we
ran speechless and half drowned across the tossed field of grass and
forget-me-nots to the convent door. A shivering beggar sprang up from
nowhere and insisted on ringing the bell for us.

The door opened, and I saw before me a young brown brother with the
merriest eyes I have ever seen. They were unshadowed, like a child’s,
dancing and eager, and yet there was a strange gentleness and patience
about him, too, as if there was no hurry even about his eagerness.

He was very poorly dressed and looked thin. I think he was charmed to
see us, though a little shy, like a hospitable country hostess anxious
to give pleasure, but afraid that she has not much to offer citizens of
a larger world.

“What a tempest!” he exclaimed. “You have come at a good hour. Enter,
enter, Signore! And your men, will they not come in?”

We found ourselves in a very small rose-red cloister; in the middle of
it was an old well under the open sky, but above us was a sheltering
roof spanned by slender arches. The young monk hesitated for a moment,
smiling from me to the two gondoliers. I think it occurred to him that
we should like different entertainment, for he said at last:

“You men would perhaps like to sit in the porter’s lodge for a while?
Our Brother Lorenzo is there; he is our chief fisherman, with a great
knowledge of the lagoons; and he could light a fire for you to dry
yourselves by--Signori. And you, if I mistake not, are English, are you
not, Signore? It is probable that you would like to see our chapel. It
is not much. We are very proud of it, but that, you know, is because
it was founded by our blessed father, Saint Francis. He believed in
poverty, and we also believe in it, but it does not give much for
people to see. That is a misfortune, to come all this way and to see
nothing.” Brother Leo looked at me a little wistfully. I think he
feared that I should be disappointed. Then he passed before me with
swift, eager feet toward the little chapel.

It was a very little chapel and quite bare; behind the altar some monks
were chanting an office. It was clean, and there were no pictures or
images, only, as I knelt there, I felt as if the little island in its
desert of waters had indeed secreted some vast treasure, and as if
the chapel, empty as it had seemed at first, was full of invisible
possessions. As for Brother Leo, he had stood beside me nervously for
a moment; but on seeing that I was prepared to kneel, he started,
like a bird set free, toward the altar steps, where his lithe young
impetuosity sank into sudden peace. He knelt there so still, so rapt,
so incased in his listening silence, that he might have been part of
the stone pavement. Yet his earthly senses were alive, for the moment I
rose he was at my side again, as patient and courteous as ever, though
I felt as if his inner ear were listening still to some unheard melody.

We stood again in the pink cloister. “There is little to see,” he
repeated. “We are _poverelli_; it has been like this for seven hundred
years.” He smiled as if that age-long, simple service of poverty were
a light matter, an excuse, perhaps, in the eyes of the citizen of a
larger world for their having nothing to show. Only the citizen, as he
looked at Brother Leo, had a sudden doubt as to the size of the world
outside. Was it as large, half as large, even, as the eager young heart
beside him which had chosen poverty as a bride?

The rain fell monotonously against the stones of the tiny cloister.

“What a tempest!” said Brother Leo, smiling contentedly at the sky.
“You must come in and see our father. I sent word by the porter of your
arrival, and I am sure he will receive you; that will be a pleasure for
him, for he is of the great world, too. A very learnèd man, our father;
he knows the French and the English tongue. Once he went to Rome; also
he has been several times to Venice. He has been a great traveler.”

“And you,” I asked--“have you also traveled?”

Brother Leo shook his head.

“I have sometimes looked at Venice,” he said, “across the water, and
once I went to Burano with the marketing brother; otherwise, no, I have
not traveled. But being a guest-brother, you see, I meet often with
those who have, like your Excellency, for instance, and that is a great
education.”

We reached the door of the monastery, and I felt sorry when another
brother opened to us, and Brother Leo, with the most cordial of
farewell smiles, turned back across the cloister to the chapel door.

“Even if he does not hurry, he will still find prayer there,” said a
quiet voice beside me.

I turned to look at the speaker. He was a tall old man with white hair
and eyes like small blue flowers, very bright and innocent, with the
same look of almost superb contentment in them that I had seen in
Brother Leo’s eyes.

“But what will you have?” he added with a twinkle. “The young are
always afraid of losing time; it is, perhaps, because they have
so much. But enter, Signore! If you will be so kind as to excuse
the refectory, it will give me much pleasure to bring you a little
refreshment. You will pardon that we have not much to offer?”

The father--for I found out afterward that he was the superior
himself--brought me bread and wine, made in the convent, and waited on
me with his own hands. Then he sat down on a narrow bench opposite to
watch me smoke. I offered him one of my cigarettes, but he shook his
head, smiling.

“I used to smoke once,” he said. “I was very particular about my
tobacco. I think it was similar to yours--at least the aroma, which
I enjoy very much, reminds me of it. It is curious, is it not, the
pleasure we derive from remembering what we once had? But perhaps it is
not altogether a pleasure unless one is glad that one has not got it
now. Here one is free from things. I sometimes fear one may be a little
indulgent about one’s liberty. Space, solitude, and love--it is all
very intoxicating.”

There was nothing in the refectory except the two narrow benches on
which we sat, and a long trestled board which formed the table; the
walls were whitewashed and bare, the floor was stone. I found out later
that the brothers ate and drank nothing except bread and wine and their
own vegetables in season, a little macaroni sometimes in winter, and
in summer figs out of their own garden. They slept on bare boards,
with one thin blanket winter and summer alike. The fish they caught
they sold at Burano or gave to the poor. There was no doubt that they
enjoyed very great freedom from “things.”

It was a strange experience to meet a man who never had heard of a
flying-machine and who could not understand why it was important to
save time by using the telephone or the wireless-telegraphy system; but
despite the fact that the father seemed very little impressed by our
modern urgencies, I never have met a more intelligent listener or one
who seized more quickly on all that was essential in an explanation.

“You must not think we do nothing at all, we lazy ones who follow old
paths,” he said in answer to one of my questions. “There are only
eight of us brothers, and there is the garden, fishing, cleaning, and
praying. We are sent for, too, from Burano to go and talk a little with
the people there, or from some island on the lagoons which perhaps no
priest can reach in the winter. It is easy for us, with our little boat
and no cares.”

“But Brother Leo told me he had been to Burano only once,” I said.
“That seems strange when you are so near.”

“Yes, he went only once,” said the father, and for a moment or two he
was silent, and I found his blue eyes on mine, as if he were weighing
me.

“Brother Leo,” said the superior at last, “is our youngest. He is very
young, younger perhaps than his years; but we have brought him up
altogether, you see. His parents died of cholera within a few days of
each other. As there were no relatives, we took him, and when he was
seventeen he decided to join our order. He has always been happy with
us, but one cannot say that he has seen much of the world.” He paused
again, and once more I felt his blue eyes searching mine. “Who knows?”
he said finally. “Perhaps you were sent here to help me. I have prayed
for two years on the subject, and that seems very likely. The storm
is increasing, and you will not be able to return until to-morrow.
This evening, if you will allow me, we will speak more on this matter.
Meanwhile I will show you our spare room. Brother Lorenzo will see that
you are made as comfortable as we can manage. It is a great privilege
for us to have this opportunity; believe me, we are not ungrateful.”

It would have been of no use to try to explain to him that it was for
us to feel gratitude. It was apparent that none of the brothers had
ever learned that important lesson of the worldly respectable--that
duty is what other people ought to do. They were so busy thinking
of their own obligations as to overlook entirely the obligations of
others. It was not that they did not think of others. I think they
thought only of one another, but they thought without a shadow of
judgment, with that bright, spontaneous love of little children, too
interested to point a moral. Indeed, they seemed to me very like a
family of happy children listening to a fairy-story and knowing that
the tale is true.

After supper the superior took me to his office. The rain had ceased,
but the wind howled and shrieked across the lagoons, and I could hear
the waves breaking heavily against the island. There was a candle on
the desk, and the tiny, shadowy cell looked like a picture by Rembrandt.

“The rain has ceased now,” the father said quietly, “and to-morrow the
waves will have gone down, and you, Signore, will have left us. It is
in your power to do us all a great favor. I have thought much whether
I shall ask it of you, and even now I hesitate; but Scripture nowhere
tells us that the kingdom of heaven was taken by precaution, nor do I
imagine that in this world things come oftenest to those who refrain
from asking.”

“All of us,” he continued, “have come here after seeing something of
the outside world; some of us even had great possessions. Leo alone
knows nothing of it, and has possessed nothing, nor did he ever wish
to; he has been willing that nothing should be his own, not a flower
in the garden, not anything but his prayers, and even these I think he
has oftenest shared. But the visit to Burano put an idea in his head.
It is, perhaps you know, a factory town where they make lace, and the
people live there with good wages, many of them, but also much poverty.
There is a poverty which is a grace, but there is also a poverty which
is a great misery, and this Leo never had seen before. He did not know
that poverty could be a pain. It filled him with a great horror, and
in his heart there was a certain rebellion. It seemed to him that in a
world with so much money no one should suffer for the lack of it.

“It was useless for me to point out to him that in a world where there
is so much health God has permitted sickness; where there is so much
beauty, ugliness; where there is so much holiness, sin. It is not that
there is any lack in the gifts of God; all are there, and in abundance,
but He has left their distribution to the soul of man. It is easy for
me to believe this. I have known what money can buy and what it cannot
buy; but Brother Leo, who never has owned a penny, how should he know
anything of the ways of pennies?

“I saw that he could not be contented with my answer; and then this
other idea came to him--the idea that is, I think, the blessèd hope of
youth: that this thing being wrong, he, Leo, must protest against it,
must resist it! Surely, if money can do wonders, we who set ourselves
to work the will of God should have more control of this wonder-working
power? He fretted against his rule. He did not permit himself to
believe that our blessèd father, Saint Francis, was wrong, but it was
a hardship for him to refuse alms from our kindly visitors. He thought
the beggars’ rags would be made whole by gold; he wanted to give them
more than bread, he wanted, _poverino!_ to buy happiness for the whole
world.”

The father paused, and his dark, thought-lined face lighted up with a
sudden, beautiful smile till every feature seemed as young as his eyes.

“I do not think the human being ever has lived who has not thought that
he ought to have happiness,” he said. “We begin at once to get ready
for heaven; but heaven is a long way off. We make haste slowly. It
takes us all our lives, and perhaps purgatory, to get to the bottom of
our own hearts. That is the last place in which we look for heaven, but
I think it is the first in which we shall find it.”

“But it seems to me extraordinary that, if Brother Leo has this thing
so much on his mind, he should look so happy,” I exclaimed. “That is
the first thing I noticed about him.”

“Yes, it is not for himself that he is searching,” said the superior.
“If it were, I should not wish him to go out into the world, because I
should not expect him to find anything there. His heart is utterly at
rest; but though he is personally happy, this thing troubles him. His
prayers are eating into his soul like flame, and in time this fire of
pity and sorrow will become a serious menace to his peace. Besides, I
see in Leo a great power of sympathy and understanding. He has in him
the gift of ruling other souls. He is very young to rule his own soul,
and yet he rules it. When I die, it is probable that he will be called
to take my place, and for that it is necessary he should have seen
clearly that our rule is right. At present he accepts it in obedience,
but he must have more than obedience in order to teach it to others; he
must have a personal light.

“This, then, is the favor I have to ask of you, Signore. I should like
to have you take Brother Leo to Venice to-morrow, and, if you have the
time at your disposal, I should like you to show him the towers, the
churches, the palaces, and the poor who are still so poor. I wish him
to see how people spend money, both the good and the bad. I wish him to
see the world. Perhaps then it will come to him as it came to me--that
money is neither a curse nor a blessing in itself, but only one of
God’s mysteries, like the dust in a sunbeam.”

“I will take him very gladly; but will one day be enough?” I answered.

The superior arose and smiled again.

“Ah, we slow worms of earth,” he said, “are quick about some things!
You have learned to save time by flying-machines; we, too, have certain
methods of flight. Brother Leo learns all his lessons that way. I
hardly see him start before he arrives. You must not think I am so
myself. No, no. I am an old man who has lived a long life learning
nothing, but I have seen Leo grow like a flower in a tropic night. I
thank you, my friend, for this great favor. I think God will reward
you.”

Brother Lorenzo took me to my bedroom; he was a talkative old man, very
anxious for my comfort. He told me that there was an office in the
chapel at two o’clock, and one at five to begin the day, but he hoped
that I should sleep through them.

“They are all very well for us,” he explained, “but for a stranger,
what cold, what disturbance, and what a difficulty to arrange the
right thoughts in the head during chapel! Even for me it is a great
temptation. I find my mind running on coffee in the morning, a thing
we have only on great feast-days. I may say that I have fought this
thought for seven years, but though a small devil, perhaps, it is a
very strong one. Now, if you should hear our bell in the night, as a
favor pray that I may not think about coffee. Such an imperfection! I
say to myself, the sin of Esau! But he, you know, had some excuse; he
had been hunting. Now, I ask you--one has not much chance of that on
this little island; one has only one’s sins to hunt, and, alas! they
don’t run away as fast as one could wish! I am afraid they are tame,
these ones. May your Excellency sleep like the blessed saints, only a
trifle longer!”

[Illustration:

    Drawn by W. T. Benda      Half-tone plate engraved by R. C. Collins

“HE WAS LOOKING OUT OVER THE BLUE STRETCH OF LAGOON INTO THE DISTANCE,
WHERE VENICE LAY LIKE A MOVING CLOUD AT THE HORIZON’S EDGE”]

I did sleep a trifle longer; indeed, I was quite unable to assist
Brother Lorenzo to resist his coffee devil during chapel-time. I did
not wake till my tiny cell was flooded with sunshine and full of
the sound of St. Francis’s birds. Through my window I could see the
fishing-boats pass by. First came one with a pair of lemon-yellow
sails, like floating primroses; then a boat as scarlet as a dancing
flame, and half a dozen others painted some with jokes and some with
incidents in the lives of patron saints, all gliding out over the blue
lagoon to meet the golden day.

I rose, and from my window I saw Brother Leo in the garden. He was
standing under St. Francis’s tree--the old gnarled umbrella-pine which
hung over the convent-wall above the water by the island’s edge. His
back was toward me, and he was looking out over the blue stretch of
lagoon into the distance, where Venice lay like a moving cloud at the
horizon’s edge; but a mist hid her from his eyes, and while I watched
him he turned back to the garden-bed and began pulling out weeds. The
gondoliers were already at the tiny pier when I came out.

“_Per Bacco_, Signore!” the elder explained. “Let us hasten back to
Venice and make up for the Lent we have had here. The brothers gave
us all they had, the holy ones--a little wine, a little bread, cheese
that couldn’t fatten one’s grandmother, and no macaroni--not so much as
would go round a baby’s tongue! For my part, I shall wait till I get to
heaven to fast, and pay some attention to my stomach while I have one.”
And he spat on his hands and looked toward Venice.

“And not an image in the chapel!” agreed the younger man. “Why, there
is nothing to pray to but the Signore Dio Himself! _Veramente_,
Signore, you are a witness that I speak nothing but the truth.”

The father superior and Leo appeared at this moment down the path
between the cypresses. The father gave me thanks and spoke in a
friendly way to the gondoliers, who for their part expressed a very
pretty gratitude in their broad Venetian patois, one of them saying
that the hospitality of the monks had been like paradise itself, and
the other hasting to agree with him.

The two monks did not speak to each other, but as the gondolier turned
the huge prow toward Venice, a long look passed between them--such a
look as a father and son might exchange if the son were going out to
war, while his father, remembering old campaigns, was yet bound to stay
at home.

It was a glorious day in early June; the last traces of the storm had
vanished from the serene, still waters; a vague curtain of heat and
mist hung and shimmered between ourselves and Venice; far away lay the
little islands in the lagoon, growing out of the water like strange
sea-flowers. Behind us stood San Francesco del Deserto, with long
reflections of its one pink tower and arrowy, straight cypresses, soft
under the blue water.

The father superior walked slowly back to the convent, his brown-clad
figure a shining shadow between the two black rows of cypresses.
Brother Leo waited till he had disappeared, then turned his eager eyes
toward Venice.

As we approached the city the milky sea of mist retreated, and her
towers sprang up to greet us. I saw a look in Brother Leo’s eyes that
was not fear or wholly pleasure; yet there was in it a certain awe and
a strange, tentative joy, as if something in him stretched out to greet
the world. He muttered half to himself:

“What a great world, and how many children _il Signore Dio_ has!”

When we reached the piazzetta, and he looked up at the amazing splendor
of the ducal palace, that building of soft yellow, with its pointed
arches and double loggias of white marble, he spread out both his hands
in an ecstasy.

“But what a miracle!” he cried. “What a joy to God and to His angels!
How I wish my brothers could see this! Do you not imagine that some
good man was taken to paradise to see this great building and brought
back here to copy it?”

“Chi lo sa?” I replied guardedly, and we landed by the column of the
Lion of St. Mark’s. That noble beast, astride on his pedestal, with
wings outstretched, delighted the young monk, who walked round and
round him.

“What a tribute to the saint!” he exclaimed. “Look, they have his
wings, too. Is not that faith?”

“Come,” I said, “let us go on to Saint Mark’s. I think you would like
to go there first; it is the right way to begin our pilgrimage.”

The piazza was not very full at that hour of the morning, and its
emptiness increased the feeling of space and size. The pigeons wheeled
and circled to and fro, a dazzle of soft plumage, and the cluster of
golden domes and sparkling minarets glittered in the sunshine like
flames. Every image and statue on St. Mark’s wavered in great lines of
light like a living pageant in a sea of gold.

Brother Leo said nothing as he stood in front of the three great
doorways that lead into the church. He stood quite still for a while,
and then his eyes fell on a beggar beside the pink and cream of the new
campanile, and I saw the wistfulness in his eyes suddenly grow as deep
as pain.

“Have you money, Signore?” he asked me. That seemed to him the only
question. I gave the man something, but I explained to Brother Leo that
he was probably not so poor as he looked.

“They live in rags,” I explained, “because they wish to arouse pity.
Many of them need not beg at all.”

“Is it possible?” asked Brother Leo, gravely; then he followed me under
the brilliant doorways of mosaic which lead into the richer dimness of
St. Mark’s.

When he found himself within that great incrusted jewel, he fell on
his knees. I think he hardly saw the golden roof, the jeweled walls,
and the five lifted domes full of sunshine and old gold, or the dark
altars, with their mysterious, rich shimmering. All these seemed to
pass away beyond the sense of sight; even I felt somehow as if those
great walls of St. Mark’s were not so great as I had fancied. Something
greater was kneeling there in an old habit and with bare feet, half
broken-hearted because a beggar had lied.

I found myself regretting the responsibility laid on my shoulders.
Why should I have been compelled to take this strangely innocent,
sheltered boy, with his fantastic third-century ideals, out into the
shoddy, decorative, unhappy world? I even felt a kind of anger at the
simplicity of his soul. I wished he were more like other people; I
suppose because he had made me wish for a moment that I was less like
them.

“What do you think of Saint Mark’s?” I asked him as we stood once more
in the hot sunshine outside, with the strutting pigeons at our feet and
wheeling over our heads.

Brother Leo did not answer for a moment, then he said:

“I think Saint Mark would feel it a little strange. You see, I do not
think he was a great man in the world, and the great in paradise--”
He stooped and lifted a pigeon with a broken foot nearer to some corn
a passer-by was throwing for the birds. “I cannot think,” he finished
gravely, “that they care very much for palaces in paradise: I should
think every one had them there or else--nobody.”

I was surprised to see the pigeons that wheeled away at my approach
allow the monk to handle them, but they seemed unaware of his touch.

“Poverino!” he said to the one with the broken foot. “Thank God that He
has given you wings!”

Brother Leo spoke to every child he met, and they all answered him as
if there was a secret freemasonry between them; but the grown-up people
he passed with troubled eyes.

“It seems strange to me,” he said at last, “not to speak to these
brothers and sisters of ours, and yet I see all about me that they do
not salute one another.”

“They are many, and they are all strangers,” I tried to explain.

“Yes, they are very many,” he said a little sadly. “I had not known
that there were so many people in the world, and I thought that in a
Christian country they would not be strangers.”

I took another gondola by the nearest bridge, and we rowed to the
Frari. I hardly knew what effect that great church, with its famous
Titian, would have upon him. A group of tourists surrounded the
picture. I heard a young lady exclaiming:

“My! but I’d like her veil! Ain’t she cute, looking round it that way?”

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by C. W.
Chadwick

“HE STOOD QUITE STILL FOR A WHILE, AND THEN HIS EYES FELL ON A BEGGAR”]

Brother Leo did not pause; he passed as if by instinct toward the
chapel on the right which holds the softest, tenderest of Bellinis.
There, before the Madonna with her four saints and two small attendant
cherubs, he knelt again, and his eyes filled with tears. I do not think
he heard the return of the tourists, who were rather startled at seeing
him there. The elder lady remarked that he might have some infectious
disease, and the younger that she did not think much of Bellini, anyway.

He knelt for some time, and I had not the heart to disturb him; indeed,
I had no wish to, either, for Bellini’s “Madonna” is my favorite
picture, and that morning I saw in it more than I had ever seen before.
It seemed to me as if that triumphant, mellow glow of the great master
was an eternal thing, and as if the saints and their gracious Lady,
with the stalwart, standing Child upon her knee, were more real than
flesh and blood, and would still be more real when flesh and blood had
ceased to be. I never have recaptured the feeling; perhaps there was
something infectious about Brother Leo, after all. He made no comment
on the Madonna, nor did I expect one, for we do not need to assert that
we find the object of our worship beautiful; but I was amused at his
calm refusal to look upon the great Titian as a Madonna at all.

“No, no,” he said firmly. “This one is no doubt some good and gracious
lady, but the Madonna! Signore, you jest. Or, if the painter thought
so, he was deceived by the devil. Yes, that is very possible. The
father has often told us that artists are exposed to great temptations:
their eyes see paradise before their souls have reached it, and that is
a great danger.”

I said no more, and we passed out into the street again. I felt ashamed
to say that I wanted my luncheon, but I did say so, and it did not seem
in the least surprising to Brother Leo; he merely drew out a small
wallet and offered me some bread, which he said the father had given
him for our needs.

I told him that he must not dream of eating that; he was to come and
dine with me at my hotel. He replied that he would go wherever I
liked, but that really he would prefer to eat his bread unless indeed
we were so fortunate as to find a beggar who would like it. However,
we were not so fortunate, and I was compelled to eat my exceedingly
substantial five-course luncheon while my companion sat opposite me and
ate his half-loaf of black bread with what appeared to be appetite and
satisfaction.

He asked me a great many questions about what everything in the room
was used for and what everything cost, and appeared very much surprised
at my answers.

“This, then,” he said, “is not like all the other houses in Venice? Is
it a special house--perhaps for the English only?”

I explained to him that most houses contained tables and chairs; that
this, being a hotel, was in some ways even less furnished than a
private house, though doubtless it was larger and was arranged with a
special eye to foreign requirements.

“But the poor--they do not live like this?” Leo asked. I had to own
that the poor did not. “But the people here are rich?” Leo persisted.

“Well, yes, I suppose so, tolerably well off,” I admitted.

“How miserable they must be!” exclaimed Leo, compassionately. “Are they
not allowed to give away their money?”

This seemed hardly the way to approach the question of the rich and the
poor, and I do not know that I made it any better by an after-dinner
exposition upon capital and labor. I finished, of course, by saying
that if the rich gave to the poor to-day, there would still be rich
and poor to-morrow. It did not sound very convincing to me, and it did
nothing whatever to convince Brother Leo.

“That is perhaps true,” he said at last. “One would not wish, however,
to give all into unready hands like that poor beggar this morning who
knew no better than to pretend in order to get more money. No, that
would be the gift of a madman. But could not the rich use their money
in trust for the poor, and help and teach them little by little till
they learned how to share their labor and their wealth? But you know
how ignorant am I who speak to you. It is probable that this is what
is already being done even here now in Venice and all over the world.
It would not be left to a little one like me to think of it. What an
idea for the brothers at home to laugh at!”

[Illustration: Drawn by W. T. Benda. Half-tone plate engraved by R.
Varley

“‘IT SEEMS STRANGE TO ME NOT TO SPEAK TO THESE BROTHERS AND SISTERS’”]

“Some people do think these things,” I admitted.

“But do not all?” asked Brother Leo, incredulously.

“No, not all,” I confessed.

“Andiamo!” said Leo, rising resolutely. “Let us pray to the Madonna.
What a vexation it must be to her and to all the blessed saints to
watch the earth! It needs the patience of the Blessed One Himself, to
bear it.”

In the Palazzo Giovanelli there is one of the loveliest of Giorgiones.
It is called “His Family,” and it represents a beautiful nude woman
with her child and her lover. It seemed to me an outrage that this
young brother should know nothing of the world, of life. I was
determined that he should see this picture. I think I expected Brother
Leo to be shocked when he saw it. I know I was surprised that he
looked at it--at the serene content of earth, its exquisite ultimate
satisfaction--a long time. Then he said in an awed voice:

“It is so beautiful that it is strange any one in all the world can
doubt the love of God who gave it.”

“Have you ever seen anything more beautiful; do you believe there is
anything more beautiful?” I asked rather cruelly.

“Yes,” said Brother Leo, very quietly; “the love of God is more
beautiful, only that cannot be painted.”

After that I showed him no more pictures, nor did I try to make him
understand life. I had an idea that he understood it already rather
better than I did.

When I took him back to the piazza, it was getting on toward sunset,
and we sat at one of the little tables at Florian’s, where I drank
coffee. We heard the band and watched the slow-moving, good-natured
Venetian crowd, and the pigeons winging their perpetual flight.

All the light of the gathered day seemed to fall on the great golden
church at the end of the piazza. Brother Leo did not look at it very
much; his attention was taken up completely in watching the faces of
the crowd, and as he watched them I thought to read in his face what
he had learned in that one day in Venice--whether my mission had been
a success or a failure; but, though I looked long at that simple and
childlike face, I learned nothing.

What is so mysterious as the eyes of a child?

But I was not destined to part from Brother Leo wholly in ignorance.
It was as if, in his open kindliness of nature, he would not leave me
with any unspoken puzzle between us. I had been his friend and he told
me, because it was the way things seemed to him, that I had been his
teacher.

We stood on the piazzetta. I had hired a gondola with two men to row
him back; the water was like beaten gold, and the horizon the softest
shade of pink.

“This day I shall remember all my life,” he said, “and you in my
prayers with all the world--always, always. Only I should like to tell
you that that little idea of mine, which the father told me he had
spoken to you about, I see now that it is too large for me. I am only
a very poor monk. I should think I must be the poorest monk God has in
all His family of monks. If He can be patient, surely I can. And it
came over me while we were looking at all those wonderful things, that
if money had been the way to save the world, Christ himself would have
been rich. It was stupid of me. I did not remember that when he wanted
to feed the multitude, he did not empty the great granaries that were
all his, too; he took only five loaves and two small fishes; but they
were enough.

“We little ones can pray, and God can change His world. Speriamo!” He
smiled as he gave me his hand--a smile which seemed to me as beautiful
as anything we had seen that day in Venice. Then the high-prowed, black
gondola glided swiftly out over the golden waters with the little brown
figure seated in the smallest seat. He turned often to wave to me, but
I noticed that he sat with his face away from Venice.

He had turned back to San Francesco del Deserto, and I knew as I looked
at his face that he carried no single small regret in his eager heart.



[Illustration: EX-SENATOR GEORGE F. EDMUNDS

Born in Vermont February 1, 1828: Member of the Vermont Legislature
1854-59 and 1861-62; United States Senator from Vermont 1866-91; only
surviving member of the Electoral Commission formed in 1877 to settle
the disputed Hayes-Tilden election.]


[Illustration: THE CENTURY’S AFTER-THE-WAR SERIES]

ANOTHER VIEW OF “THE HAYES-TILDEN CONTEST”

A REPLY TO COLONEL WATTERSON IN THE MAY “CENTURY”

BY EX-SENATOR GEORGE F. EDMUNDS

The sole surviving member of the Electoral Commission


The rather astonishing article of Mr. Henry Watterson in the May number
of ~The Century~ opens to me the opportunity and the duty of
giving my recollections of such of the inside history, as well as of
the outside, as came to my knowledge at the time, in connection with
the Hayes-Tilden contest for the Presidency. I believe that the time
_has_ come when, among fair-minded and intelligent Americans who will
investigate the public and printed documents and papers in existence
on the subject, there will be few divergent opinions touching the
justice and lawfulness of the election of Mr. Hayes. They will find
that he was lawfully elected and instituted to the office by fair and
lawful means. I wish that such investigators could have the benefit
of the correspondence and other papers to which Mr. Watterson refers,
as well as of all other documents and papers touching the subject.
All the papers relating to the action of the Senate committee on the
Electoral Bill, and of our conferences with the House committee, are
in my possession and are open to the examination of the student, the
politician, and the historian.

In the year 1876 many of the States which had been engaged in the war
for secession were still in a condition of unrest, and their Negro
citizens, as well as many whites who had supported the United States
and were lawfully in those of the Southern States under consideration
(and opprobriously called “carpet-baggers”), were under great
apprehension of personal danger. The Negro citizens in many instances
had suffered, and they were continually in danger of violence from the
efforts of a secret association known as “the Ku-Klux Klan” to prevent
their voting as they were entitled to do under the provisions of the
Fifteenth Amendment. In this state of things small detachments of the
army of the United States were stationed in various places where the
greatest danger of intimidation and violence appeared to exist. The
civil operations of the Government required the presence of these
troops in such places, not only to assist the state authorities in
preserving the peace at a national election when there should be one,
but also to protect the operations of the United States in carrying on
its share of the civil government, such as customs, internal revenues,
post-offices, etc. I suppose everybody will agree that the army of the
United States must be somewhere, and has a right to be somewhere within
the country; and nobody has yet maintained that any State has a right
to exclude their presence. I think not a soldier interfered with any
right or peaceable conduct, or was present at any polling-place in the
late “Confederate States” in the election of 1876. When the elections
came on nothing but violence could prevent either whites or Negroes
who were lawfully entitled to vote from doing so in peace, as in most
instances they did. In the States where Negro citizens were in great
majority the Hayes ticket, naturally, should have prevailed. In some of
them it did prevail, and the necessary certificates of the result were
sent to the president of the Senate, as required by the Constitution.
The “grandfather” legislation had not yet been invented.

The election was very close; and immediately agents of the Democratic
party were sent to South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana for _some_
purpose. They were at first, apparently, under the direction of Colonel
Pelton, a nephew of Mr. Tilden, and by Pelton were authorized, in
substance and in effect, to bribe some of the canvassing boards to
make false returns of the choice of Tilden electors instead of those
electors who had been actually chosen on the Hayes ticket, or to bribe
some of the Republican electors. This scheme very early became known to
the Republican National Committee, and steps were immediately taken to
send Republican gentlemen, well known and of high standing, to those
States where, it was feared, efforts at bribery were being, or were
to be, attempted, in order to preserve, so far as lawfully could be
done, the real results of the election. Among these men so sent were,
as stated by Mr. Watterson, John Sherman, Stanley Matthews, James A.
Garfield, William M. Evarts, John A. Logan, and some others, one of
whom, as I remember, was Senator Howe of Wisconsin, a fine lawyer and
a man of absolutely upright private and public life. As everybody
knows who reads or remembers the history of those times, none of the
gentlemen mentioned would be directly or indirectly a party to intrigue
or dishonesty of any kind. They found on investigation that the Hayes
electors had been duly chosen and that, unless some one of them, after
being elected on the Hayes ticket, should be induced to dishonor
himself by Peltonian expedients, all would vote for President Hayes.
The corrupt dealers in canvassing boards and votes apparently sought a
market only with the Democrats, who, as Mr. Watterson says, declined to
buy.

When the Republicans before mentioned returned to Washington I
learned from more than one of them, in relating their experiences at
New Orleans, that the States had truly gone Republican and that the
only danger, if any, was the exertion of evil influences to change
the result. The actual experiences related by Mr. Watterson in this
connection illustrate and confirm what I have said. The political
“book-makers” were undoubtedly on hand, but that they were acting under
the authority of any of the Returning Board there was no proof. There
are speculators in politics as well as in stocks, and they often act
without having a principal behind them or any principle within them.
I remember an instance occurring in the Senate at Washington when a
bill of much financial importance was under consideration. I learned
afterward that a lobbyist whom I did not know had contracted my vote in
favor of the bill with one interest, and my vote against the same bill
in favor of the opposing interest. He had sold me to both sides, and
whichever side lost he would get his lobbyist reward.

Mr. Watterson quotes from a speech of Mr. Abram S. Hewitt, in which Mr.
Hewitt is made to say that the vote of Louisiana was offered to him
for money and that he declined to buy it. So far Mr. Hewitt of course
personally knew the truth of what he was saying; but when he says, “The
vote of that State was sold for money,” he could not have stated what
he personally knew, though he doubtless believed what he said. He was
careful not to say that he personally knew of the sale of the vote of
Louisiana, nor did he refer to any evidence of it. He was evidently at
New Orleans when, as he says, the vote of that State was offered him
for money. Why did he not, then and there, in the presence of the body
of the gentlemen of both parties mentioned by Mr. Watterson, make known
the guilty person, and so explode and destroy the corruption which was
contemplated and begun by Colonel Pelton, nephew of Mr. Tilden, at the
Democratic headquarters in New York and which compelled the sending of
Republican gentlemen to New Orleans?

I was invited to go there as one of the Republican Committee, but I
thought it better to remain in Washington and help to the best of my
ability in framing and passing a law in which the Democratic House
of Representatives and the Republican Senate could agree, and which
would execute the letter and spirit of the Constitution and preserve
the people of the whole United States from the apparent great danger
of disorder, tumult--and possibly anarchy--likely to arise from the
fire of party passion if a clear and exact law of procedure and final
determination should not be enacted speedily.

Historically, it is very unfortunate that Mr. Watterson did not
include in his enlivening article copies of his telegraphic and other
correspondence with Mr. Tilden from New Orleans, and elsewhere, for
it would certainly and truly, so far as it went, throw much light on
the existing drama being displayed, as well as the plans and work
behind the curtain whereby (we may believe) it was hoped to produce
the election of Mr. Tilden. We Republicans at Washington were forced
to believe that an effort was being made, by every means that could
be employed, to overcome the Hayes majority of one. During that whole
period, so far as I personally knew or was informed, there never was
any scheme or act of the Republicans to bribe any state canvassing
board or elector by money or promise in support of Mr. Hayes’s
election. We did (if I may borrow an ancient classic simile) fear “the
Greeks bearing gifts.” We were morally certain that a large majority
of the legal voters in the States of South Carolina, Florida, and
Louisiana were earnestly in favor of the election of Mr. Hayes, and
we believed that if violence or some other kind of unlawful influence
were not brought to bear the electoral votes of those States would be
cast for him; but when the secret though bold operations of Colonel
Pelton became partly known we were astonished and alarmed, though not
disheartened, and we went forward in our efforts to provide by law for
the final act in the great drama.

The scene of action was now transferred to Washington. Mr. Watterson in
his usual charming style gives a clear description of the next steps
taken by the Democratic managers to achieve the wished-for triumph
of Mr. Tilden. He was advised by Mr. McLane--referring to the contest
over the English Reform Bill of 1832, when he had seen the powerful
impression produced by “the direct force of public opinion upon
law-making and law-makers”--that an analogous situation now existed in
America; that the Republican Senate was like the Tory House of Lords,
and that the Democrats must organize a movement such as had been so
effectual in England. But there was neither precedent nor analogy
except violence and riots, for Parliament was engaged in considering
discretionary _legislation_ enlarging and purifying the franchise, in
which peaceful persuasion and petition were right, as they would have
been for or against the passage of the Electoral Commission Bill. Mr.
Watterson tells us it was agreed that he return to Washington and make
a speech “with the suggestion that in the National Capital there should
assemble” a mass convention of at least one hundred thousand peaceful
citizens exercising the freemen’s right of petition. Mr. Watterson
tells us that it was a venture in which he had no great faith; but
that he prepared the speech, and that, after much reading and revising
of it by Mr. Tilden and Mr. McLane, to cover the case and meet the
purpose, Mr. Tilden wrote Mr. Randall, Speaker of the House, a letter
which was carried by Mr. McLane to Mr. Randall “instructing him what
to do in the event that the popular response [which did not come]
should prove favorable.” It is a great pity that this letter is lost
to the historian, for it would doubtless illuminate the real meaning
of the speech of Mr. Watterson prepared in New York and there ratified
by Mr. Tilden; for the speech that was delivered at Washington soon
after Christmas, 1876, was of such a character that “the Democrats at
once set about denying the sinister and violent purpose ascribed to it
by Republicans.” Mr. Watterson says,--I have no doubt with absolute
frankness,--that no thought of _violence_ had entered _his_ mind. But
Mr. Pulitzer, who immediately followed him in the speech-making, said
without rebuke that he wanted the one hundred thousand to come “fully
armed and ready for business.”

At the time of the delivery of these speeches action in all the States
must already have been concluded, and the documents required by law,
showing the action of the several States, had already been forwarded
to the president of the Senate to be held by him to be opened and
acted upon as required by the Constitution. These speeches, then, must
have been intended to frighten members of Congress by the threatened
presence of at least one hundred thousand men assembling at Washington,
under color of the right of petition, to persuade them by some means to
win a triumph for Mr. Tilden by procuring the rejection of some vote or
votes appearing in the electoral documents to have been cast for Mr.
Hayes. It would seem that the framers of the speech of Mr. Watterson
had overlooked the provisions in the Constitution of the United States
on the subject, which left no discretion or policy to be exercised by
any one, and the fact that so-called public opinion or partizan wishes
had no place in the procedure of receiving and counting the electoral
votes.

This great army of petitioning citizens could as well have been
assembled to influence the Supreme Court in the consideration of
some great cause, or the House of Representatives or the Senate in
an impeachment proceeding. This mode of influencing administrative
or judicial procedure, which has been and is supposed to be for the
ascertainment of the law and the truth, would be retrogression to Roman
times, when the populace sometimes flocked into the Forum to influence
by their voices and uproar the trial of causes.

I come now in my recollections (which are verified by the volume of the
“Proceedings of the Electoral Commission,” by the official “Journals”
of the two Houses, and by the “Congressional Record”) to the details
of the proceedings of the two Houses and of the Electoral Commission.
On December 14, 1876, the Democratic House of Representatives passed a
resolution in the following words:

    Whereas there are differences of opinion as to the proper mode of
    counting the electoral votes for President and Vice-President, and
    as to the manner of determining questions that may arise as to the
    legality and validity of returns made of such votes by the several
    States;

    And whereas it is of the utmost importance that all differences of
    opinion and all doubt and uncertainty upon these questions should
    be removed, to the end therefore that the votes may be counted and
    the result declared by a tribunal whose authority none can question
    and whose decision all will accept as final: Therefore,

    Resolved, That a committee of seven members of this House be
    appointed by the Speaker, to act in conjunction with any similar
    committee that may be appointed by the Senate, to prepare and
    report without delay such a measure, either legislative or
    constitutional, as may in their judgment be best calculated to
    accomplish the desired end, and that said committee have leave to
    report at any time.

This resolution was sent to the Senate, and in response thereto, on
December 18 the Republican Senate passed a resolution in the following
words:

    Resolved, That the message of the House of Representatives on
    the subject of the presidential election be referred to a select
    committee of seven Senators, with power to prepare and report,
    without unnecessary delay, such a measure either of a legislative
    or other character, as may, in their judgment, be best calculated
    to accomplish the lawful counting of the electoral votes, and the
    best disposition of all questions connected therewith, and the due
    declaration of the result: and that said committee have power to
    confer and act with the committee of the House of Representatives
    named in said message, and to report by bill or otherwise.

On December 21 the Senate appointed, as members of its select
committee, Messrs. Edmunds, Morton, Frelinghuysen, Logan, Republicans;
Messrs. Thurman, Bayard, and Ransom, Democrats. (Mr. Logan declined
the appointment and Mr. Conkling was appointed in his place.) On
December 22 the House of Representatives appointed, as the members of
its committee, Messrs. Payne, Hunton, Hewitt, Springer, Democrats,
and Messrs. McCrary, Hoar, and Willard, Republicans. These two
committees proceeded to consider the subject separately; and they
held conferences from time to time with a view to agreeing upon one
measure to accomplish the great objects named in the resolutions
of the two Houses. After much discussion and deliberation, the two
committees agreed that there should be reported in the Senate the bill
which, without amendment in either House, became the law under which
the procedure of the two Houses and the Electoral Commission took
place. This bill was reported by me to the Senate January 18, 1877.
After much debate and the rejection of sundry amendments it passed the
Senate, January 24, by a vote of forty-seven yeas and seventeen nays.
The negative votes were nearly all cast by Republicans. The bill was
then sent to the House, where, on January 26, it was referred to the
House committee on the subject, and on the same day was reported to
the House by Mr. Payne without amendment. After debate it passed the
House without any amendment, by a vote of one hundred and ninety-one
yeas and eighty nays. The negative vote was composed, as in the Senate,
very largely of Republicans. In the Senate, before the final vote
was taken, it was perfectly understood that the bill would pass by a
large majority in the form in which it came from the committee. It
was seen, apparently, that some gentlemen who were supposed to have
hopeful visions of their political future felt that they could safely
vote against the bill, of which, if it were followed by the success of
Mr. Hayes, it could be said to be quite unnecessary; and if it were
followed by the success of Mr. Tilden it could be said that disaster to
the Republican party had been brought about by the foolish conduct of
the Republicans who supported it.

Previous to the passage of the bill no law existed providing what
should be done, when in pursuance of the Constitution the two Houses
should meet and the president of the Senate open and cause to be read
the certificates of electoral votes from the various States, if a
difference of opinion between the Houses should arise concerning the
validity of any electoral vote. Two radical and opposing contentions
were being put forward by the more excited of the two parties. One side
said that the Constitution gave the president of the Senate the power
and duty to decide the result after the state certificates should be
opened and read. The other side maintained that the president of the
Senate had no power other than to preside, open the sealed packages
received by him from the various States, and cause them to be read;
and that it was in the power of the two Houses concurrently to decide
what votes should or should not be counted. Both these contentions were
thought by the Senate committee--and I hope by the House committee
also--to be absolutely erroneous. The Constitution had not made the
president of the Senate the judge of election returns. His only duty
was to receive, preserve, open, and cause to be read and summed up the
certificates of the action of each of the States, which he had received
as provided by the Constitution. To decide what persons mentioned in
the certificates were lawful electors was no part of his duty.

If the concurrent power of the two Houses to judge of the elections
existed, no votes on which the two Houses disagreed could be counted.
In such a case how long would each House “in the heat of conflict keep
the law”? The only things certain to happen in such instances would be
reprisals, and then--anarchy and open war.

I think few sane persons of intelligence can believe that the wise
and far-seeing builders of the Constitution intended to leave open
such an avenue to destruction; and so they did provide, after granting
to Congress affirmative powers on enumerated subjects, that Congress
should have power “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper
for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers
vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States or
in any Department or officer thereof.” On this firm rock the select
committees of the two Houses rested the provisions of the Electoral Law
which we reported.

In framing this act the two committees carefully and intentionally
refrained from changing in any way any law then existing that might
affect either way the fundamental merits of the existing controversy;
and so, when the bill was under debate in the Senate, and Mr. Morton,
a member of the committee, who did not concur in its report or in the
passage of the bill, moved to amend the same by providing “That nothing
herein contained shall authorize the said commission to go behind the
finding and determination of the canvassing or returning officers of
a State authorized by the laws of the State to find and determine the
result of an election for electors,” I moved to amend the amendment so
as to make it declare that the commission should have authority to go
behind the returns. The purpose of my motion was to make it impossible
that any inference should exist from Mr. Morton’s proposition being
rejected that the commission should be granted by the act any authority
either way that did not already exist. I, of course, voted against my
own amendment and only one senator voted for it. The amendment of Mr.
Morton was defeated by a majority of more than two to one. Thus the
bill passed without any amendment at all, as before stated.

The act provided that the Electoral Commission be composed of
fifteen members consisting of five justices of the Supreme Court of
the United States, five senators, and five members of the House of
Representatives. The members of the commission were the following:
Justices, Clifford from Maine, Miller from Iowa, Field from California,
Strong from Pennsylvania, and Bradley from New Jersey; Senators,
Edmunds of Vermont, Morton of Indiana, Frelinghuysen of New Jersey,
Bayard of Delaware, and Thurman of Ohio; Members of the House,
Payne of Ohio, Hunton of Virginia, Abbott of Massachusetts, Hoar of
Massachusetts, and Garfield of Ohio.

The law provided that the fifth of the five justices to compose that
part of the commission was to be selected by those justices assigned to
the First, Third, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits, and that the senior in
service should be president of the commission. It required that each
House, by a _viva voce_ vote of its members, should appoint the five
senators and the five representatives provided by the law, which was
done. Mr. Watterson says that it was believed by the Democratic members
of the House that justice Davis of Illinois would be appointed as the
fifth justice composing the commission, and that it was also believed
that Justice Davis would be “sure for Tilden.” I had no belief upon the
subject other than that founded upon my knowledge of the capacity and
character of Justice Davis; and that led me to believe that he, as well
as the other justices, would follow what they thought, after hearing
the cases, was the law; and I believed that neither the Constitution
nor the law authorized the commission to overthrow the regular returns
of any State and make what must necessarily be an endless inquiry into
what the votes of the people of any State had been in point of numbers,
either for or against the Republican or Democratic electors. That
right, by the letter and the spirit of the Constitution, was given to
the States alone.

After the Electoral Act had been passed Justice Davis was elected
senator from Illinois and consequently became ineligible; and the
four justices selected Justice Bradley (from New Jersey) as the fifth
justice of the commission. Mr. Watterson thinks that if Justice Davis
had been a member of the commission he would have voted as Justice
Bradley did. I agree with him in that belief.

Although the act made no provision in respect of the political
character of the members of either House to be appointed, it was
agreed by those representing the two parties in each House that the
members selected for the commission should be three Republicans and two
Democrats of the Senate and three Democrats and two Republicans of the
House. Each side had faith enough in the honor of the other to be sure
such would be the case, as it was. Thus the Electoral Commission was
formed.

The commission met and organized January 31, 1877, only thirty-four
days before the final ceremony of the election of the President must
take place.

All its members were present, and the certificates of the appointments
of its members, before named, were presented and recorded, showing
that the Senate had by a unanimous vote appointed the persons before
mentioned to be members of the commission, and that the House had
appointed as its members of the commission the gentlemen named above.
All the members of the commission took and subscribed the oath of
office required by the statute--that they would “impartially examine
and consider all questions submitted to the Commission and a true
judgment give thereon, agreeably to the Constitution and the Laws.”
The commission adopted simple rules of procedure and notified the two
Houses that it was ready for business.

On the first day of February the two Houses met in the Hall of the
House, and the opening of the electoral certificates was begun,
proceeding in alphabetical order, as the act required. The votes of
the States of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut,
and Delaware were read without objection and recorded as returned. The
next State alphabetically was Florida. Three separate packages, which
had in due course come to the hands of the president of the Senate from
that State, were presented by him, the first one of which, purporting
that the electors of the State had voted for Mr. Hayes, was objected to
by Democratic members of the House and Senate in the manner authorized
by the Electoral Act; and objections to the other certificates were
in like manner made by Republican members of both Houses. Whereupon
all these papers and objections were transmitted to the commission
for consideration and decision. The case was correctly understood to
involve substantially the same questions that would arise in respect of
Louisiana and South Carolina; and the case was argued on both sides by
eminent counsel and patiently heard by the commission until February
9, when, after consultation and discussion, the majority of the
commission decided that the certificate showing the election of Hayes
and Wheeler was the true and lawful certificate of the State of Florida
and should be counted as such, upon the ground stated, as required
by the act; “That it is not competent under the Constitution and the
law, as it existed at the date of the passage of said act, to go into
evidence aliunde the papers opened by the president of the Senate in
the presence of the two Houses, to prove that other persons than those
regularly certified to by the Governor of the State of Florida, in and
according to the determination and declaration of their appointment by
the board of state canvassers of said State prior to the time required
for the performance of their duties, had been appointed electors, or by
counter-proof to show that they had not.”

The members of the commission voting in favor of this decision
were (alphabetically stated) Mr. Justice Bradley, Messrs. Edmunds,
Frelinghuysen, Garfield, Hoar, Mr. Justice Miller, Mr. Morton, and Mr.
Justice Strong. Those who voted in the negative were Messrs. Abbott,
Bayard, Mr. Justice Clifford, Mr. Justice Field, and Messrs. Hunton,
Payne, and Thurman.

In the course of the discussions in the consultations of the commission
on the Florida case, Senator Frelinghuysen, in support of his view
that there was no power to go behind the regular returns, called the
attention of the commission to the debates in the Senate on January
7, 1873, as reported in the “Congressional Record,” to the opinion
expressed by Senator Thurman in the consideration of a resolution
authorizing an investigation as to whether the election for President
and Vice-President had been conducted in Louisiana and Arkansas in
1872 in accordance with the laws of the United States, in which Mr.
Thurman was reported as saying, “There seems to be no way provided by
Congress, and no way, I believe, that Congress, as the Constitution
stands, can provide to try the title of an elector to his office”; and
he proceeded to say, “I take it that the entire control over the manner
of appointing the electors is one of the reserved rights of the State.”

Mr. Thurman, on hearing this read by Mr. Frelinghuysen, said: “I
have changed my mind.” Mr. Frelinghuysen, also quoting from the
“Congressional Record” reporting the proceedings of the Senate on
February 25, 1875, in considering the bill then pending to provide for
counting the votes for President and Vice-President, read from the
speech of Senator Bayard on the subject, in which Mr. Bayard said,
“There is no pretext that for any cause whatever Congress has any
power, or all the other departments of the Government have any power,
to refuse to receive and count the result of the action of the voters
of the States in that election, as certified by the electors whom they
have chosen.” (See official report of the Proceedings of the Commission
compiled and printed by order of Congress, page 847.)

But it is a duty and a pleasure to say that I am sure both Mr. Bayard
and Mr. Thurman voted with perfect honesty and sincerity. Thus it will
be seen that the fundamental and controlling question in the three
disputed elections before mentioned was not new.

That these decisions of the majority of the commission, recognizing the
conclusive authority of the several States in holding elections and
determining the result of their choice of Presidential electors, were
fully in accordance with the Electoral Act and with the Constitution,
is absolutely confirmed by the non-partizan action of Congress
itself--at a time when there was no possible party bias or emotion upon
the subject--in the passage of the act of February 3, 1887, wherein
the very principles controlling the decisions of the majority of the
commission were recognized and adopted, and whereby the very substance
and almost the very form of the Electoral Act was enacted into law so
far as it respected the rights of the States and the proceedings of the
two Houses, without the intervention of an Electoral Commission. (See
Supplement to the “Revised Statutes of the United States,” 1874-91,
page 525.) If the Republican members of the Electoral Commission needed
any vindication of their action, I feel sure (though the “Journals”
of 1887 are not available in the city where I write) that this act of
Congress, passed without party division, gives it completely.

The case of Florida having been thus disposed of, that of Louisiana was
sent to the commission on February 12, and was decided upon the same
principle governing the Florida case; but it was not finally determined
and the vote counted until February 20. From that time until the
second day of March, at four o’clock in the afternoon, when the final
declaration of the election of Hayes and Wheeler was made, there was
a continual and successful effort, growing more and more intense and
violent, by the Democratic majority of the House of Representatives to
delay final action by the two Houses in counting the whole electoral
vote; and in the last case but one the House of Representatives
rejected the vote of one of the Vermont electors by a party vote
including, I think, that of Mr. Watterson; while the Senate, by a
_unanimous_ vote on the yeas and nays, declared that the vote should be
counted, which under the law validated the disputed vote. (See “Journal
of the House,” and the “Congressional Record.”)

This illustrates the extremities to which the majority of the Democrats
in the House went to prevent any final conclusion of the electoral
proceedings under the very law that they themselves had almost
unanimously voted for. What would have followed had this effort to
prevent a regular conclusion of the proceedings been successful it was
and is impossible to know. What _might_ have followed was a declaration
of a majority of the House that there had been no election at all,
after which Mr. Tilden (according to the law in case of failure to
elect) could have been elected by the House,--as against the inevitable
claim of Mr. Hayes that the returns as made to the president of the
Senate in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution, showed
that he had been elected President of the United States.

In the then state of public feeling I think there can be little, if
any, doubt that an armed collision of the supporters of the respective
claimants would have taken place.

Mr. Watterson states that when the election by the people in the
various States “ ... came to an end, the result showed on the face of
the returns 196” votes for Mr. Tilden “in the Electoral College, 11
more than a majority.” The returns he speaks of must have been the
_newspaper returns_, for, of course, on November 8, 1876, the day
after the election, there could have been no official returns of any
character in existence excepting, possibly, precinct and district
returns of the local votes in some sections. He states that on the
evening of the eighth of November Senator Barnum, the financial head
of the Democratic National Committee, sent a telegram to “The New York
Times” asking for the latest news from Oregon, Louisiana, Florida, and
South Carolina, and that from that unlucky telegram sprang all the
woes of the Democratic party! The next day, after some telegraphic
correspondence with Mr. Tilden--of the contents of which the public
never has been informed--Mr. Watterson left Louisville for New Orleans,
being joined en route by Mr. Lamar of Mississippi; and they were
soon followed by the body of Democrats chosen by Mr. Tilden to go
to the “seat of war.” President Grant, having been informed of the
Pelton enterprise, appointed a body of Republicans to go there also
to ascertain the truth and support a lawful and peaceable course. The
names of some or all of these Republicans visiting New Orleans are
given in Mr. Watterson’s article and have been already mentioned. His
recital of what happened I have already referred to, though the object
and purpose is not stated. But he does say, “There was corruption
in the air,” and “It was my own belief that the Returning Board was
playing for the best price it could get from the Republicans, and that
the only effect of any offer to buy on our part would be to assist this
scheme of blackmail.”

The last scene in this eventful history mentioned by Mr. Watterson
was “the Wormley conference,” as the consequence of what he correctly
calls the Democratic “bluff” “filibuster” intended merely to induce the
Hayes people to make certain concessions touching some of the Southern
States; and he says that “It had the desired effect,” and that,
satisfactory assurances having been given, the count proceeded to the
end.

I have no personal knowledge whatever of the doings of the so-called
conference, and had then no information even of its existence, and have
therefore no comment to make upon it except that the filibuster was a
“bluff” and would have died in time without issue from very shame of
its bluffing actors.

I am glad that Mr. Watterson’s article has appeared at this time,
before all the gentlemen, who in one form or another were personally
connected with public affairs during the years 1876-77, have passed to
the future life. Such as survive may now have an opportunity, if they
think it worth while to take it, to defend themselves from accusations
stated or implied in his article.

Recollections of ancient conversations, hearsays, or traditions are
of very little value in showing what the very facts were; while
written correspondence or other writings of the time would clarify and
illuminate the events supposed to have happened. Mr. Watterson most
correctly says that “Once in a while the world is startled by some
revelation of the unknown which alters the estimate of the historic
event or figure.” It is, therefore, very much to be regretted that he
did not print every writing (of which he appears to know many) within
his reach relative to the subject. He imputes to the members of the
Republican party at that time officially or otherwise connected with
public affairs the crime of bribing the State canvassing boards of the
disputed States “at least in patronage, to make false returns in favor
of the Republican electors.” As one of the few survivors of that stormy
time, as the _last survivor_ of the members of the select committees of
the two Houses who conducted the passage of the Electoral Bill, and as
the last survivor of the members of the Electoral Commission, I feel
bound to repel the imputation as wholly groundless. In all our frequent
consultations during the whole time there never was a proposal,
suggestion, or hint of ours, or on the part of any one of us, resorting
to bribery in any form, or of promise of office or other benefit, or
influencing or trying to influence any of the canvassing boards or
other state officials to depart from their lawful duty.

I, and I believe all the others, thought that the Republican ticket
had been truly and lawfully elected; and everything we did was to try
by lawful means to save the cause we believed our party had fairly
and lawfully won. We had not been educated under, and did not believe
in, the standard of political morality Mr. Watterson sympathetically
imputes to us; but we feared, as well we might from the Pelton work
and other revelations of occurrences in the disputed four Southern
States, that unlawful and more practical methods were being resorted
to by our adversaries to pervert, if possible, the lawful course and
result of the election. I cannot close this condensed statement without
expressing my earnest and grateful admiration of the conduct of all
the justices of the Supreme Court who were members of the Electoral
Commission. They were pure, high-minded, and patriotic, trying
earnestly to expedite our work. The venerable Justice Clifford, the
president, performed his arduous duties with promptness and perfect
impartiality. My memory of him and of his associates is among the most
pleasant of my public life.

    (For Colonel Watterson’s rejoinder, see page 285.)



[Illustration]

    _The_ GRAND CAÑON _of the_ COLORADO

    _Six Lithographs drawn from nature
    in 1912 for the Century by_
    JOSEPH PENNELL

[Illustration: THE GREAT TEMPLE]

[Illustration: A RIFT IN THE WALLS]

[Illustration: A STORM PASSING OVER THE CAÑON]

[Illustration: IN THE GLOW OF SUNSET]

[Illustration: MISTS IN THE CAÑON]

[Illustration: From a photograph by Hanfstaengl. Half-tone plate
engraved by H. Davidson

RICHARD WAGNER]



IF RICHARD WAGNER CAME BACK

BY HENRY T. FINCK

Author of “Wagner and His Works,” “Chopin,” “Success in Music,” etc.


The outcome of the first Bayreuth Festival, in 1876, was a deficit of
$37,500. There was need of thirteen hundred subscriptions to cover the
expenses, but barely one half that number had been secured, thanks
to the hostility of the German press, which for years in advance
had systematically decried the project as a humbug, and at the last
moment actually got up a fake smallpox scare in order to frustrate
the festival. Wagner was only sixty-three years old at that time, and
therefore quite too young to be appreciated in a country where it seems
to be held that the only real genius is a dead genius. A series of
concerts given in London in the hope of covering the deficit referred
to resulted in further losses. The plan of repeating the Nibelung
performances in Bayreuth every year or two consequently vanished like
a rainbow, and it was not till Wagner was ready with his swan-song,
“Parsifal,” in 1882, that he found it possible again to invite the
world to that Bavarian town. This time there was actually a surplus of
$1500. Wagner was beginning to be appreciated! Six months later he died.

If he came back to-day, thirty years after, what would he find? If
he glanced at the newspapers and the musical periodicals, he would
note, perhaps not without some surprise, that no trace is left of the
virulent opposition to his music-dramas which had thwarted his plans
and made life a burden to him. He would see himself ranked with the
classics, the musical world no longer divided into Wagnerites and
anti-Wagnerites, and most of those who do not personally care for his
music yet willing to pay him the tribute of respect which they give to
Bach and Beethoven.

It is not generally known that Wagner was forty-four years old and had
written all but three of his operas before a single one of them was
produced in Vienna, Munich, or Stuttgart, and that he was fifty-six
and over before even his early works were staged in France, Italy, and
England. He was obliged to publish “Rienzi,” “The Flying Dutchman,”
and “Tannhäuser” at his own expense, and never got his money back. The
leading musical firms in Germany were aghast at his asking $7500 for
the publishing rights of “Das Rheingold,” “Die Walküre,” “Siegfried,”
and “Götterdämmerung.” He needed money, and reduced his demand by one
half; but again his offer was declined. Breitkopf and Härtel did buy
“Lohengrin,” only to be jeered at for so doing by Mendelssohn, who
thought it was a bad bargain. The same firm purchased “Tristan and
Isolde,” but had to wait years to get back the sum expended.

Soon after Wagner’s death the tide turned, and if he came back to-day,
he would enjoy a spectacle which would perhaps surprise him as much
as the disappearance of his detractors. Though he had great faith in
his “music of the future” (it was not he, but one of his enemies who
dubbed it so), he would hardly be prepared to find that in New York,
as in all the cities of Germany, his operas year after year now have a
greater number of performances than those of any other composer, and
that the same is true even in the cities of Italy, Spain, and France
whenever it is possible to secure for them competent singers and
conductors. But the most astonishing spectacle would be presented to
him in the warehouses of the publishing firms, nearly all of which have
whole floors stacked to the ceiling with reprints of his scores ready
to be rushed into the markets the moment the copyright on them has
expired a few months hence. While he might be wroth at a law which will
thus suddenly reduce the income of his heirs, he could not but feel
flattered on discovering that no other composer had ever been reprinted
in such wholesale fashion, proof of unprecedented popularity.

If it were possible to communicate with him to-day, would he join his
widow and son and their followers in petitioning parliament to make
an exception to the copyright law in favor of preserving “Parsifal”
forever for Bayreuth? I very much doubt if he would. In all probability
he would say to them:

“My prose writings and letters should have made it clear to you that
my chief reason for building a theater at Bayreuth for special model
performances of my music-dramas was that the royal opera-houses of the
empire had neither the means nor the good-will to produce these works
in a satisfactory manner. To-day I find the situation entirely changed,
the opera-houses vying with one another in their efforts to present my
works in exact accordance with my wishes. There is therefore no reason
for withholding ‘Parsifal’ from them any longer. They will stage it
conscientiously, and henceforth not only those who are wealthy enough
to travel to Bayreuth, but hundreds of thousands of others, will be
able to hear it. That the Bayreuth atmosphere is not a necessity for
the appreciation of my last work I infer from the reports from New
York, where ‘Parsifal’ is always listened to in the devotional attitude
which this semi-religious composition calls for.”

In 1852, Wagner wrote that a Lohengrin singer was yet to be born.
Twenty-four years later, for the Bayreuth performances of the Nibelung
dramas and “Parsifal” he selected his singers from all the German
opera-houses; yet it is not difficult to read between the lines of
his subsequent comments, appreciative and cordial though they were,
that few of these singers approximated to his ideal, and in most cases
he had to turn instructor to impart correct ideas of his new vocal
style, in which melody and declamation are amalgamated. Emil Scaria,
the wonderful _Gurnemanz_ of the Parsifal festival in 1882, was the
nearest approach to his ideal. Lilli Lehmann was too young in 1876 to
assume the part of _Brünhild_ in which she afterward established a new
standard of singing, combining the Italian _bel canto_ with German
realism of dramatic accent and emotional coloring.

That it was at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York that Lilli
Lehmann first revealed this new art is a detail of operatic history
which would interest Wagner if he came back to-day. When he composed
“Tristan and Isolde” he had in his mind prophetic visions not only of
Lehmann, but of Jean de Reszke, who established the same new standard
for tenors. While good dramatic singers are still scarce, the general
level has been raised, as Wagner would be the first to acknowledge.
How happy he would have been could he have had at Bayreuth masters of
his style as Nordica, Eames, Ternina, Krauss-Seidl, Gadski, Fremstad,
Schumann-Heink, Matzenauer, Homer, Knote, Burrian, Reiss, Goritz,
Alvary, the De Reszke brothers, Urlus, Braun, and Fischer, all of whom
are or have been associated with the Metropolitan.

One of the most important changes Wagner would note relates to the
importance now attached to orchestral conductors. Before he wrote his
essay on conducting, the orchestral leaders as a rule were little more
than mere time-beaters. He taught them by example and precept to be
real interpreters, molding an orchestral performance to their own will
as much as a pianist does the piece he plays.

What would Wagner say about the operas composed since his death?
Of all of them he would, I believe, like best Humperdinck’s “Die
Königskinder,” which, while written entirely in his own style,
nevertheless is charmingly original in its melodies. He would certainly
not admire the operas of Richard Strauss, partly because of their
repulsive subjects, partly because of the violence they do to the
human voice, but chiefly because this composer too often uses his
large orchestral apparatus to hide his poverty of invention. On the
other hand, he would be likely to denounce Debussy for his boycotting
of melody in “Pelléas et Mélisande” and for his neglect of modern
orchestral means of expression and coloring. Turning to Italy, he would
smile at the two short operas of Mascagni and Leoncavallo, which, when
first launched, were supposed to have dethroned him. Possibly he might
admire Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” and the last act of “Tosca.” In any
case, he could not but feel flattered on noting how, after his death,
Verdi, who was born in the same year as himself, but lived nineteen
years longer, followed his methods in “Otello” and “Falstaff.” In other
countries Wagner would find no indication of a genius able to alienate
the affections of opera-goers from his music-dramas. There has been no
progress, no important development, since his death.

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF DOROTHY McK----

FROM THE PAINTING BY WILHELM FUNK

(THE CENTURY’S AMERICAN ARTISTS SERIES)]



“BLACK BLOOD”

BY EDWARD LYELL FOX

WITH PICTURES BY WILLIAM H. FOSTER


Drifting mists enveloped the landscape, a thousand gray wraiths
crawling through the air, their thin bodies changing, contracting,
vanishing. Over toward Massapequa the sky was brightening, distant
lights of purple and pink fighting their way through the mists, a dim
burning of color like that of fire through smoke. Somewhere a rooster
crowed; a dog barked drowsily. Already the vague shadows of the night
were congealing into trees, a rail fence, farm buildings. Beyond them
more trees, a stone wall, a red barn appeared. From the earth rose the
fresh odors of a new day.

In the windows of the house on the opposite side of the road lights
appeared. The figure of a man moved into shadow on a curtain and
was gone. No sound came from within. Then a door creaked open, feet
shuffled. Four men, carrying lanterns, issued forth and waited on the
porch. They began to talk in hoarse, early morning voices. The door
opened again; a powerful, soldierly looking man appeared. He said
something in a foreign tongue, and the others, lighting their lanterns,
hurried toward the barn.

When they were gone, Léon Giron, whom the newspapers called “the
greatest automobile race-driver in the world,” lighted a cigarette and
scowled. Indeed, he had begun the last ten days in the same way--the
cigarette, the scowl. This daybreak practice on the Vanderbilt Cup
Course had become distasteful. It was unnecessary, with the race as
good as won. Still, his employees had insisted. Scowling again, Giron
waited for his mechanicians to roll out the big Saturn.

He had thought of trying the twenty-mile cup course for speed or of
studying the turns, most particularly the one just opposite, where the
Jericho Turnpike bent into a right angle and continued as a narrow
road. He was still undecided when from down the pike came the low
rumbling of a motor. Louder and louder it grew, a growing succession of
reports that split the quiet air like volleys of musketry. Now Giron
could see the flames of its exhausts, the yellow and red flashes,
wild fire shining through the mists. Now he saw the white bulk of the
machine, the long, lean hood, the tilted steering-post, the two black
forms crouched behind.

On it came, faster than the wind, a spew of flame and smoke, a
voice-breathing thunder, a monstrous white dragon bursting the dawn.
As Giron watched, as his trained eye timed instantly the frightful
speed, as his experience whispered that for a car to rush the Jericho
turn meant disaster, possible death, the man’s face showed only cold
interest. Years before men had called him steel-nerved, ruthless,
abnormally cruel.

But now the white car crashed past. Swerving, it threw up a wall of
flying dirt, skidded terribly, shot across the road, seemed about to
go off, but, righting, bellowed round “the Jericho,” and rushed toward
Westbury. And as it went, as its dust-cloud trembled and fell, as its
explosions grew fainter and fainter, Giron stood watching, a startled
figure leaning far over the porch-rail, unbelief and venom in his
face. And as he watched, waiting until the white car was only a speck
dissolving toward Westbury, his lips began to move. To the air he
talked doubtfully, musingly, saying aloud:

“I thought there was only one man who could take a turn like that. One
man,”--his eyes glittered,--“Jean Lescault was his name, and I fixed
him seven years ago.”

Turning abruptly, he walked toward the garage.

Meanwhile the white car, passing Westbury, had turned off the course
and, rumbling contentedly, had come to a stop before Krugs. As you may
know, Krugs, an old-fashioned Long Island road-house kept by a tidy
German woman, has for years been the quarters of the cup-racers. Here
in spacious stables are kept the machines of two companies, sometimes
of three. Here in the uncomfortable rooms of the inn sleep their crews,
drivers, mechanics, team-managers. In its low-ceilinged dining-room
they sit, a score of them, smudgy-faced and in overalls, a careless,
boyish company whose faces, were they not so lined, you would call
young.

Nobody paid much attention to the white car as its heavy panting became
quieter and then died away, nor did they notice the tall, strapping
man with the boyish face who climbed out from the driver’s seat, nor
the broken little figure who climbed with him. As one of the reporters
had said, “Sammy Stevenson always looks as if he had just jumped out
of a cold plunge.” The expression was very pat. The boyish Stevenson’s
skin always seemed tingling, coloring; his eyes clear and wide-open;
his body tense, full-blown, strong. And as he kept step with his
companion in their walk toward the house, one would have said that the
contrast was pitiless; for the other man was a cripple. One of his
legs was shorter than the other; as he walked, his body swayed from
side to side; his left sleeve was empty. His whole frame looked gaunt,
emaciated, racked--racked, one thought immediately, by some terrible
accident that had disfigured his face, lining it with a long, white
scar. Though hideously ugly, broken in body, the little man walked with
his head well up, his chin high. And Stevenson regarded him as he might
have regarded a deity.

Out in Detroit, at the Mercury Motor-Car Company factory, everybody
knew the little man as “Old Lescault.” Five years before this time he
had appeared mysteriously, and in a few hours the factory had hired him
as a “racing expert.” He had taken Sammy Stevenson from the testing
service, put him on one of the racing-cars, and taught him “the game.”
In his department his word was law. Even John Willard, the company’s
gruff and positive president, who never had been known to take advice,
obeyed this hideous little Frenchman, who ruled all with a word, a
grimace, and made the sturdy, self-reliant Stevenson his personal
worshiper and the hostile factory hands his sympathetic friends.

Just now Jean Lescault was busy explaining something to Stevenson. The
young man listened intently.

“You’ll lose time on those turns,” Lescault was saying, “unless you
take them the way I tell you. Instead of swinging wide and describing
a curve, I want you to do this: rush the car right into the turn, jam
on the brakes, skid around on your front wheels, and then shoot ahead.
Look!” He quickly sketched a diagram on the breakfast-cloth. “There,”
he exclaimed, looking up, “that shows how you’ll cut time on the fellow
who curves around. It’s dangerous, but not if you keep your head. You
tried it at Jericho this morning and made it. Do it at every turn
hereafter.”

Stevenson nodded. Jean Lescault would be obeyed.

But Lescault wanted to tell him other things. It was his first morning
on the course. For some reason he had seen fit to remain in New York
despite Stevenson’s urging him to come down. Now, as they finished
breakfast, and Stevenson, pushing back his chair, remarked that he was
going out to see that the mechanics put away the car properly, a last
question came to Lescault’s lips:

“How”--he paused--“how is Giron getting along?”

Stevenson hesitated before answering.

“Do you know him?” he asked.

“No,” said Lescault.

“I asked,” said Stevenson, “because if, being a countryman, he happened
also to be a friend of yours, I shouldn’t want to repeat certain
things. Most of the American drivers dislike him. They criticize him
for not stopping when he knocked down that boy and broke his leg during
practice the other morning. They say Giron couldn’t have known whether
he killed him or not, and cared less. They say, too, that his manner is
unbearable, conceited, and sneering.”

“But his work,” interrupted Lescault, impatiently,--“his driving, his
skill, his nerve,--what of these things? Of the others I have heard.”

“His driving,” replied Stevenson, “is really wonderful. He’s a
daredevil, cool, thorough, and skilled. The newspapers say nothing like
his ability has ever been seen on the Vanderbilt Cup Course.”

“Damn the newspapers!” cried Lescault in a rage. “We’ll beat him. I
tell you, we’ll beat him.”

As he slid up abruptly from the table and limped away, Stevenson
noticed his eyes. In them was an expression that was not good to see.

Going to his room, Lescault locked the door behind him. He listened for
a moment at the keyhole, and then; seizing his traveling-bag, emptied
it on the bed. From a confusion of socks and shirts he rooted out a
small tin box, set it aside, put back the bag, and composed himself on
the edge of the bed. His slightest movement had become eager, stealthy.
Holding the tin box on his knee, he patted it fondly. He produced a
key, and chuckled as it grated in the lock. His hands were shaking as
he threw back the cover and carefully took out the contents. Not gold
or precious stones rolled out before him, not the hoard of a miser, the
collection of a seeker of rare things, or the sacred relics of a family
trust, but a heap of photographs! On the bed he spread them, arranged
in some accustomed order, and as he bent over each his breath came with
a low, hissing sound. His eyes, half shut, blazed queerly--eyes that
looked not upon memoirs of love, but of hate.

It was a full minute before he moved. Then he snatched one of the
photographs and held it from him, tearing the edges with his clenched
hands. It was a full-length picture of a straight, soldierly looking
man who might be called good looking were it not for the curl of his
mouth. Below it was written:

“_Léon Giron, taken upon his arrival in New York._”

As he gazed at the man’s straight and powerful figure, Lescault’s
mutilated face became savage in its hate.

“And I’d have been like you, Léon Giron, if you’d played square,” he
accused the picture. “I’d have been like you, with my body whole and
young and vigorous. Bah!” He threw it from him and picked up another.

“Ho!” he cried, “this is how you looked when you won the Grand Prix,
when they pelted you with flowers after you had crossed the line, when
with your dirty driving you sent me into a ditch and left me out on
that road, dying, as you thought. But I didn’t die, Léon Giron.”

His voice had fallen to a whisper, strained, harsh, the way a man talks
when some overpowering emotion takes him. He snatched up picture after
picture,--racing scenes all of them,--only to examine each feverishly
and fling it away.

“Here you are when you won the Targa Floria,--” he was talking rapidly,
addressing one picture after another,--“when you won the Berlin cup,
the Czar’s trophy, all _my_ races, all of them--mine, if you’d played
square. And this is after you won at Brooklands. That was a year ago. I
could have beaten you then, Giron. For three years I’ve been training a
boy for you, teaching him all I know, more than you’ll ever know, about
racing. I’ve given him every trick that used to beat you, confound you!
that maddened on into throwing me into the ditch.

“And I’ve given that boy more. I’ve devised new tricks, new strategies,
skill you’ve never dreamed of; and he’ll beat you, Léon Giron. He’ll
beat you in the Vanderbilt. He’ll break you on the greatest day of your
career. He, a boy, will make you a laughing-stock--you, the favorite.
You’ve come from Europe, your great reputation preceding you but you’ll
fail. And it’ll be the clean, strong body of young Stevenson, like mine
was. But more than that, the brain of Jean Lescault will break you,
Giron--the brain of poor old Lescault, working down in the pits.”

As he dropped the pictures one by one back into the box, as, trembling
and leering, he gazed and spat upon the image of Giron, it seemed as
though the beast in him might be trying to overpower the God. Thus it
was Lescault’s custom to drink deeply of the vials of hate, to nurse
his spleen, to envenom his whole being against this one man.

The idea had come to him one winter morning seven years before, when
he had just left the hospital at Lariboisière. In a shop-window he
had seen the photograph of Giron, flower-showered, coolly triumphant
in his Grand Prix car. With rancor slowly filling his soul, Lescault
had bought the picture, carried it to his room, brooded over it,
conceived his awful hate, planned the reckoning that alone could
satisfy it. Then he happened upon another picture in which Giron was
again the central figure, and bought that, too, placed it alongside
the other, and brooded. The overthrow of Giron became an obsession, in
time a paranœa. Indeed, during the days immediately preceding the
Vanderbilt race, Lescault, when not busy with Stevenson, spent most
of his time in his room; and the pictures, shrine of his hatred, were
always before him.

Meanwhile Giron had become a byword with those thousands and thousands
who a day hence would swarm Hempstead plains and watch him guide the
big Saturn on its quest for the cup. The newspapers were full of him.
They told of his rise, of his quarters at Jericho, of his mannerisms,
of the almost slavish obedience that he exacted of his helpers; but
they always spoke, too, of his nerve, his utter fearlessness, his
immobile face, his calmness when the wind was singing in his ears and
the wheels were sweeping the ground beneath him, as the whirlwind
sweeps chaff. Yet of all the “stories” there was only one that
presented Giron as he actually was. And that was done by a noted writer
who had visited the course for “color.” This man saw beyond Giron’s
indifference and coldness, and guessed ruthlessness and cruelty to
be a strong part of him. Telltale lines had long ago written their
revelations on Giron’s mouth, so that all might read who could.

And so came the eve of the race, with Giron the word on the public’s
lips. The favorite, conceded beyond all doubt as the winner, he sat
alone in his quarters at Jericho, scorning the gossip of the camps,
hearing no word of the cripple who had been seen on the course with
Stevenson, coolly confident, an eternal sneer on his lips, the ruthless
fires of a _Messala_ in his eyes. No man could come between him and
this greatest triumph of his career; no man could do it and live. He
unconsciously felt it.

All that night the spectators descended upon the course, coming by
train and trolley, luncheon-boxes and blankets in hand. Numberless
droves of them came by motor, an endless, fiery-scaled snake that
writhed slowly down the roads from New York, coiled round the course,
moaned constantly, and waited. At dawn the race was to start; thirty of
the most powerful automobiles ever made would pit their speed for three
hundred miles, a harsh test, over an oblong of country road, with half
a million people looking on.

Lescault, shivering despite his warm wraps, was in the repair pits
as the cars began to come to the line. Tints of violet and pink were
creeping over the fields, and in the growing light of morning the
headlights of a row of automobiles drawn up behind the grand-stand
fence began to look self-conscious and absurd. Behind him, in a box,
he saw a party of men, their eyes heavy-lidded for want of sleep. They
were drinking something from a metal bottle. Lescault decided it was
coffee, and wished he had some. Then he forgot about the coffee, for
far in the distance a sound, deep and droning, caught his ear. It was
the voice of the Saturn. Lescault recognized it instantly.

In perfect control of himself he waited. He had left hysteria behind
at Krugs, locked it in the same drawer with the pictures. Now, if
never before, he must restrain himself. This day he must become again
the old Lescault of the race-course, calm, emotionless. It would be
hard at the sight of Giron, but he must be cool. And now he heard the
booming of an engine; saw the fires of the Saturn’s exhausts burning
the morning; saw the big red car come nearer and nearer, its engine,
shutting off, thundering intermittently; saw it advance with its speed
throttled, calmly, majestically, as a car of triumph should come; and
on the conqueror’s seat sat Giron. Slowly it rolled past the repair
trenches, past the Jupiter, the Green Dragon; now it was almost abreast
the Mercury, and Lescault, timing his move, scrambled suddenly from the
pit, and stood waiting on the road.

That Giron had seen him he knew. Lescault had caught the momentary
surprise on his face, the exclamation on his lips. But Giron had
swiftly regained his habitual sneer--a sneer that curled his lips as he
passed the pit and spit deliberately at the feet of the man below him.

But Lescault’s self-control was superb, and as the Saturn rolled past,
he looked after it, smiled, and spoke as he had spoken to the pictures,
saying sweetly under his breath:

“Léon Giron, I’ve got you.”

The road was now jammed with masses of shaking, smoking steel. One
car followed another, manœuvered for position, choked the course,
thickened the bluish haze that, rising from the exhausts, hung almost
as motionless as a canopy. Here were the trim-looking Vegas and their
French drivers; the Green Dragons, with fierce-looking Italians
behind the wheels; a curious cartridge-shaped car entered by an
American concern; and the Mercury, called the “Ninety,” because of its
tremendous horse-power. Stevenson was at the wheel, and as the grand
stand saw his boyish, good-looking face, there were exclamations, then
a rattle of applause, growing into steady cheering. Waving his hand
and grinning, Stevenson stopped before the pit and, swinging himself
over the rail, joined Lescault. He was dressed in white,--suit and
skull-piece,--with black gloves, black streamers trailing from his hat,
black puttees to his knees, a picturesque figure with his broad chest
and shoulders. It had been Lescault’s wish that Stevenson, like the
car, be in white and black. He remembered that some of the crusaders of
old used to dress that way.

During those last minutes Lescault’s words to Stevenson were as an
exhortation. Of technic he could give the boy no more, for his skill
had been transmitted completely, astoundingly to him. So now, with
his voice lowered, Lescault spoke with all his long-growing, loosened
emotions; he impressed upon him that Giron was the one to beat, the
only rival he need fear, and commanded him particularly to obey orders,
do all that he said, nothing more. And Stevenson, who long ago had
caught the fervor of this broken-bodied little Frenchman, felt a fierce
yearning to be at the wheel, to be riding the wind, with all others
falling as he rode. With an exclamation he sprang from the pit and
scrambled into the car. The soul of jean Lescault would be driving the
“Ninety” that day.

By this time chaos had opened its gates. Thirty engines were roaring,
their steel throats belching. Flame and smoke burst from them. A clamor
of machinery smote the ear. Gears rattled shrilly, levers ground and
rasped. A stench of oil assailed the nostrils. Now the bluish canopy,
thickening, descended as a curtain. Through it Lescault saw the
“Ninety” sliding like a great specter, creeping along until its front
wheels almost touched the red tanks of the Saturn.

Above the crash of machinery he heard a man’s voice intoning the
seconds from one to ten backward. He could not see the man, for the
drifting smoke shrouded all; but he listened, and suddenly a voice
shouted “Go!” Then came a rattling from the Saturn, a succession of
sharp reports, a deep boom, a savage cry from Giron: the Vanderbilt was
on.

Three minutes later the white “Ninety” loomed through the smoke, paused
on the line, licked at the starter with thin tongues of yellow flame,
and, snorting eagerly, crashed away.

Twenty-seven other cars followed, but upon none of them would Lescault
deign to glance. With pad and pencil in hand he was busy figuring how
fast Stevenson would have to go to lead Giron at the end of the first
lap. He knew that the best Giron had done in practice was a circuit
of the twenty-mile course in eighteen minutes. This was at the rate
of sixty-seven miles an hour. And Lescault grinned, for he had told
Stevenson to keep his speedometer at seventy-five miles an hour, gain
a two-minute lead at the outset, and confound Giron when the race was
only a lap old.

His figures verified, Lescault waited impatiently for the Saturn to
appear. If it came just one minute ahead of the “Ninety,” his schedule
was true. Time dragged; the crowd settled back; the tense vigil
disintegrated into stretchings and yawnings. The stage of a Vanderbilt
is not reset quickly, but long before the signal “Car coming!” passed
for miles from mouth to mouth, grew from a murmur to a shout, and
threw the grand stand into tumult, Lescault’s trained ear had caught
the distant rumble of the Saturn. Giron was driving hard. Lescault saw
that he passed the grand stand with the engine “wide open,” forcing
the car to its utmost. Then the Saturn roared away, and out of the
distance came another apparition that, flashing by in a blur of white,
cast up dust and was gone. Down in the pits, Lescault, one of few who
had recognized the white car, so great was its speed, drew his hideous
features into a smile.

His stop-watch had told him that Stevenson’s first lap was at
seventy-seven miles an hour, a gain of more than two minutes on the
unbeaten Giron! And he grinned again when back of him men began to ask
of one another in surprise:

“Who is this Stevenson? He’s beaten the life out of Giron. Who is he?”

No one knew anything but what the program had printed, and down in the
pits the crippled little Frenchman was enjoying himself as he never had
before. Each bewildered question was as music to his ears.

Quarter of an hour later the white “Ninety” and the red Saturn again
crashed past, only this time Giron was behind. Even the advantage that
his starting position had given him was gone, and Stevenson led by five
minutes. So one lap followed another, a whirligig of blurred wheels
and flaming hoods, sweeping round and round that oblong of Long Island
country-side, strewing men and machines as it went.

Soon reports of accidents began to come in. In trying to keep up with
the awful pace, the other drivers were overtaxing their machines.
Already two cars had collapsed on the course, burying their crews
beneath them. Others,--a score of them, with the Vegas, and the
Germans, painted gray,--limping, had stopped at the repair pits, and
Lescault had laughed. What chance had they with the white “Ninety” and
his brain?

Complacently he saw Stevenson push his car past the Saturn a second
time. Near Westbury he had driven wonderfully, and obtained a lead of
more than a length of the course over the favorite. And this time, when
the Saturn rushed by, Lescault saw that Giron had stopped his waving to
the grand stand. Clever driver that he was, Giron now realized that the
early lead of the “Ninety” was more than a fluke, more than sensational
forcing of a car beyond its limits, only to have it collapse with the
goal miles away. In Stevenson he had come to recognize a new driver
of rare power, a rival worthy of his steel. All Giron’s attention was
demanded on the wheel.

Another swift rimming of the course, and Lescault saw the “Ninety”
slacken speed coming up the stretch. Stevenson would stop, probably for
gasolene or water. And Lescault was glad. Indeed, fortune seemed to be
favoring him that day. It was tremendously important that he have a
word with Stevenson at this stage of the race. Lescault had remembered
that it was at such a time in the Grand Prix that Giron had broken
him--waited on a lonely stretch of road until he had tried to pass and
then had ditched him.

“Don’t,” he told Stevenson, while mechanics swarmed about the throbbing
“Ninety”--“don’t pass Giron again unless you can do it in front of the
judges’ stand.”

Stevenson showed his amazement. A question was on his lips.

“Obey me!” snapped Lescault, anticipating him. “Remember you’re pledged
to that--to carry out my commands. I’ve made you, and you must do just
what I say,” he added.

And Stevenson, excited, abashed, regretting his moment of doubt,
nodded, and turned to the men who were pouring gasolene down the
thirsty throat of the “Ninety.” Then he swung into the seat, threw in
his clutch, and went snorting away. Jean Lescault would be obeyed.

As though by telepathy, there came to Giron at this time the same
thought that had made Lescault speak his warning. Stevenson must
be done away with. As Giron had seen him draw steadily away lap by
lap, displaying more and more daring and skill; as he had seen him
manœuver as only a master could manœuver, put trick against
trick, and, winning, outdo all who would cut him down; as he had
watched the big “Ninety” roar by again and again, always about the same
time, a “limited” on schedule, the keen Frenchman admitted finally that
Stevenson’s was no half-charged sensation, but a decided menace.

Setting his mouth in a thin, cruel line, he made his plans. He would
wait for this boy--wait as he had waited for Lescault years before. To
him it was only an incident, a sweeping aside of an unforeseen obstacle
that had risen between him and victory. That Stevenson might die, that
a young and wonderfully brilliant driver might he maimed for life, did
not interest him. The boy was in the way. He must go.

Giron waited patiently for the “Ninety” to draw near. Just as he
was about to pass he would obey the law of the race--turn out and
give room. Then he would veer in suddenly, and, to avoid collision,
Stevenson would be forced into the ditch. In just that way he had
disposed of Lescault and of others whose names do not matter. Snarling
at his mechanician to warn him of the approach of the “Ninety,” Giron
drove on. The wait, he felt, would not be long.

[Illustration: Drawn by William H. Foster

“ON IT CAME, FASTER THAN THE WIND” (SEE PAGE 213)]

But for some reason the “Ninety” never overtook him. It hung so close
to his rear wheels that Giron could hear the crunch of the tires, the
cries of its mechanician; but it came no nearer. Its front wheels were
always just out of reach; but it never came farther. Stubbornly and
tenaciously it hung like a shadow that would not shorten.

In his desperation Giron began jockeying. Slackening his speed almost
imperceptibly, he waited grimly; but the “Ninety” slackened, too. For
a moment Giron was puzzled; then, thinking it might be a coincidence,
he lowered his pace even more, but the “Ninety” lowered, too. Suddenly
suspicious, he tried again; but still the “Ninety” hung back. Then it
burst upon Giron amazingly clear. How blind he had been! This was not
Stevenson who refused to be tricked; this was no impetuous, lusty boy
who couldn’t be tempted into the ditch. This was the cool mind of the
master driver, the calm, scheming mind of Lescault--old Lescault back
in the pits, the hideous cripple at whom he had spat, now pulling him
down at the top of his career.

So they rushed into the straightaway, headed for the grand stand, and
came booming and pounding until a report from one of the “Ninety’s”
rear tires brought that car to a stop while the red Saturn whirled
away in a screen of dust. Stevenson drove in on a flat tire, and,
reaching the pits, shouted to his mechanics to hurry their work; and
while he waited, chafing and fretting, Lescault clutched at his arm and
said impressively:

“Remember, don’t pass Giron unless it’s in front of the judges’ stand.
Remember you promised to obey.”

Then the “Ninety” rushed away. Somewhat nervous now, for the race was
drawing to a close, Lescault saw the Saturn appear again and knew
that Stevenson must come soon after. Impatiently he strained his ear,
hoping to catch the rumble of the “Ninety” before it swung round the
“Hairpin” into view of the stands. But no rumble came. Soon Stevenson
was overdue. Concern and worry, then fear, followed upon impatience.
Seconds grew into minutes, and to Lescault the minutes were as ages. He
began to ask himself questions. What was wrong? Had Stevenson disobeyed
orders?

Lescault feverishly jotted down some figures. Yes, the boy could have
passed Giron over by Westbury; but Giron had swept by, and Stevenson--

The pitmen, now alarmed at the delay, had climbed out upon the side of
the track. One of them, a little fellow, standing on the shoulders of
the others, was trying to see far down the road. Lescault watched his
face for some expression of relief, but the pitman’s worry seemed to
grow.

“Stevenson’s hurt!”

In a trice the rumor had spread among the crowd. Wild stories spread.
The minutes were now dragging on feet of lead--agonizing minutes
to Lescault, who felt an overpowering weakness coming over him, a
sickening of the heart, an overwhelming of conscience that undermined
his iron nerve. Giron had beaten him again! His painstaking work, his
self-denials, all the plans of years, had been for naught. And by using
Stevenson,--God help him!--he had sent the boy to a fate perhaps worse
than his own. Into the scarred face came sorrow.

Then he heard an exclamation; he saw the pitmen dancing about like
children.

“He’s coming! He’s coming!” they cried.

Far down the road Lescault made out the white blur of the “Ninety.”

“Busted valve!” cried Stevenson as he jumped down. “Thought we’d never
fix it.”

Lescault saw that the boyish face looked old, ages old, that his hands
were moving nervously, his whole body tense with repressed eagerness.

“You’ve lost the lead,” a tireman shouted. “Giron’s a minute ahead!”

Lescault could have killed the speaker. The effect of his words was
obvious. Stevenson’s nervousness increased.

“As bad as that!” he exclaimed. “Hurry it up, boys! Only two more
laps--just enough to catch Giron.”

Swinging into the car, he threw on the engine, drowning the warning
that Lescault was shouting, and rushed away. The grand stand was in an
uproar as he swept past, but Stevenson did not hear. He heard only the
words of the tireman, and kept repeating them:

“Giron’s a minute ahead. Giron’s a minute ahead.”

He now opened his engine to the limit, and driving faster than he had
ever driven before, burst into the “S” turn and reeled round it on two
wheels. Past Massapequa he whirled, dirt and oil flying in a trembling
wall of brown. Downhill, over bridges, he rushed, the wind shrieking
in his ears. Into the straight stretch of the Parkway he burst, the
“Ninety” gathering momentum on the smooth road, faster and faster,
until the front wheels, bending to the sonorous rhythm of the engine,
jumped up and down in a weird dance.

[Illustration: Drawn by William H. Foster

“‘DON’T PASS GIRON AGAIN UNLESS YOU CAN DO IT IN FRONT OF THE JUDGES’
STAND’”]

Yes, no speck of red had taken shape on the road ahead. The lead of
the Saturn was even greater than he had feared. It must be still miles
away, and Giron, supreme again, driving like the wind. That streak of
red! If he could only see it, just to know that it really was within
reach.

Then Stevenson caught a glimpse of car far ahead. An exclamation
escaped him, only to leave him more grimly silent; for the car was
gray, one of the Germans. Then he made out other cars,--white, green,
and blue cars, the Jupiter, the Vegas, and the Crowns,--and soon he
had overtaken them, roared past them, with their crews appalled at the
awful speed, the awful daring. Now he began to curse the “Ninety” for
not bearing him more swiftly, for not bringing to him that red-painted
goal. And so he crashed, skidded, and battered through mile after mile,
forgot the perils of “the Jericho,” the “S,” and the “Hairpin,” and
drove in the grip of a mania, a boyish giant on whom the race had laid
its spell.

Out of the distance there finally came to him the speck of red, a
vague, blurry shape that quickly took on the lines of the Saturn. It
gave him a sense of fierce pleasure, an unnatural desire to laugh
aloud; and then he thought of Lescault, of his warning:

“Don’t pass Giron unless it’s in front of the judges’ stand.”

But surely Lescault could not mean for him to wait now--now when he
was behind, when he had caught the red car and in a trice could snatch
back a race almost lost! Of course Lescault didn’t mean that. Stevenson
compressed his lips, pressed down on the accelerator, leaned slightly
forward, his eyes peering over the steering-wheel.

A minute of terrific driving, and the “Ninety” had come near enough
for Giron to hear the thunder of its exhausts. Employing a signal that
racing crews have, he ordered his mechanician to watch its approach.
The mechanician, after craning his head, turned swiftly around.

“He’s coming like the wind,” he bawled in Giron’s ear. “He’s driving
like a madman!”

And Giron, who had waited patiently for this moment, who knew even when
he had gained the lead that he could not hold it, that the “Ninety” was
faster, the brain guiding it craftier, parted his lips as a panther
does before the leap; for he thought again that the soul of Lescault
was no longer driving the “Ninety,” that lusty, unthinking youth, mad
with speed, had risen, overwhelming caution and sending Stevenson down
into the ditch, as it had another years before.

“I’ll get him,” he murmured, and bent lower over the wheel.

Past Hicksville came the two cars, the “Ninety” creeping up at every
turn of the wheel.

“Not here,” Giron told himself; “the crowd might see.”

Round “Death Turn,” they shot, skidded, righted in a whirl of dust,
bellowed, and were gone down a lonely road, narrow, slippery, black
with oil, the “Crossover,” which the crowds had avoided because of the
marshy land on each side. Half a mile away the road lay over a swamp,
and the ditch was deep. Not a soul was there.

As the cars rushed toward it, Giron almost imperceptibly lowered his
speed just enough for the “Ninety” to come up before the swamp was
crossed. Listening carefully, his ears attuned by long practice, he
read the thunder of the “Ninety’s” engine, calculated to a foot how
much nearer Stevenson was being borne with each detonation. Louder and
louder grew the clamor, the harsh shrieking and rasping of machinery,
the booming of the exhausts, until it deafened him. Then Giron acted.

Bracing his feet, he sank lower in the seat, gripped the wheel, and
made as though to turn out, to obey the law of the race. Up crept the
“Ninety” closer and closer, until with a snarl Giron threw over the
wheel suddenly, tugged sharply, and, shooting his own car back across
the road, blocked the way.

But, hours before that, Fate had made a workman blunder. The workman
had put on more oil than safety allowed. The oil had made the surface
slippery and dangerous at just this place. No driver had noticed it
because none had tried to turn in it. But now, catching the big Saturn
veering suddenly under high speed, the treacherous mixture of dirt
and oil slid away from under the front wheels. With all the power of
inanimate things breaking loose, the huge red car careened across the
road. As though possessed, it ran to destruction, dug its flat snout
into the embankment, lifted slowly end on end, swayed a moment, and, as
the “Ninety” shot by, lurched forward, somersaulting down into the
swamp.

[Illustration: Drawn by William H. Foster. Half-tone plate engraved by
R. Varley

“WITH ALL THE POWER OF INANIMATE THINGS BREAKING LOOSE, THE HUGE RED
CAR CAREENED ACROSS THE ROAD”]

No sooner had Stevenson crossed the finish-line than the Mercury
Motor-Car Company’s representatives telephoned Garden City and arranged
for a banquet. But banquets were not for Stevenson that night. The fate
of Giron lay heavy upon him. It had shadowed his joy in winning. The
strain of the race over, he had broken down; and in breaking down it
seemed to him that he had rushed to success over another man’s body.

At the hospital, where he had gone to inquire as soon as he could tear
himself away from the swarms at the finish-line, the day nurse had told
him that Giron would be a cripple for life. She had added that, oddly
enough, a crippled little Frenchman had been there an hour ago, and
that he, too, had been anxious to know about Giron.

“Good old Lescault!” thought Stevenson as he drove back to Krugs.
“Always the first to think of a man in danger.”

Then he found himself wishing that Lescault were at his side. Now more
than ever before he felt the need of the strange little Frenchman,
the man who had made him, the man to whom he could now turn in this
time of depression, of worried conscience, and even of half-guilt, he
thought with a start. Had not Giron gone into the ditch to avoid a
collision, to save him? He wasn’t the hero, he thought bitterly. It was
Giron--poor Giron!

Stevenson found Lescault in his room. The little fellow had his chair
drawn up close to the old-fashioned fireplace, in which wood was
burning. He was smoking a cigarette, and if he heard Stevenson enter,
he gave no sign. Instead, he gazed steadily at some charred bits of
cardboard strewn about the edges of the fire--thick cardboard, and one
piece only partly burned appeared to be a photograph.

The red glow of the fire shone on the little man’s face as Stevenson
drew a chair beside him. In the flickering light the boy thought he saw
him grin; but it might have been only the play of the shadows.

“It’s terrible about Giron, isn’t it, Jean?” he said abruptly, unable
to endure the silence. “Think of it--that man at the height of his
power suddenly crippled, never able to drive again, a great career
ended so terribly!”

The little man at his side looked up.

“No, he’ll never drive again,” said Lescault.

Stevenson wondered at his tone, the look that had come into his face,
the queer burning of his eyes, eery, unholy.

“Léon Giron will never drive again,” Lescault repeated. “It’s sure?
You’re certain of it?” he asked suddenly, clutching Stevenson’s sleeve.
“It’s sure, isn’t it?” he begged.

Bewildered, Stevenson said that it was so. Then he felt his flesh
creep, for the little Frenchman had begun to smile, a horrible smile,
with a hideous face, changing expression in the fire’s glow; began to
rub his one hand over his knee, to slide it up and down creepily and
unpleasantly, like a snake at play; to leer, and gloat over disaster
not like a man, but a beast.

Horrified, unable to understand, Stevenson slid silently from his chair
and backed slowly from the room. At the door he stopped, hesitated,
and, as though unwilling to believe, looked again at the hunched little
figure in the chair. There came to him faintly the sound of a voice
chuckling!



OFF CAPRI

BY SARA TEASDALE


    When beauty grows too great to bear,
      How shall I ease me of its ache?
    For beauty, more than bitterness,
      Makes the heart break.

    O sunlight on the dreaming sea,
      With isles like flowers against her breast!
    Is there a voice in all the world
      To give me rest?



SKIRTING THE BALKAN PENINSULA

FROM TRIEST TO CONSTANTINOPLE

FOURTH PAPER: DELPHI AND OLYMPIA

BY ROBERT HICHENS

Author of “The Spell of Egypt,” “The Holy Land,” “The Garden of Allah,”
etc.

WITH PICTURES BY JULES GUÉRIN (SEE FRONTISPIECE) AND PHOTOGRAPHS


There are two ways of going from Athens to Delphi: by sea from the
Piræus to Itea and thence by carriage or by motor. Despite the rough
surfaces of the roads and the terrors of dust, I chose the latter; and
I was well rewarded. For the drive is a glorious one, though very long
and fatiguing, and it enabled me to see a grand monument which many
travelers miss--the Lion of Chæronea, which gazes across a vast plain
in a solitary place between Thebes and Delphi.

Leaving Athens early one morning, I followed the Via Sacra, left
Eleusis behind me, traversed the Thriasian plain, the heights of Mount
Geraneia, and the rich cultivated plain of Bœotia, passed through
the village of Kriekouki, and arrived at Thebes. There I halted for
an hour. After leaving Thebes, the journey became continually more
and more interesting as I drew near to Parnassus: over the plain of
Livadia, through the village and khan of Gravia, where one hundred
and eighty Greeks fought heroically against three thousand Turks in
1821, over the magnificent Pass of Amblema, across the delightful
olive-covered plain of Krissa, and up the mountain to Delphi.

Throughout this wonderful journey, during which I saw country
alternately intimate and wild, genial and majestic, and at one point
almost savage, I had only one deception: that was on the Pass of
Amblema, which rises to more than eight thousand feet above the level
of the sea. Delphi, I felt, ought to be there. Delphi, I believed,
must be there, hidden somewhere among the rocks and the fir-woods,
where wolves lurk, and where the eagle circles and swoops above peaks
which are cold and austere. Only when we began to descend in serpentine
curves, when I saw far below me great masses of olive-trees, and,
beyond, the shining of the sea, did I realize that I was mistaken, and
that Delphi lay far beyond, in a region less tragically wild, more
rustic, even more tender.

During this journey of, I believe, about three hundred kilometers or
more, I realized fully the loneliness that happily shadows a great
part of Greece. We seemed to be almost perpetually in the midst of a
delightful desolation, gloriously alone with nature, now far up on
bare flanks of the hills, now traveling through deserted pine-woods
or olive-groves, now upon plains which extended to shadowy ranges
of mountains, and which here and there reminded me of the plains of
Palestine. Strange it seemed to come upon an occasional village of
Greeks or Albanians, strayed, surely, and lost and forgotten in the
wilderness; stranger still to see now and then some tiny Byzantine
church, perhaps with a few cypresses about it, perched on a mountain
height that looked as if it never had been trodden by foot of man. The
breezes that met us were alive with a tingling purity of hilltop and
sea, or sweet and wholesome with the resinous odor of pine. And the
light that lay over the face of the land made nearly all things magical.

[Illustration: From a photograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood

VIEW OF MOUNT PARNASSUS]

Again we met Turkish Gipsies. In Greece they have made the wild life
their own. No longer one hears of brigands, though only a few years
ago these highways were dangerous, and men traversed them armed and at
their own peril. Now the Gipsies are in happy possession, and travel
from place to place in small caravans, with their mules, donkeys, and
dogs, and their tiny peaked tents, telling the _bonne aventure_ to the
superstitious, and, so the Greeks declare, stealing whatever they can
lay their dark hands on. They look wild and smiling, crafty rather than
ferocious; and they greet you with loud cries in an unknown tongue,
and with gestures expressive of the perpetual desire to receive which
seems inherent in all true vagabonds. They pitch their tents usually
on the outskirts of the villages, staying for days or weeks, as the
luck serves them. And, so far as I could judge, people receive them
with good nature, perhaps grateful for the excitement they bring into
lives that know little variation as season follows season and year
glides into year. Just outside Thebes I found eleven of their tents set
upon some rough ground, the beasts tethered, the dogs on guard, the
babies toddling and sprawling, while their mothers were cooking some
mysterious compound, and the men were away perhaps on some nefarious
errand among the excited Thebans. For that day Greek officers were
visiting the town, and in front of the café, among the trees, and above
the waterside, where we stopped to lunch, there was a parade of horses,
mules, and donkeys from all the neighborhood. War was taking its toll
of the live-stock, and the whole population was abroad to see the fun.

[Illustration: From a photograph, copyright by Underwood & Underwood

RUINS OF THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT DELPHI]

As soon as I had descended from the car and begun to unpack my
provisions, an elderly man came up, asked whether we were from Athens,
and then put the question that is forever on the lips of the Greek,
“What is the news?” Every Greek has a passion for the latest news.
Often, when I was traveling through the country, people I passed on
the way called out to me, “What is the news?” or, “Can you give us a
newspaper?”

Thebes, where, according to legend, Hercules was born; where the
stones gathered themselves together when Amphion struck his lyre;
where blind Tiresias prophesied; and, seated upon a block of stone,
the Sphinx asked her riddle of the passers-by and slew them; where
Œdipus ruled and suffered his hideous fate; where the Epigoni took
their vengeance; and Epaminondas showed how one man can lift a city
and set it on a throne above all the cities of its fatherland--Thebes,
where letters were first brought into use among the Greeks, and where
weak-voiced Demosthenes by his eloquence persuaded the people to march
to their glorious death against Philip of Macedon, is now just a busy
village on the flank of a hill. Frequently devastated by earthquakes,
which are the scourge of this region, it looks newly built, fairly
clean and neat. It dominates the plain in which Plutarch was born, and
the murmur of its waters is pleasant to the ear in a dry and thirsty
land. But though Thebes is not specially interesting, below it, in
that plain once celebrated for its flowers,--iris and lily, narcissus
and rose,--beyond all sound of the voices of chattering peasants or
determined soldiers, solitary in its noble rage and grief, is that most
moving of monuments, the Lion of Chæronea.

I came upon it unexpectedly. If I had not happened to be looking
toward the left my chauffeur would have driven me on without pause
to Parnassus, the mighty flanks of which were already visible in the
distance. When he pulled up we were already almost out of sight of the
lion. And I was glad as I walked back alone, still more glad when I
stood before it in solitude, surrounded by the great silence of the
plain.

There where the lion sits, raised now on a high pedestal and with
cypresses planted about him, was fought the great battle of Chæronea
between the Greeks and Philip of Macedon; and there the Greeks lost
much, but not their honor. Had it been otherwise, would the lion be
there now after so many centuries, testifying to the grief of men
long since dead, to their anger, even to their despair, but not to
their cowardice or shame? I have heard people say that the face of
the lion does express shame. It seems to me nobly passionate, loftily
angry and sad, but not ashamed. The Thebans raised it to commemorate
those of their comrades in arms who died on the battle-field. What
shame can attach to such men? For long years the lion lay broken in
pieces and buried in the earth. Only in 1902 were the fragments fitted
together, though long before that they had lain above ground, where
many noted travelers had seen them. The restoration has been splendidly
successful, and has given to Greece one of the most memorable
manifestations in marble of a state of soul that exists not merely in
Greece, but in the world. Lion-hearted men are superbly commemorated by
this lion.

The height of the statue from the top of the pedestal is about twenty
feet. The material of which it is made, marble of Bœotia, was once,
I believe, blue-gray. It is now gray and yellow. The lion is sitting,
but in an attitude that suggests fierce vitality. Both the huge front
paws seem to grasp the pedestal almost as if the claws were extended in
an impulse of irresistible anger. The head is raised. The expression
on the face is wonderful. There is in it a savage intensity of feeling
that is rarely to be found in anything Greek. But the savagery is
ennobled in some mysterious way by the sublime art of the sculptor, is
lifted up and made ideal, eternal. It is as if the splendid rage in
the souls of all men who ever have died fighting on a losing side had
been gathered up by the soul of the sculptor, and conveyed by him whole
into his work. The mysterious human spirit, breathed upon from eternal
regions, glows in this divine lion of Greece.

Various writers on the scenery of Greece have described it as “alpine”
in character. One has even used the word in connection with some
of the mountain-ranges that may be seen from the plain of Attica.
Such distracting visions of Switzerland did not beset my spirit as
I traveled through a more beautiful and far more romantic land,
absolutely different from the contented little republic which has
been chosen by Europe as its playground. But there were moments, as
we slowly ascended the Pass of Amblema, when I thought of the North.
For the delicate and romantic serenity of the Greek landscape did here
give way to something that was almost savage, almost spectacular. The
climbing forests of dark and hardy firs made me think of snow, which
lies among them deep in winter. The naked peaks, the severe uplands,
the precipices, the dim ravines, bred gloom in the soul. There was
sadness combined with wildness in the scene, which a premature darkness
was seizing, and the cold wind seemed to go shivering among the rocks.

It was then that I thought of Delphi, and believed that we must be
nearing the home of the oracle. As we climbed and climbed, and the cold
increased, and the world seemed closing brutally about us, I felt no
longer in doubt. We must be close to Delphi, old region of mysteries
and terror, where the god of the dead was thought to be hidden, where
Apollo fought with Python, where men came with fear in their hearts to
search out the future.

But presently we began to descend, and I learned that we were still
a long way from Delphi. The sun set, and evening was falling when
we were once more down on the sea-level, traversing one of the most
delightful and fertile regions of Greece, the lovely plain of Krissa,
which extends to the sea. The great olive-gardens stretch away for
miles on every hand, interspersed here and there with plane-trees,
mulberry-trees, medlars, cypresses, and the wild oleander. Many
battles have been fought in that sylvan paradise, which now looks the
home of peace, a veritable Garden of Eden lying between mountains and
sea. Pilgrims traveling to Delphi were forced to pay toll there, and
eventually the extortion became so intolerable that it led to war. That
evening, as we drove along a road cut straight through the heart of the
olive-woods, the whole region seemed sunk in a dream. We met no one;
we heard no traffic, no voices, no barking of dogs. The thousands of
splendid trees, planted symmetrically, were moved by no breeze. Warmth
and an odorous calm pervaded the shadowy alleys between them. Here and
there a soft beam of light shone among the trees from the window of a
guardian’s dwelling. And once we stopped to take Turkish coffee under
a vine-trimmed arbor, solitary and lost in the sweet silence, in the
silver dusk of the forest. A lodge in the wilderness! As I looked at
the dark, bright-eyed man who served us, I, perhaps foolishly, envied
him his life, his strange little home, remote, protected by his only
companions, the trees.

In this plain camels are used for transport, and, I believe, for
plowing and other work. They are to be found nowhere else in Greece.
I saw none that night; but one morning, after leaving Delphi, I met
a train of them pacing softly and disdainfully along the dusty road,
laden with bales and with mysterious bundles wrapped round with sacking.

In the dark we began to climb up once more. At last we were actually
on Parnassus, were approaching the “navel of the earth.” But I was not
aware of any wildness, such as that of Amblema, about us. The little
I could see of the landscape did not look savage. I heard goat-bells
tinkling now and then not far off. Presently some lights beamed out
above us, as if in welcome. We passed through a friendly village
street, came out on the mountain-side, and drew up before a long house,
which stood facing what was evidently a wide view, now almost entirely
hidden, though a little horned moon hung in the sky, attended by the
evening star. The village was Kastri; the long house was the “Hôtel
d’Apollon Pythien.”

Delphi is memorable, but not because of wildness or terror. In
retrospect it rises in my mind as a lonely place of light, gleaming
on volcanic rocks and on higher rocks that are gray; of a few mighty
plane-trees, pouring a libation of green toward olive-trees on the
slopes beneath them; of a perpetual sweet sound of water. And beside
the water travelers from the plain of Krissa, and travelers from
Arachova, that wonderfully placed Parnassian village, renowned for its
beautiful women, are pausing. They get down from their horses and mules
to lave their hands and to drink. They cross themselves before the
little Christian shrine under the trees by the roadside. They sit down
in the shadows to rest.

It is very sweet to rest for long hours by the Castalian fountain of
Delphi, remote from all habitations upon the great southern slope of
Parnassus, under the tree of Agamemnon; to listen to the voice of the
lustral wave. There, in the dead years, the pilgrims piously sprinkled
themselves before consulting the oracle; there, now, the brown women of
the mountains chatter gaily as they wash their clothes. The mountain
is bare behind the shrine, where perhaps is a figure of Mary with
Christ in her arms, or some saint with outspread wings. Its great
precipices of rock are tawny. They bloom with strong reds and yellows,
they shine with scars of gold. Among the rocks the stream is only a
thread of silver, though under the bridge it flows down through the
olive-gardens, a broad band of singing happiness.

[Illustration: THE HERMES OF PRAXITELES (FOUND AT OLYMPIA AND NOW IN
THE MUSEUM THERE)]

Delphi has a mountain charm of remoteness, of lofty silence; it has
also a seduction of pastoral warmth and gentleness and peace. Far up on
the slope of gigantic Parnassus, it faces a narrow valley, or ravine,
and a bare, calm mountain, scarred by zigzag paths, which look almost
like lines sharply cut in the volcanic soil with an instrument. In the
distance, away to the right, the defile opens out into the plain of
Krissa, at the edge of which lies a section of sea, like a huge uncut
turquoise lying in a cup of the land. Beyond are ranges of beautiful,
delicate mountains.

The ruins of Delphi lie above the highroad to the left of it, between
Kastri and the Castalian fountain, unshaded, in a naked confusion, but
free from modern houses and in a fine loneliness. At one time, and not
very long ago, the village of Kastri stood close to the ruins, and
some of it actually above them. But when excavations were undertaken
seriously, all the houses were pulled down, and set up again where
they stand to-day. Like the ruins at Eleusis and Olympia, the remains
at Delphi are fragmentary. The ancient Hellenes believed that the
center of the earth was at a certain spot within the Temple of Apollo
at Delphi, where the eagles of Zeus, flying from the two ends of the
earth, had met. The foundations, and some portions of the walls of
this celebrated shrine, in which two golden eagles stood, may be
visited, but very little of it remains. On the foundation has been set
up a large Roman column, upon which once stood a statue. The fallen
blocks of Doric columns are gigantic, and from them it is possible to
gain some faint idea of the temple’s immense size and massiveness.
In the midst of a pit of stone, not far from the columns, I found a
solitary fig-tree growing. It is interesting to notice that the huge
outer wall of the temple was constructed of quantities of blocks, each
one differing in shape from its neighbors. These were ingeniously
fitted close together without the aid of any joining material. Although
it is impossible not to wonder at and admire the cleverness shown in
this wall, it produced on my mind an impression of confusion that was
almost painful. The multitudes of irregular lines distressed my eyes.
There is little repose in a puzzle, and this wall is like a mighty
puzzle in stone.

Among the masses of broken fragments which cover much of the hillside
stands out a small, solid building of Parian marble, very pure, very
clean, almost shining under the rays of the sun. It resembles a great
marble casket in which something very precious might be placed and
sealed up. This is the treasury of the Athenians, which has been
reconstructed since Kastri was moved from the fragments of the original
temple. It is, in fact, a tiny Doric temple. The marble, of a beautiful
yellow-white color, is mingled here and there with limestone. This
little temple stands on a platform, with the clearly defined Sacred
Way winding up the hill beside it. The front of it is approached by
two steps, and it has two Doric columns, containing, however, only two
blocks of the original marble, brown, with touches of old gold. The
remaining blocks of these columns are of white Poros marble, brought
from a distance, and they look rough and almost glaring. Poros marble
may always be recognized by the minute shining grains, like specks of
gold, that are scattered through it. Although a fine substance, it
looks vulgar when placed beside Parian marble.

The semicircular places in which the priests of Delphi used to sit may
still be seen, facing a fine view. The sea is hidden by a shoulder
of the mountain, but the rolling slopes beyond the road are covered
thickly with olive-trees, among which the goat-bells chime almost
perpetually; and on the far side of the narrow valley the bare slopes,
with their tiny, red paths, lead calmly toward rocky summits. To the
left the highroad turns sharply round a rock in the direction of the
Castalian fountain.

In the fairly well-preserved theater to the northwest, quantities
of yellow flowers were growing, with some daisies. Among the gray
limestone blocks of the orchestra I found a quantity of excellent
blackberries. Where once was the stage, there are now brown grasses
dried up by the sun. This theater is very steep, and above it towers
a precipice. Near by, between the theater and the stadium, Parnassus
gives back to your cry a swift and sharp echo. The gold, red-gold, and
gray stadium, which lies farther up the mountain than the theater,
is partly ruined, but in parts is well preserved. As I stood in it,
thinking of the intellectual competitions that used to take place
there, of the poems recited in it, of the music the lyre gave forth,
and of the famous Pythian games, which, later, used to be celebrated in
this strange mountain fastness, I saw eagles wheeling over me far up in
the blue, above the wild gray and orange peaks.

In the museum, which stands in a splendid position on the
mountain-side, with a terrace before it, there are many fine things.
Delphi in the time of its greatness contained thousands of statues,
great numbers of which were in bronze. Nero, Constantine, and others
carried hundreds of them away. One which they left, a bronze charioteer
in a long robe, faces you as you enter the museum. It is marvelously
alive, almost seems to glow with vitality. The feet should be specially
noticed. They are bare, and are miracles of sensitiveness. Farther
on there is a splendid Antinous, robust, sensual, egoistic, a type
of muscular beauty and crude determination, without heart or any
sparkle of intellect. Two other statues which I thought exceptionally
interesting are of a sturdy, smiling child and of a headless and
armless woman. The latter, numbered in the catalogue 1817, is very
gracious and lovely. The back of the figure and the drapery, especially
that part of it which flows from under the left arm to the heel of
the right foot, are exceptionally beautiful.

[Illustration: SITE OF ANCIENT DELPHI

PAINTED FOR THE CENTURY BY JULES GUÉRIN]

There is a very fine view from the terrace. Toward evening it becomes
wonderfully romantic. Far off, the village of Arachova, perched on its
high ridge, bounds the horizon. It is a view closed in by mountains
yet not oppressive; for there is width between the two ranges, and the
large volcanic slopes are splendidly spacious. Here and there on these
slopes are large wine-colored splashes such as you see often on the
mountains of Syria, and these splashes give warmth to the scene. Above
the Castalian fountain the two peaks of the Phædriadæ, a thousand feet
high, stand up magnificently. Between them is the famous cleft from
which the cold stream issues, to flow down through the olive-groves.

When evening falls, follow the winding white road a little way toward
Arachova. From the soft dusk of the defile that spreads out into the
plain of Krissa the goat-bells still chime melodiously. I have heard
them even very late in the night. The section of sea that was turquoise
now looks like solid silver. Behind it the mountains, velvety and
black, flow away in delicate shapes. They are dreamlike, but beyond
them rise other ethereal ranges which seem to you, as you gaze on
them, impalpable, fluid almost, like a lovely imagination of mountains
summoned up in your mind. Black-green is the plain. Under the tree of
Agamemnon glows a tiny light, like an earth-bound star. Where once the
pilgrims gathered who knew only the gods, Christian hands have tended
the lamp before the holy picture. And a little farther on, among the
foliage of the olive-trees, shines another of these Christian stars,
which, in the darkness of Delphi’s solitudes, shed their light, faintly
perhaps, but faithfully, upon a way once often trodden by pagans who
now sleep the last long sleep. To what changes in the human soul do
these earth-bound stars bear witness! I sat beneath Agamemnon’s tree,
listening to the cry of the fountain, watching the little lights, till
the night was black about me.

I must always think of Olympia as the poetic shrine of one of the most
poetic statues in the world. As the Parthenon seems to be the soul of
Athens, so the Hermes of Praxiteles seems to be the soul of Olympia;
gathering up and expressing its aloofness from all ugly things, its
almost reflective tenderness, its profound calm, and its far-off
freedom from any sadness. When I stayed there I was the only traveler.
Never did I see any human being among the beautiful ruins or hear any
voice to break their silence. Only the peasants of that region passed
now and then on the winding track below the hill of Cronus, to lose
themselves among the pine-trees. And I heard only at a distance the
wonderful sound, like eternity’s murmur withdrawn, that the breeze
makes among their branches, as I sat by the palace of Nero.

Nature has taken Olympia into her loving arms. She has shed her
pine-needles and her leaves of the golden autumn upon the seats where
the wrestlers reposed. She has set her grasses and flowers among the
stones of the Temple of Zeus. Her vines creep down to the edge of
that cup of her earth which holds gently, as a nurse holds a sleeping
child, palaces, temples, altars, shrines of the gods and ways for the
chariots. All the glory of men has departed, but something remains
which is better than glory--peace, loveliness, a pervading promise of
lasting things beyond.

Among the ruins of Nero’s palace I watched white butterflies flitting
among feathery, silver grasses and red and white daisies. Lizards
basked on the altar of Zeus. At the foot of the Heræum, the most
ancient temple that may be seen in Greece at this time, a jackal whined
in its dwelling. Sheep-bells were sounding plaintively down the valley
beyond the arch leading to the walled way by which the great stadium,
where the games took place, was entered. When I got up presently to
stroll among the ruins, I set my foot on the tiny ruts of an uneven
pavement, specially constructed so that the feet of contending athletes
should not slip upon it.

The ruins lie in a sheltered and remote valley far away from the sea,
and surrounded by gentle hills, woods, and delightful pastoral country.
At some distance is the last railway-station of the Peloponnesian
railway line, which connects with the main line at Pyrgos. Between the
station and the low hill on which stand the hotel and the museum is
strung out a small, straggling hamlet of peasants’ houses. It is very
difficult to realize that this remote sanctuary, hidden away in the
green glades and amid the pastures of Elis, where the waters of Cladeus
and Alpheus glide among reeds and rushes, was ever crowded with people
from all parts of Greece; that emperors dwelled there; that there the
passions of the mob were roused to intense expression; that there men
gained the desire of their hearts or were exposed to the sneers and
opprobrium of their fellows. For Olympia to-day looks like an ideal
home for the great god Pan.

I have called the ruins beautiful, and I think them so, partly because
of their situation, with which they seem to me to combine harmoniously,
and partly because of nature’s collaboration with them, which is
lacking from the ruins at Eleusis and even at Delphi. At Olympia many
trees grow among the remains of the temples. A river runs by them.
Excavations, though usually interesting, are often both dusty and ugly.
At Olympia they are pastoral. Dryads might love them. Pan might sit
happily on almost any bit of the walls and play his pipe. They form
a unique sylvan paradise, full of wonderful associations, in which
one is tempted to rest for hours, whereas from many ruins one wishes
only to get away once they have been examined. And yet Olympia is so
fragmentary that many persons are bitterly disappointed with what they
find there, as the visitors’ book in the little hotel bears witness.

In all the mass of remains, and they cover a very large extent of
ground, I think I saw only four complete columns standing. Two of these
were columns of the Heræum, in which the Hermes of Praxiteles was found
lying among the remnants. They are golden-brown in color, and are of
course Doric, very massive and rather squat. The temple, the base of
which is very clearly marked, must have looked very powerful, but, I
should think, heavy rather than really majestic. I cannot imagine the
wonderfully delicate Hermes standing within it. It is believed that the
original columns of the Heræum were of wood, and that when they began
to rot away the stone columns were put up in their places. Much of the
temple was made of brick. The Hermes stood between two of the columns.

It will be evident to any one who examines carefully all that is left
of the Temple of Zeus that it must have been very grand. Fragments of
the shafts of its columns, which are heaped in confusion on the ground,
are enormous. One block, which I found poised upright on its rounded
edge, was quite six feet high. This temple was made of limestone, which
is now of a rather dreary, almost sinister, gray color. Exposure to
the weather has evidently darkened it. The foundations are terrific.
They suggest titanic preparations for the bearing up of a universe
of stone. It seems to me that from what is left of this celebrated
building, which stands in the middle of the sacred precinct, and which
once contained Phidias’s statue of Zeus, about forty feet high, one can
gather something of what was the builder’s conception of the chief of
all the gods of Olympus. To them he must surely have been simply the
Thunderer, a deity terrific and forbidding, to whose worship must be
raised a temple grand but probably almost repellent. Legend relates
that when Phidias had completed his great statue of Zeus, and it had
been placed in position, Zeus sent down a thunderbolt which struck
the ground close to the statue. The Greeks considered the thunderbolt
to be the god’s characteristic expression of content. Instead of the
eagles of Zeus, I saw hovering over, and perching upon, this ruin black
and white birds, with long tails, not unlike magpies. The statue of
Zeus disappeared. It is known to have been taken to Constantinople,
and in that tempestuous city it vanished, like so much else. In the
time of Olympia’s glory the temple was elaborately decorated, with
stucco, painting, gilding, marble tiles, shields, and vases, as well
as with many statues. But despite this, I think it must have been far
less satisfying than the calm and glorious Parthenon, in which seems
to dwell rather the spirit of a goddess than the spirit of any human
builders.

Earthquakes are frequent at Olympia, and have been so since the most
ancient times. One destroyed the greater part of Zeus’s temple about
four hundred years after Christ. By that time the Olympic games had
ceased to be held, and no doubt the place was beginning to fall into
the neglect which, with the lapse of the centuries, has become so
romantic. After it was forgotten by men, nature began to remember and
love it. Very little of the famous stadium has been excavated. I found
flocks of sheep and goats feeding peacefully above it, and near by a
small, barefooted boy, with a little gun, out after quail.

On the first day of my visit to Olympia, after spending a few hours
alone among the ruins I crossed the river, where I saw some half-naked
men dragging for fish with hand-nets, and mounted the hill to the
museum, which looks out over the delicious valley, and is attended by
some umbrella-pines. It was closed, but the keeper came smiling from
his dwelling close by to let me in. He did not follow me far, but sat
down in the vestibule among the Roman emperors.

On my right I saw the entrance to what seemed a small gallery, or
perhaps a series of small rooms. In front of me was a large, calm,
well-lighted hall, with a wooden roof and walls of a deep, dull red,
round which were ranged various objects. My eyes were attracted
immediately to one figure, a woman apparently almost in flight,
radiantly advancing, with thin draperies floating back from an
exquisitely vital form--the celebrated “Victory” of Pæonius, now more
than two thousand years old. Beyond this marvel of suggested motion I
saw part of another room very much smaller than the hall and apparently
empty. It drew me on, as in certain Egyptian temples the dim holy of
holies draws the wanderer onward with an influence that may not be
resisted. I took no more heed of the “Victory,” of Hercules winning the
apples of the Hesperides, or of anything else, but walked forward, came
into the last room, and found myself alone with the Hermes of Olympia.

The room in which the Hermes stands--alone save for the little child
on his arm--is exactly opposite the distant entrance of the museum.
The keeper, when letting me in, had left the big door wide open. In my
heart I thanked him, but not at that moment, for just then I did not
notice it. I was looking at the Hermes.

A great deal of sad nonsense is talked in our day by critics of art,
music, and literature about “restraint.” With them the word has become
a mere parrot cry, a most blessed word, like Mesopotamia. They preach
restraint very often to those who have little or nothing to restrain.
The result is nullity. In striving to become “Greek,” too many unhappy
ones become nothing at all. Standing before the Hermes of Olympia, one
realizes as never before the meaning, the loveliness, of restraint,
of the restraint of a great genius, one who could be what he chose to
be, and who has chosen to be serene. This it is to be Greek. Desire of
anything else fails and lies dead. In the small and silent room, hidden
away from the world in the green wilderness of Elis, one has found that
rare sensation, a perfect satisfaction.

Naked the Hermes stands, with his thin robe put off, and flowing down
over the trunk of a tree upon which he lightly leans. He is resting
on his way to the nymphs, but not from any fatigue. Rather, perhaps,
because he is in no haste to resign his little brother Dionysus to
their hands for education. Semele, the mother, is dead, and surely this
gracious and lovely child, touching because of his innocent happiness,
his innocent eagerness in pleasure, looks to Hermes as his protector.
He stretches out one soft arm in an adorable gesture of desire. The
other clings to the shoulder of Hermes. And Hermes watches him with an
expression of divine, half-smiling gentleness, untouched by sadness, by
any misgiving, such as we often feel as to the future of a little child
we love; Hermes watches him, contemplative, benign, celestial.

There is a pause in the hurry, in the sorrow, of this travailing
world; there is a hush. No more do the human cries sound in the midst
of that darkness which is created by our misunderstanding. No longer
do the frantic footfalls go by. The golden age has returned, with its
knowledge of what is not needed--a knowledge that we have lost.

I looked up from Hermes and the little brother, and, in the distance,
through the doorway of the museum, I saw a tiny picture of Elis bathed
in soft, golden light; a calm hillside, some green and poetic country,
and, in the foreground, like a message, a branch of wild olive.

That is what we need, what secretly we desire, our branch, perhaps our
crown, of wild olive. And all the rest is as nothing.

    (To be continued)



AN ELEPHANT ROUND-UP

BY D. P. B. CONKLING


[Illustration]

Ninety miles from the mouth of the Menam River lies the city of
Ayuthia, the old capital of Siam. The jungle has taken back to itself
miles of its ancient grandeur, and temples, palaces, and brick roadways
lie crumbling and half buried in the rank luxuriance of the tropical
forest. To the north, east, and west, except on the very banks of the
river, the country stretches out in one unbroken line of wilderness,
and this primeval jungle-land forms the great elephant preserve of the
king. Here the huge herds wander in absolute freedom, making unmolested
raids upon the paddy-fields and palm-orchards of the river villages,
lords of the land except in the event of a great “round-up,” when the
royal mahouts, mounted on tame tuskers, form in an immense circle and
slowly drive one or more herds steadily toward the kraal at Ayuthia.

With the exception on some few miles of roadways in Bangkok, Siam
is destitute of the ordinary modes of communication, and the entire
transportation of the country is by rivers and canals or by elephants.
All the great up-country produce is packed by them through the jungle
to the waterways, over roads made by themselves and quite impassable
for any other beast of burden. Therefore the capture of young tuskers
to be tamed and trained for this work forms, perhaps, _the_ event of
the year to the natives.

The kraal at Ayuthia is four hundred feet square, formed of teak-wood
logs, set about two feet apart and fifteen feet high, bound strongly
with iron and forming a barrier which is seldom broken even by the
strongest tuskers. The entrance is at the end immediately adjoining the
jungle, and two lines of stockade extend in the shape of a fan a mile
or more into the forest. In the center of the paddock is a small square
of ten feet, built in the same way as the outer barrier, and used as a
place of refuge for the natives employed in cutting-out and tying up
the captives.

In the round-up that we had the good fortune to see there were exactly
two hundred and thirteen wild elephants brought in. Thirty trained
mounts, each with his two mahouts, together with hundreds of natives
on foot, had been at work for two or more weeks getting this herd
together, and safely into the kraal. The driving of this huge mass of
beasts day after day until finally the last rush is made and the herd
is well inside the fan, requires more nerve, patience, and skill than
perhaps any other form of capture in the world. It is not unusual that
many men are killed in this work, for if once the herd gets scent of
danger, nothing can withstand their fearful charge. While there is no
animal in which docility and kindness are more strongly marked than in
the elephant, let him once become wicked, or “rogue,” as a man-killer
is called, and there is no other beast which shows equal ferocity and
cruelty, combined with an absolutely devilish cunning.

The first signs of the approaching herd were a great cloud of dust
and a dull roar like a heavy freight-train, making the ground fairly
tremble; and then out of the mist came the huge beasts, pushing and
fighting as they were packed closer in the converging fan, and making
the air ring with their shrill trumpetings.

The large swinging beams at the entrance were pulled aside, and in they
came with a rush, by twos and threes, stopping suddenly, and looking
about in a dazed way at the yelling crowd of natives perched out of
danger high on the walls beyond the stockade. When the whole herd was
in and the paddock closed, they were left to themselves for a time
before the real work of the day, from a spectator’s point of view at
least, began.

In a herd of this size it is remarkable how few elephants there are
that are fit for training--only eight in this case. They must be young,
strong, and well built, with promise of good tusks. The cutting-out
proceedings opened in a truly circus-like style. The exit by the
side of the pavilion was opened, and seven of the largest tame tuskers
entered in single file, led by the king’s chief mahout mounted on a
superb animal.

[Illustration: Half-tone plate engraved by S. Davis

A ROUND-UP FESTIVAL--TWO HUNDRED ELEPHANTS IN THE OUTER PEN]

Each elephant carried two men, the mahout sitting astride the neck and
guiding his mount by the pressure of his knees as well as by shouting,
the second man sitting over the hind quarters and by means of the goad
urging the beast to quicken his pace either forward or backward. The
mahouts carried a long bamboo pole, to one end of which was fastened
the detachable noose of a coil of rope on his elephant’s back.

When the seven tuskers had formed in line, they drove the herd in a
circle around the center refuge. After a short time, one of the young
elephants would drift to the rear rank, and a mahout, urging his mount
forward, would slip the noose under one of the youngster’s hind feet,
detach the pole by a quick jerk, and turning sharply and paying out the
coil of rope at the same time, would bring the line taut and fix the
noose firmly in place. The end would then be untied from the saddle
of the tame mount, and the young tusker would go racing madly back to
the herd, dragging fifty yards of rope after him. This operation was
repeated for each of the eight captives, and in some instances, when
the youngsters seemed particularly fractious, both hind feet would be
roped.

After all the ropes were made fast, the herd was let loose, the tame
mounts mingling with it, and gradually forcing the roped animals closer
to the posts to which they were respectively tied, the slack being
taken up by men outside the stockades, and made fast, leaving them
secured within a small radius of ten or fifteen yards. The mahouts now
left the kraal for a short breathing-space, and the herd wandered about
sucking up every possible drop of water from the pools made by the rain
of the night before, throwing it high over their backs to cool their
hot hides from the burning sun.

It was amusing to watch the frantic efforts of the baby elephants,
of which there were a considerable number, to keep from being
trampled upon by the herd. In every instance their coign of vantage
was immediately beneath their mother, and they showed the greatest
cleverness in keeping their position as she swayed about, backward or
forward, in the throng.

After a time the beams of the exit were pulled widely open, and
the chief mahout entered, urging his mount to a run, and feigning
what looked like a most foolhardy charge at the entire herd. When
only a few yards away, he turned sharply and rushed back through
the exit, thus acting as a leader for the herd, and the whole lot
dashed simultaneously for the gateway. The ford of the river was well
patrolled by tame elephants, and as the herd came rushing down the bank
to the stream, they were kept in a confined space, where they swayed
about in the cool water, grunting with satisfaction, and sending up a
perfect fountain through their trunks. After a reasonable rest had been
given them, they were cautiously driven into the jungle, and at a good
distance from the city were turned loose, to wander as they pleased and
seek again their old haunts.

While all this was going on, the young tuskers left tied in the kraal
were giving vent most strenuously to their feelings. Some, evidently
having given themselves up to despair, stood quite still and uttered
the most plaintive groans, while others seemed to go quite beside
themselves with rage, rolling in the mud, straining every nerve at
their ropes, and trumpeting wildly. One youngster, charging madly at
the post to which he was tied, managed to break one of his tusks sharp
off at the base, bringing down the most fearful amount of wrath on his
head from the mahouts, as it knocked some fifty per cent. off his value.

In many cases it seemed to be a particularly exasperating job to get
these captives out of the kraal. Two trained mounts would finally be
driven up on each side of the young elephant, and a sort of collar made
of cocoanut-fiber rope was slipped under his neck. These collar ropes
are crossed at the top, and an end is made fast to the neck of the tame
mounts, which, being a good deal taller than the little chap in the
middle, would be able to lift him nearly off his front legs by raising
their heads, and so compel him to walk, the youngster’s great act being
to lie down and refuse to budge. The leg-ropes were then thrown off,
and in this way they made a start for the exit, with a third elephant
bringing up the rear to push the captive forward in case of any signs
of balking. When he was gracefully shoved through the gateway, two
others would meet him outside the stockade, and he would be marched
off across the river to the stables, to be chained up to his post, and
there either sensibly accept his lot and start to learn to work, or
else be starved into submission. In some few cases captivity seems to
take all the spirit out of the beasts, and rather than endure it, they
will refuse all food and water and finally die, a sort of martyr at the
altar of freedom.

[Illustration: FIRST STEPS IN THE EDUCATION OF A YOUNGSTER IN THE INNER
PEN]

The attachment the elephant has for his keeper is something marvelous.
Almost incredible accounts are told of their devotion. Perhaps this
is due to the inseparable life that the mahout and his elephant lead,
for the keeper and his charge are constantly together. Always the same
hand feeds and tends him, always the same voice commands him, whether
at work in the lumber-yards, charging through the jungle at a round-up,
or moving slowly in some royal procession. If by any chance a mahout
becomes too ill to work or dies, there is often the greatest difficulty
to induce the elephant to accept a new master, and it is very seldom
that the new man can gain the complete mastery over the brute that its
original trainer had.

There is a wrong impression prevalent that the Siamese regard the white
elephant as a deity. That they hold it in special regard is true,
for each Buddha, in passing through a series of transmigrations, is
supposed to have inhabited the body of some white animal, either a
monkey, a dove, or an elephant; and therefore a white animal is yet
worshiped as having at some time been the superior of man.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

NOOSING WILD ELEPHANTS

[Illustration]

BY CHARLES MOSER


[Illustration]

From time immemorial, Eastern princes have captured wild elephants by
driving them into a stockade and noosing them from the backs of tamed
beasts. It has been virtually the only means of replenishing their
stables, for elephants in captivity do not breed well. Nevertheless,
elephant kraals, the common name from Jeypore to Siam, have always
been events of great interest and excitement. The enormous size of the
game, its inevitable danger, and the wonderful exhibition of brute
intelligence often seen, account for the fascination of the sport.

Kraals are usually conducted by the minor prince or chieftain who holds
in feudal tenure the villages of the district in which the kraal is
held; and it was our privilege to be at the one last mentioned as the
guests of Ratemahatmeya Meduanwella, lord of the villages of Panamure
and Wellawe, in the province of Sabaramamuwa.

We left Colombo at sunrise in a motor-car (I can never get over that; I
am still near enough to my boyhood’s dreaming over the pages of old Sir
Samuel Baker not to accept _that_!) and swept along the muddy Kelani,
alive in the early morning with _cadjan_ boats and women bathing.
It is a lovely, undulating valley; we saw coolies treading out the
grain in the paddy-fields, _svelte_ arecas and talipot-palms smoking
with dew, low hills thickly feathered with the dark-green plumage of
young rubber-trees, and bevies of brown girls plucking leaves among
the sparse tea-bushes. By nine o’clock we had reached the rest-house
at Ratnapura, nestled close by Kelani’s sullen lip, and were calling
loudly for breakfast. The most striking ornament in the dining-room
was a placard advertising American buckwheat cakes, and our roving eye
fell upon a two-months’-old copy of the Kansas City “Star,” sure signs
of the miracle of mere living in our times. Ratnapura is the capital
of the famous gem district, and our host, a wily Cingalese with a
prodigious tortoise-shell comb in his back hair, showed us some rough
stones--rubies, sapphires, and cats’-eyes--which he had “found,” and
would part with as a very special favor.

At noon we left the motor-car and took to the jungle on foot. Our route
lay for eight miles along a path cut and burned through the densest
jungle specially for this occasion, and toward dusk we came at last,
drenched, yet thirsty, through dim, green aisles of tall ebony-and
satinwood-trees, to a wide meadow and the dark, swift stream that
flows through it along the hem of Panamure. We saw a man far up in a
giant palm-tree, clinging to the bole with his naked feet, cutting
branches; then a great gaunt beast in the jungle twilight, feeding on
the white, succulent trunks of banana-trees; and the pathetic figure
of a baby elephant, captured only the week before, tugging hopelessly,
but incessantly, at his ankle-ropes, and we knew that we were near the
scene of the kraal. We crossed the stream on a bridge half crushed in
by ponderous, pachydermous feet, and at once found ourselves among
lines of bare brown men squatting under palm-leaf shelters. These
were the beaters surrounding the wild herds. The long line of their
fires dotted the dusk of the jungle, and the smell of wet wood smoke,
flavored with the odors from their cooking-pots, made a kind of wild
incense, strangely grateful and reminiscent to our civilized nostrils.
At a distance an occasional faint snort, or the soft crackling of
undergrowth followed by the thudding of some distant beater’s drum,
betrayed the locality where the quarry fed uneasily.

The plan and strategy of an elephant kraal is very simple. A wooded
country, over which elephants rove and through which a suitable stream
flows, is selected. A stockade from twelve to sixteen feet in height,
and inclosing part of the stream and from four to six acres of jungle,
is constructed of stout logs lashed together with rattan withes. At one
side of the inclosure is a gate, with a V-shaped approach leading to
it. When the stockade has been completed, the villagers arm themselves
with guns, spears, tom-toms, old pots, horns--anything that will make
a noise--and pour into the jungle to beat up the wild herds. They
spread out in a circle, sometimes twenty-five miles long, but gradually
lessening as the herds are driven nearer the stockade. The main object
is to keep the elephants from reaching water except by entering the
inclosure, and sometimes this is very difficult. Fires are kept alight
at distances of a few feet; and sometimes at night, when the huge
beasts charge in a body, the din of drums, bells, shouts, and horns is
enough to daunt bolder spirits than the jungle denizens. Frequently a
herd succeeds in breaking through and making its escape, occasionally
not without a heavy loss to the enemy; but usually after being kept
from water for three or four days their terrible thirst drives the poor
creatures to the water within the stockade, and the gate closes forever
between them and the dear free life of their native jungle.

Panamure is a lovely little village, idling along the banks of its
streamlet and cuddled in between two tall and softly wooded peaks
as delicately rounded as the breasts of a woman. Its daughters are
tender-eyed and domestic, performing the family washing at the front
gate, while the men are of mild manner and much given to the business
of gentling noosed elephants. They are Buddhists, but their real god is
the snowy-bearded old Ratemahatmeya, who is also their father, lord of
their lands, and of every grain of rice that goes into their mouths.

[Illustration: THE LORD OF THE KRAAL AND HIS HEIR]

We found the old gentleman waiting for us at the “hotel.” He had laid
aside the garments of his high estate and put on the long-tailed shirt
of the coolie, as being more in keeping with one who had watched five
nights in the jungle; but for all that he was a memorable figure,
with his small, sharp nose and eyes like those of a sparrow-hawk, his
patriarchal beard and imperious voice. Even more distinguished-looking
was his brother-in-law, the imperturbable Kalawane. Clad to lead the
heaters in nothing but a breech-clout and his shining black beard,
he seemed at that moment to have stepped out of the pages of Kipling
especially for this occasion.

[Illustration: NATIVE BEATERS IN CAMP]

[Illustration: READY TO PROD THE ELEPHANTS]

[Illustration: NATIVES BINDING A WILD ELEPHANT TO A TREE]

[Illustration: TWO TAME ELEPHANTS CAJOLING A WILD SISTER]

[Illustration: “HE SCREAMED, FROTHED, AND LUNGED AGAINST HIS FETTERS”]

They took us to get a first glimpse of the stockade in the now
fast-dying light. It was the old Ratemahatmeya’s fourteenth kraal, he
told us, and he had had 2500 villagers out for many days. He hoped to
catch thirty or forty elephants, but some might escape through the line
of beaters that night, as the elephants were desperate and the beaters
nearly exhausted. Even as he talked there were sounds of trampling and
crashing of underbrush a few yards to our right, and the whole line of
beaters rushed toward the spot, beating brass pots and yelling. After
torches had been thrown, the crashing ceased suddenly, and not another
sound was heard. Not a line of living form could be seen; not even a
leaf stirred, but one had the most vivid sense that all about us the
jungle was permeated with mysterious forces, tremendous, yet impalpable.

The stockade itself was worth a fortune, could it have been brought
to market. It was constructed of peeled ebony and satinwood logs,
many from twenty to thirty feet long and as thick as a man’s body.
Seven hundred and fifty coolies had spent three weeks in building
it, sinking the upright logs ten feet into the earth and with rattan
thongs lashing to them the horizontal logs at three-foot intervals. It
looked enormously strong and resistant. Overlooking the stockade on
three sides, towers had been built from which the Ratemahatmeya and his
principal guests were to view the grand spectacle of noosing and tying
up the kraaled elephants.

Dinner in the hotel that night was eaten on bare boards, within
gunny-sack walls, and with damp earth underfoot. As we sat about the
boards afterward, in bare feet and pajamas, a small, breathless figure
dashed up and flung his torch of dried stalks down before us. Some
elephants had entered the kraal and the gate had been closed behind
them! It was not a moment for reflection. Away we ran through the black
night, barefooted and pajama-clad, unmindful of thorns, and deadly
cobras, perhaps, lying in wait along the path. Guided by the weird
little figure with his torch, who was immensely proud to have been
the bearer of great tidings, we reached the stockade and found the
Ratemahatmeya seated on a log rocking himself in glee. Ten elephants,
led by a furious old cow, he explained, had been trapped. To-morrow
the rest of the herd would be caught. In this, however, he proved a bad
prophet, for during the night the elephants outside the kraal broke
through the beaters’ lines and escaped.

Around the circle of the stockade they were now lighting hundreds of
fires. Flames and smoke shot up half-way to the tops of the trees, and
the whole jungle was an endless moving parade of black shadows. Scores
of men lined the barricade, their bodies dripping sweat, points of
light flashing from their sharpened spear-heads. The business was eery
and serious. Twice the fear-maddened animals had charged the stockade
and twice had been driven back with spear-thrusts and firebrands. Now
they were hiding somewhere in the gulf of blackness beyond the fires,
as silent as the dark, plotting, full of hatred, and terribly dangerous.

We went back to the hotel and to a sleep of troubled dreams. There is
no doubt that the presence of wild elephants in the neighborhood of
one’s slumbers produces a curious impression. Some might even call
it “funk.” Throughout the night the shouting of the beaters and the
muffled trumpetings of giants in distress told how mighty Hathi and
his sons struggled to break through the cordon of their enemies. And
when morning came we knew from the scattered fire-lines that the lords
of the jungle had bravely won their freedom. The Ratemahatmeya held a
sunrise court-martial over it, but no one knew anything. He was forced
to content himself with the ten animals safe within the kraal.

Early as we were at the stockade, the village, bringing its breakfast
in fresh _kos_ leaves and gourds, was there before us. A thin stream of
sunlight, penetrating the kraal, revealed the captured herd standing
together in the deep shadows beneath a giant unga-tree, brooding and
sinister, their alinement as perfect as that of a line of infantry.
They were absolutely motionless, yet somehow conveyed the impression
of hair-trigger alertness. We could count two half-grown bulls, two
yearling calves, and a two-year-old. The other five were cows. There
were no tuskers among them, but it soon became evident that an old cow,
which always took her position on the extreme right, was “boss” of the
herd. The moment she cocked her ears the others stiffened their tails
and gathered themselves to charge.

We had not long to wait for the first charge in daylight. Ratemahatmeya
Kalawane came upon the scene riding his brother-in-law’s finest decoy,
a magnificent brute in the prime of his vigor and intelligence.
Apparently without a command, the big elephant majestically approached
the stockade at a point nearest the beleaguered herd, lifted his
trunk over the barricade and gave the call of his kind. The whole
herd at once swung toward him, as if in obedience to the voice of a
friend. They had covered barely twenty paces, however, when suspicion
entered the mind of the old cow. At her signal they all paused, waving
their trunks uncertainly. One of the village headmen thought this an
auspicious moment to step through the stockade for a clearer view.
Instantly the old cow’s tail shot into the air as stiff as a rod, and
she charged with the speed of an express-train, the others following
her, but half-heartedly. A volley of yells from the spearmen and
beaters greeted her as she came, but she struck the stockade with a
tremendous impact, rocking the piles in their sockets and making the
earth tremble. The beaters stood fearlessly to their work, however,
and a score of spear-thrusts from the heavy twelve-foot staves sent
her back, sullen and bloody. The others, seeing their leader’s
discomfiture, contemptuously turned their backs to the enemy and
continued their interrupted coquetting with the decoy elephant.

But those trapped cows, though frightened and no doubt bewildered
beyond anything in their experience, were not foolish. The big,
handsome bull, sent out to court and mollify them, continued his
outrageous attempts at flirtation through the interstices of the
stockade all in vain. Not that they were not flattered, perhaps, by his
attentions, for they paralleled his amiable saunterings up and down the
barricade for an hour, but always at the safe distance of a hundred
yards; ten pairs of little, bright, malicious eyes the while keeping
watch of his every movement and of every movement inside the kraal.
Satisfied at last of his treacherous intentions, and, perhaps, tiring
of the sport, they ignored him altogether and turned their energies
again toward their human foes.

The rest of the morning was given to beating back charge after
charge. The old cow, especially, was a veritable demon in temper and
courage. Sometimes she charged alone, her calf bellowing and coughing
his ridiculous rage in her wake. Sometimes, with one impulse, the
whole herd charged with her, as if at a preconcerted signal. Once,
indeed, she nearly got our photographer. The elephants were standing
quiet for the moment, a hundred yards away, trunks down and slack,
apparently oblivious to their enemies. A fugitive patch of sunlight,
finely illuminating their heads, tempted the camera man to advance
a few steps inside the gate in the hope of obtaining a picture. The
next instant the whole herd was almost upon him. He had barely time
to fling himself headlong between the posts when the old cow, in the
lead, crashed against the gate. Another yard, and she would have got
him. It took half an hour and two brandy sodas to coax his nerve back,
but the imperturbable Kalawane, who had been lying sound asleep beneath
the gate timbers till the crash awakened him, merely raised himself
long enough to curse camera man, elephants, and beaters fluently and
indiscriminately, and then resumed his nap.

I had often heard of the speed of an elephant’s charge, and had
marveled without enlightenment. I had even scoffed, because those who
told of it never were able to explain it. Their descriptions seemed to
me the result of “nerves,” justifying effect by cause. Now that I have
seen it for myself, I marvel no more, but am simply dazed. You cannot
explain the charge because you do not really see him make it. One
instant he is standing over there, a hundred yards away, as motionless
as the tree-trunks; at the end of that same instant he is upon you,
overwhelming, monstrous, like a mountain falling upon you. And you did
not even see him start!

I have a theory about it. An elephant’s loose skin is a sort of bag
that conceals the most flexible and finely articulated set of muscles
in the animal kingdom. He has no bulge of muscles anywhere. They are
all as smooth and flat as ribbons, as elastic as rubber, tempered like
steel wire. Wherefore he can wheel that vast bulk of his instantly and
in a space the size of a tea-table. He can hurl the whole four or five
tons of him into action with a single impulse and strike his top speed
in a single stride. Place an enemy in front of him, and I believe he
can run ten yards or two hundred from a standing start faster than any
other creature on legs.

Meantime, the decoys to be used for the noosing in the afternoon
had come up from their teak-piling duties in the low country. Seven
gigantic beasts, far larger than the captured ones, they moved like
conquerors, majestic and grand. It was not to be comprehended that
these colossi, the mightiest of the earth’s creatures, were willing
servants of those pygmies astride their necks. Yet all through the
subsequent proceedings the mahout’s word was law, and I never once saw
a tame elephant pricked with the ankus. This is the more remarkable
when it is understood that with one exception they had all been wild
elephants fewer than ten years before.

After they had been bathed and scraped and holystoned till their hides
shone like polished slate, the decoys were led before the Ratemahatmeya
to receive the ceremonial anointment with oil and make their salaams.
As the great beasts fell on their knees before the old man and
made their dumb, strange genuflections of obeisance, my eyes were
filled with a picture of the galleries of old Rome and of the German
gladiators stooped before some palsied Cæsar, and through my brain
pulsed again the echo of their grand and solemn valedictory.

But it was two o’clock, and the ladies of the Ratemahatmeya’s family
were in the tower, the village was in the tree-tops, or chattering like
schools of monkeys in the undergrowth, and all was ready for the great
spectacle of the kraal, the contests in the arena. Kalawane, on the
largest elephant, headed the procession of the seven decoys, followed
by a small army of spearmen and elephant shikarees, carrying ropes.
Each of the decoys bore on his back a mahout and a nooser, the latter
armed with a coil of rope noosed at one end and attached at the other
to a stout collar around the decoy’s neck.

For some time before the procession set out for the kraal gate the
wild herd had been clustered in thick cover on the far side of the
stream from the Ratemahatmeya’s tower. As we could neither see nor hear
anything of them, Ricalton and I ran around the stockade to a point
nearest them and no more than forty yards from the little hillock on
which they stood. We could hear the decoys pulling down the gate far
away on the other side, and it was evident that the wild herd was quite
as plainly aware that something new and decisive in their affairs was
about to occur. They stood stone-still, indifferent to our presence,
their eyes alert, but their heads a little drooping. Nothing but actual
speech could have better expressed that, though sore perplexed, they
_all but_ understood. As for us, we were so lost in the contemplation
of them in this greatest moment of their lives that we did not hear the
approach of the decoys, and they, if they heard it, gave no sign.

Suddenly we heard the sharp crackle of voices--Kalawane’s and the
mahouts’--shouting, “_Yunga! Yunga! Yunga!_” (“Charge! Charge!
Charge!”) and saw the decoys swiftly looming through the underbrush.
The wild ones saw them at the same time, and for just a moment the
whole herd, trunks uplifted in welcome, swung forward to meet them.
The next instant they realized their mistake, turned tail, and went
crashing down the slope in a panic. After them came the whole band of
decoys, spearmen, and noosers barking a staccato chorus that set the
blood tingling all over me. I never have had such a feeling. It was a
little like the first shock of a shower-bath on a frosty morning. I
found myself plunging knee-deep through the stream in the wake of the
rushing animals, with Ricalton, sixty-six years old and as white as
Mount Hood, not a foot behind me.

On the other bank the decoys overtook their quarry, and two big bulls
separated one of the yearlings from his mother for the fraction of a
second--just time enough for a nooser to drop off behind and slip the
loop around his right hind leg. He suddenly found himself being dragged
backward on his fore legs and belly, and such squalling never was
heard. At first his frantic mother fought furiously to reach him, but
two powerful bulls so unceremoniously butted her about that she gave
up and rushed off for help; for I never will believe that she deserted
him. The little fellow was dragged and butted to a convenient tree, to
which he was securely tied by both ankles, while a decoy on each side
alternately bullied and cozened him. The moment he was tied, just as he
was on the point of thinking his new-found friends not such bad fellows
after all, and was preparing to console himself for the loss of his
mother, they heartlessly left him. Oh, how angry he was! He screamed,
frothed, lunged and lunged against his fetters, bit the earth, and
broke off the point of an embryonic tusk trying to demolish a stone he
had dug up in his frenzy. But it was all in vain; and at last the poor
little baby, just like other babies, broke down and cried. I saw him,
and later I saw his mother, the terrible old cow, crying, and they shed
real tears.

Meanwhile the chase had gone on across the kraal, and on the other
side one of the cows had been wedged in between two decoys for the
needful moment. A nooser had slipped down under the decoy’s belly for
protection, and actually had the noose over her ankle when she felt
him, and let loose that four-ton kick he had sought protection from.
Luckily it missed him a hair’s-breadth; but the savage old lady got
free by it, and the nooser was a crumpled, fearful ruin for the rest of
that day. Again they caught her, but she snapped the inch-and-a-quarter
hawser as if it had been twine. The third attempt was successful, but
by now madam had regained her wits and gathered together her scattered
forces for rescue work. No doubt she ached also to avenge her baby, for
she headed a tremendous charge against the decoys, and the bulls had to
knock her off her feet time after time before she gave up the project.
Kalawane then decided that the rest of the herd would be subjugated
more easily after she had been disposed of.

This was more easily decided upon than accomplished. The old cow was a
tactician of the highest order, and her gifts as a fighter amounted to
positive genius. Several times they had her cornered, but she smashed
her way through. They scattered her followers, and finally managed to
isolate her on a small knoll between the stockade and a deep gully.
Here she successfully eluded the skill of the decoys for at least half
an hour, and it was while I was endeavoring to obtain a closer view
of this heroic last stand that I was treated to a bit of insight into
elephant cunning that I am not likely to forget.

The decoys had the old cow nearly cornered in a space close to the
stockade and about one hundred and fifty yards from me, with the gully
before mentioned running between us. I started to cross to the scene of
conflict, but before descending into the gully, and thus losing sight
of the jungle about me for a moment, I took a glance around. It was
fortunate that I did so, for about two hundred yards below me, on the
same side of the gully, was one of the young bulls coming stealthily
through the underbrush, and there was something in his manner which
warned me that he “had intentions.” But the very moment I became aware
of his state of mind he apparently became as exactly aware of mine; for
he dropped his ears, stopped, and then, seemingly disgusted that he
should have betrayed himself, deliberately turned his back on me and
walked off in the direction whence he had come. Nor did he once glance
back, but near the brink of the gully stopped again in some scrub and,
with his head wholly averted from me, appeared to be lost in thought.
This seemed my chance, so I ran rapidly down the side of the gully, and
for only a few seconds lost sight of him.

But what was my astonishment, upon climbing up the other side, to see
him coming toward me like a hurricane and not more than seventy yards
away! He must have started at full speed the moment my back was turned.
Fortunately the stockade was not far off, and I made for it--hurriedly.
It is possible, though, that I might not have escaped him, for thin,
wiry, and almost invisible creepers clutched my legs at every step,
had not some of the spearmen rushed to my rescue. They actually threw
sticks at him! But for me it was a very interesting moment.

However, I was in time to see the defeat of the old empress. After
many vain and furious struggles she was noosed around the left ankle
with the rope attached to the biggest of all the decoys. At the word,
this magnificent, six-ton brute picked out a tree, and without even a
pause dragged the old lady off her feet. To make her humiliation more
complete, he actually “wiped up the earth with her” when she spread
herself out on the ground in protest, dragging her along with no more
effort than if she had been a baby-carriage. But madam had not done
with them yet. Arrived at the tree, she put up a glorious fight, even
breaking two ropes, and she might have won a brief liberty had not two
of the decoys shown marvelous intelligence in blocking her flight,
butting her into place and firmly lashing her there by winding their
powerful trunks around her neck from each side. Then, while the ropes
that forever withheld her from her liberty were being securely knotted
about her legs, these two gigantic old frauds, looking all the while
wonderfully benignant and solemn, alternately bullied and flattered
her. While one caressed her gently with his trunk the other thumped her
in the ribs, and sometimes, under the guise of affection, both of them
together would lean their vast bulk against her and force her gently
but irresistibly into the position desired of their masters. One _knew_
that in elephant language they were talking to her somewhat after this
fashion:

“Come, my dear, be reasonable! A little more to the right! Softly!
_Softly!_ Tut, tut! It’s for your own good. There, now; that’s better.
Just look at us; and _we_ used to be as wild and foolish as you are.”

And then they cuddled her a little, gave her a final pat while the
last knot was being tied, and left her! For a little while the old cow
raged horribly; and then, like her abandoned baby, she broke down and
cried. It is in such scenes that the fascination of elephant-kraaling,
is found. The animals not only display a really wonderful intelligence
and the possession of those lovable qualities we are pleased to
term “human,” but they exhibit at all times, the trained elephants
especially, a noble temper and that kind of profound _character_ which
is associated in our thoughts with only the simplest and noblest of
men. It must be admitted that the elephants that have been gentled and
trained by man exhibit the finest intelligence and a majesty of port
rarely if ever observed in the wild ones. They impress one as having
become grand under servitude. It is difficult to observe them and
believe that they would wish to return to their wild state. This is no
doubt sentimentality on my part, but it is hard to be on close terms
with a noble elephant and not be awakened to sentiment concerning it.

The noosing of their leader sealed the fate of the rest of the herd
(not that it had ever been in doubt); but by sunset all had been
tied to trees save two, and it was reasonably certain these could
not escape. The last glimpse I had of them they were standing in
grief-stricken silence before the prostrate figure of a tethered calf
whose struggles had worn him out. All night the hoarse trumpetings
of the fettered-up mothers and the wails of their calves filled the
jungle with lamentation. Occasionally, far off in the wilderness, a
deep-throated bull would send out a long call of sympathy. Somewhere in
the darkness the herd that had escaped hovered near, but the beaters’
line of fires kept them back. The captured ten were lost to the jungle
forever.

Next morning, in the earliest light, I went up to the stockade to have
a last look. The youngsters were still bawling and plunging frantically
against their fetters, but the old empress was motionless and silent.
So still she stood that in the pale light I took a time exposure of
her. Her hind quarters and her flanks sagged, and her head expressed
all the ache of utter despair. Youth might still cry and struggle
against its fate, but she had given up the fight. Two hours later they
had harnessed her securely between two mighty bulls, and a pygmy man
had climbed upon her back. Then she uttered one last and mighty burst
of anguished rage before she fell into the captive’s stride that was to
carry her to her new life of labor down on the low-country estates.

I have always been fond of big-game shooting, and I have longed to
include this mightiest of beasts in my huntsman’s bag; but I came away
from the kraal with one clear idea in my mind, dominating all others: I
never shall willingly kill an elephant.



[Illustration]



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS IN RUSSIA

EXTRACTS FROM HIS CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE WAR OF 1812,
NAPOLEON’S RETREAT FROM MOSCOW, AND CONVERSATIONS WITH MADAME DE STAËL

INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS


A century ago at this time the Napoleonic wars, so-called, or the
convulsions which succeeded the French Revolution of 1789, were rapidly
drawing to a close. Beginning with the capture of the Bastille, July
14, 1789, the final catastrophe occurred at Waterloo, June 18, 1815.
Meanwhile, during the last half of 1812 and the whole of 1813, it is no
exaggeration to say that the whole world was at war. Up to June, 1812,
the United States had kept out of the actual fray, maintaining, by
hook or by crook, a species of so-called neutrality. The affair of the
_Leopard_ and the _Chesapeake_, unspeakably disgraceful to the United
States, had occurred off the capes of Virginia in June, 1807. In the
following December Jefferson’s embargo had been proclaimed; but, having
proved utterly futile as either a remedial or a protective measure, it
was removed in March, 1809.

Needless to say, this was for the United States a period of tension and
deep humiliation. Threats of disunion were freely made, and the first
steps looking to a secession of the New England States from the Union
had been taken. On March 4, 1809, James Madison was inaugurated as the
fourth President, and war with Great Britain was declared in June,
1812. One of the earliest acts of Madison after taking the oath of
office had been to nominate John Quincy Adams to represent the United
States at the court of St. Petersburg. Alexander I, then thirty-five
years old, was Czar of Russia. Two years before that he had, with
Napoleon, effected the treaty of Tilsit, so-called, theatrically signed
on a raft moored in the river Niemen. A temporary peace, therefore,
existed between the Russian czar and Napoleon, then at the zenith of
his career; a truce, rather than a peace, destined to be rudely broken
in the summer of 1812. Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign, and
the War of 1812-15 between the United States and Great Britain, then
ensued; the latter was drawing to a close just at the end of 1814
(December 25), six months before the battle of Waterloo.

Mr. Adams’s residence in Russia (1809-1814) covered, therefore, the
whole of the period of Napoleon’s Russian experience, as also his
campaign during the subsequent year (1813), intervening between the
retreat from Moscow and Waterloo. Mr. Adams thus held an official
position at the very center of conflict during the four most troubled
years of the nineteenth century. He was in the midst of things. During
that period also he maintained a constant interchange of familiar,
family letters, so far as the facilities for such an interchange then
existed, between St. Petersburg and Quincy, his home in Massachusetts.
These letters never have seen the light.

On Wednesday, October 16, 1912, the American Antiquarian Society
celebrated its centennial anniversary at Worcester, Massachusetts. As
president of a sister, but senior, organization--the Massachusetts
Historical Society--the writer was invited to take part in this affair,
contributing to it. His thoughts, therefore, naturally reverted to the
events taking place at the particular time the society, whose birth was
thus celebrated, came into existence; and those events were of a very
exciting and memorable character.

Napoleon was in Moscow that day, anxiously awaiting the results of
certain negotiations he had undertaken, looking to a possible escape
from the situation in which he had involved himself. Tidings of the
utter failure of the negotiations reached him, and the order to
evacuate Moscow, preliminary to the fatal retreat, was given on October
18--just two days subsequent to the occurrence we were to celebrate.

On this side of the Atlantic the memorable action between the
_Constitution_ and the _Guerrière_ had occurred on August 19--just two
months before; and exactly one week later--October 25--the frigate
_United States_ captured the _Macedonian_. Thus, during the latter half
of the year 1812, memorable events followed close on one another’s
heels. Of all of these, Mr. Adams, in Russia, and his relatives in
Massachusetts, were deeply interested observers; and a recurrence
to the letters then interchanged, canvassing these events from the
contemporary point of view, could hardly fail to be of interest and
even of historical value.

A portion of the material from the yellowing letter-files of that
intimate family correspondence is offered in the following extracts.
They relate exclusively to the events then occurring in Russia and
America, and to characters now become historic. One letter, of the most
informal character, describes a long interview with the famous Madame
de Staël in St. Petersburg, at the time of Napoleon’s Russian campaign,
the conversation taking place on the day preceding that on which the
great battle of Borodino was fought (September 7, 1812). It will be
remembered that Napoleon, considering Madame de Staël an enemy in no
way to be despised, had some years before treated her accordingly, so
that in 1812 she was still in exile.

Correspondence between Europe and America in those days was carried on
under extreme difficulty. Letters, whether passing through the post, or
confided for delivery to private hands, were freely opened by officials
in nearly every country. To such a degree was this practised that in
a letter written from St. Petersburg to his brother, Thomas Boylston
Adams, John Quincy Adams observed: “Almost every letter I write is
opened and read either by French or English officers.”

Correspondence, therefore, had to be carried on with great discretion.
This is apparent in the letters of Mrs. John Adams to her son. In one
of them, dated from Quincy, July 29, 1812, she says:

    “The declaration of war by the United States against Great Britain,
    the necessity for which is deplored, renders the communication
    between us so hazardous that I despair of hearing from you
    or conveying intelligence to you.... We have not any letters
    from you of a later date than the 4th March, and we wait in
    anxious expectation of hearing. I have written to you by various
    opportunities, and I could not fill many pages with subjects which
    ought to come to your knowledge of a political nature, if I did not
    feel myself restrained by the desire I have, that this letter may
    reach you, as it contains no subject to gratify the curiosity of
    any one and can be only interesting to yourself as a testimony of
    the health of your friends.”

And again, writing under date of November 30 following, she says:

    “Your letters gave us the more pleasure, as we had despaired of
    hearing again from you during the winter. It is almost a forlorn
    hope to expect any communication between us. The war between France
    and Russia on the one hand, and America and England on the other,
    leaves few chances for private correspondence. If while peace
    existed so little regard was had to letters addrest to a publicke
    minister that they must be broken open and family and domesticke
    concerns become the subject of public investigation, there can
    be but little satisfaction in writing.... Notwithstanding that
    blundering Irish Lord Castlereagh[1] denies the fact, I cannot
    expect more respect or civility when the nations are hostile to
    each other. Should this be destined to similar honor I request Sir
    William or any of their Lordships to awaken in their own Bosoms
    some natural affection and kindly forward this letter to the son to
    whom it is addrest, and whom three years’ absence from his parents
    and children render it particularly necessary that it should go
    with safety.”

Curious light on this subject of tampering with correspondence is shown
in a letter from J. Q. Adams to his mother, dated St. Petersburg, April
7, 1813:

    “I know not whether it was generosity, or any other virtue, or
    merely a disposition to receive the postage, that induced the
    transmission of your favour of 30 December to Mr. Williams of
    London; for by him it was kindly forwarded to me, and on the first
    day of this month, to my inexpressible joy, came to hand. It was
    but so short a time before that I had received your letter of 29
    July!--and excepting that, not a line from Quincy later than April
    of the last year. This last letter had apparently been opened,
    although the impression of your Seal upon the wax was restored--a
    circumstance which indicates that it was done in England, where
    they still affect the appearance of not breaking seals at the
    Post-Office.

    “On this Continent they are less scrupulous about forms. When they
    open letters, they break the seals, and do not take the trouble of
    restoring them. They send them open to their address. It reminds
    me of an anecdote I have lately met with of Prince Kaunitz when he
    was prime Minister of the Empress Maria Theresa. One of his clerks
    whose business it was to copy the _opened_ letters, coming to
    foreign Ministers at Vienna, in the hurry of reclosing a despatch
    to one of the Envoys, sent him his copy instead of the original.
    The Envoy went to Prince Kaunitz, showed him the copy that he had
    received, and complained that the original was withheld from him.
    The Prince immediately sent for the Clerk, severely reprimanded
    him in the Envoy’s presence for his blunder, and directed him to
    bring instantaneously the original despatch. The Clerk brought
    it accordingly, and the Prince gave it to the Envoy, with many
    apologies for the trouble occasioned him by the Clerk’s mistake,
    and assurances of his hope that it would never occur again.”


THE SITUATION IN 1812

John Quincy Adams to his mother, Mrs. John Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 24 October, 1812.

    “ ... There is now scarcely a spot upon the habitable globe but
    is desolated by the scourge of War. I see my own Country writhing
    under it, and every hope of better prospects vanishing before me.
    If I turn my eyes around me, I see the flame still more intensely
    burning. Fire and the Sword are ravaging the Country where I
    reside. Moscow, the antient Metropolis, one of the most magnificent
    and most populous Cities of Europe in the hands of an invader,
    and probably the greatest part of it buried in ashes.[2] Numerous
    inferior Cities daily devoted to the same Destruction, and Millions
    of People trampled under the feet of oppression of fugitives from
    the ruins of their habitations, perishing by hunger, in woods or
    deserts....

    “We live indeed in an age when it is not lawful for any civilized
    Nation to be unprepared for or incapable of War. Never, with an
    aching Heart I say it, never did the warlike Spirit burn with so
    intense a flame throughout the civilized World as at this moment.
    Never was the prospect of its continuing to burn and becoming still
    fiercer, so terrible as now. It would perhaps not be difficult
    to show that the State of War has become indispensable to the
    existence both of the French and British _Governments_. That in
    Peace they would both find their destruction....”


John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 24 November, 1812.

    “ ... You know how deeply I was disappointed at the breaking out
    of our War,[3] precisely at the moment when I entertained the
    most ardent and sanguine hopes that War had become unnecessary.
    Its Events have hitherto been far from favourable to our Cause,
    but they have rather contributed to convince me of its necessity,
    upon principles distinct from the consideration of its Causes....
    Our Means of taking the British possessions upon our Continent
    are so ample and unquestionable that if we do not take them it
    must be owing to the want of qualities, without which there is no
    Independent Nation, and which we must acquire at any hazard and any
    loss.

    “The acquisition of Canada, however, was not and could not be
    the object of this War. I do not suppose it is expected that we
    should keep it if we were now to take it. Great Britain is yet too
    powerful and values her remaining possessions too highly to make it
    possible for us to retain them at the Peace, if we should conquer
    them by the War. The time is not come. But the power of Great
    Britain must soon decline. She is now straining it so excessively
    beyond its natural extent that it must before long sink under the
    violence of its own exertions. Her paper credit is already rapidly
    declining, and she is daily becoming more extravagant in the abuse
    of it. I believe that her Government could not exist three years at
    Peace without a National Convulsion. And I doubt whether she can
    carry on three years longer the War in which she is now engaged,
    without such failure of her finances as she can never recover. It
    is in the stage of weakness which must inevitably follow that of
    overplied and exhausted strength that Canada and all her other
    possessions would have fallen into our hands without the need of
    any effort on our part, and in a manner more congenial to our
    principles, and to Justice, than by Conquest.

    “The great Events daily occurring in the Country whence I now
    write you are strong and continual additional warnings to us not
    to involve ourselves in the inextricable labyrinth of European
    politicks and Revolutions.”


John Quincy Adams to Mrs. John Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 30 January, 1813.

    “ ... There are several Americans residing here, who continue to
    receive frequent letters from their friends at home. Through them
    and through the English Newspapers we collect the information of
    the most important events occurring on our side of the Water.

    “ ... The English Government and Nation have been told, and have
    probably believed that Mr. De Witt Clinton would be elected
    President instead of Mr. Madison, and that he would instantly make
    peace with England upon English terms. Of the real issue of the
    Election we are here not yet informed; though accounts from the
    United States have reached us to late in November, and they lead us
    to expect Mr. Madison’s re-election.[4]

    “I never entertained very sanguine hopes of success to our first
    military efforts by land. I did not indeed anticipate that within
    six months from the Commencement of the War they would make us the
    scorn and laughter of all Europe, and that our National Character
    would be saved from sinking beneath contempt, only by the exploits
    of our Navy upon the Ocean. Blessing upon the names of #Isaac#
    Hull[5] and Decatur,[6] and their brave Officers and Men! for
    enabling an American to hold up his head among the Nations!--The
    capture of two British frigates successively, by American ships but
    little superior to them in force has not only been most profoundly
    felt in England, but has excited the attention of all Europe. It
    has gone far towards wiping away the disgrace of our two Surrenders
    in Canada. I believe if the English could have had their choice
    they would rather have lost Canada the first Campaign, than their
    two frigates as they have lost them. I hope and pray that the
    effect of these occurrences upon the national mind in our own
    Country will be as powerful as it has been in England, but with a
    different operation.

    “After the news of the _Guerrière’s_ capture, I saw an Article
    in the ‘Times,’ a _Wellesley_ Paper, written evidently under the
    impression of great alarm; and explicitly declaring that ‘a new
    Enemy to Great Britain has appeared upon the Ocean, _which must
    instantly be crushed_, or would become the most formidable Enemy
    to her naval supremacy with which she ever had to contend.’ We
    must rely upon it that this will be the prevailing sentiment of
    the British Nation. That we must instantly be crushed upon the
    Ocean--and unless our Spirit shall rise and expand in proportion to
    the pressure which they can and will apply to crush us, our first
    success will only serve more effectually to seal our ultimate ruin
    upon the Sea.

    “The disproportion of force between us and Britain at Sea is so
    excessive that the very idea of a contest with her upon that
    Element has something in it of desperation. To her it is only
    ridiculous. Upon a late debate in the House of Peers, something
    having been said of the American Navy, Lord Bathurst, one of the
    Ministers, told their lordships that the American Navy consisted of
    _five frigates_--and the House burst into a fit of laughter. These
    five frigates, however, have excited a sentiment quite different
    from laughter in the five hundred frigates of the British Navy,
    and if the American People will be as true to themselves as their
    little despised Navy has proved itself true to them, it is not
    in the gigantic power of Britain herself to _crush_ us; neither
    instantly nor in any course of time, upon the Ocean.

    “Hitherto, Fortune, or rather with a grateful Heart would I humbly
    say Providence, has favoured us in a signal manner. But we must not
    expect that our frigates will often have the luck of meeting single
    ships a little inferior in strength to themselves, or of escaping
    from ships greatly superior to them. That they have not already all
    fallen into the Enemy’s hands, is matter of surprise as well as of
    gratulation....

    “The first wish of my heart is for Peace. But the Prospects of
    Peace, both in Europe and America, are more faint and distant than
    they have been for many years. War has in the course of the year
    1812 consumed in the North of Europe alone, at least half a million
    of human lives, without producing the slightest indication in
    any of the parties engaged in it of a disposition to sheathe the
    sword....”


John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 31 January, 1813.

    “ ... The spirit of 1775 seems to be extinct in New England,[7] but
    I hope the profligacy of British policy will not be more successful
    now than it was then.

    “The War between us and them is now reduced to one single
    point--_Impressment!_--A cause for which we should not have
    commenced a War, but without an arrangement of which our Government
    now say they cannot make Peace. If ever there was a _just_
    cause for War in the sight of Almighty God, this cause is on
    our side just. The essence of this Cause is on the British side
    _Oppression_, on our side _personal liberty_. We are fighting for
    the _Sailor’s Cause_. The English Cause is the _Press-gang_. It
    seems to me that in the very Nature of this Cause we ought to find
    some resources for maintaining it, by operation upon the minds of
    our own Seamen, and upon those of the Adversary’s. It is sometimes
    customary for the Commanders of Ships to address their crews, on
    going into action; and to inspirit them by motives drawn from
    the cause they are called to support. In this War, when our Ships
    go into action, their Commanders have the best possible materials
    for cheering their men to extraordinary exertions of duty. How
    the English Admirals and Captains will acquit themselves on such
    occasions I can easily conjecture. But I fancy to myself a Captain
    telling them honestly that they are fighting for the Cause of
    Impressment. That having been most of them impressed themselves,
    in the face of every principle of Freedom, of which their Country
    boasted, they must all be sensible how _just_ and how _glorious_
    the right of the Press-gang is, and how clear the right of
    practising it upon American Sailors as well as upon themselves must
    be. I think they will not very readily recur to such arguments....
    The English talk of the _Seduction_ practiced by us upon their
    Seamen. There is a Seduction in the very Nature of this Cause,
    which it would be strange indeed if their Seamen were insensible
    to. I have heard that many of their Seamen taken by us have shown
    a reluctance at being exchanged, from an unwillingness to be sent
    back to be impressed again. A more admirable comment upon the
    character of the War could not be imagined. Prisoners who deem it
    a hardship to be exchanged! With what heart can they fight for the
    principle which is to rivet the chains of their own servitude?

    “I have been reading a multitude of speculations in the English
    Newspapers, about the capture of their two Frigates _Guerrière_ and
    _Macedonian_. They have settled it that the American forty-fours
    are line of battle-ships in disguise, and that henceforth all the
    frigates in the British Navy are to have the privilege of running
    away from them![8] This of itself is no despicable result of the
    first half-year of War. Let it be once understood as a matter of
    course that every single frigate in the British Navy is to shrink
    from a contest with the large American frigates, and even this will
    have its effect upon the Spirits of the Tars on both sides. It
    differs a little from the time when the _Guerrière_ went out with
    her name painted in Capitals on her fore-topsail, in search of our
    disguised line of battle-ship _President_.[9]

    “But the English Admiralty have further ordered the immediate
    construction of seventeen new frigates, to be disguised line of
    Battle ships too. Their particular destination is to be to fight
    the Americans. Their numbers will be six to one against us,
    unless we too taking the hint from one success can build frigate
    for frigate and meet them on their own terms; in which case if
    our new ships are commanded and officered, and manned like the
    _Constitution_ and the _United States_ and _Wasp_,[10] I am
    persuaded they will in process of time gain one step more upon the
    maxims of the British Navy, and settle it as a principle that
    single English ships are not to fight Americans of equal force.
    Thus much I believe it will be in their power to do. And further I
    wish them never to go. I hope they will never catch the indolent
    affectation of seeking Battle against superior force. An English
    pretension which has been so well chastised in the fate of their
    two frigates.

    “Our Navy, like all our other Institutions, is formed upon the
    English model. With regard to the Navy at least the superiority
    of that model to all others extant is incontestable. But in the
    British Navy itself there are a multitude of abuses against which
    we may guard, and there are many improvements of which it is
    susceptible, and for which the field is open before us. Our three
    44 gun ships were originally built not as the English pretend for
    line of Battle ships, but to be a little more than a match in
    force to the largest European Frigates, and the experience both of
    our partial War with France, in 1798 and 1799 as well as of our
    present War with England has proved the wisdom of the principle
    upon which they were constructed. It has been a great and momentous
    question among our Statesmen whether we should have any Navy or
    not. It will probably still be a great question, but Great Britain
    appears determined to solve all our doubts and difficulties upon
    the subject. She blockades our Coast, and is resolved to crush us
    instantly upon the Ocean. We must sink without a struggle, under
    her hand, or we must have a Navy....”


NAPOLEON’S RETREAT FROM MOSCOW


John Quincy Adams to Mrs. John Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 30 November, 1812.

    “ ... It may well be doubted whether in the compass of human
    history since the Creation of the World, a greater, more sudden and
    more total reverse of Fortune was ever experienced by man, than is
    now exhibiting in the person of a man, whom Fortune for a previous
    course of nearly twenty years had favored with a steadiness and
    a prodigality equally unexampled in the annals of mankind. He
    entered Russia at the head of three hundred thousand men, on the
    24th of last June. On the 15th of September he took possession of
    Moscow, the Russian armies having retreated before him almost as
    fast as he could advance; not however without attempting to stop
    him by two Battles, one of which [Borodino] was perhaps the most
    bloody that had been fought for many ages. He appears really to
    have concluded that all he had to do was to reach Moscow, and the
    Russian Empire would be prostrate at his feet. Instead of that it
    was precisely then that his serious difficulties began. Moscow
    was destroyed; partly by his troops, and partly by the Russians
    themselves. His Communications in his rear were continually
    interrupted and harassed by separate small Detachments from the
    Russian Army. His two flanks, one upon the Dvina, and the other
    upon the frontier of Austria were both overpowered by superior
    forces, which were drawing together and closing behind him; and
    after having passed six weeks in total inaction at Moscow, he found
    himself with a starving and almost naked army, eight hundred miles
    from his frontier, exposed to all the rigour of a Russian Winter,
    with an Army before him superior to his own and a Country behind
    him already ravaged by himself, and where he had left scarcely a
    possibility of any other sentiment than that of execration and
    vengeance upon himself and his followers.

    “He began his retreat on the 28th of October, scarcely a month
    since, and at this moment, if he yet lives, he has scarcely the
    ruins of an Army remaining with him. He has been pursued with all
    the eagerness that could be felt by an exasperated and triumphant
    Enemy. Thousands of his men have perished by famine,--thousands by
    the extremity of the Season, and in the course of the last ten days
    we have heard of more than thirty thousand who have laid down their
    arms almost without resistance. His Cavalry is in a more dreadful
    condition even than his Infantry. He has lost the greatest part
    of his Artillery,--has abandoned most of the baggage of his army,
    and has been even reduced to blow up his own stores of ammunition.
    The two wings of the Russian Armies have formed their junction and
    closed the passage to his retreat; and according to every human
    probability within ten days the whole remnant of his host will be
    compelled like the rest to lay down their arms and surrender at
    discretion. If he has a soul capable of surviving such an Event, he
    will probably be a prisoner himself.

    “Should he by some extraordinary accident escape in his own person,
    he has no longer a force nor the means of assembling one which can
    in the slightest degree be formidable to Russia. Even before his
    Career of victory had ceased, commotions against his Government
    had manifested themselves in his own Capital, on a false rumour of
    his death which had been circulated. Now, that if he returns at
    all, it must be as a solitary fugitive, it is scarcely possible
    that he should be safer at the Thuileries [_sic_], than he would
    be in Russia. His allies, almost every one of whom was such upon
    the bitterest compulsion, and upon whom he has brought the most
    impending danger of ruin, may not content themselves merely with
    deserting him. Revolutions in Germany, France, and Italy must be
    the inevitable consequence of this state of things, and Russia,
    whose influence in the political affairs of the World he expressly
    threatened to destroy, will henceforth be the arbitress of Europe.

    “It has pleased Heaven for many years to preserve this man, and
    to make him prosper, as an instrument of divine wrath to scourge
    mankind. His race is now run, and his own term of punishment has
    commenced.--‘Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his
    way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass--for
    yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt
    diligently consider his place and it shall not be.’ How often have
    I thought of this Oracle of divine truth, with an application of
    the Sentiment to this very man upon whom it is now so signally
    fulfilling. And how ardently would I pray the supreme disposer of
    Events that the other and more consolatory part of the same promise
    may now be also near its accomplishment--‘But the _meek_ shall
    inherit the Earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of
    Peace.’”


John Quincy Adams to Mrs. John Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 31 December, 1812.

    “ ... In my last letter I gave you a sketch of the situation at
    that time of Napoleon the Great. There is no Account yet that he
    has personally surrendered himself;[11] but he has only saved
    himself by the swiftness of his flight, which on one occasion at
    least he was obliged to pursue in disguise. Of the immense host
    with which six months since he invaded Russia, nine tenths at least
    are prisoners, or food for worms. They have been surrendering
    by ten thousands at a time, and at this Moment there are at
    least one hundred and fifty thousand of them in the power of the
    Emperor Alexander. From Moscow to Prussia, eight hundred miles
    of road have been strewed with his Artillery, Baggage-Waggons,
    Ammunition-Chests, dead and dying men who he has been forced to
    abandon to their fate. Pursued all the time by three large regular
    armies of a most embittered and exasperated Enemy, and by an almost
    numberless militia of peasants, stung by the destruction of their
    harvests and cottages which he had carried before him, and spurr’d
    to Revenge at once themselves, their Country and their Religion.
    To complete his disasters, the Season itself during the greatest
    part of his Retreat has been unusually rigorous even for this
    Northern Climate. So that it has become a sort of bye-word among
    the Common People here that the two Russian Generals who have
    conquered Napoleon and all his Marshals are General _Famine_ and
    General _Frost_. There may be and probably is some exaggeration
    in the accounts which have been received and officially published
    here of the late Events; but where the realities are so certain and
    so momentous the temptation to exaggerate and misrepresent almost
    vanishes.

    “In all human probability the Career of Napoleon’s conquests is
    at an end. France can no longer give the law to the Continent of
    Europe. How he will make up his account with Germany, the victim
    of his former successful rashness, and with France, who rewarded
    it with an Imperial Crown is now to be seen. The transition
    from the condition of France in June last to her present State
    is much greater than would be from the present to her defensive
    campaign against the Duke of Brunswick in 1792. A new Era is
    dawning upon Europe. The possibility of a more propitious prospect
    is discernible; but to the great disposer of Events only is it
    known whether this new Revolution is to be an opening for some
    alleviation to human misery or whether it is to be only a variation
    of Calamities.

    “ ... I have already mentioned that the season has been unusually
    rigorous. In the course of this month of December, we have had
    seventeen days in succession with Fahrenheit’s thermometer almost
    invariably below 0. I now write you at that temperature, and
    notwithstanding the stoves and double windows my fingers can hardly
    hold the pen. The Sun rises at a quarter past 9 in the morning,
    and sets a quarter before 3 in the afternoon; so that we must live
    almost by Candlelight. We are all literally and really sick of the
    Climate. It is certainly contrary to the course of Nature, for men
    of the South to invade the Regions of the North. Napoleon should
    have thought of that....”


John Quincy Adams to Mrs. John Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 19 July, 1813.

    “ ... The Battle of Lützen[12] was claimed by both parties as a
    Victory, and was here celebrated as such by a Te Deum. But in
    its consequences it was the most important Victory ever won by
    Bonaparte--for it proved to all Europe that France was still able
    to cope with her Enemies, and even to make head against them.
    A second Battle[13] three weeks after had a similar and more
    unequivocal result. Between the first and second Battles Napoleon
    had proposed that a Congress should be assembled at Prague in
    Bohemia, to which all the powers at War, including the United
    States of America, should be invited to send Plenipotentiaries
    for the purpose of concluding a general Peace; and he offered to
    stipulate an Armistice, during the Negotiation. After the second
    Battle, Russia and Prussia, with the concurrence of Austria,
    accepted the proposition for an Armistice, limited however to the
    term of six weeks, probably with a view to receive the answer
    from England, whether she should choose to be represented at the
    Congress or not. This Armistice is now on the point of expiring,
    but is said to have been prolonged for six weeks more. In the
    meantime Napoleon has quartered his army upon the Territory of his
    Enemy in Silesia, is levying a contribution upon Hamburg of about
    ten Millions of Dollars, is doubly fortifying all his positions
    upon the Elbe, and receiving continual reinforcements to be
    prepared for renewing an offensive campaign. He has made sure of
    the aid and support of Denmark and Saxony, and strongly confirmed
    Austria in her propensities to neutrality. If the War should be
    renewed his prospects, though infinitely below those with which he
    invaded Russia, last Summer, will be far above those with which
    he entered upon the present Campaign in April. If the Congress
    should meet he will not have it in his power to give the law to
    Europe; but the Peace must be in effect of reciprocal and important
    concessions.

    “There has nothing occurred since the commencement of the French
    Revolution which has occasioned such astonishment throughout Europe
    as this state of things. There are many examples in History of the
    extraordinary defeat and annihilation of immensely powerful armies.
    But the reappearance of a second overpowering host, within five
    Months after the dissolution of the first, is I believe without a
    parallel....”[14]


John Quincy Adams to Mrs. John Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 19 November, 1813.

    “ ... Since the renewal of the War in Germany the odds of force
    have been too decisive against the French, and the catastrophe
    of their Army [at Dresden and Leipsic] has been nearly equal to
    that of the last year.[15] Napoleon himself has been defeated
    and overpowered by the four combined armies of Austria, Russia,
    Prussia and Sweden, and on the 19th of October escaped from Leipsic
    leaving his ally the king of Saxony a Prisoner, more than twenty
    of his Generals, and forty thousand men also prisoners, and 400
    pieces of Cannon, Ammunition, baggage, etc., in proportion to the
    conquerors. All his other German Allies have deserted him and taken
    side against him; the Austrians are advancing in Italy, and Lord
    Wellington with his English, Spaniards and Portuguese, are invading
    France from the Pyrenees....”


John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 24 January, 1814.

    “ ... The Events of the last two years have opened a new prospect
    to all Europe, and have discovered the glassy substance of the
    Colossal Power of France. Had that power been acquired by Wisdom,
    it might have been consolidated by Time and the most ordinary
    portion of Prudence. The Emperor Napoleon says that he was
    never _seduced_ by Prosperity; but when he comes to be judged
    impartially by Posterity, that will not be their sentence. His
    Fortune will be among the wonders of the age in which he has lived.
    His Military Talent and Genius will place him high in the Rank
    of Great Captains; but his intemperate Passion, his presumptuous
    Insolence, and his Spanish and Russian Wars, will reduce him very
    nearly to the level of ordinary Men. At all Events he will be one
    of the standing examples of human Vicissitude--ranged, not among
    the Alexanders, Cæsars and Charlemagnes, but among the Hannibals,
    Pompeys and Charles the 12ths. I believe his Romance is drawing
    towards its close; and that he will soon cease even to yield a
    pretext for the War against France. England alone will be ‘afraid
    of the Gunpowder Percy, though he should be dead.’”[16]


John Quincy Adams to Mrs. John Adams

    “Reval, 12 May, 1814.

    “ ... The Coalition of all Europe against France has at length
    been crowned with complete success. The annals of the World do
    not I believe furnish an example of such a reverse of Fortune as
    that Nation has experienced within the last two years.[17] The
    interposition of Providence to produce this mighty change has been
    so signal, so peculiar, so distinct from all human co-operation,
    that in ages less addicted to superstition than the present
    it might have been considered as miraculous. As a Judgment of
    Heaven, it will undoubtedly be considered by all pious Minds now
    and hereafter, and I cannot but indulge the Hope that it opens a
    Prospect of at least more Tranquility and Security to the civilized
    part of Mankind than they have enjoyed the last half Century.
    France for the last twenty-five Years has been the scourge of
    Europe; in every change of her Government she has manifested the
    same ambitious, domineering, oppressive and rapacious Spirit to
    all her Neighbours. She has now fallen a wretched and helpless
    victim into their hands--dethroning the Sovereign she had chosen,
    and taking back the family she had expelled, at their command;
    and ready to be dismembered and parceled out as the Resentment
    or the Generosity of her Conquerors shall determine. The final
    Result is now universally, and in a great degree justly imputable
    to one Man. Had Napoleon Bonaparte, with his extraordinary Genius,
    and transcendent military talents, possessed an ordinary portion
    of Judgment or common Sense, France might have been for ages the
    preponderating Power in Europe, and he might have transmitted to
    his Posterity the most powerful Empire upon Earth, and a name
    to stand by the side of Alexander, Cæsar and Charlemagne--A name
    surrounded by such a blaze of Glory as to blind the eyes of all
    humankind to the baseness of its origin and even to the blood with
    which it would still have been polluted. But if the Catastrophe
    is the work of one Man, it was the Spirit of the Times and of the
    Nation, which brought forward that Man, and concentrated in his
    person and character the whole issue of the Revolution. ‘Oh! it
    is the Sport (says Shakespear) to see the Engineer hoist by his
    own petard.’ The sufferings of Europe are compensated and avenged
    in the humiliation of France.... The great danger of the present
    moment appears to me to be that the policy of crippling France to
    guard against her future power will be carried too far....”


MADAME DE STAËL

John Q. Adams to Thomas B. Adams

    “St. Petersburg, 22d November, 1812.

    “ ... Toward the close of the last summer arrived here as a sort of
    semi official appendage to the British embassy an old acquaintance
    of yours, Sir Francis D’Ivernois, who as you know has been for many
    years a distinguished political writer in the French language and
    in the Interest of the British Government. He came not I believe
    with, but very soon after, the Embassador Lord Cathcart.[18] just
    at the same time a lady of celebrated fame, Madame de Staël, the
    daughter of Mr. Necker, was also here on a transient visit.[19]
    As I had not the honor of being personally known to Madame de
    Staël and as we had just received information of the American
    Declaration of war against Britain, I had no expectation of having
    any communication or intercourse either with the Embassador or the
    lady. And I regretted this the less as my whole soul was at that
    period absorbed in the distressed situation of my family.... Early
    one morning I received a note from Madame de Staël, requesting me
    to call on her at her lodgings that same day at noon as she wished
    to speak to me on a subject respecting America.

    “I went accordingly at the hour appointed and upon entering the
    lady’s _salon_ found there a company of some fifteen or twenty
    persons, not a soul of whom I had ever seen before. An elderly
    gentleman in the full uniform of an English General was seated on
    a sofa and the lady whom I immediately perceived to be Madame de
    Staël was complimenting him with equal elegance and fluency upon
    the glories of his nation, his countryman, Lord Wellington, and
    his own. The Battle of Salamanca and the bombardment of Copenhagen
    were themes upon which much was to be said and upon which she said
    much.[20]

    “When I went in she intermitted her discourse for a moment to
    receive me and offer me a seat which I immediately took and for
    about half an hour had the opportunity to admire the brilliancy of
    her genius as it sparkled incessantly in her conversation. There
    was something a little too broad and direct in the substance of
    the panegyrics which she pronounced to allow them the claim of
    refinement. There was neither disguise nor veil to cover their
    naked beauties, but they were expressed with so much variety and
    vivacity that the hearers had not time to examine the thread of
    their texture. Lord Cathcart received the compliments pointed at
    himself with becoming modesty; those to his nation with apparent
    satisfaction and those to the conquest of Salamanca with silent
    acquiescence. The lady insisted that the British was the most
    astonishing nation of antient or modern times, the only preservers
    of social order, the defenders exclusively of the liberties of
    mankind, to which his lordship added that their glory was in
    being a moral nation, a character which he was sure they would
    always preserve. The glittering sprightliness of the Lady and
    the stately gravity of the Embassador were as well contrasted as
    their respective topics of praise, and if my mind had been at cast
    to relish anything in the nature of an exhibition I should have
    been much amused at hearing a Frenchwoman’s celebration of the
    generosity of the English towards other nations and a lecture upon
    national morality from the commander of the expedition Copenhagen.

    [Illustration: Owned by the Century Association, New York.
    Half-tone plate engraved by H. Davidson

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

    FROM THE PORTRAIT, PAINTED IN 1835, BY ASHER B. DURAND]

    “During this sentimental duet between the ambassador and the
    Embassadress, kept my seat, merely an auditor. The rest of the
    company were equally silent. Among them was an English Naval
    Officer, Admiral Bentinck, since deceased. He was then quite the
    chevalier d’honneur to Madame de Staël but whether the scene did
    not strike him precisely as it did me or whether his feelings
    resulting from it were of a more serious nature than mine the
    moment it was finished he drew a very long breath and sighed it
    out as if relieved from an offensive burden saying only ‘thank God
    that’s over.’ He and all the rest of the company immediately after
    that retired and left me tête-à-tête with Madame de Staël.

    “The subject respecting America was to tell me that she had a
    large sum in the American funds and to enquire whether I knew how
    she could contrive to receive the interest which she had hitherto
    received from England. I gave her such information as I possessed.
    She had also some lands in the State of New York of which she
    wished to know the value. I answered her as well as I could but her
    lands and her funds did not appear to occupy much of her thoughts.

    “She soon asked me if I was related to the celebrated Mr. Adams
    who wrote the book upon Government. I said I had the happiness
    of being his son. She said she had read it and admired it very
    much, that her father. Mr. Necker, had always expressed a very
    high opinion of it. She next commenced upon Politics and asked
    how it was possible that America should have declared war against
    England. In accounting for this phenomenon I was obliged to recur
    to a multitude of facts not as strongly stamped with British
    generosity or British Morality as might be expected from the
    character which she and the Embassador had just been assigning
    that nation. The orders in council and the press gang afforded but
    a sorry commentary upon the Chauvinesque defence of the liberties
    of mankind and no very instructive lessons of morality. She had
    nothing to say in their defence but she thought that the knights
    errant of the Human race were to be allowed special indulgence and
    in consideration of their cause were not to be held by the ordinary
    obligations of war and peace.

    “There was no probability that any arguments of mine could make
    any impression upon opinions thus toned. She listened, however,
    with as much complacency as could be expected to what I said and
    finally asked me why I had not been to see her before. I answered
    that her high reputation was calculated to inspire respect no less
    than curiosity and that however desirous I had been of becoming
    personally acquainted with her I had thought I could not without
    indiscretion intrude myself upon her Society. The reason appeared
    to please her. She said she was to leave this city the next day at
    noon. She was going to Stockholm to pass the winter and then to
    England. She wished to have another conversation with me before she
    went and asked me to call on her the next morning.

    “I readily accepted the invitation and we discussed politics again
    two or three hours. I found her better conversant with Rhetoric
    than with Logic. She had much to say about social order, much
    about universal monarchy, much about the preservation of religion
    in which she gave me to understand she did not herself believe,
    and much about the ambition and supremacy of Buonaparte upon which
    she soon discovered there was no difference of sentiment between
    us. But why did not America join in the holy cause against the
    tyrant? First because America had no means of making war against
    him, she could neither attack him by sea or land. 2d because it was
    a fundamental maxim of American policy never to intermeddle with
    the political affairs of Europe. Thirdly because it was altogether
    unnecessary. He had enemies enough upon his hands already. What!
    Did not I dread his universal monarchy? Not in the least. I saw
    indeed a very formidable mass of force arrayed under him, but I saw
    a mass of force at least as formidable arrayed against him. Europe
    contained about 100 millions of human beings. He was wielding the
    means of 15 millions and the means of 85 millions were wielding
    against him. It was an awful spectacle to behold the shock, but I
    did not believe nor ever had believed that he would ever be able to
    subjugate even the continent of Europe. If there had ever been any
    real danger of such an event it was passed.

    “She herself saw that there was every prospect of his being very
    shortly driven out of Spain. And I was equally convinced he would
    be driven out of Russia. It was the very day of the battle of
    Borodino. ‘J’en accepte l’augure,’ she said. ‘Everything that
    you say of him is very just. But I have particular reason for
    resentment against him. I have been persecuted by him in the most
    shameful manner. I was neither suffered to live anywhere nor to
    go where I would have gone, all for no other reason but because I
    would not eulogize him in my writings.’ As to our war with England
    I told her that I deeply lamented it and yet cherished the hope
    that it would not last long. That England had forced it upon
    us by measures as outrageous upon the rights of an independent
    nation as tyrannical as oppressive as any that could be charged
    upon Buonaparte. Her pretences were retaliation and necessity.
    Retaliation upon America for the wrongs of France and necessity
    for man Stealing. We asked of England nothing but our indisputable
    rights, but we allowed no special prerogatives to political
    Quixotism. We did not consider Britain at all as the defender
    of the liberties of mankind but as another Tyrant pretending to
    exclusive dominion upon the ocean. A pretension full as detestable
    and I trusted in God full as chimerical as the pretension of
    universal monarchy upon the land.

[Illustration: MADAME DE STAËL]

    “Madame de Staël was of her own opinion still but on the point of
    empressment she owned that my observations were reasonable. I have
    not yet found a European of any nation except the English who on
    having this question in its true state brought to a precise point
    had a syllable to say for the English side. In conclusion I told
    her that the pretended retaliation of England had compelled us to
    resort to real retaliation upon them and that as long as they felt
    a necessity to fight for the practice of stealing men from American
    merchant vessels on the high seas we should feel the _necessity_ of
    fighting against it. I could only hope that God would prosper the
    righteous cause.

    “Madame de Staël charged me if I ever should be again in any place
    where she should be at the same time not to neglect paying her a
    visit which I very willingly promised. She left St. Petersburg
    the same day. I should ask Sir Francis D’Ivernois pardon. I began
    this letter with him, but whom can one help deserting for Madame
    de Staël? I will return to Sir Francis by the next opportunity.
    Dutifully and affectionately yours.”

[Illustration: Half-tone plate engraved by H. Davidson

MY DAUGHTER

FROM THE PAINTING BY FRANK W. BENSON

(THE CENTURY’S AMERICAN ARTISTS SERIES)]



[Illustration]



SIGIRIYA

“THE LIONS’ ROCK” OF CEYLON

BY JENNIE COKER GAY

WITH PICTURES BY DUNCAN GAY


    “And after that, that wicked ruler of men (Kassapa) sent his groom
    and his cook to his brother (Moggallana) to kill him. And finding
    that he could not fulfil his purpose, he feared danger, and took
    himself to Sihagiri rock, that was hard for men to climb. He
    cleared it round about and surrounded it by a rampart, and built
    galleries in it ornamented with figures of lions; wherefore it took
    its name of Sihagiri (‘The Lions’ Rock’). Having gathered together
    all his wealth, he buried it there carefully, and set guards over
    the treasures he had buried in divers places. He built there a
    lovely palace, splendid to behold....

    “He planted gardens at the gates of the city.... He observed the
    sacred days ... and caused books to be written. He made many
    images, alms-houses, and the like; but he lived on in fear of the
    world to come and of Moggallana.”[21]

That is what history has to say about the founding of Sigiriya (or
“Sihagiri,” as it is called in “The Mihavansa,”) and all that it has to
say; just enough to arouse our interest, and not enough to satisfy it.
At Anuradhpura we had come across numerous traces of Kassapa’s father,
Dhatusena, who was counted a great king when he ruled Ceylon fifteen
hundred years ago. And we were curious to see the place where Kassapa
had sought safety after he had killed Dhatusena and usurped the
throne, and had been forced to flee into the jungle for fear of his
brother Moggallana; so we decided to follow this bold, wild patricide
to his hiding-place not by the exact trail that he took, for no one
knows by what roundabout wandering he finally reached the rock, but by
the more modern and convenient, if somewhat dustier, way that leads
along the iron rails of the Ceylon Government railroad.

Sigiriya is southeast of Anuradhpura, and only about fifty miles away
from it in a direct line; but around by way of Kandy, as we purposed
to go, it is fully three times that far. It lies just north of the
mountainous center of Ceylon at the edge of the great plain that
stretches on the one hand to the Indian Ocean and on the other to the
small waters that separate the island from the Indian peninsula.

A long, hot ride through the western lowlands brought us to
Polgahawela, where the road we were to follow diverges at a right angle
from the main line, and we began to climb the magnificent mountains;
past rice-fields, so substantially terraced up the sides of the hills
that they looked like monstrous and never-ending fortifications; past
forests of palms and masses of brilliant flowers; past the world-famed
botanical gardens of Peradeniya, until just at dusk we came into the
lovely town of Kandy, which seemed delightfully fresh and cool after
the heaviness and heat of the plains. Beyond Kandy the road began to
descend again, until at Matale it suddenly came to an end, and we were
obliged to look out for some less-modern conveyance for the continuance
of our journey.

[Illustration: SIGIRIYA ROCK]

On the northeast coast of the island is a little place called
Trincomali. For the convenience of this village and the scattered
native settlements that lie between, a daily coaching service is
maintained, and this we found we might take as far as Dambolo. The
vehicle that was called a coach had a seat in front for the Cingalese
driver and the mail-bags, and behind this, two lengthwise seats
facing each other, which on a pinch could hold six persons, three on
a side. Into this conveyance we climbed; in climbed also a shiny,
round-headed Tamil, two wild-looking, magnificently dressed gentlemen
from Afghanistan, and a mild and smiling Mohammedan. All the morning
we rode, and at noon we changed horses and took lunch at a wayside
rest-house. The Afghans left us here, and I felt more comfortable,
for their mustaches curled in such a terribly fierce way, and their
remarkable costumes offered such unlimited opportunity for the carrying
of concealed weapons, as to warrant a certain uneasiness. We alighted
at Dambolo, and the stage went on and left us. And yet Dambolo is a
long way from Sigiriya--a long, long way in point of time.

The little rest-house that the Government places wherever one wishes
to spend the night took us in and gave us a room, and its Mohammedan
keeper advised us to use the rest of the afternoon seeing the rock
temples that have made Dambolo famous. Obediently we went to visit
these gorgeously decorated caverns, but, I am sorry to confess, they
gave me no pleasure. They are wonderful, or would be if one were given
an opportunity to look at them in peace and quiet; but one cannot
wonder or admire or enjoy, or do anything but fume, with dozens of
sleek yellow priests hanging about and holding out hands for Money!
money!” at the opening of every door and at the entrance and exit of
every cavern. This is a nuisance that the Government most certainly
should correct, for it spoils the enjoyment of many of the island’s
remarkable ruins.

[Illustration: VIEW OF THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE GALLERY LEADING TO
THE CITADEL OF SIGIRIYA]

We came down from the caves rather discouraged, but were somewhat
cheered when we looked upon the decorations of the table that had been
set for our dinner. An elaborate design was traced on the table-cloth
by a sprinkling of rice that had been dyed a bright pink. The very
holes in the cloth, and these were numerous, were turned into part
of the decoration; for they were made the centers of flowers or the
eyes of a bird, and one triangular rent formed the roof of a little
cottage. The keeper of the rest-house, who seemed to be cook, waiter,
and chambermaid, told us as he served the rice and chicken that he had
engaged a bullock-cart to take us the rest of the way. It was late the
next morning before the bullock, the cart, and the driver appeared at
our door. A bullock about the size of a three-months’-old calf, an
equally tiny cart, with an arched cover woven of split bamboo, and of
course without a suggestion of springs, and a Tamil driver, his head
tied up in the brightest of handkerchiefs, and with the ubiquitous
sarong (only it is not called a sarong in Ceylon) dangling about his
heels, made up our equipment for the last stage of the journey.

[Illustration: THE AUDIENCE-HALL ROCK]

The fabled tortoise was an animal of speed compared with that bullock.
Had we made an earlier start, I am sure we could have walked the whole
way; but the terrible sun made walking impossible, and we were forced
to keep huddled down under the cart’s protecting thatch. We could count
the seconds while the little animal seemed to stand poised after each
step. Even twisting his tail did little good, and beating none at all.
Along each side of the road the jungle formed a solid wall too dense
for beauty. Occasionally a bright-plumed bird peeped out through the
trees, and once a small panther-like animal showed himself at the
roadside, and our bullock actually ran until he was well away from the
danger.

[Illustration: ONE OF THE ENTRANCES TO THE GALLERY LEADING TO SIGIRIYA]

We were hot and dusty and tired when at last we came in sight of
Sigiriya, but in the presence of the strange impressiveness of this
enormous rock, heat, dust, and weariness passed from our thoughts like
a dream. It rose, this great shaft of granite, high above the trees,
like some enormous mushroom sprung suddenly from the dank flatness of
the jungle. Against the dusty green of the surrounding forest and the
burned-out blue of the pale, hot sky its simple and majestic outline
showed clean and sharp. But past all understanding was the brilliance
of coloring that marked its walls. In the glare of the declining sun
it looked as though a mighty battle had been fought upon the level
crown, and the blood of thousands of warriors had spilled and trickled
over the edge and down the cliff, and so set an indelible mark of
fierceness and anger on the face of this somber jungle monster.

At first we could see no evidence of past human occupation; but by and
by, as we drew nearer, we were able to detect a little spiral line,
broken here and there, that seemed to be wound about the face of the
cliff. What concerned us more at the time, however, was that we could
see no signs of present human habitation, and we were in sore need,
after the jolt, jolt, jolt of our wretched little cart, of food and a
place where we might sleep. Our Tamil driver, while he belabored his
bullock to make him hurry, had been telling us of the elephants and
tigers that lived out here in the jungle, and we could easily see for
ourselves that the woods were thick enough to shelter a whole menagerie
of animals; so it was with the greatest relief that we presently saw
a little rest-house in front of us, and leaving the small bullock and
his black driver to come as they pleased, we took to our own feet and
hurried on to the protecting inclosure. After a long rest and a long
good supper, we took our “Mihavansa,” and, there under the brow of the
great “Lions’ Rock,” read again the strange, fragmentary history of
Kassapa and his crime.

    “ ... And he (Dhatusena) had two sons,--Kassapa, whose mother was
    unequal in rank to his father, and Moggallana, a mighty man, whose
    mother was of equal rank with his father. Likewise also he had a
    beautiful daughter, who was as dear unto him as his own life. And
    he gave her to wife unto his sister’s son, to whom also he gave
    the office of chief of the army. And he (the nephew) scourged her
    on the thighs, albeit there was no fault in her. And when the king
    saw that his daughter’s cloth was stained with blood, he learned
    the truth and was wroth, and caused his nephew’s mother to be
    burnt naked. From that time forth the nephew bare malice against
    the king; and he joined himself unto Kassapa, and tempted him to
    seize the kingdom and betray his father. And then he gained over
    the people, and caused the king his father to be taken alive. And
    Kassapa raised the canopy of dominion after that he had destroyed
    the men of the king’s party and received the support of the wicked
    men in the kingdom. Thereupon Moggallana endeavored to make war
    against him. But he could not obtain a sufficient force, and
    proceeded to the Continent of India with the intent to raise an
    army there.

    “And that he might the more vex the king, who was now sorely
    afflicted ... this wicked general spake to Kassapa the king,
    saying, ‘O king, the treasures of the royal house are hidden by
    thy father.’ And when the king said unto him, ‘Nay,’ he answered,
    saying, ‘Knowest thou not, O Lord of the land, the purpose of this
    thy father? He treasureth up the riches for Moggallana.’ And when
    the base man heard these words he was wroth, and sent messengers
    unto his father, saying, ‘Reveal the place where thou hast hid the
    treasure.’ Thereupon the king thought to himself, saying: ‘This
    is a device whereby the wretch seeketh to destroy us’; and he
    remained silent. And they (the messengers) went and informed the
    king thereof. And his anger was yet more greatly increased, and he
    sent the messengers back unto him again and again. Then the king
    (Dhatusena) thought to himself, saying, ‘It is well that I should
    die after that I have seen my friend and washed myself in the
    Kalavapi.’ So he told the messengers saying, ‘Now, if he will cause
    me to be taken to Kalavapi, then shall I be able to find out the
    treasure.’

    “And when they went and told the king thereof he was exceedingly
    glad, because that he desired greatly to obtain the treasure, and
    he sent the messengers back to his father with a chariot. And while
    the king, with his eyes sunk in grief, proceeded on the journey to
    Kalavapi, the charioteer who drove the chariot gave him some of the
    roasted rice that he ate....

    “And when his friend, the Elder, heard that the king was coming,
    he preserved and set apart a rich meal of beans with the flesh of
    water-fowls that he had obtained, saying, ‘The king loveth this
    sort of meat.’ ...

    “Then the king went up to the tank, and after that he had plunged
    therein and bathed and drank of its water as it pleased him, he
    turned to the king’s servants and said, ‘O friends, this is all
    the treasure that I possess!’ And when the king’s servants heard
    these words they took him back to the city and informed the king.
    Then the chief of men was exceeding wroth and said, ‘This man
    hoardeth up riches for his son; and so long as he liveth will
    he estrange the people of the island from me.’ And he commanded
    the chief of the army, saying, ‘Kill my father.’ Thereupon he
    (the general), who hated him exceedingly, was greatly delighted
    and said, ‘Now have I seen the last of my enemy.’ And he arrayed
    himself in all his apparel, and went up to the king, and walked
    to and fro before him.... Then this violent man stripped the king
    naked, and bound him with chains inside the walls of his prison
    with his face to the east and caused it to be plastered up with
    clay. What wise man, therefore, after that he hath seen such
    things, will covet riches, or life, or glory!”

Kassapa was most certainly a wicked man,--the reading of “The
Mihavansa” leaves no doubt of that,--but when we came next day to look
over the remains of his city and to study this formidable rock that
he had subjugated and turned into a citadel, we knew that he was also
a man of genius. When he found that he was in danger from his brother
Moggallana, whom he had attempted in vain to kill, he led his host of
half-naked warriors out from the ancient capital of Anuradhpura into
the jungle, seeking for a refuge. Whether design or accident led him to
Sigiriya we do not know, but we do know that once having looked upon
its four hundred feet of towering walls and upon its uplifted acres, he
had the wisdom to see its possibilities and the genius to overcome the
difficulties, to an ordinary man the impossibilities, of the situation.
I dare say the abundance of his need helped his genius to speak; but
no matter what his incentive, when he conceived the notion of building
against this gigantic, cylindrical rock a spiral gallery which would
place at his disposal the four flat acres that crowned the summit, he
laid claim to the respect and admiration of ages.

The sides of the rock, which we had at first supposed to be
perpendicular, are really concave, and perhaps it would be more exact
to speak of this gallery as being built into, rather than against,
the mighty column. With such surpassing genius is it placed that it
literally makes itself one with the rock it embraces. To gain some sort
of foothold for the masonry, deep grooves were cut in the face of the
cliff, and from these a wall of brick and mortar was erected, and this
in turn supported the great limestone blocks which form the surface of
the road. This roadway was wide enough for four men to walk abreast,
and was protected by a wall nine feet high.

It is hard to emphasize sufficiently the wild boldness of the
conception and achievement. From base to summit the splendid gallery
mounted. Breaking the gentle slope here and there to lift itself
suddenly by a short flight of stairs, buttressed at one too abrupt
corner, snuggling at places under the brow of the rock, and at the one
terrace that breaks the height on the north side, it rose in direct
steps between the paws and up through the body of a great masonry
lion that Kassapa had built against the cliff. Finally it sought out
the only place where the top does not overhang the sides for its last
hurried dash before flinging itself triumphantly over the edge of the
summit.

The walls of this gallery were finished with some smooth, shining white
cement. It must have looked, when it was all in place, like a huge,
gleaming serpent wound about the face of the rock. Of course at the
present day much of it, indeed most of it, has fallen away; but the
fact that, despite the washing rains that for many years have come
pouring over the sides of the rock, one hundred yards of it remains in
almost perfect condition is proof of its splendid construction. For
the rest of the way the gallery can be traced by the deep grooves that
supported its base.

When, with the help of these grooves and the protecting bars that the
Government has kindly placed to give the adventurous traveler at least
a chance to reach the summit in safety, we had climbed to the very top,
we understood at last the unnatural markings on the face of the cliff
that had before puzzled us. Kassapa built his citadel of bright-red
brick. The whole crown of the rock was covered with his palaces, and
after they had fallen and crumbled, the heavy rains smeared the walls
with great streaks and patches of this brilliant stain.

[Illustration: PLAN OF THE TOPMOST PORTION OF THE INNER CITY OF
SIGIRIYA. (BASED ON A CEYLON GOVERNMENT SURVEY MAP)

The right-hand side of the map is the north side, the top is the west.]

The ground that lies at the base of the rock is not less interesting
than that upon its summit. Over the wooded sides of the little hill
that culminates in the great shaft, and spreading out into the jungle
about its foot, are the remains of the city that Kassapa built for his
army and followers. A strange city it must have been. The main houses
were of brick with tiled roofs, but these more formal dwellings were
supplemented by semi-caves tucked under the sides of every available
boulder. All the large stones show notches, cut evidently to hold the
ends of rafters and roof-beams. Up many of the highest boulders steps
have been hewn, possibly to make them accessible as watch-towers,
and at almost every turn one comes upon the indispensable cistern
that made living through the long dry season possible. Some of these
reservoirs were hewn out of solid stone, but most were built of brick
and cement, and the one little stream in the neighborhood was dammed
to form a large pond, which even now lies like a lake at the foot of
the little hill. So there was an outer city interspersed with gardens,
an inner city set on innumerable terraces up the slope of the hill,
and surmounting all, lifted four hundred feet above the crest of the
hill on its gigantic pedestal, stood the king’s palace and citadel. And
about all the city Kassapa built great protecting walls. So three times
over Kassapa fortified himself.

We tried to trace the main passageway from the outer fortification to
the foot of the gallery, but we had only our imagination for a guide.
When we came to the huge balloon-like boulders that form a gateway to
a flight of steps, we felt sure that we had found the main entrance
to the inner city. The face of these boulders showed the usual cuts
for the support of rafters, and we could trace about them in masses
of decaying brick the outer walls of what might have been watchmen’s
lodges. Up these steps and a few feet farther on lies the stone that is
called the audience-hall rock. This is the half of a great elliptical
rock laid round side down. Its upper surface has been cut to form a
floor, with an elevated platform at the upper end, and about its edges
a heavy coping, all cut from the rock itself. Here presumably the lord
of the city sat to receive ambassadors and visitors from the outside
world, as no one not a follower of Kassapa was admitted to the central
citadel.

But strangest of all the Sigiriya ruins, as unique in thought and
masterly in execution as the great spiral gallery itself, are the
remains of a pictured procession that some believe once marched across
the whole face of the cliff. The fragments of this great picture show
female figures, larger than life, carrying in their hands bunches of
fruit and flowers. They are painted on smooth, white plaster in colors
that apparently have lost none of their brilliancy, and are so strongly
drawn in face and figure that by some they are held to be portraits of
the women of Kassapa’s court. Though this fresco may have encircled the
rock, it remains now only in the protected crevices of its western face.

For eighteen years Kassapa lived and reigned at Sigiriya. He was as
secure in his fortress as though he lived in the clouds. His army
remained faithful. His colony was thriving, and yet in the end he fell
into the hands of that dreaded Moggallana. One day word was brought
to him that his brother had returned from India, and with an army was
advancing against him. Instead of remaining within his fortifications
and challenging his brother to penetrate to his citadel, he went down
from his rock to meet his enemy.

Even then he might have been victorious had not blind chance
interfered. In the course of the battle, Kassapa, riding in advance of
his army, came to a marsh, and turned his elephant to avoid it. When
his followers saw this, the cry went up that the king was retreating,
and the whole army broke in confusion, and fled through the woods.
Kassapa tried in vain to check the panic, and finally cut his own
throat. And “Moggallana was pleased with this deed of boldness of his
brother, and performed the rite of cremation over his dead body; and
having gathered all his spoils, went up to the royal city.”

So Sigiriya fell from being a kingly citadel, and was given over to the
priesthood. Why it was finally abandoned by the priests we do not know,
but for centuries now it has stood in majestic loneliness watching over
the jungle.



AT THE CLOSED GATE OF JUSTICE

BY JAMES D. CORROTHERS


    To be a Negro in a day like this
      Demands forgiveness. Bruised with blow on blow,
    Betrayed, like him whose woe-dimmed eyes gave bliss,
      Still must one succor those who brought one low,
    To be a Negro in a day like this.

    To be a Negro in a day like this
      Demands rare patience--patience that can wait
    In utter darkness. ’Tis the path to miss,
      And knock, unheeded, at an iron gate,
    To be a Negro in a day like this.

    To be a Negro in a day like this
      Demands strange loyalty. We serve a flag
    Which is to us white freedom’s emphasis.
      Ah! one must love when truth and justice lag,
    To be a Negro in a day like this.

    To be a Negro in a day like this--
      Alas! Lord God, what evil have we done?
    Still shines the gate, all gold and amethyst,
      But I pass by, the glorious goal unwon,
    “Merely a Negro”--in a day like _this_!



BELLES DEMOISELLES PLANTATION[22]

BY GEORGE W. CABLE

Author of “Old Creole Days,” “The Grandissimes,” “Madame Delphine,” etc.

WITH PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR AND NEW PICTURES BY W. M. BERGER

(NOTEWORTHY STORIES OF THE LAST GENERATION)


The original grantee was Count----

Assume the name to be De Charleu; the old Creoles never forgive a
public mention. He was the French king’s commissary. One day, called
to France to explain the lucky accident of the commissariat having
burned down with his account-books inside, he left his wife, a Choctaw
comtesse, behind.

Arrived at court, his excuses were accepted, and that tract was granted
him where afterward stood Belles Demoiselles Plantation. A man cannot
remember everything. In a fit of forgetfulness he married a French
gentlewoman, rich and beautiful, and “brought her out.” However, “All’s
well that ends well”; a famine had been in the colony, and the Choctaw
comtesse had starved, leaving naught but a half-caste orphan family
lurking on the edge of the settlement, bearing our French gentlewoman’s
own new name, and being mentioned in monsieur’s will.

And the new comtesse--she tarried only a twelvemonth--left monsieur a
lovely son, and departed, led out of this vain world by the swamp-fever.

From this son sprang the proud Creole family of De Charleu. It rose
straight up, up, up, generation after generation, tall, branchless,
slender, palm-like, and finally, in the time of which I am to tell,
flowered, with all the rare beauty of a century-plant, in Artémise,
Innocente, Félicité, the twins Marie and Martha, Léontine, and little
Septima, the seven beautiful daughters for whom their home had been
fitly named Belles Demoiselles.

The count’s grant had once been a long point round which the
Mississippi used so to whirl and seethe and foam that it was horrid
to behold. Big whirlpools would open and wheel about in the savage
eddies under the low bank, and close up again, and others open and
spin and disappear. Great circles of muddy surface would boil up from
the depths below and gloss over and seem to float away; sink, come back
again under water, and with only a soft hiss surge up again, and again
drift off and vanish. Every few minutes the loamy bank would tip down a
great load of earth upon its besieger, and fall back a foot, sometimes
a yard, and the writhing river would press after, until at last the
_pointe_ was quite swallowed up, and the great river glided by in a
majestic curve and asked no more. The bank stood fast, the “caving”
became a forgotten misfortune, and the diminished grant was a long,
sweeping, willowy bend, rustling with miles of sugar-cane.

Coming up the Mississippi in the sailing-craft of those early days,
about the time one first could descry the white spires of the old St.
Louis Cathedral, one would be pretty sure to spy just over to the
right, under the levee, Belles Demoiselles mansion, with its broad
veranda and red-painted cypress roof, peering over the embankment, like
a bird in the nest, half hidden by the avenue of willows which one of
the departed De Charleus--he that married a Marot--had planted on the
levee’s crown.

The house stood unusually near the river, facing eastward, and standing
foursquare, with an immense veranda about its sides, and a flight of
steps in front spreading broadly downward, as we open arms to a child.
From the veranda nine miles of river were seen; and in their compass,
near at hand, the shady garden, full of rare and beautiful flowers;
farther away broad fields of cane and rice and the distant quarters
of the slaves; and on the horizon everywhere a dark belt of cypress
forest.

The master was old Colonel De Charleu--Jean-Albert-Henri-Joseph De
Charleu-Marot, and “Colonel” by the grace of the first American
governor. Monsieur--he would not speak to any one who called him
“Colonel”--was a hoary-headed patriarch. His step was firm; his form
erect; his intellect strong and clear; his countenance classic, serene,
dignified, commanding; his manners were courtly; his voice was musical,
fascinating. He had had his vices all his life, but had borne them,
as his race does, with a serenity of conscience and a cleanness of
mouth that left no outward blemish on the surface of the gentleman.
He had gambled in Royal Street, drank hard in Orleans Street, run his
adversary through in the dueling-ground at Slaughter-House Point, and
danced and quarreled at the St. Phillippe-Street Theater quadroon
balls. Even now, with all his courtesy and bounty, and a hospitality
which seemed to be entertaining angels, he was bitter-proud and
penurious, and deep down in his hard-finished heart loved nothing
but himself, his name, and his motherless children. But these! Their
ravishing beauty was all but excuse enough for the unbounded idolatry
of their father. Against these seven goddesses he never rebelled. Had
they even required him to defraud old De Carlos--I can hardly say.

Old De Carlos was his extremely distant relative on the Choctaw side.
With this single exception, the narrow, thread-like line of descent
from the Indian wife, diminished to a mere strand by injudicious
alliances, and deaths in the gutters of old New Orleans, was extinct.
The name, by Spanish contact, had become De Carlos, but this one
surviving bearer of it was known to all, and known only, as Injin
Charlie.

One thing I never knew a Creole to do: he will not utterly go back on
the ties of blood, no matter what sort of knots those ties may he. For
one reason, he is never ashamed of his or his father’s sins; and for
another, he will tell you, he is “all heart.”

So the different heirs of the De Charleu estate had always strictly
regarded the rights and interests of the De Carloses, especially
their ownership of a block of dilapidated buildings in a part of the
city which had once been very poor property, but was beginning to be
valuable. This block had much more than maintained the last De Carlos
through a long and lazy lifetime, and as his household consisted
only of himself and an aged and crippled Negress, the inference was
irresistible that he “had money.” Old Charlie, though by alias an
“Injin,” was plainly a dark white man, about as old as Colonel De
Charleu, sunk in the bliss of deep ignorance, shrewd, deaf, and, by
repute at least, unmerciful.

The colonel and he always conversed in English. This rare
accomplishment, which the former had learned from his Scotch wife,
the latter from up-river traders, they found an admirable medium of
communication, answering better than French could a purpose similar
to that of the stick which we fasten to the bit of one horse and to
the breast-gear of another, whereby each keeps his distance. Once in a
while, too, by way of jest, English found its way among the ladies of
Belles Demoiselles, always signifying that their sire was about to have
business with old Charlie.

Now, a long-standing wish to buy out Charlie troubled the colonel. He
had no desire to oust him unfairly, he was proud of being always fair;
yet he did long to engross the whole estate under one title. Out of his
luxurious idleness he had conceived this desire, and thought little of
so slight an obstacle as being already somewhat in debt to old Charlie
for money borrowed, and for which Belles Demoiselles was of course good
ten times over. Lots, buildings, rents, all, might as well be his, he
thought, to give, keep, or destroy. Had he but the old man’s heritage!
Ah, he might bring that into existence which his _belles demoiselles_
had been begging for “since many years--” a home, and such a home,
in the gay city! Here he should tear down this row of cottages and
make his garden wall; there that long rope-walk should give place to
vine-covered arbors; the bakery yonder should make way for a costly
conservatory; that wine warehouse should come down; and the mansion
go up. It should be the finest in the State. Men should never pass it
but they should say: “The palace of the De Charleus, a family of grand
descent, a people of elegance and bounty, a line as old as France, a
fine old man, and seven daughters as beautiful as happy. Whoever dare
attempt to marry there must leave his own name behind him.”

The house should be of stones fitly set, brought down in ships from the
land of “_les_ Yankees” and it should have an airy belvedere, with a
gilded image tiptoeing and shining on its peak, and from it you should
see, far across the gleaming folds of the river, the red roof of Belles
Demoiselles, the country-seat. At the big stone gate there should be a
porter’s lodge, and it should be a privilege even to see the ground.

Truly they were a family fine enough and fancy-free enough to have fine
wishes, yet happy enough where they were to have had no wish but to
live there always.

To those who by whatever fortune wandered into the garden of Belles
Demoiselles some summer afternoon as the sky was reddening toward
evening, it was lovely to see the family gathered out upon the tiled
pavement at the foot of the broad front steps, gaily chatting and
jesting, with that ripple of laughter that comes pleasingly from a
bevy of girls. The father would be found seated among them, the center
of attention and compliment, witness, arbiter, umpire, critic, by his
beautiful children’s unanimous appointment, but the single vassal, too,
of seven absolute sovereigns.

Now they would draw their chairs near together in eager discussion of
some new step in the dance or the adjustment of some rich adornment.
Now they would start about him with excited comments to see the eldest
fix a bunch of violets in his buttonhole. Now the twins would move down
a walk after some unusual flower, and be greeted on their return with
the high-pitched notes of delighted feminine surprise.

As evening came on they would draw more quietly about their paternal
center. Often their chairs were forsaken, and they grouped themselves
on the lower steps one above another, and surrendered themselves to the
tender influences of the approaching night. At such an hour the passer
on the river, already attracted by the dark figures of the broad-roofed
mansion and its woody garden standing against the glowing sunset,
would hear the voices of the hidden group rise from the spot in the
soft harmonies of an evening song, swelling clearer and clearer as the
thrill of music warmed them into feeling, and presently joined by the
deeper tones of the father’s voice; then, as the daylight passed quite
away, all would be still, and the passer would know that the beautiful
home had gathered its nestlings under its wings.

And yet, for mere vagary, it pleased them not to be pleased.

“Arti,” called one sister to another in the broad hall one morning,
mock amazement in her distended eyes, “something is goin’ to took
place!”

“Comm-e-n-t?” in long-drawn perplexity.

“Papa is goin’ to town!”

The news passed up-stairs.

“Inno,”--one to another meeting in a doorway,--“something is goin’ to
took place!”

“Qu’est-ce-que c’est?” in vain attempt at gruffness.

“Papa is goin’ to town!”

The unusual tidings were true. It was afternoon of the same day that
the colonel tossed his horse’s bridle to his groom, and stepped up
to old Charlie, who was sitting on his bench under a china-tree, his
head, as was his fashion, bound in a madras handkerchief. The “old
man” was plainly under the effect of spirits, and smiled a deferential
salutation, without trusting himself to his feet.

“Eh, well, Charlie,”--the colonel raised his voice to suit his
kinsman’s deafness,--“how is those times with my friend Charlie?”

“Eh?” said Charlie, distractedly.

“Is that goin’ well with my friend Charlie?”

“In the house; call her,” making pretense of rising.

“_Non, non_; I don’t want,”--the speaker paused to breathe,--“’Ow is
collection?”

“Oh,” said Charlie, “every day he make me more poorer.”

“What do you hask for it?” asked the planter, indifferently,
designating the house with a wave of his whip.

“Ask for w’at?” said Injin Charlie.

“De _house_. What you ask for it?”

“I don’t believe,” said Charlie.

“What you would _take_ for it?” cried the planter.

“Wait for w’at?”

“What you would _take_ for the whole block?”

“I don’t want to sell him.”

“I’ll give you _ten thousand dollah’_ for it.”

“Ten t’ousand dollah’ for dis house? Oh, no, that is no price. He is
blame’ good old house, that old house.” Old Charlie and the colonel
never swore in presence of each other. “Forty years that old house
didn’t had to be paint’! I easy can get fifty t’ousand dollah’ for that
old house.”

“Fifty thousand picayunes, yes,” said the colonel.

“She’s a good house. Can make plenty money,” pursued the deaf man.

“That’s what make’ you so rich, eh, Charlie?”

“_Non_, I don’t make nothing. Too blame’ clever, me, dat’s de troub’.
She’s a good house; make money fast like a steamboat; make a barrelful
in a week. Me, I lose money all the days. Too blame’ clever.”

“Charlie.”

“Eh?”

“Tell me what you’ll take.”

“Make? I don’t make _nothing_. Too blame’ clever.”

“What will you _take_?”

“Oh, I got enough already; half drunk now.”

“What you will take for the ’ouse?”

“You want to buy her?”

“I don’t know,”--shrug,--“may_be_, if you sell it cheap.”

“She’s a bully old house.”

There was a long silence. By and by old Charlie began:

“Old Injin Charlie is a low-down dog.”

“C’est vrai, oui,” retorted the colonel in an undertone.

“He’s got Injin blood in him.”

The colonel nodded assent.

“But he’s got some blame’ good blood, too, ain’t it?”

The colonel nodded impatiently.

“_Bien._ Old Charlie’s Injin blood says, ‘Sell the house, Charlie, you
blame’ old fool!’ _Mais_, old Charlie’s good blood says, ‘Charlie, if
you sell that old house, Charlie, you low-down old dog, Charlie, what
de Comte De Charleu make for you’ grace-gran’muzzer, de dev’ can eat
you, Charlie, I don’t care.’”

“But you’ll sell it, anyhow, won’t you, old man?”

“No!” And the no rumbled off in muttered oaths like thunder out on the
gulf. The incensed old colonel wheeled and started off.

“Curl!” [“Colonel”] said Charlie, standing up unsteadily.

The planter turned with an inquiring frown.

“I’ll trade with you,” said Charlie. The colonel was tempted. “’Ow’ll
you trade?” he asked.

“My house for yours.”

The old colonel turned pale with anger. He walked very quickly back,
and came close up to his kinsman.

“Charlie,” he said.

“Injin Charlie,” with a tipsy nod.

But by this time self-control was returning. “Sell Belles Demoiselles
to you?” he said in a high key, and then laughed, “Ho! ho! ho!” and
rode away.

       *       *       *       *       *

A cloud, but not a dark one, overshadowed the spirits of Belles
Demoiselles Plantation. The old master, whose beaming presence had
always made him a shining Saturn, spinning and sparkling within the
bright circle of his daughters, fell into musing fits, started out of
frowning reveries, walked often by himself, and heard business from his
overseer fretfully.

No wonder. The daughters knew his closeness in trade, and attributed
to it his failure to negotiate for the old Charlie buildings, so to
call them. They began to depreciate Belles Demoiselles. If a north
wind blew, it was too cold to ride. If a shower had fallen, it was too
muddy to drive. In the morning the garden was wet. In the evening the
grasshopper was a burden. Ennui was turned into capital, every headache
was interpreted a premonition of ague, and when the native exuberance
of a flock of ladies without a want or a care burst out in laughter
in the father’s face, they spread their French eyes, rolled up their
little hands, and with rigid wrists and mock vehemence vowed and vowed
again that they laughed only at their misery, and should pine to death
unless they could move to the sweet city. “Oh, the theater! Oh, Orleans
Street! Oh, the masquerade, the Place d’Armes, the ball!” and they
would call upon Heaven with French irreverence, and fall into one
another’s arms, whirl down the hall singing a waltz, end with a grand
collision and fall, and, their eyes streaming merriment, lay the blame
on the slippery floor, which some day would be the death of the whole
seven.

[Illustration: Engraved on wood by Timothy Cole

GEORGE W. CABLE

Author of “Belles Demoiselles Plantation.”

FROM AN EARLY PORTRAIT BY ABBOTT H. THAYER]

Three times more the fond father, thus goaded, managed, by
accident--business accident--to see old Charlie and increase his offer;
but in vain. He finally went to him formally.

“Eh?” said the deaf and distant relative. “For what you want him, eh?
Why you don’t stay where you halways be ’appy? This is a blame’ old
rat-hole; good for old Injin Charlie, tha’s all. Why you don’t stay
where you be halways ’appy? Why you don’t buy somewhere else?”

“That’s none of your business,” snapped the planter. Truth was, his
reasons were unsatisfactory even to himself.

A sullen silence followed. Then Charlie spoke:

“Well, now, look here; I sell you old Charlie’s house.”

“_Bien_, and the whole block,” said the colonel.

“Hold on,” said Charlie. “I sell you de ’ouse and de block. Den I go
and git drunk and go to sleep; de dev’ comes along and says: ‘Charlie,
old Charlie, you blame’ low-down old dog, wake up! What you doin’ here?
Where’s de ’ouse what Monsieur le Comte give your grace-gran’muzzer?
Don’t you see dat fine gentyman De Charleu done gone and tore him down
and make him over new, you blame’ old fool, Charlie, you low-down old
Injin dog!’”

“I’ll give you forty thousand dollars,” said the colonel.

“For de ’ouse?”

“For all.”

The deaf man shook his head.

“Forty-five,” said the colonel.

“What a lie? For what you tell me ‘What a lie?’ I don’t tell you no
lie.”

“_Non, non_; I give you _forty-five_,” shouted the colonel.

Charlie shook his head again.

“Fifty.”

He shook it again.

The figures rose and rose to “Seventy-five.”

The answer was an invitation to go away and let the owner alone, as he
was, in certain specified respects, the vilest of living creatures,
and no company for a fine “gentyman.”

The fine “gentyman” longed to blaspheme; but before old Charlie, in the
name of pride, how could he? He mounted and started away.

“Tell you what I’ll make wid you,” said Charlie.

The other, guessing aright, turned back without dismounting, smiling.

“How much Belles Demoiselles howes me now?” asked the deaf one.

“One hundred and eighty thousand dollars,” said the colonel, firmly.

“Yass,” said Charlie. “I don’t want Belles Demoiselles.”

The old colonel’s quiet laugh intimated it made no difference either
way.

“But me,” continued Charlie--“me, I’m got le Comte De Charleu’s blood
in me, any’ow--a litt’ bit, any’ow, ain’t it?”

The colonel nodded that it was.

“_Bien._ If I go out of dis place and don’t go to Belles Demoiselles,
de peoples will say--dey-will say: ‘Old Charlie he been all doze time
tell a blame’ _lie_. He ain’t no kin to his old grace-gran’muzzer, not
a blame’ bit. He don’t got nary drop of De Charleu blood to save his
blame’ low-down old Injin soul.’ No, sare! What I want wid money, den?
No, sare! My place for yours.”

He turned to go into the house just too soon to see the colonel make an
ugly whisk at him with his riding-whip. Then the colonel, too, moved
off.

Two or three times over, as he ambled homeward, laughter broke through
his annoyance as he recalled old Charlie’s family pride and the
presumption of his offer. Yet each time he could but think better of
not the offer to swap, but the preposterous ancestral loyalty. It
was so much better than he could have expected from his “low-down”
relative, and not unlike his own whim withal, the proposition which
went with it was forgiven.

This last defeat bore so harshly on the master of Belles Demoiselles
that the daughters, reading chagrin in his face, began to repent. They
loved their father as daughters can, and when they saw their pretended
dejection harassing him seriously, they restrained their complaints,
displayed more than ordinary tenderness, and heroically and
ostentatiously concluded there was no place like Belles Demoiselles.
But the new mood touched him more than the old, and only refined his
discontent. Here was a man, rich without the care of riches, free
from any real trouble, happiness as native to his house as perfume to
his garden, deliberately, as it were with premeditated malice, taking
joy by the shoulder and bidding her be gone to town, whither he might
easily have followed only that the very same ancestral nonsense that
kept Injin Charlie from selling the old place for twice its value
prevented him from choosing any other spot for a city home.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. M. Berger. Half-tone plate engraved by R.
Varley

“‘I’LL GIVE YOU TEN THOUSAND DOLLAH’ FOR IT’”]

Heaven sometimes pities such rich men and sends them trouble.

By and by the charm of nature and the merry hearts around prevailed;
the fit of exalted sulks passed off, and after a while the year flared
up at Christmas, flickered, and went out.

New-Year came and passed; the beautiful garden of Belles Demoiselles
put on its spring attire; the seven fair sisters moved from rose to
rose; the cloud of discontent had warmed into invisible vapor in the
rich sunlight of family affection; and on the common memory the only
scar of last year’s wound was old Charlie’s sheer impertinence in
crossing the caprice of the De Charleus. The cup of gladness seemed to
fill with the filling of the river.

How high it was! Its tremendous current rolled and tumbled and spun
along, hustling the long funeral flotillas of drift, and how near
shore it came! Men were out day and night watching the levee. Even
the old colonel took part, and grew light-hearted with occupation
and excitement, as every minute the river threw a white arm over the
levee’s top, as though it would vault over. But all held fast, and, as
the summer drifted in, the water sank down into its banks and looked
quite incapable of harm.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. M. Berger. Half-tone plate engraved by R.
Varley

“A SOUND REVEL FELL ON THE EAR, THE MUSIC OF HARPS: AND ACROSS ONE
WINDOW ... FLITTED ONCE OR TWICE THE SHADOWS OF DANCERS”]

On a summer afternoon of uncommon mildness, old Colonel
Jean-Albert-Henri-Joseph De Charleu-Marot, being in a mood for
reverie, slipped the custody of his feminine rulers and sought the
crown of the levee, where it was his wont to promenade. Presently
he sat upon a stone bench, a favorite seat. Before him lay his
broad-spread fields; near by, his lordly mansion; and being still,
perhaps by female contact, somewhat sentimental, he fell to musing
on his past. It was hardly worthy to be proud of. All its morning
was reddened with mad frolic, and far toward the meridian it was
marred with elegant rioting. Pride had kept him well-nigh useless,
and despised the honors won by valor; gaming had dimmed prosperity;
death had taken his heavenly wife; voluptuous ease had mortgaged his
lands: and yet his house still stood, his sweet-smelling fields were
still fruitful, his name was fame enough, and yonder and yonder, among
the trees and flowers, like angels walking in Eden, were the seven
goddesses of his only worship.

Just then a slight sound behind him brought him to his feet. He cast
his eyes anxiously to the outer edge of the little strip of bank
between the levee’s base and the river. There was nothing visible. He
paused, with his ear toward the water, his face full of frightened
expectation. Ha! There came a single plashing sound, like some great
beast slipping into the river, and little waves in a wide semicircle
came out from under the bank and spread over the water.

“My God!”

He plunged down the levee and bounded through the low weeds to the edge
of the bank. It was sheer, and the water about four feet below. He did
not stand quite on the edge, but fell upon his knees a couple of yards
away, wringing his hands, moaning, weeping, and staring through his
watery eyes at a fine, long crevice just discernible under the matted
grass, and curving outward on each hand toward the river.

“My God!” he sobbed aloud--“My God!” and even while he called, his God
answered: the tough Bermuda grass stretched and snapped, the crevice
slowly became a gap, and softly, gradually, with no sound but the
closing of the water at last, a ton or more of earth settled into the
boiling eddy and disappeared.

At the same instant a pulse of the breeze brought from the garden
behind the joyous, thoughtless laughter of the fair mistresses of
Belles Demoiselles.

The old colonel sprang up and clambered over the levee. Then forcing
himself to a more composed movement, he hastened into the house and
ordered his horse.

“Tell my children to make merry while I am gone,” he left word. “I
shall be back to-night,” and the big horse’s hoofs clattered down a
by-road leading to the city.

“Charlie,” said the planter, riding up to a window from which the old
man’s nightcap was thrust out, “what you say, Charlie--my house for
yours? Eh, Charlie, what you say?”

“’Ello!” said Charlie. “From where you come from dis time of to-night?”

“I come from the Exchange.” A small fraction of the truth.

“What you want?” said matter-of-fact Charlie.

“I come to trade.”

The low-down relative drew the worsted off his ears. “Oh, yass,” he
said with an uncertain air.

“Well, old man Charlie, what you say? My house for yours, like you
said, eh, Charlie?”

“I dunno,” said Charlie; “it’s nearly mine now. Why you don’t stay dare
you’se’f?”

“Because I don’t want,” said the colonel, savagely. “Is dat reason
enough for you? You better take me in de notion, old man, I tell you,
yes!”

Charlie never winced; but how his answer delighted the colonel! Said
Charlie:

“I don’t care, I take him. _Mais_, possession give’ right off.”

“Not the whole plantation, Charlie; only--”

“I don’t care,” said Charlie; “we easy can fix dat. _Mais_, what for
you don’t want to keep him. I don’t want him. You better keep him.”

“Don’ you try to make no fool of me, old man,” cried the planter.

“Oh, no,” said the other. “Oh, no; but you make a fool of yourself,
ain’t it?” The dumfounded colonel stared; Charlie went on:

“Yass, Belles Demoiselles is more wort’ dan t’ree block like dis one.
I pass by dare since two weeks. Oh, pretty Belles Demoiselles! De cane
was wave in de wind, de garden smell like a bouquet, de white-cap was
jump up and down on de river, seven _belles demoiselles_ was ridin’ on
horses. ‘Pretty, pretty, pretty!’ says old Charlie. Ah, _Monsieur le
père_, ’ow ’appy, ’appy, ’appy!”

“Yass,” he continued, the colonel still staring, “le Comte De Charleu
have two famil’. One was low-down Choctaw, one was high-up _noblesse_.
He give the low-down Choctaw dis old rat-hole; he give Belles
Demoiselles to your gran’fozzer; and now you don’t be _satisfait_. What
I’ll do wid Belles Demoiselles? She’ll break me in two years, yass. And
what you’ll do wid old Charlie’s house, eh? You’ll tear her down and
make you’se’f a blame’ old fool. I rather wouldn’t trade.”

The planter caught a big breath of anger, but Charlie went straight on:

“I rather wouldn’t, _mais_, I will do it for you--just de same, like
_Monsieur le Comte_ would say, ‘Charlie, you old fool, I want to shange
houses wid you.’”

So long as the colonel suspected irony he was angry, but as Charlie
seemed, after all, to be certainly in earnest, he began to feel
conscience-stricken. He was by no means a tender man, but his lately
discovered misfortune had unhinged him, and this strange, undeserved,
disinterested family fealty on the part of Charlie touched his heart.
And should he still try to lead him into the pitfall he had dug? He
hesitated. No, he would show him the place by broad daylight, and if
he chose to overlook the “caving bank,” it would be his own fault. A
trade’s a trade.

“Come,” said the planter--“come at my house to-night; to-morrow we look
at the place before breakfast, and finish the trade.”

“For what?” said Charlie.

“Oh, because I got to come in town in the morning.”

“I don’t want,” said Charlie. “How I’m goin’ to come dere?”

“I git you a horse at the liberty-stable.”

“Well, anyhow, I don’t care; I’ll go.” And they went.

When they had ridden a long time, and were on the road darkened
by hedges of Cherokee rose, the colonel called behind him to the
“low-down” scion:

“Keep the road, old man.”

“Eh?”

“Keep the road.”

“Oh, yes, all right; I keep my word. We don’t goin’ to play no tricks,
eh?”

But the colonel seemed not to hear. His ungenerous design was beginning
to be hateful to him. Not only old Charlie’s unprovoked goodness was
prevailing; the eulogy on Belles Demoiselles had stirred the depths of
an intense love for his beautiful home. True, if he held to it, the
caving of the bank at its present fearful speed would let the house
into the river within three months; but were it not better to lose it
so than sell his birthright? Again, coming back to the first thought,
to betray his own blood! It was only Injin Charlie; but had not the De
Charleu blood just spoken out in him? Unconsciously he groaned.

After a time they struck a path approaching the plantation in the
rear, and a little after, passing from behind a clump of live-oaks,
they came in sight of the villa. It looked so like a gem, shining
through its dark grove, so like a great glow-worm in the dense foliage,
so significant of luxury and gaiety, that the poor master, from an
overflowing heart, groaned again.

“What?” asked Charlie.

The colonel only drew his rein, and, dismounting mechanically,
contemplated the sight before him. The high, arched doors and windows
were thrown wide to the summer air, from every opening the bright
light of numerous candelabra darted out upon the sparkling foliage of
magnolia and bay, and here and there in the spacious verandas a colored
lantern swayed in the gentle breeze. A sound of revel fell on the ear,
the music of harps; and across one window, brighter than the rest,
flitted once or twice the shadows of dancers. But, oh, the shadows
flitting across the heart of the fair mansion’s master!

“Old Charlie,” said he, gazing fondly at his house, “you and me is both
old, eh?”

“Yass,” said the stolid Charlie.

“And we has both been had enough in our time, eh, Charlie?”

Charlie, surprised at the tender tone, repeated, “Yass.”

“And you and me is mighty close?”

“Blame’ close, yass.”

“But you never know me to cheat, old man?”

“No,” impassively.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. M. Berger. Half-tone plate engraved by R. C.
Collins

THE OLD COLONEL AND HIS NURSE]

“And do you think I would cheat you now?”

“I dunno,” said Charlie. “I don’t believe.”

“Well, old man, old man,”--his voice began to quiver,--“I sha’n’t cheat
you now. My God! old man, I tell you--you better not make the trade!”

“Because for what?” asked Charlie in plain anger; but both looked
quickly toward the house. The colonel tossed his hands wildly in the
air, rushed forward a step or two, and, giving one fearful scream of
agony and fright, fell forward on his face in the path. Old Charlie
stood transfixed with horror. Belles Demoiselles, the realm of maiden
beauty, the home of merriment, the house of dancing, all in the tremor
and glow of pleasure, suddenly sank, with one short, wild wail of
terror--sank, sank, down, down, down, into the merciless, unfathomable
flood of the Mississippi.

       *       *       *       *       *

Twelve long months were midnight to the mind of the childless father.
When they were only half gone, he took to his bed; and every day
and every night old Charlie, the “low-down,” the “fool,” watched
him tenderly, tended him lovingly, for the sake of his name, his
misfortunes, and his broken heart. No woman’s step crossed the floor
of the sick chamber, the western dormer-windows of which overpeered
the dingy architecture of old Charlie’s block. Charlie and a skilled
physician, the one all interest, the other all gentleness, hope, and
patience, only these entered by the door; but by the window came in
a sweet-scented evergreen vine, transplanted from the caving hank of
Belles Demoiselles. It caught the rays of sunset in its flowery net and
let them softly in upon the sick man’s bed; gathered the glancing beams
of the moon at midnight, and often wakened the sleeper to look, with
his mindless eyes, upon their pretty silver fragments strewn upon the
floor.

By and by there seemed--there was--a twinkling dawn of returning
reason. Slowly, peacefully, with an increase unseen from day to day,
the light of reason came into the eyes, and speech became coherent; but
withal there came a failing of the wrecked body, and the doctor said
that monsieur was both better and worse.

One evening as Charlie sat by the vine-clad window with his fireless
pipe in his hand, the old colonel’s eyes fell full upon his own, and
rested there.

[Illustration]

“Charl--,” he said with an effort, and his delighted nurse hastened to
the bedside and bowed his best ear. There was an unsuccessful effort or
two, and then he whispered, smiling with sweet sadness:

“We did’nt trade.”

The truth in this case was a secondary matter to Charlie; the main
point was to give a pleasing answer. So he nodded his head decidedly,
as who should say, “Oh, Yes, we did; it was a bona-fide swap.” But
when he saw the smile vanish, he tried the other expedient, and shook
his head with still more vigor to signify that they had not so much as
approached a bargain; and the smile returned.

Charlie wanted to see the vine recognized. He stepped backward to the
window with a broad smile, shook the foliage, nodded, and looked smart.

“I know,” said the colonel, with beaming eyes; “many weeks.”

The next day he said:

“Charl--”

The best ear went down.

“Send for a priest.”

The priest came, and was alone with him a whole afternoon. When he
left, the patient was very haggard and exhausted, but smiled, and would
not suffer the crucifix to be removed from his breast.

One more morning came. Just before dawn Charlie, lying on a pallet in
the room, thought he was called, and came to the bedside.

“Old man,” whispered the failing invalid, “is it caving yet?”

Charlie nodded.

“It won’t pay you out.”

“Oh, dat makes not’ing,” said Charlie. Two big tears rolled down his
brown face. “Dat makes not’ing.”

The colonel whispered once more:

“_Mes belles demoiselles_--in paradise--in the garden. I shall be with
them at sunrise.” And so it was.

[Illustration]



COLONEL WATTERSON’S REJOINDER TO EX-SENATOR EDMUNDS

COMMENTS ON “ANOTHER VIEW OF ‘THE HAYES-TILDEN CONTEST’” (~SEE PAGE
193~)


    To the Editor of ~The Century~:

Sir: If I may say so without departing from the respect and regard
in which I hold Senator Edmunds, he has made rather a case at law
than a contribution to history. With the trained skill of an expert,
he emphasizes all that may be pleaded on his own side, whilst either
ignoring or belittling the strength of the other side. The ultimate
verdict in the matter of Tilden _versus_ Hayes will turn on issues
which the Electoral Commission refused, by a party vote of eight to
seven, to consider; on evidence in equity which was not allowed to
become a part of the record; upon rulings of the majority which the
minority claimed, and justly claimed I think, to have been sometimes
erroneous and sometimes inconsistent, but in every instance obedient to
the party exigency.

I have neither the mind nor the heart to recall the wrangles and
passions of the controversy. To me they mean nothing more than the
half-forgotten dreams of a very dark night of the long ago. One may
dismiss the exciting incidents: the conflicting testimony in Florida
and Louisiana; the contested elector in Oregon; the tergiversation in
opinions of some of the members of the court; the playing State law
against National law, and vice versa, in a shuttlecock process all
on one side, the unescapable inference being that from the first the
majority was bent upon denying Tilden the one vote needed to make him
President and securing to Hayes the twelve votes needed to make him
President.

One may likewise dismiss the long list of questionable persons
appointed to office under the Hayes administration, apparently from no
other consideration than their service as members of returning boards
and officers of election, most of them charged with corrupt practices.

At the election of the seventh of November, 1876, the popular vote was
as follows:

    For Tilden             4,300,316
    For Hayes              4,036,016
                           ---------
      Tilden’s majority      264,300

The total vote for Tilden was nearly 700,000 larger than Grant’s
against Greeley. Of the electoral vote, the Republicans conceded Tilden
184. The electoral votes of Louisiana and Florida, thrown into dispute
before Congress and the Electoral Commission, but finally cast by the
commission for Hayes, determined the result. Referring to my narrative
of the events immediately succeeding the election and preceding the
creation of the electoral tribunal, judge Edmunds says:

    Historically, it is very unfortunate that Mr. Watterson did not
    include in his enlivening article copies of his telegraphic
    and other correspondence with Mr. Tilden from New Orleans, and
    elsewhere, for it would certainly and truly, as far as it went,
    throw much light on the existing drama being displayed, as well as
    the plans and work behind the curtain whereby (we may believe) it
    was hoped to produce the election of Mr. Tilden. We Republicans at
    Washington were forced to believe that an effort was being made, by
    every means that could be employed, to overcome the Hayes majority
    of one. During that whole period, so far as I personally knew or
    was informed, there never was any scheme or act of the Republicans
    to bribe any State canvassing board or elector by money or promise
    in support of Mr. Hayes’s election. We did (if I may borrow an
    ancient classic simile) fear “the Greeks bearing gifts.” We were
    morally certain that a large majority of the legal voters in the
    States of South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana were earnestly
    in favor of the election of Mr. Hayes, and we believe that if
    violence or some other kind of unlawful influence were not brought
    to bear the electoral votes of those States would be cast for
    him; but when the secret though bold operations of Colonel Pelton
    became partly known we were astonished and alarmed, though not
    disheartened, and we went forward in our efforts to provide by law
    for the final act in the great drama.

It is quite certain that all the telegraphic correspondence I had
with Mr. Tilden reached Republican headquarters as soon as it reached
Gramercy Park. Assuredly I never wrote or wired him a word that I
should be unwilling to have appear in print. May I not claim the
circumstance that the Republicans used none of it as going to the
credit either of my prudence or my patriotism, or of both?

At no time did I apprehend any physical collision, although General
Grant seemed to fear one, and although two of the most famous and
popular heroes among the general officers of the Union army at
Washington were pressing armed organization upon the Democrats. It was
distinctly the South that would not listen to the suggestion of force.
Truth to say, both sides were playing something of a “bluff.” Neither
was either ready or anxious for a fight, and, in extremis, whichever
won, the other was bound to submit. My sole thought was publicity,
agitation; this I urged from the outset and continued to urge to the
end.

In reverting to these events, my purpose was chiefly to vindicate the
personal integrity of Mr. Tilden. Neither he nor Mr. Hewitt nor any one
in authority was willing to win by fraud. As I have stated, and as Mr.
Hewitt stated, fraudulent possession was offered, and I directly know
that Mr. Tilden refused to accept the Presidency as the result of an
arrangement perfectly simple and obvious and absolutely certain.

One might imagine, by a perusal of Judge Edmunds, that the Republican
lambs were greatly afraid of the Democratic wolves, and put themselves
to many pains to circumvent the Democratic conspiracy set on foot
immediately after the election. As a matter of fact, the reverse is
true. The returning boards were made up of Republicans, not Democrats.
The Southern States were still under military surveillance and
martial law. All were invoked to coerce the vote and the counting of
the vote. Whatever the worst of Democrats may have contemplated, the
Republicans overmatched by deeds. They held the resources and the power
of possession; the State governors, the President of the United States,
the Senate, the Supreme Court, the army and navy; the Democrats held
only the lower House of Congress, and what they believed the justice of
their case.

Hayes had to receive every vote in dispute to be elected. The loss
of a single vote would have defeated him. Hence the majority of the
Electoral Commission could not throw out Florida and Louisiana, as
many thought the equities in each instance required. In his speech on
the vote of Louisiana, the very eminent Julius H. Seelye, president of
Amherst College, who sat in the Forty-fourth Congress as a Republican
from Massachusetts, said:

    Wiser and more candid men would be hard to find than those of this
    Electoral Commission who have pronounced the decision on which
    we are now called to vote. I acknowledge I think I appreciate
    the strength of their position. We cannot be too jealous of
    the constitutional right of a State to choose its Presidential
    electors “in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” We
    cannot be too careful of congressional interference with the duly
    accredited results of such a choice. Whether we like or dislike it,
    the right of a State to choose its electors in its own way, and to
    ascertain and certify as to the method of their choice, is beyond
    our lawful control. All this I accept as a formal and technical
    statement of a clear principle of our Constitution; a principle,
    moreover, in its general application as wise as it is clear.

    But, Mr. Speaker, there are cases where the _summum jus_ becomes
    the _summa injuria_; cases where the law, strictly interpreted and
    strenuously enforced, works out results contrary to all law; and in
    such cases equity lays the letter of the law aside and lifts her
    voice in judgment as the sovereign spirit of the law, the spirit of
    righteousness and truth declares. I find such a case in the pending
    issue.

    Granted--and I hold this to be incontestable--that this Electoral
    Commission has clearly interpreted and accurately applied the
    Constitution and the laws to the question submitted to them, yet
    what if the very principle on which the Constitution and the laws
    must ultimately rest becomes thereby subverted? Granted that the
    decision reached is fairly within the bond; yet what if the pound
    of flesh cannot be taken without its drop of blood? What if this
    jealous care for State rights and constitutional prerogatives
    may so foster faction, and so blunt the sense of justice, and
    so increase the prevalence of fraud that the very foundation of
    prerogatives and rights has disappeared?

    ... No nation, said Niebuhr, ever died except by suicide; and the
    suicidal poison is engendered not so much in the unjust statutes
    of a government as in the immoral practices of a people, which
    the government is unable to punish and unable to restrain. It is
    because I fear that the strict and accurate interpretation of the
    Constitution, applied to the electoral vote of Louisiana, would
    imperil that vote in the future, and increase the very danger which
    the Constitution intended to avoid, that I am unable to concur with
    such an application.

I commend this to the perusal of Senator Edmunds, though it is unlikely
to impress a mind which could declare, as Senator Edmunds does
declare in the April issue of ~The Century Magazine~, “that
the constitutional amendments and reconstruction and other laws were
passed by Congress as the best measures available in the complicated
and untoward situation. These measures were not measures of cruelty or
tyranny, but of justice and hopefulness. After the lapse of years it
is evident to me that nothing better could have been done, and that
nothing done by Congress should have been omitted.”

Against the plan of reconstruction, here approved so unreservedly and
despite the events that came after, unremembered if not condoned by
Judge Edmunds, I set the plan of Abraham Lincoln, laid in a larger
conception of human nature and better knowledge of the character
of the people of the South. None of the dangers apprehended and
foreshadowed by Mr. Edmunds would have come to pass had Lincoln lived
to put his plan on foot and conduct it to achievement. The South was
in desolation. The leaders of the secession movement had been wholly
discredited by the result of the war. All their calculations and
promises had been disastrously falsified. They could no more escape the
consequences of their failure than could other public men, baffled and
defeated by events.

The murder of Lincoln removed the sun from the heavens. The clouds of
hate and fear, or both, overspread the sky. The policy of “thorough,”
adopted by the Radicals in Congress, was not only cruel, taking no
account of the myriads in the South who had perpetrated no wrong,
but was obtusely senseless, on one hand breeding an oligarchy of
corruption, and, on the other, driving a whole people to desperation.
It was thus, and thus alone, that a “solid South” was created.

God was more merciful than Congress. The North came to see that the
South was a part of itself. Nothing happened in the South that, in
the same circumstances and conditions, would not have happened at the
North. We are indeed the most homogeneous people on the face of the
globe. Our balanced system of representative government, strong in the
hearts of the people, is the best and freest, because the most flexible
and adjustable, on earth. We have outlived secession; we have survived
reconstruction; we have weathered a disputed succession, complicated
and embittered; we are passing through, and shall surely surmount,
other and still more insidious approaches of revolution. Tilden is
dead. Hayes is dead. They were but atoms in a sum total which sweeps
onward unaffected by either of them, then, or since--a few loaves and
a few fishes the while involved--toward the goal, the yet more perfect
day, that shines before us.

    ~Henry Watterson~,
    “Courier-Journal” Office,
    Louisville, Kentucky.



[Illustration: TO ALFRED NOYES]

APOSTLE OF POETRY AND PEACE

AN APRIL GREETING ON HIS RETURN FROM THE SOUTH

BY EDWIN MARKHAM


    Again the mood of Eden on the earth!
    Again the summons and the mystic mirth,
    The beauty and the wonder and the dare,
    Thrilling the heart, the field, the delicate air!

    So now once more the old remembering:
    The lyric hosts come out of the South with song,
    With music that can save the soul from wrong--
    The immemorial multitudes a-wing
    Down bright savannas, over the greening trees.
    Hark, the first warbling in the bough soft-stirred!
    And you, O Poet, with your wingèd word,
        You come convoyed by these!

    You come with all the buds and birds astart--
    You with the heart of April in your heart.
    So take our banded welcome as we drink
    A health to you on April’s flowering brink--
    To you come hither from that elder clime,
    Where April has been wreathed in poet’s rhyme,
        Been touched with love and tears
    By English minstrels down a thousand years.

[Illustration]


    And now that Sherwood Forest calls you home
    Over the furrows of the ocean foam,
    Take message from this people to your own--
    To England, with her scented hawthorns blown,
    And all her skylarks in a rapture-pain
    Sprinkling the happy fields with lyric rain.
    Tell her that, lordlier than her cliffs and towers,
    Tell her that, mightier than her pomps and powers,
    We see her line of poets stretching back
    Ten centuries, a bright, immortal track.
    Tell her that while she builded the things that seem,
    They built her glory out of deathless dream.

    Ah, more is that wild beauty left by Keats
    Than all the blazon of her kingly seats;
    More is that wonder from the hand of Blake
    Than all her guns that make the nations quake;
    More is her Shelley, with his starry dare,
    Than all her flags ringed round with battle blare;
    More her blind Milton voyaging the vast
    Than all her squadrons shearing down the blast;
    And more is Shakspere, lord of lyric seers,
    Than all her conquests of a thousand years.

        But none of all the line
    (Save only Shelley, darling of the Nine)
    Has cried as you have cried the valorous vow
    Of Love’s heroic heart, God’s prayer to men
    To cease the wolfish battles of the den.
    And so the Muses bind upon your brow
    The olive with the laurel; for your song
    Bears on that dauntless prayer against the wrong,
    The cry the embassy of angels sent
    Of old across the Syrian firmament,
        Above the stable door.
    For in your voice we still can hear their cry
        Sound down into our sky:
    “Let there be peace: let battles be no more!”

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



A PAPER OF PUNS

BY BRANDER MATTHEWS


When two major artists have chosen to turn aside from the practice of
their art to discuss one of its principles, there may be an intrusive
impropriety in a mere outsider’s rashly urging a reconsideration of any
point they have felicitously sharpened. Yet it was only by impaling
himself upon the acute weapons of his adversaries that Arnold von
Winkelried was able to make way for liberty--an act of self-sacrifice
which cost him his life and gained him immortality.

The art of punning has had few practitioners more accomplished than
Charles Lamb and Oliver Wendell Holmes. A century ago Lamb declared
in a letter that “a pun is a noble thing per se: O never lug it in as
an accessory. It is entire; it fills the mind; it is as perfect as a
sonnet,--better. It limps ashamed in the train and retinue of humor; it
knows it should have an establishment of its own.” And in a more formal
essay Elia discussed the popular fallacy that the worst puns are the
best. Half a century ago the Autocrat in his turn expressed an adverse
opinion of a form of wit in which he delighted and for which he was
marvelously gifted. Lamb analyzed at length and with intense enjoyment
the immortal query of the Oxford scholar meeting a porter carrying
a hare and astounding him with the extraordinary question, “Is that
your own hare or a wig?” And Holmes once pretended to have overheard
a remark about “the Macaulay-flowers of literature”; and he recorded
the conundrum, “Why is an onion like a piano?” declaring that it was
incredible for any person in an educated community who could be found
willing to answer it in these words, “Because it smell odious.”

The difference between Lamb and Holmes is that Elia is frank in
declaring his delight in the ingenious dislocation of the vocabulary,
whereas the Autocrat pretends to deprecate it, to depreciate it, and
to disparage it as evidence in favor of the doctrine of the total
depravity of man. He even invented a polysyllabic quotation from an
earlier autocrat, the ponderous Doctor Johnson: “To trifle with the
vocabulary which is the vehicle of social intercourse is to tamper
with the currency of human intelligence. He who would violate the
sanctities of his mother tongue would invade the recesses of the
paternal till without remorse, and repeat the banquet of Saturn without
an indigestion.”

This is an appalling overstatement of the case; and Holmes was happier
in another of the remarks made in the same chapter of the book in which
he expressed the utmost of his own witty wisdom: “People that make puns
are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks. They
amuse themselves and other children, but their little trick may upset
a freight-train of conversation for the sake of a battered witticism.”
Here the doctor is on solid ground; a pun may be a good thing in
itself, as good as a sonnet even, but it is only dirt--that is to say,
matter in the wrong place--when it is injected into good talk only to
throw the conversational locomotive off the track. Oddly enough, the
Autocrat was once himself derailed by a pun a score of years after
he had thus laid down the law; and, as it happens, I had the full
particulars of the fatal accident from the punster who placed the penny
on the track. In this case the disturber of traffic was the late Thomas
Bailey Aldrich.

When Matthew Arnold paid his first visit to America thirty years
ago, Aldrich gave him a dinner and invited the best that Boston and
Cambridge had to show to do honor to his alien guest. He put Arnold
on his right and Holmes on his left; and early in the dinner he
discovered that the Autocrat was in fine form and ready to discourse
in his best manner. Holmes began by suggesting that it must be
amusing to meet unexpected characters, burglars, for example, and
pirates, and cannibals. “What would you do,” he asked, “if you were
to meet a cannibal walking down Beacon Street?” And he paused for the
reply that he did not desire, whereupon Aldrich saw his chance and
responded promptly, “I think I should stop to pick an acquaintance.”
The rest of the company laughed at this sally, but Holmes looked at
his host reproachfully and then shut up absolutely, saying scarcely
a word during the rest of the dinner. The witticism, even if it was
bright and not battered, had upset the freight-train of the Autocrat’s
conversation. And as Aldrich asserted, in telling the sad story, the
host had to repent in a sack-coat and cigarette-ashes for the rest of
his life. Autocrats are autocrats, after all; and not with impunity are
their unlimited expresses to be flagged by an unauthorized pun.

Possibly it was the painful memory of this unfortunate experience which
led Dr. Holmes to omit from the final edition of his complete works the
very amusing account of his “Visit to the Asylum for Aged and Decayed
Punsters,” which he had included in an earlier volume--“Soundings from
the ‘Atlantic’”--now out of print. He tells us in this paper that he
was surprised to find that the asylum was intended wholly for males;
and yet on reflection he admitted the remarkable psychologic fact that
“there is no such a thing as a female punster. At least,” he adds, “I
never knew or heard of one, though I have once or twice heard a woman
make a single detached pun, as I have known a hen to crow.” And when we
recall the proverbial fate of the crowing hen, the fair sex may rejoice
that there are no female punsters, whatever may be the psychological
explanation of the remarkable fact itself. The fact might indeed be
accounted for easily by those ungallant cynics who maintain that women
are careless in the employment of words (which are the raw material of
puns), commonly using them as counters to convey emotions rather than
as coins to express thoughts.

Holmes’s account of his visit to the asylum reverberates with the
rattle of a corps of conundrummers; and every one of the inmates is
ready with his contribution, from the superintendent who explained
why “they did not take steppes in Tartary for establishing insane
hospitals, because there are nomad people to be found there,” to the
retired sailor who had gone as mate on a fishing-schooner, giving it up
because he “did not like working for two-masters.” The most imaginative
touch is at the end of the paper when the visitors are introduced to
a centenarian inmate, who asks affably, “Why is a--a--a like a--a--a?
Give it up? Because it is a--a--a.” Then he smiled pleasantly; and
the superintendent explained that the ancient man was “one hundred
and seven last Christmas. He lost his answers about the age of
ninety-eight. Of late years he puts his whole conundrums in blank--but
they please him just as well.”

Lowell, who was Holmes’s chief rival among the Cambridge wits, did not
pretend to disdain the pun, as Holmes affected to do. But he insisted
upon the absolute identity of sound with an equally absolute and
therefore ludicrous disparity of meaning. Lowell pointed out that Hood,
who is said to have lain on his death-bed “spitting blood and puns,”
abounded in examples of this sort of fun, “only his analogies are of a
more subtle and perplexing kind.” To illustrate this assertion Lowell
quoted Hood’s elegy on the old sailor, whose

    “... head was turned, and so he chewed
    His pigtail till he died.”

And the American critic called this “inimitable, like all the best
of Hood’s puns. To the ear it is perfect, but so soon as you attempt
to realize it to yourself, the mind is involved in an inextricable
confusion of comical non-sequiturs. And yet observe the gravity with
which the forms of reason are kept up in the _and so_.”

Another quotation from Hood also won high commendation from Lowell. It
was taken from the peddler’s recommendation of his ear-trumpet:

    “I don’t pretend with horns of mine,
    Like some in the advertising line,
    To magnify sounds on such marvelous scales
    That the sounds of a cod seem as large as a whale’s.

              There was Mrs. F.
              So very deaf
    That she might have worn a percussion-cap
    And been knocked on the head without hearing it snap.
    Well, I sold her a horn; and the very next day
    She heard from her husband in Botany Bay.”

Is that last line wit or humor? It is a play on a word, no doubt, and
that would relate it to wit. But it has the imaginative exaggeration
that we are wont to associate with humor. Lowell noted that we find it
natural to speak of the breadth of humor, while wit, by the necessity
of its being, is “as narrow as a flash of lightning, and as sudden.”
Humor has also its unexpectedness, and while most good puns must be
classed as specimens of wit, some few transcendent examples may fairly
claim to be specimens of humor--that last line of Hood’s, for example.
Many other instances might be advanced. A very distinguished British
scientist had the foible of inventing thrilling episodes in his own
autobiography; and on one occasion after he had spun a most marvelous
yarn, with himself in the center of the coil, a skeptical friend looked
him in the eye and asked sternly, “Clifford, do you mean to say that
this really occurred to you?” Whereupon the imaginative man of science
laughed lightly and with a most imperturable assurance calmly answered,
“Yes--it just occurred to me!”

It is wit and not humor, no doubt, when Holmes promulgates the law of
financial safety: “Put not your trust in money, but put your money
in trust.” It is wisdom as well as wit, but is it a pun? Is it only
a play on words? Is it not also a play on the idea? And take the
somewhat parallel remark about the rising fortune of a successful
man, to the effect that “he got on, he got honor, he got honest.”
That again is wit; but is it fairly to be termed a pun? Merely verbal
playfulness is more obvious in a recent remark that “some men stand
for office, some men run for it, and some have a walk-over,” and yet
that somehow fails to fall completely within any acceptable definition
of the pun. If it is a pun, it is something more also. With these
specimens may be grouped three other remarks which have not hitherto
been recorded in print. When a certain critic of limited equipment
was appointed to the chair of comparative literature in one of our
universities, the question was asked why he was assigned to this
particular professorship, since his information was mainly confined to
English; and the explanation was instantly forthcoming that comparative
literature was the position for which he was best fitted, because
his own literature was neither positive nor superlative. A certain
former Vice-President of the United States has been described as “a
very cold-blooded proposition,” and yet his speeches were the usual
flowery and perfervid political oratory which led an observer to make
the assertion that “to hear ---- speak is like catching nature in the
act of self-contradiction, since it is the emission of hot air from an
ice-box.”

And it was the same anonymous observer who pointed out the difference
between two contemporary British authors, insisting that “Mr. George
Bernard Shaw always writes with his tongue in his cheek, whereas when
Mr. Gilbert K. Chesterton is writing he keeps thrusting his tongue
out at the public.” Now, are these remarks, strictly speaking, puns?
They conform at least to one of Lamb’s definitions that a pun “is a
pistol let off at the end, not a feather to tickle the intellect,” and
that it is “not bound by the laws which limit nicer wit.” He warns us
that “a pun may be easily too curious and artificial”; and he held
that a pun, at least in actual conversation, ought to stand alone and
not be followed by another. “When a man has said a good thing it is
seldom politic to follow it up.” This is true enough of conversation;
but it does not apply to literature. The spoken word and the written
have different rules. A large part of the humorous effect of the
trumpet-peddler’s eulogy of the wares he is vending is due to the
heaping-up of the puns, one tumbling over another, like salmon flashing
swiftly in the sunshine as they follow each other up the falls. Here
our pleasure is akin to that we take at the circus as we behold the
acrobats going on from one impossible stunt to its equally impossible
successor and accomplishing these feats as if each was the easiest
thing in the world.

There is in many passages of that rollicking satire, “A Fable for
Critics,” wise as it is in its author’s acute valuation of his
contemporaries, a riot of complicated riming and of unexpected
punning,--passages which impress us with an abiding sense of
spontaneous humor and good humor. These passages overflow with fun,
and we are carried along by Lowell’s delight in displaying his verbal
dexterity. For once he appears before us dancing on a metrical
tight-rope and setting off iridescent fireworks at the ends of his
balancing-pole. Consider, for example, these lines at the very
beginning, where Apollo is discussing his plight after he had pursued
Daphne and she had turned into a tree:

    “‘My case is like Dido’s,’ he sometimes remarked;
    ‘When I last saw my love she was fairly embarked
    In a laurel, as _she_ thought--but (ah, how fate mocks!)
    She has found it by this time a very bad box;
    Let hunters from me take this saw when they need it--
    You’re not always sure of your game when you’ve treed it.
    Just conceive such a change taking place in one’s mistress!
    What romance would be left?--who can flatter or kiss trees?
    And for mercy’s sake, how could one keep up a dialogue
    With a dull wooden thing that will live and will die a log,--
    Not to say that the thought would forever intrude
    That you’ve less chance to win her the more she is wood?
    Ah! it went to my heart, and the memory still grieves,
    To see those loved graces all taking their leaves;
    Those charms beyond speech, so enchanting, but now,
    As they left me forever, each making its bough!
    If her tongue _had_ a tang sometimes more than was right,
    Her new bark is worse than ten times her old bite.’”

Almost worthy to be set beside Lowell’s lines is Mr. William A.
Croffut’s “Dirge concerning the late lamented King of the Cannibal
Islands” in which he rings the changes on a single theme:

    “And missionaries graced his festive board,
      Solemn and succulent, in twos and dozens,
    And smoked before their hospitable lord,
      Welcome as if they’d been his second cousins.
    When cold he warmed them as he would his kin--
    They came as strangers, and he took them in.

    “He had a hundred wives. To make things pleasant
      They found it quite judicious to adore him;
    And when he dined, the nymphs were always present--
      Sometimes beside him and sometimes before him.
    When he was tired of one, he called her ‘sweet,’
    And told her she was ‘good enough to eat!’

    “We grow like what we eat. Bad food depresses;
      Good food exalts us like an inspiration,
    And missionaries on the _menu_ blesses
      And elevates the Feejee population.
    A people who for years saints, bairns, and women ate
    Must soon their vilest qualities eliminate.

    “How fond he was of children! To his breast
      The tenderest nurslings gained a free admission.
    Rank he despised, nor, if they came well dressed,
      Cared if they were plebeian or patrician.
    Shade of Leigh Hunt! O, guide this laggard pen
    To write of one who loved his fellow-men!”

Lamb would have enjoyed the stanzas of this elegy, with the effortless
ease of the long succession of puns, playing leap-frog; and Hood would
have appreciated them without envy. Perhaps Lamb would have liked even
better than Hood a superbly impossible pun in John Brougham’s burlesque
of “Pocahontas,” a long popular piece, which perhaps owed a part of
its success to the unhistoric marrying off of Captain John Smith and
the dusky heroine. When Smith is bound to the sacrificial rock and
the war-club of Powhatan is raised aloft to dash out the Englishman’s
brains, Pocahontas rushes in with the plaintive cry, “For my husband I
scream!” Whereupon Smith lifts his head and asks, “Lemon or vanilla?”
This has not a little of the illogical impossibility of “Is that your
own hare or a wig?” and like that immortal query it defies analysis.
It is not merely a play on a word; it is a play on an idea, which we
cannot ourselves formulate.

Brougham was an Irishman who was a past-master in the art of punning.
Perhaps his chief rival was the British playwright Henry J. Byron,
who once wrote a burlesque on a theme from the “Arabian Nights” which
he entitled “Ali Baba, or the Thirty-Nine Thieves--in accordance with
the author’s habit of taking one off.” Byron, however, was wont to
besprinkle the dialogue of his more ambitious comedies with puns not
always fresh and not always appropriate. In one of his forgotten farces
a retired soldier who had served in India makes a bore of himself by
talking forever about the Bungalura River. Finally, one of the other
characters, in a moment of natural irritation, ejaculates, “Oh, damn
the Bungalura River!” To which the old officer responds instantly,
“Sir, they have vainly endeavored to do so!” This is an ingenious quip
in itself; but it was not at all in keeping with the character, since
it was a remark the bore was quite incapable of making.

An earlier British dramatist, Douglas Jerrold, is said by his son
and biographer never to have put a pun in the dialogue of any one of
his plays; and if this assertion is well founded, the fact is the
more curious since Jerrold was prolific of puns in conversation and
in correspondence. In a letter written just after Queen Victoria had
been fired at, Jerrold declared that he had seen her out driving,
adding that “she looked very well, and--as is not always the case
with women--none the worse for powder.” And it was at one of the
“Punch” dinners that he made his cruellest retort, a pun with a
venomous sting in the tail of it. Gilbert A Becket--author of a “Comic
History of England” and a frequent contributor to “Punch” at the time
when Jerrold was providing that weekly with “Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain
Lectures”--claimed a friendly interest from his associate, declaring,
“You know we row in the same boat.” To which Jerrold retorted
brutally, “Yes--but with different skulls.”

One of the pleasantest of the protean appearances of the pun is to
be found in the familiar quotation, made unexpectedly pertinent by a
felicitous suggestion of an unforeseen meaning hitherto concealed in
one of its words. A neat example of this is the Shaksperian motto which
the late Edwin Booth caused to be inscribed on the mantelpiece of the
grill-room in the club he founded for the practitioners of the allied
arts: “Mouth it, as many of our Players do.” When Mrs. Stowe was on her
way to Liverpool a fog suddenly shut the ship in after it had taken on
the pilot; and the authoress suggested that the pilot might sing, “That
Mersey I to others show, that Mersey show to me.” And in the “Autocrat”
again Dr. Holmes, after dwelling on the delight he had in beholding
noble oaks and spreading elms, mentioned one tree which was more than
eighteen feet in girth, and expressed a hope that he might meet a
tree-loving friend under its branches. “If we don’t have youth at the
prow, we shall have pleasure at the ’elm.” This is added evidence, were
any needed, that Holmes was not sincere in his denunciation of punning,
or at least that he was willing to damn “the sins he had no mind to.”

The derogatory old saying that a pun is the lowest form of wit has
been explained by the apt addition that this is because a pun is the
foundation of all wit. This explanation is not strictly true, of
course; the best wit is often independent of any flavor of word-play.
But there is a kind of pun which is really lower than any other effort
to arouse laughter; this is the pun which is due to a violent wrench
made visible only by the use of italics. As a general principle we may
assert that any pun is beneath contempt when it needs a typographic
sign-post before it can be seen. And the unfortunate who descends to
this dismal form of near-wit is of a truth the “mournful professor of
high drollery” that George Eliot once castigated. Pitiable specimens
of his lamentable handiwork--if anything so mechanical may fairly be
described by this term--can be discovered abundantly in more than one
of the inferior comic weeklies of Great Britain; and even the superior
weekly “Punch” is not always free from it.

When an observer of international characteristics shall undertake the
task of differentiating the British from the Americans he can scarcely
fail to note that the mechanical pun, the bare play upon the sound of
a word without any corresponding diversity of idea, is far commoner
in the older branch of the English-speaking race than it is in the
younger. This strikes us at once when we compare the comic papers or
the comic operas of Great Britain with those of the United States.
The transatlantic relish for purely verbal juggling is probably an
inheritance from the Elizabethans, for we find it displayed in even
the mightiest of them, Shakspere. Curious it is, therefore, that we
colonists did not import it in the original package as we imported so
many other Tudor characteristics, some of which are still discoverable
on this side of the Western ocean although on the other they have
fallen into “innocuous desuetude.”



FINIS

BY WILLIAM H. HAYNE


    No blood-stains on the polished floor--
      Not one drop has been shed--
    No wound in heart or brow or breast,
      And yet the man is dead.

    No dirk or pistol in the room--
      No sign of death’s dark goal--
    And yet the man who seems alive
      Has murdered his own soul.



[Illustration]



T. TEMBAROM

BY FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT

Author of “That Lass o’ Lowrie’s,” “The Shuttle,” etc.

WITH DECORATIVE PICTURES BY CHARLES S. CHAPMAN


CHAPTER XVII

Form, color, drama, and divers other advantages are necessary to the
creation of an object of interest. Presenting to the world none of
these assets, Miss Alicia had slipped through life a scarcely remarked
unit. No little ghost of prettiness had attracted the wandering eye,
no suggestion of agreeable or disagreeable power of self-assertion had
arrested attention. There had been no hour in her life when she had
expected to count as being of the slightest consequence. When she had
knocked at the door of the study at Rowcroft Vicarage, and “dear papa”
had exclaimed irritably: “Who is that? Who is that?” she had always
replied, “It is only Alicia.”

This being the case, her gradual awakening to the singularity of her
new situation was mentally a process full of doubts and sometimes of
alarmed bewilderments. If in her girlhood a curate, even a curate
with prominent eyes and a receding chin, had proposed to her that she
should face with him a future enriched by the prospect of being called
upon to bring up a probable family of twelve on one hundred and fifty
pounds a year, with both parish and rectory barking and snapping at
her worn-down heels, she would have been sure to assert tenderly that
she was afraid she was “not worthy.” This was the natural habit of her
mind, and in the weeks which followed the foggy afternoon when Tembarom
“staked out his claim” she dwelt often upon her unworthiness of the
benefits bestowed upon her.

First the world below-stairs, then the village, and then the county
itself awoke to the fact that the new Temple Barholm had “taken her
up.” The first tendency of the world below-stairs was to resent the
unwarranted uplifting of a person whom there had been a certain luxury
in regarding with disdain and treating with scarcely veiled lack of
consideration. To be able to do this with a person who, after all was
said and done, was not one of the servant class, but a sort of lady of
birth, was not unstimulating. And below-stairs the sense of personal
rancor against “a ’anger-on” is strong. The meals served in Miss
Alicia’s remote sitting-room had been served at leisure, her tea had
rarely been hot, and her modestly tinkled bell irregularly answered.
Often her far from liberally supplied fire had gone out on chilly days,
and she had been afraid to insist on its being relighted. Her sole
defense against inattention would have been to complain to Mr. Temple
Barholm, and when on one occasion a too obvious neglect had obliged her
to gather her quaking being together in mere self-respect and say, “If
this continues to occur, William, I shall be obliged to speak to Mr.
Temple Barholm,” William had so looked at her and so ill hid a secret
smile that it had been almost tantamount to his saying, “I’d jolly well
like to see you.”

And now! Sitting at the end of the table opposite him, if you please!
Walking here and walking there with him! Sitting in the library or
wherever he is, with him talking and laughing and making as much of
her as though she were an aunt with a fortune to leave, and with her
making as free in talk as though at liberty to say anything that came
into her head! Well, the beggar that had found himself on horseback
was setting another one galloping alongside of him. In the midst of
this natural resentment it was “a bit upsetting,” as Burrill said, to
find it dawning upon one that absolute exactness of ceremony was as
much to be required for “her” as for “him.” Miss Alicia had long felt
secretly sure that she was spoken of as “her” in the servants’ hall.
That businesslike sharpness which Palford had observed in his client
aided Tembarom always to see things without illusions. He knew that
there was no particular reason why his army of servants should regard
him for the present as much more than an intruder; but he also knew
that if men and women had employment which was not made hard for them,
and were well paid for doing, they were not anxious to lose it, and
the man who paid their wages might give orders with some certainty of
finding them obeyed. He was “sharp” in more ways than one. He observed
shades he might have been expected to overlook. He observed a certain
shade in the demeanor of the domestics when attending Miss Alicia, and
it was a shade which marked a difference between service done for her
and service done for himself. This was only at the outset, of course,
when the secret resentment was felt; but he observed it, mere shade
though it was.

He walked out into the hall after Burrill one morning. Not having yet
adjusted himself to the rule that when one wished to speak to a man
one rang a bell and called him back, fifty times if necessary, he just
walked after Burrill and stopped him.

“This is a pretty good place for servants, ain’t it?” he said.

“Yes, sir.”

“Good pay, good food, not too much to do?”

“Certainly, sir,” Burrill replied, somewhat disturbed by a casualness
which yet suggested a method of getting at something or other.

“You and the rest of them don’t want to change, do you?”

“No, sir. There is no complaint whatever as far as I have heard.”

“That’s all right.” Mr. Temple Barholm had put his hands into his
pockets, and stood looking non-committal in a steady sort of way.
“There’s something I want the lot of you to get on to--right away. Miss
Temple Barholm is going to stay here. She’s got to have everything just
as she wants it. She’s got to be pleased. She’s the lady of the house.
See?”

“I hope, sir,” Burrill said with professional dignity, “that Miss
Temple Barholm has not had reason to express any dissatisfaction.”

“I’m the one that would express it--quick,” said Tembarom. “She
wouldn’t have time to get in first. I just wanted to make sure I
shouldn’t have to do it. The other fellows are under you. You’ve got
a head on your shoulders I guess. It’s up to you to put ’em on to it.
That’s all.”

“Thank you, sir,” said Burrill.

His master went back into the library smiling genially, and Burrill
stood still a moment or so gazing at the door he closed behind him.

Be sure the village, and finally circles not made up of cottagers,
heard of this, howsoever mysteriously. Miss Alicia was not aware that
the incident had occurred. She could not help observing, however,
that the manners of the servants of the household curiously improved;
also, when she passed through the village, that foreheads were touched
without omission and the curtseys of playing children were prompt. When
she dropped into a cottage, housewives polished off the seats of chairs
vigorously before offering them, and symptoms and needs were explained
with a respectful fluency which at times almost suggested that she
might be relied on to use influence.

“I’m afraid I have done the village people injustice,” she said
leniently to Tembarom. “I used to think them so disrespectful and
unappreciative. I dare say it was because I was so troubled myself. I’m
afraid one’s own troubles do sometimes make one unfair.”

“Well, yours are over,” said Tembarom. “And so are mine as long as you
stay by me.”

Never had Miss Alicia been to London. She had remained, as was
demanded of her by her duty to dear papa, at Rowcroft, which was in
Somersetshire. She had only dreamed of London, and had had fifty-five
years of dreaming. She had read of great functions, and seen pictures
of some of them in the illustrated papers. She had loyally endeavored
to follow at a distance the doings of her Majesty,--she always spoke
of Queen Victoria reverentially as “her Majesty,”--she rejoiced
when a prince or a princess was horn or christened or married, and
believed that a “drawing-room” was the most awe-inspiring, brilliant,
and important function in the civilized world, scarcely second to
Parliament. London--no one but herself or an elderly gentlewoman of her
type could have told any one the nature of her thoughts of London.

Let, therefore, those of vivid imagination make an effort to depict to
themselves the, effect produced upon her mind by Tembarom’s casually
suggesting at breakfast one morning that he thought it might be rather
a good “stunt” for them to run up to London. By mere good fortune she
escaped dropping the egg she had just taken from the egg-stand.

“London!” she said. “Oh!”

“Pearson thinks it would be a first-rate idea,” he explained. “I guess
he thinks that if he can get me into the swell clothing stores he can
fix me up as I ought to be fixed, if I’m not going to disgrace him. I
should hate to disgrace Pearson. Then he can see his girl, too, and I
want him to see his girl.”

“Is--Pearson--engaged?” she asked; but the thought which was repeating
itself aloud to her was “London! London!”

“He calls it ‘keeping company,’ or ‘walking out,’” Tembarom answered.
“She’s a nice girl, and he’s dead stuck on her. Will you go with me,
Miss Alicia?”

“Dear Mr. Temple Barholm,” she fluttered, “to visit London would be a
privilege I never dreamed it would be my great fortune to enjoy--never.”

“Good business!” he ejaculated delightedly. “That’s luck for me. It
gave me the blues--what I saw of it. But if you are with me, I’ll bet
it’ll be as different as afternoon tea was after I got hold of you.
When shall we start? To-morrow?”

Her sixteen-year-old blush repeated itself.

“I feel so sorry. It seems almost undignified to mention it, but--I
fear I should not look smart enough for London. My wardrobe is so very
limited. I mustn’t,” she added with a sweet effort at humor, “do the
new Mr. Temple Barholm discredit by looking unfashionable.”

He was more delighted than before.

“Say,” he broke out, “I’ll tell you what we’ll do: we’ll go together
and buy everything ‘suitable’ in sight. The pair of us ’ll come back
here as suitable as Burrill and Pearson. We’ll paint the town red.”

He actually meant it. He was like a boy with a new game. His sense of
the dreariness of London had disappeared. He knew what it would be like
with Miss Alicia as a companion. He had really seen nothing of the
place himself, and he would find out every darned thing worth looking
at, and take her to see it--theaters, shops, every show in town. When
they left the breakfast-table it was agreed upon that they would make
the journey the following day.

He did not openly refer to the fact that among the plans for their
round of festivities he had laid out for himself the attending to one
or two practical points. He was going to see Palford, and he had made
an appointment with a celebrated nerve specialist. He did not discuss
this for several reasons. One of them was that his summing up of Miss
Alicia was that she had had trouble enough to think over all her little
life, and the thing for a fellow to do for her, if he liked her, was to
give her a good time and make her feel as if she was at a picnic right
straight along--not let her even hear of a darned thing that might
worry her. He had said comparatively little to her about Strangeways.
His first mention of his condition had obviously made her somewhat
nervous, though she had been full of kindly interest. She was in
private not sorry that it was felt better that she should not disturb
the patient by a visit to his room. The abnormality of his condition
seemed just slightly alarming to her.

“But, oh, how good, how charitable, you are!” she had murmured.

“Good,” he answered, the devout admiration of her tone rather puzzling
him. “It ain’t that. I just want to see the thing through. I dropped
into it by accident, and then I dropped into this by accident, and that
made it as easy as falling off a log. I believe he’s going to get well
sometime. I guess I kind of like him because he holds on to me so and
believes I’m just It. Maybe it’s because I’m stuck on myself.”

His visit to Strangeways was longer than usual that afternoon. He
explained the situation to him so that he understood it sufficiently
not to seem alarmed by it. This was one of the advances Tembarom
had noticed recently, that he was less easily terrified, and seemed
occasionally to see facts in their proper relation to one another.
Sometimes the experiments tried on him were successful, sometimes they
were not, but he never resented them.

“You are trying to help me to remember,” he said once. “I think you
will sometime.”

“Sure I will,” said Tembarom. “You’re better every day.”

Pearson was to remain in charge of him until toward the end of the
London visit. Then he was to run up for a couple of days, leaving in
his place a young footman to whom the invalid had become accustomed.

The visit to London was to Miss Alicia a period of enraptured delirium.
The beautiful hotel in which she was established, the afternoons at
the Tower, the National Gallery, the British Museum, the evenings at
the play, during which one saw the most brilliant and distinguished
actors, the mornings in the shops, attended as though one were a person
of fortune, what could be said of them? And the sacred day on which
she saw her Majesty drive slowly by, glittering helmets, splendid
uniforms, waving plumes, and clanking swords accompanying and guarding
her, and gentlemen standing still with their hats off, and everybody
looking after her with that natural touch of awe which royalty properly
inspires! Miss Alicia’s heart beat rapidly in her breast, and she
involuntarily made a curtsey as the great lady in mourning drove by.
She lost no shade of any flavor of ecstatic pleasure in anything, and
was to Tembarom, who knew nothing about shades and flavors, indeed a
touching and endearing thing.

He had never got so much out of anything. If Ann had just been there,
well, that would have been the limit. Ann was on her way to America
now, and she wouldn’t write to him or let him write to her. He had to
make a fair trial of it. He could find out only in that way, she said.
It was not to be denied that the youth and longing in him gave him some
half-hours to face which made him shut himself up in his room and stare
hard at the wall, folding his arms tightly as he tilted his chair.

Then arrived a day when one of the most exalted shops in Bond Street
was invaded by an American young man of a bearing the peculiarities of
which were subtly combined with a remotely suggested air of knowing
that if he could find what he wanted, there was no doubt as to his
power to get it. What he wanted was not usual, and was explained with
a frankness which might have seemed unsophisticated, but, singularly,
did not. He wanted to have a private talk with some feminine power in
charge, and she must be some one who knew exactly what ladies ought to
have.

Being shown into a room, such a feminine power was brought to him
and placed at his service. She was a middle-aged person, wearing
beautifully fitted garments and having an observant eye and a dignified
suavity of manner. She looked the young American over with a swift
inclusion of all possibilities. He was by this time wearing extremely
well-fitting garments himself, but she was at once aware that his
tailored perfection was a new thing to him.

He went to his point without apologetic explanation.

“You know all the things any kind of a lady ought to have,” he
said--“all the things that would make any one feel comfortable and as
if they’d got plenty? Useful things as well as ornamental ones?”

“Yes, sir,” she replied, with rising interest. “I have been in the
establishment thirty years.”

“Good business,” Tembarom replied. Already he felt relieved. “I’ve got
a relation, a little old lady, and I want her to fix herself out just
as she ought to be fixed. Now, what I’m afraid of is that she won’t get
everything she ought to unless I manage it for her somehow beforehand.
She’s got into a habit of--well, economizing. Now the time’s past for
that, and I want her to get everything a woman like you would know she
really wants, so that she could look her best, living in a big country
house, with a relation that thinks a lot of her.”

He paused a second or so, and then went further, fixing a clear and
astonishingly shrewd eye upon the head of the department listening to
him.

“I found out this was a high-class place,” he explained. “I made sure
of that before I came in. In a place that was second or third class
there might be people who’d think they’d caught a ‘sucker’ that would
take anything that was unloaded on to him, because he didn’t know. The
things are for Miss Temple Barholm, and she _does_ know. I shall ask
her to come here herself to-morrow morning, and I want you to take care
of her, and show her the best you’ve got that’s suitable.” He seemed to
like the word; he repeated it--“Suitable,” and quickly restrained a
sudden, unexplainable, wide smile.

The attending lady’s name was Mrs. Mellish. Thirty years’ experience
had taught her many lessons. She was a hard woman and a sharp one, but
beneath her sharp hardness lay a suppressed sense of the perfect in
taste. To have a customer with unchecked resources put into her hands
to do her best by was an inspiring incident. A quiver of enlightenment
had crossed her countenance when she had heard the name of Temple
Barholm. She had a newspaper knowledge of the odd Temple Barholm story.
This was the next of kin who had blacked boots in New York, and the
obvious probability that he was a fool, if it had taken the form of a
hope, had been promptly nipped in the bud. The type from which he was
furthest removed was that of the fortune-intoxicated young man who
could be obsequiously flattered into buying anything which cost money
enough.

“Not a thing’s to be unloaded on her that she doesn’t like,” he added,
“and she’s not a girl that goes to pink teas. She’s a--a--lady--and not
young--and used to quiet ways.”

The evidently New York word “unload” revealed him to his hearer as by a
flash, though she had never heard it before.

“We have exactly the things which will be suitable, sir,” she said. “I
think I quite understand.” Tembarom smiled again, and, thanking her,
went away still smiling, because he knew Miss Alicia was safe.

There were of course difficulties in the way of persuading Miss Alicia
that her duty lay in the direction of spending mornings in the most
sumptuous of Bond Street shops, ordering for herself an entire wardrobe
on a basis of unlimited resources. Tembarom was called upon to employ
the most adroitly subtle reasoning, entirely founded on his “claim” and
her affectionate willingness to give him pleasure.

He really made love to her in the way a joyful young fellow can make
love to his mother or his nicest aunt. He made her feel that she
counted for so much in his scheme of enjoyment that to do as he asked
would be to add a glow to it.

“And they won’t spoil you,” he said. “The Mellish woman that’s the
boss has promised that. I wouldn’t have you spoiled for a farm,” he
added heartily.

And he spoke the truth. If he had been told that he was cherishing
her type as though it were a priceless bit of old Saxe, he would have
stared blankly and made a jocular remark. But it was exactly this which
he actually clung to and adored. He even had a second private interview
with Mrs. Mellish, and asked her to “keep her as much like she was” as
was possible.

Stimulated by the suppressed touch of artistic fervor, Mrs. Mellish
guessed at something even before her client arrived; but the moment she
entered the showroom all was revealed to her at once. The very hint of
flush and tremor in Miss Alicia’s manner was an assistance. Surrounded
by a small and extremely select court composed of Mrs. Mellish and
two low-voiced, deft-handed assistants, it was with a fine little
effort that Miss Alicia restrained herself from exterior suggestion
of her feeling that there was something almost impious in thinking
of possessing the exquisite stuffs and shades displayed to her in
flowing beauty on every side. Such linens and batistes and laces, such
delicate, faint grays and lavenders and soft-falling blacks! If she had
been capable of approaching the thought, such luxury might even have
hinted at guilty splendor.

Mrs. Mellish became possessed of an “idea.” To create the costume of
an exquisite, early-Victorian old lady in a play done for the most
fashionable and popular actor manager of the most “drawing-room”
of West End theaters, where one saw royalty in the royal box, with
bouquets on every side, the orchestra breaking off in the middle of
a strain to play “God Save the Queen,” and the audience standing up
as the royal party came in--that was her idea. She carried it out,
steering Miss Alicia with finished tact through the shoals and rapids
of her timidities. And the result was wonderful; color,--or, rather,
shades,--textures, and forms were made subservient by real genius. Miss
Alicia--as she was turned out when the wardrobe was complete--might
have been an elderly little duchess of sweet and modest good taste in
the dress of forty years earlier. It took time, but some of the things
were prepared as though by magic, and the night the first boxes were
delivered at the hotel Miss Alicia, on going to bed, in kneeling down
to her devotions prayed fervently that she might not be “led astray by
fleshly desires,” and that her gratitude might be acceptable, and not
stained by a too great joy “in the things which corrupt.”

The very next day occurred Rose. She was the young person to whom
Pearson was engaged, and it appeared that if Miss Alicia would make
up her mind to oblige Mr. Temple Barholm by allowing the girl to come
to her as lady’s-maid, even if only temporarily, she would be doing
a most kind and charitable thing. She was a very nice, well-behaved
girl, and unfortunately she had felt herself forced to leave her place
because her mistress’s husband was not at all a nice man. He had shown
himself so far from nice that Pearson had been most unhappy, and Rose
had been compelled to give notice, though she had no other situation in
prospect and her mother was dependent on her. This was without doubt
not Mr. Temple Barholm’s exact phrasing of the story, but it was what
Miss Alicia gathered, and what moved her deeply. It was so cruel and so
sad! That wicked man! That poor girl! She had never had a lady’s-maid,
and might be rather at a loss at first, but it was only like Mr. Temple
Barholm’s kind heart to suggest such a way of helping the girl and poor
Pearson.

So occurred Rose, a rather pretty creature whose blue eyes suppressed
grateful tears as she took Miss Alicia’s instructions during their
first interview. And Pearson arrived the same night, and, waiting upon
Tembarom, stood before him, and with perfect respect, choked.

“Might I thank you, if you please, sir,” he began, recovering
himself--“might I thank you and say how grateful--Rose and me, sir--”
and choked again.

“I told you it would be all right,” answered Tembarom. “It _is_ all
right. I wish I was fixed like you are, Pearson.”

When the Countess of Mallowe called, Rose had just dressed Miss Alicia
for the afternoon in one of the most perfect of the evolutions of
Mrs. Mellish’s idea. It was a definite creation, as even Lady Mallowe
detected the moment her eyes fell upon it. Its hue was dull, soft gray,
and how it managed to concede points and elude suggestions of modes
interred, and yet remain what it did remain, and accord perfectly with
the side ringlets and the lace cap of Mechlin, only dressmaking genius
could have explained. The mere wearing of it gave Miss Alicia a support
and courage which she could scarcely believe to be her own. When the
cards of Lady Mallowe and Lady Joan Fayre were brought up to her, she
was absolutely not really frightened; a little nervous for a moment,
perhaps, but frightened, no. A few weeks of relief and ease, of cheery
consideration, of perfectly good treatment and good food and good
clothes, had begun a rebuilding of the actual cells of her.

Lady Mallowe entered alone. She was a handsome person, and
astonishingly young when considered as the mother of a daughter of
twenty-seven. She wore a white veil, and looked pink through it. She
swept into the room, and shook hands with Miss Alicia with delicate
warmth.

“We do not really know each other at all,” she said. “It is disgraceful
how little relatives see of one another.”

The disgrace, if measured by the extent of the relationship, was not
immense. Perhaps this thought flickered across Miss Alicia’s mind among
a number of other things. She had heard “dear papa” on Lady Mallowe,
and, howsoever lacking in graces, the vicar of Rowcroft had not lacked
an acrid shrewdness. Miss Alicia’s sensitively self-accusing soul
shrank before a hasty realization of the fact that if he had been
present when the cards were brought up, he would, on glancing over them
through his spectacles, have jerked out immediately: “What does the
woman want? She’s come to get something.” Miss Alicia wished she had
not been so immediately beset by this mental vision.

Lady Mallowe had come for something. She had come to be amiable to Miss
Temple Barholm and to establish relations with her.

“Joan should have been here to meet me,” she explained. “Her dressmaker
is keeping her, of course. She will be so annoyed. She wanted very much
to come with me.”

It was further revealed that she might arrive at any moment, which gave
Miss Alicia an opportunity to express, with pretty grace, the hope
that she would, and her trust that she was quite well.

“She is always well,” Lady Mallowe returned. “And she is of course
as interested as we all are in this romantic thing. It is perfectly
delicious, like a three-volumed novel.”

“It is romantic,” said Miss Alicia, wondering how much her visitor knew
or thought she knew, and what circumstances would present themselves to
her as delicious.

“Of course one has heard only the usual talk one always hears when
everybody is chattering about a thing,” Lady Mallowe replied, with a
propitiating smile. “No one really knows what is true and what isn’t.
But it is nice to notice that all the gossip speaks so well of him. No
one seems to pretend that he is anything but extremely nice himself,
notwithstanding his disadvantages.”

She kept a fine hazel eye, surrounded by a line which artistically
represented itself as black lashes, steadily resting on Miss Alicia as
she said the last words.

“He is,” said Miss Alicia, with gentle firmness, “nicer than I had ever
imagined any young man could be--far nicer.”

Lady Mallowe’s glance round the luxurious private sitting-room and
over the perfect “idea” of Mrs. Mellish was so swift as to be almost
imperceptible.

“How delightful!” she said. “He must be unusually agreeable, or you
would not have consented to stay and take care of him.”

“I cannot tell you how _happy_ I am to have been asked to stay with
him, Lady Mallowe,” Miss Alicia replied, the gentle firmness becoming a
soft dignity.

“Which of course shows all the more how attractive he must be. And in
view of the past lack of advantages, what a help you can be to him!
It is quite wonderful for him to have a relative at hand who is an
Englishwoman and familiar with things he will feel he must learn.”

A perhaps singular truth is that but for the unmistakable nature of
the surroundings she quickly took in the significance of, and but for
the perfection of the carrying out of Mrs. Mellish’s delightful idea,
it is more than probable that her ladyship’s manner of approaching
Miss Alicia and certain subjects on which she desired enlightenment
would have been much more direct and much less propitiatory.
Extraordinary as it was, “the creature”--she thought of Tembarom as
“the creature”--had plainly been so pleased with the chance of being
properly coached that he had put everything, so to speak, in the
little old woman’s hands. She had got a hold upon him. It was quite
likely that to regard her as a definite factor would only be the part
of the merest discretion. She was evidently quite in love with him in
her early-Victorian, spinster way. One had to be prudent with women
like that who had got hold of a male creature for the first time in
their lives, and were almost unaware of their own power. Their very
unconsciousness made them a dangerous influence.

With a masterly review of these facts in her mind Lady Mallowe went
on with a fluent and pleasant talk, through the medium of which she
managed to convey a large number of things Miss Alicia was far from
being clever enough to realize she was talking about. She lightly
waved wings of suggestion across the scene, she dropped infinitesimal
seeds in passing, she left faint echoes behind her--the kind of echoes
one would find oneself listening to and trying to hear as definitely
formed sounds. She had been balancing herself on a precarious platform
of rank and title, unsupported by any sordid foundation of a solid
nature, through a lifetime spent in London. She had learned to catch
fiercely at straws of chance, and bitterly to regret the floating
past of the slightest, which had made of her a finished product of
her kind. She talked lightly, and was sometimes almost witty. To
her hearer she seemed to know every brilliant personage and to be
familiar with every dazzling thing. She knew well what social habits
and customs meant, what their value, or lack of value, was. There were
customs, she implied skilfully, so established by time that it was
impossible to ignore them. Relationships, for instance, stood for so
much that was fine in England that one was sometimes quite touched by
the far-reachingness of family loyalty. The head of the house of a
great estate represented a certain power in the matter of upholding the
dignity of his possessions, of caring for his tenantry, of standing
for proper hospitality and friendly family feeling. It was quite
beautiful as one often saw it. Throughout the talk there were several
references to Joan, who really must come in shortly, which were very
interesting to Miss Alicia. Lady Joan, Miss Alicia heard casually, was
a great beauty. Her perfection and her extreme cleverness had made her
perhaps a trifle _difficile_. She had not done--Lady Mallowe put it with
a lightness of phrasing which was delicacy itself--what she might have
done, with every exalted advantage, so many times. She had a profound
nature. Here Lady Mallowe waved away, as it were, a ghost of a sigh.
Since Miss Temple Barholm was a relative, she had no doubt heard of the
unfortunate, the very sad incident which her mother sometimes feared
prejudiced the girl even yet.

“You mean--poor Jem!” broke forth involuntarily from Miss Alicia’s
lips. Lady Mallowe stared a little.

“Do you call him that?” she asked. “Did you know him, then?”

“I loved him,” answered Miss Alicia, winking her eyes to keep back the
moisture in them, “though it was only when he was a little boy.”

“Oh,” said Lady Mallowe, with a sudden, singular softness, “I must tell
Joan that.”

Lady Joan had not appeared even after they had had tea and her mother
went away, but somehow Miss Alicia had reached a vaguely yearning
feeling for her and wished very much the dressmaker had released her.
She was quite stirred when it revealed itself almost at the last moment
that in a few weeks both she and Lady Mallowe were to pay a visit at no
great distance from Temple Barholm itself, and that her ladyship would
certainly arrange to drive over to continue her delightful acquaintance
and to see the beautiful old place again.

“In any case one must, even if he lived in lonely state, pay one’s
respects to the head of the house. The truth is, of course, one is
extremely anxious to meet him, and it is charming to know that one is
not merely invading the privacy of a bachelor,” Lady Mallowe put it.

“She’ll come for _you_,” Little Ann had soberly remarked.

Tembarom remembered the look in her quiet, unresentful blue eyes when
he came in to dinner and Miss Alicia related to him the events of the
afternoon.

[Illustration]


CHAPTER XVIII

The spring, when they traveled back to the north, was so perceptibly
nearer that the fugitive soft days strayed in advance at intervals that
were briefer. They chose one for their journey, and its clear sunshine
and hints at faint greenness were so exhilarating to Miss Alicia
that she was a companion to make any journey an affair to rank with
holidays and adventures. The strange luxury of traveling in a reserved
first-class carriage, of being made timid by no sense of unfitness of
dress or luggage, would have filled her with grateful rapture; but
Rose, journeying, with Pearson a few coaches behind, appeared at the
carriage window at every important station to say, “Is there anything I
may do for you, ma’am?” And there really never was anything she could
do, because Mr. Temple Barholm remembered everything which could make
her comfort perfect. In the moods of one who searches the prospect
for suggestions as to pleasure he can give to himself by delighting
a dear child, he had found and bought for her a most elegant little
dressing-bag, with the neatest of plain-gold fittings beautifully
initialed. It reposed upon the cushioned seat near her, and made her
heart beat every time she caught sight of it anew. How wonderful it
would be if poor dear, darling mama could look down and see everything
and really know what happiness had been vouchsafed to her unworthy
child!

Having a vivid recollection of the journey made with Mr. Palford,
Tembarom felt that his whole world had changed for him. The landscape
had altered its aspect. Miss Alicia pointed out bits of freshening
grass, was sure of the breaking of brown leaf-buds, and more than
once breathlessly suspected a primrose in a sheltered hedge corner.
A country-bred woman, with country-bred keenness of eye and a
country-bred sense of the seasons’ change, she saw so much that he had
never known that she began to make him see also. Bare trees would be
thick-leaved nesting-places, hedges would be white with hawthorn, and
hold blue eggs and chirps and songs. Skylarks would spring out of the
fields and soar into the sky, dropping crystal chains of joyous trills.
The cottage gardens would be full of flowers, there would be poppies
gleaming scarlet in the corn, and in buttercup-time all the green grass
would be a sheet of shining gold.

“When it all happens I shall be like a little East-Sider taken for
a day in the country. I shall be asking questions at every step,”
Tembarom said. “Temple Barholm must be pretty fine then.”

“It is so lovely,” said Miss Alicia, turning to him almost solemnly,
“that sometimes it makes one really lose one’s breath.”

He looked out of the window with sudden wistfulness.

“I wish Ann--” he began and then, seeing the repressed question in her
eyes, made up his mind.

He told her about Little Ann. He did not use very many words, but
she knew a great deal when he had finished. And her spinster soul
was thrilled. Neither she nor poor Emily had ever had an admirer,
and it was not considered refined for unsought females to discuss
“such subjects.” Domestic delirium over the joy of an engagement in
families in which daughters were a drug she had seen. It was indeed
inevitable that there should be more rejoicing over one Miss Timson
who had strayed from the fold into the haven of marriage than over the
ninety-nine Misses Timson who remained behind. But she had never known
intimately any one who was in love--really in love. Mr. Temple Barholm
must be. When he spoke of Little Ann he flushed shyly and his eyes
looked so touching and nice. His voice sounded different, and though
of course his odd New York expressions were always rather puzzling,
she felt as though she saw things she had had no previous knowledge
of--things which thrilled her.

“She must be a very--very nice girl,” she ventured at length. “I am
afraid I have never been into old Mrs. Hutchinson’s cottage. She is
quite comfortably off in her way, and does not need parish care. I wish
I had seen Miss Hutchinson.”

“I wish she had seen you,” was Tembarom’s answer.

Miss Alicia reflected. “She must be very clever to have such--sensible
views,” she remarked.

If he had remained in New York, and there had been no question of his
inheriting Temple Barholm, the marriage would have been most suitable.
But however “superior” she might be, a vision of old Mrs. Hutchinson’s
granddaughter as the wife of Mr. Temple Barholm, and of noisy old Mr.
Hutchinson as his father-in-law was a staggering thing.

“You think they were sensible?” asked Tembarom. “Well, she never did
anything that wasn’t. So I guess they were. And what she says _goes_.
I wanted you to know, anyhow. I wouldn’t like you not to know. I’m too
fond of you, Miss Alicia.” And he put his hand round her neat glove
and squeezed it. The tears of course came into her tender eyes. Emotion
of any sort always expressed itself in her in this early-Victorian
manner.

“This Lady Joan girl,” he said suddenly not long afterward, “isn’t she
the kind that I’m to get used to--the kind in the pictorial magazine
Ann talked about? I bought one at the depot before we started. I wanted
to get on to the pictures and see what they did to me.”

He found the paper among his belongings and regarded it with the
expression of a serious explorer. It opened at a page of illustrations
of slim goddesses in court dresses. By actual measurement, if regarded
according to scale, each was about ten feet high; but their long lines,
combining themselves with court trains, waving plumes, and falling
veils, produced an awe-inspiring effect. Tembarom gazed at them in
absorbed silence.

“Is she something like any of these?” he inquired finally.

Miss Alicia looked through her glasses.

“Far more beautiful, I believe,” she answered. “These are only
fashion-plates, and I have heard that she is a most striking girl.”

“A beaut’ from Beautsville!” he said. “So that’s what I’m up against! I
wonder how much use that kind of a girl would have for me.”

He gave a good deal of attention to the paper before he laid it aside.
As she watched him, Miss Alicia became gradually aware of the existence
of a certain hint of determined squareness in his boyish jaw. It was
perhaps not much more than a hint, but it really was there, though she
had not noticed it before. In fact, it usually hid itself behind his
slangy youthfulness and readiness for any good cheer.

One may as well admit that it sustained him during his novitiate
and aided him to pass through it without ignominy or disaster. He
was strengthened also by a private resolve to hear himself in such
a manner as would at least do decent credit to Little Ann and her
superior knowledge. With the curious eyes of servants, villagers, and
secretly outraged neighborhood upon him, he was shrewd enough to know
that he might easily become a perennial fount of grotesque anecdote,
to be used as a legitimate source of entertainment in cottages over
the consumption of beans and bacon, as well as at great houses when
dinner-table talk threatened to become dull if not enlivened by some
spice. He would not have thought of this or been disturbed by it but
for Ann. She knew, and he was not going to let her be met on her return
from America with what he called “a lot of funny dope” about him.

“No girl would like it,” he said to himself. “And the way she said she
‘cared too much’ just put it up to me to see that the fellow she cares
for doesn’t let himself get laughed at.”

Though he still continued to be jocular on subjects which to his valet
seemed almost sacred, Pearson was relieved to find that his employer
gradually gave himself into his hands in a manner quite amenable. In
the touching way in which nine out of ten nice, domesticated American
males obey the behests of the women they are fond of, he had followed
Ann’s directions to the letter. Guided by the adept Pearson, he had
gone to the best places in London and purchased the correct things,
returning to Temple Barholm with a wardrobe to which any gentleman
might turn at any moment without a question.

“He’s got good shoulders, though he does slouch a bit,” Pearson said to
Rose. “And a gentleman’s shoulders are more than half the battle.”

What Tembarom himself felt cheered by was the certainty that if Ann saw
him walking about the park or the village, or driving out with Miss
Alicia in the big landau, or taking her in to dinner, or even going to
church with her, she would not have occasion to flush at sight of him.

The going to church was one of the duties of his position he found out.
Miss Alicia “put him on” to that. It seemed that he had to present
himself to the villagers “as an example.” If the Temple Barholm pews
were empty, the villagers, not being incited to devotional exercise by
his exalted presence, would feel at liberty to remain at home, and in
the irreligious undress of shirt-sleeves sit and smoke their pipes or,
worse still, gather at “the Hare and Hounds” and drink beer. Also, it
would not be “at all proper” not to go to church.

Pearson produced a special cut of costume for this ceremony, and
Tembarom walked with Miss Alicia across the park to the square-towered
Norman church.

In a position of dignity the Temple Barholm pews overlooked the
congregation. There was the great square pew for the family, with
two others for servants. Footmen and house-maids gazed reverentially
at prayer-books. Pearson, making every preparation respectfully to
declare himself a “miserable sinner” when the proper moment arrived,
could scarcely restrain a side glance as the correctly cut and fitted
and entirely “suitable” work of his hands opened the pew-door for Miss
Alicia, followed her in, and took his place.

Let not the fact that he had never been to church before be counted
against him. There was nothing very extraordinary in the fact. He had
felt no antipathy to church-going, but he had not by chance fallen
under proselyting influence, and it had certainly never occurred to
him that he had any place among the well-dressed, comfortable-looking
people he had seen flocking into places of worship in New York. As
far as religious observances were concerned, he was an unadulterated
heathen, and was all the more to be congratulated on being a heathen of
genial tendencies.

The very large pew, under the stone floor of which his ancestors had
slept undisturbedly for centuries, interested him greatly. A recumbent
marble crusader in armor, with feet crossed in the customary manner,
fitted into a sort of niche in one side of the wall. There were carved
tablets and many inscriptions in Latin wheresoever one glanced. The
place was like a room. A heavy, round table, on which lay prayer-books,
Bibles, and hymn-books, occupied the middle. About it were arranged
beautiful old chairs, with hassocks to kneel on. Toward a specially
imposing chair with arms Miss Alicia directed him with a glance. It was
apparently his place. He was going to sit down when he saw Miss Alicia
gently push forward a hassock with her foot, and kneel on it, covering
her face with her hands as she bent her head. He hastily drew forth his
hassock and followed her example.

That was it, was it? It wasn’t only a matter of listening to a sermon;
you had to do things. He had better watch out and see that he didn’t
miss anything. She didn’t know it was his first time, and it might
worry her to the limit if he didn’t put it over all right. One of the
things he had noticed in her was her fear of attracting attention by
failing to do exactly the “proper thing.” If he made a fool of himself
by kneeling down when he ought to stand up, or lying down when he ought
to sit, she’d get hot all over, thinking what the villagers would say.
Well, Ann hadn’t wanted him to look different from other fellows or to
make breaks. He’d look out from start to finish. He directed a watchful
eye at Miss Alicia through his fingers. She remained kneeling a few
moments, and then very quietly got up. He rose with her, and took his
big chair when she sat down. He breathed more freely. That was the
first round.

It was not a large church, but a gray and solemn impression of
dignity brooded over it. It was dim with light, which fell through
stained-glass memorial windows set deep in the thick stone walls. The
silence which reigned throughout its spaces seemed to Tembarom of a
new kind, different from the silence of the big house. The occasional
subdued rustle of turned prayer-book leaves seemed to accentuate it;
the most careful movement could not conceal itself; a slight cough was
a startling thing. The way, Tembarom thought, they could get things
dead-still in English places!

The chimes, which had been ringing their last summons to the tardy,
slackened their final warning notes, became still slower, stopped.
There was a slight stir in the benches occupied by the infant school.
It suggested that something new was going to happen. From some unseen
place came the sound of singing voices--boyish voices and the voices
of men. Tembarom involuntarily turned his head. Out of the unseen
place came a procession in white robes. Great Scott! every one was
standing up! He must stand up, too. The boys and men in white garments
filed into their seats. An elderly man, also in white robes, separated
himself from them, and, going into his special place, kneeled down.
Then he rose and began to read:

“When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness--”

Tembarom took the open book which Miss Alicia had very delicately
pushed toward him. He read the first words,--that was plain
sailing,--then he seemed to lose his place. Miss Alicia turned a leaf.
He turned one also.

“Dearly beloved brethren--”

There you were. This was once more plain sailing. He could follow it.
What was the matter with Miss Alicia? She was kneeling again, everybody
was kneeling. Where was the hassock? He went down upon his knees,
hoping Miss Alicia had not seen that he wasn’t going to kneel at all.
Then when the minister said “Amen,” the congregation said it, too, and
he came in too late, so that his voice sounded out alone. He must watch
that. Then the minister knelt, and all the people prayed aloud with
him. With the book before him he managed to get in after the first few
words; but he was not ready with the responses, and in the middle of
them everybody stood up again. And then the organ played, and every one
sang. He couldn’t sing, anyhow, and he knew he couldn’t catch on to the
kind of thing they were doing. He hoped Miss Alicia wouldn’t mind his
standing up and holding his book and doing nothing. He could not help
seeing that eyes continually turned toward him. They’d notice every
darned break he made, and Miss Alicia would know it. He felt quite hot
more than once. He watched her like a hawk; he sat down and listened
to reading, he stood up and listened to singing; he kneeled, he tried
to chime in with “Amens” and to keep up with her bending of head and
knee. But the creed, with its sudden turn toward the altar, caught him
unawares, he lost himself wholly in the Psalms, the collects left him
in deep water, and the Litany baffled him by changing from “miserable
sinners” to “Spare us Good Lord.” If he could have found the place he
would have been all right, but his anxiety excited him, and the fear of
embarrassing Miss Alicia by going wrong made the morning a strenuous
thing. He was so relieved to find he might sit still when the sermon
began that he gave the minister the attention of a religious enthusiast.

By the time the service had come to an end the stately peace of the
place had seemed to sink into his being and become part of himself. The
voice of the minister bestowing his blessing, the voices of the choir
floating up to the vaulted roof, stirred him to a remote pleasure. He
liked it, or he knew he would like it when he knew what to do. The
filing out of the choristers, the silent final prayer, the soft rustle
of people rising from their knees, somehow moved him by its suggestion
of something before unknown. He was a heathen, but a heathen vaguely
stirred.

He was very quiet as he walked home across the park with Miss Alicia.

“How did you enjoy the sermon?” she asked with much sweetness.

“I’m not used to sermons, but it seemed all right to me,” he answered.
“What I’ve got to get on to is knowing when to stand up and when to sit
down. I wasn’t much of a winner at it this morning. I guess you noticed
that.”

But his outward bearing had been much more composed than his inward
anxiety had allowed him to believe. His hesitations had not produced
the noticeable effect he had feared.

“Do you mean you are not quite familiar with the service?” she said.
Poor dear boy! he had perhaps not been able to go to church regularly
at all.

“I’m not familiar with any service,” he answered without prejudice. “I
never went to church before.”

She slightly started and then smiled.

“Oh, you mean you have never been to the Church of England,” she said.

Then he saw that, if he told her the exact truth, she would be
frightened and shocked. She would not know what to say or what to
think. To her unsophisticated mind only murderers and thieves and
criminals _never_ went to church. She just didn’t know. Why should she?
So he smiled also.

“No, I’ve never been to the Church of England,” he said.


(To be continued)

[Illustration]



INVULNERABLE

BY WILLIAM ROSE BENÉT


    The armorers met me at the marge of life,
    The weapon-bearers, calling each his ware,
    Praising sword or spear or sinuous knife
      Fashioned for the strife
    In the forest depths that lay before,
    To ward off malice or to pierce despair;
      Shields that could affright
    All the hissing snakes in Envy’s hair;
    Or, when Peril’s sudden arrow sped,
    Crying how bucklers, stern of proof and bright,
    Glanced the shaft, the rancor overbore;
    Or iron helms, securely vizarded,
    Turned the thrusts of mockery and spite.
    Loudly “Arm you! Arm you!” rose their cry;
    And I chose a shield, Indifference,
    And a blade, Sharp Wit, for my defense.
    Close-meshed mail beneath my gaberdine
      Glittered all unseen.
    Proud I strode and whirled my sword on high.
      Then my friend went by,
    Passing in his shining joy unarmed,
    With not even an amulet that charmed;
    Singing for the innocence confessed
    In his sparkling eyes, his buoyant breast;
    Swiftly, gaily thrusting through the trees
    To his deep and darkling forest doom,
    As I thought. But still before me goes,
    Blithe and wonderful, his candid smile
    Every ambushed shadow to illume,
    And the quickening sympathy that glows
    Sudden on his cheek when friends seem foes,
    And his utter radiance without guile,
    Merry ignorance where I am--_wise_?

    Where they lurk and snarl and close with me,
    All unscathed of foemen passeth he,
    Seeing no strife, unarmed eternally,
    And e’en the Terrors turn away their eyes!



[Illustration: TOPICS OF THE TIME]


UNDER WHICH FLAG, LADIES, ORDER OR ANARCHY?

THE PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION FOR WOMAN SUFFRAGE DISAVOWS VIOLENCE

In the April ~Century~, in an editorial article, “The Silent
Suffragists of America,” we called upon the official organizations in
the United States advocating woman suffrage to abandon their passive
and tolerant attitude toward the methods of the English militants, a
plea which we had also made in the number for November last.[23] We
have received letters of approval of this article from representative
women on each side of the suffrage question. It is a matter of sincere
gratification to us to publish at the first opportunity the letter
which follows from Miss Eleanor Cuyler Patterson of Chestnut Hill
(Philadelphia):

    I have read with interest the temperate and wise opinion printed
    in “Topics of the Time” in the April number of ~The Century
    Magazine~. It gives me great pleasure to send you the
    resolution on this subject passed by the executive committee of the
    Pennsylvania Association for Woman Suffrage on March 7, 1913.

    “Although we do not pass judgment on the methods of other
    organizations, _we disclaim all connection with militant
    organizations, and do not indorse or intend to use militant
    methods_, but shall continue to employ educational methods as in
    the past.”

Here at last we have from an official suffrage organization in America
a sober-minded expression of opinion on this burning subject. It ought
to be the beginning of a sincere effort to rescue the whole woman
movement from the shallow thinking and super-emotionalism that are
likely to wreck it.

That this sort of protest is much needed is shown from the following
passage from a letter to “The New York Times” from a leading advocate
of the suffrage, Mrs. Eunice Dana Brannan, which is the first public
expression of what we must regard as a very unfortunate, not to say
shocking, frame of mind on the part of many refined and well-educated
American women:

    The suffragists in America are agreed in their belief that militant
    action is _not called for_. Injustice to women is not so evident
    nor so general as in England, and the attitude of the majority of
    American men is certainly fairer and more honestly chivalrous.
    _But, in spite of these amiable differences, it is quite possible
    that if the Eastern States continue to deny enfranchisement to
    their women, while the Western States continue to grant it, the
    women thus discriminated against would find the political anomaly
    of their position so impossible to bear that even militancy would
    seem to them justifiable._

The words we have italicized are deplorably significant. They mean, for
instance, that the immunity of New York City from similar outrages is
to be dependent only upon the granting of the suffrage by the State.
“Militant action is not called for”--yet, but will be called for if the
voters of the East, however conscientiously, shall deny the suffrage to
women!

In striking contrast is this extract from an open letter, printed in
“The New York Times” of April 14, from Mrs. Helen Magill White (Mrs.
Andrew D. White) of Ithaca, New York, addressed “To the Treasurer of
the National American Woman Suffrage Association.” After recording her
friendly attitude toward the movement, Mrs. White closes her letter
with these downright words:

    I never until lately admitted to myself the possibility of our
    _essential_ inferiority--such that, in matters of government, we
    could without outrage be classed with children, with idiots and
    insane, and with criminals.

    But now that I see our own kinswomen across the sea sowing the wind
    to reap the whirlwind--sowing seeds of lawlessness which we may see
    in our own day, I greatly fear, blossoming in an anarchism more
    terrible than anything yet known to history--and when I see our own
    women protesting feebly or not at all, and even, to some extent,
    encouraging, I have not a cent to contribute nor a word of sympathy
    for any association of women which does not publicly and earnestly
    protest against such a line of procedure. It resembles the kicking
    and biting of spoiled children, the raving and gibbering of insane
    and idiots--and the unbridled license of the most abandoned
    criminals. All these classes think solely of what they want, and
    self-constitute themselves arbiters of what they should have. What
    it may cost other human beings, innocent though they be, for them
    to grasp at the objects of their desire by whatever means may come
    to hand, does not touch their minds; and so it would seem to be
    with those women of England; and so, also, with those of our own
    women who condone their offenses--who would condone such action _in
    any cause_.

Mrs. White here indicates both the responsibility of sincere, educated,
and thoughtful suffragists and an effective method whereby they may
hold the official organizations to their duty. Not a dollar should
be subscribed to their work until they have pledged themselves that
no part of their funds shall go to the support of lawlessness, and
have made as definite a disclaimer of sympathy and intention as the
Pennsylvania society, the action of which, at this time, is a patriotic
public service of the highest order.

We have nothing but respect for the women of America who are earnestly
convinced that the extension of the suffrage gives promise of a
brighter day for humanity, and we take this opportunity to record our
abhorrence not only of violence by women but of such interference with
peaceable parades as disgraced the city of Washington on the third of
March. In these days of turbulence of action and of thought, there is
no securer anchorage to the mind than Chatham’s saying, “Where law
ends, tyranny begins.”


NEWSPAPER INVASION OF PRIVACY

IS THE PAUL PRY AND PEEPING TOM TYPE OF REPORTING ON THE INCREASE?

The newspapers printed the initial paragraph of Mr. Pierpont Morgan’s
will, and some of them made it the theme of very respectful and
profitable comment. It was as intimate a statement as can well be
imagined, a solemn committal of the soul of the maker of the will into
the hands of his Saviour, and a charge to his children to maintain and
defend “the blessed doctrine of the complete atonement for sin through
the blood of Jesus Christ.”

But Mr. Morgan was a public person. All of us, in that sense, became
members of his family. We had made our way to his bedside as he lay
dying in Rome, and we expected to be given his will to read as soon as
his wife and son and daughters had read it. They were obliged to give
it to us: what could they do? Mr. Morgan, by reason of his great wealth
and his distinguished public service had lost the privilege of privacy.

At the same time, there were those who read the will, and especially
the beginning of it, with a certain sense of embarrassment, as if they
had been found reading a neighbor’s private letters. The situation
is one which arises in connection with some modern biographies and
autobiographies, but the newspapers present it to our conscience
every day. Now is abundantly fulfilled the prediction of an old book
which said, “There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed;
and hid, that shall not be known.” When the book promises further
that that which is spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed
upon the housetops, we seem to see the reporter in the midst of his
characteristic activities. All the closet doors are now wide open; or,
if they are shut and locked against us, there are dictagraphs inside.

The other day at a great college a student was found dead in bed.
The reporter who put the fact in the paper reported also that the
president and the dean, and other persons much older and perhaps wiser
than himself, had done their best to keep the matter private. Their
endeavors appear to have been entirely for the sake of the student’s
family and friends. There was no suspicion of anything wrong except
such as the reporter himself conveyed to heighten the interest. These
kindly endeavors the reporter, according to his own frank and impudent
confession, had frustrated. No purpose seems to have been served by the
publication except that the reporter got his money for it.

The other day, in the midst of a suit for divorce, the wife was
stricken with a mortal disease, and the husband was sent for. She was
unconscious when he arrived, and he knelt by her bedside, praying.
Then she opened her eyes and saw him, and told him that she loved him
still. Behind the door was a reporter, with his paper in one hand and
his pencil in the other, putting down what he saw and heard through the
crack, and going out to shout it through a megaphone in the street.

Two lads in a high school fought a duel over the attentions which one
was paying to the other’s sister. The local newspapers gave it nearly
as much space as they gave to the floods in Ohio. The little girls who
looked on were all interviewed, and we were told what the sister said
when she went to see her wounded lover in the hospital. Of course the
perspective was absurd, but the performance was by no means absurd.

So with the divorce-suits that are tried in the court-rooms, which
have no walls, where the busy reporters prepare themselves to tell
us a hundred things that we have no right to know. A brutal husband
forces his wife to sue him for divorce as her only defense against
his cruelty, and the newspapers coöperate with him in exposing to the
common gaze all the tender privacies of the woman’s soul.

We read such revelations, at first ashamed, as if we were looking
through a keyhole, then somewhat brutalized ourselves by the
experience. Thus the line is blurred between the publicity which is
for the good of the people and for the terror of offenders, and the
publicity which is only gossip and scandal printed for no other purpose
than to sell the papers and make money. Whatever the remedy, the fact
is plain that our sense of the honest rights of privacy is dulled. If
Lady Godiva were to ride through the streets of Coventry to-day, there
would be Peeping Toms in groups at every window with cameras and
machines for taking moving pictures.

It is not improbable that one of the next important movements in this
country will be for a greater sense of responsibility to wholesome
public opinion on the part of the press. There is so much that is good
and helpful and truly progressive in the better newspapers, and they
are so sound on the larger questions of national policy, that it is
to be hoped that the reformation of the grosser faults of journalism
will be initiated by them. And in saying this we must not forget the
offenses against good taste and good morals which are continually being
perpetrated by certain periodicals that appear but once a month.


THE CHANGING VIEW OF GOVERNMENT

A GROWING SENSE OF ITS DUTIES TO THE PEOPLE

A member of Congress summed up the strongest impression from his latest
electoral campaign as being that the people in this country are coming
to have a much more vivid sense of the Government as “a political
entity” which “owes duties.” He obviously means something more than
Secretary Hay’s famous phrase about the “administrative entity” of
China. This is no mere quibble about Pope’s “forms of government.”
It implies a wide departure from the old view that government is a
necessary evil, to be kept as limited as possible. However we explain
or interpret the new conception, its existence and increasing sway over
the minds of men will not be questioned by any one who keeps his eyes
open to the facts. He may call the tendency socialistic or simply an
extension of the democratic principle, but that it has now become a
part of American political thinking he cannot well deny.

Equally undeniable is it that the idea that people have of the
nature and function of their Government is more important than any
mere question of governmental machinery. We hear much of a movement
to “restore the government to the people.” All manner of political
devices are commended, or else condemned, to bring about a more direct
participation by the citizen in the work of government. Be these
proposals wise or foolish, it is plain that the chief question lies
behind them. It is what the people wish their Government to be; what
they would now have done by those responsible for its conduct; what
they themselves would undertake by means of governmental agencies in
case those agencies were somehow made more quickly responsive to the
popular will. Show a political philosopher what the driving forces of
a republic really desire it to be or to become, and he will be able to
get much more instruction out of that, much more material on which to
base prophecies respecting future development, than he possibly can
from endless talk about primaries and conventions, ballot-laws and
corrupt-practices acts. Those are only means and machinery; the end
aimed at is the main thing.

Looking back at the recent enlargement of governmental activities,
and endeavoring to read in them the new sense of duties owed, we are
able to detect at least a few general indications and even certain
principles. For example, it is clear that the people are demanding, and
will more and more demand, that their governments, local and national,
do a great deal more than was formerly expected to conserve the
physical health of the nation. Here is the origin of pure-food laws,
of meat-inspection, of statutes against the adulteration of drugs. In
this feeling of the vital relation that ought to exist between the
Government and the bodily well-being of its subjects we have also the
explanation of official campaigns against disease, of the movement
for a national quarantine, and of the great broadening of the work
everywhere laid upon health officers.

All this has not come about through a deliberate or reasoned change in
the point of view. It is, rather, the result of quiet pressure from the
practical side. Large problems of public health have pushed themselves
to the front; and in seeking to solve them, the people have merely laid
hold of the powers of government as ready and efficient instruments.
It is now tacitly assumed that the Government is under a continuing
obligation to guard the people against epidemic disease and exposure to
impure food and deleterious drugs. This is now distinctly one of the
duties owed.

But life is more than meat, liberty and equality of opportunity are
more precious than health. And in seeking to preserve these, the
work of our Government during the last few years has made of official
activity something very different from the conceptions and standards of
1787 or 1850--something which is no doubt open to abuse, but which, we
are persuaded, has thus far been largely beneficial in its practical
manifestations.

When the Government takes hold of the evil of railway rebating with a
strong hand, it is not alone a question of enforcement of the law, but
of striking down an insidious and dangerous form of special privilege.
The real offense in the old rebate system, now happily so nearly a
thing of the past, was not alone its secret favors to a secret few,
but its gross discrimination against the unprotected many. It was the
denial of the right to compete on equal terms. This is the intolerable
thing in a free democracy. It can endure the sight of great wealth,
of vast fortunes honestly gained, but it cannot submit to a method of
accumulating property which destroys the opportunities of thousands in
order to give unfair advantages to one. It is the determination to keep
the career open to talent, not to shut it up to favoritism, which has
been the animating spirit in the long struggle to prevent the railroads
from virtually creating private fortunes at their own sweet will, and
bringing whom they please to penury by means of rebates.

A like attitude and animus are seen in the other forms of legislative
restriction upon great corporations. All the anti-monopoly laws and
anti-trust suits, all the regulating statutes and the public-utilities
commissions, have one principle at bottom, and it is to make all men
stand equal before the law. On the one hand to strike down oppression,
on the other to equalize opportunity, has been the intent of these new
activities of government which, whatever else they show, leave no doubt
of an altogether changed view of what governments owe.

In all these matters, the greatest peril that lurks in our path is that
of being misled by abstractions. If we talk overmuch of “government,”
we are in danger of forgetting the human beings who make it up. If we
are afflicted by bad rulers, it is no help to us to fall back upon an
ideal conception of “the state.” The state is simply men acting. Much
amusement was created in Paris by an innocent peasant who passed from
one public building to another demanding that he be allowed to see
_l’état_. He had heard of it all his life; he thought it was something
at the capital; being there, he wanted to inspect it at close range. He
was an unsophisticated rustic, but was he not right in his instinct?
We are not, after all, governed by an “entity.” Government is the most
concrete of human affairs. It is vested in mortal men. And in all the
agitations and the hopes and fears of our day respecting the extension
of governmental functions, and the quickening of the whole idea of what
the state owes to citizens, it would be fatal to forget that government
cannot be made better except by putting better men in charge of it.


THE TWO-BILLION-DOLLAR CONGRESS

A NATIONAL BUDGET THE REMEDY FOR EXTRAVAGANCE IN APPROPRIATIONS

The time is overripe for a fundamental change in our method of making
annual appropriations for the cost of the National Government. A glance
at the result of the work done by the various congressional committees
charged with the duty of preparing appropriation bills is enough to
bring conviction that order and system must be substituted for the
present chaotic methods; while, if we could penetrate the secrets of
the committee-rooms, the country would stand appalled at the ignoble
tricks and devices by which the “pork-barrel” is filled and the money
of the taxpayers wantonly and wickedly wasted.

The Democrats in their platform of 1912 “denounce the profligate
waste of money wrung from the people by oppressive taxation through
the lavish appropriations of recent Republican Congresses,” and
they demand “a return to that simplicity and economy which befits a
democratic Government.” How did they keep faith with the people under
this self-denying ordinance? In the session of Congress immediately
following, the second regular session of the Sixty-second Congress,
which adjourned on March 4, they passed appropriation bills aggregating
$1,098,647,960, and authorized contracts on public works committing
the Government to a further expenditure of $76,956,174, making a
total demand upon the treasury for the year ending June 30, 1914,
of $1,175,604,134, a sum that surpasses all previous congressional
achievements in extravagance. Not only that, but the grand total of
the appropriations and contracts authorized in the two years of the
Sixty-second Congress was $2,238,470,990, which is to be compared with
$2,151,610,940 of the Sixty-first Congress. This is democratic economy
and simplicity with a vengeance. The Democrats surpassed by more than
$86,000,000 the exploits of the previous Republican Congress, which
they had denounced as profligate.

But the Republican pot cannot call the Democratic kettle black. The
blame falls upon both parties, for both have been profligate. Not only
is the method of drawing up the appropriation schedules indefensible,
but many of the senators and congressmen of both parties exhibit a
degree of greed and rapacity in grabbing for the people’s money that
is fairly comparable with the behavior of a drunken army looting a
captive city. The river-and-harbor appropriation of $41,000,000, and
the public-buildings appropriation amounting to $45,000,000 more, cover
multitudes of log-rolling sins, of costly improvements of streams never
navigable, of imposing buildings for small towns, veritable “grabs” of
money to foster local pride, put district constituents in a good humor,
and lay the foundation for safe majorities in the next congressional
elections. The sin here is not alone that of profligate wastefulness;
it is a pretty direct form of bribery of the voter. The staggering
appropriation for pensions belongs in this category. The Service
Pension Act added $25,000,000 to this item of expenditure, which in
this fiscal year is raised to the great sum of $180,300,000. And we are
now observing the fiftieth anniversaries of events of the war!

The national balance-sheet for the year which this “return to that
simplicity and economy which befits a democratic Government” presents
for the scrutiny of the voter and the taxpayer stands thus: estimated
revenue of the Government under existing laws, $991,791,508; direct
appropriations, $1,098,647,960; deficit, $106,856,452. But there must
be added to the appropriations $76,976,174 of contract commitments
authorized, raising the deficit to the colossal total of $183,812,626.

How shall this riot of extravagance be checked? By concentrating
the power of control over appropriation bills and by establishing a
definite responsibility for them. Two methods have been proposed.
President Taft in a special message urged upon Congress the plan of a
national budget. The various departments would prepare the estimates as
now; these would be diligently studied and coördinated, with constant
reference to the estimated revenue of the year; and the Executive
would then submit to Congress such a budget statement as in most other
countries the legislative body receives from the Government. In the
House of Representatives this budget would be considered by a budget
committee, or, if the old name were retained, by the Committee on
Appropriations. And the report of that committee, of course, would
be subject to discussion and amendment by the House. Representative
Fitzgerald of the Appropriations Committee and ex-Speaker Cannon agree
in advising a return to the practice of intrusting, the preparation of
appropriation bills to a single Committee on Appropriations.

Prior to the year 1865, the Committee on Ways and Means had control of
appropriation bills. Then the Committee on Appropriations was created,
with full control of supply bills. In 1885, because of jealousy of the
great power exercised by Samuel J. Randall, the bills making provision
for the army, the diplomatic and consular service, the military
academy, the navy, Indian affairs, and the post-office, were taken away
from the Committee on Appropriations. This change marked the beginning
of the era of extravagance. Under the present system, appropriations
are made in thirteen annual bills, and “eight different committees,
unrelated to one another, without coöperation, are charged with the
duty” of preparing these bills. No fairer invitation to extravagance
could be issued. Each committee works with regard only to itself,
and, as we have seen, all together work without regard to the revenue
side of the account. Coordination is impossible, and no balanced and
well-apportioned budget could be the result of such a system.

The national-budget plan proposed by Mr. Taft should have the most
serious consideration of Congress and of the country. Objection is made
that this plan is “wholly inapplicable to our system of government.”
It may be admitted at once that it is wholly incongruous with the
present “system” of Congress in respect to appropriations. It would
smash in both heads of the “pork-barrel,” and apprehension of that
catastrophe, rather than any constitutional scruple, we imagine, is
the motive of the objections that have been raised. It is true that
the House under the Constitution originates revenue bills. But there
is no constitutional impediment to the submission of estimates by
the Executive, since that has been the practice of the Government
since the beginning. A budget based upon the “needs of the Government
economically administered,” and scrupulously adjusted to the revenue
account, is the most promising remedy for the evils of the present
method of preparing bills in eight committees, working with no
recognized relation or understanding, under which extravagance has
grown into a habit.



ERRATUM


In the April ~Century~, on page 821, by a misapprehension M.
André Tardieu was spoken of as the editor of the “Revue des Deux
Mondes,” to which he is a contributor. The editor is M. Francis Charmes
of the French Academy.--~The Editor.~

[Illustration]



[Illustration: OPEN LETTERS]


ON THE LADY AND HER BOOK

_A Plea for the Suppression of a Catchword_

BY HELEN MINTURN SEYMOUR

[Illustration]

    _My dear George_:

The magazine containing “Confessions of a Novel Reader” arrived not
two hours ago, and I have just come from its perusal. When a young man
cares enough about his spinster aunt to send her his latest literary
production on the very day it appears it does seem ungracious to do
what I am about to do--make the letter of acknowledgment one continuous
complaint. But you touched me on a sensitive spot, George. Your essay
proved the proverbial straw, the drop that filled a cup of bitterness
to overflowing.

Perhaps you suspect that this tirade comes from an elderly New
Englander’s aversion to those very outspoken writers whom you admire.
Not a bit of it. Worship at whatever shrine you please. I, too, in my
young days, distressed my elders by my attachment to strange gods.
It is a waste of time to be shocked, since most of us have gone in
for “daring” literature when we were green in judgment. It is a phase
of youth, like a boy’s swagger. No, all the trouble came from one
little paragraph, which you probably never dreamed would upset me. You
said--oh, you said--that no woman enjoys Dumas! That cut me to the
heart, George,--and coming from you!

“A woman cannot read--” “A woman does not like--” We have heard those
expressions so often! Sometimes the statement is used to illustrate the
limitations of feminine sympathy. Sometimes the supposed limitations of
feminine sympathy are used to support the statement. I don’t know which
is worse, to go softly all one’s days, lest some individual weakness be
foisted on the whole unfortunate sex, or to feel that individual tastes
avail nothing as examples of female character.

Hark to Mr. Paul Elmer More on Christina Rossetti. He finds her
“perfectly passive attitude toward the powers that command her heart
and soul” makes her “the purest expression in English of the feminine
genius.” Mrs. Browning sinks to a lower level because “her political
opinions, her passion for reform, her scholarship ... simply carry her
into the sphere of masculine poets, where she suffers by comparison.”
But, “even within the range of strictly feminine powers her genius
is not simple and typical.” How he comes to his conclusion regarding
the typical woman Mr. More neglects to tell us. But you will observe
the advantage of this method for the doctrinaire. One has only to
accept a certain premise (it matters not what), and by excluding as
“not typical” every instance which might contradict it one can prove
anything. Thus, a certain book on the Negro proved, some years ago,
that the colored race was a hopeless mass of laziness, vice, and
stupidity. The writer hastened to forestall criticism by declaring that
the well-conducted Negro, wherever and whenever found, was not typical
of the race.

Here comes Dr. William Lyon Phelps, all amazement because women have
enjoyed the soldier tales of Kipling. To him the preference is as
out of place in a woman as her presence in a bar-room amid oaths and
tobacco-juice. Well, if there were as much color, adventure, and
excellent broad comedy in the bar-room as in the best of these stories
a lady might even forgive the profanity and the filthy floor. And
you must remember that life, for all the realists may say, is not
literature. We take our broad comedy, selected and arranged, from an
author. Life is like a variety show; we sit through a deal of vulgar
stupidity for the sake of a laugh or two. Furthermore, I believe plenty
of men who enjoy _Mistress Doll Common_ when Ben Jonson leads her on
the stage would find her sadly dull in real life. Perhaps I have grown
more patient with the limitations of sex since the days when I read
“Monte Cristo” in the hayloft; but I still fume under that particular
form of petticoat tyranny which would extend to books. Sex may pervade
all the departments of life, but I hold that it should stop at the
library door.

Divest yourself of certain odious catchwords, my dear boy. Toss certain
theories into the waste-basket, where they belong. Forget that any one
ever called woman “the subjective sex,” and that somebody described
her as a “divine totality” (I think it was divine). Any superfluous
subjectiveness is wearing away in the freer air which has done so much
to destroy woman’s “personal outlook.” Remember that women are no more
of a piece than are their fathers or brothers, but a hodge-podge of
miscellaneous and often contradictory tastes. “Tell me what you eat
and I will tell you what you are,” runs the saying. “Tell me what you
read and I will tell you what you are,” says the critic by implication.
Now, what is that middle-aged relative of mine who keeps a place in her
heart of hearts for “Pride and Prejudice” and “Pan Michael,” for “The
Essays of Elia” and “Junius’s Letters”? Verily, we seek our books as we
seek the society of many friends, to suit a mood, with no regard for
totalities.

By the way, is not this just another instance of that mania for
pigeonholing human tastes and playing them off against one another?
If you appreciate Sienkiewicz, you must share the opinion of “The
Virginian” (and Mr. Wister) regarding Jane Austen; and if you find
entertainment in the human comedy as played in English country towns
at the end of the eighteenth century, it stands to reason that you are
not the person for the Poland of the seventeenth. It avails you little
to protest that you find an equal pleasure in routing _Lady Catherine_
with _Elizabeth_ and Tartars with _Volodyovski_. One of these days I
intend to found a society for the suppression of useless comparisons.
I can understand how a Trinitarian and a Unitarian, a Democrat and a
Republican, a suffragist and an anti-suffragist might drift naturally
into discussion. But why, when I speak a good word for the canine race,
must my acquaintance, B, launch aggressively into praise of cats, as if
my love of dogs were a challenge? Why may I not enjoy Tennyson without
calling down on myself the scorn of the Browningite? It annoys me to
have my pets or my poets made the excuse for a wrangle. I refuse to
commit myself to any type of novel.

But, you may remind me, I went so far as to keep a parrot “once, long
ago.” I plead guilty, yet, Mark Twain to the contrary, a parrot is no
index to character. _John Silver_ kept one, but nobody ever compared
him to a maiden lady.

So, dear George, when you meet some gentle spinster with a flavor of
“Cranford” about her, give her the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps she
likes nothing better than to swagger in imagination through the streets
of old Paris in company with the immortal three, brandishing a sheaf of
rapiers taken from the cardinal’s guard.

--And between you and me, George, I never saw a “typical woman.”

    Your affectionate aunt,
    _Anne Coddington_.


ON THE USE OF HYPERBOLE IN ADVERTISING

_From a Lady who Suffers from Skepticism to a Friend who is Healthily
Credulous_

BY AGNES REPPLIER

[Illustration]

    _My dear Eleanor_:

No, Eleanor, I have not read “The Three Golden Apples.” I have not even
read the reviews. But I _have_ read the publishers’ notice, because
they were good enough to send it to me. They say the book is the
literary masterpiece of our day, that it stands unrivaled in tensity
of situation, that it is an epoch-making narrative, and a masterly
contribution to the problems that confront the thinking world. Upon
which I find myself murmuring with _Sancho Panza_, “Nothing else, mine
honest friend?” Why not say simply and plainly that it is the greatest
novel ever written, and that Clarence Coventry (have you ever met him,
Eleanor? He is a charming man) is the greatest novelist ever born? Why,
when people are soaring in the pure and limitless realms of fancy,
should they stop short, as if they were impeded by facts?

Now even if I did not know Clarence--who writes quite as well as his
neighbors--I should be chilled into apathy by the publishers’ red-hot
enthusiasm. The phrase “epoch-making” is calculated to chill any reader
who has encountered it before and who remembers what it usually means.
And though I am well aware that epochs are not made or marred by even
a readable novel, I don’t like being told pure nonsense, and I don’t
like being hounded by advertisements. Why, Eleanor, since I have been
running over to New York every few weeks to see Amy and the children,
and staring out of the car-windows at ninety weary miles of continuous
advertising, I am cured forever of touching pills or pickles.

Yet they tell me (though I don’t believe it) that the success of any
business venture depends wholly and entirely on its advertisements;
that if people are told often enough to buy a thing they end by buying
it; that if they are told imperatively or persuasively they buy it a
little sooner; and that they can be startled into buying it at once. I
have been given to understand that the artless expedient of printing an
advertisement upside-down impels hundreds of men and women to purchase
the object or visit the attraction so derided.

But we are not, in other respects, a child-like nation; I find a
great deal of incredulity in this world when it comes to things
worth believing. Why, then, this touching simplicity in the face of
a transparent artifice? Does a young man really believe that if he
eats one kind of cereal rather than another he will become a great
financier? That is virtually what he is told. But if he will add up the
financiers on the one hand, and the cereal-eaters on the other, he will
find his figures disheartening.

The other day I received a long and exceedingly intimate communication,
which began “Why not be Beautiful?”, and which (assuming ungraciously
that I was ugly) gave me so many good reasons for altering my estate,
that I began to fear I was “resisting grace” by retaining a single
feature. A beautiful woman, I was reminded, “has the world at her feet,
and can nobly mold the characters of men.” All this for thirty dollars,
Eleanor! And I have so many friends whose characters--or at least whose
habits--would “thole a mend.” Do you think, if I paid thirty dollars
to be beautiful--in an elderly fashion--I could break Archie Hamilton
of contradicting every innocent statement made in his presence (he’d
say the sea wasn’t salt if he had a chance), and induce Dr. Nett not
to tell us any more about the Panama Canal? It would be money well
invested; but I fear--I fear--

The amazing thing about the whole business is that it should be worth
while. Last winter in a magazine I read a very serious and sanguine
paper called “A Revolution in Advertising.” The writer--it is always
a woman who believes in the perfectibility of our fallen race--wanted
advertisers, one and all, to abandon romance and become educational
mediums. She begged them to give us their aid in apportioning our
incomes, to tell us “facts about economy and expenditure,” to impart to
us the secrets of skill and the principles of science. She sought to
make our department stores “museums of vital importance.” As the stores
are already concert-halls and picture-galleries, cooking-schools,
day nurseries, and vaudeville shows, it seems grasping to ask them
to be museums as well; but to expect them to teach us the value of
economy is like expecting the steamship companies to teach us the
advantages of staying at home. It is not, after all, the money we save,
but the money we spend, which benefits the shopkeeper. He may tell
us that we economize when we buy a seventy-five-dollar costume for
thirty-nine dollars and a half. According to his computation we shall
save thirty-five dollars and fifty cents--quite a comfortable sum--by
so doing. Who was it that said that figures lie more than anything
in the world except facts; and by what system, I often wonder, does
the advertiser regulate his choice of numerals? Human greed and human
credulity are his only guides. If he said the costume was reduced from
seventy-five dollars to sixty dollars, we’d say it wasn’t worth while;
and if he said it was reduced from seventy-five to fifteen, we’d say
we didn’t believe it; so he has to choose some happy medium which will
sound both tempting and trustworthy. He depends on our gullibility, and
he does not depend in vain.

What I like best, however, are the ingenious appeals that cast all
cramping veracities to the winds. I like being invited (don’t laugh, I
can show you the advertisement) to grow potatoes in a closet, or in my
spare room. “Method cheap, simple, and sure.” “No digging, no hoeing”
(I should think not, in my spare room!). All the potatoes I want to
eat, and “immense profits” if I send them to market. No labor involved,
and no annoyance, save possibly the loss of an occasional guest, as I
could not well have friends sleeping in my potato-patch. I have heard
of people raising mushrooms and angleworms in their cellars (I’d as
soon eat one as the other); but a truck-garden in the next room would
be living in the heart of nature.

And now Massachusetts, in a spasm of integrity, is trying to restrain
the exuberance of the advertiser, to clip his wings, and teach him
the worth of sobriety. The State proposes to abolish fraudulent
advertisements, and to construe the word “fraudulent” so that it will
cover any statement that can be proved to be false. A thing must really
and truly be just what the advertiser says it is. But oh, Eleanor,
what a tangle for the law to smooth out! If, like the three rogues in
the Hindoo legend, you sell a dog for a sheep, that, of course, is a
transparent lie. But if you say that Clarence Coventry’s book is an
“epoch-making narrative,” who shall prove the contrary? We’d have to
wait so long to find out the truth that our graves would yawn for us in
the interval. And if in 1950 the student of social science were asked,
“Who wrote ‘The Three Golden Apples,’ and what influence did it have
upon its day?” and he should answer--very naturally--that he never
had heard of it, the time for investigation would be over. Clarence,
and the publishers, and “The Three Golden Apples” would all be dead
together.

    Your affectionate friend,
    _Agatha Reynolds_.

P.S. Don’t send me the book for a birthday present.



[Illustration: IN LIGHTER VEIN]


[Illustration: A Cubist Romance.]

TEXT AND PICTURES BY OLIVER HERFORD

    A sculptor once, in search of fame
    (I can’t recall the sculptor’s name),
    Turned Cubist, and at once began
    A statue on the Cubist plan.

    The statue, I need hardly say,
    Was something in the Venus way,
    And as its form grew bit by bit,
    The sculptor fell in love with it.

    Then came a wonderful idea:
    He named his statue Galatea,
    Which, by the way, reminds me that
    His own name was Pygmalion Pratt.

    One day it chanced Pygmalion came
    To read the legend of his name
    And hers, and prayed that fiction might
    Repeat itself for his delight.

    When, lo! the cubic feet of stone
    Turned all at once to flesh and bone,
    And Galatea’s cubic face
    Met his in angular embrace.

    Short-lived was Galatea’s bliss;
    She soon guessed something was amiss,
    And from the wall, in modish dress,
    A Gibson girl confirmed her guess.

    “Pygmalion dear,” she cried, “oh, please
    Buy me some pretty frills like these!”
    Then, meeting his astonished stare,
    Blushed to the cube roots of her hair.

    Picture the curious crowds they drew
    As they strolled up Fifth Avenue!
    Think of the modistes asked to drape
    Miss Galatea’s cubic shape!

[Illustration]


    When Galatea came to see
    The sheer impossibility
    Of getting clothes, without ado
    She took to posing for _le nu_.

    And now she leads (to end my tale)
    A model life in Bloomingdale,
    Painted and sculptured and adored
    By inmates of the Cubist ward.

[Illustration]


AN AFTER-DINNER STORY

BY SILAS HARRISON

AN ANECDOTE OF MCKINLEY

President McKinley’s scrupulous loyalty to his cabinet officers is
spoken of as one of his characteristics. It is said that he never went
over the heads of his secretaries to consult an assistant, but held
each to responsibility for his department.

Of all the events of his administration probably none was a source
of more anxiety to him than the decision of the Supreme Court on the
status of the colonies. It was a matter of great moment whether the
highest judicial body should uphold the view of the Administration
that the Constitution sanctioned the possession of colonies which were
not granted full representation. There were conflicting rumors and
forecasts of the color of the decision, and these added to the tension
felt at Washington. Shortly before the announcement of the finding of
the court a subordinate officer of one of the Departments appeared
at the White House, at an unusual hour, and insisted upon seeing the
President on the plea of important business. Having been admitted, he
came at once to his errand.

“Mr. President, I have some good news for you. I have just learned
authoritatively that the decision of the Supreme Court is to be in your
favor.” He fairly glowed with the importance of his welcome message.

“Thank you,” said Mr. McKinley quietly, “that _is_ good news. But have
you informed your chief?”

“No, Mr. President; I thought you ought to be the first to know it.”

“Well, Mr.----, I’m sorry for that. Now, will you please do me the
favor to go at once to your chief and give him the information, so that
_he_ may communicate it to _me_.”


OLD DADDY DO-FUNNY’S WISDOM JINGLES

BY RUTH MCENERY STUART

THE JACK-O’-LANTERN

    Sence he los’ ’is brains to git ’is smile,
    Brer Jack-o’-lantern grins lak a ’wilderin’ chile,
    Widout no secrets out or in;
    An’ de lighter in de head de broader is ’is grin.
      An’ he ain’t by ’isself in dat, in dat--
      No, he ain’t by ’isself in dat.


ANTS

    Dem ants is sho got savin’ ways,
    An’ even de scripture ’lows ’em praise;
    But dey hoa’ds for deyselves f’om day to day,
    An’ dey stings any man wha’ gits in de way.
      An’ dey ain’t no new co’poration in dat--
      No, dey ain’t by deyselves in dat.


THE CANARY

    Dat little yaller cage-bird preems ’is wings,
    An’ he mounts ’is pyerch an’ sings an’ sings
    He feels ’is cage, but I ’spec’ he ’low
    To take what comes an’ sing _anyhow_.
      An’ you ain’t by yo’self, little bird, in dat--
      No, you ain’t by yo’self in dat.


LIMERICK

TEXT AND PICTURE BY OLIVER HERFORD

[Illustration]

THE KIND ARMADILLO

    There once was a kind armadillo,
    Who solaced a lone weeping-willow.
        Said he: “Do not weep!
        What _you_ need is some sleep;
    Pray rest on my shell as a pillow.”


THE DE VINNE PRESS, NEW YORK



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Robert Stewart, second Marquis of Londonderry, was known by
courtesy until the death of his father in 1821, as Lord Castlereagh. He
held at this time the position in the British ministry, then in power,
of First Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

[2] The retreat from Moscow had been ordered and begun just six days
before this letter was written.

[3] The United States had formally declared war with Great Britain on
the eighteenth of June preceding the writing of this letter.

[4] The Presidential election of 1812, occurring in the midst of the
war with England, was closely contested. James Madison was a candidate
for reëlection, representing the so-called Republican party. De Witt
Clinton of New York was the candidate of the Federalist party. A change
of twenty electoral votes would have turned the scale. The Federalists
in Massachusetts had a majority of 24,000, and the Peace party swept
the Congressional districts throughout New England and New York.
Madison, however, received 128 votes in the Electoral College, out of a
total of 217.

[5] The name “Isaac” was underlined and emphasized in this letter by
Mr. Adams to distinguish the commander of the _Constitution_, in its
flight with the _Guerrière_, from the uncle of that commander, General
William Hull, who had surrendered Detroit to the British commander
on the sixteenth of August--three days before the naval battle.
General William Hull was subsequently [January, 1814] tried before a
court-martial, and convicted. His sentence--that of death--was modified
in execution, however. His name was ordered to be struck from the army
roll.

[6] Stephen Decatur had been in command of the frigate _United States_
when it captured the British frigate _Macedonian_, in the engagement
referred to.

[7] The reference is here to the recent Presidential election.
Massachusetts had then by a very large majority thrown its vote in
favor of De Witt Clinton, the Federalist, or Peace party, candidate
against Madison, who was a candidate for reëlection.

[8] A circular to British naval officers was at this time issued by the
Secretary of the Admiralty. It read as follows: “My Lords Commissioners
of the Admiralty having received intelligence that several of the
American ships of war are now at sea, I have their Lordships’ commands
to acquaint you therewith, and that they do not conceive that any
of his Majesty’s frigates should attempt to engage, single-handed,
the larger class of American ships, which, though they may be called
frigates, are of a size, complement and weight of metal much beyond
that class and more resembling line-of-battle ships.

“In the event of one of his Majesty’s frigates under your orders
falling in with one of these ships, his captain should endeavor in
the first instance to secure the retreat of his Majesty’s ship; but
if he finds that he has an advantage in sailing he should endeavor
to manœuvre, and keep company with her, without coming to action, in
the hope of falling in with some other of his Majesty’s ships, with
whose assistance the enemy might be attacked with a reasonable hope of
success.

“It is their Lordships’ further directions that you make this known
as soon as possible to the several captains commanding his Majesty’s
ships.” (The _Croker Papers_, I, 44.)

In a paper recently prepared by him on the American Navy, Rear-Admiral
French Ensor Chadwick pronounces this “the finest tribute ever paid
any navy.” (Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society for
November, 1912, Vol. 46, pp. 207-208.)

[9] This incident resulted from what was known as the affair of the
_Little Belt_. It occurred May 16, 1811, off Cape Charles, Virginia.
The United States frigate _President_, of forty-four guns, and the
British corvette, of twenty guns, were concerned in it. The affair was
accidental, and the _Little Belt_ escaped being sunk, but, at the time,
asserted that after a sharp engagement it had driven off the American
frigate of greatly superior force. It was alleged that the commander of
the _President_ had mistaken the _Little Belt_ for the _Guerrière_; and
consequently the captain of the _Guerrière_, it was said, subsequently
had the name of the ship painted as indicated by Mr. Adams, in order
that in future there should be no possibility of mistake.

[10] Reference is here made to the engagements between the frigates
_Constitution_ and _Guerrière_, August 19, between the frigates _United
States_ and _Macedonian_, October 25, and between the _Wasp_ and the
_Frolic_, both eighteen-gun sloops of war, October 17--all in 1812. The
_Wasp_ was commanded by Captain Jacob Jones of Delaware. The action
lasted forty-three minutes, was desperately fought, and resulted in the
capture of the _Frolic_.

[11] This statement illustrates the slowness with which news then
traveled in Russia, or the degree to which information was suppressed
during the campaign of 1812. St. Petersburg is about four hundred and
fifty miles from the river Niemen, which constituted the boundary
between East Prussia and Russia. Mr. Adams occupied an official
position at St. Petersburg. What remained of Napoleon’s army had
succeeded in effecting its escape by the crossing of the Beresina
during the closing days of November. On the fifth of December Napoleon
had left his army at Smorgoni, a town in the Russian province of Vilna,
and about one hundred and twenty-five miles east of the river Niemen.

At the time this letter was written he had been thirteen days in Paris,
having reached that place on the evening of December 18. Thus tidings
of what had occurred on the fifth of December, in Russia, less than
four hundred and fifty miles from St. Petersburg, had not reached St.
Petersburg and become generally known on the thirty-first of that month.

[12] Fought May 2, 1813, near Leipsic, Saxony, between the French under
Napoleon and the allies, Prussian and Russian. The French greatly
predominated in numbers, and claimed the victory, which, however,
proved fruitless.

[13] Bautzen, fought May 21, 1814, between the allies and the French,
at a point some thirty miles east of Dresden, and about one hundred
and fifty miles from Lützen. It was another nominal French victory. In
these two engagements the loss of Napoleon’s army is computed as having
been between forty and fifty thousand men.

[14] Of the 600,000 men Napoleon is believed to have, first and last,
led into Russia, only about 12,000, in a wholly disorganized condition,
reached the Niemen. The French army was virtually destroyed. Napoleon
got to Paris December 18, 1812, and again took the field at the head of
a fresh army of about 700,000 men, the following April, fighting the
battle of Lützen May 2.

[15] The battle of Leipsic, resulting in the total defeat of the French
army under Napoleon, with a loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners of
about 70,000 men, occurred October 16-19, 1813. Wellington, as the
result of his Peninsular campaign, entered French territory on the
seventh of the same month.

[16] Henry IV, Part I, Act V, Sc. 4.

[17] The Fontainebleau abdication of the emperor had taken place on the
eleventh of April. Napoleon had reached Elba, after his abdication, on
the fourth of May, eight days before the date of this letter.

[18] William Shaw Cathcart, created Earl Cathcart July 16, 1814. He had
served in the American Revolutionary War 1777-1780. He was Ambassador
from the Court of St. James’s to that of Russia in 1812-1814.

[19] Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Baronne de Staël-Holstein, better
known as Madame de Staël, was born at Paris, April 22, 1766, and died
there July 14, 1817. Exiled from France in 1812 by order of Napoleon,
she visited Austria, Russia, Sweden, and England. She was then
forty-six years of age, and at the height of her great reputation.
The following letter was written by John Quincy Adams to his brother,
Thomas Boylston Adams, in the latter part of November, 1812, but the
interviews described and the conversations related had taken place on
the sixth and the eighth of the previous September.

[20] The battle of Salamanca, between the British army, under the Duke
of Wellington, and the French army, under Marshal Marmont, was fought
July 22, 1812. The bombardment of Copenhagen under the command of Lord
Cathcart had occurred in September, 1807.

[21] “The Mihavansa,” Wiiesinha’s translation.

[22] Reprinted from “Scribner’s Monthly” (now ~The Century~) for April,
1874, and included in “Old Creole Days,” by George W. Cable. (New York:
Charles Scribner’s Sons.)

[23] “Wanted: Straight Thinking about Militant Suffragists.” See
also previous editorial articles of the same tenor: “Grace before
Lawlessness” (March, 1912) and “Teaching Violence to Women” (May, 1912).





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