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

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


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

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

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

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



produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



Transcriber's Note:

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

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.



  [Illustration: VENETIAN GIRL.
   Painted by George Butler.]



     SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE

     VOL. XXVI      SEPTEMBER, 1899      NO. 3



     Copyright 1899, by Charles Scribner's Sons. All rights reserved.



WHERE THE WATER RUNS BOTH WAYS

By Frederic Irland

ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE AUTHOR


  [Illustration]

The greatest glory of Canada is not its modern progress, but its
vast and ancient wilderness. If you weary of the sameness and
unprofitableness of every thing you know, go where I went last year, to
the upper waters of the Ottawa, where the beaver is the master architect
and the moose is king of the woods. See for yourself, as I saw, that
the Ottawa and the Gatineau, appearing to come from widely distant
regions, have their origin close together and are twins. Behold these
two children of the lakes, nourished from the same generous breast.
Trace their courses, and see that, though journeying far, in widely
different directions, they finally arrive at a common destination.

Nobody knows all about that head-water country around the sources of
the Ottawa. It is a prolific game region, where sportsmen rarely go,
for the simple reason that they can get all the hunting they want nearer
to the railroad. There are plenty of deer close to almost any Canadian
Pacific station west of Pembroke, and it is not much trouble to get a
chance at a moose in two days from Deux Rivières, Rockliffe, or Mattawa.
Not many hunting parties start from there either, and I suppose the
reason is that for thousands of miles to the west the woods, prairies,
and mountains lie close to the railroad and afford almost limitless
opportunities.

The territory enclosed by the Ottawa and the Gatineau has been, from
immemorial times, the home of the Algonquin Indians, and they still
remain there, in such primitive innocence that they receive no annuity
from the Dominion Government. In this they are unlike the Indians of
the United States or their brother tribes of Canada.

The map which accompanies this article is reproduced from the latest
Crown Land Office charts of the Upper Ottawa River. Hundreds of lakes,
some of them many miles in extent, are unmarked, because they have
never been surveyed. But a glance at the map will give some idea of
the flood which is poured out at the feet of Canada's stately capital.
As a canoeing country I believe the Ottawa valley to be unequalled
anywhere in the world. The dotted line on the map shows the course of a
lazy autumn trip which I took around the borders of the great interior
island, formed by the streams which fall from a common birthplace in
the Kakebonga region and reunite in front of the city of Ottawa.

The _coureurs du bois_ of the old _régime_ have passed away, but the
song of their beloved wilderness is as sweet to-day as when they found
it irresistible.

At Mattawa I procured the supplies which are necessary for a canoe
trip in the woods, and the branch railroad took me to the shore of Lake
Kippewa. Then a lumber company's steamer carried me to Hunter's Point,
the farthest settlement, eighty-five miles north of Mattawa. From there
it was all canoe and portage. Nowhere was there a carry more than a
mile long, and generally the distance was only a few hundred yards from
one lake to another, or around a rapid. The rivers form a continuous
waterway, but we made many short cuts. In five hundred miles of canoeing
there were, perhaps, twenty miles of carrying, all told.

Mr. Isaac Hunter, the postmaster at Hunter's Point, has his office in
the front room of his house or else in his coat-pocket. He has a large,
well-cleared farm, where his father lived before him, and he sells hay
to the lumbermen at fifty dollars a ton. Plenty of people in the United
States might well want to be in his place. Yet the farm he lives on has
no legal status. It has never been surveyed, and the Crown Land Office
has no official knowledge of it. So he pays no taxes and he never cast
a vote in his life.

When I got to Mr. Hunter's I was at the end of civilization. Beyond
his house there were no roads except the water-ways, and the journey I
wished to make through the wilderness was several hundred miles long.
But I felt as sure of the way as though I had been there before. There
are no maps which are of any use at all. Not one of them shows more than
half of the lakes which form the easy road we travelled.

I told Mr. Hunter where I wanted to go. He said: "Well, my
brother-in-law, Joe Decountie, knows the way to Ross Lake, about half
way to the Grand Lake Victoria. Mr. Christopherson, the Hudson's Bay
agent at Grand Lake, will be back here soon. If you want to go with Joe
and bring back a moose by Saturday, you'll find Mr. Christopherson here
then, and he can tell you how to go the rest of the way. You'll need
a canoe. They sell pretty high this year. You can have that one out by
the water for six dollars."

  [Illustration: Valley of the Upper Ottawa.

The finest canoeing country in the world. Mr. Irland's route indicated
by the dotted line. There are watercourses even in the places where, on
the official map, the line seems to cross dry land.]

Joe was young and big. He lived across the bay from his brother-in-law.
He and the rest of the twenty or thirty other people around Hunter's
Point speak Algonquin and French and very fair English, and their names
show that those early adventurers from Europe, two hundred years ago
and later, had no violent race prejudices. The more I have seen of the
half-bloods of Canada, the more I have come to admire them. They are
of fearless stock, and have inherited many good traits from both races.
They regard with amusement and pity their half-brothers, the full-blood
Algonquins of the remote forest, but they understand the arts of
wood-lore which make life more than endurable there. They have French,
English, Scotch, and Scandinavian family names, and any one who thinks
they lead an uncomfortable life is very much mistaken.

  [Illustration: Lower Chute of the Grand Calumet Fall.]

A good deal has been written lately about the hardships and dangers of
camp life. For years I have spent a considerable time each season in
the woods, sometimes depending for days on the resources of the country,
and I can truthfully say I never had one uncomfortable hour there.

"Where shall we go after a moose, Joe?" I asked.

Joe said: "Well, it's bes' to go where we sure to find 'em. Dese fellers
aroun' here don't like de place where I go, because it takes most all
day to get dere. But I never failed yet to see moose." So we threw our
luggage into the canoe, and departed, in a gentle rain-storm.

It was nearly a year since I had had a paddle in my hand, but it was
only a short distance between portages. I know of no form of severe
muscular exertion which is so little irksome as paddling a canoe. Rowing
is galley-slavery in comparison. With the paddle there are not less than
three variations of position on each side, which bring new muscles into
play and relieve the weary ones; and a shift from one hand to the other
is a complete rest. So it was not long, during the succeeding month of
canoeing, before I came, at daylight, to look forward to a long day's
paddling with positive delight.

If any one wishes to know just where we went on that little side issue
of a moose hunt let him get a good map of the Kippewa region, and locate
the space between Lake Ostoboining and Hay Bay. It is a blank space on
a Crown Land Office map, but there are at least fifty small lakes in
it. It took six hours' canoeing and carrying, from Mr. Hunter's house,
till we came to the lake Joe had chosen.

That moose hunt was too easy. We got to the lake, put up the tent,
chopped some wood, and just at dusk, when Joe was baking biscuits in
the frying-pan, suddenly he set the pan down and made a rush for the
canoe. At the same moment I saw a big bull moose wading out of his
depth, from the opposite shore, into the deep water, about the length
of a city block from the tent. He did not see us at all, and went right
on, swimming leisurely across. The lake was narrow, and the moose did
not hurry. His broad yellow antlers were so heavy that he barely kept
his nose above the water. It was a great sight to see the ripple spread
in a diagonal behind him, while Joe urged the little canoe right up
close astern. What a pity it was too dark for the camera! When he was
forty rods from shore and we were close to him, Joe asked, loudly and
pleasantly, "Jack, where you goin' to-day?" Jack turned his big head,
and the expression in his ox-like eye was that of pained surprise. He
began to swim so hard that he half climbed out of the water.

  [Illustration: On Lake Kippewa.]

"Let's head him off," said Joe. So we made a respectful circle around
the moose, and he ported his helm and turned back toward the place
whence he came.

"Drive him to the tent," I suggested; and we did the meanest thing I
ever saw done on a moose hunt. We kept between him and where he wanted
to go, and actually made him carry himself to shore close to the tent,
before I turned the express bullet loose. It was all done so quickly
that the biscuits did not burn.

"Now, we worked ourselves out of business, didn't we?" commented
Joe, by the fire-light, after we had completed certain anatomical
dismemberments, the result of which would have astonished the moose very
greatly if he could have seen himself hung up. "My pore leetle cousins
ain't got no fresh meat," continued Joe, relapsing from the severely
studied English with which he had previously addressed me. "It's 'bout
twelve mile straight so, to de house. How you t'ink if I bring my
cousins to-morrow to take out de moose?"

I thought that was a very good idea, so the next day Joe left me and
walked through the woods to Hunter's Point, to bring his relatives. In
the afternoon it rained, so Joe and his cousins did not appear, and I
had the blankets to myself that night.

The Hudson's Bay Company supply a tent which can be closed up tightly.
This is good in mosquito time, but in the fall there is nothing so fine
as a plain shed tent, open in front. The heat from the fire is reflected
down from the slanting roof, and you can keep warm and dry in the
coldest rain that ever fell, especially if you have a light fly spread
above the tent. I had brought along a tent of this pattern, and was as
comfortable as any king that night, though the nearest human being was
twelve miles or so away. The rain made the fire burn more brightly than
usual, by knocking the film of ashes from the logs.

The next morning I was awakened by my old friends, the moose-birds.
A pair of them were trying to carry off the moose meat, all at one
mouthful, and at the same time fighting away a third bird which sneaked
in between their trips to their place of storage. The moose-bird takes
life very seriously, and his sole business is stealing everything he
can stick his bill into. Unless he is very often disturbed he is without
fear, and will readily alight on a stick held in your hand, if you put
a piece of meat on the end of the stick. I have often photographed the
bird at a distance of three or four feet.

About two o'clock that afternoon Joe and his friends appeared on the
scene, with another canoe; and they carried the moose home in sections.

The next day was so warm and bright that we took the canoe and went
on a long observation tour. Joe made a big circuit, from lake to lake
and pond to pond. One of the geographical peculiarities of the country
is that you can go by water in any direction you choose, with short
portages. Between almost any two ridges you will find a lake or two.

  [Illustration: Cow Moose in Thick Timber.]

In many places we saw where, earlier in the season, the moose had been
eating the water-lilies. The remnants of the roots, as thick as a man's
wrist, were floating on the surface by the score.

About four o'clock in the afternoon, when we were on the return to our
tent, and paddling along very quietly, we heard a stick break close by
the edge of the water. Looking sharply into the thick brush I caught
sight of a cow moose, with two calves, in the woods about twenty
feet back from the shore. We kept very quiet, hoping they would come
out where they could be photographed. But soon the cow's great ears
straightened out in our direction, the calves backed around behind their
mamma, and in an instant they had begun a noiseless flight.

  [Illustration: Hudson's Bay Post at the Grand Lake Victoria.]

It was dusk by the time we reached our own lake, and there was a faint
moon. All through the day we had traversed about as fine a moose country
as one could find. Every lake had its well-defined path around the
shore, just along the edge of the bushes.

  [Illustration: A Portage.]

At the head of our lake, about a mile from the tent, we stopped and
ran the canoe ashore. Joe grunted hoarsely, and splashed the water
with his paddle, and, sooner than it takes to tell this, we heard, not
two hundred yards away, the most impressive sound that ever comes to
a sportsman's ears, the ripping, tearing noise made by a bull moose,
hooking the trees right and left out of sheer joy and pride in his
strength. He tore down a few cords of saplings, judging by the racket,
and then came out, "oofing" at every step, circling around us. In the
gathering dusk we saw his great black shape for a moment as he crossed
the little stream in which the canoe was hidden. That was the time to
have fired, if I had wanted him very badly, but Joe, whose wealth of
luck had made him over-bold, whispered, "I bring him close," and emitted
a loud roar, very like the squeal of a horse, and the moose never
stopped to take one more look. He simply wheeled around behind the fir
thicket where he was concealed, and, with a few characteristic remarks
in his own language, expressive of disdain and opprobrium, made a hasty
departure for a distant section of the country. He acted as though he
recognized Joe's voice. "Well, we fright him good, anyway," said Joe.

There was only one other place on our whole subsequent trip where the
moose seemed to be so plentiful as right here, close to Lake Kippewa.
We had one moose, and had seen that there were plenty more. The Quebec
law allows only two in a season, to one man.

I wished to see more of the Kippewa country before going north; so
we went back to Mr. Hunter's the next morning, and there met Mr.
Christopherson, on his way back to the Grand Lake Victoria, and with him
an Indian named Jocko, one of the "Grand Lakers," as Joe called them.
Jocko was a thick-set, open-faced barbarian who smiled at the slightest
excuse, and who was so pleasant and bright that I am going hunting
with him some day if I can. Mr. Christopherson said there would be no
trouble in finding our way to the Grand Lake Victoria, as there was a
plain trail from Ross Lake, where Joe had been, to Trout Lake, and that
on this latter sheet of water were two or three families of Indians who
traded at the Grand Lake Victoria, any one of whom could be induced,
for a dollar a day, to show us the way.

Joe and I spent another week camping about Kippewa Lake, getting used
to each other's paddling, before we started on our northern journey.

It was at this stage of the proceedings that Joe modestly suggested
that he had a little nephew, Billy Paulson, thirteen years old, who
could do a good deal around camp, and that he would like to take him
with us. So Billy went and was happy. He was a versatile little boy.
He could read, which Joe could not do, and he spoke English without
much accent. I shall not soon forget my amazement when he began, soon
after our introduction, to whistle, in good tune, Sousa's "Washington
Post" march. How it had reached that far corner of the earth I do not
know, and neither did he; but he had it, and with "Her Golden Hair was
Hanging down Her Back," as an occasional interlude, he made distant
lakes melodious during the succeeding days.

  [Illustration: The Old Dam at Barrière Lake.]

The next day we took another side trip, to the east end of Lake Kippewa.
Joe had been telling of a wonderful trout lake, away up the mountain,
and we went to see it. There we found one of Billy's relatives, Johnnie
Puryea, and two squaws, catching a winter's supply of trout. They had
been there about a week, and had more than three hundred beautiful
fish hung up on a frame over a slow, smoky fire. While we partook of
Johnnie's trout, such a violent thunder-shower came up, with heavy
wind, that we stayed late. It was almost as dark as it could be when we
started back over the mile portage to the big lake. There was no good
trail, only a few trees being "spotted," and the side of the mountain
was furrowed with countless ravines, at the bottom of some one of which
lay our canoe. We could not see the trail at all, but kept going down
hill, and feeling of every tree we came to for the axe-spots. I suppose
we were about two hours making that mile, and I vividly appreciated
the force of the expression "feeling one's way." When we finally found
the canoe, and the moon came out from under the clouds, the smooth lake
seemed, after the storm, to be an old friend.

  [Illustration: Heavy Swells.]

The next morning we paddled along the shores of the deep indenting bays
for miles, looking for moose tracks. At one place a whole family, big
and little, had left fresh hoof-prints in the mud, and Joe followed them
to see where they went, while Billy and I trolled, and caught as many
walleyed pike and pickerel as we pleased.

All along the shores of the lake, at conspicuous points, the
bush-rangers, or fire police, had posted printed warnings against
leaving fires in the woods. It is a misdemeanor there to leave
a smouldering fire. He who starts a blaze must see that it is
extinguished.

  [Illustration: "Jocko"—a Typical Algonquin.]

Joe showed us a place where he and a companion were watching for moose
last year. "De moose come out. I shoot. De ca'tridge bu'st, and mos'
blind me. I listen for my chum to shoot, but he no shoot. I look 'round,
and my chum run away. So we no get dat moose."

There are many men who do not seem to be able to face a moose, but the
animal cannot do anything to a man with a heavy rifle, who uses it.

My note-book is full of Joe's moose stories. Here is one that shows how
common the animals are at Kippewa. "Las' year anoder lad and me, we took
a big head out to de station to sell. A man offer us five dollar for it.
At las' we sell it for six. De trouble was, 'noder feller sell a moose,
de head, skin, meat, and all, de week before, for five dollar. I swore
I never help take out no more heads twenty-five mile for t'ree dollar
my share, and me kill de moose, too!"

The shores of Lake Kippewa are high hard-wood ridges, and one can see
a long way through the trees, as there is not much undergrowth. It is
an ideal place to hunt. As late as October 14th it was rather warm for
a night fire in front of the tent.

Every red and golden leaf as it fell at our feet bore to us the same
message. The Indian summer was upon us, and it was time to be going
northward. So we gathered our simple belongings together, and started
on our swing around the wilderness circle, to find where the two rivers
run from the same lake, to behold the mountain home of the twins.

There is joy in the mere fact of following unmapped water-ways. No
matter if you mistake your course, you can, at least, come back by the
same way you go. The river will run just as it has run during all the
centuries while you were neglecting it, and the lake will stay where
it has waited for you these countless years. The land-marks will not
fade away. Few, indeed, have been the kings of earth who ever felt as
jaunty and independent as the one white man and two half-breeds who left
Hunter's Point for the far Upper Ottawa, on the 16th of October, last
year. No matter what happened to other people, we were secure; and the
farther away we got, the better pleased we were.

Half a day of steady paddling through the Birch Lakes took us past
shores where the standing pine has never been disturbed by the
lumbermen. There are in these vast forests thousands of miles of country
which have never yet been decimated.

  [Illustration: Against the Current.]

The farther end of Big Birch Lake was the best we could do the first
day, and we camped at the foot of a portage as well cleared as a country
road, which has been in use by the Indians for a hundred years, and
probably much longer. Joe here rebelled against any elaborate tenting
arrangements for travellers. He cut three long poles, stuck them in the
ground slanting, and threw the tent over them. In truth this did just
as well, when the wind did not blow, as anything else.

A half-mile climb the next morning brought us to the top of a long hill;
and right at the very top, where a hundred dollars' worth of blasting
would let it run down into Birch Lake, stretched away Lake Sissaginega,
or "Island Lake," appropriately named, for there are about five hundred
islands in it.

  [Illustration: Beaver-house.]

Joe produced a couple of short oars from the bottom of the canoe, and
nailed a pair of rude rowlocks onto the gunwales. He explained that on
the long, wind-swept lakes which we should have to traverse, a pair
of oars were superior to two paddles against a head wind. It was a
wonderful thing, but during hundreds of miles of lake travel after that
we never once had a serious delay from weather. Nearly every morning
the wind rose briskly with the sun, blew during the middle of the day,
and moderated toward evening; so we pursued the ancient Indian custom
of starting very early in the morning, before the wind came up; took a
good rest in the middle of the day, and continued as late as we could in
the evening. But not once on all our prosperous journey were we really
wind-bound, though this is one of the most common of occurrences on
these lakes, where the wind often piles the swells up so high that not
even a birch-bark can weather them.

The height of the wave which this marvellous little evolution of the
ages can stand is not conceivable till you have witnessed it. Running
with a heavy, fair wind, the swells rise behind you and seem about
to engulf you. But in some way the canoe rises with the wave, and the
boiling, foaming mass rushes harmlessly by, while you sit on the dry,
clean bottom, and your pride increases with each successive triumph.

A very long lake next north of Sissaginega is Cacaskanan, not shown
at all on the maps. On this lake, about eleven o'clock the second day
out, while Joe was rowing, and merely casting an occasional perfunctory
glance over his left shoulder, he suddenly hissed, "See de moose!" We
were at least a mile from shore, and though I have seldom met any one,
civilized or savage, who could beat me at seeing game, I took off my hat
to Joe from then on. Sure enough, over Joe's left shoulder he had seen a
cow moose in the edge of the timber on shore. A projecting point allowed
us to get pretty close to the animal. The wind was partly off shore, and
all the time we were approaching we could see her watching the shore,
starting at every sound made by the wind among the dead tree-trunks,
but paying no attention to the water side at all. This enabled us,
considering the difficulty of navigating among fallen tree-trunks, to
make one of the most remarkable photographs I have ever taken. We got to
the very shore, and crept within thirty-five feet of that moose. I made
my exposure of the negative before she saw us at all. This photograph
will give a better idea than could ever be conveyed in words, of the
tremendous difficulty of still-hunting the moose in thick, dry timber,
where the crackling of a twig will spoil the best-made stalk.

That photograph was more satisfactory to me than the shooting of fifty
moose would have been. The moose does not show to the best advantage in
the picture, but that was her fault, and not ours. At the click of the
shutter she went to find the rest of her folks.

Late that afternoon we came to a place where Lake Cacaskanan narrows to
about one hundred yards wide, and here there were many moose tracks.
Just beyond, we met a family of the Indians who had killed two moose
that very day, and had more than a hundred musquash freshly skinned.
Billy was wonderfully impressed by the dirty, unkempt appearance of
the little children, whose shocks of matted hair he unconsciously
Kiplingized by referring to them afterward as "haystacks." The Indian
who was the head of this family, on being told by Joe where we were
going, said that we would walk on the ice before we got back. I fear he
was a sluggard, who saw lions or bears in the path of every enterprise.
He was burning logs twenty feet long, to save the trouble of cutting
them in two, and so he had fire enough for four tents, instead of one.

  [Illustration: The Moose-bird.]

Monday morning, October 18th, we had breakfast by starlight. Venus and
Jupiter were two particularly bright morning stars. Billy looked long
at the waning planets and remarked, in an awe-struck tone, "My, but they
must be high up!"

  [Illustration: A Beaver Dam.]

That day we reached Ross Lake, where there is a lumberman's supply
depot for operations over on the main Ottawa, in the direction of
Lake Expanse. We had no occasion to stop there, and all the afternoon
followed the directions we had received from Mr. Christopherson,
pursuing the Hudson's Bay Company trail through some small beaver ponds,
till we reached Trout Lake, a beautiful sheet of water about fifteen
miles long, where we expected to find an Indian to guide us to the Grand
Lake Victoria.

We found the summer camp all right, where the Indians had a
potato-patch, which they had not dug, so Joe said they had not left for
the winter; but not a smoke or sign of life could we find. We explored
the lake, finding abundant moose signs and trolled for salmon trout,
which at this time were up near the surface. One we caught was the
largest I ever saw. We had no means of determining its weight, but when
placed in the centre of the canoe, crosswise, on the bottom, its nose
protruded over one gunwale and its tail above the other.

On the morning of our third day on the lake we heard a dog bark, and
found the Indians encamped on a secluded island. The wretches had
seen us the first day, but, fearing we were game wardens or other
evil-disposed persons, had kept out of our way. Joe said the Indians
up there had a reputation for hiding from passers-by. After we had met
them and given evidence of good intentions, they were sociable enough.
While we were inviting the Indians to pass judgment on the contents of
a certain jug, an extremely large domestic cat belonging to them ate
much of the moose meat in our canoe. Nearly every Indian camp in these
woods has at least one cat, to keep the moose-birds and wood-mice in
subjugation, and the cats, being hard to get, are highly prized.

  [Illustration: On Lake Kakebonga.]

We soon made a bargain with Kakwanee, a young Indian just married and
needing money, to show us the way to the Hudson's Bay post on the Grand
Lake Victoria. Without knowing it, all the time we had been on Trout
Lake we were quite near a crew of lumbermen who were building a dam at
the outlet, to raise the water for a reserve supply, to be used, when
needed, to drive logs down the Ottawa, the water running out through
Lake Expanse. The intention was to raise the water six feet; and as
there are at least seventy-five square miles of water in Trout Lake,
it will be seen that a large reservoir would be produced by closing the
outlet, perhaps fifty feet wide. The Indians were doing a good deal of
laughing among themselves, as they said there was a marsh on the other
side of the lake, where, unless another very long dam was built, the
water would run off in the direction of Lake Kippewa as soon as it was
raised a foot or so; and the lumbermen did not know this.

In the evening while we were camped, waiting for Kakwanee to bid
farewell to his bride, Billy heard a trout splash the water. He at
once got some birch-bark and placed it in the cleft of a split stick,
warming it by the fire to make it curl up, and then lighting it on the
edge. In this way he made a torch which burned brightly for a long time.
Getting into the canoe he pushed silently out, standing up. Letting the
light shine into the clear water, he soon located the big trout, which
lay quietly on the bottom in the full blaze of light. Then he made the
motions of spearing, though he had no spear; and there was no doubt,
from the realism of the pantomime, that Billy, child as he was, well
knew a very unsportsmanlike way to kill fish. It was a beautiful sight
to see Billy stand up in a very tottlish birch-bark canoe, as confident
as a bare-back rider on a circus horse.

  [Illustration: The "Mountain Chute," Gatineau River.]

Joe had done some work as a "shanty-man," and the sight of the crew who
were building the dam made him reminiscent. "One time," said he, "I do
de chainin' for a gang; dat is, fasten de logs wid de chain, and bind
em fas'. My chum, he was French, and he drive de sled. He was goin' for
git marry so soon it was time for de camp to break up, an' he was sing
an' smile to hisself de whole time. De ver' las' day, de las' load, he
say, 'Now, Joe, dis load be de las' I ever drive fore I go home to my
Julie.' So he start de sled, an' de sled hit a dead birch. When I come
'long behine him, dere he was dead. A limb break off de birch when de
sled strike it. It was all rotten, an' de piece of de limb not so big
as your arm. But de limb was freeze, an' it hit him on de head, an' he
never move. He go home to Julie, sure, but not de way he expec'."

"My," said Billy, solemnly, "it must be awful for a man's peoples when
he go 'way from home feelin' good, and laugh and sing, and, the next
thing his peoples know, he come home dead!"

The next morning Kakwanee appeared and we resumed our interrupted
journey, running all day through two lakes, neither of which has ever
appeared on any map of Quebec. It seems wonderful that after white
men have used watercourses for canoe routes for a century or two, and
when lumbermen have investigated the country, there are stretches of
many miles together which are not indicated on official maps except by
white spots. But this is true of over half a million square miles of
British-American territory. The two lakes we traversed are called by
Indian names which mean "Crosswise Lake" and "Old Man Lake." Out of the
latter runs a river which falls into the Grand Lake Victoria. This lake
is really an expansion of the Ottawa. In many places its shores are
covered with medium-sized pines, and in others bare rocks are the only
things to be seen. The greatest enemy to these forests is fire, and in
all parts of the country are vast tracts which have been so devastated.

It was a long day's paddle from the lower end of the Grand Lake Victoria
to the old Hudson's Bay agency near its northern extremity. Here Mr.
Christopherson received us with great hospitality. He said I was the
fourth white man who had visited the post that year. The Indians who
came there to get their annual supplies, material and spiritual, had
long since left their little summer cabins for winter hunting-grounds.
Though the sun shone warm and bright, it might turn cold any night now,
and so Mr. Christopherson sent Jocko to show us the portages as far as
an Indian village, twenty-seven miles up the river. There we could get
a guide to see us through to the place where the water runs the other
way. Jocko, himself, wanted to go away hunting, so he only accompanied
us as far as the Indian settlement.

  [Illustration: A "Chute" on the Gatineau.]

This procuring of guides through an unknown country, on the instalment
plan, was very fascinating to me, and it illustrated a characteristic
of the northern forest Indian which is universal. The red man of the
prairies was a nomad, but the son of the woods does not make very long
pilgrimages, or know much about the world beyond his own hunting-ground.
Before he is old enough to remember any thing he makes his first journey
to the trading-post where his ancestors have for generations been
regular customers and perpetual debtors. He does not remember how or
when he learned the way. On his own stream and its tributaries he is
an infallible guide, for he learned all the landmarks before he could
pronounce their names. But every forest traveller has found the Indians
in one locality reluctant to go far from home. When Alexander Mackenzie
felt his way, by stream and portage, to the great river which bears his
name, and thence down to the Frozen Ocean, he found that the Indians
on one reach of the river always believed that below their own country
there were impassable rapids and insurmountable rocks, ferocious beasts
and hidden perils. If you will journey toward the head of the Ottawa,
in the fall of this year, you will find precisely the same state of
aboriginal mind. The Indians around the Grand Lake Victoria are within
a few miles of the sources of rivers flowing toward the four quarters of
the American continent. Ten days' steady canoeing in any direction would
take them to Hudson's Bay or Lake Huron or Lake Ontario or Montreal. But
they never travel for the sake of seeing the country, or get far from
home.

It was on the last day Jocko was with us, October 26th, that I made the
photograph of him which is one of the illustrations of this article.
He was in his shirt-sleeves and wore an old straw hat. While we were
eating our lunch at noon, the black flies were a little attentive and
it was uncomfortably warm. That was the climate of the far Upper Ottawa
in the last days of October. There was not yet a suggestion of snow.
For all the atmospheric indications told us, we might have been in the
Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

The Ottawa above Grand Lake House comes down out of the rocky hills, and
is full of rapids. In many smooth places the current is very swift, and
it was worth coming a long way to see Joe and Jocko paddle up places
where Billy and I could not go. Fighting inch by inch against a rapid
current is one of the most trying tests of endurance I know. It is
unlike anything else in the world. You pull and pull, and realize that
an instant's relaxation will cost you all you have gained. If the water
only would stop for an instant! But it is so easy for the current to
rush on and on. How futile are human energy and perseverance against a
power which has never for one second faltered in uncounted years!

Jocko told Joe—he could not say it in English—that he enjoyed travelling
with us more than he did with the Hudson's Bay Company people, because
they travelled for dear life, making fifty or sixty miles a day, and
nearly paralyzed his arms. When he had gone from Hunter's Point to Grand
Lake House a few weeks before, he and Mr. Christopherson had made the
trip in less than three days, but his arms were numb all the next night.
He liked to find a white man who travelled "like an Indian," and said if
I would come up this fall he would show me some moose and deer hunting
around the head of the Coulonge and Dumoine, the like of which white
men did not often see.

We reached the camp of the old chief, Jocko's objective point, just at
purple twilight, when the smoke was rising straight toward the sky, and
we witnessed one of the most peaceful and beautiful bits of wilderness
comfort I have ever beheld. It seemed more like approaching a white
man's farm than an Indian camp.

There were two or three log-houses, a few acres of cleared land, and two
or three horses and cows. A tame horned owl scolded us from the roof of
a barn. The Indian girls were singing and calling to each other across
the wide river. A score of children and grandchildren of the fat old
chief turned out to welcome us, and we slept in one of the log-barns,
on the hay. Jocko sat up and visited with his Indian girl friends, and
I heard them laughing and chatting until long after midnight.

As I lay looking out at the shining surface of the Ottawa, from my
cosey nest in the sweet, wild hay, it was bewildering to remember that
so much of Canada lay south of us. Only a rifle-shot away, at the end
of a forest path, were the bubbling springs which form the sources of
the Coulonge, that pine-embowered stream which, for two hundred miles,
straight away to the south, traverses the centre of the great interior
island whose borders we were encircling. I thought of the long reaches
of moonlit river, where the timid deer were drinking, and the moose, in
all the ardor of their courtship, roared hoarse contempt for impertinent
rivals. And this was only one of the streams whose sources we were
circumnavigating: the Maganasipi, the Bear, the swamp-fed Black, the
Dumoine, the Tomasine, the Desert—all these rivers and a thousand lakes,
gathered all at last in the generous arms of the twin rivers, and borne
away to join the grand chorus, the voice of many waters.

In the morning there was a pow-wow, as the result of which a son and
grandson of the chief agreed to see us out to the Gatineau, the boy
going along to help his father if a freeze-up should make it necessary
to carry their canoe back over the ice. For many miles through devious
channels and short cuts, we ran past natural meadows where the unsown
grass had grown high and dried up for the lack of something to feed
upon it—ancient beaver meadows, from which all trace of the original
forest had long ago disappeared. Joe and the Indian discussed the
beaver question earnestly. It appears that the most interesting issue
in Algonquin politics is what to do about the beavers. There are plenty
of them all through the back country, and the Indians regard them as
their personal property. They only kill a certain proportion of the
little animals, and carefully preserve the supply. The beaver's habit of
building for himself and family a comfortable and conspicuous residence
enables the hunters to take a pretty accurate census of the population,
and to tell just where the animals are to be found. On our way we
turned aside and photographed a beaver-dam and a house. The natural
history books generally picture these constructions as quite symmetrical
affairs, but all I have ever seen have been rough piles of sticks and
mud, and the photographs show typical beaver construction.

A few years ago a sportsman's club in Quebec induced the legislature
to pass a law entirely prohibiting the killing of beaver until the year
1900. Two hundred years ago, when the Iroquois made raids on the Ottawa
country, and prevented the annual catch of beaver skins from coming
down to Montreal and Quebec, hard times fell upon Canada. Precisely the
same condition has confronted the Indians and the Hudson's Bay Company
recently. It is almost as bad a situation as it would be in Illinois
if the farmers were forbidden by law to kill hogs. The Hudson's Bay
Company's agents at Grand Lake Victoria and the Barriere lake have not
dared to buy the skins. The Indians have had no other reliable way to
pay for their supplies. Ruin for the traders and starvation for the
Indians would inevitably follow the continued enforcement of the law.
Some relief has been afforded by the fact that the post at Abittibi
ships all its furs by way of Hudson's Bay, so they cannot be seized
by the Quebec authorities; and thousands of skins, worth $10 apiece,
were diverted to that market last year. The Indians have been very
much disturbed over the matter, for they find the law of necessity more
urgent than a statute whose logic they cannot understand. "Some families
up here starve to death last winter," interpreted Joe, after listening
for awhile to Jonas, our new guide. "I t'ink I no starve, w'en de beaver
build his house close by my water-hole."

Our newly acquired pilot had no idea of losing any business
opportunities. His canoe was ahead of the one in which Joe, Billy,
and I travelled, and he had his muzzle-loading, cylinder-bore double
shot-gun, a handy little weapon, lying in front of him, both hammers at
full cock, hour after hour as he paddled, the muzzle pointing squarely
at the back of his boy in the bow. It was trying to unaccustomed nerves,
but the boy seemed to be used to the idea of sudden death. Jonas had a
curious habit of holding a bullet in his mouth, ready to drop it in an
instant down the gun-barrel, on top of the shot. The utility of keeping
his decks cleared for action appeared when, toward evening, he cleverly
snapped up a reckless mink which darted along the bank, where the stream
was narrow and crooked. The report startled a caribou, which crashed
out of the alders, not fifty feet away. Jonas spat his bullet down the
left barrel and fired again, neatly missing both his boy's head and
the reindeer. Joe derided Jonas in choice Algonquin, and said to me,
confidentially, "I t'ink we better go in front in de mornin'." All the
same, the Indian's idea of a gun which will do for partridges one minute
and moose the next is a sound one, in a country where one's breakfast
flies or runs away.

At noon the next day, we reached the head of that branch of the Ottawa
rising in the Barriere lake. Long ago forgotten Gatineau timber-cutters
built a dam, to divert this water to the Jean de Terre, but now the
dam has fallen into disuse, and the stream seeks its ancient bed.
Just beyond the dam is the Hudson's Bay post, a branch of the one on
the Grand Lake Victoria. Mr. Edwards, the agent, was delighted to see
strangers, especially when I produced a letter which Mr. Christopherson
had sent by me, enclosing his three months' salary. Mrs. Edwards soon
discovered that our Billy was her nephew, and that much-related young
person was at once honored with a seat at the family dinner-table with
the twelve little Edwardses, fraternizing with them in the three-ply
language which is the natural speech of these mixed races. Mr. Edwards
told me he had that season refused hundreds of beaver-skins from
Indians, every one of whom was on his books for a year's supplies, and
now he did not quite see what the post was going to do, with beavers
demonetized.

Jonas, our most recent guide, did not wish to linger, being haunted
by the fear of coming frost which the warm air belied. So that same
afternoon we hastened on, regretfully declining Mr. Edwards's invitation
to go on a caribou hunt. These reindeer abound in the Barrière lake
country.

We camped perhaps fifteen miles from the post that night, and the next
morning, soon after starting up the lake, came to a narrow place where
the water, instead of coming toward us as it had been doing all the time
for days, formed a little rapid, running the same way we were going.
The day before we had seen the water pouring into the Ottawa through
the lumbermen's worn-out dam, and here, twenty-four hours afterward,
continuing up the same lake, we found the current was with us instead
of against us, down instead of up, and we were drifting out toward the
Gatineau, in the other direction. If we had not known about the two
outlets to the lake we should have thought the water was bewitched.

All that day we ran through Lake Kakebonga, which the Hudson's Bay
people consider the most bewildering sheet of water in the Gatineau
Valley. There are dozens of deep bays, which look about alike, and if
you start into the wrong one, you get wholly astray. Once during the day
it became a little foggy, and Jonas at once went ashore and waited for
the veil to lift, as he said no one could find his way there in thick
weather. These large lakes are all long and narrow, and very crooked.
Like Kippewa and Victoria, Lake Kakebonga is nowhere wide, but its
shore-line is very long, and the canoe route often cuts across a portage
to save miles of travelling.

East of Lake Kakebonga there is a very rough bit of country which we
crossed by what are locally known as the Sixteen Portages, or "the
Sixteen," where we clambered into and out of the canoe on an average
about once in half a mile. At last we came to a long, wide path over
a level plain. "I know dis portage so well I know my own house," said
Joe. "I was up here from de Gatineau fourteen year ago." And there our
forest friends turned back, and left Joe and Billy and me to make our
way by the smooth current of the Jean de Terre out to the Gatineau. I
suppose we ran twenty miles after three o'clock that afternoon. Then,
when it was so dark we could see no longer, we camped on a dry sand-bar,
cooked our supper by a little fire, turned the canoe on edge, spread our
blankets, threw the tent over all, and were lost in dreamless oblivion.

"De wolf was howl pretty good las' night, wasn't he?" commented
Joe, as he waked Billy and me in the smoky dawn. "I tink I hear em
close by onetime." And in the sand, about one hundred feet from our
resting-place, were plenty of tracks, where the deer-killing brutes had
prowled around while we slept; perfectly harmless creatures, but unable
to resist the temptation to come near the fat and juicy Billy.

Of all northern wilderness streams, the most interesting I have ever
seen is the Gatineau, into which we were soon carried by the current of
the Jean de Terre. The descent which the devious Ottawa makes in seven
hundred miles or so, is accomplished by the Gatineau in its straight
course of less than two hundred, and there are few places where you
cannot hear the roar of the next rapid. In the spring every bend is a
maelstrom. On the banks and overhanging cedars we could see the marks
made by the spring freshets, fifteen feet above the fall level of the
water. And even then, as we approached a rapid, it was necessary to know
on which side the portage was, because generally the opposite bank was
a vertical wall, and once in the sweep of the current, there could be
no return.

"You see dat rapid?" said Joe, after an early camp on the portage, as
we went down to look at the boiling cauldron below, "I tink I always
remember him. One time I work in a shanty back on dat leetle stream we
pass dis afternoon. De shanty was mos' ready to break up, and good many
de men was go down on de drive. Dere was only one foreman for all de
gangs, 'cause so many men been laid off. Dat mornin' de foreman tell dis
man 'I want you for do dis,' an' dose men 'I want you for do dat,' sen'
dis man here and dat man dere, an' he pick six men an' he say 'I want
you for take de batteau—dat's de big row-boat—'wid forty-five chains, to
de gang for fix de boom in de pond down below,' and he say 'Dat rapid
dere, don' none you dam fools try for run him. I tell you dat batteau
ain't like de canoe, an' de chains won't help you swim; so I want you
for portage de whole t'ing.' So de men take de batteau, and de foreman
say, 'You, Joe, you an' your chum an' Big Jule, you take de big canoe,
an' you go down for help on de boom.'

"So we start an' follow de batteau, an' of course you can't see ver'
far in de river, he is so crooked. I was in de bow, an' I see dem men
in de batteau, 'bout two acres ahead, 'fore we get to de bend. Well, we
come to de head dis portage and we see nobody dere. I take out my pack
an' put de tump-line on my head, an' my chum say 'Dem fellers make de
portage pretty quick.' I go down wid my pack, and start up de portage
once more, for bring de canoe, me an' Big Jule. W'en I get to de head
of de portage, my chum, he come run up all out of breat', an' he say 'I
see a hat an' a oar in de water down by de foot de rapid!'

"Den I know w'at's de matter. Me an' Big Jule we have de canoe on our
heads for carry it down de portage, but we don't say one word. We jus'
turn de canoe down and I jump in de bow, an' my chum in the middle, an'
Big Jule for steer, an' we run de rapid. We t'ink maybe somebody hang on
de rock; but fore we know it we strike jus' where dey strike, on a side
jam w'ere de logs pile up. I jump out, an' my chum he jump out, an' we
catch de canoe an' let her swing, an we holler to Jule to jump, an he
jump jus' in time I tell you, for the canoe go under de jam an' smash,
cr-r-ack all to piece. I never so near de en' of my life till I die,
sure. Well, we go back an' tell de foreman, and he sen' some men for
shut down de dam, up in de lac, an' we look for dem feller four days. We
look way down below, but we no fine 'em, an' de mornin' de fift' day,
I was stan' up in de bow, an' I see black spot come up an' bob up an
down in de eddy right down dere, an' in fifteen minute we have dem six
feller out on dis san' bar. Dey was all in a bunch. It was hot, and dey
look awful.

  [Illustration: On Lake Kippewa.]

"Well, sir, after dat you not hear one word in de shanty at night.
De mens come in, an' dey jus' sit an' say not one word, an' good many
de young lads git fright, an' leave de drive an go home. O, I t'ink I
remember dis rapid pretty sure."

Joe's boyhood experience of the Gatineau stood us in good stead all
the way down. He remembered perfectly all the rapids, knew which could
be run and which could not. "W'en you see de swells run black over de
rock, don't you be fright' dat you strike," said he, "but if de water
be white, den you look out." And he showed how, along the edge of the
rough water, there is often a liquid path, not more than the width of
the canoe, which may be followed with perfect safety.

Another half-day's run brought us to a lumber shanty, with its tell-tale
smoke.

"Quay!" shouted the cook, which is good Algonquin for "Hello!" And then
I realized that weeks of constant out-of-door existence had transformed
me into a good enough imitation of an Indian to deceive a lumberman.

"Don't I know you?" asked Joe of the cook, not deigning to reply in the
Algonquin tongue. And then the white man on shore and the half-red man
in the stern of the canoe recognized each other as camp-mates on some
by-gone excursion down the river in escort of a few thousand logs.

"What shanty you from?" asked the cook, turning to me inquiringly.
"Didn't I see you with Gilmour's boss last year?"

Explanations followed, and the canoe which had come all the way around
from Mattawa secured the undivided attention of the lumber crew when
they came to supper that evening.

The next day brought us down to the Desert village, where we left my
beloved canoe on the bank, and took a stage coach.

As we carried the luggage to the village hotel, at three o'clock on
the afternoon of October 30th, the first flakes of snow began to float
softly down, and the splendid Canadian summer was at an end.



FRANCISCO AND FRANCISCA

By Grace Ellery Channing

ILLUSTRATIONS BY WALTER APPLETON CLARK


"It is not a place for everyone," said the priest, quietly, as he led
the way under drooping peppers. "These children are orphans of good
family. Their excellent mother died a year ago; but they are poor, and I
have promised to find them a guest to fill their bedroom. A few dollars
will be a blessing to them."

His glance, practised in such measurement, added—"And you are a
gentleman—a man to be trusted.

"The house is plain but comfortable. Francisca, like her mother, is
an admirable housekeeper," he remarked as he led his guest into the
paradise of roses.

The Professor, noting the sweet unkemptness of it, had his New England
doubts, but he had none when Francisco, bareheaded, warm, and beautiful,
came up from irrigating the oranges, "kissed the hands" of the
Professor, and turning his own supple palms outward made him a present
of the house and all in it, which at that moment included Francisca,
standing under the roses of the porch, and more beautiful even than
Francisco.

The professional ears were pricked at the soft organ-tones of speech.
If he should not decide to take the Chair, at least his time need not be
lost, he argued. That, indeed, had been his motive for seeking a Spanish
household.

When he packed his trunk in Boston a Spanish dictionary was included,
as became a professor of languages; and now as he unpacked it in the
little roof-bedroom with the red, round eyes of oranges staring levelly
in, and a drifting cascade of perfume and green and white outside, he
was well content.

Perhaps it was that foreign ancestress of his, to whom he was fond of
ascribing his bent for languages, who made this foreign corner of his
own country so instantly attractive to him.

When he went downstairs later he stepped into an open world. There were
untold windows, all wide to the air, and through the green curtains
of vines nodded the heads of many roses. Francisca, and the ancient
relative to whom the orphans gave a home, and who served as a nominal
duenna, were giving the last touches to a table laid in the corner of
the broad veranda, which ran about three sides of the house. The grassy
space it enclosed was of brave Bermuda, brown, but never-dying, and
returning green thanks for a cupful of water. The Professor's foot came
to love the touch of that thick carpet in after days.

Beyond, the orange-grove stretched to the lime-hedge, and over that the
peppers drooped their ferny branches.

Nothing in all the place was trimmed. Where the long trailing arms
of the Lady Banksia fell by their own weight, or clambered by their
own daring, there they remained. The Professor stooped under the same
trailing branch each time he passed around the veranda. A dozen times he
took out his knife impatiently to cut it, but an involuntary compunction
arrested his hand. It was so in keeping with the place—it was so in
keeping with Francisco and Francisca.

And with an incredible ease and swiftness, the Professor found himself
growing in keeping, too.

In another corner of the deep rose-covered veranda all his writing
materials quickly congregated. An Indian basket of oranges stood on
the little stand by the hammock's elbow, near the rocking-chair in
which Francisca sat daily, converting fine linen into finer lace, and
cultivating the Professor's Spanish at the same time.

Francisca "kept the house," not with semi-yearly upheavals and the
terrible cleanliness of the Professor's ancestral memories, but in
a leisurely, sweet fashion of her own, leaving much to the sun and
air, ignoring brasses and other troublous matters, perhaps, but never
failing—wise Francisca!—to put a rose in her hair, and to set hot,
savoury dishes with tropical names before her men-folk. Therefore no
man ever found a flaw in Francisca's housekeeping.

Had there been twenty men beneath her roof, each would have been
her peculiar care. Her manner to her young brother had a caressing
sweetness which a New England girl would have kept for her lover or
conscientiously forborne him—for his soul's sake.

As for Francisco, sixteen, brown, slender, wearing his peaked sombrero
with consummate grace (a gift he shared in common with every wood-cutter
and _ranchero_ of the pure blood), he was the Professor's companion
in every walk, every blood-stirring lope across the open _mesa_, every
delicious climb up the chaparral-sided hills or the ferny cañons. The
boy grew into his heart; and in return Francisco loved him as boys and
Southerners can love, with adoration.

It was only a short time after he came among them that the Professor
stopped one morning on his way out of the breakfast-room (in which they
never breakfasted!) to examine a quaint inlaid guitar, hanging by faded
ribbons against the wall.

"It is Francisco's," said Francisca. "He plays beautifully; but he has
never played since our mother died—he hung it here then."

"That is not well," said the Professor. "You should win him to play
again."

That evening, in the moonlight on the porch, Francisca laid a tender
hand upon her brother's head as he sat on the step below. Her hands
seemed made for such a purpose.

"Francisco, the Señor asks if you never mean to play your guitar again."

Francisco was silent a moment, looking at the stars.

"Perhaps," he replied. "Some day, when we are very happy again—not yet."
Then turning his head, he touched the caressing hand lightly with his
lips.

"At thy wedding—or mine—_querida_," he said, lightly, and rising
abruptly, went into the house.

"He cannot bear yet to hear her spoken of," said Francisca, following
him with moist eyes.

"I was—ahem!—very fond of my mother. She died when I was a boy," said
the Professor.

"But ours was with us only a little year ago. She sat where you sit,
and looked at us with her beautiful soft eyes.

"And you—you had not even a sister." Francisca looked at him as if she
would like to make up that deficiency of tenderness—perhaps to stroke
_his_ head, as she did Francisco's.

There was abundant leisure for the Professor's studies, for the long,
gorgeous wonderland of summer was upon them, and most people were at
Santa Catalina, or in the high Sierras, taking an exchange of paradises.

The days rounded through their delicious sequence of perfumed dawns
alive with birds, and middays of still air and shadowed lawns, to the
infinite twilights and great moons.

In the evenings—the evenings of Southern California—they sat out
under the vines, watching these enormous yellow and orange moons, and
Francisca sang Californian songs.

Thus the days passed; punctuated by a talk with the Padre, a ride, a
stroll, or some playful share in the labor of irrigating the oranges—the
one form of labor Francisco ever seemed engaged in; but these he
irrigated perpetually.

The Professor missed nothing; he desired nothing. The intoxication of
living in close touch with the sun and air, and Earth in her summer
mood, has never been half told. Every fibre of his being rejoiced in
that long summer.

The little ranch of five acres—all that remained of five hundred—was
large enough to hold his content. We do not know that the Garden of Eden
was larger. He wrote hopefully to the Faculty concerning that Chair, and
with laudable moderation to his principal correspondent in the East:
"California has a charm impossible to analyze. I wish you were here."
And then he paused, pondered, and carefully erased the last sentence,
but not so perfectly but that Miss Dysart by dint of holding it up to
the window-pane deciphered it, and sat biting her pencil gravely a space
thereafter.

To wake in the morning and know the sun would shine all day; not to be
withered by the heat or chilled by the wind, but subtly flattered and
caressed by a climate which was only another Francisca; to be wooed to
large thoughts and visions by the landscape; not to feel the press and
friction of a narrow life and arbitrary customs, and yet to be conscious
through all this space and tranquillity of the forward impetus of a
vigorous young life all about him—this sufficed. The opportunities
for usefulness were great in a place destined to detain every soul
who lingered a rash year within its borders—and to make of the next
generation natives.

In lieu of caressing the land itself, he often caressed Francisco, its
breathing type, drawing the lad to him with an arm about his slender
shoulders.

And Francisca, the other breathing type, regarded them both with that
smile of tenderness which has in it so much of the maternal. When all is
said, the wisest man remains something of a child to any woman, though
she is but an inexperienced girl, and he may have forgotten more out of
books than she will ever know.

One day Francisco, running lightly up the path and steps to where
Francisca sat filling a bowl with roses, and the Professor sat watching
her, dropped an envelope upon the table.

"This is all your mail, Señor," said Francisco, gayly.

The Professor opened, glanced, and fell into a brown study, from which
he woke to encounter Francisca's eyes over the bowl of roses.

"Is anything the matter?" asked those eyes anxiously.

"Nothing," the Professor replied to them. "An old friend of mine is
coming out unexpectedly—is on her way to Santa Barbara."

"That is pleasant for you," said Francisca, sweetly. "And the days are
cooler; she will be sure to like our country."

"She is coming to-morrow," said the Professor, rising abruptly. "I must
go at once to the hotel."

"We will send many roses to her room; and Francisco shall pick the large
Indian basket full of fruit—she will be so tired with the long journey."

"Thank you," murmured the Professor, vaguely.

He did not hear Francisca's caution to her brother: "Do not pick any of
the heliotrope, Francisco, for the heavy scent may be disagreeable to an
old lady—and only the very choicest peaches—old people must be careful
what they eat." But this was not needed for his confusion.

"How well you are looking!" exclaimed Miss Dysart, as she stepped from
the train the next morning, with a critical glance at the Professor.

"The only climate on earth," replied the Professor, laughing to hide a
shade of embarrassment; "and you—you are looking well, too."

Distinctly well, in her immaculate shirtwaist and sailor-hat, without
touch of travel or dust about her.

"Oh, all climates suit me—even our own," Miss Dysart answered, lightly.

"Only one trunk, thank you; I am a 'transient.' And so this is your
earthly paradise. Is that ferny thing a pepper-tree?"

She was so much absorbed in the landscape all through the short drive
that the Professor ended by feeling quite at his ease. At the hotel door
she dismissed him graciously.

"You may come back after lunch, if you like, and show me something of
your paradise."

"Of course," said the Professor with unnecessary alacrity.

As he walked back he had a sensation as if a cool breeze from the Back
Bay, at once bracing and chilling, had suddenly begun to blow across the
summer air. The same sensation recurred later in the day when he found
himself strolling with her under the drooping peppers to the Mission
and through the town. Had they not often planned it—ages ago?—or had
not _he_ planned it in his mind—at least it had been tacitly understood,
and—here it was.

She was looking admirably, too. The little precision of her starched
collar and cuffs, and severe hat and correct gown, were an echo of his
native city. She was the best type of the things he liked and approved
and believed in.

And her mood was the bright mood of comradeship he always enjoyed. She
faced the semi-tropical world with fresh, appreciative eyes, and her
sense of humor was like his native air re-breathed. So singly did the
place occupy her that the Professor expanded gradually and his tongue
lost its knot.

"And you regret nothing here?" said Miss Dysart at last, suddenly.

"Nothing," replied the Professor, emphatically—and stopped.

"That is what it is to have a foreign grandmother. You do not even miss
the symphony concerts—the Greek play—the Sunday afternoons."

The Professor laughed rather drearily.

"It is the same thing, I suppose, which leads the scarlet geranium to
be a climber here, and calla-lilies to grow wild, and heliotrope to run
up to the house-eaves. What a poem of a place!" she exclaimed, stopping.
"And what a beautiful creature!"

"This is—er—where I am staying," replied the Professor, all his
impediments returned. "That is Francisco—he _is_ a handsome lad; and
that is his sister, Miss Francisca, on the veranda. Pray come in and
see the roses."

Miss Dysart followed him with composure, and gave her gloved hand
cordially to Francisca.

"I have heard so much of your paradise," she said, "but I did not know
it could be so true."

A bewildered expression crossed Francisca's face as the two advanced,
but it passed, and her manner was as perfect as Miss Dysart's own. So
was Francisco's, who placed a chair, and drew a rose-branch to shield
the visitor's eyes from the sun—his own reflecting the blankness of
Francisca's. Francisca had to call him twice to pass the wine she poured
in the quaint old glasses, and which they could never conceivably be
too poor to offer a guest.

As Miss Dysart sat sipping her wine politely—she was not fond of
wine—she felt, as she looked, like one in a foreign land. The Professor,
seated discreetly behind, noted this with a smile. But Francisco and
Francisca were as much a part of the landscape as any rose in it.

The conversation turned, as conversations infallibly will, to the
transcontinental journey, with the "You remember this—you saw that" of
travellers.

Francisco and Francisca listened silently, only when Miss Dysart turned
to the latter, she said with a kind of proud humility: "Ah! I know
nothing of these things. I only know—this," with a gesture about her.

Miss Dysart and the Professor looked at her, and the value of "these
things" was differently visible in their eyes.

"How beautiful she is!" thought the Boston girl.

"How much she knows and has seen!" thought Francisca.

The Professor's thoughts are not recorded. What he said was playful,
but with an undertone which was not lost on one of his hearers. "'These
things' are not worth your rose-garden, Miss Francisca—saying nothing
of the rest of the _rancho_."

"Ah! it is nice of you to say so," replied Francisca, "but I do not
believe it—nor does Miss Dysart."

Miss Dysart kept her lids discreetly lowered.

"By the way," she said, "I have someone to thank for a portion of a
rose-garden myself. I don't suppose the hotels furnish that."

"Miss Francisca—" began the enlightened Professor.

"The Señor," interposed Francisca, quickly, "naturally wished you to
have a Californian welcome. Francisco and I carried them down for him."

This time Miss Dysart raised her lids and looked straight at the girl
before her.

"Thank you," she said, quietly.

"But if you care for roses," said Francisca, rising, "you must look at
ours in the garden. We are proud of our roses, though it is not the rose
season," she added; "for that you must come in April and May."

"Thanks!" exclaimed Miss Dysart, "but when one is used to one's roses
by the half-dozen, this will do!"

"You shall have as many as you like every day, of course," said
Francisca. "Or, perhaps," she added, quietly, "you will like to come
and gather them yourself. The garden is yours."

"'Gather ye roses while ye may!'—you are most kind. I will take this
one now, if I may," replied Miss Dysart, bending above a great white
Lyonnaise.

  [Illustration: And now as he unpacked it ... he was well content.
   —Page 277.]

"Just the rose I should expect you to choose," said the Professor,
cutting it for her.

"Pray, why?" inquired Miss Dysart a little sharply.

"It is such a calm, vigorous, upright rose—a kind of apotheosis of our
own New England roses. A well-bred rose; it does not straggle, nor shed
its petals untidily. It would not look out of place in Boston;—and it
has not too much color."

"You prefer these, I suppose," remarked the girl, coolly, glancing at
his hand. The Professor looked down guiltily.

"I have been gleaming after you ladies. This is your Mermet."

"Thank you!" replied Miss Dysart dryly replacing the pink bud in her
belt.

But the red rose remained in his hand.

Miss Dysart turned away abruptly. "What a place for a Flower Mission!"

Francisca looked puzzled. "Flower Mission—what is that?"

"The depth of your ignorance, Miss Francisca!" exclaimed the Professor.
"You see, Mildred, Nature runs a Flower Mission on such a large
scale that she deprives us of that—as well as many other legitimate
philanthropies."

"Ah!" said Francisca, "now I do know what a Flower Mission is. It must
be very helpful. And we do so little good with all these—only to dress
the church."

"And welcome strangers," suggested Miss Dysart.

"My sister is always giving flowers away, and fruit," declared
Francisco. "The Señor and the Padre know if that is true."

"But only for pleasure, thou foolish one," said Francisca, smiling at
him.

Francisco did not smile back. He remained grave, and bowed their guest
farewell, with his _caballero_ air, without a word.

"What a beautiful, solemn boy!" exclaimed Miss Dysart as she walked down
the street.

"Francisco? Oh, he can be merry enough; you must allow for the effect
of a visitor from Boston."

"Pray let poor Boston alone! What an absolute partisan you have become!"

"Have I? Perhaps it is only my mean effort to hide our consciousness of
inferiority. We have no Missions here—except Franciscan ones."

"We! our!" repeated Miss Dysart, emphatically. "Have you ceased to be
a New Englander already? Is this the effect of this remarkable climate?"

"I am afraid—it is," replied the Professor, meekly.

And as he walked home that eastern breeze blew more keenly still. As one
turns to the sun, he turned to the house hopefully. Only Francisco was
still sitting on the top step gazing gloomily into space. The Professor
laid an affectionate hand on the boy's shoulder.

"What is the matter, Francisco? Are you not well?"

"There is nothing, Señor," was the melancholy reply.

The Professor fidgetted restlessly about the veranda and lawn, feeling
as if the whole place had been subtly changed. There was no Spanish that
afternoon, either; Francisca was apparently too busy, for she did not
come out at all.

In the evening, however, she was idle enough. Francisco and she sat on
the steps and watched the moonlight make patterns on the walk below.
The Professor had gone to call on Miss Dysart, inwardly reviling the
social necessity which demanded starched linen and a black coat on
such a night. It was still early when Francisca with some light word
of excuse, and the little caress to her brother nothing could have made
her forget, rose and went in.

It was not even late when the Professor with eager feet came up
the path, all inlaid with the ferny tracery of shadows from the
pepper-boughs. The veranda, apparently deserted, greeted him silently,
and he stood a moment battling with an immense disappointment. It seemed
to him that he had lost forever an evening out of his life.

Slowly he mounted the steps, and on the threshold he paused again. A
long tendril of the Banksia swayed in the half-shadow, and surely his
ears caught a suppressed sobbing breath. He made one step toward it.

"Francisca!"

"It is I, Señor," replied the melancholy voice of Francisco; and the
boy came forward into the moonlight. "Did you wish anything, Señor?"

"Nothing," replied the Professor, mendaciously, his cheeks warm in the
darkness.

"Good-night, Francisco!"

  [Illustration: Francisca "kept the house."—Page 277.]

"Good-night, Señor!" returned the boy in the same melancholy tone.

Long after the Professor's light was extinguished, the lad lay watching
the night away in the hammock.

The stamp of that vigil was on his face the next morning when he asked
the Professor to advise him as to some orange-trees at the farther end
of the ranch. The Professor, who had also passed a white night, gave a
haggard consent. Francisca alone appeared fresh and smiling. The best
artists do not adorn the stage.

There seemed nothing particular the matter with the grove, when they
had reached it.

"Which are the trees in question?" asked the Professor, who at that
moment wished all oranges in a climate much too tropical for them.

"Señor," replied Francisco, facing him—and it struck the Professor the
boy had grown tall overnight—"do you love my sister?"

"Francisco!" exclaimed the Professor, violently, and the blood began to
pound in his ears.

"I must know, Señor. When you spoke of an old friend, we thought,
Francisca and I, of an old woman—and now here has come this young lady
from your home, one of your people—and she calls you by your name, and
you call her by hers. She has come because she cares for you, and you
spend your time with her, and yet, Señor, you gave her back her rose
and kept my sister's!"

There was a guilty movement of the Professor's hand toward his
breast-pocket, instantly checked.

"When you came home last night you called my sister by name. Señor,
this cannot be! I am not jealous; you have a right to love this other,
but I must know. I do not say for a moment," he added, proudly, "that
Francisca has thought of you, but she is very young. She might come to
care, and—I will not have it so!"

"Francisco!" exclaimed the Professor again.

"We are poor now," said Francisco, lifting his head, "but my people were
great people when yours, Señor—the Americans—were nobody!"

"Nonsense!" exclaimed the Professor, sharply, catching at a tangible
point of remonstrance with relief. "My people were never 'nobody'—they
were New Englanders."

Francisco bowed.

"Francisco," said the Professor, in a different tone, "I thought you
loved me—I thought you trusted me."

"What has that to do with it, Señor?" inquired Francisco, sternly. "It
is of my sister I think. If you do not love her you must go away at
once."

"I will be answerable to your sister only," began the Professor.

"Pardon me, Señor, you will be answerable to _me_. I am the head of the
family. Francisca is only a child," said this other child.

The Professor was silent. When he spoke, at last, he was answering
himself rather than Francisco.

"I will go!"

Francisco winced, but did not flinch.

He made a gesture for the Professor to lead the way back, which the
Professor did like a blind man. He could not have told whether his
bitterness was toward the boy or himself. Half way he stopped.

"What am I to tell her?"

"You can have business—and she will understand."

The Professor ground his teeth, and going to his room, began grimly
flinging things into his trunk. He was furious with Francisco, with
himself, with the climate which could lead a man to this.

He ate his lunch in silence. So did Francisco. Men have these refuges.
Francisca the woman, with a thread of speech, kept that silence from
bursting. After lunch the Professor finished packing, wrote a brief note
declining the Chair, and went down to buy his ticket. All the way down
the landscape cried out to him.

As he left the station with his ticket in his hand he encountered Miss
Dysart on the threshold with her purse in hers.

"What is the matter?" she exclaimed, after one glance. "Where are you
going?"

"Home," answered the Professor. "I was coming to tell you."

Miss Dysart opened her lips, then closed them again, and turning without
a word they walked on until the bend of the road threw them from the
town into the country lane. There she stopped.

"_Why_ are you going? You must have reasons."

"I have reasons—" He stopped, smitten with the conscious absurdity that
she who was his principal reason had scarcely crossed his mind all day.

"Business—it—it is impossible for me to stay," he wound up, lamely.

"_Why_ is it impossible?"

The Professor looked at her and anathematised the climate again.

"I—really cannot explain, Mildred," he said. "But there are reasons
why—I feel obliged to go."

  [Illustration: Francisco and Francisca listened silently.—Page 280.
   Drawn by Walter Appleton Clark.]

Miss Dysart's cheeks flushed, and she looked a moment at the wide valley
before them.

"I feel that you are making the mistake of your life," she said, in a
low voice.

  [Illustration: He could not have told whether his bitterness was
   toward the boy or himself.—Page 284.]

The Professor made a vague gesture.

"But you will not go," she said, quietly. "You will think better of it.
You will not do yourself so much wrong."

"I shall go. I have bought my ticket."

"I will buy it of you. I was on the way to buy one myself."

"You were—!" He looked at her in his turn. "We shall travel together,
then."

"We shall do nothing of the kind. What is the use? If you go back you
will simply break down again. You have your work here. You love this
country."

The Professor's eyes swept mutely over the valley and hills, and the
girl watched him jealously.

"You love it more than New England," she said, with a touch of
bitterness.

"Differently!" exclaimed the poor Professor; "differently!"

"You love it _more_," persisted the New England girl.

The Professor drew a long breath. "Can I help it? One is
affection—fondness; the other—" He stopped abruptly.

Her lips were closed tightly.

"Oh, you will suffer intolerable homesickness—you are homesick _now_.
And then it is _all_ of no use—Everard, you must stay; you must think
better of it. Stay and take that Chair! There cannot be any business so
pressing. It will be no use—not the slightest use for you to go."

In her earnestness she put her hand on his, but instantly withdrew it.
Her troubled eyes looked straight into his, and the Professor's looked
straightly back. But he shook his head, and suddenly she looked away.

"And you?"

"Oh, I," she answered, lightly; "I am a thorough-going dyed-in-the-wool
New-Englander. I was brought up to go to church on Sunday and clean
house twice a year, and have a proper respect for calling cards. I shall
go on and join aunty at Santa Barbara, and get home in time for all my
clubs and classes. Besides, I have been meaning to tell you, I am going
to take a year in the College Settlement."

"A year in the College Settlement!" echoed the Professor, vaguely.

"Yes; that will suit me better than—this. Don't forget to send Francisco
with the ticket! Good-by!"

She gave him her hand frankly, and once more their eyes encountered.

"If I had had a French grandmother, you see—it might have been different
with me," she said with a touch of mirthfulness. "And _that_ at least
is true," she concluded to herself, looking so straight ahead that she
walked a space beyond the hotel without seeing.

The Professor, going in the opposite direction, went like a man under
sentence.

That "intolerable homesickness" was already upon him; but he was
determined to go. He, too, was a New Englander. It is a great thing to
have inherited principles.

He was determined to go—all the way up under the hanging peppers—all
the way beside the scented limes; nor did his determination falter as
he turned into the accustomed path under the oranges, and the sight and
perfume of a thousand roses stormed him all at once.

There in the wonted place Francisca sat, steadily drawing the threads
with unsteady fingers. Her lips might be a little pale, but they smiled.
Even the rose was not missing from her hair.

Francisco, perfectly miserable and perfectly proud, rose mutely from
the steps to salute the Señor.

The Señor with two gentle hands lifted the boy from his path, and made
two steps to the chair—one touch drew the lace from the brave fingers.

"Francisca," said the Professor. "Francisca—Francisca!"

This was the only explanation he ever made, but in fact it was a perfect
statement of the case.

If it needed any elaboration it might be held to receive it when
Francisca, stooping—long afterward—to recover the abused lace, picked
up with it something else.

"What is this?" she said, a little puzzled.

"Oh, that," said the Professor, "that is Miss Dysart's ticket! She is
going away to-morrow."

"Ah!" said Francisca only.

"Francisco is to take it to her, and by the way, where is the dear lad?"
He made a movement to rise, but Francisca stopped him, raising his hand
in hers.

Out on the twilight air already heavy with sweet odors, came floating
the sound of a guitar, low, but inexpressibly joyous and tender.

Francisca's eyes filled with tears, but "_Caro_ Francisco!" she only
said.



  [Illustration: "Where the musk-rat swims, and the cat-tails sway."
   —Page 289.
   Drawn by Henry Hutt.]



THE OLD HOME HAUNTS

By F. Colburn Clarke


     There's a sound that rings in my ears to-day,
         That echoes in vague refrain,
     The ripple of water o'er smooth-washed clay,
     Where the wall-eyed pike and the black bass play,
     That makes me yearn, in a quiet way,
         For my old fly-rod again.

           Back to the old home haunts again,
           Back where the clear lake lies;
           Back through the woods
           Where the blackbird broods,
           Back to my rod and flies.

     I'm longing to paddle the boat to-day,
         Through water-logged grass and reeds;
     Where the musk-rat swims, and the cat-tails sway;
     Where the air is cool, and the mist is gray;
     Where ripples dance in the same old way,
         Under the tangled weeds.

           Back on the old oak log again,
           Back by the crystal brook;
           Back to the bait,
           And the silent wait,
           Back to my line and hook.

     I wish I could wade by the water's edge,
         Where the fallen leaves drift by;
     Just to see, in the shadow of the ledge,
     How dark forms glide, like a woodman's wedge,
     Through driftwood piles and the coarse marsh sedge,
         And to hear the bittern cry.

           Back where the tadpoles shift and sink,
           Back where the bull-frogs sob;
           Back just to float
           In the leaky boat,
           Back to my dripping bob.

     Oh, it's just like this on each misty day,
         It's always the same old pain
     That struggles and pulls in the same old way
     To carry me off for a little stay
     By the water's edge, in sticky clay,
         To fish in the falling rain.

           Back to my long black rubber boots,
           Back to my old patched coat;
           Back to my rod
           And the breath of God—
           Home—and my leaky boat.



THE EDUCATION OF PRAED

By Albert White Vorse

ILLUSTRATIONS BY HENRY MCCARTER.


Daniel Webster cut from the seal a morsel of meal eight inches long
by two inches square. He crowded out of sight as much of the delicacy
as his mouth and part of his œsophagus would hold—about six inches—and
sliced off the visible two inches with a blow of his knife.

"I never knew before," commented Praed, "why the Eskimo nose was
so snubby. I now see it all. It is a beautiful example of the law
of survival. If you touch an Eskimo anywhere, you draw blood. The
long-nosed men of the Stone Age slashed their skins at meal-times and
died of hemorrhage. Only the short-nosed men could live. Even Daniel
carves perilously close to his lovely snub—and if Daniel's nose were a
little shorter it would be a cavity."

"Just so," I replied, indifferently. Praed's jaunty talk jarred upon
me, and his superior tone toward the Eskimos displeased me. He was
attached to the Relief Party as botanist. I believe he was a Professor
of Natural History in some Western college. He had climbed a mountain in
the Canadian Rockies, a minor peak, no difficult ascent. I am told that
a carriage road has recently been opened to the summit. But the mountain
was a virgin peak and bore a living glacier, and Praed wrote for the
papers about it and made a great achievement of his exploit. Upon the
strength of his reputation he assumed to direct the policy of the Relief
Expedition, and when the leader refused to fall in with his views, Praed
grumbled, and once or twice approached open insubordination. The leader,
a modest fellow, took his unruly botanist quietly, but several members
of the party told me the man worried him.

However, when it suited his purpose, Praed could be humble enough. He
discovered my irritation at once and evidently thought to soothe it.

"Oh, come now, old fellow," he said. "Don't take your Eskimos too
seriously; I admire them as much as you do. Here, Daniel—Dahlgren, how
do you say 'I like you' in Husky-tongue?"

"_Iblee pee-yook amishuwa_," answered I, in the pidgin-Eskimo we had
learned to use during our year in the Far North.

"_Iblee kumook amistwa_," repeated Praed. Daniel received the
communication with that heavy gravity which had won him his nick-name;
his birth-name was Meeoo. Praed shrugged his shoulders.

"I never shall learn the lingo," he sighed. "Tell him I am going to give
him this knife."

"_Ooma pilletay iblee savik_," I translated.

Daniel received the knife without comment. I caught a flash of pleasure
in his eye, but it escaped Praed.

"He doesn't seem very grateful," he said. "I despair of the aborigine.
He has no sense of humor, no gratitude, apparently no more affection
than his dogs. He is pure selfishness. He is homely, he is fearfully
unclean—"

"Professor Praed," I interrupted, "you arrived in Greenland three days
ago. After you have knocked about with these fellows for a month you
will change your opinions. As for dirt, eight or nine months in every
year that bay is skimmed over with a little matter of five or six feet
of ice. Until your party came, there was not a hatchet in the tribe to
cut baths. In winter all these little streams that you see disappear.
The Husky has to melt ice for drinking-water, and that is no light
affair for him. In summer, it's true, he might bathe; perhaps you would
like to try it."

"Those are all very well as excuses," responded Praed; "but they don't
remove facts. Your dear friends are disgustingly soiled. And I am going
to accept your invitation to take a bath."

He did accept it. He said he was accustomed to cold water, every morning
(implying in his tone, that he feared I wasn't); that he had been
baptized in the Susquehanna River through a hole in the ice, and that
he guessed he could stand a summer sea in Greenland. He took off his
clothes, swam out to a berg, grounded some forty feet off the beach,
climbed hurriedly upon the ice, and danced up and down and shouted
until we put off in a boat and rescued him. For three days afterward he
shivered under blankets and drank up the little store of whiskey that
remained in our supplies.

I was not sorry that this object-lesson had occurred. Our expedition had
lived for nineteen months among the Eskimos. Two or three of us, whose
chief duty was hunting, had learned to know the Innuit as one knows
brothers. In a savage land you choose your friends, not because they can
judge a picture or say witty things about their neighbors, but because
they will go through any emergency by your side. More than once Daniel
or one and another of our Eskimo comrades had saved us from death; more
than once we had interposed between a Husky and the Kokoia. It was not
pleasant to hear the cock-a-whoop members of the Relief Party, with
their amateur knowledge of Arctic conditions, classify our comrades
among the Greenland fauna.

But the Relief Party got on well with the Eskimos. They had a cargo of
knives, hatchets, saws, needles, scissors, wooden staves, and all things
that represent wealth to the Innuit. These things they distributed
freely among the settlements; it was but natural that they should win
the hearts of the Husky-folk.

Praed reappeared after his chill with a triumphant air, bearing bead
necklaces and mirrors—for trading, he said. The Eskimos, however, shook
their heads at these gewgaws, and Praed had to fall back upon useful
articles. He obtained for himself the office of chief distributor, and
waxed popular in the tribe.

One day, a fortnight or so after the episode of the bath, Daniel's wife,
Megipsu, came running up the beach.

"The man with gifts is at my tupik. He desires something. I do not
understand him. Will you come?"

I found Praed holding out the skirt of his coat toward Megipsu's little
daughter.

"Like this," he was repeating. "Make me a coat. Scion of a savage race,
if I had you at home, I should chastise you. You are stupid."

The child stared blankly at him.

"What is it, Professor Praed?" I asked.

His face turned red, and his reply came hesitatingly.

"Well, you see," he said, "your Greenland climate is not what I
expected. When the wind is quiet, everything is warm. When the gale
comes up in the afternoon, it is cold. Now the—the fur clothes; their
odor is as the odor of abattoirs. At first I didn't comprehend the
evident joy you have in them. But, on the whole, you seem so comfortable
in all weathers, that I thought I'd try a suit myself. You see, I don't
like to be lumbered with a leather jacket all the time."

"Hm!" reflected I, "Praed is learning his Greenland." All I suggested,
however, was that if he minded the smell he might carry his leather coat
out with him and leave it upon a rock until he should need it.

"And have it stolen," he said, with a glance of pity.

I perceived that he had a great deal of Greenland yet to learn. The most
northern Eskimos do not steal. I arranged with Megipsu for a sealskin
suit, however, to cost two pairs of scissors, a packet of sail-needles,
a hunting-knife, a cracker-box, and Praed's wooden signal-whistle,
which Megipsu fancied. In a week the Professor appeared in the silvery
clothes. He was highly enthusiastic. I listened patiently while he
explained the garments.

"You see, when it is warm," he said, "I can loosen the draw-string and
throw back the hood, and a draught of air comes in from the bottom
and goes out at the neck and carries off the perspiration. When the
wind rises, snap! I haul in the draw-string, cover my head, and I am
hermetically sealed. Not a chill can touch me."

"Precisely," I agreed. I had been wearing Eskimo clothes for a year and
two months. "I understand," I added, "that you are going oogsook-hunting
with Meeoo."

"Yes," he laughed. "I'm going to show the untutored savage the
superiority of the rifle over the harpoon."

He learned more about Greenland upon that expedition. There was a floe,
perhaps a mile wide, anchored near the mouth of the bay by half a dozen
grounded bergs. To this floe the Eskimo and the white man set forth
in kayaks. It was midnight when they left and we were asleep, but the
Huskies at the village told us that the Professor couldn't manage his
canoe, and finally had to permit Daniel to tow him.

Next night they returned with a seal. The Professor had many words of
praise for a country where the sun never sets and there is no loss of
working-time, but nothing to say about the hunting. At last he confessed
that Daniel had killed the seal.

"The _phoca barbata_ is a wary animal," he protested. "He will not
permit a white face to approach. Two or three of the creatures were
taking sun-baths upon the floe, but before I could creep within shooting
distance they flopped into the water—a most ungraceful gait. All Arctic
animals seem to be clumsy. I fired at one seal and I think I hit him,
but he, too, dived. At last I resigned the rifle to Daniel. The savage
squirmed over the ice like a worm. When the seals lifted their heads,
Daniel lifted his. It is not surprising that he deceived them. His black
muzzle looks precisely like that of the seal, and he wears a seal's fur.
But his methods would never do in civilization. It took him half a day
to crawl across that ice-floe."

"But he shot the seal," someone put in.

"No," replied the Professor. "That's just the point. He wormed himself
along until he could almost reach the creature, and then sprang upon it
and clubbed it to death with the butt."

I do not think Praed fully appreciated the marvellous adroitness of
the hunter, nor the thoughtfulness of the man in saving a cartridge.
He never seemed to comprehend that a charge of powder and bullet is
worth more to an Eskimo than a diamond is to a bride at home. However,
he began after that to treat the Huskies somewhat as if they were human
beings.

His complete enlightenment as to the Eskimo character came all in a
blaze at the end of our stay in Greenland. Our work there was done. Our
explorations had been successful, our scientific collections were almost
completed. There were only the loose ends to be gathered up.

The Professor had seen some desirable flowers in a valley across a
glacier. Near that same glacier, in the preceding summer, I, who was
acting as mineralogist of the main party, had piled a few specimens in a
cranny to be carried to camp later, and I thought I might as well have
them. We started forth together. Daniel and one or two other Huskies
went with us for comradeship.

At the edge of the glacier we halted. It was a stupendous thing,
crawling through a gap in the hills down into the sea like a section of
the Midgard serpent. Halfway up the flank, I remember, there was a round
hole, and out of it spouted a waterfall, red with basaltic mud. One of
the Æsir might have made such a wound with his spear.

The back of the monster was rugged with crevasses.

"You can't cross here," I counselled. "You'd better try farther up,
where it's smoother. I'll climb the cliff and take an observation, while
you wait here and eat your luncheon. It doesn't do to hurry too much in
Greenland."

I was almost an hour making my way up the crags to a point where I could
take a bird's-eye view of the mass of ice. It was not a wide glacier—the
cliffs opposite were not more than four miles away—but the great number
of icebergs it threw off bore witness to the rapidity of its motion.

  [Illustration: While he explained the garments.—Page 292.]

Suddenly, almost below me upon the blue-white ice, appeared four or five
black figures. They emerged out of a cleft near the edge and marched
steadily toward the centre of the glacier. The surface beyond them and
upon either hand was criss-crossed with blue crevasses. Glints from the
shining icicles hanging down their sides darted up to me as I stood, a
mile away. It was very picturesque, but I had no heart for enjoyment.

"The man is crazy!" I burst out and scrambled down the rough stones to
overtake him.

In a quarter of an hour I had reached the bottom of the gorge, between
the glacier and the mountain. A furious torrent roared along the side of
the ice, but a few pinnacles of rock protruding out of the stream gave
foothold to cross. Opposite my landing-place a huge blue cleft in the
ice, with a gradually rising peak, furnished easy ascent to the surface.

As soon as my head was clear of the cleft, I saw one of the Eskimos
running toward me. I hastened to meet him.

"Pra' has fallen!" cried the man. "The ice has eaten him. He has gone
to sleep forever."

"Damnation!" I shouted. "Run to the ship. Tell all the white men to come
and bring a rope!"

  [Illustration: I was ... making my way up the crags.—Page 292.]

He sped into the cleft and I moved on. Surmounting a mound in the ice,
I could scan the whole surface. A quarter of a mile beyond me, the dark
figures of the party crouched beside a long narrow crevasse. As I drew
near, the tall figure of the Professor rose and faced me. He made no
move to meet me, and when I had approached within a few feet of him, I
saw that his hands hung limp at his sides and that he was sobbing. He
could not speak, but he pointed to the crevasse. I threw myself at full
length upon the ice and peeped over the brink.

A hundred feet below me, on the edge of a block of ice that hung
unsteadily upon a mass of _débris_, lay Daniel. His head was doubled
unnaturally forward upon his chest. The trash about him was stained with
red. He must have died in an instant.

One look was enough. I sprang to my feet and faced the Professor.

"How did that happen?" I exclaimed. "Good God, man, speak! Don't act
like a baby!"

Praed burst out sobbing afresh. It was a moment before he could control
his tongue. When he spoke he clinched his hands and gazed blankly up
the glacier toward the sun.

"It was I," he said; "he saved me. I fell—"

"Well?" I demanded.

"Do you see that shoulder of ice on this side of the crevasse, and the
shelf jutting out opposite?"

I peered over the edge once more. The wall hung slightly out at the top
and I had a good view of everything beneath. The cleft was not more than
five feet wide, but, except for the _débris_ lodged below me, it sank
away into darkness. It may have been a thousand feet deep.

Some twenty feet down the side a ledge, perhaps twelve inches broad,
started from the wall. Upon the opposite wall, about six feet higher,
as far as I could estimate, allowing for the foreshortening, there
was another shelf, considerably broader. Upon it sprang up the stumps
of two or three heavy icicles that had grown down from an ice-bridge.
Doubtless, anciently the _débris_ caught below had been part of this
bridge, and in its fall had carried the upper ends of the icicles with
it. One end of the shelf slanted up almost to the surface.

I took this in at a glance.

"Yes," I said; "go on."

"I must confess from the beginning," he proceeded, in a curious
monotone, as if his body, not his mind, were talking, "I doubted your
judgment of the glacier. The access to the summit was evidently so easy
that, I thought, some route across would surely open out before us. I
desired to surprise you; I knew you could easily overtake us. Therefore,
I set forth. The Eskimos hung back, but I promised them knives if they
would follow.

"It was easy enough until we came to this crevasse. I attempted to leap
across, but I slipped and fell. I do not know how it happened, but I
struck several times and whirled over and over, and felt a blow upon the
back of my head. It dazed me. When I came to myself I was seated upon
that ledge, with my back against the wall. The wall slants in, as you
see, and the outer edge of the ledge is raised, so I was secure.

"But I had only half recovered my senses and I began to cry out for
help. I was so much disturbed that I didn't know what was going on until
I saw someone upon the shelf opposite. Then I think I shouted louder.
Suddenly there came another shock and I should have fallen, but someone
held me up. It was Daniel. He must have leaped across."

He paused and I looked down again. The ledge, at its broadest barely
a foot and a half wide, fell away into the wall, not two feet from the
spot where Praed must have brought up. It was a brave leap.

"Go on," I commanded.

"Daniel laughed at me," resumed the Professor, like a child reading from
a book, "and waited till I got back some of my self-possession. Then he
made signs to me to spring across and catch the icicles with my arms. I
was afraid. He laughed again and made another sign that he would lift
me across. I let him take me by the knees and lift me until my head
and waist rose above the shelf, and then I leaned forward and we both
toppled over. I caught the icicles, and he held me firm and perhaps—I
don't know—if I had kept still—"

I hastened to steady him.

"What did you do?" I asked. "Keep cool."

"I struggled. I squirmed with my feet in getting up—and kicked him free.
When I was safe I tried to help him—I meant to help him. But the ledge
was empty and he lay there."

"Good God!" was all I could say.

We passed the succeeding three hours in dead silence. Praed never moved,
I think, and never took his eyes from the sky above the _névé_ basin.
The Eskimos sat quietly beside the grave of their friend. I sprang
across the crevasse where it narrowed, descended to the shelf with the
icicles, and mused upon the courage that had dared a leap to that narrow
footing.

At last the party from the ship arrived with ropes. The leader of the
Relief Party hastened in advance. His pale face turned red as he saw
Praed, and he sprang forward with hand outstretched.

"Praed, old fellow!" he exclaimed. "By the Lord, I'm glad to see you
alive. How did you get out?"

Praed turned toward him. I couldn't see his face, but the leader fell
back.

"What's the matter?" he said. "What is it?"

"It's an accident," I put in. "Daniel has fallen and is dead."

Then Praed showed the first sign of manliness that I had ever seen in
him.

"It is my fault," he proclaimed. "I am to blame for his death. I demand
the right to fetch up his body."

In pity for his evident wretchedness, the leader consented. We lowered
the Professor by a rope to the heap of trash. But as his weight bore
upon the block where the body lay, the ice tilted and fell. Daniel fell
with it. The ringing of icicles on either wall of the glacier lessened
to a tinkling; the tinkling merged into a sustained harmonic, like the
final note of some violin sonata. The tone died away. No final crash
followed. The utmost depths were beyond our hearing.

  [Illustration: I should have fallen but someone held me up—it was
   Daniel.—Page 295.
   Drawn by Henry McCarter.]

During most of the voyage home, Praed behaved like a man in a dream. He
rarely spoke, and when we addressed him he started before he replied.
Only once did he show any trace of his ancient aggressive manner, and
that was when someone said a slighting word of an Eskimo.

"The Eskimos," retorted Praed, "are heroes."

That was absurd. Perhaps there are three or four left in the tribe who
would have done what Daniel did. The Professor was pitiful in his broken
condition. We deemed him a chastened man.

The other day, however, a member of our old party came to see me. There
is only one topic of conversation among men who have journeyed to the
Far North. In the course of our Arctic gossip I asked for news of Praed.

"Haven't you heard?" asked my friend. "He is lecturing through the West.
He has won a great reputation for his courage in descending into the
crevasse."

"Hm!" I said, and both of us were silent. We were thinking of a strain
of ice-music as unearthly as the Theme of the Grail, and of a vast white
tomb, now doubtless afloat upon some Arctic sea. It bears the body of
a better man than Praed.

  [Illustration: A hundred feet below ... lay Daniel.—Page 294.]



A SLUMBER-SONG

FOR THE FISHERMAN'S CHILD

By Henry van Dyke


     Furl your sail, my little boatie;
         Here's the harbor, still and deep,
     Where the dreaming tides, in-streaming,
             Up the channel creep.
     See, the sunset breeze is dying;
     Hark, the plover, landward flying,
     Softly down the twilight crying;
         Come to anchor, little boatie,
             In the port of Sleep.

     Far away, my little boatie,
         Roaring waves are white with foam;
     Ships are striving, onward driving,
             Day and night they roam.
     Father's at the deep-sea trawling,
     In the darkness, rowing, hauling,
     While the hungry winds are calling,—
         God protect him, little boatie,
             Bring him safely home!

     Not for you, my little boatie.
         Is the wide and weary sea;
     You're too slender, and too tender,
             You must rest with me.
     All day long you have been straying
     Up and down the shore and playing;
     Come to port, make no delaying!
         Day is over, little boatie,
             Night falls suddenly.

     Furl your sail, my little boatie;
         Fold your wings, my tired dove.
     Dews are sprinkling, stars are twinkling
             Drowsily above.
     Cease from sailing, cease from rowing;
     Rock upon the dream-tide, knowing
     Safely o'er your rest are glowing,
         All the night, my little boatie,
             Harbor-lights of love.

     M. COWLES.



  [Illustration: COME TO ANCHOR, LITTLE BOATIE, IN THE PORT OF SLEEP.]



  [Illustration: Girl with Tambourine.
   Painted by George Butler.]



THE PAINTING OF GEORGE BUTLER

By W. C. Brownell


The painting of George Butler has the interest of all art that is
not manifestly the product of the influences of the moment, but owes
its quality to the personality of the painter. Such is the interest
of Whistler's, Winslow Homer's, the late Homer Martin's, LaFarge's,
Vedder's. It is art that has a direct rather than an illustrative
interest—a real rather than a historical value. It does not contribute
much to the race, the moment, and the _milieu_ theory. And, of course,
it suffers some neglect at the present time, which apparently belongs
to the theoreticians, and when, accordingly, the illustrative and
historical interest of all data that can contribute to the construction
of formulary is felt so universally and so nearly exclusively. But the
play of those forces that are so highly differentiated as to escape
classification—the forces that make up personality—rewards contemplation
in quite a different way. It eludes the pursuit of philosophy, but it
repays the æsthetic attention quite as much, quite as legitimately, as
the study of that impersonal and rather mechanical result of current
habits of mind and points of view, the art of the schools. Butler
was a pupil—long ago—of Couture, and one may still see evidences of
the fact in his portraits now and then. But compare his relation to
Couture with that of Sargent to Carolus Duran, for example, in order
to see how wholly personal his painting is and how little he owes to
any mere source of acquisition, except in certain means of technical
expression, early adopted and perhaps rather lazily adhered to.
Power and distinction such as Sargent's, even when exhibited almost
solely within the range of technical expression, have certainly an
individuality of their own that is most striking and admirable. But it
is an individuality of accomplishment rather than of quality, marked
more by its eminence of excellence than by its native idiosyncrasy.
Of course, any intimate association of the two painters would be more
misleading than illuminating, and in contrasting them in this single
but fundamental respect I only have in mind the radical difference
thus illustrated between a painter who has achieved fame by distancing
competition in following traditional lines and expressing current
tendencies, and a painter who has a controlling personal bent and has
followed that.

Butler has, at all events, always done just what he wanted to do,
and in the strictest sense. His temperament has always dictated his
expression, and in thoroughly imperious fashion. It may be said,
indeed, to have dominated his intelligence to the extent, at least, of
eliminating, as objects of curiosity, interest, or effort, everything
not strictly in accord with itself. But the result has been the
felicity of extreme concentration. If in doing what he wanted to do
his wants have been few, he has, on the other hand, wanted them with
an intensity proportionate to its singleness. Beauty exhibited in the
human face and form has absorbed his artistic attention and activity.
I remember not only no landscapes, but nothing really to be called
a composition among his works. A few Barye-like animal fragments, of
heroic mould—a tiger's head, a dog's head and shoulders, the foreparts
of an extremely leonine lion, some very feline cats—are, I fancy, the
only diversion of his devotion to the single figure and the portrait,
and they are but examples of the instinctive exercise of his remarkable
gift of representation, and show a fine faculty at play rather than
at work. They do not illustrate the "discipline of genius" as some
writer has defined art to be, but are merely "artistic" in the sense
in which artists use the word, _i.e._, born of the impulse to create
or reproduce an "effect" of some kind. In the portrait and the single
figure, however, he has expressed himself with freedom, with zest, and
with completeness.

       *       *       *       *       *

Portraiture is a branch of art in which artistic aptitudes exhibit
themselves in as individual a way as in any other perhaps, despite
the preponderance usually assigned to the "likeness." And neither
_à priori_ nor historically can it be asserted that the imagination
itself plays in portraiture an inferior part. The material is possibly
less varied than that of landscape or decorative art; but that is
nothing. A painter shows his quality quite as much within a limited as
within a wider range. And the material of portraiture is at least as
highly differentiated as it is limited. The interest of the "Lesson in
Anatomy" resides in many of its various pictorial elements no doubt,
but also and in the supreme degree in what Burger calls "the working of
intellect," as seen in the countenances of the listening circle around
the demonstrator. A painter who exhibits himself in portraying human
intellect, emotions, character, personality, and with these highly
complicated and maturely developed phenomena shows us his point of view
and way of looking at things—which are what art and genius mainly are,
according to Mr. Henry James—has an opportunity certainly of doing so
on a very high plane. And on such a plane Butler is, I think, very much
at home. The quality that all his portraits show in common is displayed
with perfect freedom and the effect only to be attained by the easy
exercise of a native gift.

In the first place they are extremely human. They are in no degree
portraits _à la mode_ and do not exploit the painter's virtuosity.
They show, on the contrary, his respect for, and interest in, his
model. One establishes relations through them with their originals.
They have character in the moral and intellectual, as well as in the
artistic sense. They acquire in this way a typical value. The Century
Club's portrait of General Greene is also a portrait of the American
soldier, as many another, easily mentioned, is that of the American
lady. They are intellectually generalized, that is to say, endowed with
a wider than merely individual interest. In the second place they are
extremely pictorial. The most intractable subject is made agreeable
by being handled with a touch directed by an instinctive preference
for, and delight in, the beautiful. The sitter receives the benefit
of a translation into a heightened and poetized medium without loss
of anything essentially characteristic. In both these respects—their
humanity and their pictorial quality—Butler's portraits are decidedly
exceptional in current art.

Current art is certainly concentrated upon physical character rather
than upon beauty, and current appreciation of it is in harmonious
accord with its realistic effort and aim. One may refine speculation
to the point of asserting that there is no opposition, essentially
considered, between the two; that Rembrandt is as distinguished for
his beauty as Raphael, and that on the other hand there is as much
character in "The School of Athens" as in the "Lesson in Anatomy."
But in matters of this kind terms are approximate only, and the fact
that definition is a difficult matter does not obscure the plain truth
that a marked difference exists between the work of a painter in whose
mind an agreeable conception of an object mirrors itself, and that
of one mainly anxious to be exact. Technic has spread prodigiously
(quite as much perhaps as it has developed) in the present epoch, and
has become rather arrogant in its aggrandizement. Criticism, too, in
becoming largely technical has assisted the tendency, so far as it
exerts an influence on practice. It has grown tired, no doubt, of its
own commonplaces and generalities, its easy habit of estimating aims
rather than accomplishment, its routine insensitiveness to aspect and
perfunctory absorption in significance. But in assuming the painter's
point of view—not a very esoteric one, certainly—it has not been quite
self-respectfully discriminating enough to avoid the purely professional
attitude. And it is perhaps time for the pendulum to swing back again
a little, so that both in estimating and in enjoying the painter's art
we may once more think of its intellectual rather than so wholly of
its mechanical side, which latter we may also be sure, nowadays, will
be quite carefully, and in many cases competently, attended to by the
painters themselves.

In this way, at any rate, having in mind Butler's portraits, we shall
be able, whether or no they have the accent and relief requisite for
a portrait of the striking or "stunning" order—in this way we shall be
able to appreciate what a fine talent it predicates to say of a painter
that he sees the finest side of his subject. This is often understood
as lightly as it is said, and taken to indicate merely a preference
for the agreeable to the more markedly characteristic. And this is no
doubt especially true in the field of portraiture. But certainly, and
especially in portraiture, very little reflection is needed to show
one that the great peril to be avoided, and the most constant menace,
is caricature of one sort or another. It may be the caricature that
comes from imperfectly seizing and imperfectly rendering the traits
of the subject, the caricature that inadequacy is. Or it may be that
which comes from undue and disproportionate accentuation of what is
perceived too exclusively. Success depends upon avoiding both by forming
a correspondent conception of the subject—a conception that is clear and
consistent and positive—and painting that. The painter then copies his
conception, not his model, and the representative value of his portrait
will have precisely the interest of his conception—in so far, of course,
as he is able to convey it. In a sense, to be sure, it may be said that
it is impossible to paint a portrait without proceeding in this way,
without first forming a conception of the sitter plastically, if not
morally; that the result is necessarily the product of some preliminary
conception. But that is metaphysical fine-spinning. Empirically we all
know that unconscious caricature—which is the caricature here referred
to—is due to either a defective or a distorted conception, in other
words, to a mental image either so faint or so little correspondent to
the original as to be practically no conception at all. Of a very large
number of portraits, assuredly, it may be asserted that they embody
no more developed and complete an antecedent image in the mind of the
painter than a mere mechanical impression, barely distinct enough to
direct the muscular movements requisite to register it upon canvas.

Butler's conception is, as I have intimated, always very sympathetically
formed. It seems to indicate that he likes the sitter. His own
cordiality enters into it. It is a result of harmonious relations
between his imagination and the sitter's nature—the qualities, as well
as the appearance, of the subject. Landscape painting, says Eugène
Véron, is "the painting of one's emotions in the presence of nature."
Butler's portraits, similarly, seem the painting of his idea of the
subject in its suggestive, stimulating, rectifying presence. His
conception implies a certain slowness of formation—the time to become
acquainted, at least. That of such a painter as Sargent is so rapid
as to seem quite impersonal, in comparison. It is apparently formed so
quickly as to be really an impression rather than a conception at all.
Though occasionally plainly transitory, it is often wonderfully vivid
and searching, but rarely does it attest that assimilation which is a
necessary preliminary of synthesis of such complexity as the conception
of an active personality is entitled to. Its qualities are fundamentally
"artistic." Butler's is at the same time more mature and less objective.
Sargent's _grandes dames_, for example, are always fine ladies, but
Butler's portraits of women have, all of them, whatever the sitter's
type, the patrician look. Yet they are noble rather than elegant, and
simple in their refinement. Their graciousness is native, and there is
something ample in the ease with which they carry themselves. Add to
this a poetic strain that characterizes very intimately their unaffected
naturalness and gives them a universal as well as a specific interest,
making of them abiding works of art.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Italian type, which almost all his single figures illustrate, has
had a particular charm for Butler—as the accompanying illustrations
attest. And to its interpretation he has brought a remarkable and
an instinctive sympathy. Stendhal would have liked his Italian
figures—Stendhal, who better than any other writer, perhaps, has
understood the Italian national character in its nobility as well as
its finesse. Its finesse has not interested Butler, as indeed it could
hardly interest a painter of his frank nature, and it is not, of course,
a particularly paintable quality, though it must be confessed that
Velasquez made something of it in his Innocent X. of the Doria Gallery.
But its nobility, its largeness, its elemental and untormented quality,
its freedom from pettiness and perplexities, its naturalness, its frank
following of the dictates of will and passion, unsophisticated by the
restraints and complications of vanity or self-consciousness in any of
its myriad forms—can be read in Butler's Capri peasants as in a book.
Health and vigor, an animation that is not feverish or hardly alert,
the charm of pensiveness without sadness, of repose without revery, of
work without strain, and existence without effort, they show in every
expression of their large lines and simple, graceful attitudes. Now and
then from the face shines a beautiful soul, its innocence untouched by
experience and acquiring an almost pathetic quality from its unworldly,
yet by no means spiritual serenity. They win your admiration and
your heart. They have infinite capacities of feeling, of loving, of
wilfulness, of self-sacrifice. They have been refined but not corrupted
by their not too close or too reciprocal contact with civilization.
They are all of a piece, and one comprehends the tragedy that excess
would mean for them. In their way they are the acme of poetry and
beauty expressed in character that has a wonderful correspondence to
the envelope of its plastic manifestation. "I would rather," exclaimed
once a friend of mine—a lady, naturally—"I would rather know one Jew
than forty Gentiles, they have so much more _character_." Character in
this sense the Italians possess in effusion, so to speak, and Butler's
Capriotes and Venetians exhibit it with a native dignity and charm that
one has only to think of such contrasts as Bastien-Lepage's, or even
Millet's, peasants (far more interesting in many other respects, of
course) to appreciate.

Some of them are beautifully painted, as all are sympathetically
understood. The elder of the two boys here reproduced is an especially
lovely bit of handling, of quality, of clarity in the gently gradated
tones. A Capri woman seated in a straight-backed chair upon a homespun
carpet making lace, is very nearly a marvel in the same way—a figure
that painters themselves are particularly pleased with. The blue dress,
the white bodice, the dark face and hands, the blue-black hair, the
greenish background, and the gray and red carpet compose largely in
masses of importance, and are painted with a liquid and _luisant_ effect
that is nevertheless as far as possible from a blended and effeminate
one. The touch is firmer, perhaps, more positive and vigorous,
certainly, in the Venetian water-carrier here engraved, though it is
equally distant from anything brutal, and the brush is restrained by
refinement within the lines of true distinction, with the result that
the reader may discern even in black and white. Is she not a majestic
creature—for pictorial purposes, at all events? Pictorially, at least,
she is superb. This is what a painter of genuine temperament and an
instinct for character can make out of a bare-headed girl lugging a
jar of water. One perceives at once the vitality and completeness of
Butler's purely plastic impressions.

So vital and complete indeed are his plastic impressions that they
explain, I think, his fondness for the single figure, his carelessness
for composition. It may be argued from this fondness that his talent
is an impressionable rather than an imaginative one; that his plastic
exceeds his architectonic faculty. But to argue this is to miss an
important side of his art. He does not, it is true, see things in their
relations so much as in their essence. The genius for image-making, for
originating conceptions of complex and interdependent interest, for
composition, in a word, he certainly does not possess in any marked
degree, or we should have had from him at least some experimentation
in this sort. But it is remarkable how little, in looking at one of his
noble figures, one feels this as a limitation, how close an equivalent
he gives us for it. He has comprehended his model so thoroughly, and
realized it so perfectly; he has conveyed the character itself so
essentially, so subtly, and so intimately, merely in presenting its
plastic phenomena, that he has amply _suggested_ its characteristic
environment and everything related to it that, in an elaborate
composition of which it should be the centre, might contribute to its
completer expression and relief. It does not look in the least like
the study for a figure in some picture or other. It is a picture in
itself. We do not get the pleasure that the pictorial presentation of
this contributory environment would give us; we forego the sensuous
delight that composition is capable of affording; but the striking thing
about Butler's single figures is that they themselves so impress the
imagination as to make us forget that they are unaided by accessories.
One may add, by the way, the not impertinent corollary that it
would be difficult to find among contemporary painters one who could
satisfactorily supply this omission on the same plane of conception and
workmanship.

  [Illustration: Portrait.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Butler's color is one of the prominent qualities of his painting. It is
extremely full and rich, at the same time that it is quiet and grave.
Color as color interests him, plainly, and he does not leave it to
take care of itself, as is a frequent practice at the present time,
when painters seem largely to have given over the illustration of its
decorative possibilities and to be devoting themselves either to the
value or the vibration, instead of the quality, of their color. On the
one hand, the prevailing middle tint that is _obviously_ middle tint,
and, on the other, the high key of luminosity that is obviously mere
pitch instead of melody, make such canvases as Butler's seem, perhaps,
a trifle old-fashioned. How long is it since Titian was mentioned in a
modern studio except as a subject of interest to the antiquarian? The
practitioner who, twenty-five years ago, was endeavoring to divine his
"secret," perhaps abandoning the quest as hopeless, has exchanged his
atmosphere for one more rarefied, where, if the prospect is considerably
more arid, there is correspondingly less demand on the vital forces.
The lack in Butler's work of the current display of machinery—which
is what an exclusive devotion to values or vibration may not unfairly
be called—the lack of this inversion of the normal relations between
means and ends, is not felt particularly, I fancy, by anyone but
the professional practitioner. His low key and his unconcern for
illustrating the potentialities of pure technic _à propos de bottes_,
enable him to exhibit, very charmingly, his feeling for color in and
for itself.

  [Illustration: Roman Boy.]

This gives his work an agreeable element of contrast to that most
in vogue. One of his canvases is a welcome sight in a contemporary
exhibition for this reason alone. A disproportionate devotion to color
means the loss of many admirable sources of pleasure in art, beyond
any doubt. And in the main these are especially admirable, because they
are intellectual sources rather than sensuous. But the content of art
is beauty, and beauty implies sensuousness, and in painting there is
no such source of sensuous impression as color. A feeling for it is
shared alike by the savage and the civilized man, and no doubt there is
something barbarous in the delight which certain of its manifestations
inspire. But this fact in itself shows the elemental and universal
quality of this feeling and exhibits it as a mark of temperament. An
acute or profound sense of its intimate appeal has characterized all
epochs of expansion in the history of art, and its neglect has been
the invariable accompaniment of that petrifaction by system which has
assailed art at its every apogee. It is so sensitive as well as so
elemental that it has suffered neglect as well in the development as in
the decay of art; in the admirable evolution of Florentine line and mass
following the lovely harmonies of Giottesque color, as well as in the
sterilities succeeding the high Renaissance. It is the sign-manual of
the spirit of invention, of imagination, of novelty, of free exercise of
the faculties; and it individualizes the painter more sharply, perhaps,
than any other characteristic. Color is his short-cut to sentiment, his
most eloquent expression, his readiest means of communicating emotion.
More than his style one may say that his color is the man.

  [Illustration: Match Seller.
   Painted by George Butler.]

  [Illustration: Portrait.]

Butler's feeling for color is not feeling for its subtleties. It is a
broad and tranquil delight in its simpler effects. He is not fond of
hues and tints, of gradations and oppositions, of jewel-like harmonies
and delicate flushes, of iridescence and sheen and sparkle. His color
is the suave and sweet vibration of tone, now rich and deep, now clear
and soft, but vibrating mainly near the primaries. Its distinction is
that it is always _color_; that one of his canvases nowhere loses its
music, so to say, and becomes mere sound. Locally, it is always treated
in large masses, giving the eye repose rather than stimulus, and the
general harmony is correspondingly large. He sees things in color,
evidently, which is very different from seeing color in things, as also
from not seeing color at all. It is through their color that his figures
acquire their solidity and firmness—a greater relief than they would
have, perhaps, if wholly dependent on justness of value. Their color
is so pervasive and penetrating, it characterizes and expresses them
so forcibly, it is so emphatically the instrument of their realization,
that without it they would lose identity.

It is difficult, for instance, to judge of the "Girl with Tambourine"
minus the rich glow that pervades the orange background, warms the
olive of the soft, smiling countenance, the plump neck, the slender
arm and hand, and mellows the brown and red of the _contadina_ costume.
Reduced to black and white, with its values as carefully preserved as
has been essayed in the accompanying reproduction, it unfailingly loses,
in some measure, its reality, its roundness, its "tactile values"—to
employ Mr. Berenson's favorite term. Scientifically speaking, this
perhaps involves a contradiction since, speaking thus, "tactile values"
depend upon the light and dark relations of color, and not upon its
kind or quality. But the kind and quality of color have such power
over the emotions, and leave such a lively impress on the retina that,
practically and concretely, they serve to increase wonderfully the sense
of a picture's substantiality at the same time that, and in virtue of
the fact that, they increase the vivacity of the beholder's interest. Is
it not possible that this consideration has been somewhat lost sight of
in the logic that dictates the practice of much current painting? The
old masters are there to show what a loss in mere substantiality, in
weight and force, the neglect of color involves. Indeed, the "valueless"
coach-panel painting of the English pre-Raphaelites points a similar
moral, and perhaps accounts for the revival of interest in it. As to
color as a vehicle for the communication of poetry, there is, of course,
nowhere any dispute. Poetry implies personal feeling, and in no way
can feeling be expressed more personally than in color. And if Butler's
color, as well as his sympathetic interpretation of character, makes his
canvases contrast, in a way that may be stigmatized as "old-fashioned,"
with the colorlessness and the brutality that abound, one may properly
retort that the limitedness of the _laudator temporis acti_ is
clairvoyance itself compared with the partisanship of the pedant of the
present.



THE CHRONICLES OF AUNT MINERVY ANN

By Joel Chandler Harris

"WHEN JESS WENT A-FIDDLIN'"


Sitting on the veranda one summer day, ruminating over other people's
troubles, and wondering how womankind can invent and discover so many
things to fret and vex them, I was surprised to hear someone yelling at
the gate, "You-all got any bitin' dogs here?" I was surprised, because
the voice failed to match the serenity of the suburban scene. Its tone
was unsuited to the surroundings, being pitched a trifle too high.
Before I could make any reply the gate was flung open, and the owner of
the voice, who was no other than Aunt Minervy Ann, flirted in and began
to climb the terrace. My recognition of her was not immediate, for she
wore her Sunday toggery, in which, following the oriental instincts of
her race, the reds and yellows were emphasized with startling effect.
She began to talk by the time she was half-way between the house and
gate, and it was owing to this special and particular volubility that
I was able to recognize her.

"Huh!" she exclaimed, "hit's des like clim'in' up sta'rs. Folks what
live here bleeze ter b'long ter de Sons er Tempunce." There was a
relish about this reference to the difficulties of three terraces that
at once identified Aunt Minervy Ann. More than that, one of the most
conspicuous features of the country town where she lived was a large
brick building, covering half a block, across the top of which stretched
a sign—"Temperance Hall"—in letters that could be read a quarter of a
mile away.

Aunt Minervy Ann received a greeting that seemed to please her,
whereupon she explained that an excursion had come to Atlanta from her
town, and she had seized the opportunity to pay me a visit. "I tol'
um," said she, "dat dey could stay up in town dar an' hang 'roun' de
kyar-shed ef dey wanter, but here's what wuz gwine ter come out an' see
whar you live at."

She was informed that, though she was welcome, she would get small
pleasure from her visit. The cook had failed to make her appearance,
and the lady of the house was at that moment in the kitchen and in a
very fretful state of mind, not because she had to cook, but because
she had about reached the point where she could place no dependence in
the sisterhood of colored cooks.

"Is she in de kitchen now?" Aunt Minervy's tone was a curious mixture
of amusement and indignation. "I started not ter come, but I had a call,
I sho' did; sump'n tol' me dat you mought need me out here." With that,
she went into the house, slamming the screen-door after her, and untying
her bonnet as she went.

Now, the lady of the house had heard of Aunt Minervy Ann, but had never
met her, and I was afraid that the characteristics of my old-time friend
would be misunderstood, and misinterpreted. The lady in question knew
nothing of the negro race until long after emancipation, and she had
not been able to form a very favorable opinion of its representatives.
Therefore, I hastened after Aunt Minervy Ann, hoping to tone down by
explanation whatever bad impression she might create. She paused at
the screen-door that barred the entrance to the kitchen, and, for an
instant, surveyed the scene within. Then she cried out:

"You des ez well ter come out'n dat kitchen! You ain't got no mo'
bizness in dar dan a new-born baby."

Aunt Minervy Ann's voice was so loud and absolute that the lady gazed at
her in mute astonishment. "You des ez well ter come out!" she insisted.

"Are you crazy?" the lady asked in all seriousness.

"I'm des ez crazy now ez I ever been; an' I tell you you des ez well
ter come out'n dar."

"Who are you anyhow?"

"I'm Minervy Ann Perdue, at home an' abroad, an' in dish yer great town
whar you can't git niggers ter cook fer you."

"Well, if you want me to come out of the kitchen, you will have to come
in and do the cooking."

"Dat 'zackly what I'm gwine ter do!" exclaimed Aunt Minervy Ann. She
went into the kitchen, demanded an apron, and took entire charge. "I'm
mighty glad I come 'fo' you got started," she said, "'kaze you got 'nuff
fier in dis stove fer ter barbecue a hoss; an' you got it so hot in here
dat it's a wonder you ain't bust a blood-vessel."

She removed all the vessels from the range, and opened the door of the
furnace so that the fire might die down. And when it was nearly out—as
I was told afterward—she replaced the vessels and proceeded to cook a
dinner which, in all its characteristics, marked a red letter day in
the household.

"She's the best cook in the country," said the lady, "and she's not
polite."

"Polite! Well, if she was polite, she'd be a hypocrite, and if she was
a hypocrite, she wouldn't be Aunt Minervy Ann."

The cook failed to come in the afternoon, and so Aunt Minervy Ann felt
it her duty to remain over night. "Hamp'll vow I done run away wid
somebody," she said, laughing, "but I don't keer what he think."

After supper, which was as good as the dinner had been, Aunt Minervy Ann
came out on the veranda and sat on the steps. After some conversation,
she placed the lady of the house on the witness-stand.

"Mistiss, wharbouts in Georgy wuz you born at?"

"I wasn't born in Georgia; I was born in Lansingburgh, New York."

"I know'd it!" Aunt Minervy turned to me and nodded her head with
energy. "I know'd it right pine blank!"

"You knew what?" the presiding genius of the household inquires with
some curiosity.

"I know'd 'm dat you wuz a Northron lady."

"I don't see how you knew it," I remarked.

"Well, suh, she talk like we-all do, an' she got mighty much de same
ways. But when I went out dar dis mornin' an' holler at 'er in de
kitchen, I know'd by de way she turn 'roun' on me dat she ain't been
brung up wid niggers. Ef she'd 'a' been a Southron lady, she'd 'a'
laughed an' said, "Come in here an' cook dis dinner yo'se'f, you ole
vilyun,' er she'd 'a' come out an' crackt me over de head wid dat i'on
spoon what she had in her han'."

I could perceive a vast amount of acuteness in the observation, but
I said nothing, and, after a considerable pause, Aunt Minervy Ann
remarked:

"Dey er lots er mighty good folks up dar"—indicating the North—"some
I've seed wid my own eyes an' de yuthers I've heern talk un. Mighty
fine folks, an' dey say dey mighty sorry fer de niggers. But I'll
tell um all anywhar, any day, dat I'd lots druther dey'd be good ter
me dan ter be sorry fer me. You know dat ar white lady what Marse Tom
Chippendale married? Her pa come down here ter he'p de niggers, an' he
done it de best he kin, but Marse Tom's wife can't b'ar de sight un um.
She won't let um go in her kitchen, she won't let um go in her house,
an' she don't want um nowhars 'roun'. I don't blame 'er much myse'f,
bekaze it look like dat de niggers what been growin' up sence freedom
is des tryin' der han' fer ter see how no 'count dey kin be. Dey'll git
better—dey er bleeze ter git better, 'kaze dey can't git no wuss."

Here came another pause, which continued until Aunt Minervy Ann, turning
her head toward me, asked if I knew the lady that Jesse Towers married;
and before I had time to reply with certainty, she went on:

"No, suh, you des can't know 'er. She ain't come dar twel sev'mty, an'
I mos' know you ain't see 'er dat time you went down home ter de fair,
'kaze she wa'n't gwine out dat year. Well, she wuz a Northron lady. I
come mighty nigh tellin' you 'bout 'er whence you wuz at de fair, but
fus' one thing an' den anudder jumped in de way; er maybe 'twuz too new
ter be goshup'd 'roun' right den. But de way she come ter be dar an' de
way it all turn out beats any er dem tales what de ol' folks use ter
tell we childun. I may not know all de ins an' outs, but what I does
know I knows mighty well, 'kaze de young 'oman tol' me herse'f right
out 'er own mouf.

"Fus' an' fo'mus', dar wuz ol' Gabe Towers. He wuz dar, whence you wuz
dar, an' long time 'fo' dat. You know'd him, sho', 'kaze he wuz one er
dem kinder men what sticks out fum de res' like a waggin' tongue. Not
dat he wuz any better'n anybody else, but he had dem kinder ways what
make folks talk 'bout 'im an' 'pen' on 'im. I dunner 'zackly what de
ways wuz, but I knows dat whatsomever ol' Gabe Towers say an' do, folks
'd nod der head an' say an' do de same. An' me 'long er de res'. He had
dem kinder ways 'bout 'im, an' 'twa'n't no use talkin'."

In these few words, Aunt Minervy conjured up in my mind the memory
of one of the most remarkable men I had ever known. He was tall, with
iron-gray hair. His eyes were black and brilliant, his nose slightly
curved, and his chin firm without heaviness. To this day Gabriel Towers
stands out in my admiration foremost among all the men I have ever
known. He might have been a great statesman; he would have been great
in anything to which he turned his hand. But he contented himself with
instructing smaller men, who were merely politicians, and with sowing
and reaping on his plantation. More than one senator went to him for
ideas with which to make a reputation.

His will seemed to dominate everybody with whom he came in contact,
not violently, but serenely and surely, and as a matter of course.
Whether this was due to his age—he was sixty-eight when I knew him,
having been born in the closing year of the eighteenth century—or
to his moral power, or to his personal magnetism, it is hardly worth
while to inquire. Major Perdue said that the secret of his influence
was common-sense, and this is perhaps as good an explanation as any.
The immortality of Socrates and Plato should be enough to convince
us that common-sense is almost as inspiring as the gift of prophecy.
To interpret Aunt Minervy Ann in this way is merely to give a correct
report of what occurred on the veranda, for explanation of this kind
was necessary to give the lady of the house something like a familiar
interest in the recital.

"Yes, suh," Aunt Minervy Ann went on, "he had dem kinder ways 'bout 'im,
an' whatsomever he say you can't shoo it off like you would a hen on de
gyarden fence. Dar 'twuz an' dar it stayed.

"Well, de time come when ol' Marse Gabe had a gran'son, an' he name 'im
Jesse in 'cordance wid de Bible. Jesse grow'd an' grow'd twel he got ter
be a right smart chunk uv a boy, but he wa'n't no mo' like de Towerses
dan he wuz like de Chippendales, which he wa'n't no kin to. He tuck
atter his ma, an' who his ma tuck atter I'll never tell you, 'kaze Bill
Henry Towers married 'er way off yander somers. She wuz purty but puny,
yit puny ez she wuz she could play de peanner by de hour, an' play it
mo' samer dan de man what make it.

"Well, suh, Jesse tuck atter his ma in looks, but 'stidder playin'
de peanner, he l'arnt how ter play de fiddle, an' by de time he wuz
twelve year ol', he could make it talk. Hit's de fatal trufe, suh; he
could make it talk. You hear folks playin' de fiddle, an' you know what
dey doin'; you kin hear de strings a-plunkin' an' you kin hear de bow
raspin' on um on 'count de rozzum, but when Jesse Towers swiped de bow
cross his fiddle, 'twa'n't no fiddle—'twuz human; I ain't tellin' you
no lie, suh, 'twuz human. Dat chile could make yo' heart ache; he could
fetch yo' sins up befo' you. Don't tell me! many an' many a night when
I hear Jesse Towers playin', I could shet my eyes an' hear my childun
cryin', dem what been dead an' buried long time ago. Don't make no
diffunce 'bout de chune, reel, jig, er promenade, de human cryin' wuz
behime all un um.

"Bimeby, Jesse got so dat he didn't keer nothin' 'tall 'bout books. It
uz fiddle, fiddle, all day long, an' half de night ef dey'd let 'im.
Den folks 'gun ter talk. No need ter tell you what all dey say. De worl'
over, fum what I kin hear, dey got de idee dat a fiddle is a free pass
ter whar ole Scratch live at. Well, suh, Jesse got so he'd run away fum
school an' go off in de woods an' play his fiddle. Hamp use ter come
'pon 'im when he haulin' wood, an' he say dat fiddle ain't soun' no mo'
like de fiddles what you hear in common dan a flute soun' like a bass
drum.

"Now you know yo'se'f, suh, dat dis kinder doin's ain't gwine ter suit
Marse Gabe Towers. Time he hear un it, he put his foot down on fiddler,
an' fiddle, an' fiddlin'. Ez you may say, he sot down on de fiddle an'
smash it. Dis happen when Jesse wuz sixteen year ol', an' by dat time
he wuz mo' in love wid de fiddle dan what he wuz wid his gran'daddy.
An' so dar 'twuz. He ain't look like it, but Jesse wuz in about ez high
strung ez his fiddle wuz, an' when his gran'daddy laid de law down, he
sol' out his pony an' buggy an' made his disappearance fum dem parts.

"Well, suh, 'twa'n't so mighty often you'd hear sassy talk 'bout Marse
Gabe Towers, but you could hear it den. Folks is allers onreasonable
wid dem dey like de bes'; you know dat yo'se'f, suh. Marse Gabe ain't
make no 'lowance fer Jesse, an' folks ain't make none fer Marse Gabe.
Marse Tumlin wuz dat riled wid de man dat dey come mighty nigh havin'
a fallin' out. Dey had a splutter 'bout de time when sump'n n'er had
happen, an' atter dey wrangle a little, Marse Tumlin sot de date by
sayin' dat 'twuz 'a year 'fo' de day when Jess went a-fiddlin'.' Dat
sayin' kindled de fier, suh, an it spread fur an' wide. Marse Tom
Chippendale say dat folks what never is hear tell er de Towerses went
'roun' talkin' 'bout 'de time when Jess went a-fiddlin'.'"

Aunt Minervy Ann chuckled over this, probably because she regarded it
as a sort of victory for Major Tumlin Perdue. She went on:

"Yes, suh, 'twuz a by-word wid de childun. No matter what happen, er
when it happen, er ef 'tain't happen, 'twuz 'fo' er atter 'de day when
Jess went a-fiddlin'.' Hit look like dat Marse Gabe sorter drapt a notch
or two in folks' min's. Yit he helt his head dez ez high. He bleeze ter
hol' it high, 'kaze he had in 'im de blood uv bofe de Tumlins an' de
Perdues; I dunner how much, but 'nuff fer ter keep his head up.

"I ain't no almanac, suh, but I never is ter fergit de year when Jess
went a-fiddlin'. 'Twuz sixty, 'kaze de nex' year de war 'gun ter bile,
an' 'twa'n't long 'fo' it biled over. Yes, suh! dar wuz de war come on
an' Jesse done gone. Dey banged aloose, dey did, dem on der side, an'
we on our'n, an' dey kep' on a bangin' twel we-all can't bang no mo'.
An' den de war hushed up, an' freedom come, an' still nobody ain't hear
tell er Jesse. Den you come down dar, suh, an' stay what time you did;
still nobody ain't hear tell er Jesse. He mought er writ ter his ma,
but ef he did, she kep' it mighty close. Marse Gabe ain't los' no flesh
'bout it, an' ef he los' any sleep on account er Jess, he ain't never
brag 'bout it.

"Well, suh, it went on dis away twel, ten year atter Jess went
a-fiddlin', his wife come home. Yes, suh! His wife! Well! I wuz stan'in'
right in de hall talkin' wid Miss Fanny—dat's Jesse's ma—when she
come, an' when de news broke on me you could 'a' knockt me down wid a
per-meter fan. De house-gal show'd 'er in de parler, an' den come atter
Miss Fanny. Miss Fanny she went in dar, an' I stayed outside talkin'
wid de house-gal. De gal say, 'Aunt Minervy Ann, dey sho' is sump'n
n'er de matter wid dat white lady. She white ez any er de dead, an' she
can't git 'er breff good.' 'Bout dat time, I hear somebody cry out in
de parler, an' den I hear sump'n fall. De house-gal cotch holt er me
an' 'gun ter whimper. I shuck 'er off, I did, an' went right straight
in de parler, an' dar wuz Miss Fanny layin' face fo'mus' on a sofy wid
a letter in 'er han' an' de white lady sprawled out on de flo'.

"Well, suh, you can't skeer me wid trouble, 'kaze I done see too much;
so I shuck Miss Fanny by de arm an' ax 'er what de matter, an' she cry
out, 'Jesse's dead an' his wife come home.' She uz plum heart-broke,
suh, an' I speck I wuz blubberin' some myse'f when Marse Gabe walkt in,
but I wuz tryin' ter work wid de white lady on de flo'. 'Twix' Marse
Gabe an' Miss Fanny, 'twuz sho'ly a tryin' time. When one er dem hard
an' uppity men lose der grip on deyse'f, dey turn loose ever'thing, an'
dat wuz de way wid Marse Gabe. When dat de case, sump'n n'er got ter be
done, an' it got ter be done mighty quick."

Aunt Minervy Ann paused here and rubbed her hands together
contemplatively, as if trying to restore the scene more completely to
her memory.

"You know how loud I kin talk, suh, when I'm min' ter. Well, I talk
loud den an' dar. I 'low, 'What you-all doin'? Is you gwine ter let
Marse Jesse's wife lay here an' die des 'kaze he dead? Ef you is, I'll
des go on whar I b'longs at!' Dis kinder fotch um 'roun', an' 'twa'n't
"no time 'fo' we had de white lady in de bed whar Jesse use ter sleep
at, an' soon's we got 'er cuddled down in it, she come 'roun'. But she
wuz in a mighty bad fix. She wanter git up an' go off, an' 'twuz all I
could do fer ter keep 'er in bed. She done like she wuz plum distracted.
Dey wa'n't skacely a minit fer long hours, an' dey wuz mighty long uns,
suh, dat she wa'n't moanin' an' sayin' dat she wa'n't gwine ter stay,
an' she hope de Lord'd fergive 'er. I tell you, suh, 'twuz tarryfyin'.
I shuck nex' day des like folks do when dey are honin' atter dram.

"You may ax me how come I ter stay dar," Aunt Minervy Ann suggested with
a laugh. "Well, suh, 'twa'n't none er my doin's. I speck dey mus' be
sump'n wrong 'bout me, 'kaze no matter how rough I talk ner how ugly I
look, sick folks an' childun allers takes up wid me. When I go whar dey
is, it's mighty hard fer ter git 'way fum um. So, when I say ter Jesse's
wife, 'Keep still, honey, an' I'll go home an' not pester you,' she sot
up in bed an' say ef I gwine she gwine too. I say, 'Nummine 'bout me,
honey, you lay down dar an' don't talk too much.' She 'low, 'Le' me talk
ter you an' tell you all 'bout it.' But I shuck my head an' say dat ef
she don't hush up an' keep still I'm gwine right home.

"I had ter do 'er des like she wuz a baby, suh. She wa'n't so mighty
purty, but she had purty ways, 'stracted ez she wuz, an' de biggest
black eyes you mos' ever seed, an' black curly ha'r cut short kinder
like our folks use ter w'ar der'n. Den de house-gal fotched some tea an'
toas', an' dis holp 'er up mightly, an' atter dat I sont ter Marse Gabe
fer some dram, an' de gal fotched de decanter fum de sidebode. Bein',
ez you may say, de nurse, I tuck an' tas'e er de dram fer ter make sho'
dat nobody ain't put nothin' in it. An', sho' 'nuff, dey ain't."

Aunt Minervy Ann paused and smacked her lips. "Atter she got de vittles
an' de dram, she sorter drap off ter sleep, but 'twuz a mighty flighty
kinder sleep. She'd wake wid a jump des 'zackly like babies does, an'
den she'd moan an' worry twel she dozed off ag'in. I nodded, suh, bekaze
you can't set me down in a cheer, night er day, but what I'll nod, but
in betwix' an' betweens I kin hear Marse Gabe Towers walkin' up an' down
in de liberry; walk, walk; walk, walk, up an' down. I speck ef I'd 'a'
been one er de nervious an' flighty kin' dey'd 'a' had to tote me out
er dat house de nex' day; but me! I des kep' on a-noddin'.

"Bimeby, I hear sump'n come swishin' 'long, an' in walkt Miss Fanny. I
tell you now, suh, ef I'd a met 'er comin' down de road, I'd 'a' made
a break fer de bushes, she look so much like you know sperrets oughter
look—an' Marse Jesse's wife wuz layin' dar wid 'er eyes wide open. She
sorter swunk back in de bed when she see Miss Fanny, an' cry out, 'Oh,
I'm mighty sorry fer ter trouble you; I'm gwine 'way in de mornin'.'
Miss Fanny went ter de bed an' knelt down 'side it, an' 'low, 'No, youer
gwine no whar but right in dis house. Yo' place is here, wid his mudder
an' his gran'fadder.' Wid dat, Marse Jesse's wife put her face in de
piller an' moan an' cry, twel I hatter ax Miss Fanny fer ter please,
ma'm, go git some res'.

"Well, suh, I stayed dar dat night an' part er de nex' day, an' by dat
time all un um wuz kinder quieted down, but dey wuz mighty res'less in
demin', speshually Marse Jesse's wife, which her name wuz Miss Sadie.
It seem like dat Marse Jesse wuz livin' at a town up dar in de fur
North whar dey wuz a big lake, an' he went out wid one er dem 'scursion
parties, an' a storm come up an' shuck de boat ter pieces. Dat what
make I say what I does. I don't min' gwine on 'scursions on de groun',
but when it come ter water—well, suh, I ain't gwine ter trus' myse'f
on water twel I kin walk on it an' not wet my foots. Marse Jesse wuz
de Captain uv a music-ban' up dar, an' de papers fum dar had some long
pieces 'bout 'im, an' de paper at home had a piece 'bout 'im. It say he
wuz one er de mos' renounced music-makers what yever had been, an' dat
when it come ter dat kinder doin's he wuz a puffick prodigal. I 'member
de words, suh, bekaze I made Hamp read de piece out loud mo' dan once.

"Miss Sadie, she got mo' calmer atter while, an' 'twa'n't long 'fo'
Marse Gabe an' Miss Fanny wuz bofe mighty tuck up wid 'er. Dey much'd
'er up an' made a heap un 'er, an' she fa'rly hung on dem. I done tol'
you she ain't purty, but dey wuz sump'n 'bout er better dan purtiness.
It mought er been 'er eyes, en den ag'in mought er been de way er de
gal; but whatsomever 'twuz, hit made you think 'bout 'er at odd times
durin' de day, an' des 'fo' you go ter sleep at night.

"Eve'ything went swimmin' along des ez natchul ez a duck floatin' on
de mill-pon'. Dey wa'n't skacely a day but what I seed Miss Sadie. Ef I
ain't go ter Marse Gabe's house she'd be sho' ter come ter mine. Dat uz
atter Hamp wuz 'lected ter de legislatur, suh. He 'low dat a member er
de ingener'l ensembly ain't got no bizness livin' in a kitchen, but I
say dat he ain't a whit better den dan he wuz befo'. So be, I done been
cross 'im so much dat I tell 'im ter git de house an' I'd live in it ef
'twa'n't too fur fum Miss Vallie an' Marse Tumlin. Well, he had it built
on de outskyirts, not a big jump fum Miss Vallie, an' betwix' de town
an' Marse Gabe Towers's. Dat wuz atter you went 'way, suh. Nex' time
you come down, you mus' come see me. Me an' Hamp'll treat you right, we
sholy will.

"Well, suh, in dem days dey wa'n't so many niggers willin' ter do an' be
done by, an' on account er dat, ef Miss Vallie wa'n't hollin' fer 'Nervy
Ann, Miss Fanny er Sadie wuz, an' when I wa'n't at one place, you might
know I'd be at de yuther one. It went on dis away, an' went on twel one
day got so much like an'er dat you can't tell Monday fum Friday. An' it
went on an' went on twel bimeby I wuz bleeze ter say sump'n ter Hamp.
You take notice, suh, an' when you see de sun shinin' nice an' warm
an' de win' blowin' so saft an' cool dat you wanter go in a-washin' in
it—when you see dis an' feel dat away, _Watch out!_ _Watch out_, I tell
you! Dat des de time when de harrycane gwineter come up out'n de middle
er de swamp an' t'ar things ter tatters. Same way when folks gitting on
so nice dat dey don't know dey er gittin' on.

"De fus' news I know'd Miss Sadie wuz bringin' little bundles ter my
house 'twix' sundown an' dark. She'd 'low, 'Aunt Minervy Ann, I'll des
put dis in de cornder here; I may want it some time.' Nex' day it'd be
de same doin's over ag'in. 'Aunt Minervy Ann, please take keer er dis;
I may want it some time.' Well, it went on dis away fum day ter day,
but I ain't pay no 'tention. Ef any 'spicion cross my min' it wuz dat
maybe Miss Sadie puttin' dem things dar fer ter 'sprise me Chris'mus by
tellin' me dey wuz fer me. But one day she come ter my house, an' sot
down an' put her han's over her face like she got de headache er sump'n.

"Wellum"—Aunt Minervy Ann, with real tact, now began to address herself
to the lady of the house—"Wellum, she sot dar so long dat bimeby I ax
'er what de matter is. She ain't say nothin'; she ain't make no motion.
I 'low ter myse'f dat she don't wanter be pestered, so I let 'er 'lone
an' went on 'bout my bizness. But, bless you! de nex' time I look at
'er she wuz settin' des dat away wid 'er han's over her face. She sot
so still dat it sorter make me feel quare, an' I went, I did, an' cotch
holt er her han's sorter playful-like. Wellum, de way dey felt made me
flinch. All I could say wuz, 'Lord 'a' mercy!' She tuck her han's down,
she did, an' look at me an' smile kinder faint-like. She 'low, 'Wuz my
han's col', Aunt Minervy Ann?' I look at 'er an' grunt, 'Huh! dey won't
be no colder when youer dead.' She ain't say nothin', an' terreckly I
'low, 'What de name er goodness is de matter wid you, Miss Sadie?' She
say, 'Nothin' much. I'm gwine ter stay here ter-night, an' ter-morrer
mornin' I'm gwine 'way.' I ax 'er, 'How come dat? What is dey done to
you?' She say, 'Nothin' 'tall.' I 'low, 'Does Marse Gabe an' Miss Fanny
know you gwine?' She say, 'No; I can't tell um.'

"Wellum, I flopt down on a cheer; yessum, I sho' did. My min' wuz gwine
like a whirligig an' my head wuz swimmin'. I des sot dar an' look at
'er. Bimeby she up an' say, pickin' all de time at her frock, 'I know'd
sump'n wuz gwine ter happen. Dat de reason I been bringin' dem bundles
here. In dem ar bundles you'll fin' all de things I fotch here. I ain't
got nothin' dey give me 'cep'n, dish yer black dress I got on. I'd 'a'
fotch my ol' trunk, but I dunner what dey done wid it. Hamp'll hatter
buy me one an' pay fer it hisse'f, 'kaze I ain't got a cent er money.'
Dem de ve'y words she say. I 'low, 'Sump'n must 'a' happen den.' She
nodded, an' bimeby she say, 'Mr. Towers comin' home ter-night. Dey done
got a telegraph fum 'im.'

"I stood up in de flo', I did, an' ax 'er, 'Which Mr.Towers?' She say,
'Mr. Jesse Towers.' I 'low, 'He done dead.' She say, 'No, he ain't; ef
he wuz he done come ter life; dey done got a telegraph fum 'im, I tell
you.' 'Is _dat_ de reason you gwine 'way?' I des holla'd it at 'er. She
draw'd a long breff an' say, 'Yes, dat's de reason.'

"I tell you right now, ma'm, I didn't know ef I wuz stannin' on my head
er floatin' in de a'r. I wuz plum outdone. But dar she sot des es cool
ez a curcumber wid de dew on it. I went out de do', I did, an' walk
'roun' de house once ter de right an' twice ter de lef' bekaze de ol'
folks use ter tell me dat ef you wuz bewitched, dat 'ud take de spell
away. I ain't tellin' you no lie, ma'm—fer de longes' kinder minnit I
didn't no mo' b'lieve dat Miss Sadie wuz settin' dar in my house tellin'
me dat kinder rigamarole, dan I b'lieve I'm flyin' right now. Dat bein'
de case, I bleeze ter fall back on bewitchments, an' so I walk 'roun'
de house. But when I went back in, dar she wuz, settin' in a cheer an'
lookin' up at de rafters.

"Wellum, I went in an' drapt down in a cheer an' lookt at 'er. Bimeby,
I say, 'Miss Sadie, does you mean ter set dar an' tell me youer gwine
'way 'kaze yo' husban' comin' home?' She flung her arms behime 'er
head, she did, an' say, 'I ain't none er his wife; I des been playin'
off!' De way she look an' de way she say it wuz 'nuff fer me. I wuz
pairlized; yessum, I wuz dumfounder'd. Ef anybody had des but totch me
wid de tip er der finger, I'd 'a' fell off'n dat cheer an' never stirred
atter I hit de flo'. Ever'thing 'bout de house lookt quare. Miss Vallie
had a lookin'-glass one time wid de pictur' uv a church at de bottom.
When de glass got broke, she gimme de pictur', an' I sot it up on de
mantel-shelf. I never know'd 'fo' dat night dat de steeple er der church
wuz crooked. But dar 'twuz. Mo' dan dat I cotch myse'f feelin' er my
fingers fer ter see ef 'twuz me an' ef I wuz dar.

"Talk 'bout _dreams_! Dey wa'n't no dream could beat dat, I don't keer
how twisted it mought be. An' den, ma'm, she sot back dar an' tol' me
de whole tale 'bout how she come ter be dar. I'll never tell it like
she did; dey ain't nobody in de wide worl' kin do dat. But it seem like
she an' Marse Jesse wuz stayin' in de same neighborhoods, er stayin'
at de same place, he a-fiddlin' an' she a-knockin' on de peanner er de
harp, I fergit which. Anyhow, dey seed a heap er one an'er. Bofe un um
had come dar fum way off yan', an' ain't got nobody but deyse'f fer ter
'pen' on, an' dat kinder flung um tergedder. I speck dey must er swapt
talk 'bout love an' marryin'—you know yo'se'f, ma'm, dat dat's de way
young folks is. Howsomever dat may be, Marse Jesse, des ter tease 'er,
sot down one day an' writ a long letter ter his wife. Tooby sho' he
ain't got no wife, but he des make out he got one, an' dat letter he
lef' layin' 'roun' whar Miss Sadie kin see it. 'Twa'n't in no envelyup,
ner nothin', an' you know mighty well, ma'm, dat when a 'oman, young er
ol', see dat kinder letter layin' 'roun' she'd die ef she don't read it.
Fum de way Miss Sadie talk, dat letter must 'a' stirred up a coolness
'twix' um, 'kaze de mornin' when he wuz gwine on dat 'scursion, Marse
Jesse pass by de place whar she wuz settin' at an' flung de letter in
her lap an' say, 'What's in dar wuz fer you.'

"Wellum, wid dat he wuz gone, an' de fus' news Miss Sadie know'd de
papers wuz full er de names er dem what got drownded in de boat, an'
Marse Jesse head de roll, 'kaze he wuz de mos' pop'lous music-maker in
de whole settlement. Den dar wuz de gal an' de letter. I wish I could
tell dis part like she tol' me settin' dar in my house. You'll never git
it straight in yo' head less'n you'd 'a' been dar an' hear de way she
tol' it. Nigger ez I is, I know mighty well dat a white 'oman ain't got
no bizness parmin' 'erse'f off ez a man's wife. But de way she tol' it
tuck all de rough aidges off'n it. She wuz dar in dat big town, wuss'n
a wilderness, ez you may say, by 'erse'f, nobody 'pen' in on 'er an'
nobody ter 'pen' on, tired down an' plum wo' out, an' wid all dem kinder
longin's what you know yo'se'f, ma'm, all wimmen bleeze ter have, ef
dey er white er ef dey er black.

"Yit she ain't never tol' nobody dat she wuz Marse Jesse's wife. She
des han' de letter what she'd kep' ter Miss Fanny, an' fell down on de
flo' in a dead faint, an' she say dat ef it hadn't but 'a' been fer me,
she'd a got out er de bed dat fust night an' went 'way fum dar; an' I
know dat's so, too, bekaze she wuz ranklin' fer ter git up fum dar. But
at de time I put all dat down ter de credit er de deleeriums, an' made
'er stay in bed.

"Wellum, ef I know'd all de books in de worl' by heart, I couldn't tell
you how I felt atter she done tol' me dat tale. She sot back dar des ez
calm ez a baby. Bimeby she say, 'I'm glad I tol' you; I feel better dan
I felt in a mighty long time.' It look like, ma'm, dat a load'd been
lift fum 'er min'. Now I know'd pine blank dat sump'n got ter be done,
'kaze de train'd be in at midnight, an' den when Marse Jesse come dey'd
be a tarrfyin' time at Gabe Towers's. Atter while I up an' ax 'er, 'Miss
Sadie, did you reely love Marse Jesse?' She say, 'Yes, I did'—des so. I
ax 'er, 'Does you love 'im now?' She say, 'Yes, I does—an' I love dem ar
people up dar at de house; dat de reason I'm gwine 'way.' She talk right
out; she done come to de p'int whar she ain't got nothin' ter hide.

"I say, 'Well, Miss Sadie, dem folks up at de house, dey loves you.'
She sorter flincht at dis. I 'low, 'Dey been mighty good ter you. What
you done, you done done, an' dat can't be holp, but what you ain't gone
an' done, dat kin be holp; an' what you oughter do, dat oughtn't ter be
holp.' I see 'er clinch 'er han's an' den I riz fum de cheer." Suiting
the action to the word, Aunt Minervy Ann rose from the step where she
had been sitting, and moved toward the lady of the house.

"I riz, I did, an' tuck my stan' befo' 'er. I 'low, 'You say you love
Marse Jesse, an' you say you love his folks. Well, den ef you got any
blood in you, ef you got any heart in yo' body, ef you got any feelin'
fer anybody in de roun' worl' 'cep'n' yo' naked se'f, you'll go up dar
ter dat house an' tell Gabe Towers dat you want ter see 'im, an' you'll
tell Fanny Towers dat you want ter see her, an' you'll stan' up befo' um
an' tell um de tale you tol' ter me, word fer word. Ef you'll do dat,
an' you hatter come back here, _come! come!_ Bless God! _come!_ an' me
an' Hamp'll rake an' scrape up 'nuff money fer ter kyar you whar you
gwine. An' don't you be a-skeer'd er Gabe Towers. Me an' Marse Tumlin
ain't a-skeer'd un 'im. I'm gwine wid you, an' ef he say one word out
de way, you des come ter de do' an' call me, an' ef I don't preach his
funer'l, it'll be bekaze de Lord'll strike me dumb!' _An' she went!_"

Aunt Minervy paused. Once again she had wrought the miracle of summoning
to life one of the crises through which she had passed with others.
It was not the words she used. There was nothing in them to stir the
heart or quicken the pulse. Her power lay in the tones of her voice,
whereby she was able to recall the passion of a moment that had long
spent itself; in the fluent and responsive attitudes; in gesticulation
that told far more than her words did. The light from the vestibule lamp
shone full upon her and upon the lady whom she unconsciously selected
to play the part of the young woman whose story she was telling. The
illusion was perfect. We were in Aunt Minervy Ann's house, Miss Sadie
was sitting helpless and hopeless before her—the whole scene was vivid
and complete. She paused; her arm, which had been outstretched and rigid
for an instant, slowly fell to her side, and—the illusion was gone;
but while it lasted, it was as real as any sudden and extraordinary
experience can be.

Aunt Minervy Ann resumed her seat, with a chuckle, apparently ashamed
that she had been betrayed into such a display of energy and emotion,
saying, "Yessum, she sho' went."

"I don't wonder at it," remarked the lady of the house, with a
long-drawn sigh of relief.

Aunt Minervy Ann laughed again, rather sheepishly, and then, after
rubbing her hands together, took up the thread of the narrative, this
time directing her words to me: "All de way ter de house, suh, she ain't
say two words. She had holt er my han', but she ain't walk like she uz
weak. She went along ez peart ez I did. When we got dar, some er de
niggers wuz out in de flower-gyarden an' out in de big grove callin'
'er; an' dey call so loud dat I hatter put um down. 'Hush up!' I say,
'an' go on 'bout yo' bizness! Can't yo' Miss Sadie take a walk widout a
whole passel er you niggers a-hollerin' yo' heads off?' One un um make
answer, 'Miss Fanny huntin' fer 'er.' She sorter grip my han' at dat,
but I say, 'She de one you wanter see—her an' Gabe Towers.'

"We went up on de po'ch, an' dar wuz Miss Fanny an' likewise Marse Gabe.
I know'd what dey wanted; dey wanted ter talk wid 'er 'bout Marse Jesse.
She clum de steps fus' an' I clum atter her. She cotch er 'breff hard
when she fus' hit de steps, an' den it come over me like a flash how
deep an' big her trouble wuz, an' I tell you right now, ef dat had 'a'
been Miss Vallie gwine up dar, I b'lieve I'd a-flew at ol' Gabe Towers
an' to' 'im lim' fum lim' 'fo' anybody could 'a' pull me off. Hit's
de trufe! You may laugh, but I sho' would 'a' done it. I had it in me.
Miss Fanny seed sump'n wuz wrong, de minnit de light fell on de gal's
face. She say, 'Why, Sadie, darlin', what de matter wid you?'—des so—an'
made ez ef ter put 'er arms 'roun' 'er; but Miss Sadie swunk back.
Miss Fanny sorter swell up. She say, 'Oh, ef I've hurt yo' feelin's
ter-day—_ter-day_ uv all de days—please, please fergi' me!'

"Well, suh, I dunner whar all dis gwine ter lead ter, an' I put in,
'She des wanter have a talk wid you an' Marse Gabe, Miss Fanny; an' ef
ter-day is one er de days her feelin's oughtn'ter be hurted, take keer
dat you don't do it. Kyar 'er in de parler dar, Miss Fanny.' I speck
you'll think I wuz takin' a mighty heap on myse'f, fer a nigger 'oman,"
remarked Aunt Minervy Ann, smoothing the wrinkles out of her lap, "but
I wuz des ez much at home in dat house ez I wuz in my own, an' des ez
free wid um ez I wuz wid my own folks. Miss Fanny look skeer'd, an'
Marse Gabe foller'd atter, rubbin' a little mole he had on de top er
his head. When he wus worried er aggervated, he allers rub dat mole.

"Well, suh, dey went in, dey did, an' I shot de do' an' tuck up my stan'
close by, ready fer to go in when Miss Sadie call me. I had myse'f keyed
up ter de p'int whar I'd 'a' tol' Marse Gabe sump'n 'bout his own fambly
connection; you know dey ain't nobody but what got i'on rust on some er
der cloze. But dey stayed in dar an' stayed, twel I 'gun ter git oneasy.
All kinder quare idees run th'oo my head. Atter while some un pull de
do' open, an' hol' it dat away, an' I hear Marse Gabe say, wid a trimble
an' ketch in his th'oat, 'Don't talk so, chil'. Ef you done wrong, you
ain't hurt nobody but yo'se'f, an' it oughtn'ter hurt you. You been
a mighty big blessin' ter me, an' ter Fanny here, an' I wouldn't 'a'
missed knowin' you, not fer nothin'. Wid dat, he come out cle'rin' up
his th'oat an' blowin' his nose twel it soun' like a dinner-horn. His
eye fell on me, an' he 'low, 'Look like you er allers on han' when dey's
trouble.' I made answer, 'Well, Marse Gabe, dey might be wusser ones
'roun' dan me.' He look at me right hard an' say, 'Dey ain't no better,
Minervy Ann.' 'Well, suh, little mo' an' I'd 'a' broke down, it come
so sudden. I had ter gulp hard an' quick, I tell you. He say, 'Minervy
Ann, go back dar an' tell de house-gal ter wake up de carriage-driver
ef he's 'sleep, an' tell 'im to go meet Jesse at de train. An' he mus'
tell Jesse dat we'd 'a' all come, but his ma ain't feelin' so well.'
I say, 'I'll go wake 'im up myse'f, suh.' I look in de parler an' say,
'Miss Sadie, does you need me right now?' She 'low, 'No, not right now;
I'll stay twel—twel Mr. Towers come.' Miss Fanny wuz settin' dar holdin'
Miss Sadie's han'.

"I'll never tell you how dey patcht it up in dar, but I made a long
guess. Fus' an' fo'mus', dey wuz right down fon' er Miss Sadie, an' den
ef she run off time Marse Jesse put his foot in de town dey'd be a big
scandal; an' so dey fix it up dat ef she wuz bleeze ter go, 'twuz better
to go a mont' er two atter Marse Jesse come back. Folks may like you
mighty well, but dey allers got one eye on der own consarns. Dat de way
I put it down.

"Well, suh, de wuss job wuz lef' fer de las', 'kaze dar wuz Marse Jesse.
Sump'n tol' me dat he oughter know what been gwine on 'fo' he got in de
house, 'kaze den he won't be aggervated inter sayin' an doin' sump'n he
oughtn'ter. So when de carriage wuz ready, I got in an' went down ter
de depot; an' when Marse Jesse got off de train, I wuz de fus' one he
laid eyes on. I'd 'a' never know'd 'im in de worl', but he know'd me.
He holler out, 'Ef dar ain't Aunt Minervy Ann! Bless yo' ol' soul! how
you come on anyhow?' He come mighty nigh huggin' me, he wuz so glad ter
see me. He wuz big ez a skinned hoss an' strong ez a mule. He say, 'Ef I
had you in my min' once, Aunt Minervy Ann, I had you in dar ten thousan'
times.'

"Whiles de carriage rollin' 'long an' grindin' de san' I try ter gi' 'im
a kinder inkling er what been gwine on, but 'twuz all a joke wid 'im. I
wuz fear'd I mought go at 'im de wrong way, but I can't do no better.
I say, 'Marse Jesse, yo' wife been waitin' here fer you a long time.'
He laugh an' 'low, 'Oh, yes! did she bring de childun? I say, 'Shucks,
Marse Jesse! Dey's a lady in deep trouble at Marse Gabe's house, an' I
don't want you ter go dar jokin'. She's a monst'us fine lady, too.' Dis
kinder steady 'im, an' he say, 'All right, Aunt Minervy Ann; I'll behave
myse'f des like a Sunday-school scholar. I won't say bad words an' I
won't talk loud.' He had his fiddle-case in his lap, an' he drummed on
it like he keepin' time ter some chune in his min'.

"Well, suh, we got dar in de due time, an' 'twuz a great meetin' 'twixt
Marse Jesse an' his folks. Dey des swarmed on 'im, ez you may say, an'
while dis gwine on, I went in de parler whar Miss Sadie wuz. She wuz
pale, tooby sho', but she had done firm'd 'erse'f. She wuz standin' by
de fier-place, lookin' down, but she lookt up when she hear de do' open,
an' den she say, 'I'm mighty glad it's you, Aunt Minervy Ann; I want you
ter stay in here.' I 'low, 'I'll stay, honey, ef you say stay.' Den she
tuck 'er stand by me an' cotch holt er my arm wid bofe 'er han's an'
kinder leant again me.

"Bimeby, here come Marse Jesse. Trouble wuz in his eye when he open de
do', but when he saw de gal, his face lit up des like when you strike
a match in a closet. He say, 'Why, Miss Sadie! You dunner how glad I
is ter see you. I been huntin' all over de country fer you.' He make
ez ef ter shake han's, but she draw'd back. Dis cut 'im. He say, 'What
de matter? Who you in mournin' fer?' She 'low, 'Fer myse'f.' Wid dat
she wuz gwine on ter tell 'im 'bout what she done, but he wouldn't have
it dat away. He say, 'When I come back ter life, atter I wuz drownded,
I 'gun ter hunt fer you des ez soon's I got out'n de hospittle. I wuz
huntin' fer you ter tell you dat I love you. I'd 'a' tol' you dat den,
an' I tell you dat now.' She grip my arm mighty hard at dat. Marse Jesse
went on mightly. He tell 'er dat she ain't done nobody no harm, dat she
wuz welcome ter his name ef he'd 'a' been dead, an' mo' welcome now dat
he wuz livin'. She try ter put in a word here an' dar, but he won't have
it. Stan'in' up dar he wuz ol' Gabe Towers over ag'in; 'twuz de fus'
time I know'd he faver'd 'im.

"He tol' 'er 'bout how he wrenched a do' off'n one er de rooms in de
boat, an' how he floated on dat twel he got so col' an' num' dat he
can't hol' on no longer, an' how he turn loose an' don't know nothin'
twel he wake up in some yuther town; an' how, atter he git well, he
had de plooisy an' lay dar a mont' er two, an' den he 'gun ter hunt fer
her. He went 'way up dar ter Hampsher whar she come fum, but she ain't
dar, an' den he come home; an' won't she be good 'nuff ter set down an'
listen at 'im?

"Well, suh, dey wuz mo' in Marse Jesse dan I had any idee. He wuz a rank
talker, sho'. I see 'er face warmin' up, an' I say, 'Miss Sadie, I speck
I better be gwine.' Marse Jesse say, 'You ain't in my way, Aunt Minervy
Ann; I done foun' my sweetheart, an' I ain't gwine ter lose 'er no mo',
you kin des bet on dat.' She ain't say nothin', an' I know'd purty well
dat eve'ything wuz all skew vee."

"I hope they married," remarked the lady of the house, after waiting
a moment for Aunt Minervy Ann to resume. There was just a shade of
suspicion in her tone.

"Oh, dey married, all right 'nuff," said Aunt Minervy Ann, laughing.

"Didn't it create a good deal of talk?" the lady asked, suspicion still
in her voice.

"Talk? No, ma'm! De man what dey git de license fum wuz Miss Fanny's
br'er, Gus Featherstone, an' de man what married um wuz Marse Gabe's
br'er, John Towers. Dey wa'n't nobody ter do no talkin'. De nex' mornin'
me an' Miss Sadie an' Marse Jesse got in de carriage an' drove out ter
John Towers's place whar he runnin' a church, an' 'twuz all done an'
over wid mos' quick ez a nigger kin swaller a dram."

"What do you think of it?" I asked the lady of the house.

"Why, it is almost like a story in a book."

"Does dey put dat kinder doin's in books?" asked Aunt Minervy Ann, with
some solicitude.

"Certainly," replied the lady.

"Wid all de turmile, an' trouble, an' tribulation—an' all de worry an'
aggervation? Well, Hamp wanted me ter l'arn how ter read, but I thank
my stars dat I can't read no books. Dey's 'nuff er all dat right whar
we live at widout huntin' it up in books."

After this just observation, it was time to put out the lights.



AGUINALDO'S CAPITAL

WHY MALOLOS WAS CHOSEN

By Lieutenant-Colonel J. D. Miley


Early in May, 1898, Admiral Dewey brought from Hong Kong on the United
States steamship McCulloch, Aguinaldo with seventeen of his colleagues
and landed them at Cavité. Aguinaldo, in addition to prosecuting a
vigorous campaign against the Spaniards, at once began organizing a
government, dictatorial in form and in fact, of which Cavité remained
the Capital until the arrival of General Anderson early in July. When
the latter had established his head-quarters at Cavité and commenced
active preparations for the coming attack on Manila, Aguinaldo changed
his Capital to Bacoor, a little village a few miles from Cavité, and
nearer to Manila. The Capital remained at Bacoor until it was seen
that General Merritt would not permit armed Insurgents to enter Manila,
when Malolos was proclaimed the Capital and Aguinaldo himself took up
his residence there early in September, and the newly elected Filipino
Congress met at the same place on the 20th of the same month.

From that time until its capture on March 31st Malolos was of the
first importance to the Insurgents, but its fall was disappointing
to many, for the cry of "On to Malolos" had been very popular, and it
had been expected that the consequences of its occupation by American
troops would be immediate and far-reaching. It simply furnished one
more instance in history where the fall of an enemy's Capital failed to
bring to a successful ending a campaign or a war. The only two instances
that may be cited against this statement really tend to prove the
proposition, for France was defeated before the entry of Paris, and the
Confederacy was in its last extremity when Richmond fell. The immediate
results would have been the same in either case if neither the one nor
the other had been occupied.

Malolos is twenty-two miles from Manila, in the Province of Bulacan,
on the railway connecting Manila with Dagupan, the only one in the
Philippine Islands. This made it very accessible, but the real reason
for the selection of Malolos as the Insurgent Capital was the fact that
the present revolution had its first beginnings there; that the place
persistently remained a hot-bed of revolution, and as a reward for the
patriotism and loyalty of this picturesque little town, the legendary
seat of the Bulacan kings, Aguinaldo fixed upon it as the site of his
permanent Capital.

Aguinaldo now lays claim to descent from the Bulacan kings, but the
best informed Filipinos say that this occurred to him after coming to
Malolos, and was prompted by an effort to inspire among his followers
a greater awe and respect. His followers ascribe to him supernatural
powers that enable him to perform miracles and make him proof against
the bullets of his enemies. Whether he encourages them in this belief
cannot be verified. This peculiar power among the Filipinos is known
as "_anting anting_" and is popularly supposed to be possessed by
many. A wily Filipino goes through a battle or escapes some danger and
then exhibits a curiously carved knife-handle or match-box or piece of
jewelry or coin, and claims that his immunity is due to this trinket.
He is at once regarded as an "_anting anting_" man, and his power and
fame grow and spread at each subsequent lucky escape.

  [Illustration: Dwelling-house in Malolos, Philippine Islands,
   Thatched with Nipa.

   The inmates have just returned, satisfied that they are safe under
   American occupation.]

Malolos lies in the heart of a valley of marvellous fertility, extending
north from Manila, and is surrounded by fields, large and small, fringed
with rows of bamboo and cultivated principally to rice. As one rides
through this valley, with the beautiful, glossy-leaved mango trees
dotting it in all directions, he cannot fail to be reminded, if he has
seen them both, of the beautiful Santa Clara Valley of California, so
much are they alike.

The first mutterings of the revolution were heard in Malolos in 1888.
In the same year Masonry was first introduced into the Philippine
Islands by Don Centeno, the Civil Governor of Manila, who encouraged
the diffusion of its teachings among the natives, and assisted in the
formation of chapters in the city. He was influenced to do this through
hostility to the Archbishop and to the Church.

Catholicism is radically opposed to secret societies of any kind, and
the fight between the Archbishop, as representative of the Church, and
the Masons grew so bitter that finally a determined attack was made
upon the Archbishop's life. The leaders were promptly arrested and
thrown into prison, and from there they sent a memorial to the Queen,
remarkable for its eloquence, and for the fact that it revealed a
widespread and deeply rooted devotion to the principles of freedom.

So strict was the surveillance over the meetings of the Masons in
Manila, now that it was suspected they were merely a cloak for the
revolutionary discussions, that Malolos soon became the Mecca for all
revolutionists. It had always been a popular place for hunters and
fishermen, and now many of the hunting lodges became Masonic rendezvous.
The well-to-do and educated classes quickly and eagerly accepted the
revolutionary teachings, and Malolos, from 1888, was regarded as a
strong revolutionary centre. It must be borne in mind that the Filipino
never became a pure Mason, accepting and practising the teachings of
that ancient Society. Only some of the outward forms of the Society
were adopted and used, under cover of which the spread of revolutionary
ideas was made easy. Before 1888 there were scarcely two dozen Filipinos
who were Masons, and these were residents of Paris or other European
Capitals, but from that year the spread of the Society was rapid.
In 1892 there were many lodges all over the Archipelago, and women
were admitted as members. Its mysteries and symbols appealed to the
barbaric, half-civilized natives, and these they retained, while their
meetings were centres of discussions of the abstract and theoretical
principles of freedom and independence with which the Malay brain is
always pregnant. Discussions soon led to plotting against the Spanish
authorities and the preliminary steps toward revolution, and what was
Masonry only in name soon gave way to the Filipino League, of which
Rizal was the leader. This league was an association with a basic form
of Masonry, but whose true designs were political and anti-Spanish.

  [Illustration: Exterior and Interior of the Insurgent Capitol in
   Malolos while Occupied as Head-quarters of the Utah Light Battery.

   In this old church the Filipino Revolutionary Congress formulated
   the Constitution which was proclaimed on January 21, 1899.]

The methods of the league were soon found to be not radical enough
by a majority of the members, and the league, in 1894, was dissolved
and the formidable and bloody Katipunan formed under the leadership
of Marcelo Hilarío del Pilar. Its object was to secure the freedom
of the Philippines by putting to the sword all the Spaniards in the
Archipelago. Manila, of course, was the seat of the supreme council of
the Katipunan, and its branches or chapters were established in all the
provinces and principal towns of the Islands.

Every member on being initiated into the Society received a name by
which he was always thereafter known to the other members, and all were
masked. In this way no one knew the identity of any other member, and
even a man's next door neighbor or his brother or partner in business
might be seated next to him nightly at the Katipunan Lodge and he would
never be the wiser. At initiation the new member took a bloody oath and
subscribed to it by dipping his pen in the blood drawn from an incision
in his left arm. This idea is said to have been derived from a painting
called "_Pacto de Sangre_," executed in Madrid by a famous Filipino
painter, Juan Luna. After the revolution broke out in 1896, the members
of the Katipunan could always be identified among the dead and prisoners
by the scars.

A symbolic chart was in the possession of each member, and by that he
could find the Katipunan Lodge in the provinces or towns wherever he
might be and identify himself by means of it. As an example of the names
borne by the members, General Ricarte, now in the Insurgents' army,
was known under the name of "Vivora," meaning viper, poisonous snake.
The present General Pilar, of whom so much is heard in the uprising
against the Americans, is not the Pilar of Katipunan fame, though it is
generally taken for granted that he is. The present Pilar assumed that
name some years ago, but his characteristics are such as to easily lead
one to believe that he and the Pilar who originated the Katipunan are
one and the same.

  [Illustration: The Train which Makes Two Trips Daily from Manila to
   Malolos and Return.

   It carries forage, rations, fresh bread and meat, and distilled water
   for the American troops, and brings back the sick and wounded to the
   hospitals.]

From 1888 to 1892 Malolos seems to have been the most troublesome
place in the Islands to the Colonial Government. There are slightly
over five thousand towns distributed over the Archipelago, and out of
these Malolos was the only one which rejected the parish priests that
the Government selected. As Malolos was known to be much disaffected,
great care was taken to select the most exemplary of priests to be sent
there, but without avail. The first two sent were deported and the third
assassinated.

_El Katipunan del Norte_ (the northern branch of the Katipunan) was
most active in the Province of Bulacan and especially around Malolos.
Contributions poured into the revolutionary fund, and when open
rebellion finally broke out in August, 1896, the Spaniards fought
the rebels over very much the same ground as the Americans fought the
Insurgents in the advance from Caloocan to Malolos and beyond. Peace
was agreed upon in December, 1897, at Biac-na-bato, in the Province
of Bulacan, and until May, 1898, there was a period of quiet in the
Islands.

While the Insurgent Capital still remained at Cavité, Aguinaldo, on
June 18th and 23d, respectively, issued the proclamations which gave
his government a representative form. In the proclamation of the 18th
he invites attention to the Providential circumstances that had placed
him in the position in which he then found himself, and signifies
his intention not to shrink from his responsibilities, but to make
the redemption of his people, "from slavery and tyranny, regaining
our liberty and entrance into the concert of civilized nations," the
aspiration of his whole life, and the "final object of all my efforts
and strength." In the same proclamation the methods were given by
which the chiefs of towns and provinces and the representatives to the
Revolutionary Congress were to be elected.

In the proclamation of the 23d it was directed that the Dictatorial
Government should thereafter be styled the Revolutionary Government
and that the Dictator should thenceforth be known as the President of
the Revolutionary Government. The executive, legislative, and judicial
powers were defined and the manner of administering them was prescribed,
and on the 27th of June the rules concerning the details of installing
the government were published.

  [Illustration: Street Scene in Malolos, Philippine Islands.]

From Bacoor, on the 6th of August, was sent the letter to foreign
governments, in which the "President of the Revolutionary Government of
the Philippines, and in the name and representation of the Philippine
people, asks the support of all the powers of the civilized world, and
earnestly entreats them to proceed to the formal recognition of the
belligerency of the revolution and the independence of the Philippines,
since they are the means designated by Providence to maintain the
equilibrium between peoples, sustaining the weak and restraining the
strong, to the end that by these means shall shine forth and be realized
the most complete justice in the indefinite progress of humanity."

The Augustinians had been assigned to the parish of Malolos, and in fact
this body of friars held all the livings in the Province of Bulacan. In
the convent forming part of a new church erected by them at Malolos,
Aguinaldo established his head-quarters, surrounded by considerable
barbaric splendor and ceremonial. This was known as the "White House"
of the Insurgent Government. The State Department was also in the same
building, and in a less pretentious structure a hundred yards away the
Treasury Department was installed.

When the American troops occupied Malolos, General MacArthur made this
building his head-quarters, and in it was found a small field-safe
containing some drafts and a little money. The postage and telegraph
stamps issued by the Insurgent Government were made here, but all had
been removed. The convent with the church adjoining, and the Treasury
Department, were on two sides of the plaza of Malolos, and on the third
side the War Department was established in some buildings that the Third
United States Artillery afterward occupied.

The old Augustinian church some distance from the plaza had been taken
as the Insurgent Capitol. Here the Revolutionary Congress assembled on
September 20, 1898, and sat in deliberation until, in January, 1899,
the Political Constitution of the Filipino State was given to the world.
The constitution was proclaimed by Aguinaldo on the 21st of the month.

Malolos has a population variously estimated at from five to seven
thousand, and as the Americans entered it, every man, woman, and child
left with the retreating army.

With the exception of American troops moving about, the place was in a
state of desolation. The refugees tried to take with them most of their
valuable possessions, but the houses remained just as they left them. It
was weeks before any of them dared to return, and then they came one or
two at a time, carrying over their shoulders a bamboo rod to which was
attached a white cloth as a flag of truce. They timidly approached their
houses, and, finding them intact, and that there was really nothing to
fear, hastened back into the country to bring their families and tell
their neighbors.



IN A POPPY GARDEN

By Sara King Wiley


     Beyond the gold-green lane the poppy garden
     Flutters and flaunts, like sunset seas aglow.
     The frosty, fuzzy stalks and blue leaf banners
           Ranging in row on row.

     Here are some multi-petaled, ruby crimson,
     Into a crumpled purple withering,
     Like tattered velvet old and dim and dusty
           Of a neglected king.

     Whiter are these than are the moon-white lilies;
     Censers that dainty fragrances exhale;
     Each, when the early sun fills with his ardor,
           Beams like a Holy Grail.

     Pure, pure and shining gold these silk-smooth goblets,
     Brimming with drowsy, heady scents to steep
     The bold inbreathing spirit in gold visions,
           Bright mysteries of sleep.

     And here, O, here, are they the best belovèd,
     Scarlet and splendid as the soul's desire,
     With smouldered hearts hot from the glorious, daring
           Welcome of the sun's fire.

     "O, happy dreamer in the poppy garden,
     Under the soft, sweet sky of summer blue,
     O, happy dreamer in the poppy garden,
           When will your dreams come true?"

     "For every dream in this my poppy garden
     A springing hope within my heart began;
     Hopes are quick seeds of the world's wide garden,
           Lord of whose life is man."



A COPLEY BOY

By Charles Warren


Bellingham was intoxicated; there's no doubt about that at all," said
Dawson of the _Standard_. "All the men on the press noticed it, and the
chairman of his own party city committee admitted it to us."

"Well, that makes no difference except that it's all the better for
us," said Blakely. "It was a rascally, indecent attack, and I guess the
Governor won't hesitate any longer about using that matter you and I
worked up for him."

Jim Blakely was the editor of a small newspaper with a very limited
circulation but having an immense political influence. More keen than
the shrewdest of the political managers, more powerful than the chairman
of the State committee, more resourceful than all the party candidates,
Jim Blakely sat in his little office and suggested the most successful
political movements throughout the State. No candidate for Governor even
thought of conducting a campaign without the aid and supervision of Jim
Blakely.

But Governor Clinton in this campaign had been somewhat restive under
his management, and had declined to follow absolutely the lines laid out
for him by Blakely and his other party associates. Clinton's opponent,
Alfred P. Bellingham, the rival candidate for Governor, was a man of
fifty years or thereabout—a political nonentity, having no opinion
on any question which he could not readily change the next day with
the greatest facility. Bellingham had evaded every honest political
issue which Clinton had tried to force him to meet, and had conducted
a campaign of the lowest and meanest personalities. But, in opposition
to the advice of his party managers, Governor Clinton had steadfastly
declined to meet Bellingham with his own weapons; and to indulge in
attacks upon his private career.

Then one day the reporter Dawson had brought to Blakely's attention
certain important discoveries which he had made in raking over
Bellingham's past life. The first was the record of an indictment found
twenty-three years ago against Bellingham for altering ballots cast at
a representative election, with intent to defraud, but which had been
nol prossed by the District Attorney owing to political pressure. The
other was the record of an arrest of Bellingham some ten years ago for
drunkenness and disorderly conduct, and his conviction and fine.

Clinton's party managers had received the news with great enthusiasm.
They had recognized the splendid ammunition which these records would
furnish; and they earnestly urged the Governor to make use of them upon
the stump.

"No," he had said, "I won't descend to that depth. If I can't be elected
without the aid of those things, then let the people defeat me." And he
had persisted in this refusal, despite the entreaties of his political
friends and the disgust of his managers.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a quarter before nine; and at nine o'clock it was the custom for
Governor Clinton to meet his party managers every morning, to discuss
the speeches of his opponent made the night before and to plan out the
trend for the evening's speeches.

"This vile abuse of last night of Bellingham's I guess will settle
it," said Blakely again; and he went to his safe and brought out the
certified copies of the legal proceedings. As he did so Governor Clinton
came into the office. He looked flushed and angry.

"Have you read that scoundrel's attack on me, Jim?" he asked, hurriedly.

"Yes," said Blakely in a casual manner, as if it was of no importance.
He knew enough now not to try to force the Governor's hand.

"Well?" said the Governor.

"Well," answered Blakely, "it's only what you've got to expect all the
rest of the campaign." Clinton hesitated.

"No," he said; "Jim, I've got enough. He's pushed me too far. I can't
keep silent any longer. Have you got those documents you were telling
me about?" Blakely pointed silently to the papers on his desk and lit
his pipe. Clinton examined them with curiosity.

"How do you account for last night's speech?" he asked.

"Drunk again," replied Blakely. "Tell him, Bill." Dawson repeated to
the Governor what he had just told Blakely.

"I'm going up to Stanfield at half-past nine," the Governor said, still
red with wrath, "to my old school, Copley School. They've asked me to
make the speech on the awarding of the prize cups. It's Founder's Day.
I'm billed for a rally to-night, I believe, at Dunster. Well, give me
those papers and I'll make a speech there at Dunster to-night that will
make that fool Bellingham wish he'd never been born."

Blakely, metaphorically speaking, inwardly hugged himself; but he did
not allow Clinton to see his joy at the Governor's conversion. Placing
the papers carefully in his pocket, Clinton, after a few minutes'
further talk, left the room, rode down to the station, and boarded the
Southwestern Limited. Blakely waited until the door closed behind him
and then slapped Dawson on the back. "I thought we'd land him finally.
The Governor's a mighty good fellow, but he's got some high-toned
views about politics that have to be gradually knocked out of him. His
political ideas are very crude. He thinks you catch an election just
as you catch cold. He expects a grateful people to present him with the
election on a silver salver."

"Whereas," replied Dawson, "the usual way is for the candidate to
present the silver salver, or, rather, the silver salve to the people."

On the way to Stanfield in the train the Governor dictated his speech to
his private secretary. He realized that he was reversing entirely his
former course of action by entering now into a personal conflict. But
the attack made upon him by Bellingham had been so gross, so violent,
and so savagely uncalled for in every way, that Clinton felt that the
people of the State should now be told the plain facts regarding the
manner of man held out to them to be accepted as their Governor.

He began his speech in a vein of cool, keen sarcasm, taking up, point
by point, the portions of Bellingham's career that had protruded into
the public gaze. He showed how he had started as the smallest and lowest
kind of a political hanger-on, and how he had then become a ward boss.
He then charged him with the indictment for altering ballots. He pointed
out how, although this was twenty-three years ago, Bellingham had
done nothing since which showed that he was any more fit for election
now than then. To be sure, the mark of the criminal law had appeared
in his life but once since then. But a negative life, a life lacking
in results, was no qualification for the high office of Governor. He
took up the conviction for intoxication and disorderly conduct and the
payment of the fine of ten years ago. With high scorn, he asked the
people how they would be pleased to have a man with that record at the
State House. Then coming down to last night's assault, he declared in
positive language that he could not believe that any man in his normal
condition would make such statements as Bellingham had done; that
there was but one explanation; and that one, an explanation which he
disliked to consider, but which it was his duty to state. The Governor
then repeated the account of the meeting as given by the reporters,
and he asked the people to draw their own inferences. In reference to
the infamous personal charges made against him, he would condescend to
reply but to three. He then showed how utterly groundless they were,
and demanded that Bellingham instantly furnish proof or retract them
in public. Having finished with a tremendous avalanche of scorn and
contempt for his opponent's personal character and accusations, the
Governor turned his attention to the political issues. He showed how
Bellingham had been unwilling, or else too cowardly, to declare his
position on any of the great questions; how he had evaded them on every
stump, and had refused to reply to the direct and pertinent questions
put to him every night by the Governor, vainly seeking to find out where
he stood.

The Governor grew more and more rapid in his dictation as his feelings
mastered him, and the private secretary had hard work in keeping up
with him. The speech, however, was wholly finished in thirty-five
minutes; and the secretary drew in his breath in relief and said, "Well,
Governor, if there is anything left of old Bellingham after you've made
that speech, they'll have to take a microscope to find it with."

"You think I'm right in making it, don't you?" asked the Governor. "I
hate to resort to this style of warfare; but I am not obliged to sit
still in silence forever under such a plan of campaign as they've been
carrying on, am I?"

"Not at all," said the secretary; "I consider it your duty to the people
of the State to show him up."

       *       *       *       *       *

Vivid had been the excitement for the last two weeks at Copley, after it
was definitely known that Governor Clinton was to visit his old school
on Founder's Day and make the speech awarding the cups. Founder's Day
was the great day of the year at Copley. The athletic games came in the
afternoon, and in the evening the prize speaking, and later a dance.
Two cups were always awarded for excellence in the field sports: one,
the Master's Cup, which was awarded to the House, or dormitory, whose
inmates won the greatest number of points in the games; the other—vastly
prized by the boy who won it, and whose name was inscribed upon it for
future generations of boys to admire—was the Founder's Cup, and was
given to the boy who singly won the most points, showing the greatest
all-around general excellence in the sports.

Every year there was the most vigorous rivalry between the boys of
the Master's House and those of Prescott House, the other dormitory,
for the possession of the Master's Cup; but this year there was still
keener rivalry for the possession of the person of the Governor. When
it became known that the Master of Prescott House was a class-mate in
college of Governor Clinton, the Prescott House boys were certain that
he would lunch with Mr. Toppan and with them. The Master's House boys
were equally positive that only the Head Master, "Popper" Stoughton,
was high enough to do honor to the head of the State. On the Governor's
decision as to lunch, therefore, depended large transfers of property;
and it was said that "Goggles" Livingston had even risked a whole week's
allowance upon the less favored Prescott House side.

Application to studies at the recitation building that morning had been
very desultory. Although the school was not to be dismissed until one
o'clock, the delightful impending event of the Governor's arrival proved
a distraction disastrous to continued efforts of learning. And the
subdued excitement was so pervasive that when "Stump" Taylor translated
"_Gubernator navem navigat_," as "the Governor sails a boat," little
Mr. Saunders, the Latin tutor, forgot to correct him.

At about a quarter before twelve, steps were heard in the outer
corridor, and every boy who had sufficient ingenuity immediately
discovered that it was necessary for him to ask permission to leave the
room and to consult the Master about something.

The Governor crossed the threshold of the old building with an interest
that was solemn, and even almost painful, for this was the first time
that he had been back to his old school for eighteen years.

After a few minutes' talk with the Head Master in his room, the Governor
asked that the whole school might be called together. At the first
sound of the bell a race began from all over the building toward the
Master's room. And as Clinton stepped forward to speak, a continuous
chorus of shrill cheers split the air. "Boys," he said, when a semblance
of quiet began, "boys, I'm going to make a very short speech." Again
the cheers broke out. "I see you appreciate that remark as well as your
elders," he said. "You will be glad of its shortness, because you'll
have to listen to a longer one this afternoon. All that I've got to say
is that I've asked Mr. Stoughton to dismiss you now instead of at one
o'clock. He has thought best to submit to my request before I order out
the State troops to enforce it. I hope you'll get lots of fresh air and
sport now before we meet on the field this afternoon. This session is
now adjourned _sine die_. Those of the Latin class who can't translate
that will have to stay after school." Tumultuous laughter followed these
remarks, as if the restricted air of the school-room made a laugh easier
there than elsewhere, when it was allowed at all. Many of the boys filed
out at once; but a large number clustered in the doorway and vigorously
discussed the Governor in low tones.

Clinton looked round the room. How natural it seemed, and how little
changed! Certainly the school must have been very conservative.

"Why, you've even got the same old desks still," he said to Mr.
Stoughton. Then he stepped down from the platform and went to a very
much battered and inked-up desk which stood in front of all the others,
and directly under the eyes of the master as he sat at his desk. "Who
sits here now?" he asked, turning to a group of boys beside him.

"That's 'Kid' Nelson's," one said.

"Where is he?" asked Clinton. Amidst a great scuffling and pulling, and
with many muttered jests flung at him, a handsome boy, old in face but
small in stature, with a light of deviltry in his eye, came shambling
forward and gently grinned in a somewhat shame-faced fashion. The
Governor paused a moment, smiling. "I rather think I know why you sit
here, Nelson," he said. "I guess my old master had as much trouble with
me, 'Kid,' as Mr. Stoughton has now with you. That used to be my seat
most of the time when I was here." Saying this, the Governor sat down
at the low desk and squeezed his long legs in under the bottom of the
desk, almost prying it from its iron feet.

Meanwhile "Kid" Nelson straightened up with a proud look, and when he
went back to the group he was evidently being congratulated as a hero.

As he started to leave the room, Clinton suddenly stopped before a
full-length portrait of a noble-looking, pleasant-faced man apparently
about sixty years old. It was his old master—"Old Winthrop," as the
boys used to call him. He had died ten years ago, and Clinton had
hardly seen him more than once or twice since he left the school; but
the picture almost brought the tears to his eyes as he stood there and
thought how much he owed to that man. Winthrop had been a stern, almost
relentless, master; but he had had a complete and true understanding
of a boy's feelings and motives, and his boys had respected him as
they had respected no one else, then or since. They had, every one of
them, placed the most absolute confidence and reliance in him. No boy
ever thought of questioning "Old Winthrop's" decision, whether the
decision was on a point of school discipline, or athletics, or local
etiquette, or morals, or base-ball, or religion. He had taught his boys,
and they had learned the lesson well, that "honor" and "loyalty" were
the two great things in life; that to do what was not honorable was to
commit the greatest crime; that to be disloyal to one's friends, to
one's school, to one's trust, to one's self, was to render one unfit
to associate with gentlemen. "He made me all that I am now," murmured
Clinton to himself, and his voice was a little husky. "If I've ever done
anything well, it was due to him."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Governor walked out across the fields with the Master and Mr. Toppan
in the direction of Prescott House; and when it became noised about
that, after all, he was to lunch there, and not at the Master's, the
Prescott boys yelled with joy and jeered at their crestfallen rivals
across the way.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the way, Clinton stopped to look in at the Chapel, where the prize
speaking was to take place that evening. He laughed as he saw the
well-remembered platform with its faded red carpet, and as he thought
of his woeful failure the last time he had engaged in a speaking
competition there. How he had vainly and weakly struggled with
"Webster's Reply to Hayne," and lost his memory in the middle of it,
and had sat down ignominiously, and how Old Winthrop had said, "Well,
Clinton, whatever else you may do when you grow up, you will never make
a speaker. Your effort was the worst I ever heard here." That was the
only point that Clinton could remember on which Winthrop had ever been
wrong. Certainly the audiences that were nightly cheering the keen,
eloquent speeches which the Governor had been making for the past four
campaigns would vigorously question the fulfilment of Mr. Winthrop's
prophecy.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Well, boys, who is going to win the Founder's Cup to-day?" Clinton
asked as he sat down in the lounging-room of the Prescott House and a
crowd of boys stood round the doorway, while the bolder sat uneasily on
the edge of a table in the middle of the room.

"'Scotty,' I mean Bruce Campbell," replied one, rather grudgingly.
"He's a Master's House fellow; but we're afraid he'll get it; although
'Skipper' Cunningham—he's one of us"—he said, pointing to a tall,
stalwart, nice-looking boy outside in the hall, "will give him a hard
push for it. You see, 'Scotty's' bound to get three firsts at any rate,
and it's a close thing in the two-twenty-yard dash. 'Skipper's' good
for a lot of seconds and one first, anyway," he said, enthusiastically.

"Oh, no, two!" shouted another boy. And thereupon so lively a discussion
arose that the overawing presence of the Governor was quite forgotten.

"Prescott House is sure of the Master's Cup, anyway," said "Kid" Nelson,
confidentially, to the Governor; "you can bet on that." Since his
interview in the school-room, "Kid" had quite taken Clinton under his
personal care.

Meanwhile, the Governor arose, and examined the pictures of the old
athletic teams on the wall, and to the delight of the boys pointed
out his own picture, a disreputable-looking member of one of the old
foot-ball teams, absolutely unrecognizable now as the portrayal of the
tall, determined, grave-looking man who stood towering up above his
devoted Copley School mates for the time being.

And he still further won their undying devotion when, after asking to
be taken to a certain bedroom upstairs, he very knowingly walked to
the window, leaned far out, then jerked himself back with a satisfied
air; and then showed them how a boy, by hanging far out of the window
while two other boys grasped his legs from within, could reach round
the corner of the House, get hold of a portico-railing, and escape from
the room and down to the earth in that fashion. It was undoubtedly
an immoral thing for the Governor to do, but he could not resist the
temptation, so delightful was it to find how the memory of all the most
minute old misdeeds came back.

The Masters of Prescott House, indeed, were very sure that Governor
Clinton's influence had been very far from good on their charges, when
during the next week they found that five boys made use of this highly
reprehensible method of exit from the House during evening study-hour.

And at dinner what could more delight the boys than that Clinton should
decline to sit at the head of the table, next to the Master and the
other teachers, but should sit opposite, with a boy on either side,
where he could learn all the details of the present school life, its
rivalries, revelries, hardships, and zests!

Time passed quickly, until at three o'clock all assembled on the field
for the great expected sports. The day was glorious for them; a crisp,
cold, sunny October day, with the air intensely clear and full of life.
What a day and what splendid games, thought Clinton. And he cheered
and shouted like a small boy, and was far less stately than the grave
First Class fellows who called themselves "Sub-Freshmen" in a manner
anticipatory of future dignities.

Firsts, Clinton found, counted ten; seconds, six; thirds, three, and
fourths, one; and the contest between the two houses was as close as
the greatest lover of sports could desire. And so it happened that when
the two-hundred-and-twenty yard dash came off, the Master's House had
won 78 points and Prescott House 80 points; and of the two favorites,
"Skipper" Cunningham had won 44 and Bruce Campbell 41. It was admitted
that this race would practically decide the day; for the few remaining
points, it was fairly well settled in advance, would be equally divided
between the various champions from the two houses.

"It's a good deal more exciting than a political campaign," said the
Governor to his friend Toppan.

There was a half hush as the two rivals lined up for the famous event
in the final heat—all the other competitors having fallen before them in
the preliminary heats. Both Cunningham and Campbell were shapely formed
youths, lithe and muscular, as each leaned far forward with his arms
stretched out in the starting posture, waiting for the signal.

The pistol cracked and the two boys were off. By the time they had gone
half the distance Campbell was leading by about eight feet. Suddenly he
was seen to stagger and something appeared to fly off from his legs. He
fell down upon the track and Cunningham darted by him with the race well
in hand. As he went by, he looked to see what the matter was, and then
suddenly stopped and turned around. His Prescott House followers held
their breath in amazement, dismay, and confusion. Then the spectators
saw what had happened. Campbell's running-shoe had become loose and the
spikes had stuck in a clayey bit of soil, pulling the shoe off the foot,
and causing Campbell's ankle to turn and throw him. Cunningham, panting
for breath, walked up to Campbell as he rose slowly, and said, "Too bad,
Bruce, old man; are you hurt?"

"No," said Campbell, "I got my wind a little knocked out. What did you
stop for?"

"Oh, all right," said Cunningham; "then we'll start the race over
again." And he walked down to the starting-line in a simple, unconcerned
way.

And how the boys were cheering him,—even the Prescott House boys, though
it was a great disappointment to them! The failure to win then might
cost them both cups; and if Cunningham had won that race, both cups
would have surely been theirs. But they cheered just the same.

The Governor turned to the Head Master. "By George!" he exclaimed,
"that's a splendid piece of work. That boy is a boy to be proud of. Did
you see, he had that race cold? It was a sure thing and he didn't choose
to win it in that way."

Mr. Stoughton was looking proud and happy. "That's the kind of a boy he
is," he answered; "and I believe," he added, with enthusiasm, "they all
are, here."

The Governor was about to say that the credit was due to Stoughton
when he noticed that preparations were being made to start the race
over again. Again the pistol sounded and the two were off, this time
Cunningham doing a little better than before, but still a few feet
behind Campbell. Toward the end he began to gain, and the Prescott
House boys plucked up courage again and yelled themselves hoarse; but
Campbell was still in the lead and finally won by about three feet.
The rest of the games came out just as expected; and, as prophesied,
the two-twenty-yard dash was the decisive match, giving the Master's
cup to the Master's House with 98 points, as against Prescott House
with 96 points, and the Founder's Cup going to Campbell, with 51 points
as opposed to Cunningham's 50 points. And so the Master's House boys
celebrated their victory, and the Prescott House boys celebrated their
defeated hero's, "Skipper" Cunningham's, deeds with almost as much vigor
as if they owned the cups. And really it was not much of a defeat after
all.

After the games, before going back to the school to award the cups
formally, the Governor went up to where Cunningham stood. "Cunningham,"
he said, holding out his hand, "I want to shake hands with you. I'm
proud of my school and that you're in it, and I'm proud of you. I want
to ask you what made you stop and offer to run the race over again."

"Why," said the "Skipper," blushing and confused and very much
surprised, "what else could I have done?"

"I know," said Clinton, "but it was only one of the fortunes of war that
is likely to happen in any contest. The race was yours, legally, even
if Campbell did have an accident. Why shouldn't you have run it out and
won the cup for your House and for yourself?"

"Oh," replied the "Skipper," simply, "but that wouldn't have been
honorable. It wouldn't have been fair and square. No Copley boy would
do that."

It was all said in so matter of course a way that the Governor saw
that the idea that elsewhere such a thing was often done had never
entered the boy's head. As he walked away, the boy's words rang in the
Governor's ears: "Not fair and square." "Not honorable." "No Copley boy
would do that."

How the Governor made a splendid speech, and how he called them all "old
fellows," and how he spoke of the fine traditions of honor which Mr.
Winthrop began and Mr. Stoughton was continuing, and how he told them
interesting stories of political fights—where they would be tempted to
forget some of the Copley standard of conduct—and how he praised old
"Skipper" Cunningham and said he was as good as the victor, and how he
said that he was going to present a cup to the school to be fought for
every year, to be called the "Winthrop Cup," and to be given to the
second best athlete, and how he said he wanted the "Skipper's" name to
be placed first upon it, and how he proposed three cheers for "Popper"
Stoughton—all these things are part of the school history, and are
handed down from one class to another as they tell of that memorable
"Governor's Day."

And then all the boys escorted him down to the station, and gave their
school, class, and House yells, and nearly jerked his arm off in their
anxiety to shake hands with him. And at six o'clock the Governor and his
private secretary boarded the limited express, which was due to arrive
at the great manufacturing city of Dunster at half-past seven, just in
time for the rally.

"Well, Mr. Porter, I'm sorry you were busy writing out that dictation,
for you missed a good time. I haven't had as much fun for years. But
now comes the serious part of life again. Have you got my speech all
written out?"

Porter produced it; and the Governor read it through, while the lines
in his face deepened and his look became again severe and judicial.
"I guess that is sufficiently strong," he said, when he had finished
reading—"but no more so than the man deserves; isn't that so?" he burst
out heartily.

"No," said Porter.

"You don't think that I'm taking any unfair advantage of him?" Clinton
asked, in a thoughtful manner. "Of course, his getting drunk may have
been more in the nature of an accident than anything else and doesn't
necessarily mean that a man is unfit," he said half to himself. "It's
a rather small issue, isn't it, to make against a man?"

"_You_ didn't make it; he did," answered Porter.

"You're right," said the Governor, suddenly, and he began to study the
speech carefully in order to get it clearly in his head. "Let me have
those copies of the court record," he said. Porter handed them over.
"I don't want to use these against a man if it wouldn't be a square
thing to do," again argued the Governor, "I don't want to take unfair
advantage of a weakness on his part."

"As I said before," replied the private secretary, "I consider it your
duty to the party."

"Of course," said the Governor, "that makes the difference; if only
I personally were the gainer, I might hesitate, but the party welfare
demands it."

At half-past seven the train drew into the station in Dunster; and a
delegation of the city committee met the Governor with a barouche and
four horses and a band playing "Hail to the Chief," to the Governor's
great weariness. At the city hall, where the rally was to be held, a
large crowd of representative men of the party were assembled in one of
the ante-rooms behind the stage. As the party leaders filed up, Clinton
addressed a few happy words to each, calling most of them by name, for
he had spoken in Dunster before.

Then the signal was given and the chairman of the meeting, looking
worried and overweighted by the responsibilities of the occasion,
marched up on the stage with the Governor, the rest shambling on
behind in a shamefaced manner and with a certain want of confidence,
like a flock of sheep. While the chairman was making his speech of
introduction, which occupied thirty-five minutes, and during which he
carefully anticipated every point which the real speakers of the evening
might make, the Governor took out the pages of his speech, together
with the court documents, and again carefully read them through. At
last the chairman finished and the Governor walked slowly forward on
the platform. The audience cheered wildly and the band hurriedly played
"Hail to the Chief." The Governor took his manuscript and the other
papers out of his breast-pocket, laid them on the reading-desk, opened
them, gave a last glance at them, and then stood waiting for the uproar
to subside.

  [Illustration: Clinton examined them with curiosity.—Page 327.]

As he stood there looking at the excited audience, a man's face in the
row next to the front caught his eye, and he looked hard at him. It
seemed familiar. He gazed still harder; and then saw that it was no
one whom he knew, but that the face was the very image of "Skipper"
Cunningham's. Like a flash Clinton's mind reverted to the scene at
Copley School. He heard the frank, manly, ringing tones of Cunningham
as he replied to the Governor's remarks.... Then Clinton perceived that
the audience was waiting for him, and he began,

"My friends of Dunster, not alone my party mates, I thank you for this
warm welcome. I have tried my best while your Governor to earn it...."

Those who were there said that Governor Clinton had never before in his
life made so strong and so ringing a speech. The argument was searching,
filled with sarcasm, and unanswerable. It stirred his audience from the
bottom of their souls, for the Governor's words seemed instinct with
truth and sincerity. As he sat patiently waiting for the local candidate
for the Legislature, who was speaking on painfully uninteresting local
issues, to finish, Clinton felt, himself, that his speech had distinctly
been a success. He also felt that he had done right.

After the Governor and his private secretary, Mr. Porter, rode back to
the hotel, he said, "Porter, I wish you'd take down a note which I want
to dictate to-night to Bellingham. Enclose with it the manuscript of
my speech and the copies of those court records. Take a copy of it and
send it to-night."

  [Illustration: "I'm proud of my school and that you're in it, and I'm
   proud of you."—Page 331.]

On reaching the hotel the note was written and mailed with the
enclosures that night; and the Bellingham episode in the campaign
appeared to be closed so far as Clinton was concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Governor reached the State House the next day about noon; and at
three o'clock it was announced to him that Mr. Bellingham was outside
and desired to see him.

"This is a nuisance," muttered the Governor as Bellingham entered. The
latter walked up to the Governor and held out his hand.

"Governor," he said, "I am here to apologize to you most sincerely for
what I said in my speech the other night. I want to tell you that I
will make full explanation of it in the newspapers and to my audience
to-night. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate and how much I thank
you for your note and for your forbearance in not delivering that speech
which you sent me. For I admit you had the greatest provocation to
return the attack."

  [Illustration: He fell down upon the track and Cunningham darted by
   him with the race well in hand.—Page 331.
   Drawn by F. C. Yohn.]

"Oh, that's all right," replied Clinton. "It's all over with now. Sit
down."

Just at that moment Jim Blakely and Dawson, the _Standard_ reporter,
were waiting outside in the private secretary's office for a chance to
see Clinton, and conversing excitedly with Mr. Porter.

"What in Heaven's name made the Governor give up his idea of attacking
Bellingham in his speech last night?" asked Blakely. "I thought we had
it all decided on that he was to produce those convictions and make a
rousing assault on that blackguardly politician," he continued; "and
now he goes up to Dunster and makes a speech with not a word in it on
Bellingham's personal record, and confines himself to political issues.
He's a damned fool, that's what he is. He's throwing away his election."

"I don't know," said Porter, "how it happened. All I know is, that he
had his speech all prepared and was studying it all the way to Dunster.
He had it on his desk before him, and I was never so surprised in
all my life as I was when I heard him go on without a word regarding
Bellingham's career or in reply to his disreputable assaults. And you
could have knocked me down with a feather when the Governor told me last
night to write to Bellingham and enclose the legal papers. Wait a minute
and I'll show you what he wrote. I know I can rely on you two not to
make it public."

  [Illustration: The Governor's words seemed instinct with truth and
   sincerity.—Page 333.]

Both men nodded, and Porter took up some paper on his desk and read:

     "ALFRED P. BELLINGHAM, ESQ.,

     "Dear Sir:—I have read your remarks of last night and I
     enclose you the speech which I intended to deliver in reply
     to them. It will never be delivered, however. I also enclose
     you certain documents which may be of interest to you. Upon
     careful consideration of these and of your recent course in
     this campaign, I feel sure that you will be of the opinion,
     as a gentleman, that the way to your election or to mine in
     this State does not lie along such a road.

                                             "Yours truly,
                                                   "ROBERT CLINTON."

"Well, I call the Governor, with all due respect, a tenderfoot," said
the reporter, whistling loudly as he heard the letter. "Did the Governor
give you any explanation of his change of heart?"

"Nothing very intelligible," answered Porter. "He said something about
Copley School that I couldn't make out."

       *       *       *       *       *

"And now," said Bellingham, inside the Executive Chamber, to Clinton,
"I want to explain to you the other night's speech. I admit that I was
drunk. I admit also that many years ago I was indicted for fraud at
an election, and I was convicted and fined for drunkenness; but, God
help me, I believe that during the past twenty years I have lived down
these things. I hadn't touched a drop of liquor for five years up to
the other night. It was, you remember, a very biting cold night, and
I had driven six miles from the railroad station and was thoroughly
chilled through. I felt it in my lungs, and my host over-persuaded me to
take some whiskey. It went straight to my head, and you unfortunately
know the result. But as I said before, Governor, I cannot sufficiently
apologize to you and thank you for your forbearance."

The Governor paused a moment. "You needn't thank me," he said. "You
should thank 'Skipper' Cunningham."

Bellingham looked confused and waited for the Governor to explain his
remark. The Governor, however, offered no explanation. Instead, he said,
abruptly, "Bellingham, I'm going to tell you, as man to man, that I
think you've done a very square thing by coming here to me to-day and
saying what you've said. I think it was a mighty frank and honorable
thing in you to do. I'm proud to be fighting you as my opponent."

  [Illustration: "Governor," he said, "I am here to apologize to
   you."—Page 334.]

He paused again, and then suddenly asked, "You never were a Copley
School boy, were you?"

"No," said Bellingham.

"You ought to have been," answered the Governor.



THE LETTERS OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Edited by Sidney Colvin

SARANAC LAKE:—WINTER, 1887-1888


During the two years and nine months of Stevenson's residence at
Bournemouth preceding the date of his father's death, he had made no
apparent progress toward recovery. Every period of respite had been
quickly followed by a relapse, and all his work, brilliant and varied
as it was, had been done under conditions which would have reduced
almost any other man to inactivity. The close and frequently recurring
struggles against the danger of death from hemorrhage and exhaustion,
which he had been used, when they first occurred, to find exciting,
grew in the long run merely irksome, and even his persistent high
courage and gayety, sustained as they were by the devoted affection of
his family and many friends, began occasionally, for the first time,
to fail him. Accordingly when in May, 1887, the death of his father
severed the strongest of the ties which bound him to the old country,
he was very ready to listen to the advice of his physicians, who were
unanimous in thinking his case not hopeless, but urged him to try
some complete change of climate, surroundings, and mode of life. His
wife's connections pointing to the West, he thought of the mountain
health-resorts of Colorado, and of their growing reputation for the cure
of lung patients. Having let his house at Bournemouth, he accordingly
took passage on board the steamship Ludgate Hill, sailing for New York
from London on August 17, 1887, with his whole party, consisting of
his wife, his widowed mother, whom they had persuaded to join them, his
young stepson, and a trusted servant, Valentine.

It was the moment when his reputation had first reached its height
in the United States, owing especially to the immense impression
made by the _Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_. He experienced
consequently—for the first time—the pleasures, such as they were, of
celebrity, and also its inconveniences; found the most hospitable of
refuges in the house of his kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, of
Newport; and quickly made many other friends, including the owner and
the editor of this Magazine, from whom he immediately received and
accepted very advantageous offers of work. Having been dissuaded from
braving, for the present, the fatigue of the long journey to Colorado
and the extreme rigors of its winter climate, he determined to try
instead a season at the mountain station of Saranac Lake, in the
Adirondack Mountains, New York State, which had lately been coming into
reputation as a place of cure. There, under the care of the well-known
resident physician, Dr. Trudeau, he spent nearly seven months, from
the end of September, 1887, to the end of April, 1888, with results
on the whole favorable to his own health, though not to that of his
wife, who at these high altitudes was never well. His work during the
winter consisted of the twelve papers published in the course of 1888
in SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE, including, perhaps, the most striking of all
his essays, _A Chapter on Dreams_, _Pulvis et Umbra_, _Beggars_, _The
Lantern Bearers_, _Random Memories_, etc.; as well as the greater
part of the _Master of Ballantrae_ and _The Wrong Box_—the last
originally conceived and drafted by Mr. Lloyd Osbourne—and the ballad
of _Ticonderoga_.

  [Illustration:
   Lloyd Osbourne.      Mrs. Stevenson.      R. L. Stevenson.

   On the Porch of the Cottage at Saranac, in the Adirondacks, U. S. A.
   (From a Photograph.)]

The following letters are extracted from those which tell of his voyage
to New York and his reception there at this date, and of his winter's
life and work at Saranac:


                         NEWPORT, R. I., U. S. A. [September, 1887].

     MY DEAR COLVIN,—So long it went excellent well, and I had a
     time I am glad to have had; really enjoying my life. There
     is nothing like being at sea, after all. And O why have I
     allowed myself to rot so long on land? But on the Banks I
     caught a cold, and I have not yet got over it. My reception
     here was idiotic to the last degree.... It is very silly, and
     not pleasant, except where humor enters; and I confess the
     poor interviewer lads pleased me. They are too good for their
     trade; avoided anything I asked them to avoid, and were no
     more vulgar in their reports than they could help. I liked
     the lads.

     O, it was lovely on our stable-ship, chock full of stallions.
     She rolled heartily, rolled some of the fittings out of our
     state-room, and I think a more dangerous cruise (except that
     it was summer) it would be hard to imagine. But we enjoyed
     it to the masthead, all but Fanny; and even she perhaps a
     little. When we got in, we had run out of beer, stout, cocoa,
     soda-water, water, fresh meat, and (almost) of biscuit. But
     it was a thousandfold pleasanter than a great big Birmingham
     liner like a new hotel; and we liked the officers, and made
     friends with the quartermasters, and I (at least) made a
     friend of a baboon (for we carried a cargo of apes), whose
     embraces have pretty near cost me a coat. The passengers
     improved, and were a very good specimen lot, with no drunkard,
     no gambling that I saw, and less grumbling and backbiting than
     one would have asked of poor human nature. Apes, stallions,
     cows, matches, hay, and poor men-folk all or almost all came
     successfully to land—Yours ever,

                                                            R. L. S.


  [Illustration: The Cottage at Saranac Occupied by Robert Louis
   Stevenson.
   Drawn from a photograph by Jules Guérin.]


                               [NEWPORT, U. S. A., September, 1887.]

     MY DEAR JAMES,—Here we are at Newport in the house of the
     good Fairchilds; and a sad burthen we have laid upon their
     shoulders. I have been in bed practically ever since I came.
     I caught a cold on the Banks after having had the finest
     time conceivable, and enjoyed myself more than I could have
     hoped on board our strange floating menagerie; stallions and
     monkeys and matches made our cargo; and the vast continent of
     these incongruities rolled the while like a haystack; and the
     stallions stood hypnotised by the motion, looking through the
     ports at our dinner-table, and winked when the crockery was
     broken; and the little monkeys stared at each other in their
     cages, and were thrown overboard like little bluish babies;
     and the big monkey, Jacko, scoured about the ship and rested
     willingly in my arms, to the ruin of my clothing; and the man
     of the stallions made a bower of the black tarpaulin, and sat
     therein at the feet of a raddled divinity, like a picture on
     a box of chocolates; and the other passengers, when they were
     not sick, looked on and laughed. Take all this picture, and
     make it roll till the bell shall sound unexpected notes and
     the fittings shall break loose in our stateroom, and you have
     the voyage of the _Ludgate Hill_. She arrived in the port of
     New York, without beer, porter, soda-water, curaçoa, fresh
     meat, or fresh water; and yet we lived, and we regret her.

     My wife is a good deal run down, and I am no great shakes.

     America is, as I remarked, a fine place to eat in, and a
     great place for kindness; but, Lord, what a silly thing is
     popularity; I envy the cool obscurity of Skerryvore. If it
     even paid, said Meanness! and was abashed at himself.—Yours
     most sincerely,

                                                            R. L. S.


                                 [NEW YORK; end of September, 1887.]

     MY DEAR S. C.,—Your delightful letter has just come, and finds
     me in a New York Hotel, waiting the arrival of a sculptor
     (St. Gaudens) who is making a medallion of yours truly and who
     is (to boot) one of the handsomest and nicest fellows I have
     often seen. I caught a cold on the Banks; fog is not for me;
     nearly died of interviewers and visitors, during twenty-four
     hours in New York; cut for Newport with Lloyd and Valentine,
     a journey like a fairy-land for the most engaging beauties,
     one little rocky and pine-shaded cove after another, each
     with a house and a boat at anchor, so that I left my heart in
     each and marvelled why American authors had been so unjust to
     their country; caught another cold on the train; arrived at
     Newport to go to bed and grow worse, and to stay in bed until
     I left again; the Fairchilds proving during this time kindness
     itself; Mr. Fairchild simply one of the most engaging men in
     the world, and one of the children, Blair, _aet._ ten, a great
     joy and amusement in his solemn adoring attitude to the author
     of _Treasure Island_.

     Here I was interrupted by the arrival of my sculptor. I have
     begged him to make a medallion of himself and give me a copy.
     I will not take up the sentence in which I was wandering so
     long, but begin fresh. I was ten or twelve days at Newport;
     then came back convalescent to New York. Fanny and Lloyd are
     off to the Adirondacks to see if that will suit; and the rest
     of us leave Monday (this is Saturday) to follow them up. I
     hope we may manage to stay there all winter. I have a splendid
     appetite and have on the whole recovered well after a mighty
     sharp attack. I am now on a salary of £500 a year for twelve
     articles in _Scribner's Magazine_ on what I like; it is more
     than £500 but I cannot calculate more precisely [it was £700].
     You have no idea how much is made of me here; I was offered
     £2000 for a weekly article—eh heh! how is that? but I refused
     that lucrative job. They would drive even an honest man into
     being a mere lucre-hunter in three weeks; to make _me gober_
     is I think more difficult; I have my own views on that point
     and stick to them. The success of _Underwoods_ is gratifying.
     You see, the verses are sane, that is their strong point, and
     it seems is strong enough to carry them.

     A thousand thanks for your grand letter, ever yours,

                                                            R. L. S.


                                          SARANAC LAKE, ADIRONDACKS,
                                                  NEW YORK, U. S. A.
                                                    [October, 1887.]

     MY DEAR BOB,

     The cold [of Colorado] was too rigorous for me; I could not
     risk the long railway voyage, and the season was too late to
     risk the Eastern, Cape Hatteras side of the steamer one; so
     here we stuck and stick. We have a wooden house on a hill top,
     overlooking a river, and a village about a quarter of a mile
     away, and very wooded hills; the whole scene is very Highland,
     bar want of heather and wooden houses.

     I have got one good thing of my sea voyage; it is proved the
     sea agrees heartily with me, and my mother likes it; so if
     I get any better, or no worse, my mother will likely hire a
     yacht for a month or so in summer. Good Lord! what fun! Wealth
     is only useful for two things; a yacht and a string quartette.
     For these two I will sell my soul. Except for these I hold
     that £700 a year is as much as anybody can possibly want; and
     I have had more, so I know, for the extry coins were of no
     use excepting for illness, which damns everything.

     I was so happy on board that ship, I could not have believed
     it possible; we had the beastliest weather, and many
     discomforts; but the mere fact of its being a tramp-ship
     gave us many comforts; we could cut about with the men and
     officers, stay in the wheel-house, discuss all manner of
     things, and really be a little at sea. And truly there is
     nothing else. I had literally forgotten what happiness was,
     and the full mind—full of external and physical things, not
     full of cares and labours and rot about a fellow's behaviour.
     My heart literally sang; I truly care for nothing so much as
     for that. We took so North a course that we saw Newfoundland;
     no-one in the ship had ever seen it before.

     It was beyond belief to me how she rolled; in seemingly smooth
     water, the bell striking, the fittings bounding out of our
     stateroom. It is worth having lived these last years, partly
     because I have written some better books, which is always
     pleasant, but chiefly to have had the joy of this voyage. I
     have been made a lot of here, and it is sometimes pleasant,
     sometimes the reverse; but I could give it all up, and agree
     that — was the author of my works, for a good seventy ton
     schooner and the coins to keep her on. And to think there
     are parties with yachts who would make the exchange! I know a
     little about fame now; it is no good compared to a yacht; and
     anyway there is more fame in a yacht, more genuine fame; to
     cross the Atlantic and come to anchor in Newport (say) with
     the Union Jack, and go ashore for your letters and hang about
     the pier, among the holiday yachtsmen—that's fame, that's
     glory—and nobody can take it away; they can't say your book
     is bad; you _have_ crossed the Atlantic. I should do it South
     by the West Indies, to avoid the damned banks; and probably
     come home by steamer, and leave the skipper to bring the yacht
     home.

     Well, if all goes well, we shall maybe sail out of Southampton
     water some of these days and take a run to Havre, and try the
     Baltic, or somewhere.

                                                  Love to you all
                                                    Ever your afft.
                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

     Low was delightful as always. St. Gaudens, a very nice fellow
     too, has done a medallion of me.


[The following refers to a review by Mr. Gosse of Stevenson's volume
of verse called "Underwoods." The book had been published a few weeks
previously, and is dedicated, as readers will remember, to a number of
physicians who had attended him at sundry times and places.]

                                       SARANAC LAKE, Oct. 8th, 1887.

     MY DEAR GOSSE,—I have just read your article twice, with
     cheers of approving laughter; I do not believe you ever wrote
     anything so funny; Tyndall's 'shell,' the passage on the
     Davos press and its invaluable issues, and that on V. Hugo
     and Swinburne, are exquisite; so, I say it more ruefully, is
     the touch about the doctors. For the rest, I am very glad you
     like my verses so well; and the qualities you ascribe to them
     seem to me well found and well named. I own to that kind of
     candour you attribute to me; when I am frankly interested, I
     suppose I fancy the public will be so too—and when I am moved,
     I am sure of it. It has been my luck hitherto to meet with no
     staggering disillusion. 'Before' and 'After' may be two; and
     yet I believe the habit is now too thoroughly ingrained to be
     altered. About the doctors, you were right, that dedication
     has been the subject of some pleasantries that made me grind,
     and of your happily touched reproof which made me blush.
     And to miscarry in a dedication is an abominable form of
     book-wreck; I am a good captain, I would rather lose the tent
     and save my dedication.

     I am at Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, I suppose for
     the winter; it seems a first-rate place; we have a house
     in the eye of many winds, with a view of a piece of
     running water—Highland, all but the dear hue of peat—and
     of many hills—Highland also, but for the lack of heather.
     Soon the snow will close on us; we are here some twenty
     miles—twenty-seven they say, but this I profoundly
     disbelieve—in the woods; communication by letter is slow and
     (let me be consistent) aleatory; by telegram is as near as
     may be impossible.

     I had some experience of American appreciation; I liked a
     little of it, but there is too much; a little of that would
     go a long way to spoil a man; and I like myself better in the
     woods. I am so damned candid and ingenuous (for a cynic), and
     so much of a 'cweatu' of impulse—aw' (if you remember that
     admirable Leech), that I begin to shirk any more taffy; I
     think I begin to like it too well. But let us trust the Gods;
     they have a rod in pickle; reverently I doff my trousers, and
     with screwed eyes await the _amari aliquid_ of the great God
     Busby.

     I thank you for the article in all ways, and remain yours
     affectionately,

                                                            R. L. S.


                                             SARANAC, October, 1887.

     [To W. H. Low.]

     SIR,—I have to trouble you with the following _paroles bien
     senties_. We are here at a first-rate place. 'Baker's' is the
     name of our house; but we don't address there, we prefer the
     tender care of the Post-Office, as more aristocratic (it is
     no use to telegraph even to the care of the Post-Office, who
     does not give a single damn). Baker's has a prophet's chamber,
     which the hypercritical might describe as a garret with a hole
     in the floor; in that garret, sir, I have to trouble you and
     your wife to come and slumber. Not now, however: with manly
     hospitality, I choke off any sudden impulse. Because first, my
     wife and my mother are gone (a note for the latter, strongly
     suspected to be in the hand of your talented wife, now sits
     silent on the mantel shelf), one to Niagara and t' other to
     Indianapolis. Because, second, we are not yet installed. And
     because, third, I won't have you till I have a buffalo robe
     and leggings, lest you should want to paint me as a plain
     man, which I am not, but a rank Saranacker and wild man of
     the woods.

                                         Yours,
                                            ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

     I am well.


[The Wondrous Tale referred to in the following is Stevenson's _Black
Arrow_, which had been through Mr. Archer's hands in proof.]

                                        SARANAC LAKE, October, 1887.

     DEAR ARCHER,—Many thanks for the Wondrous Tale. It is scarcely
     a work of genius, as I believe you felt. Thanks also for your
     pencillings; though I defend 'shrew,' or at least many of the
     shrews.

     We are here (I suppose) for the winter in the Adirondacks,
     a hill and forest country on the Canadian border of New York
     State, very unsettled and primitive and cold, and healthful,
     or we are the more bitterly deceived. I believe it will do
     well for me; but must not boast.

     My wife is away to Indiana to see her family; my mother,
     Lloyd, and I remain here in the cold, which has been exceeding
     sharp, and the hill air, which is inimitably fine. We all eat
     bravely, and sleep well, and make great fires, and get along
     like one o'clock.

     I am now a salaried party; I am a _bourgeois_ now; I am to
     write a monthly paper for Scribner's, at a scale of payment
     which makes my teeth ache for shame and diffidence. The
     editor is, I believe, to apply to you; for we were talking
     over likely men, and when I instanced you, he said he had had
     his eye upon you from the first. It is worth while, perhaps,
     to get in tow with the Scribners; they are such thorough
     gentle-folk in all ways that it is always a pleasure to deal
     with them. I am like to be a millionaire if this goes on, and
     be publicly hanged at the social revolution; well, I would
     prefer that to dying in my bed; and it would be a godsend to
     my biographer, if ever I have one. What are you about? I hope
     you are all well and in good case and spirits, as I am now,
     after a most nefast experience of despondency before I left;
     but indeed I was quite run down. Remember me to Mrs. Archer,
     and give my respects to Tom—Yours very truly,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.


[The lady to whom the following letter is addressed, as well as a good
many others to come, had been a close friend of the Stevenson family
at Bournemouth, and on their departure had been trusted to keep an eye
on their interests in connection with their house (which had been let)
and other matters, and to report thereon from time to time. In their
correspondence Stevenson is generally referred to as the Squire and the
lady as the Gamekeeper.]

                                     [SARANAC LAKE, December, 1887.]

     MY DEAR MISS BOODLE,—I am so much afraid, our gamekeeper may
     weary of unacknowledged reports! Hence, in the midst of a
     perfect horror of detestable weathers of a quite incongruous
     strain, and with less desire for correspondence than—well,
     than—well, with no desire for correspondence, behold me
     dash into the breach. Do keep up your letters. They are most
     delightful to this exiled backwoods family; and in your next,
     we shall hope somehow or other to hear better news of you
     and yours—that, in the first place—and to hear more news of
     our beasts and birds and kindly fruits of the earth and those
     human tenants who are (truly) too much with us.

     I am very well; better than for years: that is for good.
     But then my wife is no great shakes; the place does not suit
     her—it is my private opinion that no place does—and she is
     now away down to New York for a change, which (as Lloyd is
     in Boston) leaves my mother and me and Valentine alone in
     our wind-beleaguered hilltop hatbox of a house. You should
     hear the cows butt against the walls in the early morning
     while they feed; you should also see our back log when the
     thermometer goes (as it does go) away—away below zero, till
     it can be seen no more by the eye of man—not the thermometer,
     which is still perfectly visible, but the mercury, which curls
     up into the bulb like a hibernating bear; you should also see
     the lad who "does chores" for us, with his red stockings and
     his thirteen year old face, and his highly manly tramp into
     the room; and his two alternative answers to all questions
     about the weather; either "Cold," or with a really lyrical
     movement of the voice, "_Lovely_—raining!"

     Will you take this miserable scrap for what it is worth? Will
     you also understand that I am the man to blame, and my wife
     is really almost too much out of health to write—or at least
     doesn't write?—And believe me, with kind remembrances to Mrs.
     Boodle and your sister, very sincerely yours,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.


                                       SARANAC LAKE, Winter, 1887-8.

     MY DEAR HENRY JAMES,—It may please you to know how our family
     has been employed. In the silence of the snow the afternoon
     lamp has lighted an eager fireside group; my mother reading,
     Fanny, Lloyd, and I devoted listeners; and the work was
     really one of the best works I ever heard; and its author is
     to be praised and honoured; and what do you suppose is the
     name of it? and have you ever read it yourself? and (I am
     bound I will get to the bottom of the page before I blow the
     gaff, if I have to fight it out on this line all summer; for
     if you have not to turn a leaf, there can be no suspense,
     the conspectory eye being swift to pick out proper names;
     and without suspense, there can be little pleasure in this
     world, to my mind at least), and, in short, the name of it
     is _Roderick Hudson_, if you please. My dear James, it is
     very spirited, and very sound, and very noble too. Hudson,
     Mrs. Hudson, Rowland, O, all first-rate: Rowland a very fine
     fellow; Hudson as good as he can stick (did you know Hudson? I
     suspect you did), Mrs. H. his real born mother, a thing rarely
     managed in fiction.

     We are all keeping pretty fit and pretty hearty; but this
     letter is not from me to you, it is from a reader of R. H. to
     the author of the same, and it says nothing, and has nothing
     to say but thank you.

     We are going to re-read _Casamassima_ as a proper pendant.
     Sir, I think these two are your best, and care not who knows
     it.

     May I beg you, the next time _Roderick_ is printed off, to
     go over the sheets of the last few chapters, and strike out
     'immense' and 'tremendous'? You have simply dropped them there
     like your pocket-handkerchief; all you have to do is to pick
     them up and pouch them, and your room—what do I say?—your
     cathedral! will be swept and garnished.—I am, dear sir, your
     delighted reader,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

     _P.S._—Perhaps it is a pang of causeless honesty, perhaps I
     hope it will set a value on my praise of _Roderick_, perhaps
     it's a burst of the diabolic, but I must break out with the
     news that I can't bear the _Portrait of a Lady_. I read it
     all, and I wept too; but I can't stand your having written it;
     and I beg you will write no more of the like. _Infra_, sir;
     Below you: I can't help it—it may be your favourite work, but
     in my eyes it's BELOW YOU to write and me to read. I thought
     _Roderick_ was going to be another such at the beginning;
     and I cannot describe my pleasure as I found it taking bones
     and blood, and looking out at me with a moved and human
     countenance, whose lineaments are written in my memory until
     my last of days.

                                                            R. L. S.

     My wife begs your forgiveness; I believe for her silence.


[The following narrates the beginning of the author's labours on the
_Master of Ballantrae_. An unfinished paper written some years later in
Samoa, and intended for SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE, tells how the story first
took in his mind. _See_ Ed. ed. Miscellanies, vol. iv., p. 297.]

                                     [SARANAC, December 24, 1887-8.]

     MY DEAR COLVIN,—Thank you for your explanations. I have done
     no more Virgil since I finished the seventh book, for I have
     first been eaten up with Taine, and next have fallen head over
     heels into a new tale, _The Master of Ballantrae_. No thought
     have I now apart from it, and I have got along up to page
     ninety-two of the draught with great interest. It is to me a
     most seizing tale: there are some fantastic elements, the most
     is a dead genuine human problem—human tragedy, I should say
     rather. It will be about as long, I imagine, as _Kidnapped_.

     DRAMATIS PERSONAE

          (1) My old Lord Durrisdeer.

          (2) The Master of Ballantrae, _and_

          (3) Henry Durie, _his sons_.

          (4) Clementina, _engaged to the first, married to
          the second_.

          (5) Ephraim Mackellar, _land steward at Durrisdeer
          and narrator of the most of the book_.

          (6) Francis Burke, Chevalier de St. Louis, _one of
          the Prince Charlie's Irishmen and narrator of the
          rest_.

     Besides these many instant figures, most of them dumb or
     nearly so: Jessie Brown, the whore, Captain Crail, Captain
     McCombie, our old friend Alan Breck, our old friend Riach
     (both only for an instant), Teach the pirate (vulgarly
     Blackbeard), John Paul and Macconochie, servants at
     Durrisdeer. The date is from 1745 to '65 (about). The scene
     near Kirkcudbright, in the States, and for a little moment
     in the French East Indies. I have done most of the big work,
     the quarrel, duel between the brothers, and announcement of
     the death to Clementina and my Lord—Clementina, Henry, and
     Mackellar (nicknamed Squaretoes) are really very fine fellows;
     the Master is all I know of the devil; I have known hints
     of him, in the world, but always cowards: he is as bold as
     a lion, but with the same deadly, causeless duplicity I have
     watched with so much surprise in my two cowards. 'Tis true,
     I saw a hint of the same nature in another man who was not a
     coward; but he had other things to attend to; the Master has
     nothing else but his devilry. Here come my visitors ... and
     have now gone, or the first relay of them; and I hope no more
     may come. For mark you, sir, this is our 'day'—Saturday, as
     ever was; and here we sit, my mother and I, before a large
     wood fire and await the enemy with the most steadfast courage;
     and without snow and greyness: and the woman Fanny in New
     York, for her health which is far from good; and the lad
     Lloyd at the inn in the village because he has a cold; and the
     handmaid Valentine abroad in a sleigh upon her messages; and
     to-morrow Christmas and no mistake. Such is human life: _la
     carrière humaine_. I will enclose, if I remember, the required
     autograph.

     I will do better, put it on the back of this page. Love
     to all, and mostly, my very dear Colvin, to yourself. For
     whatever I say or do, or don't say or do, you may be very sure
     I am,—Yours always affectionately,

                                                            R. L. S.


                                            SARANAC, February, 1888.

     Raw Haste Half Sister to Delay.

     DEAR MR. BURLINGAME,—1. Enclosed please find another paper.

     2. There will be another severe engagement over the _Master_;
     a large part will have to be rehandled. I am very sorry; but
     you see what comes of my trying to hurry. As soon as I have
     got a bit ahead again with the papers I shall tackle this job.
     I am better; my wife also.—Yours sincerely,

                                                            R. L. S.

     _P.S._, and a _P.S._ with a vengeance.—Pray send me the tale
     of the proof if already printed—if not, then the tale of
     the MS.—and—throw the type down. I will of course bear the
     expense. I am going to recast the whole thing in the third
     person; this version is one large error. Keep standing,
     however, the Chevalier's narration, as I _may_ leave that in
     the first person.

                                                            R. L. S.


                                                           _Monday._

     To yesterday's two barrels I add two requests. 1st. Will you
     let the cost of the printing stand over against the _Master_,
     as otherwise I may be involved in 'pecuniary embarrassments'?
     And that, sir, is no joke. 2nd. Will you send me (from the
     library) some of the works of my dear old G. P. R. James.
     With the following specially I desire to make or to renew
     acquaintance: _The Songster_, _The Gypsy_, _The Convict_, _The
     Stepmother_, _The Gentleman of the Old School_, _The Robber_.

     Excusez du peu.

     This sudden return to an ancient favorite hangs upon an
     accident. The 'Franklin County Library' contains two works of
     his, _The Cavalier_ and _Morley Einstein_. I read the first
     with indescribable amusement—it was worse than I feared, and
     yet somehow engaging; the second (to my surprise) was better
     than I dared to hope: a good, honest, dull, interesting tale,
     with a genuine old-fashioned talent in the invention when not
     strained; and a genuine old-fashioned feeling for the English
     language. This experience awoke appetite, and you see I have
     taken steps to stay it.

                                                            R. L. S.


                                            SARANAC, February, 1888.

     DEAR MR. BURLINGAME,—1. Of course then don't use it. Dear Man,
     I write these to please you, not myself, and you know a main
     sight better than I do what is good. In that case, however,
     I enclose another paper, and return the corrected proof of
     _Pulvis et Umbra_, so that we may be afloat.

     2. I want to say a word as to the _Master_. (The _Master of
     Ballantrae_ shall be the name by all means.) If you like and
     want it, I leave it to you to make an offer. You may remember
     I thought the offer you made when I was still in England too
     small; by which I did not at all mean, I thought it less
     than it was worth, but too little to tempt me to undergo
     the disagreeables of serial publication. This tale (if you
     want it) you are to have; for it is the least I can do for
     you; and you are to observe that the sum you pay me for my
     articles going far to meet my wants, I am quite open to be
     satisfied with less than formerly. I tell you I do dislike
     this battle of the dollars. I feel sure you all pay too much
     here in America; and I beg you not to spoil me any more. For
     I am getting spoiled; I do not want wealth, and I feel these
     big sums demoralize me.

     My wife came here pretty ill, she had a dreadful bad night;
     to-day she is better. But now Valentine is ill; and Lloyd
     and I have got breakfast, and my hand somewhat shakes after
     washing-dishes.—Yours very sincerely,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

     _P.S._—Please order me the _Evening Post_ for two months. My
     subscription is run out. The _Mutiny_ and _Edwardes_ to hand.


                                               SARANAC, March, 1888.

     MY DEAR COLVIN,—Fanny has been very unwell. She is not long
     home, has been ill again since her return, but is now better
     again to a degree. You must not blame her for not writing, as
     she is not allowed to write at all, not even a letter. To add
     to our misfortunes, Valentine is quite ill and in bed. Lloyd
     and I get breakfast; I have now, 10.15, just got the dishes
     washed and the kitchen all clear, and sit down to give you
     as much news as I have spirit for, after such an engagement.
     Glass is a thing that really breaks my spirit: I do not like
     to fail, and with glass I cannot reach the work of my high
     calling—the artist's.

     I am, as you may gather from this, wonderfully better: this
     harsh, grey, glum, doleful climate has done me good. You
     cannot fancy how sad a climate it is. When the thermometer
     stays all day below 10°, it is really cold; and when the wind
     blows, O commend me to the result. Pleasure in life is all
     delete; there is no red spot left, fires do not radiate, you
     burn your hands all the time on what seem to be cold stones.
     It is odd, zero is like summer heat to us now; and we like,
     when the thermometer outside is really low, a room at about
     48°: 60° we find oppressive. Yet the natives keep their holes
     at 90° or even 100°.

     This was interrupted days ago by household labors. Since then
     I have had and (I tremble to write it, but it does seem as
     if I had) beaten off an influenza. The cold is exquisite.
     Valentine still in bed. The proofs of the first part of
     the _Master of Ballantrae_ begin to come in; soon you shall
     have it in the pamphlet form; and I hope you will like it.
     The second part will not be near so good; but there—we can
     but do as it'll do with us. I have every reason to believe
     this winter has done me real good, so far as it has gone;
     and if I carry out my scheme for next winter, and succeeding
     years, I should end by being a tower of strength. I want you
     to save a good holiday for next winter; I hope we shall be
     able to help you to some larks. Is there any Greek isle you
     would like to explore? or any creek in Asia Minor?—Yours ever
     affectionately,

                                                            R. L. S.


                                          SARANAC LAKE, March, 1888.

     MY DEAR, DELIGHTFUL JAMES,—To quote your heading to my
     wife, I think no man writes so elegant a letter, I am sure
     none so kind, unless it be Colvin, and there is more of the
     stern parent about him. I was vexed at your account of my
     admired Meredith; I wish I could go and see him, as it is I
     will try to write. I read with indescribable admiration your
     _Emerson_. I begin to long for the day when these portraits
     of yours shall be collected; do put me in. But Emerson is a
     higher flight. Have you a _Tourgueneff_? You have told me many
     interesting things of him, and I seem to see them written,
     and forming a graceful and _bildend_ sketch. My novel is a
     tragedy, four parts out of six or seven are written, and gone
     to Burlingame. Five parts of it are sound, human tragedy; the
     last one or two, I regret to say, are not so soundly designed;
     I almost hesitate to write them; they are very picturesque,
     but they are fantastic; they shame, perhaps degrade, the
     beginning. I wish I knew; that was how the tale came to me
     however. I got the situation; it was an old taste of mine:
     The older brother goes out in the '45, the younger stays;
     the younger, of course, gets title and estate and marries
     the bride designate of the elder—a family match, but he (the
     younger) had always loved her, and she had really loved the
     elder. Do you see the situation? Then the devil and Saranac
     suggested this _dénouement_, and I joined the two ends in
     a day or two of constant feverish thought, and began to
     write. And now—I wonder if I have not gone too far with the
     fantastic. The elder brother is an _Incubus_; supposed to be
     killed at Culloden, he turns up again and bleeds the family of
     money; on that stopping he comes and lives with them, whence
     flows the real tragedy, the nocturnal duel of the brothers
     (very naturally, and indeed, I think, inevitably arising),
     and second supposed death of the elder. Husband and wife now
     really make up, and then the cloven hoof appears. For the
     third supposed death and the manner of the third reappearance
     is steep; steep, sir. It is even very steep, and I fear
     it shames the honest stuff so far; but then it is highly
     pictorial, and it leads up to death of the elder brother at
     the hands of the younger in a perfectly cold-blooded murder,
     of which I wish (and mean) the reader to approve. You see how
     daring is the design. There are really but six characters,
     and one of these episodic, and yet it covers eighteen years,
     and will be, I imagine, the longest of my works.—Yours ever,

                                                            R. L. S.


     _Read Gosse's Raleigh._

     First rate,—Yours ever,

                                                            R. L. S.


     _To S. R. Crockett_

                                       [SARANAC LAKE, Spring, 1888.]

     DEAR MINISTER OF THE FREE KIRK AT PENICUIK,—For O, man, I
     cannae read your name!—That I have been so long in answering
     your delightful letter sits on my conscience badly. The fact
     is I let my correspondence accumulate until I am going to
     leave a place; and then I pitch in, overhaul the pile, and my
     cries of penitence might be heard a mile about. Yesterday I
     despatched thirty-five belated letters; conceive the state of
     my conscience, above all the Sins of Omission (see boyhood's
     guide, the Shorter Catechism) are in my view the only serious
     ones; I call it my view, but it cannot have escaped you that
     it was also Christ's. However, all that is not to the purpose,
     which is to thank you for the sincere pleasure afforded by
     your charming letter. I get a good few such; how few that
     please me at all, you would be surprised to learn—or have a
     singularly just idea of the dulness of our race; how few that
     please me as yours did, I can tell you in one word—_None_.
     I am no great kirkgoer, for many reasons—and the sermon's
     one of them, and the first prayer another, but the chief and
     effectual reason is the stuffiness. I am no great kirkgoer,
     says I, but when I read yon letter of yours, I thought I would
     like to sit under ye. And then I saw ye were to send me a bit
     buik, and says I, I'll wait for the bit buik, and then I'll
     mebbe can read the man's name, and anyway I'll can kill twa
     birds wi' ae stane. And, man! the buik was ne'er heard tell
     o'!

     That fact is an adminicle of excuse for my delay.

     And now, dear minister of the illegible name, thanks to you,
     and greeting to your wife, and may you have good guidance in
     your difficult labors, and a blessing on your life.

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

     (No just so young sae young's he was, though—I'm
        awfae near forty, man).

     Address c/o CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS,
             743 BROADWAY, NEW YORK.

     Don't put "N.B." in your paper, put _Scotland_, and be done
     with it. Alas, that I should be thus stabbed in the home of
     my friends! The name of my native land is not _North Britain_,
     whatever may be the name of yours.

                                                            R. L. S.


                                        [SARANAC], April 9th!! 1888.

     MY DEAR COLVIN,—I have been long without writing to you, but
     am not to blame. I had some little annoyances quite for a
     private eye, but they ran me so hard that I could not write
     without lugging them in, which (for several reasons) I did not
     choose to do. Fanny is off to San Francisco, and next week I
     myself flit to New York: address Scribners. Where we shall go
     I know not, nor (I was going to say) care; so bald and bad
     is my frame of mind. Do you know our—ahem!—fellow clubman,
     Colonel Majendie? I had such an interesting letter from him.
     Did you see my sermon? [_Pulvis et Umbra_] It has evoked the
     worst feeling: I fear people don't care for the truth, or
     else I don't tell it. Suffer me to wander without purpose.
     I have sent off twenty letters to-day, and begun and stuck
     over a twenty-first, and taken a copy of one which was on
     business, and corrected several galleys of proof, and sorted
     about a bushel of old letters; so if any one has a right to be
     romantically stupid it is I—and I am. Really deeply stupid,
     and at that stage when in old days I used to pour out words
     without any meaning whatever and with my mind taking no part
     in the performance. I suspect that is now the case. I am
     reading with extraordinary pleasure the life of Lord Lawrence:
     Lloyd and I have a mutiny novel—

     (Next morning, after twelve other letters)—mutiny novel
     on hand—_The White Nigger_—a tremendous work—so we are
     all at Indian books. The idea of the novel is Lloyd's: I
     call it a novel. 'Tis a tragic romance, of the most tragic
     sort: I believe the end will be almost too much for human
     endurance—when the White Nigger was thrown to the ground with
     one of his own (Sepoy) soldier's knees upon his chest, and
     the cries begin in the Beebeeghar. Oh, truly, you know it is
     a howler! The whole last part is—well the difficulty is that,
     short of resuscitating Shakespeare, I don't know who is to
     write it.

     I still keep wonderful. I am a great performer before the Lord
     on a penny whistle. Dear sir, sincerely yours,

                                                     ANDREW JACKSON.


                                        [SARANAC LAKE, April, 1888.]

     MY DEAR GAMEKEEPER,—Your p. c. (proving you a good student of
     Micawber) has just arrived, and it paves the way to something
     I am anxious to say. I wrote a paper the other day—Pulvis et
     Umbra;—I wrote it with great feeling and conviction; to me
     it seemed bracing and healthful; it is in such a world (so
     seen by me), that I am very glad to fight out my battle, and
     see some fine sunsets, and hear some excellent jests between
     whiles round the camp fire. But I find that to some people
     this vision of mine is a nightmare, and extinguishes all
     ground of faith in God or pleasure in man. Truth I think not
     so much of; for I do not know it. And I could wish in my heart
     that I had not published this paper, if it troubles folks too
     much: all have not the same digestion, nor the same sight of
     things. And it came over to me with special pain that perhaps
     this article (which I was at the pains to send to her) might
     give dismalness to my _Gamekeeper at Home_. Well, I cannot
     take back what I have said; but yet I may add this. If my
     view be everything but the nonsense that it may be—to me it
     seems self-evident and blinding truth—surely of all things
     it makes this world holier. There is nothing in it but the
     moral side—but the great battle and the breathing-times with
     their refreshments. I see no more and no less. And if you look
     again, it is not ugly, and it is filled with promise.

     Pray excuse a desponding author for this apology. My wife is
     away off to the uttermost parts of the States, all by herself.
     I shall be off, I hope, in a week; but where? Ah! that I know
     not. I keep wonderful, and my wife a little better, and the
     lad flourishing. We now perform duets on two D tin whistles;
     it is no joke to make the bass; I think I must really send
     you one, which I wish you would correct....

     I may be said to live for these instrumental labours now;
     but I have always some childishness on hand.—I am, dear
     Gamekeeper, your indulgent, but intemperate Squire,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.


[On the 16th of April Stevenson and his party left Saranac. After
spending a fortnight in New York, where, as always in cities, his
health quickly flagged again, he went for the month of May into seaside
quarters at Union House, Manasquan, on the New Jersey coast, for the
sake of fresh air and boating. Here he enjoyed the society of some
of his New York friends, including Mr. St. Gaudens and Mr. W. H. Low,
and was initiated in the congenial craft of cat-boat sailing. In the
meantime Mrs. Stevenson had gone to San Francisco, to see whether a
sailing yacht was to be found available for a few months' cruise in the
Pacific. The _Casco_, Captain Otis, was found accordingly; Stevenson
signified by telegraph his assent to the arrangement; determined to risk
in the adventure the sum of £2,000, of which his father's death had
put him in possession, hoping to recoup himself by a book of Letters
recounting his experiences; and on the 2d of June started with his
mother and stepson for San Francisco, and thence for that island cruise
from which he was never to return.]

                          UNION HOUSE, MANASQUAN, N. J., but address
                                                      to Scribner's.

                                                       May 11, 1888.

     MY DEAR CHARLES,—I have found a yacht, and we are going the
     full pitch for seven months. If I cannot get my health back
     (more or less), 'tis madness; but, of course, there is the
     hope, and I will play big.... If this business fails to set
     me up, well, £2,000 is gone, and I know I can't get better.
     We sail from San Francisco, June 15th, for the South Seas in
     the yacht _Casco_.—With a million thanks for all your dear
     friendliness, ever yours affectionately,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

[The following is addressed from Manasquan to a boy, the son of the
writer's friend, the sculptor St. Gaudens; for the rest, it explains
itself.]


                                              MANASQUAN, NEW JERSEY,
                                                     27th May, 1888.

     DEAR HOMER ST. GAUDENS,—Your father has brought you this day
     to see me, and he tells me it is his hope he may remember
     the occasion. I am going to do what I can to carry out his
     wish; and it may amuse you, years after, to see this little
     scrap of paper and to read what I write. I must begin by
     testifying that you yourself took no interest whatever in
     the introduction, and in the most proper spirit displayed
     a single-minded ambition to get back to play, and this I
     thought an excellent and admirable point in your character.
     You were also (I use the past tense, with a view to the time
     when you shall read, rather than to that when I am writing)
     a very pretty boy, and (to my European views) startlingly
     self-possessed. My time of observation was so limited that
     you must pardon me if I can say no more: what else I marked,
     what restlessness of foot and hand, what graceful clumsiness,
     what experimental designs upon the furniture, was but the
     common inheritance of human youth. But you may perhaps like
     to know that the lean flushed man in bed, who interested
     you so little, was in a state of mind extremely mingled and
     unpleasant: harassed with work which he thought he was not
     doing well, troubled with difficulties to which you will in
     time succeed, and yet looking forward to no less a matter than
     a voyage to the South Seas and the visitation of savage and
     of desert islands.—Your father's friend,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.



THE VEERY-THRUSH

By J. Russell Taylor


     Blow softly, thrush, upon the hush
     That makes the least leaf loud,
     Blow, wild of heart, remote, apart
     From all the vocal crowd,
     Apart, remote, a spirit note
     That dances meltingly afloat,
     Blow faintly, thrush!
     And build the green-hill waterfall
     I hated for its beauty, and all
     The unloved vernal rapture and flush,
     The old forgotten lonely time,
     Delicate thrush!
     Spring's at the prime, the world's in chime,
     And my love is listening nearly,
     O lightly blow the ancient woe,
     Flute of the wood, blow clearly!
     Blow, she is here, and the world all dear,
     Melting flute of the hush,
     Old sorrow estranged, enriched, sea-changed,
     Breathe it, veery-thrush!



THE SHIP OF STARS

By A. T. Quiller-Couch

(Q.)


XXI

HONORIA'S LETTERS

1

                                        CARWITHIEL, October 25, 18—.

     MY DEAR TAFFY:

     Your letter was full of news, and I read it over twice—once
     to myself, and again after dinner to George and Sir Harry.
     We pictured you dining in the college hall. Thanks to your
     description, it was not very difficult: the long tables, the
     silver tankards, the dark panels and the dark pictures above,
     and the dons on the dais, aloof and very sedate. It reminded
     me of Ivanhoe—I don't know why; and no doubt if ever I see
     Magdalen, it will not be like my fancy in the least. But
     that's how I see it; and you at a table near the bottom of the
     hall, like the youthful squire in the story-books—the one,
     you know, who sits at the feast below the salt until he is
     recognized and forced to step up and take his seat with honor
     at the high table. I began to explain all this to George, but
     found that he had dropped asleep in his chair. He was tired
     out after a long day with the pheasants.

     I shall stay here for a week or two yet, perhaps. You know how
     I hate Tredinnis. On my way over, I called at the Parsonage
     and saw your mother. She was writing that very day, she said,
     and promised to send my remembrances, which I hope duly
     reached you. The Vicar was away at the church, of course.
     There is great talk of the Bishop coming in February, when
     all will be ready. George sends his love; I saw him for a
     few minutes at breakfast this morning, before he started for
     another day with the pheasants.

                                                  Your friend,
                                                            HONORIA.


2

                                       CARWITHIEL, November 19, 18—.

     MY DEAR TAFFY:

     Still here, you see! I am slipping this into a parcel
     containing a fire-screen which I have worked with my very
     own hands; and I trust you will be able to recognize the
     shield upon it and the Magdalen lilies. I send it, first,
     as a birthday present; and I chose a shield—well, I daresay
     that going in for a demy-ship is a matter-of-fact affair to
     you, who have grown so exceedingly matter-of-fact; but to me
     it seems a tremendous adventure; and so I chose a shield—for
     I suppose the dons would frown if you wore a cockade in your
     college cap. I return to Tredinnis to-morrow; so your news,
     whatever it is, must be addressed to me there. But it is safe
     to be good news.

                                                  Your friend,
                                                            HONORIA.


3

                                        TREDINNIS, November 27, 18—.

     MOST HONORED SCHOLAR:

     Behold me, an hour ago, a great lady, seated in lonely
     grandeur at the head of my own ancestral table. This is the
     first time I have used the dining-room; usually I take all my
     meals in the morning-room, at a small table beside the fire.
     But to-night I had the great table spread, and the plate set
     out, and wore my best gown, and solemnly took my grandfather's
     chair and glowered at the ghost of a small girl shivering
     at the far end of the long white cloth. When I had enough of
     this (which was pretty soon) I ordered up some champagne and
     drank the health of Theophilus John Raymond, Demy of Magdalen
     College, Oxford. I graciously poured out a second glass for
     the small ghost at the other end of the table; and it gave
     her the courage to confess that she, too, in a timid way, had
     taken an interest in you for years, and hoped you were going
     to be a great man. Having thus discovered a bond between us,
     we grew very friendly; and we talked a great deal about you
     afterward, in the drawing-room, where I lost her for a few
     minutes and found her hiding in the great mirror over the
     fire-place—a habit of hers.

     It is time for me to practise ceremony, for it seems that
     George and I are to be married some time in the spring. For my
     part, I think my lord would be content to wait longer; for so
     long as he is happy and sees others cheerful, he is not one
     to hurry or worry. But Sir Harry is the impatient one, and
     has begun to talk of his decease. He doesn't believe in it a
     bit, and at times when he composes his features and attempts
     to be lugubrious I have to take up a book and hide my smiles.
     But he is clever enough to see that it bothers George.

     I saw both your father and mother this morning. Mr. Raymond
     has been kept to the house by a chill; nothing serious; but
     he is fretting to be out again and at work in that draughty
     church. He will accept no help; and the mistress of Tredinnis
     has no right to press it on him. I shall never understand
     men and how they fight. I supposed that the war lay between
     him and my grandfather. But it seems he was fighting an idea
     all the while; for here is my grandfather beaten and dead and
     gone; and still the Vicar will give no quarter. If you had
     not assured me that your demy-ship means eighty pounds a year,
     I could believe that men fight for shadows only. Your mother
     and grandmother are both well....


It was a raw December afternoon—within a week of the end of term—and
Taffy had returned from skating in Christ Church meadow, when he found
a telegram lying on his table. There was just time to see the Dean, to
pack, and to snatch a meal in hall, before rattling off to his train.
At Didcot he had the best part of an hour to wait for the night-mail
westward.

"_Your father dangerously ill. Come at once._"

There was no signature. Yet Taffy knew who had ridden to the office
with that telegram. The flying darkness held visions of her, and the
express throbbed westward to the beat of Aide-de-camp's gallop. Nor was
he surprised at all to find her on the platform at Truro station. The
Tredinnis phaeton was waiting outside.

He seemed to her but a boy after all, as he stepped out of the train in
the chill dawn; a wan-faced boy and sorely in need of comfort.

"You must be brave," said she, gathering up the reins as he climbed to
the seat beside her.

Surely yes; he had been telling himself this very thing all night. The
groom hoisted in his portmanteau, and with a slam of the door they were
off. The cold air sang past Taffy's ears. It put vigor into him, and his
courage rose as he faced his shattered prospects, shattered dreams. He
must be strong now, for his mother's sake; a man to work and be leant
upon.

And so it was that whereas Honoria had found him a boy, Humility found
him a man. As her arms went about him in her grief, she felt his body,
that it was taller, broader; and knew, in the midst of her tears, that
this was not the child she had parted from seven short weeks ago, but
a man to act and give orders and be relied upon.

"He called for you ... many times," was all she could say.

For Taffy had come too late. Mr. Raymond was dead. He had aggravated a
slight chill by going back to his work too soon, and the bitter draughts
of the church had cut him down within sight of his goal. A year before,
he might have been less impatient. The chill struck into his lungs. On
December 1st he had taken to his bed, and he never rallied.

"He called for me?"

"Many times."

They went up the stairs together and stood beside the bed. The thought
uppermost in Taffy's mind was—"He called for me. He wanted me. He was
my father, and I never knew him."

But Humility in her sorrow groped amid such questions as these: "What
has happened? Who am I? Am I she who yesterday had a husband, and a
child? To-day my husband is gone, and my child is no longer the same
child."

In her room old Mrs. Venning remembered the first days of her own
widowhood; and life seemed to her a very short affair, after all.

Honoria saw Taffy beside the grave. It was no season for out-of-door
flowers and she had rifled her hot-houses for a wreath. The exotics
shivered in the northwesterly wind; they looked meaningless,
impertinent, in the gusty churchyard. Humility, before the coffin left
the house, had brought the dead man's old blue working-blouse and spread
it for a pall. No flowers grew in the parsonage garden; but pressed in
her Bible lay a very little bunch gathered, years ago, in the meadows
by Honiton. This she divided and, unseen by anyone, pinned the half upon
the breast of the patched garment.

On the evening after the funeral and for the next day or two she was
strangely quiet, and seemed to be waiting for Taffy to make some sign.
Dearly as mother and son loved one another, they had to find their new
positions, each toward each. Now Taffy had known nothing of his parents'
income. He assumed that it was little enough, and that he must now leave
Oxford and work to support the household. He knew some Latin and Greek;
but without a degree he had little chance of teaching what he knew. He
was a fair carpenter, and a more than passable smith.... He revolved
many schemes, but chiefly found himself wondering what it would cost to
enter an architect's office.

"I suppose," said he, "father left no will?"

"Oh, yes, he did," said Humility, and produced it—a single sheet of
foolscap signed on her wedding-day. It gave her all her husband's
property absolutely—whatever it might be.

"Well," said Taffy, "I'm glad. I suppose there's enough for you to rent
a small cottage, while I look about for work?"

"Who talks about your finding work? You will go back to Oxford, of
course."

"Oh, shall I?" said Taffy, taken aback.

"Certainly; it was your father's wish."

"But the money?"

"With your scholarship there's enough to keep you there for the four
years. After that, no doubt, you will be earning a good income."

"But—" He remembered what had been said about the lace-money, and could
not help wondering.

"Taffy," said his mother, touching his hand, "leave all this to me
until your degree is taken. You have a race to run and must not start
unprepared. If you could have seen _his_ joy when the news came of the
demy-ship!"

Taffy kissed her and went up to his room. He found his books laid out
on the little table there.


4

                                        TREDINNIS, February 13, 18—.

     MY DEAR TAFFY:

     I have a valentine for you, if you care to accept it; but I
     don't suppose you will, and indeed I hope in my heart that you
     will not. But I must offer it. Your father's living is vacant,
     and my trustees (that is to say, Sir Harry; for the other, a
     second cousin of mine, who lives in London, never interferes)
     can put in someone as a stop-gap, thus allowing me to present
     you to it, when the time comes, if you have any thought of
     Holy Orders. You will understand exactly why I offer it; and
     also, I hope, you will know that I think it wholly unworthy
     of you. But turn it over in your mind and give me your answer.

     George and I are to be married at the end of April. May is an
     unlucky month. It shall be a week—even a fortnight—earlier,
     if that fits in with your vacation, and you care to come. See
     how obliging I am! I yield to you what I have refused to Sir
     Harry. We shall try to persuade the Bishop to come and open
     the church on the same day.

                                           Always your friend,
                                                            HONORIA.


5

                                           TREDINNIS, February 21st.

     MY DEAR TAFFY:

     No, I am not offended in the least; but very glad. I do not
     think you are fitted for the priesthood; but my doubts have
     nothing to do with your doubts, which I don't understand,
     though you tried to explain them so carefully. You will come
     through _them_, I expect. I don't know that I have any reasons
     that could be put on paper; only, somehow, I cannot _see_ you
     in a black coat and clerical hat.

     You complain that I never write about George. You don't
     deserve to hear, since you refuse to come to our wedding. But
     would _you_ talk, if you happened to be in love? There, I have
     told you more than ever I've told George, whose quiet conceit
     has to be kept down. Let this console you.

     Our new Parson, when he comes, is to lodge down in Innis
     Village. Your mother—but no doubt she has told you—stays in
     the Parsonage while she pleases. She and your grandmother are
     both well. I see her every day. I have so much to learn and
     she is so wise. Her beautiful eyes—but oh, Taffy, it must be
     terrible to be a widow! She smiles and is always cheerful;
     but the _look_ in them! How can I describe it? When I find
     her alone, with her lace-work, or sometimes (but it is not
     often) with her hands in her lap, she seems to come out of
     her silence with an effort, as others withdraw themselves
     from talk. I wonder if she does talk, in those silences of
     hers. Another thing—it is only a few weeks now since she put
     on a widow's cap, and yet I cannot remember her—can scarcely
     picture her—without it. I am sure that if I happened to call
     one day when she had laid it aside, I should begin to talk
     quite as if we were strangers.

                                  Believe me, yours sincerely,
                                                            HONORIA.


But the wedding, after all, did not take place until the beginning of
October, a week before the close of the Long Vacation; and Taffy, after
all, was present. The postponement had been enforced by many delays
in building and furnishing the new wing at Carwithiel; for Sir Harry
insisted that the young couple must live under one roof with him, and
Honoria (as we know) hated the very stones of Tredinnis.

The Bishop came to spend a week in the neighborhood, the first three
days as Honoria's guest. On the Saturday he consecrated the work of
restoration in the Church and, in the afternoon, held a confirmation
service. Taffy and Honoria knelt together to receive his blessing. It
was the girl's wish. The shadow of her responsibility to God and man
lay heavy on her during the few months before her marriage, and Taffy,
already weary and dispirited with his early doubtings, suffered her mood
of exaltation to overcome him like a wave and sweep him back to rest for
a while on the still waters of faith. Together they listened while the
Bishop discoursed on the dead Vicar's labors with fluency and feeling;
with so much feeling, indeed, that Taffy could not help wondering why
his father had been left to fight the battle alone.

On the Sunday and Monday two near parishes claimed the Bishop. On the
Tuesday he sent his luggage over to Carwithiel, whither he was to follow
after the wedding service, to spend a day or two with Sir Harry. It had
been Honoria's wish that George should choose Taffy for his best man;
but George had already invited one of his sporting friends, a young
Squire Philpotts from the eastern side of the Duchy; and as the date
fell at the beginning of the hunting season, he insisted on a "pink"
wedding. Honoria consulted the Bishop by letter. "Did he approve of a
'pink' wedding so soon after the bride's confirmation?" The Bishop saw
no harm in it.

So a "pink" wedding it was, and the scarlet coats made a lively patch
of color in the gray churchyard; but it gave Taffy a feeling that he was
left out in the cold. He escorted his mother to the church, and left her
for a few minutes in the Vicarage pew. The bridegroom and his friends
were gathered in a showy cluster by the chancel step, but the bride
had not arrived, and he stepped out to help in marshalling the crowd
of miners and mine-girls, fishermen, and mothers with unruly children—a
hundred or so in all, lining the path or straggling among the graves.

Close by the gate he came on a girl who stood alone.

"Hullo, Lizzie—you here?"

"Why not?" she asked, looking at him sullenly.

"Oh, no reason at all."

"There might ha' been a reason," said she, speaking low and hurriedly.
"You might ha' saved me from this, Mr. Raymond; and her too; one time,
you might."

"Why, what on earth is the matter?" He looked up. The Tredinnis carriage
and pair of grays came over the knoll at a smart trot and drew up before
the gate.

"Matter?" Lizzie echoed with a short laugh. "Oh, nuthin'. I'm goin' to
lay the curse on her, that's all."

"You shall not!" There was no time to lose. Honoria's trustee—the second
cousin from London—a tall, clean-shaven man with a shiny, bald head,
and a shiny hat in his hand—had stepped out and was helping the bride
to alight. What Lizzie meant Taffy could not tell; but there must be no
scene. He caught her hand. "Mind—I say you shall not!" he whispered.

"Lemme go—you're creamin' my fingers."

"Be quiet, then."

At that moment Honoria passed up the path. Her wedding gown almost
brushed him as he stood wringing Lizzie's hand. She did not appear to
see him; but he saw her face beneath the bridal veil, and it was hard
and white.

"The proud toad!" said Lizzie. "I'm no better'n dirt, I suppose,
though from the start she wasn' above robbin' me. Aw, she's sly.... Mr.
Raymond, I'll curse her as she comes out, see if I don't!"

"And I swear you shall not," said Taffy. The scent of Honoria's
orange-blossom seemed to cling about them as they stood.

Lizzie looked at him vindictively. "You wanted her yourself, _I_ know.
You weren't good enough, neither. Let go my fingers!"

"Go home, now. See, the people have all gone in."

"Go'st way in, too, then, and leave me here to wait for her."

Taffy shut his teeth, let go her hand, and taking her by the shoulders
swung her round, face toward the gate.

"March!" he commanded, and she moved off whimpering. Once she looked
back. "March!" he repeated, and followed her down the road as one
follows and threatens a mutinous dog.

       *       *       *       *       *

The scene by the church gate had puzzled Honoria, and in her first
letter (written from Italy) she came straight to the point, as her
custom was. "I hope there is nothing between you and that girl who
used to be at Joll's. I say nothing about our hopes for you, but you
have your own career to look to; and as I know you are too honorable to
flatter an ignorant girl when you mean nothing, so I trust you are too
wise to be caught by a foolish fancy. Forgive a staid matron (of one
week's standing) for writing so plainly; but what I saw made me uneasy;
without cause, no doubt. Your future, remember, is not yours only. And
now I shall trust you, and never come back to this subject.

"We are like children abroad," she went on. "George's French is
wonderful, but not so wonderful as his Italian. When he goes to take
a ticket, he first of all shouts the name of the station he wishes to
arrive at (for some reason he believes all foreigners to be deaf); then
he begins counting down francs one by one, very slowly, watching the
clerk's face. When the clerk's face tells him he has doled out enough,
he shouts 'Hold hard!' and clutches the ticket. It takes time; but all
the people here are friends with him at once—especially the children,
whom he punches in the ribs and tells to 'buck up.' Their mothers
nod and smile and openly admire him; and I—well, I am happy, and want
everyone else to be happy!"


XXII

MEN AS TOWERS

It was May morning, and Taffy made one of the group gathered on the
roof of Magdalen Tower. In the groves below and across the river-meadows
all the birds were singing together. Beyond the glimmering suburbs, St.
Clement's and Cowley St. John, over the dark rise by Bullingdon Green,
the waning moon seemed to stand still and wait poised on her nether
horn. Below her the morning sky waited, clean and virginal, letting her
veil of mist slip lower and lower until it rested in folds upon the high
woodlands and pastures. While it dropped, a shaft of light tore through
it and smote flashing on the vane high above Taffy's head, turning the
dark side of the turrets to purple and casting lilac shadows on the
surplices of the choir. For a moment the whole dewy shadow of the tower
trembled on the western sky, and melted and was gone as a flood of gold
broke on the eastward-turned faces. The clock below struck five, and
ceased. There was a sudden baring of heads; a hush; and gently, borne
aloft on boys' voices, clear and strong, rose the first notes of the
hymn—

     Te Deum Patrem colimus,
     Te laudibus prosequimur,
     Qui corpus cibo reficis,
     Coelesti mentem gratia.

In the pauses Taffy heard, faint and far below, the noise of cowhorns
blown by the street boys gathered at the foot of the tower and beyond
the bridge. Close beside him a small urchin of a chorister was singing
away with the face of an ecstatic seraph; whence that ecstasy arose the
urchin would have been puzzled to tell. There flashed into Taffy's brain
the vision of the whole earth lauding and adoring—sun-worshippers and
Christians, priests and small children; nation after nation prostrating
itself and arising to join the chant—"the differing world's agreeing
sacrifice." Yes; it was Praise that made men brothers; praise, the
creature's first and last act of homage to his Creator; praise that made
him kin with the angels. Praise had lifted this tower; had expressed
itself in its soaring pinnacles; and he for the moment was incorporate
with the tower and part of its builder's purpose. "Lord, make men as
towers!"—he remembered his father's prayer in the field by Tewkesbury;
and at last he understood. "All towers carry a lamp of some kind"—why,
of course they did. He looked about him. The small chorister's face was
glowing—

     _Triune Deus, hominum
     Salutis auctor optime,
     Immensum hoc mysterium
     Ovante lingua canimus!_

Silence—and then with a shout the tunable bells broke forth, rocking
the tower. Someone seized Taffy's college-cap and sent it spinning
over the battlements. Caps? For a second or two they darkened the sky
like a flock of birds. A few gowns followed, expanding as they dropped,
like clumsy parachutes. The company—all but a few severe dons and their
friends—tumbled laughing down the ladder, down the winding stair, and
out into sunshine. The world was pagan after all.

       *       *       *       *       *

At breakfast Taffy found a letter on his table, addressed in his
mother's hand. As a rule she wrote twice a week, and this was not one of
the usual days for hearing from her. But nothing was too good to happen
that morning. He snatched up the letter and broke the seal.

"My dearest boy," it ran, "I want you home at once to consult with me.
Something has happened (forgive me, dear, for not preparing you; but
the blow fell on me yesterday so suddenly)—something which makes it
doubtful, and more than doubtful, that you can continue at Oxford. And
something else _they say_ has happened which I will never believe in
unless I hear it from my boy's lips. I have this comfort, at any rate,
that he will never tell me a falsehood. This is a matter which cannot
be explained by letter, and cannot wait until the end of term. Come home
quickly, dear; for until you are here I can have no peace of mind."

So once again Taffy travelled homeward by the night mail.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mother, it's a lie!"

Taffy's face was hot, but he looked straight into his mother's eyes.
She, too, was rosy-red, being ever a shamefast woman. And to speak of
these things to her own boy—

"Thank God!" she murmured, and her fingers gripped the arms of her chair.

"It's a lie! Where is the girl?"

"She is in the workhouse. I don't know who spread it, or how many have
heard. But Honoria believes it."

"Honoria! She cannot—" He came to a sudden halt. "But, mother, even
supposing Honoria believes it, I don't see—"

He was looking straight at her. Her eyes sank. Light began to break in
on him.

"Mother!"

Humility did not look up.

"Mother! Don't tell me that she—that Honoria—"

"She made us promise—your father and me.... God knows it did no more
than repay what your father had suffered.... Your future was everything
to us...."

"And I have been maintained at Oxford by her money," he said, pausing
in his bitterness on every word.

"Not by that only, Taffy! There was your scholarship ... and it was true
about my savings on the lace-work...."

But he brushed her feeble explanations away with a little gesture of
impatience. "Oh, why, mother? Oh, why?"

She heard him groan and stretched out her arms.

"Taffy, forgive me—forgive us! We did wrongly, I see—I see it as plain
now as you. But we did it for your sake."

"You should have told me. I was not a child. Yes, yes, you should have
told me."

Yes; there lay the truth. They had treated him as a child when he was
no longer a child. They had swathed him round with love, forgetting
that boys grow and demand to see with their own eyes and walk on their
own feet. To every mother of sons there comes sooner or later the sharp
lesson which came to Humility that morning; and few can find any defence
but that which Humility stammered, sitting in her chair and gazing
piteously up at the tall youth confronting her: "I did it for your
sake." Be pitiful, O accusing sons, in that hour! For, terrible as your
case may be against them, your mothers are speaking the simple truth.

Taffy took her hand "The money must be paid back, every penny of it."

"Yes, dear."

"How much?"

Humility kept a small account-book in the work-box beside her. She
opened the pages, but, seeing his outstretched hand, gave it obediently
to Taffy, who took it to the window.

"Almost two hundred pounds." He knit his brows and began to drum with
his fingers on the window-pane. "And we must put the interest at five
per cent.... With my first in moderations I might find some post as an
usher in a small school.... There's an agency which puts you in the way
of such things; I must look up the address.... We will leave this house,
of course."

"Must we?"

"Why, of course, we must. We are living here by _her_ favor. A cottage
will do—only it must have four rooms, because of grandmother.... I will
step over and talk with Mendarva. He may be able to give me a job. It
will keep me going, at any rate, until I hear from the agency."

"You forget that I have over forty pounds a year—or, rather, mother has.
The capital came from the sale of her farm, years ago."

"Did it?" said Taffy, grimly. "You forget that I have never been told.
Well, that's good, so far as it goes. But now I'll step over and see
Mendarva. If only I could catch this cowardly lie somewhere, on my way!"

He kissed his mother, caught up his cap, and flung out of the house.
The sea-breeze came humming across the sandhills. He opened his lungs
to it, and it was wine to his blood; he felt fit and strong enough to
slay dragons. "But who could the liar be? Not Lizzie herself, surely?
Not—"

He pulled up short, in a hollow of the towans.

"Not—George?"

Treachery is a hideous thing, and to youth so incomprehensibly hideous
that it darkens the sun. Yet every trusting man must be betrayed. That
was one of the lessons of Christ's life on earth. It is the last and
severest test; it kills many, morally, and no man who has once met and
looked it in the face departs the same man, though he may be a stronger
one.

"Not _George_?"

Taffy stood there so still that the rabbits crept out and, catching
sight of him, paused in the mouths of their burrows. When at length he
moved on, it was to take, not the path which wound inland to Mendarva's,
but the one which led straight over the higher moors to Carwithiel.

It was between one and two o'clock when he reached the house and asked
to see Mr. or Mrs. George Vyell. They were not at home, the footman
said; had left for Falmouth, the evening before, to join some friends
on a yachting cruise. Sir Harry was at home; was, indeed, lunching at
that moment; but would no doubt be pleased to see Mr. Raymond.

Sir Harry had finished his lunch and sat sipping his claret and tossing
scraps of biscuit to the dogs.

"Hullo, Raymond!—thought you were in Oxford. Sit down, my boy; delighted
to see you. Thomas, a knife and fork for Mr. Raymond. The cutlets are
cold, I'm afraid, but I can recommend the cold saddle, and the ham—it's
a York ham. Go to the sideboard and forage for yourself. I wanted
company. My boy and Honoria are at Falmouth, yachting, and have left me
alone. What, you won't eat? A glass of claret then, at any rate."

"To tell the truth, Sir Harry," Taffy began, awkwardly, "I've come on
a disagreeable business."

Sir Harry's face fell. He hated disagreeable business. He flipped a
piece of biscuit at his spaniel's nose and sat back, crossing his legs.

"Won't it keep?"

"To me it's important."

"Oh, fire away then; only help yourself to the claret first."

"A girl—Lizzie Pezzack, living over at Langona—has had a child born—"

"Stop a moment. Do I know her?—Ah, to be sure—daughter of old Pezzack,
the light-keeper—a brown-colored girl with her hair over her eyes. Well,
I'm not surprised. Wants money, I suppose? Who's the father?"

"I don't know."

"Well, but—damn it all!—somebody knows." Sir Harry reached for the
bottle and refilled his glass.

"The one thing I know is that Honoria—Mrs. George, I mean—has heard
about it, and suspects me."

Sir Harry lifted his glass and glanced at him over the rim. "That's the
devil. Does she, now?" He sipped. "She hasn't been herself for a day or
two—this explains it. I thought it was change of air she wanted. She's
in the deuce of a rage, you bet."

"She is," said Taffy, grimly.

"There's no prude like your young married woman. But it'll blow over,
my boy. My advice to you is to keep out of the way for a while."

"But—but it's a lie!" broke in the indignant Taffy. "As far as I am
concerned there's not a grain of truth in it!"

"Oh—I beg your pardon, I'm sure." Here Honoria's terrier (the one
which George had bought for her at Plymouth) interrupted by begging
for a biscuit, and Sir Harry balanced one carefully on its nose. "On
trust—good dog! What does the girl say herself?"

"I don't know. I've not seen her."

"Then, my dear fellow—it's awkward, I admit—but I'm dashed if I see what
you expect me to do." The baronet pulled out a handkerchief and began
flicking the crumbs off his knees.

Taffy watched him for a minute in silence. He was asking himself why
he had come. Well, he had come in a hot fit of indignation, meaning to
face Honoria and force her to take back the insult of her suspicion.
But after all—suppose George were at the bottom of it? Clearly Sir Harry
knew nothing, and in any case could not be asked to expose his own son.
And Honoria? Let be that she would never believe—that he had no proof,
no evidence even—this were a pretty way of beginning to discharge his
debt to her! The terrier thrust a cold muzzle against his hand. The room
was very still. Sir Harry poured out another glassful and held out the
decanter. "Come, you must drink; I insist!"

Taffy looked up. "Thank you, I will."

He could now and with a clear conscience. In those quiet moments he
had taken the great resolution. The debt should be paid back, and with
interest; not at five per cent., but at a rate beyond the creditor's
power of reckoning. For the interest to be guarded for her should be
her continued belief in the man she loved. Yes, _but if George were
innocent_? Why, then, the sacrifice would be idle; that was all.

He swallowed the wine, and stood up.

"Must you be going? I wanted a chat with you about Oxford," grumbled
Sir Harry; but noting the lad's face, how white and drawn it was, he
relented and put a hand on his shoulder. "Don't take it too seriously,
my boy. It'll blow over—it'll blow over. Honoria likes you, I know.
We'll see what the trollop says; and if I get a chance of putting in a
good word, you may depend on me."

He walked with Taffy to the door—good, easy man—and waved a hand from
the porch. On the whole he was rather glad than not to see his young
friend's back.

       *       *       *       *       *

From his smithy window Mendarva spied Taffy coming along the road, and
stepped out on the green to shake hands with him.

"Pleased to see your face, my son! You'll excuse my not askin' 'ee
inside; but the fact is"—he jerked his thumb toward the smithy—"we've
a-got our troubles in there."

It came on our youth with something of a shock, that the world had room
for any trouble beside his own.

"'Tis the Dane. He went over to Truro yesterday to the wrastlin', an'
got thrawed. I tell'n there's no need to be shamed. 'Twas Luke the
Wendron fella did it—in the treble play—inside lock backward, and as
pretty a chip as ever I see." Mendarva began to illustrate it with foot
and ankle, but checked himself and glanced nervously over his shoulder.
"Isn' lookin', I hope? He's in a terrible pore about it. Won't trust
hissel' to spake and don't want to see nobody. But, as I tell'n, there's
no need to be shamed; the fella took the belt in the las' round and
turned his man over like a tab. He's a proper angletwitch, that Wendron
fella. Stank 'pon en both ends, and he'll rise up in the middle and
look at 'ee. There was no one a patch on en but the Dane; and I'll back
the Dane next time they clinch. 'Tis a nuisance, though, to have'n like
this—with a big job coming on, too, over to the light-house."

Taffy looked steadily at the smith. "What's doing at the light-house?"

"Ha'n't 'ee heerd?" Mendarva began a long tale, the sum of which was
that the light-house had begun of late to show signs of age, to rock at
times in an ominous manner. The Trinity House surveyor had been down,
and reported, and Mendarva had the contract for some immediate repairs.
"But 'tis patching an old kettle, my son. The foundations be clamped
down to the rock, and the clamps have worked loose. The whole thing'll
have to come down in the end; you mark my words."

"But, these repairs?" Taffy interrupted. "You'll be wanting hands."

"Why, o' course."

"And a foreman—a clerk of the works—"

       *       *       *       *       *

While Mendarva was telling his tale, over a hill two miles to the
westward a small donkey-cart crawled for a minute against the skyline
and disappeared beyond the ridge which hid the towans. An old man
trudged at the donkey's head; and a young woman sat in the cart with a
bundle in her arms.

The old man trudged along so deep in thought that when the donkey
without rhyme or reason came to a halt, half-way down the hill, he, too,
halted, and stood pulling a wisp of gray side-whiskers.

"Look here," he said. "You ent goin' to tell? That's your las' word, is
it?"

The young woman looked down on the bundle and nodded her head.

"There, that'll do. If you weant, you weant; I've tek'n 'ee back, an' us
must fit and make the best o't. The cheeld'll never be fit for much—born
lame like that. But 'twas to be, I s'pose."

Lizzie sat dumb, but hugged the bundle closer.

"'Tis like a judgment. If your mother'd been spared, 'twudn' have
happened. But 'twas to be, I s'pose. The Lord's ways be past findin'
out."

He woke up and struck the donkey across the rump.

"Gwan you! Gee up! What d'ee mean by stoppin' like that?"


XXIII

THE SERVICE OF THE LAMP

The Chief Engineer of the Trinity House was a man of few words. He
and Taffy had spent the afternoon clambering about the rocks below the
light-house, peering into its foundations. Here and there, where weed
coated the rocks and made foothold slippery, he took the hand which
Taffy held out. Now and then he paused for a pinch of snuff. The round
of inspection finished, he took an extraordinarily long pinch.

"What's _your_ opinion?" he asked, cocking his head on one side and
examining the young man much as he had examined the light-house. "You
have one, I suppose."

"Yes, sir; but of course it doesn't count for much."

"I asked for it."

"Well, then, I think, sir, we have wasted a year's work; and if we go
on tinkering, we shall waste more."

"Pull it down and rebuild, you say?"

"Yes, sir; but not on the same rock."

"Why?"

"This rock was ill-chosen. You see, sir, just here a ridge of elvan
crops up through the slate; the rock, out yonder, is good elvan,
and that is why the sea has made an island of it, wearing away the
softer stuff inshore. The mischief here lies in the rock, not in the
light-house."

"The sea has weakened our base?"

"Partly; but the light-house has done more. In a strong gale the
foundations begin to work, and in the chafing the bed of rock gets the
worst of it."

"What about concrete?"

"You might fill up the sockets with concrete; but I doubt, sir, if
the case would hold for any time. The rock is a mere shell in places,
especially on the northwestern side."

"H'm. You were at Oxford for a time, were you not?"

"Yes, sir," Taffy answered, wondering.

"I've heard about you. Where do you live?"

Taffy pointed to the last of a line of three whitewashed cottages behind
the light-house.

"Alone?"

"No, sir; with my mother and my grandmother. She is an invalid."

"I wonder if your mother would be kind enough to offer me a cup of tea?"

In the small kitchen, on the walls of which, and even on the dresser,
Taffy's books fought for room with Humility's plates and tin-ware,
the Chief Engineer proved to be a most courteous old gentleman. Toward
Humility he bore himself with an antique politeness which flattered her
considerably. And when he praised her tea, she almost forgave him for
his detestable habit of snuff-taking.

He had heard something (it appeared) from the President of Taffy's
college, and also from — (he named Taffy's old friend in the velvet
college-cap). In later days Taffy maintained not only that every man
must try to stand alone, but that he ought to try the harder because of
its impossibility; for in fact it was impossible to escape from men's
helpfulness. And though his work lay in lonely places where in the end
fame came out to seek him, he remained the same boy who, waking in the
dark, had heard the bugles speaking comfort.

As a matter of fact his college had generously offered him a chance,
which would have cost him nothing or next to nothing, of continuing to
read for his degree. But he had chosen his line, and against Humility's
entreaties he stuck to it. The Chief Engineer took a ceremonious
leave. He had to drive back to his hotel, and Taffy escorted him to his
carriage.

"I shall run over again to-morrow," he said at parting; "and we'll
have a look at that island rock." He was driven off, secretly a little
puzzled.

Well, it puzzled Taffy at times why he should be working here with
Mendarva's men for twenty shillings a week (it had been eighteen to
begin with) when he might be reading for his degree and a fellowship.
Yet in his heart he knew the reason. _That_ would be building, after
all, on the foundations which Honoria had laid.

Pride had helped chance to bring him here, to the very spot where
Lizzie Pezzack lived. He met her daily, and several times a day. She,
and his mother and grandmother, were all the womanfolk in the hamlet—if
three cottages deserve that name. In the first cottage Lizzie lived
with her father, who was chief lighthouse-man, and her crippled child;
two under-keepers, unmarried men, managed together in the second; and
this accident allowed Taffy to rent the third from the Brethren of
the Trinity House and live close to his daily work. Unless brought by
business, no one visited that windy peninsula; no one passed within
sight of it; no tree grew upon it or could be seen from it. At daybreak
Taffy's workmen came trudging along the track where the short turf and
gentians grew between the wheel-ruts; and in the evening went trudging
back, the level sun flashing on their empty dinner-cans. The eight souls
left behind had one common gospel—Cleanliness. Very little dust found
its way thither; but the salt, spray-laden air kept them constantly
polishing window-panes and brass-work. To wash, to scour, to polish,
grew into the one absorbing business of life. They had no gossip; even
in their own dwellings they spoke but little; their speech shrank and
dwindled away in the continuous roar of the sea. But from morning to
night, mechanically, they washed and scoured and polished. Paper was not
whiter than the deal table and dresser which Humility scrubbed daily
with soap and water, and once a week with lemon-juice as well. Never
was cleaner linen to sight and smell than that which she pegged out by
the furze-brake on the ridge. All the life of the small colony, though
lonely, grew wholesome as it was simple of purpose in cottages thus
sweetened and kept sweet by lime-wash and the salt wind.

And through it moved the forlorn figure of Lizzie Pezzack's child.
Somehow Lizzie had taught the boy to walk, with the help of a crutch,
as early as most children; but the wind made cruel sport with his first
efforts in the open, knocking the crutch from under him at every third
step, and laying him flat. The child had pluck, however, and when autumn
came round again, could face a fairly stiff breeze.

It was about this time that word came of the Trinity Board's intention
to replace the old light-house with one upon the outer rock. For the
Chief Engineer had visited it and decided that Taffy was right. To be
sure no mention was made of Taffy in his report; but the great man took
the first opportunity to offer him the post of foreman of the works,
so there was certainly nothing to be grumbled at. The work did not
actually start until the following spring; for the rock, to receive
the foundations, had to be bored some feet below high-water level, and
this could only be attempted on calm days or when a southerly wind blew
from the high land well over the workmen's heads, leaving the inshore
water smooth. On such days Taffy, looking up from his work, would catch
sight of a small figure on the cliff-top leaning aslant to the wind and
watching.

For the child was adventurous and took no account of his lameness.
Perhaps if he thought of it at all, having no chance to compare
himself with other children, he accepted his lameness as a condition of
childhood—something he would grow out of. His mother could not keep him
indoors; he fidgetted continually. But he would sit or stand quiet by
the hour on the cliff-top, watching the men as they drilled and fixed
the dynamite, and waiting for the bang of it. Best of all, however,
were the days when his grandfather allowed him inside the lighthouse,
to clamber about the staircase and ladders, to watch the oiling and
trimming of the great lantern and the ships moving slowly on the
horizon. He asked a thousand questions about them.

"I think," said he, one day before he was three years old, "that my
father is in one of those ships."

"Bless the child!" exclaimed old Pezzack. "Who says you have a father?"

"_Everybody_ has a father. Dicky Tregenza has one; they both work down
at the rock. I asked Dicky and he told me."

"Told 'ee what?"

"That everybody has a father. I asked him if mine was out in one of
those ships, and he said very likely. I asked mother, too, but she was
washing-up and wouldn't listen."

Old Pezzack regarded the child grimly. "'Twas to be, I s'pose," he
muttered.

Lizzie Pezzack had never set foot inside the Raymonds' cottage.
Humility, gentle soul as she was, could on some points be as unchristian
as other women. As time went on, it seemed that not a soul beside
herself and Taffy knew of Honoria's suspicion. She even doubted, and
Taffy doubted, too, if Lizzie herself knew such an accusation had
been made. Certainly never by word or look had Lizzie hinted at it.
Yet Humility could not find it in her heart to forgive her. "She may
be innocent," was the thought; "but through her came the injury to my
son." Taffy by this time had no doubt at all. It was George who poisoned
Honoria's ear; George's shame and Honoria's pride would explain why the
whisper had never gone further; and nothing else would explain.

Did his mother guess this? He believed so at times; but they never spoke
of it.

The lame child was often in the Raymonds' kitchen. Lizzie did not forbid
or resent this. And he liked Humility and would talk to her at length
while he nibbled one of her dripping-cakes. "People don't tell the
truth," he observed, sagely, on one of these occasions. (He pronounced
it "troof," by the way.) "_I_ know why we live here. It's because we're
near the sea. My father's on the sea somewhere, looking for us; and
grandfather lights the lamp every night to tell him where we are. One
night he'll see it and bring his ship in and take us all off together."

"Who told you all this?"

"Nobody. People won't tell me nothing (nofing). I has to make it out in
my head."

At times, when his small limbs grew weary (though he never acknowledged
this), he would stretch himself on the short turf of the headland and
lie staring up at the white gulls. No one ever came near enough to
surprise the look which then crept over the child's face. But Taffy,
passing him at a distance, remembered another small boy, and shivered
to remember and compare—

     A boy's will is the wind's will
     And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.

—but how, when the boy is a cripple?

One afternoon he was stooping to inspect an obstinate piece of boring
when the man at his elbow said:

"Hullo! edn' that young Joey Pezzack in difficulties up there? Blest if
the cheeld won't break his neck wan of these days!"

Taffy caught up a coil of rope, sprang into a boat, and pushed across to
land. "Don't move!" he shouted. At the foot of the cliff he picked up
Joey's crutch, and ran at full speed up the path worn by the workmen.
This led him round to the verge, ten feet above the ledge where the
child clung white and silent. He looped the rope in a running noose and
lowered it.

"Slip this under your arms. Can you manage, or shall I come down? I'll
come if you're hurt."

"I've twisted my foot. It's all right, now you're come," said the little
man, bravely; and slid the rope round himself in the most businesslike
way.

"The grass was slipper—" he began, as soon as his feet touched firm
earth; and with that he broke down and fell to sobbing in Taffy's arms.

Taffy carried him—a featherweight—to the cottage where Lizzie stood by
her table washing up. She saw them at the gate and came running out.

"It's all right. He slipped—out on the cliff. Nothing more than a
scratch or two and perhaps a sprained ankle."

He watched while she set Joey in a chair and began to pull off his
stockings. He had never seen the child's foot naked. She turned
suddenly, caught him looking, and pulled the stocking back over the
deformity.

"Have you heard?" she asked.

"What?"

"_She_ has a boy! Ah!" she laughed, harshly, "I thought that would hurt
you. Well, you _have_ been a silly!"

"I don't think I understand."

"You don't think you understand!" she mimicked. "And you're not fond of
her, eh? Never were fond of her, eh? You silly—to let him take her, and
never tell!"

"Tell?"

She faced him, hardening her gaze. "Yes, tell—" She nodded slowly; while
Joey, unobserved by either, looked up with wide, round eyes.

"Men don't fight like that." The words were out before it struck him
that one man had, almost certainly, fought like that. Her face, however,
told him nothing. She could not know. "_You_ have never told," he added.

"Because—" she began, but could not tell him the whole truth. And yet
what she said was true. "Because you would not let me," she muttered.

"In the churchyard, you mean—on her wedding-day?"

"Before that."

"But before that I never guessed."

"All the same, I knew what you were. You wouldn't have let me. It came
to the same thing. And if I had told—Oh, you make it hard for me!" she
wailed.

He stared at her, understanding this only—that somehow he could control
her will.

"I will never let you tell," he said, gravely.

"I hate her!"

"You shall not tell."

"Listen"—she drew close and touched his arm. "He never cared for her;
it's not his way to care. She cares for him now, I dessay—not as she
might have cared for you—but she's his wife, and some women are like
that. There's her pride, anyway. Suppose—suppose he came back to me?"

"If I caught him—" Taffy began; but the poor child, who for two minutes
had been twisting his face heroically, interrupted with a wail:

"Oh, mother! my foot—it hurts so!"

(To be continued.)



ROMANCE


     Say that the days of the dark are dawning,
       Say that we come to the middle years,
     The workday week that hath no bright morning,
       The life that is dulled of its hopes and fears—
     But, the cooled blood still and the tired heart scorning,
       The soul is in eyes that are dry of tears.

     Quiet thy heart, since others are loving;
       Still thy soul, for the sky is vast;
     Rest thy limbs from the stale earth roving,
       Plow in the furrow thy lot is cast:
     So, when the Spring all the earth is moving,
       A flower may fall to thy feet at last.

     Charles the King at the block stood biding
       The blow that set him at peace with man,
     Weary of life, of the crowd deriding,
       Worn at his lips his smile so wan—
     Under the floor of the block lay hiding
       Athos and Porthos and d'Artagnan!

     Perhaps;—and so, while the hand still turneth,
       As one's who serves, to his daily chore;
     While she who once walked beside, returneth
       To walk with her hand in thine no more—
     Under thy heart's work-wear there burneth
       The love that is hers for evermore.



SEARCH-LIGHT LETTERS

LETTER TO A POLITICAL OPTIMIST

By Robert Grant


I

I approve of you, for I am an optimist myself in regard to human
affairs, and can conscientiously agree with many of the patriotic
statements concerning the greatness of the American people contained in
your letter. Your letter interested me because it differed so signally
in its point of view from the others which I received at the same
time—the time when I ran for Congress as a Democrat in a hopelessly
Republican district and was defeated. The other letters were gloomy in
tone. They deplored the degeneracy of our political institutions, and
argued from the circumstance that the voters of my district preferred
"a hack politician" and "blatant demagogue" to "an educated philosopher"
(the epithets are not mine); that we were going to the dogs as a nation.
The prophecy was flattering to me in my individual capacity, but it
has not served to soil the limpid, sunny flow of my philosophy. I was
gratified, but not convinced. I behold the flag of my country still with
moistened eyes—the eyes of pride, and I continue to bow affably to my
successful rival.

Your suggestion was much nearer the truth. You indicated with pardonable
levity that I was not elected because the other man received more votes.
I smiled at that as an apt statement. You went on to take me to task for
having given the impression in my published account of the political
canvass not merely that I ought to have been elected, but that the
failure to elect me was the sign of a lack of moral and intellectual
fibre in the American people. If I mistake not, you referred to me
farther on in the style of airy persiflage as a "holier than thou,"
a journalistic, scriptural phrase in current use among so-called
patriotic Americans. And then you began to argue: You requested me to
give us time, and called attention to the fact that the English system
of rotten boroughs in vogue fifty years ago was worse than anything
we have to-day. "We are a young and impetuous people," you wrote, "but
there is noble blood in our veins—the blood which inspired the greatness
of Washington and Hamilton and Franklin and Jefferson and Webster and
Abraham Lincoln. Water does not run up hill. Neither do the American
people move backward. Its destiny is to progress and to grow mightier
and mightier. And those who seek to retard our national march by cynical
insinuations and sneers, by scholastic sophistries and philosophical
wimwams, will find themselves inevitably under the wheels of Juggernaut,
the car of republican institutions."

Philosophical wimwams! You sought to wound me in a tender spot. I
forgive you for that, and I like your fervor. Those rotten boroughs have
done yeoman service. They are on the tongue of every American citizen
seeking for excuses for our national shortcomings. But for my dread of
a mixed metaphor I would add that they are moth-eaten and threadbare.

Your letter becomes then a miscellaneous catalogue of our national
prowess. You instance the cotton-gin, the telegraph, the sewing-machine,
and the telephone, and ask me to bear witness that they are the
inventions of free-born Americans. You refer to the heroism and vigor
of the nation during the Civil War, and its mighty growth in prosperity
and population since; to the colleges and academies of learning, to the
hospitals and other monuments of intelligent philanthropy, to the huge
railroad systems, public works, and private plants which have come into
being with mushroom-like growth over the country. You recall the energy,
independence, and conscientious desire for Christian progress among
our citizens, young and old, and, as a new proof of their disinterested
readiness to sacrifice comfort for the sake of principle, you cite the
recent emancipation of Cuba. Your letter closes with a Fourth of July
panegyric on the heroes on land and sea of the war with Spain, followed
by an exclamation point which seems to say, "Mr. Philosopher, put that
in your pipe and smoke it."

I have done so, and admit that there is a great deal to be proud of in
the Olla Podrida of exploits and virtues which you have set before me.
Far be it from me to question the greatness and capacity of your and
my countrymen. But while my heart throbs agreeably from the thrill of
sincere patriotism, I venture to remind you that cotton-gins, academies
of learning, and first-class battle-ships have little to do with the
matter in question. Your mode of procedure reminds me of the plea I have
heard used to obtain partners for a homely girl—that she is good to
her mother. I notice that you include our political sanctity by a few
sonorous phrases in the dazzling compendium of national success, but I
also notice that you do not condescend to details. That is what I intend
to do, philosophically yet firmly.

To begin with, I am not willing to admit that I was piqued by my failure
to be elected to Congress. I did not expect to succeed, and my tone was,
it seems to me, blandly resigned and even rather grateful than otherwise
that such a serious honor had been thrust upon me. Success would have
postponed indefinitely the trip to Japan on which my wife, Josephine,
had set her heart. In short, I supposed that I had concealed alike grief
and jubilation, and taken the result in a purely philosophic spirit. It
seems though that you were able to read between the lines—that is what
you state—and to discern my condescending tone and lack of faith in
the desire and intention of the plain people of these United States to
select competent political representatives. I can assure you that I have
arrived at no such dire state of mind, and I should be sorry to come
to that conclusion; but, though a philosopher, and hence, politically
speaking, a worm, I have a proper spirit of my own and beg to inform you
that the desire and intention of our fellow-countrymen, whether plain
or otherwise, so to do is, judging by their behavior, open to grave
question. So you see I stand at bay almost where you supposed, and there
is a definite issue between us. Judging by their behavior, remember.
Judging by their words, butter would not melt in their mouths. I merely
wish to call your attention to a few notorious facts in defence of my
attitude of suspicion.

     (_Note._—"Josephine," said I to my wife at this point, "please
     enumerate the prominent elective offices in the gift of the
     American people."

     My wife rose and after a courtesy, which was mock deferential,
     proceeded to recite, with the glib fluency of a school-girl,
     the following list: "Please, sir,

               President.
               Senators of the United States (elected by the State
                 legislatures).
               Representatives of the United States.
               State Senators.
               State Assemblymen or Representatives.
               Aldermen.
               Members of the City Council.
               Members of the School Committee."

     "Correct, Josephine. I pride myself that, thanks to my
     prodding, you are beginning to acquire some rudimentary
     knowledge concerning the institutions of your country. Thanks
     to me and Professor Bryce. Before Professor Bryce wrote 'The
     American Commonwealth,' American women seemed to care little
     to know anything about our political system. They studied more
     or less about the systems of other countries, but displayed a
     profound ignorance concerning our own form of government. But
     after an Englishman had published a book on the subject, and
     made manifest to them that our institutions were reasonably
     worthy of attention, considerable improvement has been
     noticeable. But I will say that few women are as well posted
     as you, Josephine."

     She made another mock deferential courtesy. "Thank you, my
     lord and master; and lest you have not made it sufficiently
     clear that my superiority in this respect is due to your—your
     nagging, I mention again that you are chiefly responsible for
     it. It bores me, but I submit to it."

     "Continue then your docility so far as to write the names
     which you have just recited on separate slips of paper and
     put them in a proper receptacle. Then I will draw one as a
     preliminary step in the political drama which I intend to
     present for the edification of our correspondent."

     Josephine did as she was bid, and in the process, by way of
     showing that she was not such a martyr as she would have the
     world believe, remarked, "If you had really been elected,
     Fred, I think I might have made a valuable political ally.
     What I find tedious about politics is that they're not
     practical—that is for me. If you were in Congress now, I
     should make a point of having everything political at the tip
     of my tongue."

     "Curiously enough, my dear, I am just going to give an
     object-lesson in practical politics, and you as well as our
     young friend may be able to learn wisdom from it. Now for
     a blind choice!" I added, putting my hand into the work-bag
     which she held out.

     "Aldermen!" I announced after scrutinizing the slip, which I
     had drawn. Josephine's nose went up a trifle.

     "A very fortunate and comprehensive selection," I asserted.
     "The Alderman and the influences which operate upon and around
     him lie at the root of American practical politics. And from
     a careful study of the root you will be able to decide how
     genuinely healthy and free from taint must be the tree—the
     tree which bears such ornamental flowers as Presidents and
     United States Senators, gorgeous blooms of apparent dignity
     and perfume.")

This being a drama, my young patriot, I wish to introduce you to
the stage and the principal characters. The stage is any city in the
United States of three hundred thousand or more inhabitants. It would
be invidious for me to mention names where anyone would answer to the
requirements. Some may be worse than others, but all are bad enough. A
bold and pessimistic beginning, is it not, my optimistic friend?

And now for the company. This drama differs from most dramatic
productions in that it makes demands upon a large number of actors. To
produce it properly on the theatrical stage would bankrupt any manager
unless he were subsidized heavily from the revenues of the twenty
leading villains. The cast includes besides twenty leading villains,
twelve low comedians, no hero, no heroine (except, incidentally,
Josephine); eight newspaper editors; ten thousand easy-going
second-class villains; ten thousand patriotic, conscientious, and
enlightened citizens, including a sprinkling of ardent reformers;
twenty-five thousand zealous, hide-bound partisans; fifty thousand
respectable, well-intentioned, tolerably ignorant citizens who vote, but
are too busy with their own affairs to pay attention to politics, and
as a consequence generally vote the party ticket, or vote to please a
"friend;" ten thousand superior, self-centred souls who neglect to vote
and despise politics anyway, among them poets, artists, scientists, some
men of leisure, and travellers; ten thousand enemies of social order
such as gamblers, thieves, keepers of dives, drunkards, and toughs; and
your philosopher.

A very large stock company. I will leave the precise arithmetic to you.
I wish merely to indicate the variegated composition of the average
political constituency, and to let you perceive that the piece which is
being performed is no parlor comedy. It is written in dead earnest, and
it seems to me that the twenty leading villains, though smooth and in
some instances aristocratic appearing individuals, are among the most
dangerous characters in the history of this or any other stage. But
before I refer to them more particularly I will make you acquainted with
our twelve low comedians—the Board of Aldermen.

It is probably a surprise to you and to Josephine that the Aldermen
are not the villains. Everything is comparative in this world, and,
though I might have made them villains without injustice to such virtues
as they possess, I should have been at a loss how to stigmatize the
real promoters of the villainy. And after all there is an element of
grotesque comedy about the character of Aldermen in a large American
city. The indecency of the situation is so unblushing, and the public
is so helpless, that the performers remind one in their good-natured
antics of the thieves in "Fra Diavolo;" they get bolder and bolder and
now barely take the trouble to wear the mask of respectability.

Have I written "thieves?" Patriotic Americans look askance at such
full-blooded expressions. They prefer ambiguity, and a less harsh
phraseology—"slight irregularities," "business misfortunes," "commercial
usages," "professional services," "campaign expenses," "lack of fine
sensibilities," "unauthenticated rumors." There are fifty ways of
letting one's fellow-citizens down easily in the public prints and in
private conversation. This is a charitable age, and the word thief has
become unfamiliar, except as applied to rogues who enter houses as a
trade. The community and the newspapers are chary of applying it to
folk who steal covertly but steadily and largely as an increment of
municipal office. It is inconvenient to hurt the feelings of public
servants, especially when one may have voted for them from carelessness
or ignorance.

Here is a list of the twelve low comedians for your inspection:

     Peter Lynch, no occupation,
     James Griffin, stevedore,
     William H. Bird, real estate,
     John S. Maloney, saloon-keeper,
     David H. Barker, carpenter,
     Jeremiah Dolan, no occupation,
     Patrick K. Higgins, junk dealer,
     Joseph Heffernan, liquors,
     William T. Moore, apothecary,
     James O. Frost, paints and oils,
     Michael O'Rourke, tailor,
     John P. Driscoll, lawyer.

You will be surprised by my first statement regarding them, I dare
say. Four of them, Peter Lynch, James Griffin, Jeremiah Dolan, and
Michael O'Rourke neither drink nor smoke. Jeremiah Dolan chews, but
the three others do not use tobacco in any form. They are patterns
of Sunday-school virtue in these respects. This was a very surprising
discovery to one of the minor characters in our drama—to two of them
in fact—Mr. Arthur Langdon Waterhouse and his father, James Langdon
Waterhouse, Esq. The young man, who had just returned from Europe
with the idea of becoming United States Senator and who expressed a
willingness to serve as a Reform Alderman while waiting, announced the
discovery to his parent shortly before election with a mystified air.

"Do you know," said he to the old gentleman, who, by the way, though
he has denounced every person and every measure in connection with our
politics for forty years, was secretly pleased at his son's senatorial
aspirations, "do you know that someone told me to-day that four of
the very worst of those fellows have never drunk a drop of liquor,
nor smoked a pipe of tobacco in their lives. Isn't it a curious
circumstance? I supposed they were intoxicated most of the time."

You will notice also that Peter Lynch and Jeremiah Dolan have no
occupation. Each of them has been connected in some capacity with the
City Government for nearly twenty years, and they are persons of great
experience. They have more than once near election time been amiably
referred to in the press as "valuable public servants," and it must
be admitted that they are efficient in their way. Certainly, they know
the red tape of City Hall from A to Z, and understand how to block or
forward any measure. The salary of Alderman is not large—certainly
not large enough to satisfy indefinitely such capable men as they,
and yet they continue to appear year after year at the same old stand.
Moreover, they resist vigorously every effort to dislodge them, whether
proceeding from political opponents or envious rivals of their own
party. A philosopher like myself, who is, politically speaking, a worm,
is expected to believe that valuable public servants retain office for
the honor of the thing; but even a philosopher becomes suspicious of a
patriot who has no occupation.

Next in importance are Hon. William H. Bird and Hon. John P. Driscoll.
It is a well-known axiom of popular government that citizens are called
from the plough or counting-room to public office by the urgent request
of their friends and neighbors. As a fact, this takes place two or
three times in a century. Most aspirants for office go through the form
of having a letter from their friends and neighbors published in the
newspapers, but only the very guileless portion of the public do not
understand that the candidates in these cases suggest themselves. It
is sometimes done, delicately, as, for instance, in the case of young
Arthur Langdon Waterhouse, of whom I was writing just now. He let a
close friend intimate to the ward committee that he would like to run
for Alderman, and that in consideration thereof his father would be
willing to subscribe $2,000 to the party campaign fund. It seems to a
philosopher that a patriotic people should either re-edit its political
axioms or live up to them.

Now Hon. William H. Bird and Hon. John P. Driscoll never go through
the ceremony of being called from the plough—in their case the ward
bar-room. They announce six months in advance that they wish something,
and they state clearly what. They are perpetual candidates for, or
incumbents of, office, and to be elected or defeated annually costs each
of them from two to four thousand dollars, according to circumstances.
One of them has been in the Assembly, the Governor's Council, and
in both branches of the City Government; the other a member of the
Assembly, a State Senator, and an Alderman, and both of them are now
glad to be Aldermen once more after a desperate Kilkenny contest for the
nomination. They are called Honorable by the reporters; and philosophers
and other students of newspapers are constantly informed that Hon.
William H. Bird has done this, and Hon. John P. Driscoll said that.

These four are the big men of the Board. The others are smaller fry;
ambitious and imitative, but less experienced and smooth and audacious.
Yet the four have their virtues, too. It is safe to state that no one of
them would take anything beyond his reach. Moreover, if you, a patriot,
or I, a philosopher, were to find himself alone in a room with one of
them and had five thousand dollars in bills in his pocket and the fact
were known to him, he would make no effort to possess himself of the
money. We should be absolutely safe from assault or sleight of hand.
Whoever would maintain the opposite does not appreciate the honesty of
the American people. If, on the other hand, under similar circumstances,
the right man were to place an envelope containing one thousand dollars
in bills on the table and saunter to the window to admire the view,
the packet would disappear before he returned to his seat and neither
party would be able to remember that it ever was there. I do not intend
to intimate that this is the precise method of procedure; I am merely
explaining that our comedians have not the harsh habits of old-fashioned
highwaymen.

Then again, there are people so fatuous as to believe that Aldermen
are accustomed to help themselves out of the city treasury. That is a
foolish fiction, for no Alderman could. The City Hall is too bulky to
remove, and all appropriations of the public money are made by draft
and have to be accounted for. If any member of the Board were to make
a descent on the funds in the safe, he would be arrested as a lunatic
and sent to an insane asylum.

As for the other eight low comedians, it happens in this particular
drama that I would be unwilling to make an affidavit as to the absolute
integrity of any one of them. But there are apt to be two or even three
completely honest members of these august bodies, and two or three more
who are pretty honest. A pretty honest Alderman is like a pretty good
egg. A pretty honest Alderman would be incapable of touching an envelope
containing $1,000, or charging one hundred in return for his support
to a petition for a bay-window; but if he were in the paint and oil
business or the lumber trade, or interested in hay and oats, it would be
safe to assume that any department of the City Government which did not
give his firm directly or indirectly a part of its trade would receive
no aldermanic favors at his hands. Then again, a pretty honest Alderman
would allow a friend to sell a spavined horse to the city.


II

Having hinted gently at the leading characteristics of the twelve
low comedians, I am ready now to make you acquainted with the twenty
leading villains. There is something grimly humorous in the spectacle
of a dozen genial, able-bodied, non-alcoholic ruffians levying tribute
on a community too self-absorbed or too easy-going or too indifferent
to rid itself of them. I find, on the other hand, something somewhat
pathetic in the spectacle of twenty otherwise reputable citizens and
capitalists driven to villainy by the force of circumstances. To be a
villain against one's will is an unnatural and pitiable situation.

     That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain!

Here is the list:

Thomas Barnstable, President of the People's Heat and Power Company.

William B. Wilcox, General Manager of the North Circuit Traction Company.

David J. Prendergast, Treasurer of the Underground Steam Company.

Porter King, President of the South Valley Railroad Company.

James Plugh, Treasurer of the Star Brewing Concern.

Ex-State Treasurer George Delaney Johnson, Manager of the United Gas
Company.

Willis O. Golightly, Treasurer of the Consolidated Electric Works.

Hon. Samuel Phipps, President of the Sparkling Reservoir Company.

P. Ashton Hall, President of the Rapid Despatch Company.

Ex-Congressman Henry B. Pullen, Manager of the Maguinnis Engine Works.
And so on. I will not weary you with a complete category. It would
contain the names of twelve other gentlemen no less prominent in
connection with quasi-public and large private business corporations.
With them should be associated one thousand easy-going second-class
villains, whose names are not requisite to my argument, but who
from one year to another are obliged, by the exigencies of business
or enterprise, to ask for licenses from the non-alcoholic, genial
comedians, for permission to build a stable, to erect a bay-window, to
peddle goods in the streets, to maintain a coal-hole, to drain into a
sewer, to lay wires underground; in short, to do one or another of the
many everyday things which can be done only by permission of the City
Government. And the pity of it is that they all would rather not be
villains.

     (_Note._—At the suggestion of Josephine I here enter a caveat
     for my and her protection. While I was enumerating the list
     of low comedians she interrupted me to ask if I did not fear
     lest one of them might sand-bag me some dark night on account
     of wounded sensibilities. She laughed, but I saw she was a
     little nervous.

     "I have mentioned no real names," said I.

     "That is true," she said, "but somehow I feel that the real
     ones might be suspicious that they were meant."

     I told her that this was their lookout, and that, besides,
     they were much too secure in the successful performance
     of their comedy to go out of their way to assassinate a
     philosopher. "They would say, Josephine, that a philosopher
     cuts no ice, which is true, and is moreover a serious stigma
     to fasten on any patriotic man or woman." But now again
     she has brought me to book on the score of the feelings
     of the leading villains. She appreciates that we are on
     terms of considerable friendliness with some Presidents
     of corporations, and that though my list contains no real
     names, I may give offence. Perhaps she fears a sort of
     social boycott. Let me satisfy her scruples and do justice
     at the same time by admitting that not every President of
     a quasi-public corporation is a leading villain. Nor every
     Alderman a low comedian. That will let out all my friends.
     But, on the other hand, I ask the attention even of my friends
     to the predicament of Thomas Barnstable, President of the
     People's Heat and Power Company.)

Thomas Barnstable, the leading villain whose case I select for
detailed presentation, has none of the coarser proclivities of David
J. Prendergast, Treasurer of the Underground Steam Company. As regards
David J. Prendergast, I could almost retract my allegation of pity and
assert that he is a villain by premeditation and without compunction.
That is, his method of dealing with the twelve low comedians is, I
am told, conducted on a cold utilitarian basis without struggle of
conscience or effort at self-justification. He says to the modern
highwaymen, "Fix your price and let my bill pass. My time is valuable
and so is yours, and the quicker we come to terms, the better for us
both." What he says behind their backs is not fit for publication;
but he recognizes the existence of the tax just as he recognizes the
existence of the tariff, and he has no time to waste in considering the
effect of either on the higher destinies of the nation.

Thomas Barnstable belongs to another school. He is a successful business
man. In the ordinary meaning of the phrase, he is also a gentleman
and a scholar. His word in private and in business life is as good
as his bond; he respects the rights of the fatherless and the widow,
and he is known favorably in philanthropic and religious circles.
Having recognized the value of certain patents, he has become a large
owner of the stock of the People's Heat and Power Company, and is
the President of the corporation. Hitherto he has had plain sailing,
municipally speaking. That is, the original franchise of the company was
obtained from the city before he became President, and only this year
for the first time has the necessity of asking for further privileges
arisen. Moreover, he finds his corporation confronted by a rival, the
Underground Steam Company.

Now here is a portion of the dialogue which took place five weeks before
election between this highly respectable gentleman and his right-hand
man, Mr. John Dowling, the efficient practical manager of the People's
Company.

"Peter Lynch was here to-day," said Mr. Dowling.

"And who may Peter Lynch be?" was the dignified but unconcerned answer.

"Peter Lynch is Peter Lynch. Don't you know Peter? He's the Alderman
from the fifth district. He has been Alderman for ten years, and so far
as I can see, he is likely to continue to be Alderman for ten more."

"Ah."

"Peter was in good-humor. He was smiling all over."

Mr. Dowling paused, so his superior said, "Oh!" Then realizing that the
manager was still silent, as though expecting a question, he said, "What
did he come for?"

"He wishes us to help him mend his fences. Some of them need repairing.
The wear and tear of political life is severe."

"I see—I see," responded Mr. Barnstable, reflectively, putting his
finger-tips together. "What sort of a man is Peter?"

Mr. Dowling hesitated a moment, merely because he was uncertain how to
deal with such innocence. Having concluded that frankness was the most
businesslike course, he answered, bluffly, "He's an infernal thief. He's
out for the stuff."

"The stuff? I see—I see. Very bad, very bad. It's an outrage that
under our free form of government such men should get a foothold in our
cities. I hope, Dowling, you gave him the cold shoulder, and let him
understand that under no consideration whatever would we contribute one
dollar to his support."

"On the contrary, I gave him a cigar and pumped him."

"Pumped him?"

"I wanted to find out what he knows."

"Dear me. And—er—what does he know?"

"He knows all about our bill, and he says he'd like to support it."

This was a shock, for the bill was supposed to be a secret.

"How did he find out about it?"

"Dreamt it in his sleep, I guess."

"I don't care for his support, I won't have it," said Mr. Barnstable,
bringing his hand down forcibly on his desk to show his earnestness and
indignation. "I wish very much, Mr. Dowling, that you had told him to
leave the office and never show his impudent face here again."

There was a brief silence, during which Mr. Dowling fingered his
watch-chain; then he said, in a quiet tone, "He says that the
Underground Steam Company is going to move heaven and earth to elect
men who will vote to give them a location."

"I trust you let him know that the Underground Steam Company is a stock
jobbing, disreputable concern with no financial status."

"It wasn't necessary for me to tell him that. He knows it. He said he
would prefer to side with us and keep them out of the streets, which
meant of course that he knew we were able to pay the most if we chose.
It seems Prendergast has been at him already."

"Disgusting! They both ought to be in jail."

"Amen. He says he gave Prendergast an evasive answer, and is to see
him again next Tuesday. There's the situation, Mr. Barnstable. I tell
you frankly that Lynch is an important man to keep friendly to our
interests. He is very smart and well posted, and if we allow him to
oppose us, we shall have no end of trouble. He is ready to take the
ground that the streets ought not be dug up, and that a respectable
corporation like ours should not be interfered with. Only he expects to
be looked after in return. I deplore the condition of affairs as much
as you do, but I tell you frankly that he is certain to go over to the
other side and oppose us tooth and nail unless we show ourselves what
he calls friendly to his 'interests.'"

"Then we'll prevent his election. I would subscribe money toward that
myself."

The Manager coughed, by way perhaps of concealing a smile. "That would
not be easy," he said. "And if it could be done, how should we be better
off? Peter Lynch is only one of fifteen or twenty, many of whom are
worse than he. By worse I mean equally unscrupulous and less efficient.
Here, Mr. Barnstable, is a list of the candidates for Aldermen on
both sides. I have been carefully over it and checked off the names
of those most likely to be chosen, and I find that it comprises twelve
out-and-out thieves, five sneak-thieves, as I call them, because they
pilfer only in a small way and pass as pretty honest; four easy-going,
broken-winded incapables, and three perfectly honest men, one of them
thoroughly stupid. Now, if we have to deal with thieves, it is desirable
to deal with those most likely to be of real service. There are four men
on this list who can, if they choose, help us or hurt us materially.
If we get them, they will be able to swing enough votes to control
the situation; if they're against us, our bill will be side-tracked or
defeated and the Underground Steam Company will get its franchise. That
means, as you know, serious injury to our stockholders. There's the case
in a nut-shell."

"What are their names?" asked Mr. Barnstable, faintly.

"Peter Lynch, Jeremiah Dolan, William H. Bird, and John P. Driscoll,
popularly known in the inner circles of City Hall politics as 'the big
four.' And they are—four of the biggest thieves in the community."

"Dear me," said Mr. Barnstable. "And what is it you advise doing?"

"Like the coon in the tree, I should say, 'Don't shoot and I'll come
down.' It's best to have a clear understanding from the start."

"What I meant to ask was—er—what is it that this Peter Lynch wishes?"

"He uttered nothing but glittering generalities; that he desired to know
who his friends were, and whether, in case he were elected, he could be
of any service to our corporation. The English of that is, he expects in
the first place a liberal subscription for campaign expenses—and after
that retaining fees from time to time as our attorney or agent, which
will vary in size according to the value of the services rendered."

A faint gleam of cunning hope appeared in Mr. Barnstable's eyes.

"Then anything we—er—contributed could properly be charged to attorney's
fees?" he said by way of thinking aloud.

"Certainly—attorney's fees, services as agent, profit and loss,
extraordinary expenses, machinery account, bad debts—there are a dozen
ways of explaining the outlay. And no outlay may be necessary. A tip on
the stock will do just as well."

"Dear, dear," reiterated Mr. Barnstable. "It's a deplorable situation;
deplorable and very awkward."

"And the awkward part is, that we're a dead cock in the pit if we
incline to virtue's side."

Mr. Barnstable sighed deeply and drummed on his desk. Then he began to
walk up and down. After a few moments he stopped short and said:

"I shall have to lay it before my directors, Dowling."

"Certainly, sir. But in general terms, I hope. A single—er—impractical
man might block the situation until it was too late. Then the expense
of remedying the blunder might be much greater."

Mr. Barnstable inclined his head gravely. "I shall consult some of the
wisest heads on the Board, and if in their opinion it is advisable to
conciliate these blackmailers, a formal expression of approval will
scarcely be necessary."

A few days later the President sent for the Manager and waved him to
a chair. His expression was grave—almost sad, yet resolute. His manner
was dignified and cold.

"We have considered," said he, "the matter of which we were speaking
recently, and under the peculiar circumstances in which we are placed,
and in view of the fact that the success of our bill and the defeat of
the Underground Steam Company is necessary for the protection of the
best interests of the public and the facilitation of honest corporate
business enterprise, I am empowered to authorize you to take such steps,
Mr. Dowling, as seem to you desirable and requisite for the proper
protection of our interests."

"Very good, sir. That is all that is necessary."

There was a brief silence, during which Mr. Barnstable joined his
finger-tips together and looked at the fire. Then he rose augustly,
and putting out his hand with a repellant gesture said, "There is one
thing I insist on, which is that I shall know nothing of the details
of this disagreeable business. I leave the matter wholly in your hands,
Dowling."

"Oh, certainly, sir. And you may rely on my giving the cold shoulder to
the rascals wherever it is possible for me to do so."

That is a pitiful story, isn't it? Virtue assaulted almost in its very
temple, and given a black eye by sheer force of cruel, overwhelming
circumstances. Yet a true story, and the prototype in its general
features of a host of similar episodes occurring in the different
cities of this land of the free and the home of the brave. Each case,
of course, has its peculiar atmosphere. Not every leading villain has
the sensitive and combative conscience of Thomas Barnstable; nor every
general manager the bold, frank style of Mr. Dowling. There is every
phase of soul-struggle and method from unblushing, business-like bargain
and sale to sphinx-like and purposely unenlightened and ostrich-like
submission. In the piteous language of a defender of Thomas Barnstable
(not Josephine), what can one do but submit? If one meets a highwayman
on the road, is one to be turned back if a purse will secure a passage?
Surely not if the journey be of moment. Then is a corporate body (a
corporation has no soul) to be starved to death by delay and hostile
legislation if peace and plenty are to be had for an attorney's fee?
If so, only the rascals would thrive and honest corporations would bite
the dust. And so it happened that Mr. Dowling before election cast his
moral influence in favor of the big four, and a little bird flew from
head-quarters with a secret message, couched in sufficiently vague
language, to the effect that the management would be pleased if the
employees of the People's Heat and Power Company were to mark crosses
on their Australian ballots against the names of Peter Lynch, Jeremiah
Dolan, Hon. William H. Bird, and the Hon. John P. Driscoll.

Let us allow the curtain to descend to slow music, and after a brief
pause rise on some of our other characters. Behold now the fifty
thousand respectable, well-intentioned, tolerably ignorant citizens
who vote but are too busy with their own affairs to pay attention
to politics, and as a consequence generally vote the party ticket or
vote to please a friend. As a sample take Mr. John Baker, amiable and
well-meaning physician, a practical philanthropist and an intelligent
student of science by virtue of his active daily professional
labors. For a week before election he is apt to have a distressing,
soul-haunting consciousness that a City Government is shortly to be
chosen and that he must, as a free-born and virtue-loving citizen, vote
for somebody. He remembers that during the year there has been more
or less agitation in the newspapers concerning this or that individual
connected with the aldermanic office, but he has forgotten names and is
all at sea as to who is who or what is what. Two days before election
he receives and puts aside a circular containing a list of the most
desirable candidates, as indicated by the Reform Society, intending to
peruse it, but he is called from home on one evening by professional
demands, and on the other by tickets for the theatre, so election
morning arrives without his having looked at it. He forgets that it is
election day, and is reminded of the fact while on his way to visit
his patients by noticing that many of his acquaintances seem to be
walking in the wrong direction. He turns also, at the spur of memory,
and mournfully realizes that he has left the list at home. To return
would spoil his professional day, so he proceeds to the polls, and,
in the hope of wise enlightenment, joins the first sagacious friend he
encounters. It happens, perhaps, to be Dowling.

"Ah," says Dr. Baker, genially, "you're just the man to tell me whom to
vote for. One vote doesn't count for much, but I like to do my duty as
an American citizen."

"It's a pretty poor list," says Dowling, pathetically, drawing a paper
from his pocket. "I believe, however, in accomplishing the best possible
results under existing circumstances. If I thought the Reform candidates
could be elected, I would vote for them and for them only; but it's
equally important that the very worst men should be kept out. I am
going to vote for the Reform candidates and for Lynch, Dolan, Bird, and
Driscoll. They're capable and they have had experience. If they steal,
they'll steal judiciously, and that is something. Some of those other
fellows would steal the lamp-posts and hydrants if they got the chance."

"All right," says Dr. Baker. "I'll take your word for it. Let me write
those names down. I suppose that some day or other we shall get a decent
City Government. I admit that I don't give as much consideration to such
matters as I ought, but the days are only twenty-four hours long."

Then from the same company there is Mr. David Jones, hay and grain
dealer, honest and a diligent, reputable business man. He harbors the
amiable delusion that the free-born American citizen in the exercise
of the suffrage has intuitive knowledge as to whom to vote for, and
that in the long run the choice of the sovereign people is wise and
satisfactory. He is ready to admit that political considerations
should not control selection for municipal office, but he has a latent
distrust of reformers as aristocratic self-seekers or enemies of popular
government. For instance, the idea that he or any other American citizen
of ordinary education and good moral character is not fit to serve on
the school committee offends his patriotism.

"What's the matter with Lynch, anyway?" he asks on his way to the polls.
"I see some of his political enemies are attacking him in the press.
If he were crooked, someone would have found it out in ten years. I met
him once and he talked well. He has no frills round his neck."

"Nor wheels in his head," answers a fellow-patriot, who wishes to get
a street developed and has put his case in Lynch's hands.

"He shall have my vote," says the hay and grain dealer.

As for the twenty-five thousand hide-bound partisans, I will state
to begin with, my optimistic correspondent, that if this drama were
concerned with any election but a city election, their number would
be larger. But these make up in unswerving fixity of purpose for any
diminution of their forces due to municipal considerations. They are
content to have their thinking done for them in advance by a packed
caucus, and they go to the polls snorting like war-horses and eager to
vindicate by their ballots the party choice of candidates, or meekly
and reverently prepared to make a criss-cross after every R or D,
according to their faith, with the fatuous fealty of sheep. Bigotry and
suspicions, ignorance and easy-going willingness to be led, keep their
phalanx steady and a constant old guard for the protection of comedians
and villains.

In another corner of the stage stand the ten thousand superior,
self-centred souls who neglect to vote and despise politics—the
mixed corps of pessimists, impractical dreamers, careless idlers,
and hyper-cultured world-disdainers, who hold aloof, from one
motive or another, from contact with common life and a share in its
responsibilities—some on the plea that universal suffrage is a folly
or a failure, some that earth is but a vale of travail which concerns
little the wise or righteous thinker, some from sheer butterfly or
stupid idleness. Were they to vote they would help to offset that no
less large body of suffragists—the active enemies of order, the hoodlum,
tobacco-spitting, woman-insulting, rum-drinking ruffian brigade. There
are only left the ten thousand conscientious citizens, real patriots—a
corporal's guard, amid the general optimistic sweep toward the polls.
These mark their crosses with care against the names of the honest men
and perhaps some of the pretty honest, only to read in the newspapers
next morning that the big four have been returned to power and that
the confidence of the plain and sovereign people in the disinterested
conduct of their public servants has again been demonstrated.

"Ho, ho, ho," laugh the low comedians. "Mum's the word." The faces of
the big four are wreathed in self-congratulatory smiles. At the homes of
Peter Lynch and Jeremiah Dolan, those experienced individuals without
occupation, there are cakes and ale. It is a mistake to assume that
because a citizen is an Alderman he is not human and amiably domestic
in his tastes. Jeremiah loves the little Dolans and is no less fond of
riding his children on his leg than Thomas Barnstable, or any of the
leading villains. When their father looks happy in the late autumn, the
children know that their Christmas stockings will be full. Jeremiah
is at peace with all the world and is ready to sit with slicked hair
for his photograph, from which a steel (or is it steal?) engraving
will shortly be prepared for the new City Government year-book,
superscribed: "Jeremiah Dolan, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen." A
framed enlargement of this will hang on one side of the fire-place,
and an embroidered motto, "God Bless Our Home," on the other, and all
will be well with the Dolans for another twelve months. In his own home
Jeremiah is a man of few words on public matters. Not unnaturally his
children believe him to be of the salt of the earth, and he lets it
go at that, attending strictly to business without seeking to defend
himself in the bosom of his family from the diatribes of reformers.
Still, it is reasonable to assume that, under the fillip of the large
majority rolled up in his favor, he would be liable to give vent to
his sense of humor so far as to refer, in the presence of his wife and
children, to the young man who was willing to become an Alderman while
waiting to be Senator, as a T. Willy.

If you have read "The Hon. Peter Stirling," you will remember that
the hero rose to political stature largely by means of attending to
the needs of the district, befriending the poor and the helpless, and
having a friendly, encouraging word for his constituents, high or low.
The American public welcomed the book because it was glad to see the
boss vindicated by these human qualities, and to think that there was
a saving grace of unselfish service in the composition of the average
successful politician. It would be unjust to the big four were I not
to acknowledge that they have been shrewd or human enough to pursue
in some measure this affable policy, and that the neighborhood and the
district in which they live recognize them as hustlers to obtain office,
privileges, and jobs for the humble citizen wishing to be employed by
or to sell something to the City Government. To this constituency the
comparative small tax levied seems all in the day's work, a natural
incident of the principle that when a man does something, he ought to
be paid for it. To them the distinction that public service is a trust
which has no right to pecuniary profit beyond the salary attached, and a
reasonable amount of stationery, seems to savor of the millennium and to
suggest a lack of practical intelligence on the part of its advocates.
They pay the lawyer and the doctor; why not the Alderman?


III

I am reminded by Josephine that I seem to be getting into the dumps,
which does not befit one who claims to be an optimistic philosopher.
The drama just set before you is not, I admit, encouraging as a national
exhibit, and I can imagine that you are already impatient to retort that
the municipal stage is no fair criterion of public life in this country.
I can hear you assert, with that confident air of national righteousness
peculiar to the class of blind patriots to which you belong, that the
leading politicians of the nation disdain to soil their hands by contact
with city politics. Yet there I take issue with you squarely, not as to
the fact but as to the truth of the lofty postulate seething in your
mind that the higher planes of political activity are free from the
venal and debasing characteristics of municipal public service—from
the influence of the money power operating on a low public standard of
honesty.

Most of us—even philosophers like myself—try to cling to the fine theory
that the legislators of the country represent the best morals and brains
of the community, and that the men elected to public office in the
Councils of the land have been put forward as being peculiarly fitted
to interpret and provide for our needs, by force of their predominant
individual virtues and abilities. Most of us appreciate in our secret
souls that this theory is not lived up to, and is available only for
Fourth of July or other rhetorical purposes. Yet we dislike to dismiss
the ideal as unattainable, even though we know that actual practice
is remote from it; and patriots still, we go on asserting that this
is our method of choice, vaguely hoping, like the well-intentioned
but careless voter, that some day we shall get a decent government,
municipal, state, national—that is decent from the stand-point of
our democratic ideal. And there is another theory, part and parcel of
the other, which we try to cling to at the same time, that our public
representatives, though the obviously ornamental and fine specimens of
their several constituencies, are after all only every-day Americans
with whom a host of citizens could change places without disparagement
to either. In other words, our theory of government is government by the
average, and that the average is remarkably high. This comfortable view
induces many like yourself to wrap themselves round with the American
flag and smile at destiny, sure that everything will result well with
us sooner or later, and impatient of criticism or doubts. As a people
we delight in patting ourselves on the back and dismissing our worries
as mere flea-bites. The hard cider of our patriotism gets readily into
the brain and causes us to deny fiercely or serenely, according to our
dispositions, that anything serious is the matter.

Yet whatever Fourth of July orators may say to the contrary, the fact
remains that the sorry taint of bargain and sale, of holding up on the
political highway and pacification by bribery in one form or another,
permeates to-day the whole of our political system from the lowest
stratum of municipal public life to the Councils which make Presidents
and United States Senators. To be sure, the Alderman in his capacity of
low comedian dictating terms to corporations seeking civic privileges
is the most unblushing, and hence the most obviously flagrant case;
but it is well recognized by all who are brought in contact with
legislative bodies of any sort in the country that either directly or
indirectly the machinery of public life is controlled by aggregations
of capital working on the hungry, easy-going, or readily flattered
susceptibilities of a considerable percentage of the members. Certainly
our national and State assemblies contain many high-minded, honest,
intellectually capable men, but they contain as many more who are
either dishonest or are so ignorant and easily cajoled that they permit
themselves to be the tools of leading villains. Those cognizant of what
goes on behind the scenes on the political stage would perhaps deny
that such men as our friend Thomas Barnstable or his agent, Dowling,
attempt to dictate nominations to either branch of the legislature on
the tacit understanding that a member thus supported is to advocate
or vote for their measures, and by their denial they might deceive
a real simon-pure philosopher. But this philosopher knows better,
and so do you, my optimistic friend. It is the fashion, I am aware,
among conservative people, lawyers looking for employment, bankers
and solid men of affairs, to put the finger on the lips when this evil
is broached and whisper, "Hush!" They admit confidentially the truth
of it, but they say, "Hush! What's the use of stirring things up? It
can't do any good and it makes the public discontented. It excites the
populists." So there is perpetual mystery and the game goes on. Men who
wish things good or bad come reluctantly or willingly to the conclusion
that the only way to get them is by paying for them. Not all pay cash.
Some obtain that which they desire by working on the weaknesses of
legislators; following them into banks where they borrow money, getting
people who hold them in their employ or give them business to interfere,
asking influential friends to press them. Every railroad corporation in
the country has agents to look after its affairs before the legislature
of the State through which it operates, and what some of those agents
have said and done in order to avert molestation would, if published,
be among the most interesting memoirs ever written. Who doubts that
elections to the United States Senate and House of Representatives are
constantly secured by the use of money among those who have the power
to bestow nominations and influence votes? It is notorious, yet to
prove it would be no less difficult than to prove that Peter Lynch,
Alderman for ten years without occupation, has received bribes from
his fellow-citizens. How are the vast sums of money levied on rich men
to secure the success of a political party in a Presidential campaign
expended? For stationery, postage stamps, and campaign documents? For
torchlight processions, rallies, and buttons? Some of it, certainly.
The unwritten inside history of the political progress of many of the
favorite sons of the nation during the last forty years would make the
scale of public honor kick the beam though it were weighted with the
cherry-tree and hatchet of George Washington. In one of our cities where
a deputation of city officials attended the funeral of a hero of the
late war with Spain, there is a record of $400 spent for ice-cream.
Presumably this was a transcript of petty thievery inartistically
audited. But there are no auditings of the real use of the thousands of
dollars contributed to keep a party in power or to secure the triumph
of a politically ambitious millionaire.

     (_Note._—Josephine, who had been sitting lost in thought since
     the conclusion of the drama, and who is fond of problem plays,
     inquired at this point whether I consider the low comedians
     or the leading villains the most to blame for the existing
     state of things.

     "It is a pertinent question, Josephine, and one not easily
     answered. What is your view of the matter?"

     "I suppose," she answered, "as you have termed the bribers
     the leading villains, they are the worst. And I do think
     that the temptation must be very great among the class of men
     who are without fine sensibilities to let themselves become
     the tools of rich and powerful people, who, as you have
     indicated, can help them immensely in return for a vote. It
     is astonishing that those in the community who are educated,
     well-to-do citizens, should commit such sins against decency
     and patriotism."

     "Yes, it seems astonishing, but their plea is pathetic, as
     I have already stated, and somewhat plausible. Suppose for a
     minute that I am Thomas Barnstable defending himself and see
     how eloquent I can be. 'What would you have me do, Madam? I
     am an honest man and my directors are honest men; the bills
     we ask for are always just and reasonable. I have never in my
     life approached a legislator with an improper offer, nor have
     I used direct or indirect bribery so long as it was absolutely
     impossible to avoid doing so. But when a gang of cheap and
     cunning tricksters block the passage of my corporation's
     measures, and will not let them become law until we have
     been bled, I yield as a last resort. We are at their mercy.
     It is a detestable thing to do, I admit, but it is necessary
     if we are to remain in business. There is no alternative.
     The responsibility is on the dishonest and incapable men
     whom the American public elects to office, and who under the
     specious plea of protecting the rights of the plain people
     levy blackmail on corporate interests. Corporations do not
     wish to bribe, but they are forced to do so in self-defence.'
     There! Is not that a tear-compelling statement?"

     "I can see your side," said Josephine.

     "Pardon me," I interrupted. "It is Mr. Barnstable's side, not
     mine. I am not a capitalist, only a philosopher."

     "Well, his side then; and I feel sorry for him in spite of the
     weakness of his case. Only his argument does not explain the
     others. I should not suppose that men like Mr. Prendergast
     could truthfully declare that all the legislation they ask
     for is just and reasonable."

     "Precisely. Yet they buy their desires in the open market from
     the free-born representatives of the people. If anyone states
     so at the time he is hushed up, if possible; if not, there is
     an investigation, nothing is proved, and the integrity of the
     legislative body is vindicated. I can shed a tear on behalf of
     men like Mr. Barnstable, a crocodile tear, yet still a tear.
     But there is the larger army of hard-headed, dollar-hunting,
     practical capitalists, who are not forming corporations for
     their health, so to speak, to be reckoned with. My eloquence
     is palsied by them. They would tell you that they were obliged
     to bribe, but they do not waste much time in resistance or
     remorse. They seem to regard the evil as a national custom,
     unfortunate and expensive, but not altogether inconvenient.
     Confidentially over a cigar they will assure you that the
     French, the Spanish, the Turks, and the Chinese are infinitely
     worse, and that this is merely a passing phase of democracy,
     whatever that may mean."

     "Dreadful," said Josephine. "And then there are the people
     with money who aid and abet their own nominations for
     Congress. I think I could mention some of them."

     "Well, you mustn't. It might hurt their feelings, for they
     may not know exactly what was done except in a general way.
     After all is over they ask 'how much?' draw a check and make
     few inquiries. That is the genteel way. But in some states it
     is not necessary or politic to be genteel. The principle is
     the same, but the process is less subtle and aristocratic. But
     haven't you a word of extenuation to offer on behalf of the
     low comedians? Think of Jeremiah Dolan and the little Dolans."

     "I suppose he also would say it wasn't true," said Josephine.

     "Oh, yes. 'Lady, there isn't a word of truth in the whole
     story. Someone's been stuffing you.'"

     "They must be dreadfully tempted, poor wretches."

     "'Lady, it's all make-believe. But it's one thing to talk and
     another to sit still and have a fellow whisper in your ear
     that you have only to vote his way to get five thousand in
     clean bills and no questions asked. When a man has a mortgage
     on his house to pay, five thousand would come in handy. I'm
     only supposing, lady, and no one can prove I took a cent.'"

     "Fred," said Josephine, after a solemn pause, "the dreadful
     thought has just occurred to me that the American people may
     not be—are not strictly honest."

     "Sh!" I shouted eagerly, and seizing a tea table-cloth I threw
     it over her head and stayed her speech.

     "My dear, do you realize what you are saying?"

     "Do you realize that you are tumbling my hair?"

     I paid no heed to this unimportant interjection, but said,
     "If any true patriot were to hear you make such an accusation
     you would subject yourself and me to some dreadful punishment,
     such as happened to Dreyfus, or 'The Man Without a Country.'
     Not honest? By the shades of George Washington, what are you
     thinking of? Why, one of the chief reasons of our superiority
     to all the other nations of the world is because of our
     honesty—our immunity from the low moral standards of effete,
     frivolous despotisms and unenlightened masses who are without
     the blessings of freedom. Not strictly honest? Josephine, your
     lack of tact, if nothing else, is positively audacious. Do you
     expect me to break this cruel piece of news to the optimistic
     patriot to whom this letter is addressed?"

     "I think you are silly," said my wife, freeing herself from
     the tea table-cloth and trying to compose her slightly
     discomposed tresses. "I only thought aloud, and I said
     merely what you would have said sooner or later in more
     philosophical terms. I saw that you were tempted by the fear
     of not seeming a patriot to dilly-dally with the situation and
     avoid expressing yourself in perspicuous language. T-h-i-e-f
     spells thief; B-r-i-b-e-r-y spells bribery. I don't know much
     about politics, and I'm not a philosopher, but I understand
     the meaning of every-day English, and I should say that we
     were not even pretty honest. There! Those are my opinions,
     and I think you will save time if you send them in your
     letter instead of beating about the bush for extenuating
     circumstances. If you don't, I shall—for really, Fred, it's
     too simple a proposition. And as for the blame, it's six of
     one and half a dozen of the other."

     "Josephine, Josephine," I murmured, "there goes my last
     chance of being sent to the Philippines, in my capacity as a
     philosopher, to study whether the people of those islands are
     fit for representative government.")

You have read what Josephine says, my optimistic friend. She has stated
that she would write to you her summing up of the whole matter if I did
not, so I have inserted her deduction in all its crudity. She declares
the trouble to be that the American people are dishonest. Of course, I
cannot expect you to agree with any such conclusion, and I must admit
that the boldness of the accusation is a shock to my own sensibilities
as a patriot. Of course, Josephine is a woman and does not understand
much about politics and ways and means, and it is notorious that women
jump at conclusions instead of approaching them logically and in a
dignified manner. But it is also said that their sudden conclusions
are apt to be right. Dishonest? Dear me, what a dreadful suggestion.
I really think that she went a little too far. And yet I am forced to
agree that appearances are very much against us, and that if we hope
to lead the world in righteousness and progress we must, to recur
to political phraseology, mend our moral fences. I do not indulge in
meteoric flights, like Josephine. Let us argue the matter out soberly.

You and I, as men of the world, will agree that if the American people
prefer or find it more serviceable to cherish bribery as a federal
institution, no one will interfere. The fact that it is ethically wrong
is interesting to real philosophers and to the clergy, but bribery will
continue to flourish like a bay-tree if it is the sort of thing which
the American people like. Now, to all outward appearances they find
it, if not grateful and comforting, at least endurable and convenient.
Certainly, except among the class of people whom you would be apt
to stigmatize as "holier than thous," there is comparatively little
interest taken in the question. The mass of the community seek refuge
behind the agreeable fiction that the abuse doesn't exist or exists
only in such degree as to be unimportant. Many of these people know
that this is false, but they will not admit that they think so in order
not to make such doings familiar, just as their custom is to speak of
legs as lower limbs in order not to bring a blush to the cheek of the
young person. For thorough-going hypocrisy—often unconscious, but still
hypocrisy—no one can equal a certain kind of American. It is so much
easier in this world, where patting on the back is the touch-stone of
preferment and popularity, to think that everything is as serene as the
surface indicates, though you are secretly sure that it is not. How much
more convenient to be able to say truthfully, "I have no knowledge of
the facts, so don't bother me," than to be constantly wagging the head
and entertaining doubts concerning the purity of one's fellow-citizens,
and so making enemies.

As I have indicated earlier in this letter, the ideal is dear to our
patriotic sensibilities that we are governed by average opinion, and
that the average is peculiarly high. The fastidious citizen in this
country has been and still is fond of the taunt that men of upright
character and fine instincts—what he calls gentlemen—will not enter
public life, for the reason that they will not eat dirt. The reply has
been that the real bugaboo of the fastidious citizen is one of manners,
and that in the essentials of character, in strong moral purpose and
solid worth, the average American voter is the peer of any aristocracy.
The issue becomes really one of fact, and mere solemn assertion will
not serve as evidence beyond a certain point. If the majority prefer
dishonesty, the power is in their hands to perpetuate the system, but
believing as you and I do that the majority at heart is honest, how
are we to explain the continued existence of the evil? How as patriots
shall we reconcile the perpetuation in power of the low comedians, Peter
Lynch and Jeremiah Dolan, except on the theory that it is the will of
the majority that they should continue to serve the people? This is
not a question of kid gloves, swallow-tailed coats, and manners, but
an indictment reflecting on the moral character and solid worth of the
nation. How are we to explain it? What are we to say? Can we continue
to declare that we are the most honest and aspiring people in the world
and expect that portion of the world which has any sense of humor not
to smile? Are we, who have been accustomed to boast of our spotless
integrity as a people, ready to fall back on and console ourselves with
the boast, which does duty nowadays on lenient lips, that we are as
honest as any of the nations of Europe except, possibly, England? That
is an indirect form of patriotic negation under the shadow of which
low comedians and leading villains could ply their trade comparatively
unmolested.

As a philosopher, who is not a real philosopher, I find this charge of
Josephine's a difficult nut to crack, and I commend it respectfully
to your attention to mull over at your leisure, trusting that it may
temper the effulgence of your thoughts on Independence Day. Yet having
had my say as a philosopher, let me as an optimist, willing to succor a
fellow-optimist, add a few considerations indicating that the situation
may not be so ultimately evil as the existing state of affairs and
Josephine would have us believe. I write "may not be," because I am not
altogether confident that my intelligence is not being cajoled by the
natural cheeriness and buoyancy of my disposition. The sole question at
issue is whether the majority of the American people are really content
to have the money power of the country prey upon and be the prey of the
lowest moral sense of the community.

We have before us an every-day spectacle of eager aggregations of
capital putting aside scruples as visionary and impractical, and hence
"un-American," in order to compass success, and at the other side of
the counter the so-called representatives of the people, solemn in their
verbiage but susceptible to occult and disgraceful influences. The two
parties to the intercourse are discreet and businesslike, and there
is little risk of tangible disclosure. Practically aloof from them,
except for a few moments on election day, stands the mass of American
citizens busy with their own money-getting or problem-solving, and only
too ready to believe that their representatives are admirable. They
pause to vote as they pause to snatch a sandwich at a railroad station.
"Five minutes for refreshments!" Five minutes for political obligations!
Individually there are thousands of strictly honest and noble-hearted
men in the United States. Who doubts it? The originality and strength
of the American character is being constantly manifested in every field
of life. But there we speak of individuals; here we are concerned with
majorities and the question of average morality and choice. For though
we have an aspiring and enlightened van of citizens to point the way,
you must remember that emigration and natural growth has given us
tens of thousands of ignorant, prejudiced, and sometimes unscrupulous
citizens, each of whose votes counts one. Perhaps it is true—and here is
my grain of consolation or hope—that the average voter is so easy-going,
so long-suffering, so indisposed to find fault, so selfishly busy with
his own affairs, so proud of our institutions and himself, so afraid
of hurting other people's feelings, and so generally indifferent as to
public matters, provided his own are serene, that he chooses to wink at
bribery if it be not in plain view, and likes to deceive himself into
believing that there is nothing wrong. The long and short of it seems
to be that the average American citizen is a good fellow, and in his
capacity of good fellow cannot afford to be too critical and particular.
He leaves that to the reformer, the literary man, the dude, the college
professor, the mugwump, the philosopher, and other impractical and
un-American people. If so, what has become of that heritage of his
forefathers, the stern Puritan conscience? Swept away in the great
wave of material progress which has centred all his energies on what
he calls success, and given to the power of money a luring importance
which is apt to make the scruples of the spirit seem unsubstantial and
bothersome. An easy-going, trouble-detesting, self-absorbed democracy
between the buffers of rapacity and rascality.

A disagreeable conclusion for an optimist, yet less gloomy than the
other alternative. This condition admits of cure, for it suggests a
torpid conscience rather than deliberate acquiescence. It indicates that
the representatives are betraying the people, and that there is room for
hope that the people eventually may rise in their might and call them to
account. If they do, I beg as a philosopher with humorous proclivities,
to caution them against seizing the wrong pig by the ear. Let them fix
the blame where it belongs, and not hold the corporations and the money
power wholly responsible. It may be possible in time to abolish trusts
and cause rich men sleepless nights in the crusading name of populism,
but that will avail little unless at the same time they go to the real
root of the matter, and quicken the average conscience and strengthen
the moral purpose of the plain people of the United States. There will
be leading villains and low comedians so long as society permits, and
so long as the conscience of democracy is torpid. The players in the
drama are, after all, only the people themselves. Charles the First was
beheaded because he betrayed the liberties of the people. Alas! there
is no such remedy for a corrupt democracy, for its heads are like those
of Hydra, and it would be itself both the victim and the executioner.



THE POINT OF VIEW


[Sidenote: A Question of Accent.]

I suppose there is no gainsaying the authority of "general usage" in the
matter of English pronunciation—even when that usage is etymologically
wrong. If there is one instinct in the Anglo-Saxon race which is at
once widespread and admirable, it is surely our instinct to avoid even
the semblance of preciosity; the Prig is justly our pet abhorrence.
Maybe some of us incline to carry this instinct a thought too far; as,
for instance, the educated English lady who, when taken to task by an
American for saying _sónorous_, replied: "We always say _sónorous_; of
course we know well enough that it really is _sonórous_, but it would
sound awfully priggish to say so in every-day talk!" But she was an
extreme example, and, though I still persist in saying _sonórous_,
I am far from wishing to undo the long-done work of that "general
usage" which has given us _bálcony_ (for _balcóny_) and _anémone_ (for
_anemóne_). About _paresis_ I may be in some doubt, for the word is so
young in general use that there may still be time to check the spread
of the illiterate _parésis_. The latter pronunciation does not seem
to me to have been consecrated by sufficiently long usage to have won
indisputable authority; there may be a chance for _páresis_ yet!

There are, however, many words in our language, derived from the Latin,
on the accentuation of which both authority and usage are still divided;
and I cannot think the time past for etymology fairly having something
to say about these. Yet it seems to me that the etymological rule for
accenting such words, as it is commonly set down, leaves a good deal to
be desired in point of logic. It is that syllables which are long by
derivation should be accented, that those which are short should not;
and by it we get _compénsate_, _contémplate_, etc.; but a large number
of recognizedly educated people say _cómpensate_ and _cóntemplate_, and
also have the authority of some excellent lexicographers therefore. What
authority there may be for throwing the accent upon the penult in these
words cannot yet be considered as final.

A word which leads me to an explanation of my idea is _elegiac_—which
the Standard Dictionary now gives as _elégiac_ only, but which used
to be pronounced _elegíac_ by most cultivated English speakers. It
is rather a scholarly word, and I fancy most scholars to-day still
pronounce it _elegíac_; it seems to me that there still hangs about
_elégiac_, as Walker said in his day, a "suspicion of illiteracy."
But, if _elegíac_ is right, why is it right? The rule for accenting
syllables that are long by etymology does not hold good here, for the
_i_ in _elegiācus_ is short, as it is also in the Greek _elegiakós_.
It seems to me so highly probable as to amount almost to a certainty,
that scholarly Englishmen fell into the habit of saying _elegíac_ simply
because they had already formed the habit of saying _elegiācus_. They
accented the _i_ in English because it was accented in Latin; and in
Latin it is accented, not because it is long (which it is not), but
because the _a_ which follows it is short. And, if English scholars
said _elegíac_ from habit, may not the results of a similar Latin habit
be found in our pronunciation of hosts of other English words of Latin
origin?

The rule for accentuation I would propose is this: "If the syllable
which is penultimate in the English word is accented in the Latin, it
should be accented in the English word also; if, however, this syllable
is unaccented in Latin, the accent in the English word should fall
back upon the antepenult." Thus the penultimate _i_ in _elegiac_ is
accented because the corresponding _i_ is accented in _elegíacus_. An
old school-master of mine used to insist upon our saying _Quirínal_,
because the _i_ was long; I maintain that _Quírinal_ is right, because
the second _i_ in _Quirinālis_ is unaccented. This rule would give us
_cóntemplate_ and _cómpensate_ because the syllables _tem_ and _pen_
are unaccented in _contemplātus_ and _compensātus_ respectively. (It
is of no avail to argue in favor of _contémplate_ that the _tem_ is
long, and accented in _contémplo_; our English word is derived from the
Latin participle, not from the first person singular of the present
indicative.) _Désiccate_ would be right on the same principle, and
_desíccate_, wrong.

By this rule of mine we can preserve an English pronunciation as nearly
like the original Latin as it is in the spirit of our language to do;
and, where authority and usage are wellnigh equally divided, this seems
to me worth while.



THE FIELD OF ART

_THE USE AND ABUSE OF DECORATIVE CONVENTIONS IN ARCHITECTURE_


It is always more or less futile to quarrel with the vernacular.
Otherwise we should take exception to the word _design_ in the sense of
invention. The latter is the more expressive term. In the language of
those nations from which modern art is derived, _dessiner_, _disegnare_
mean to draw. Italian authors of the Renaissance, in estimating an
artist's achievement, invariably weighed his inventive faculties. Thus
Vasari, in summarizing Raphael's qualities, extols his "_disegno,
colorito ed invenzione_"—his drawing, color, and invention. An
illustrator "invents" and "draws;" for instance, "Giovanni Albertelli
_inv. e dis._" Emphasis is here laid on the word invention, and on its
vogue in other lands, both because it is very forceful, and because it
seems to imply something more than "design." A plagiarist might venture
to risk the term "design" when he would balk at "invention."

If we enter one of our patrician homes—palaces, palazzi, or private
hotels, they would be called elsewhere—what do we find to exalt the
decorative artist, where the work has been the sole product of the
architect, and it may be added of the patrician himself? Much splendor
there is, assuredly, and gold, and rich carving, and sumptuous
marble, and opulent stuffs; even expatriated mantles and whole rooms,
kidnapped from the harmonious surroundings where they were a perpetual
joy—imported to discord with our modern alien habitats. Sometimes
we happen on an Italian Renaissance room without a spark of the
easy invention and graceful free-hand work that was the charm of the
original; but more frequently we meet with debased Louis XV. and Louis
XVI., debased in the inspirationless copy. The originals of these things
are very beautiful indeed, and will ever be the immortal models for
decorative artists. But it must not for a moment be supposed by the
laity that in mechanically reproducing these things we are inventing
or adding an iota to the art product of the world. Perhaps this lack
of invention can better be appreciated when the bald statement is made
that a well-equipped decorator would not think it worth his while to
enter our buildings for the purpose of studying fresh ideas; always
excepting those instances where the services of a capable artist have
been engaged, and the few exceptions to every rule.

Archæology has taught its lesson of accuracy in the arts. As we have
already observed, the tendency is to copy rather than to assimilate.
The reproductive processes have overwhelmed the practitioner with an
excess of material, far more than can be digested. We have acquired
the photograph habit. Could half the time be devoted to invention that
is given to the excavation from portfolios of the desired prototypes,
and to the formation of collections, it would be better for art. We
have repeatedly anathematized the vast aggregation of photographs so
cheaply and easily obtained. Were they to perish from the earth, design
would take a great leap forward—for their abuse is almost inevitable.
The mere power of limning is compromised by an over-reliance on them.
Constant reference, even to an original study from nature, clogs the
creative faculty, and hampers the impatient hand, much more so, an
alien reproduction. Once a distinguished artist lost all his preliminary
studies for a picture when his house was ransacked by the Prussians. "I
am glad of it," he said, "for now I feel emancipated and can work with
greater freedom." It must always be borne in mind that the best designs
were made before the invention of the reproductive processes, and the
exactions of precise archæology. It is safe here to use the word "best,"
because the constant copying of them is an admission of their primacy.
It must not be supposed that the Renaissance man was more virtuous than
we are. Probably he was less so. He stole things wherever he could lay
his hands on them. Fortunately, there was less to steal in quality
and quantity. Nor had he acquired the lesson of accuracy. Even the
engraver, when he tried to counterfeit, let us say an "Albert Dürer,"
did it rather clumsily. If an artist wished to reproduce another's work
for self-instruction, he rendered it very freely, infusing a good deal
of his own personality into the copy, unconsciously, without doubt.
From our point of view this copy was pitiable as an imitation. For his
purpose, it was just as good as the closer reproduction, even better.
Giuliano Sangallo's drawing from the antique would make schoolboys
merry, while both they and their preceptors admire the creations which
these somewhat clumsy sketches evoked. One of the fragments of the lost
"Battle of Anghiari," by Leonardo, comes to us through the exuberant
handling of Rubens, the freest sort of a translation, as were all his
Italian notes. Raphael, painter-architect, makes a pen and ink from the
"Three Graces at Sienna," after graduating from the school of Perugino
(we follow Müntz). From the photographic standpoint the humblest in a
well-conducted antique class could do better. But these men, and hosts
of others, _invented_—some painters, some sculptors, some architects,
perhaps the two or three in one. Take, for instance, that much used and
very popular member, the capital, a magnificent vehicle for decorative
expression. Observe Sangallo's in the Palazzo Gondi, Stagio-Stagi's at
Pisa, or those in the Palazzo dei Pazzi. But why specify these, when
beautiful examples swarm in Bologna, Ferrara, Urbino, and all over
northern Italy, full of lovely ideas and graceful in contour, capitals
evolved from the antique in a general way, and quite equal to them for
pure beauty, and surpassing them in fancy? We are prone to denounce the
"barocco" work. Eliminating for the nonce the question of taste, let us
glance at it from the inventive point of view. We have seen compositions
by the much abused painter-architect, Vasari, evidently turned out with
perfect facility, that would tax the creative faculty of a modern almost
to despair. The Zuccari Brothers, Poccetti, and men of that generation,
at times did things in shocking taste, but at times they composed very
beautifully and were always interesting, flinging broadcast fresh ideas.
We may not like a frame, or an arm-chair by a barocco Brustolon, yet
we must admire his fluent design. Thanks to passionless imitations,
the uninitiated are prone to associate nothing but dry formality with
such names as Vignola or Palladio. Let them see the villas by these
architects in the neighborhood of Rome or Vicenza, and they will soon
be disabused of any such impressions.

It is high time that the architect should declare himself an artist
by a display of the artistic qualities, an important one being the
invention of ornamental motives. He should differentiate himself from
the engineer. But as matters now stand, finding himself unable to
evolve fresh decorative forms either from lack of time or faculty, he
has recourse to his library, and cribs or re-distributes decorative
conventions, more or less trite, according to the date of the print or
photograph, with the well known result. These aids are also within the
reach of the engineer, or even the "builder," pure and simple. With a
very little study, either might learn to handle them adroitly. So that
if the architect wishes to occupy an impregnable position, he must
fortify it with artistic accomplishments.

That somewhat negative quality, jejune good taste, a sparse use of the
very well known and approved decorative forms, has its charm. It is a
perfectly safe policy for an architect to pursue. In the face of much
tawdry stuff, one craves it—the mere hungry surface, relieved here
and there by the authorized classic motives. But this cold chasteness
is as much a moral as an artistic idea. It means æsthetic sterility,
petrified decoration. A living art connotes invention. The same is true
of the dictum that a good copy is better than a bad original. Perhaps
it is; but no artistic progress can be made under such a tenet, and
the beautiful prototype deteriorates in reproduction, and loses the
inspiration in its frequency.

Be it understood that the question of decorative instruction is not
under discussion. More tenaciously, perhaps, than others, we hold
that the student must know the historical conventions, his grammar of
ornament, just as a writer must know his alphabet, not in order to use
them subsequently, but to profit by their lessons. What concerns us now
is the golden mean between the use and abuse of accredited conventions.
Certain simple decorative motives, such as dentils, egg and darts,
pearls, frets, etc., have become part and parcel of our decorative
conceptions. They are valuable accessories, almost as essential to
artistic syntax as the unimportant, yet necessary, conjunction is to
rhetorical syntax. In literary composition no objection can be made
to a timely quotation as an auxiliary to the subject-matter, but very
serious objection would be made were citations forced to do the author's
work vicariously. It is only when architects make their conventions
bear the sole brunt of ornamentation and call it "art" that complaint
is made. Did we not constitutionally object to the thoughtless use of
the superlative so much in vogue, especially when æsthetic themes are
under discussion, we should say that in the use of classic conventions,
the discretion and taste of the della Robbia were very nearly supreme.
The founder of the clan, Andrea, was, perhaps, less influenced by the
antique than any decorative artist of his time; still he was influenced
by it, as every Italian of his date must have been. Take one of his
famous _tondi_ as an example. The expressional picture is in the centre,
architecturally framed as it should be by a fillet or two, or an egg
and dart, perhaps, confining a decorative border of great beauty,
inspired by the fruits of the earth, largely treated. Here we have a
composition firmly framed, well suited to structural needs, sufficiently
architectural, yet immensely interesting. This is the very acme of
decorative excellence.

Archæology and chance have recently conferred one benefit, not to
mention others, for which we must be truly grateful. They have clearly
demonstrated the inventive faculties of the ancients. They have proved
to us that the architects and decorators of classic times were always
doing what artists will ever do—the unexpected. Familiar with the
reproductions of certain consecrated monuments, students have been
too prone to believe that the art of the Greeks and Romans was highly
conventionalized; that it moved in very narrow and prescribed channels.
The rendering of these monuments in the authoritative works has
aggravated the belief. Actually, the ancients worked with great freedom,
doing what we should never look for. Suppose it had been required to
"restore" a Livia's villa, not knowing the original, would it ever have
entered the restorer's head to paint a freehand landscape on its walls?
Suppose the task was to make a patera _à l'antique_, would it ever
have occurred to the designer to plant a portrait head in its centre
with a meagre line or two about it? Yet just such a patera was found at
Bosco Reale a few years since. The problem being to build a Roman arch,
who would ever have dreamed of constructing such an one as we find at
Timgad, dedicated to Trajan, with its lateral bays crowned by curved
pediments? It is very well known in these days that the ancient Greeks
and Romans were creative artists, whether they diademed an Acropolis,
or carved the throne of a Zeus, or "hit off" a Tanagra figurine, or
colored a Palatine wall, or a Pompeiian villino—not to mention the
myriad household utensils, some the most humble, exquisitely designed.
In plain English—they invented.

The failure of the architect as a decorative designer is a logical
sequence of commercialism. It is not to be expected that the breadwinner
should make superfluous sacrifices—that would be "bad business."
While in every profession there are philanthropic enthusiasts capable
of high and costly flights of altruism, the rank and file cannot be
called upon to immolate themselves to an unremunerative idea. One must
live, and live well, too, in these days. Taking his long and expensive
training into consideration, and his multifarious requirements, it may
be boldly asserted that few, if any, of the professions are so poorly
paid as that of the architect. He is not bedecked with the trappings
of wealth. His range of theoretical knowledge must be wide, and his
practical experience very considerable. Probably no class of men is
more roundly abused for its pains. The client has usually a pack of
complaints against his architect, and makes it a point to air them.
On several occasions we have heard men, high in their respective
callings, irritably denounce, on the flimsiest grounds, all architects
as "frauds." It is needless to say that our sympathies have invariably
been with the latter, for, as a profession, we believe them to be
high-minded, cultivated, conscientious, and efficient. The reason
that they are not decorative designers is because they are not paid
for original design. Yet, with all their diversified requirements in
these days of novel and necessarily tentative construction, they would
quickly acquire the lost habit, if it were worth their while. Yes, the
habit is lost, has perished of inanition, temporarily, at least. The
client does not want original design at the price exacted. He is not
a Mæcenas; he prefers the mechanical reproduction of stale forms at a
lower figure, _i.e._, the shopworn conventional. Moreover, he is rather
inclined to the habitual as being safer. Under these conditions, fresh
thoughts cannot be looked for. Even those men whose lives are devoted to
architectural decoration alone, the decorative painters and sculptors,
are frequently forced by the client to use the wearisome ornaments of
the past, much to their chagrin, because fresh thought is too expensive.
Not much objection seems to be made to a lavish outlay on mere barbaric
material, but a vigorous stand is taken against an outlay on artistic
invention. What is the result? Unable to evolve fresh motives, the
architect, perforce, turns to his portfolios and copies. He must have
ornament, for ornament is part and parcel of his profession as well as
solid construction and harmonious proportion. Therefore, he purloins it.
There is no sin in it, for it is done overtly and no one is deceived.
Any man in the other professions would do likewise under similar
conditions. It would be reprehensible if he did not. Only this road does
not lead to new ideas—to a new style. Artistic invention cannot thrive
under such conditions.

                                                                    F. C.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not many years since a wealthy New Yorker, a man who employs
builders a good deal, and architects somewhat, objected to arguments
and appeals similar to those printed above, by demonstrating that a
good old building was certainly fine, whereas a proposed new building
only ran small chance of being fine, and that it followed (for so
it seemed to him)—it followed that it was wiser for an architect to
copy the old building rather than to try to design a fresh one. This
was a _fin-de-siècle_ idea, indeed! Surely, the decadence can hardly
go farther than to embody itself in a declaration that it was less
troublesome and more satisfactory to take your designs ready-made
from fine old things of the past! The rich New Yorker in question was,
undoubtedly, quoting his favorite architectural practitioner; but that
same practitioner would hardly have been willing to have said as much
among artists. Assuredly he would never have stood up at a meeting of
artists and have declared his gospel in any such terms.

The difficulty in the way of expense may be thought by some not so great
as Mr. Crowninshield has made it. When the present writer was a pupil
in an architect's office, the head man, the designer, the real maker
of the drawings, a workman prolific and able in his way, allowed this
confidence to escape him—"Yes, I used to think I would get a mountain
of tracing-paper and trace everything [photographs were not so cheap
in those days]—and then I would never be out of material! But I found
by and by that it was too much trouble to find what I wanted; it is
really much easier to design it; what you want, is a knowledge of the
style, and what may be done, and what cannot be done; and there you
are! Besides the time lost in finding your 'material' you lose another
infinite lot of time in fitting the material together—and _then_ it does
not fit!" That is as true now as it was a good many years ago. The only
reason why a modern designer finds it easier to copy than to invent is
that he is not really familiar with the style, nor really in the habit
of designing in it. He is not really familiar with the style, because he
has accustomed himself to go straight to books where all his details are
to be found complete, and with their relative dimensions figured, and to
copy them. He is not in the habit of designing in the style (whatever
it may be), because, again, he has done nothing for years but patch
together copied details. He is not in the habit of inventing, because,
as Mr. Crowninshield has shown, he has too much else to do and too much
else to think of; and because invention is not required of him by his
clients, nor even delicate, choice, and careful treating of what he
has chosen, nor even seemly combination of what he has chosen into new
resulting wholes. If he really knew his style so that he felt at home
in it—so that he felt it to be plastic in his hands; so that he dared
play with it and alter its details in absolute conviction that he would
not abandon its essential characteristics in so doing—then he would find
it easier to invent than to copy, provided always he had the habit of
freehand drawing and of simple modelling, and the habit of using either
or both of those familiar arts for the ornamentation of objects large
and small.

                                                                    R. S.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scribner's Magazine, Volume XXVI, September 1899" ***

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

We also ask that you:

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

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

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

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



Home