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Title: Scribner's Magazine, Volume XXVI, October 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, October 1899" ***

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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: On the Harlem River—University Heights from Fort

   _See_ "_The Water Front of New York_."

   _Drawn by Jules Guérin._]


     VOL. XXVI      OCTOBER, 1899      NO. 4

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

  [Illustration: Grant's Tomb and Riverside Drive (from the New Jersey


By Jesse Lynch Williams

Down along the Battery sea-wall is the place to watch the ships go by.

Coastwise schooners, lumber-laden, which can get far up the river under
their own sail; big, full-rigged clipper ships that have to be towed
from the lower bay, their top masts down in order to scrape under the
Brooklyn Bridge; barques, brigs, brigantines—all sorts of sailing craft,
with cargoes from all seas, and flying the flags of all nations.

  [Illustration: Down along the Battery sea-wall is the place to watch
   the ships go by.—Page 385.]

White-painted river steamers that seem all the more flimsy and riverish
if they happen to churn out past the dark, compactly built ocean liners,
who come so deliberately and arrogantly, up past the Statue of Liberty,
to dock after the long, hard job of crossing, the home-comers on the
decks already waving handkerchiefs. Plucky little tugs (that whistle
on the slightest provocation), pushing queer, bulky floats, which bear
with ease whole trains of freight cars, dirty cars looking frightened
and out of place, which the choppy seas try to reach up and wash. And
still queerer, old sloop scows, with soiled, awkward canvas and no
shape to speak of, bound for no one seems to know where and carrying you
seldom see what. And always, everywhere, all day and night, whistling
and pushing in and out between everybody, the ubiquitous, faithful,
narrow-minded old ferry-boats, with their wonderful helmsman in the
pilot-house, turning the wheel and looking unexcitable....

  [Illustration: The old town does not change so fast about its
   edges.—Page 394.

   (Along the upper East River front looking north toward Blackwell's

That is the way it is down around Pier A, where the Tammany Dock
Commission meets and the Police Patrol boat lies, and by Castle Garden,
where the river craft pass so close you can almost reach out and touch
them with your hand.

The "water-front" means something different when you think of Riverside
and its greenness, a few miles to the north, with Grant's tomb, white
and glaring in the sun, and Columbia Library back on Cathedral Heights.

Here the "lordly" Hudson is not yet obliged to become busy North
River, and there is plenty of water between a white-sailed schooner
yacht and a dirty tug slowly towing in silence—for there is no utter
excuse for whistling—a cargo of brick for a new country house up at
Garrisons; while on the shore itself instead of wharves and warehouses
and ferry-slips there are yacht and rowing club houses and an occasional
bathing pavilion; and above the water edge, in place of the broken ridge
of stone buildings with countless windows, there is the real bluff of
good green earth with the well-kept drive on top and the sun glinting
on harness and handle-bars.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, between these two contrasts you will find—you _may_ find, I mean,
for most of you prefer to exhaust Europe and the Orient before you begin
to look at New York—as many different sorts of interests and kinds of
picturesqueness as there are miles, as there are blocks almost.

  [Illustration: Old New Amsterdam.
   Just as it has been for years.—Page 388.

   (Between South Ferry and the Bridge.)]

For instance, down there by the starting-point. If you go up toward
the bridge from South Ferry a block or so and pull down your hat-brim
far enough to hide the tower of the Produce Exchange, you have a bit
of old New Amsterdam, just as it has been for years, so old and so
Amsterdamish, with its long, sloping roofs, gable windows, and even
wooden-shoe-like canal-boats, that you may easily feel that you are in
Holland, if you like. As a matter of fact, it is more like Hamburg, I
am told, but either will do if you get an added enjoyment out of things
by noting their similarity to something else and appreciate mountains
and sunsets more by quoting some other person's sensations about other
sunsets and mountains.

  [Illustration: New New York.
   Not a stone's throw further up ... the towering white city of
   1900.—Page 391.

   (Between South Ferry and the Bridge.)]

  [Illustration: From the point of view of the Jersey commuter ... some
   uncommon, weird effects.—Page 394.

   (Looking back at Manhattan from a North River ferry-boat.)]

  [Illustration: Looking up the East River from the Foot of Fifty-ninth

But if you believe that there is also an inherent, characteristic beauty
in the material manifestations of the spirit of our own new, vigorous,
fearless republic—and whether you do or not, if you care to look at one
of these sudden contrasts referred to—not a stone's throw farther up
the water-front there is a notable sight of newest New York. This, too,
is good to look at. Behind a foreground of tall masts with their square
rigging and mystery (symbols of the world's commerce, if you wish),
looms up a wondrous bit of the towering white city of 1900, a cluster
of modern high buildings which, notwithstanding the perspective of a
dozen blocks, are still high, enormously, alarmingly high—symbols of
modern capital, perhaps, and its far-reaching possibilities, or they may
remind you, in their massive grouping, of a cluster of mountains, with
their bright peaks glistening in the sun far above the dark shadows of
the valleys in which the streams of business flow, down to the wharves
and so out over the world.

  [Illustration: Swooping silently, confidently across from one city to
   the other.... Page 394.

   (East River and Brooklyn Bridge.)]

Now, separately they may be impossible, these high buildings of
ours—these vulgar, impertinent "sky-scrapers;" but, as a group, and in
perspective, they are fine, with a strong, manly beauty all their own.
It is the same as with the young nation; we have grown up so fast and so
far that some of our traits, when considered alone, may not be pleasing,
but they appear in a different light when viewed as a whole and from
the right point of view.

  [Illustration: For the little scenes ... quaint and lovable, one goes
   down along the South Street water-front.—Page 397.

   Smacks and oyster-floats near Fulton Market (At the foot of Beekman
   Street, East River.)]

Or, on the other hand, for scenes not representatively commercial, nor
residential either in the sense that Riverside is, but more of the sort
that the word "picturesque" suggests, to most people: There are all
those odd nooks and corners, here and there up one river and down the
other, popping out upon you with unexpected vistas full of life and
color. Somehow the old town does not change so fast about its edges as
back from the water. It seems to take a longer time to slough off the
old landmarks.

The comfortable country houses along the shore, half-way up the island,
first become uncomfortable city houses; then tenements, warehouses,
sometimes hospitals, even police stations, before they are finally
hustled out of existence to make room for a foul-smelling gas-house
or another big brewery. Many of them are still standing, or tumbling
down; pathetic old things they are, with incongruous cupolas and dusty
fanlights and, on the river side, an occasional bit of old-fashioned
garden, with a bunker which was formerly a terrace, and the dirty
remains of a summer-house where children once had a good time—and still
do have, different-looking children, who love the nearby water just as
much and are drowned in it more numerously. It is not only by way of
the recreation piers that these children and their parents enjoy the
water. It is a deep-rooted instinct in human nature to walk out to the
end of a dock and sit down and gaze; and hundreds of them do so every
day in summer, up along here. Now and then, through these vistas you get
a good view of beautiful Blackwell's Island and its prison and hospital
and poorhouse buildings. Those who see it oftenest do not consider it
beautiful. They always speak of it as "The Island."

For those who do not care to prowl about for the scattered bits
of interest or who prefer what Baedeker would call "a magnificent
panorama," there are plenty of good points of vantage from which to
see whole sections at once, such as the Statue of Liberty or the tops
of high buildings, or, obviously, Brooklyn Bridge, which is so very
obvious that many Manhattanese would never make use of this opportunity
were it not for an occasional out-of-town visitor on their hands. No
one ought to be allowed to live in New York City—he ought to be made
to live in Brooklyn—who does not go out there and look back at his town
once a year. He could look at it every day and get new effects of light
and color. Even in sky-line he could find something new almost every
week or two. In a few years there will be a more or less even line—at
least a gentle undulation—instead of these raw, jagged breaks that
give a disquieting sense of incompletion, or else look as if a great
conflagration had eaten out the rest of the buildings.

The sky-line and its constant change can be watched to best advantage
from the point of view of the Jersey commuter on the ferry; he also has
some wonderful coloring to look at and some uncommon, weird effects,
such as that of a late autumn afternoon (when he has missed the 5.16
and has to go out on the 6.26) and it is already quite dark, but the
city is still at work and the towering office-buildings are lighted—are
brilliant indeed with many perfectly even rows of light dots. The dark
plays tricks with the distance, and the water is black and snaky and
smells of the night. All sorts of strange flares of light and puffs of
shadow come from somewhere, and altogether the commuter, if he were not
so accustomed to the scene, ought not to mind being late for dinner.
However, the commuter is used to this, too.

That scene is spectacular. There is another from the water that
is dramatic. Possibly the pilots on the Fall River steamers become
hardened, but to most of us there is an exciting delight in creeping
up under that great bridge of ours and dramatically slipping through
without having it fall down this time; and then looking rather
boastfully back at it, swooping silently, confidently across from one
city to the other, as graceful and lean and characteristically American
in its line as our cup defenders, and as overwhelmingly powerful and
fearless as Niagara Falls. However, much like the Thames embankment is
the bit of East Fifty-ninth Street in a yellow fog, and however skilful
you may be in making an occasional acre of the Bronx resemble the
upper Seine, this big bridge of ours cannot very well remind anyone of
anything abroad, because there aren't any others.

  [Illustration: Even in sky-line he could find something new almost
   every week or two.—Page 394.

   The end of the day—looking back at Manhattan from the Brooklyn

  [Illustration: This is the tired city's playground.—Page 399.

   Washington Bridge and the Speedway—Harlem River looking south.]

For the little scenes that are not inspiring or awful, but simply quaint
and lovable, one goes down along the South Street water-front. Fulton
Market with its memorable smells and the marketeers and 'longshoremen;
and behind it the slip where clean-cut American-model smacks put in,
and sway excitedly to the wash from the Brooklyn ferry-boats, which is
not noticed by the sturdy New Haven line steamers nearby. On the edge
of the street and the water are the oyster-floats, half house and half
boat, which look like solid shops, with front doors, from the street
side until the seas hitting them they, too, begin to sway awkwardly and
startle the unaccustomed passer-by.

It is down around here that you find slouching idly in front of
ship-stores, loafing on cables and anchors, the jolly jack tar of modern
days. From all parts of the world he comes, any number of him if you
can tell him when you see him, for he is seldom tarry and less often
jolly, unless drunk on the very poor stuff he gets in the variously
evil-looking dives thickly strewn along the water-fronts. Some of these
are modern plate-glass saloons, but here and there is a cosy old-time
tavern (with a step-down at the entrance instead of a step-up), low
ceiling, dark interior, and in the window a thickly painted ship's model
with flies on the rigging.

Farther down, near Wall Street ferry, where the smells of the world
are gathered, you may see the stevedores unloading liqueurs and spices
from tropical ports, and coffees and teas; nearby are the places where
certain men make their livings tasting these teas all day long, while
the horse-cars jangle by.

Old Slip and other odd-named streets are along here, where once the
water came before the city outgrew its clothes, before Water Street,
now two or three blocks back, had lost all right to its name. Here the
big slanting bowsprits hunch away in over South Street as if trying to
be quits with the land for its encroachment, and the plain old brick
buildings huddled together across the way have no cornices for fear of
their being poked off. Queer old buildings they are, sail lofts with
their peculiar roofs, and sailors' lodging-houses, and the shops where
the seaman can buy everything he needs from suspenders to anchor cables,
so that after a ten-thousand mile cruise he can spend all his several
months' pay within two blocks of where he first puts foot on shore and
within one night from when he does so. Very often he has not energy
enough to go farther or money to buy anything, thanks to the slavery
system which conducts the sailors' lodging-houses across the way. There
is nothing very picturesque about our modern merchant marine and its
ill-used and over-worked sailors; it is only pathetic.

Those are some of the reasons, I think, why East River is more
interesting to most of us than North River. Another reason, perhaps, is
that East River is not a river at all, but an arm of the ocean which
makes Long Island, and true to its nature in spite of man's error it
holds the charm of the sea. The North River side of the town in the old
days had less to do with the business of those who go down to the sea
in ships; was more rural and residential and now its water-front is so
jammed with railway ferry-houses and ocean steamship docks that there
is little room for anything else.

However, these long, roofed docks of famous Cunarders and American and
White Star Liners, and of the French steamers (which have a round roof
dock of a sort all their own) are interesting in their way, too, and the
names of the foreign ports at the open entrance cause a strange fret to
be up and going; especially on certain days of the week when thick smoke
begins to pour from the great funnels which stick out so enormously
above the top story of the now noisy piers. Cabs and carriages with
coachmen almost hidden by trunks and steamer-rugs crowd in through the
dock-gates, while, within, the hold baggage-derricks are rattling and
there is an excited chatter of good-by talk....

  [Illustration: Here is where the town ends, and the country
   begins.—Page 399.

   (High Bridge as seen Looking South from Washington Bridge.)]

By the time you get up to Gansevoort Market, with its broad expanse of
cobblestones, the steamship lines begin to thin out and the ferries
are now sprinkled more sparsely. Where the avenues grow out into
their teens, there are coal-yards and lumber-yards. On the warehouses
and factories are great twenty-foot letters advertising soap and
cereals, all of which are the best.... Farther up is the region of
slaughter-houses and smells, gas-houses and their smells.... And so on
up to Riverside, and beyond that the unknown wildness of Manhattan's
farthest north, and Fort Washington with its breastworks, which it is
pleasing to see, are being visited and picnicked upon more often than

But over on the east edge of the town there is more to look at and more
of a variety. All the way from the Bridge and the big white battle-ships
squatting in the Navy Yard across the river; up past Kip's Bay with its
dapper steam-yachts waiting to take their owners home from business;
past Bellevue Hospital and its Morgue, and the antediluvian-looking
United States Frigate New Hampshire moored nearby, (now used by the
Naval Reserve), past Thirty-fourth Street ferry with its streams of
funerals and fishing-parties; Blackwell's Island with its green grass
and the young doctors and officials upon it, playing tennis obliviously;
Hell Gate with its boiling tide, where so many are drowned every year;
East River Park with its bit of green turf (it is too bad there are not
more of these parks on our water-fronts); past Ward's Island with its
public institutions; Randall's Island with more public institutions—and
so up into the Harlem where soon around the bend the occasional tall
mast looks very incongruous as seen across a stretch of real estate.

And now you have a totally different feel in the air and a totally
different sort of "scenery." It is as different as the use it is put
to. Below McComb's Dam Bridge, clear to the Battery, it was nearly all
work; up here it is nearly all play.

On the banks of the river, rowing clubs, yacht clubs, bathing
pavilions—they bump into each other they are so thick; on the water
itself their members and their contents bump into each other on
holidays—launches, barges, racing-shells and all sorts of small pleasure

Near the Manhattan end of McComb's Dam Bridge are the famous fields of
famous football victories, baseball championships, track games, open-air
horse shows; across the bridge go the bicyclers, hordes of them, brazen
braided bicyclists who use chewing gum and lean far over, and all the
other varieties.

Up the river are college and school ovals and athletic fields; on the
ridges upon either side are walks and paths for lovers. For the lonely
pedestrian and antiquarians, two old revolutionary forts and some good
colonial architecture. Whirly go-rounds and big wheels for children,
groves and beer-gardens for picnickers; while down on one bank of the
stream upon the broad speedway go the full-blooded trotters with their
red-faced masters behind in light-colored driving coats, eyes goggled,
arms extended.

On the opposite banks are the two railroads taking people to Ardsley
Casino, St. Andrew's Golf Club, and the other country clubs and the
pretty links at Van Cortlandt Park, and taking picnickers and family
parties to Mosholu Park, and regiments and squadrons to drill and play
battle in the inspection grounds nearby, and botanists and naturalists
and sportsmen for their fun farther up in the good green country.

No wonder there is a different feeling in the air up along this best
known end of the city's water-front. The small, unimportant looking
winding river, long distance views, wooded hills, green terraces, and
even the great solid masonry of High Bridge, and the asphalt and stone
resting-places on Washington Bridge somehow help to make you feel the
spirit of freedom and outdoors and relaxation. This is the tired city's

Here is where the town ends, and the country begins.


  [Illustration: Visions will come at times.
   _Drawn by Orson Lowell._]


By Arthur Colton

     All men who fain would pass their days
     Amid old books and quiet ways,
     Quaint thoughts and autumn's mellow haze,
       The uses of tranquillity—
     The peace you love be with your souls!
     Come, fill we up our brown pipe-bowls,
     And discourse to the bickering coals
       Of kindness and civility.

     Sirs, you remember Omar's choice—
     Wine, verses, and his lady's voice
     Making the wilderness rejoice?
       It lacks one more ingredient.
     A boon the Persian knew not of
     Had made to mellower music move
     The lips, to wine, perhaps to love,
       A trifle too obedient.

     This weed I call the herb o' grace.
     My reasons are—as someone says—
     Between me and the fireplace.
       Ophelia spoke of rue, you know.
     There's rue for you, and some for me,
     But you must wear it differently.
     Quite true, of course. This pipe, I see,
       Draws hard. They sometimes do, you know.

     Alas, if we in fancy's train
     To drowse beside our fires are fain,
     Letting the world slip by amain,
       Uneager of its verities,
     Our neighbors will not let us be
     At peace with inutility.
     They quote us maxims, two or three,
       Or similar asperities

     I question not, a man may bear
     His still soul walled from noisy care,
     And walk serene in places where
       An ancient wrath is denizen.
     The pilgrim's feet may know no ease,
     And yet his heart's delight increase,
     For all ways that are trod in peace
       Lead upward to God's benison.

     Poor ethics, these of mine, I fear;
     And yet when our green leaves and sere
     Have dropped away, perhaps we'll hear
       Some questions answered curiously.
     This battered book here on my knees?
     Is Herrick, his Hesperides.
     Gold apples from the guarded trees
       Are stored here not penuriously.

     Lyrist of mellow, gurgling phrase,
     And quaint thought o' the elder days,
     Loved holiness and primrose ways
       About in equal quantities.
     Wassail and yule-tide, feast and fair,
     Blown petticoats, a child's low prayer,
     And fine old pagan joy is there.
       A wild-rose muse's haunt it is.

     Dear herb o' grace, that kindred art
     To all who choose the better part,
     Grant us the Old World's childlike heart,
       Now grown an antique rarity!
     With Mayflowers on our swords and shields
     We'll learn to babble o' green fields,
     Like Falstaff, whom good humor yields
       A place still in its charity.

     Visions will come at times—I note
     One with a cool white delicate throat—
     Of names that shine on men remote,
       And dreams of high endeavoring.
     Care not for these, nor care to roam
     Ulysses o'er the beckoning foam.
     "Here rest and call content our home,"
       Beside our fire's soft wavering.


By A. T. Quiller-Couch




The first winter had interrupted all work upon the rock; but Taffy and
his men had used the calm days of the following spring and summer to
such purpose that before the end of July the foundations began to show
above high-water neaps, and in September he was able to report that
the building could go forward in any ordinary weather. The workmen were
carried to and from the mainland by a wire hawser and cradle, and the
rising breastwork of masonry protected them from the beat of the sea.
Progress was slow, for each separate stone had to be dovetailed above,
below, and on all sides with the blocks adjoining it, besides being
cemented; and care to be taken that no salt mingled with the fresh
water, or found its way into the joints of the building. Taffy studied
the barometer hour by hour, and kept a constant lookout to windward
against sudden gales.

On November 16th the men had finished their dinner and sat smoking
under the lee of the wall and were expecting the call of the whistle
when Taffy, with his pocket-aneroid in his hand, gave the order to snug
down and man the cradle for shore. They stared. The morning had been
a halcyon one; and the northerly breeze, which had sprung up with the
turn of the tide and was freshing, carried no cloud across the sky. Two
vessels, a brigantine and a three-masted schooner, were merrily reaching
down channel before it, the brigantine leading; at two miles' distance
they could see distinctly the white foam running from her bluff bows,
and her forward deck from bulwark to bulwark as she heeled to it.

One or two grumbled. Half a day's work meant half a day's pay to them.
It was all very well for the Cap'n, who drew his by the week.

"Come, look alive!" Taffy called sharply. He pinned his faith to the
barometer, and as he shut it in its case he glanced at the brigantine
and saw that her crew were busy with the braces, flattening the forward
canvas. "See there, boys. There'll be a gale from the west'ard before

For a minute the brigantine seemed to have run into a calm. The
schooner, half a mile behind her, came reaching along steadily.

"That there two-master's got a fool for skipper," grumbled a voice. But
almost at the moment the wind took her right aback—or would have done so
had the crew not been preparing for it. Her stern swung slowly around
into view, and within two minutes she was fetching away from them on
the port tack, her sails hauled closer and closer as she went. Already
the schooner was preparing to follow suit.

"Snug down, boys! We must be out of this in half an hour."

And sure enough, by the time Taffy gained the cliff by the old
light-house the sky had darkened and a stiff breeze from the northwest,
crossing the tide, was beginning to work up a nasty sea around the rock
and top it from time to time over the masonry and the platforms where,
half an hour before, his men had been standing. The two vessels had
disappeared in the weather; and as Taffy stared in the direction a spit
of rain—the first—took him viciously in the face.

He turned his back to it and hurried homeward. As he passed the
light-house door old Pezzack called out to him:

"Hi! wait a bit! Would 'ee mind seein' Joey home? I dunna what his
mother sent him over here for, not I. He'll get hisself leakin'."

Joey came hobbling out and put his right hand in Taffy's with the fist

"What's that in your hand?"

Joey looked up shyly. "You won't tell?"

"Not if it's a secret."

The child opened his palm and disclosed a bright half-crown piece.

"Where on earth did you get that?"

"The soldier gave it to me."

"The soldier? nonsense! What tale are you making up?"

"Well, he had a red coat, so he _must_ be a soldier. He gave it to me
and told me to be a good boy and run off and play."

Taffy came to a halt. "Is he here—up at the cottages?"

"How funnily you say that! No, he's just rode away. I watched him from
the light-house windows. He can't be gone far yet."

"Look here, Joey—can you run?"

"Yes, if you hold my hand; only you mustn't go too fast. Oh, you're

Taffy took the child in his arms, and with the wind at his back, went
up the hill with long stride. "There he is!" cried Joey as they gained
the ridge; and he pointed; and Taffy, looking along the ridge, saw a
speck of scarlet moving against the lead-colored moors—half a mile away
perhaps, or a little more. He sat the child down, for the cottages were
close by. "Run home, sonny. I'm going to have a look at the soldier,

The first bad squall broke on the headland just as Taffy started to
run. It was as if a bag of water had burst right overhead, and within
quarter of a minute he was drenched to the skin. So fiercely it went
howling inland along the ridge that he half-expected to see the horse
urged into a gallop before it. But the rider, now standing high for a
moment against the sky-line, went plodding on. For a while horse and
rider disappeared over the rise; but Taffy guessed that on hitting
the cross-path beyond, they would strike away to the left and descend
toward Langona Creek; and he began to slant his course to the left in
anticipation. The tide, he knew, would be running in strong; and with
this wind behind it he hoped—and caught himself praying—that it would be
high enough to cover the wooden footbridge and make the ford impassable;
and if so, the horseman would be delayed and forced to head back and
fetch a circuit farther up the valley.

By this time the squalls were coming fast on each other's heels and the
strength of them flung him forward at each stride. He had lost his hat,
and the rain poured down his back and squished in his boots. But all he
felt was the hate in his heart. It had gathered there little by little
for three years and a half, pent up, fed by his silent thoughts as a
reservoir by small mountain-streams; and with so tranquil a surface that
at times—poor youth!—he had honestly believed it reflected God's calm,
had been proud of his magnanimity, and said "forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us." Now as he ran he prayed
to the same God to delay the traitor at the ford.

Dusk was falling when George, yet unaware of pursuit, turned down the
sunken lane which ended beside the ford. And by the shore, when the
small waves lapped against his mare's fore-feet, he heard Taffy's shout
for the first time and turned in his saddle. Even so it was a second
or two before he recognized the figure which came plunging down the low
cliff on his left, avoiding a fall only by wild clutches at the swaying
alder boughs.

"Hello!" he shouted, cheerfully. "Looks nasty, doesn't it?"

Taffy came down the beach, near enough to see that the mare's legs were
plastered with mud, and to look up into his enemy's face.

"Get down," he panted.


"Get down, I tell you. Come off your horse, and put up your fists."

"What the devil is the matter? Hello!... Keep off, I tell you! Are you

"Come off and fight."

"By God, I'll break your head in if you don't let go.... You idiot!"—as
the mare plunged and tore the stirrup-leather from Taffy's grip—"She'll
brain you, if you fool round her heels like that!"

"Come off, then."

"Very well." George backed a little, swung himself out of the saddle
and faced him on the beach. "Now perhaps you'll explain."

"You've come from the headland?"


"From Lizzie Pezzack's."

"Well, and what then?"

"Only this, that so sure as you've a wife at home, if you come to the
headland again, I'll kill you; and if you're a man, you'll put up your
fists now."

"Oh, that's it? May I ask what you have to do with my wife, or with
Lizzie Pezzack?"

"Whose child is Lizzie's?"

"Not yours, is it?"

"You said so once; you told your wife so; liar that you were."

"Very good, my gentleman. You shall have what you want. Woa, mare!" He
led her up the beach and sought for a branch to tie his reins to. The
mare hung back, terrified by the swishing of the whipped boughs and the
roar of the gale overhead; her hoofs, as George dragged her forward,
scuffled with the loose-lying stones on the beach. After a minute he
desisted and turned on Taffy again.

"Look here; before we have this out there's one thing I'd like to know.
When you were at Oxford, was Honoria maintaining you there?"

"If you must know—yes."

"And when—when this happened, she stopped the supplies."


"Well, then, I didn't know it. She never told me."

"She never told _me_."

"You don't say——"

"I do. I never knew it until too late."

"Well, now, I'm going to fight you. I don't swallow being called a liar.
But I tell you this first, that I'm damned sorry. I never guessed that
it injured your prospects."

At another time, in another mood, Taffy might have remembered that
George was George, and heir to Sir Harry's nature. As it was, the
apology threw oil on the flame.

"You cur! Do you think it was _that_? And _you_ are Honoria's husband!"
He advanced with an ugly laugh. "For the last time, put up your fists."

They had been standing within two yards of each other; and even so,
shouted at the pitch of their voices to make themselves heard above the
gale. As Taffy took a step forward George lifted his whip. His left hand
held the bridle on which the reluctant mare was dragging, and the action
was merely instinctive, to guard against sudden attack.

But as he did so his face and uplifted arm were suddenly painted clear
against the darkness. The mare plunged more wildly than ever. Taffy
dropped his hands and swung round. Behind him, behind the black contour
of the hill, the whole sky welled up a pale blue light which gathered
brightness while he stared.

The very stones on the beach at his feet shone separate and distinct.

"What is it?" George gasped.

"A ship on the rocks! Quick, man! Will the mare reach to Innis?"

"She'll have to." George wheeled her round. She was fagged out with two
long gallops after hounds that day, but for the moment sheer terror made
her lively enough.

"Ride, then! Call up the coast-guard. By the flare she must be somewhere
off the creek here. Ride!"

A clatter of hoofs answered him as the mare pounded up the lane.



Taffy stood for a moment listening. He judged the wreck to be somewhere
on the near side of the light-house, between it and the mouth of the
creek; that was, if she had already struck. If not, the gale and the
set of the tide together would be sweeping her eastward, perhaps right
across the mouth of the creek. And if he could discover this, his course
would be to run back, intercept the coast-guard and send them around by
the upper bridge.

He waited for a second signal to guide him—a flare or a rocket; but none
came. The beach lay in the lew of the weather, deep in the hills' hollow
and trebly landlocked by the windings of the creek; but above him the
sky kept its screaming as though the bare ridges of the headland were
being shelled by artillery.

He resolved to keep along the lower slopes and search his way down to
the creek's mouth, when he would have sight of any signal shown along
the coast for a mile or two to the east and northeast. The night was
now as black as a wolf's throat; but he knew every path and fence. So
he scrambled up the low cliff and began to run, following the line of
stunted oaks and tamarisks which fenced it; and on the ridges—where the
blown hail took him in the face—crouching and scuttling like a crab,
sideways, moving his legs only from the knees down.

In this way he had covered half a mile and more when his right foot
plunged in a rabbit hole and he was pitched headlong into the tamarisks
below. Their boughs bent under his weight; but they were tough, and he
caught at them and just saved himself from rolling over into the black
water. He picked himself up and began to rub his twisted ankle. And at
that instant, in a lull between two gusts, his ear caught the sound of
splashing—yet a sound so unlike the lapping of the driven tide that he
peered over and down between the tamarisk boughs.

"Hullo there!"

"Hullo!" a voice answered. "Is that someone alive? Here, mate—for
Christ's sake!"

"Hold on! Whereabouts are you?"

"Down in this here cruel water." The words ended in a shuddering cough.

"Right—hold on a moment!" Taffy's ankle pained him, but the wrench was
not serious. The cliff shelved easily. He slid down, clutching at the
tamarisk boughs which whipped his face. "Where are you? I can't see."

"Here!" The voice was not a dozen yards away.


"No—I've got a water-breaker—can't hold on much longer."

"I believe you can touch bottom there."

"Hey? I can't hear."

"Try to touch bottom. It's firm sand hereabouts."

"So I can." The splashing and coughing came nearer, came close. Taffy
stretched out a hand. A hand, icy-cold, fumbled and gripped it in the

"Christ! Where's a place to lie down?"

"Here, on this rock." They peered at each other, but could not see. The
man's teeth chattered close to Taffy's ear.

"Warm my hands, mate—there's a good chap." He lay on the rock and
panted. Taffy took his hands and began to rub them briskly.

"Where's the ship?"

"Where's the ship?" He seemed to turn over the question in his mind,
and then stretched himself with a sigh. "How the hell should I know?"

"What's her name?" Taffy had to ask the question twice.

"The Samaritan of Newport, brigantine. Coals she carried. Ha'n't you
such a thing as a match? It seems funny to me, talkin' here like this,
and me not knowin' you from Adam."

He panted between the words, and when he had finished, lay back and
panted again.

"Hurt?" asked Taffy, after a while.

The man sat up and began to feel his limbs, quite as though they
belonged to some other body. "No, I reckon not."

"Then we'd best be starting. The tide's rising. My house is just above

He led the way along the slippery foreshore until he found what he
sought, a foot-track slanting up the cliff. Here he gave the sailor a
hand and they mounted together. On the grass slope above they met the
gale and were forced to drop on their hands and knees and crawl, Taffy
leading and shouting instructions, the sailor answering each with "Ay,
ay, mate!" to show that he understood.

But about half way up, these answers ceased, and Taffy, looking round
and calling, found himself alone. He groped his way back for twenty
yards, and found the man stretched on his face and moaning.

"I can't ... I can't! My poor brother! I can't!"

Taffy knelt beside him on the soaking turf. "Your brother? Had you a
brother on board?"

The man bowed his face again upon the turf. Taffy, upright on both
knees, heard him sobbing like a child in the roaring darkness.

"Come," he coaxed; and putting out a hand touched his wet hair.
"Come—." They crept forward again; but still as he followed, the sailor
cried for his drowned brother; up the long slope to the ridge of the
headland where, with the light-house and warm cottage windows in view,
all speech and hearing were drowned by stinging hail and the blown grit
of the causeway.

Humility opened the door to them.

"Taffy! Where have you been?"

"There has been a wreck."

"Yes, yes—the coast-guard is down by the light-house. The men there saw
her before she struck. They kept signalling till it fell dark. They had
sent off before that."

She drew back, shrinking against the dresser as the lamplight fell on
the stranger. Taffy turned and stared, too. The man's face was running
with blood; and looking at his own hands he saw that they also were

He helped the poor wretch to a chair.

"Bandages—can you manage?" She nodded, and stepped to a cupboard. The
sailor began to wail like an infant.

"See—above the temple here: the cut isn't serious." Taffy took down a
lantern and lit it. The candle shone red through the smears his fingers
left on the horn panes. "I must go and help, if you can manage."

"I can manage," she answered, quietly.

He strode out, and closing the door behind him with an effort, faced
the gale again. Down in the lee of the light-house the lamps of the
coast-guard carriage gleamed foggily through the rain. The men were
there discussing, and George among them. He had just galloped up.

The Chief Officer went off to question the survivor, while the rest
began their search. They searched all that night; they burned flares
and shouted; their torches dotted the cliffs. After an hour the Chief
Officer returned. He could make nothing of the sailor, who had fallen
silly from exhaustion or the blow on his head; but he divided his men
into three parties, and they began to hunt more systematically. Taffy
was told off to help the westernmost gang and search the rocks below the
light-house. Once or twice he and his comrades paused in their work,
hearing, as they thought, a cry for help. But when they listened, it
was only one of the other parties hailing.

The gale began to abate soon after midnight, and before dawn had blown
itself out. Day came filtered slowly through the wrack of it to the
southeast; and soon they heard a whistle blown, and there on the cliff
above them was George Vyell on horseback, in his red coat, with an arm
thrown out and pointing eastward. He turned and galloped off in that

They scrambled up and followed. To their astonishment, after following
the cliffs for a few hundred yards, he headed inland, down and across
the very slope up which Taffy had crawled with the sailor.

They lost sight of his red coat among the ridges. Two or three—Taffy
amongst them—ran along the upper ground for a better view.

"Well, this beats all!" panted the foremost.

Below them George came into view again, heading now at full gallop for
a group of men gathered by the shore of the creek, a good half-mile
from its mouth. And beyond—midway across the sandy bed where the
river wound—lay the hull of a vessel, high and dry; her deck, naked
of wheel-house and hatches, canted toward them as if to cover from the
morning the long wounds ripped by her uprooted masts.

The men beside him shouted and ran on, but Taffy stood still. It was
monstrous—a thing inconceivable—that the seas should have lifted a
vessel of three hundred tons and carried her half a mile up that shallow
creek. Yet there she lay. A horrible thought seized him. Could she have
been there last night when he had drawn the sailor ashore? And had he
left four or five others to drown close by, in the darkness? No, the
tide at that hour had scarcely passed half-flood. He thanked God for

Well, there she lay, high and dry, with plenty to attend to her. It was
time for him to discover the damage done to the light-house plant and
machinery, perhaps to the building itself. In half an hour the workmen
would be arriving.

He walked slowly back to the house, and found Humility preparing

"Where is he?" Taffy asked, meaning the sailor. "In bed?"

"Didn't you meet him? He went out five minutes ago—I couldn't keep
him—to look for his brother, he said."

Taffy drank a cupful of tea, took up a crust, and made for the door.

"Go to bed, dear," his mother pleaded. "You must be worn out."

"I must see how the works have stood it."

On the whole, they had stood it well. The gale, indeed, had torn away
the wire cable and cage, and thus cut off for the time all access to the
outer rock; for while the sea ran at its present height the scramble out
along the ridge could not be attempted even at low water. But from the
cliff he could see the worst. The waves had washed over the building,
tearing off the temporary covers, and churning all within. Planks,
scaffolding—everything floatable—had gone, and strewed the rock with
match-wood; and—a marvel to see—one of his two heaviest winches had been
lifted from inside, hurled clean over the wall, and lay collapsed in
the wreckage of its cast-iron frame. But, so far as he could see, the
dove-tailed masonry stood intact. A voice hailed him.

"What a night! What a night!"

It was old Pezzack, aloft on the gallery of the light-house in his
yellow oilers, already polishing the lantern-panes.

Taffy's workmen came straggling and gathered about him. They discussed
the damage together but without addressing Taffy; until a little
pock-marked fellow, the wag of the gang, nudged a mate slyly and said

"By God, Bill, we _can_ build a bit—you and me and the boss!"

All the men laughed; and Taffy laughed, too, blushing. Yes; this had
been in his mind. He had measured his work against the sea in its fury,
and the sea had not beaten him.

A cry broke in upon their laughter. It came from the base of the cliff
to the right—a cry so insistent that they ran toward it in a body.

Far below them, on the edge of a great bowlder which rose from the
broken water and seemed to overhang it, stood the rescued sailor. He
was pointing.

Taffy was the first to reach him.

"It's my brother! It's my brother Sam!"

Taffy flung himself full length on the rock and peered over. A tangle
of ore-weed awash rose and fell about its base; and from under this, as
the frothy waves drew back, he saw a man's ankle protruding, and a foot
still wearing a shoe.

"It's my brother!" wailed the sailor again. "I can swear to the shoe of



One of the masons lowered himself into the pool, and thrusting an arm
beneath the ore-weed, began to grope.

"He's pinned here. The rock's right on top of him."

Taffy examined the rock. It weighed fifteen tons if an ounce; but there
were fresh and deep scratches upon it. He pointed these out to the men,
who looked and felt them with their hands and stared at the subsiding
waves, trying to bring their minds to the measure of the spent gale.

"Here, I must get out of this!" said the man in the pool, as a small
wave dashed in and sent its spray over his bowed shoulders.

"You ban't going to leave en," wailed the sailor. "You ban't going to
leave my brother Sam."

He was a small, fussy man, with red whiskers; and even his sorrow gave
him little dignity. The men were tender with him.

"Nothing to be done till the tide goes back."

"But you won't leave en? Say you won't leave en! He've a wife and three
childern. He was a saved man, sir, a very religious man; not like me,
sir. He was highly respected in the neighborhood of St. Austell. I
shouldn't wonder if the newspapers had a word about en...." The tears
were running down his face.

"We must wait for the tide," said Taffy, gently, and tried to lead him
away, but he would not go. So they left him to watch and wait while they
returned to their work.

Before noon they recovered and fixed the broken wire cable. The iron
cradle had disappeared, but to rig up a sling and carry out an endless
line was no difficult job, and when this was done Taffy crossed over
to the island rock and began to inspect damages. His working gear had
suffered heavily, two of his windlasses were disabled, scaffolding,
platforms, hods, and loose planks had vanished; a few small tools only
remained mixed together in a mash of puddled lime. But the masonry
stood unhurt, all except a few feet of the upper course on the seaward
side, where the gale, giving the cement no time to set, had shaken the
dove-tailed stones in their sockets—a matter easily repaired.

Shortly before three a shout recalled them to the mainland. The tide
was drawing toward low water, and three of the men set to work at once
to open a channel and drain off the pool about the base of the big
rock. While this was doing, half a dozen splashed in with iron bars and
pickaxes; the rest rigged two stout ropes with tackles, and hauled. The
stone did not budge. For more than an hour they prized and levered and
strained. And all the while the sailor ran to and fro, snatching up now
a pick and now a crowbar, now lending a hand to haul and again breaking
off to lament aloud.

The tide turned, the winter dark came down, and at half-past four Taffy
gave the word to desist. They had to hold back the sailor, or he would
have jumped in and drowned beside his brother.

Taffy slept little that night, though he needed sleep. The salving of
this body had become almost a personal dispute between the sea and him.
The gale had shattered two of his windlasses; but two remained, and by
one o'clock next day he had both slung over to the mainland and fixed
beside the rock. The news spreading inland fetched two or three score
onlookers before ebb of tide—miners for the most part, whose help could
be counted on. The men of the coast-guard had left the wreck, to bear a
hand if needed. George had come, too. And, happening to glance upward
while he directed his men, Taffy saw a carriage with two horses drawn
up on the grassy edge of the cliff, a groom at the horses' heads and in
the carriage a figure seated, silhouetted there high against the clear
blue heaven. Well he recognized, even at that distance, the poise of
her head, though for two whole years he had never set eyes on her, nor
wished to.

He knew that her eyes were on him now. He felt like a general on the
eve of an engagement. By the almanac the tide would not turn until
4.35. At four, perhaps, they could begin; but even at four the winter
twilight would be on them, and he had taken care to provide torches and
distribute them among the crowd. His own men were making the most of the
daylight left, drilling holes for dear life in the upper surface of the
bowlder fixing the Lewis-wedges and rings. They looked to him for every
order, and he gave it in a clear, ringing voice which he knew must carry
to the cliff-top. He did not look at George.

He felt sure in his own mind that the wedges and rings would hold; but
to make doubly sure he gave orders to loop an extra chain under the
jutting base of the bowlder. The mason who fixed it, standing waist-high
in water as the tide ebbed, called for a rope and hitched it round the
ankle of the dead man. The dead man's brother jumped down beside him
and grasped the slack of it.

At a signal from Taffy the crowd began to light their torches. He looked
at his watch, at the tide, and gave the word to man the windlasses. Then
with a glance toward the cliff he started the working-chant—"_Ayee-ho!
Ayee-ho!_" The two gangs—twenty men to each windlass—took it up with one
voice, and to the deep intoned chant the chains tautened, shuddered for
a moment, and began to lift.


Silently, irresistibly, the chain drew the rock from its bed. To Taffy
it seemed an endless time, to the crowd but a few moments, before the
brute mass swung clear. A few thrust their torches down toward the pit
where the sailor knelt. Taffy did not look, but gave the word to pass
down the coffin which had been brought in readiness. A clergyman—his
father's successor, but a stranger to him—climbed down after it; and he
stood in the quiet crowd watching the light-house above and the lamps
which the groom had lit in Honoria's carriage, and listening to the
bated voices of the few at their dreadful task below.

It was five o'clock and past before the word came up to lower the tackle
and draw the coffin up. The Vicar clambered out to wait it, and when
it came, borrowed a lantern and headed the bearers. The crowd fell in

"_I am the resurrection and the life...._"

They began to shuffle forward and up the difficult track; but presently
came to a halt with one accord, the Vicar ceasing in the middle of a

Out of the night, over the hidden sea, came the sound of man's voices
lifted, thrilling the darkness thrice: the sound of three British

Whose were the voices? They never knew. A few had noticed as twilight
fell a brig in the offing, standing inshore as she tacked down channel.
She, no doubt, as they worked in their circle of torchlight, had sailed
in close before going about, her crew gathered forward, her master
perhaps watching through his night-glass; had guessed the act, saluted
it, and passed on her way unknown to her own destiny.

They strained their eyes. A man beside Taffy declared he could see
something—the faint glow of a binnacle lamp as she stood away. Taffy
could see nothing. The voice ahead began to speak again. The Vicar,
pausing now and again to make sure of his path, was reading from a page
which he held close to his lantern.

"_Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty; they shall behold the
land that is very far off._

"_Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of deeper speech
than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue that thou canst not

"_But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers
and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant
ship pass thereby._

"_For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our
king; he will save us._

"_Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast,
they could not spread the sail; there is the prey of a great spoil
divided; the lame take the prey._"

Here the Vicar turned back a page and his voice rang higher:

"_Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule
in judgment._

"_And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from
the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great
rock in a weary land._

"_And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them
that hear shall hearken._"

Now Taffy walked behind, thinking his own thoughts; for the cheers of
those invisible sailors had done more than thrill his heart. A finger,
as it were, had come out of the night and touched his brain, unsealing
the wells and letting in light upon things undreamt of. Through the
bright confusion of this sudden vision the Vicar's sentences sounded and
fell on his ears unheeded. And yet while they faded that happened which
froze and bit each separate word into his memory, to lose distinctness
only when death should interfere, stop the active brain and wipe the

For while the procession halted and broke up its formation for a moment
on the brow of the cliff, a woman came running into the torchlight.

"Is my Joey there? Where's he _to_, anybody? Hev anyone seen my Joey?"

It was Lizzie Pezzack, panting and bareheaded, with a scared face.

"He's lame—you'd know en. Have'ee got en there? He's wandered off!"

"Hush up, woman," said a bearer. "Don't keep such a pore."

"The cheeld's right enough somewheres," said another. "'Tis a man's body
we've got. Stand out of the way, for shame!"

But Lizzie, who, as a rule, shrank away from men and kept herself
hidden, pressed nearer, turning her tragical face upon each in turn.
Her eyes met George's; but she appealed to him as to the others.

"He's wandered off. Oh, say you've seen en, somebody!"

Catching sight of Taffy she ran and gripped him by the arm.

"_You'll_ help! It's my Joey. Help me find en!"

He turned half about; and almost before he knew what he sought, his eyes
met George's. George stepped quietly to his side.

"Let me get my mare," said George, and walked away toward the
light-house railing where he had tethered her.

"We'll find the child. Our work's done here. Mr. Saul!" Taffy turned to
the Chief Officer—"Spare us a man or two and some flares."

"I'll come myself," said the Chief Officer. "Go you back, my dear, and
we'll fetch home your cheeld as right as ninepence. Hi, Rawlings, take
a couple of men and scatter along the cliffs there to the right. Lame,
you say? He can't have gone far."

Taffy, with the Chief Officer and a couple of volunteers, moved off to
the left, and in less than a minute George caught them up, on horseback.

"I say," he asked, walking his mare close alongside of Taffy, "you don't
think this serious, eh?"

"I don't know. Joey wasn't in the crowd, or I should have noticed him.
He's daring beyond his strength." He pulled a whistle from his pocket,
blew it twice and listened. This had been his signal when firing a
charge; he had often blown it to warn the child to creep away into

There was no answer.

"Mr. Vyell had best trot along the upper slope," the Chief Officer
suggested, "while we search down by the creek."

"Wait a moment," Taffy answered. "Let's try the wreck first."

"But the tide's running. He'd never go there."

"He's a queer child. I know him better than you."

They ran downhill toward the creek, calling as they went, but getting
no answer.

"But the wreck!" exclaimed the Chief Officer. "It's out of reason!"

"Hi! What was that?"

"Oh, my good Lord," groaned one of the volunteers, "it's the crake,
master! It's Langona crake, calling the drowned!"

"Hush, you fool! Listen—I thought as much! Light a flare, Mr. Saul—he's
out there calling!"

The first match sputtered and went out. They drew close around the
Chief Officer while he struck the second, to keep off the wind, and in
those few moments the child's wail reached them distinctly across the

The flame leapt up and shone, and they drew back a pace, shading their
eyes from it and peering into the steel-blue landscape which sprang on
them out of the night. They had halted a few yards only from the cliff,
and the flare cast the shadow of its breast-high fence of tamarisks
forward and almost half-way across the creek; and there on the sands,
a little beyond the edge of this shadow, stood the child.

They could even see his white face. He stood on an island of sand,
around which the tide swirled in silence, cutting him off from shore,
cutting him off from the wreck behind. He did not cry any more, but
stood with his crutch planted by the edge of the widening stream, and
looked toward them.

And Taffy looked at George.

"I know," said George, and gathered up his reins. "Stand aside, please."

As they drew aside, not understanding, he called to his mare. One
living creature, at any rate, could still trust all to George Vyell.
She hurtled past them and rose at the tamarisk hedge blindly. Silence
followed—a long silence; then a thud on the beach below and a scuffle of
stones; silence again, and then the cracking of twigs as Taffy plunged
after, through the tamarisks, and slithered down the cliff.

The light died down as his feet touched the flat slippery stones; died
down, and was renewed again and showed up horse and rider, scarce twenty
yards ahead, laboring forward, the mare sinking fetlock deep at every

At his fourth stride Taffy's feet, too, began to sink; but at every
stride he gained something. The riding may be superb, but thirteen stone
is thirteen stone. Taffy weighed less than eleven.

He caught up with George on the very edge of the water. "Make her swim
it!" he panted; "her feet mustn't touch here." George grunted. A moment
later all three were in the water, the tide swirling them sideways,
sweeping Taffy against the mare. His right hand touched her flank at
every stroke.

The tide swept them upward—upward for fifteen yards at least; though
the channel measured less than eight feet. The child, who had been
standing opposite the point where they took the water, hobbled wildly
along shore. The light on the cliff behind sank and rose again.

"The crutch," Taffy gasped. The child obeyed, laying it flat on the
brink and pushing it toward them. Taffy gripped it with his left hand,
and with his right found the mare's bridle. George was bending forward.

"No—not that way! You can't go back! The wreck, man!—it's firmer——"

But George reached out his hand and dragged the child toward him and
onto his saddle-bow. "Mine," he said, quietly, and twitched the rein.
The brave mare snorted, jerked the bridle from Taffy's hand, and headed
back for the shore she had left.

Rider, horse, and child seemed to fall away from him into the night. He
scrambled out, and snatching the crutch, ran along the brink, staring
at their black shadows. By and by the shadows came to a standstill. He
heard the mare panting, the creaking of saddle-leather came across the
nine or ten feet of dark water.

"It's no go," said George's voice; then to the mare, "Sally, my dear,
it's no go." A moment later he asked more sharply,

"How far can you reach?"

Taffy stepped in until the waves ran by his knees. The sand held his
feet, but beyond this he could not stand against the current. He reached
forward, holding the crutch at arm's length.

"Can you catch hold?"

"All right." Both knew that swimming would be useless now; they were
too near the upper apex of the sand-bank.

"The child first. Here, Joey, my son, reach out and catch hold for your

Taffy felt the child's grip on the crutch-head, and drawing it steadily
toward him, hauled the poor child through. The light from the cliff sank
and rose on his scared face.

"Got him?"

"Yes." The sand was closing around Taffy's legs, but he managed to shift
his footing a little.

"Quick, then; the bank's breaking up."

George was sinking, knee-deep and deeper. But his outstretched fingers
managed to reach and hook themselves around the crutch-head.

"Steady, now ... must work you loose first. Get hold of the shaft if
you can; the head isn't firm. Work your legs ... that's it."

George wrenched his left foot loose and planted it against the mare's
flank. Hitherto the brute had trusted her master. The thrust of his
heel drove home her sentence, and with scream after scream—the sand
holding her past hope—she plunged and fought for her life. Still as
she screamed, George, silent and panting, thrust against her, thrust
savagely against the quivering body, once his pride for beauty and

"Pull!" he gasped, freeing his other foot with a wrench which left its
heavy riding-boot deep in the sucking mud; and catching a new grip on
the crutch-head, flung himself forward.

Taffy felt the sudden weight and pulled—and while he pulled felt in a
moment no grip, no weight at all. Between two hateful screams a face
slid by him, out of reach, silent, with parted lips; and as it slipped
away he fell back staggering, grasping the useless, headless crutch.

The mare went on screaming. He turned his back on her, and catching Joey
by the hand, dragged him away across the melting island. At the sixth
step the child, hauled off his crippled foot, swung blundering across
his legs. He paused, lifted him in his arms, and plunged forward again.

The flares on the cliff were growing in number. They cast long shadows
before him. On the far side of the island the tide flowed swift and
steady—a stream about fourteen yards wide—cutting him from the sand-bank
on which, not fifty yards above, lay the wreck. He whispered to Joey,
and plunged into it straight, turning as the water swept him off his
legs, and giving his back to it, his hands slipped under the child's
armpits, his feet thrusting against the tide in slow rhythmical strokes.

The child after the first gasp lay still, his head obediently thrown
back on Taffy's breast. The mare had ceased to scream. The water rippled
in the ears as each leg-thrust drove them little by little across the

If George had but listened! It was so easy, after all. The sand-bank
still slid past them, but less rapidly. They were close to it now and
had only to lie still and be drifted against the leaning stanchions of
the wreck. Taffy flung an arm about one and checked his way quietly, as
a man brings a boat alongside a quay. He hoisted Joey first upon the
stanchion, then up the tilted deck to the gap of the main hatchway.
Within this, with their feet on the steps and their chests leaning on
the side panel of the companion, they rested and took breath.

"Cold, sonny?"

The child burst into tears.

Taffy dragged off his own coat and wrapped him in it. The small body
crept close, sobbing against his side.

Across, on the shore, voices were calling, blue eyes moving. A pair of
yellow lights came toward these, travelling swiftly upon the hill-side.
Taffy guessed what they were.

The yellow lights moved more slowly. They joined the blue ones, and
halted. Taffy listened. But the voices were still now; he heard nothing
but the hiss of the black water across which those two lamps sought and
questioned him like eyes.

"God help her!"

He bowed his face on his arms. A little while, and the sands would be
covered, the boats would put off; a little while.... Crouching from
those eyes he prayed God to lengthen it.



She was sitting there rigid, cold as a statue, when the rescuers brought
them ashore and helped them up the slope. A small crowd surrounded the
carriage. In the rays of their moving lanterns her face altered nothing,
to all their furtive glances of sympathy opposing the same white mask.
Someone said, "There's only two, then!" Another with a nudge and a
nod at the carriage, told him to hold his peace. She heard. Her lips

Lizzie Pezzack had rushed down to the shore to meet the boat. She was
bringing her child along with a fond wild babble of tender names and
sobs and cries of thankfulness. In pauses, choked and overcome, she
caught him to her, felt his limbs, pressed his wet face against her neck
and bosom. Taffy, supported by strong arms and hurried in her wake, had
a hideous sense of being paraded in her triumph. The men around him who
had raised a faint cheer, sank their voices as they neared the carriage;
but the woman went forward, jubilant and ruthless, flaunting her joy as
it were a flag blown in her eyes and blindfolding them to the grief she


It was Honoria's voice, cold, incisive, not to be disobeyed. He had
prayed in vain. The procession halted; Lizzie checked her babble and
stood staring, with an arm about Joey's neck.

"Let me see the child."

Lizzie stared, broke into a silly triumphant laugh, and thrust the
child forward against the carriage-step. The poor waif, drenched, dazed,
tottering without his crutch, caught at the plated handle for support.
Honoria gazed down on him with eyes which took slow and pitiless account
of the deformed little body, the shrunken, puny limbs.

"Thank you. So—this—is what my husband died for. Drive on, please."

Her eyes, as she lifted them to give the order, rested for a moment
on Taffy—with how much scorn he cared not, could he have leapt and
intercepted Lizzie's retort.

"And why not? A son's a son—curse you!—though he was your man!"

It seemed she did not hear; or hearing, did not understand. Her eyes
hardened; their fire on Taffy and he, lapped in their scorn, thanked
God she had not understood.

"Drive on, please."

The coachman lowered his whip. The horses moved forward at a slow
walk; the carriage rolled silently away into the darkness. She had not
understood. Taffy glanced at the faces about him.

"Ah, poor lady!" said someone. But no one had understood.

       *       *       *       *       *

They found George's body next morning on the sands a little below the
footbridge. He lay there in the morning sunshine as though asleep, with
an arm flung above his head and on his face the easy smile for which
men and women had liked him throughout his careless life.

The inquest was held next day, in the library at Carwithiel. Sir Harry
insisted on being present and sat beside the coroner. During Taffy's
examination his lips were pursed up as though whistling a silent tune.
Once or twice he nodded his head.

Taffy gave his evidence discreetly. The child had been lost; had been
found in a perilous position. He and deceased had gone together to the
rescue. On reaching the child, deceased—against advice—had attempted
to return across the sands and had fallen into difficulties. In these
his first thought had been for the child, whom he had passed to witness
to drag out of danger. When it came to deceased's turn, the crutch, on
which all depended, had parted in two and he had been swept away by the

At the conclusion of the story Sir Harry took snuff and nodded
twice. Taffy wondered how much he knew. The jury, under the coroner's
direction, brought in a verdict of "death by misadventure," and added
a word or two in praise of the dead man's gallantry. The coroner
complimented Taffy warmly and promised to refer the case to the Royal
Humane Society for public recognition. The jury nodded and one or two
said, "Hear, hear!" Taffy hoped fervently he would do nothing of the

The funeral took place on the fourth day, at nine o'clock in the
morning. Such—in the days I write of—was the custom of the country.
Friends who lived at a distance rose and shaved by candle-light, and
daybreak found them horsed and well on way toward the house of mourning,
their errand announced by the long black streamers tied about their
hats. Their sad business over and done with, these guests returned to
the house, where, until noon, a mighty breakfast lasted and all were
welcome. Their black habiliments' and lowered voices alone marked the
difference between it and a hunting-breakfast.

And indeed this morning Squire Willyams, who had taken over the hounds
after Squire Moyle's death, had given secret orders to his huntsman; and
the pack was waiting at Three-barrow Turnpike, a couple of miles inland
from Carwithiel. At half-past ten the mourners drained their glasses,
shook the crumbs off their riding-breeches, and took leave; and after
halting outside Carwithiel gates to unpin and pocket their hatbands,
headed for the meet with one accord.

A few minutes before noon Squire Willyams, seated on his gray by the
edge of Three-barrow Brake and listening to every sound within the
covert, happened to glance an eye across the valley, and let out a low

"Well!" said one of a near group of horsemen catching sight of the
rider pricking toward them down the farther slope, "I knew en for an
unbeliever; but this beats all."

"And his awnly son not three hours under the mould! Brought up in
France as a youngster he was, and this I s'pose is what comes of reading
Voltaire. My lord for manners and no more heart than a wormed nut—that's
Sir Harry and always was."

Squire Willyams slewed himself round in his saddle. He spoke quietly at
fifteen yards' distance, but each word reached the group of horsemen as
clear as a bell.

"Rablin," he said, "as a damned fool oblige me during the next few
minutes by keeping your mouth shut."

With this he resumed his old attitude and his business of watching the
covert side; removing his eyes for a moment to nod as Sir Harry rode up
and passed on to join the group behind him.

He had scarcely done so when deep in the undergrowth of blackthorn a
hound challenged.

"Spendigo for a fiver!—and well found, by the tune of it. See that patch
of gray wall, Rablin—there in a line beyond the Master's elbow? I lay
you an even guinea that's where my gentleman comes over, and inside of
sixty seconds."

But honest reprobation mottled the face of Mr. Rablin, squireen; and as
an honest man he must speak out. Let it go to his credit, because as a
rule he was a snob and inclined to cringe.

"I did not expect"—he cleared his throat—"to see you out to-day, Sir

Sir Harry winced, and turned on them all a gray, woeful face.

"That's it," he said. "I can't bide home. I can't bide home."

       *       *       *       *       *

Honoria bided home with her child and mourned for the dead. As a clever
woman—far cleverer than her husband—she had seen his faults while he
lived; yet had liked him enough to forgive without difficulty. But
now these faults faded, and by degrees memory reared an altar to him
as a man little short of divine. At the worst he had been amiable.
A kinder husband never lived. She reproached herself bitterly with
the half-heartedness of her response to his love; to his love while
it dwelt beside her, unvarying in cheerful kindness. For (it was the
truth alas! and a worm that gnawed continually) passionate love she
had never rendered him. She had been content; but how poor a thing
was contentment! She had never divined his worth, had never given her
worship. And all the while he had been a hero, and in the end had died
as a hero. Ah, for one chance to redeem the wrong! for one moment to
bow herself at his feet and acknowledge her blindness! Her prayer was
ancient as widowhood, and Heaven, folding away the irreparable time,
returned its first and last and only solace—a dream for the groping
arms; waking and darkness, and an empty pillow for her tears.

From the first her child had been dear to her; dearer (so her memory
accused her now) than his father; more demonstratively beloved, at any
rate. But in those miserable months she grew to love him with a double
strength. He bore George's name, and was (as Sir Harry proclaimed) a
very miniature of George; repeated his shapeliness of limb, his firm
shoulders, his long lean thighs—the thighs of a born horseman; learned
to walk, and lo! within a week walked with his father's gait; had smiles
for the whole of his small world, and for his mother a memory in each.

And yet—this was the strange part of it, a mystery she could not
explain, because she dared not even acknowledge it—though she loved
him for being like his father, she regarded the likeness with a growing
dread; nay, caught herself correcting him stealthily when he developed
some trivial trait which she, and she alone, recognized as part of his
father's legacy. It was what in the old days she would have called
"contradictious;" but there it was, and she could not help it; the
nearer George in her memory approached to faultlessness, the more
obstinately her instinct fought against her child's imitation of him;
and yet, because the child was obstinately George's, she loved him with
a double love.

There came a day when he told her a childish falsehood. She did not
whip him, but stood him in front of her and began to reason with him
and explain the wickedness of an untruth. By and by she broke off in
the midst of a sentence, appalled by the shrillness of her own voice.
From argument she had passed to furious scolding. And the little fellow
quailed before her, his contrition beaten down under the storm of
words that whistled about his ears without meaning, his small faculties
disabled before this spectacle of wrath. Her fingers were closing and
unclosing. They wanted a riding-switch; they wanted to grip this small
body they had served and fondled, and to cut out what? The lie? Honoria
hated a lie. But while she paused and shook, a light flashed, and her
eyes were open, and saw—that it was not the lie.

She turned and ran, ran upstairs to her own room, flung herself on
her knees beside the bed, dragged a locket from her bosom and fell
to kissing George's portrait, passionately crying it for pardon. She
was wicked, base; while he lived she had misprized him; and this was
her abiding punishment, that even repentance could purge her heart of
dishonoring thoughts, that her love for him now could never be stainless
though washed with daily tears. "'_He that is unjust let him be unjust
still_'—_Must_ that be true, Father of all mercies? I misjudged him, and
it is too late for atonement. But I repent and am afflicted. Though the
dead know nothing—though it can never reach or avail him—give me back
the power to be just!"

Late that afternoon Honoria passed an hour piously in turning over the
dead man's wardrobe, shaking out and brushing the treasured garments
and folding them, against moth and dust, in fresh tissue-paper. It was a
morbid task, perhaps, but it kept George's image constantly before her,
and this was what her remorseful mood demanded. Her nerves were unstrung
and her limbs languid after the recent tempest. By and by she locked
the doors of the wardrobe, and passing into her own bedroom, flung
herself on a couch with a bundle of papers—old bills, soiled and folded
memoranda, sporting paragraphs cut from the newspapers—scraps found in
his pockets months ago and religiously tied by her with a silken ribbon.
They were mementoes of a sort, and George had written few letters while
wooing—not half a dozen, first and last.

Two or three receipted bills lay together in the middle of the
packet—one a saddler's, a second a nurseryman's for pot-plants (kept
for the sake of its queer spelling), a third the reckoning for a hotel
luncheon. She was running over them carelessly when the date at the
head of this last one caught her eye. "August 3d"—it fixed her attention
because it happened to be the day before her birthday.

August 3d—such and such a year—the August before his death; and the
hotel a well-known one in Plymouth—the hotel, in fact, at which he had
usually put up.... Without a prompting of suspicion she turned back
and ran her eye over the bill. A steak, a pint of claret, vegetables,
cheese, and attendance—never was a more innocent bill.

Suddenly her attention stiffened on the date. George was in Plymouth
the day before her birthday. But no; as it happened, George had been in
Truro on that day. She remembered, because he had brought her a diamond
pendant, having written beforehand to the Truro jeweller to get a dozen
down from London to choose from. Yes, she remembered it clearly, and how
he had described his day in Truro. And the next morning—her birthday
morning—he had produced the pendant, wrapped in silver paper. "He had
thrown away the case; it was ugly, and he would get her another...."

But the bill? She had stayed once or twice at this hotel with George,
and recognized the handwriting. The book-keeper, in compliment perhaps
to a customer of standing, had written "George Vyell, Esq.," in full
on the bill-head; a formality omitted as a rule in luncheon-reckonings.
And if this scrap of paper told the truth—why _then George had lied_!

But why? Ah, if he had done this thing, nothing else mattered; neither
the how nor the why! If George had lied.... And the pendant, had that
been bought in Plymouth and not (as he had asserted) in Truro? He had
thrown away the case. Jewellers print their names inside such cases.
The pendant was a handsome one. Perhaps his check-book would tell.

She arose; stepped half-way to the door; but came back and flung herself
again upon the couch. No; she could not ... this was the second time
to-day ... she could not face the torture again.

Yet ... if George _had_ lied!

She sat up; sat up with both hands pressed to her ears, to shut out a
sudden voice clamoring through them—

"_And why not? A son's a son—curse you—though he was your man!_"

                     (To be concluded in November.)


By Marguerite Merington

     There is a race from eld descent,
       Of heaven by earth in joyous mood,
     Before the world grew wise and bent
       In sad, decadent attitude.
             To these each waking is a birth
             That makes them heir to all the earth,
             Singing, for pure abandoned mirth,
                 Non nonny non, hey nonny no.

     Perchance ye meet them in the mart,
       In fashion's toil or folly's throe,
     And yet their souls are far apart
       Where primrose winds from uplands blow.
             At heart on oaten pipes they play
             Thro' meadows green and gold with May,
             Affined to bird and brook and brae.
                 Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.

     Their gage they win in fame's despite,
       While lyric alms to life they fling;
     Children of laughter, sons of light,
       With equal heart to starve or sing.
             Counting no human creature vile,
             They find the good old world worth while;
             Care cannot rob them of a smile.
                 Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.

     For creed, the up-reach of a spire,
       An arching elm-tree's leafy spread,
     A song that lifts the spirit higher
       To star or sunshine overhead.
             Misfortune they but deem God's jest
             To prove His children at their best,
             Who, dauntless, rise to His attest.
                 Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.

     Successful ones will brush these by,
       Calling them failure as they pass.
     What reck they this who claim the sky
       For roof, for bed the cosmic grass!
             When, failures all, we come to lie,
             The grass betwixt us and the sky,
             The gift of gladness will not die!
                 Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.

  [Illustration: [The notes accompanying the illustrations are by
   Douglas Taylor, Esq.]]



The following retrospect of a life well spent in the pursuit of the most
exacting of professions was written down for the immediate delectation
and edification of the children and grandchildren of the gifted woman
who penned it.

I think, however, that when such an example may teach so much; where the
life of an actress has been so full of incident and accident, and all
resulting—through force of character and absolute intrinsic worth—in
ultimate personal and professional regard and reverence, I think that
the record of such a life, reaching over seventy years of the dramatic
history of our country, cannot be without interest to all who have at
heart the development of art at its best.

It would ill become me, here, to more than touch upon the domestic
side of her character, but I may be permitted to say, that when to
artistic perfection she added discipline tempered with gentleness
and loving-kindness as a mother, and when to her other attributes and
excellences was joined the organizing ability and perfect control of
a theatrical stock company for many years, surely it is no assumption
to say of her to-day, as was said of Maria Theresa, of Austria, "sexua
femina ingenio vir." Such a character and personality must be salient
in any time or age, and cannot but serve as an exemplar. And perhaps
the fact of four generations of this same family having engaged in
the profession of acting—with credit to their calling, and honor to
themselves—may still further emphasize the real worth of that calling,
both to the individuals engaged therein and the world at large.

And now, without further proem, I beg the public's acceptance of these
present recollections of a woman pre-eminent in the profession she so
long adorned.

                                                          JOHN DREW.


  [Illustration: Thomas Potter Cooke.[A]

   From a photograph in the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

I was born in Lambeth Parish, London, England, on January 10, 1820; my
father, Thomas Frederick Lane, was an actor of considerable provincial
fame, and my mother, _née_ Eliza Trenter, a very pretty woman and
a sweet singer of ballads. That was an eventful year for theatrical
people. The old King, George the Third, died, and all theatres were
closed for one month; and there was considerable suffering among our
kind, as I have been told since. At twelve months old my mother took me
on the stage as a crying baby; but cry I would not, but at sight of the
audience and the lights gave free vent to my delight and crowed aloud
with joy. From that moment to this, the same sight has filled me with
the most acute pleasure, and I expect will do so to the last glimpse I
get of them, and when no longer to be seen, "Come, Death, and welcome!"
I acted (?) all the "children's" parts in the plays then usual—_Damon's_
child—and had to be kept quiet with cherries before my last entrance,
and then Mr. Macready's eyes frightened me into an awed silence. Then
I remember (I was about five) playing the rightful heir in a melodrama
called "Meg Murdock; or, the Haggard of the Glen," where the bad man
came on when I was sleeping to murder me! Of course I awakened, and we
both traversed the stage from different sides, taking the greatest care
not to meet, when I stumbled over a property pitcher, and exclaimed "Oh,
it's only the jug!" which was always the signal for great applause, and
completely baffled the bad man. After that, in Liverpool, I remember
playing the brother of "Frankenstein," who is killed by the Monster
of Frankenstein's creation, acted by the celebrated T. P. Cooke, and
to this hour can remember the horror which possessed me at his look
and attitude, my own form dangling lifeless in his arms. He was a very
amiable man, and always had some nice thing to give me after the play.
Of course, I cannot give any consecutive account of the towns we played
in. In one of them the beautiful Miss Maria Foote acted, and I suppose
I must have done something to please her, as she sent for me her last
night and gave me a lovely wax doll dressed as _Maria Darlington_,
one of her favorite parts; and I thought her mother much prettier
than she was! Then again, in Liverpool—by this time I was seven, or
very near it—we (mother and myself, my father was dead two years ago)
were at Cooke's amphitheatre when they played dramas where horses were
the principal actors; one of these was called "Timour, the Tartar." I
was _Prince Agib_, confined in prison by _Timour_, because I was the
true heir to the throne. My mother comes to the court to beseech for
my liberty and gets into more trouble, and is cast into "the lowest
dungeon by the moat," I having obtained my liberty in the meanwhile.
The last scene shows a practical cataract in the centre of the stage,
with a prison to the right; at a given call I rush on, on horseback,
and exclaim, "My mother, I will free you still!" and rush down to the
prison, almost under the water, take my mother (personated by a young
circus rider) on my horse, clasping me round the waist, and dash up
the cataract. This had been done with enthusiastic applause for many
nights; but this evening the horse stumbled when on the third table, and
rolled down to the other two to the stage. My mother, being a very fine
rider, saved me from serious injury, and the curtain fell. There was a
universal wish on the part of the audience to know if "the dear little
girl was much hurt;" but she was insensible to the kind wishes of her
audience, I believe I may truly say for the first and only time in her

  [Illustration: Edwin Forrest.

   From a daguerreotype in the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.

Edwin Forrest, the great American tragedian, most renowned and best
abused of actors, was born in Philadelphia, March 9, 1806. His early
life was a history of poverty, struggles, and vicissitudes as circus
rider, negro minstrel, and ambitious actor, until his energy and
industry conquered and he became the idol of the people. No man on
the stage made warmer friends or more bitter enemies, nor was made
the subject of more enthusiastic adulation and severe critical censure
during the thirty years he was the acknowledged head of his profession.

In early life his great characters were _Othello_, _Rolla_, _Carwin_,
_Mark Antony_, _Damon_, _William Tell_ and in the pieces written for
him in which he has never had a successor—_Spartacus_, _Metamora_, and
_Jack Cade_. Later he improved with care and study, and discarding much
of the "ranting" he was charged with, became the_ Lear_, _Richelieu_,
_Virginius_, and _Coriolanus_ of his admiring countrymen. His superb
physique and magnificent voice were not appreciated in England, which
he visited in 1836 and 1845, the last visit leading to the quarrel with
Macready and consequently to the memorable Astor Place riot of May 10,

Forrest clubs and Forrest associations, filled with youthful
enthusiasts, deified him and defied his traducers, and after the verdict
in the Forrest divorce case in 1852, crowds at "Christy's Minstrels"
nightly, for months, encored the song of the evening "Jordan am a Hard
Road to Trable" for one verse:

     "For sixty-nine nights the immortal Forrest played,
       And sixty-nine crowds he had accordin';
     In Macbeth, Damon, and Jack Cade
       He's the greatest actor on this side of Jordan."

His proud, spoiled spirit almost broke with infirmities of age and
temper, when his last performances and readings in 1871 and 1872 were
comparative failures, and on December 12, 1872, the great, generous,
magnetic, but lonely and unhappy man, died.]

  [Illustration: Miss Clara Fisher.[B]

   From a lithograph by C. G. Childs, published by R. H. Hobson,
   Philadelphia. In the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

  [Illustration: Miss Lane, Eight Years of Age, in the Five
   Characters in "Twelve Precisely."

   From a lithographic reproduction of a drawing by D. C. Johnston,
   November 3, 1828. In the possession of John Drew, Esq.]




MISS LANE.—This astonishing little creature appeared at the Chestnut
Street Theatre last evening. She is not more than ten years of age,
and evinces a talent for and a knowledge of the stage beyond what we
find in many experienced performers of merit. The entertainment of
_Twelve Precisely_ is well adapted to the display of the versatility
of her powers; and in the _Irish Girl_ she may, with truth, be
pronounced inimitably comic. Her brogue and manner are excellent.
The _Young Soldier_ was also admirably assumed; his coxcombical airs
were natural, evinced astonishing observation in a child so young,
and literally convulsed the house with laughter. Her performance of
_Little Pickle_ also possessed great merit, and the applause bestowed
upon her throughout the evening bespoke the wonder and delight of the
audience. Those who have a taste for the wonderful should not miss the
present opportunity of gratifying it. We promise ourselves a treat
of no ordinary kind when she appears as _Goldfinch_ in the _Road to
Ruin_.—_Extract from a Philadelphia Newspaper._

  [Illustration: Joseph Jefferson[C] (the First of that Name) as

   From an engraving by D. Edwin after the painting by J. Neagle.
   Published by Lopez & Wemyss. In the collection of Peter Gilsey,

Just after this my mother made engagements for us to go to America,
that El Dorado to an imaginative class, which assuredly theatrical
people are. Mr. John Hallam, the accredited agent for Price & Simpson,
of the old Park Theatre, New York, engaged, as was then the fashion, an
entire company, and went with us himself in the packet-ship Britannia.
The following persons were included in the company, viz.: Mr. Henry
Smith, John Sefton, Mr. Robert Grierson, Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, Miss
Stannard and her sister Mrs. Hallam, lately married, Master Henri Wells
and Miss Wells, dancers. We had an exceptionally fine passage of four
weeks (no steam in those days), and landed in New York on June 7, 1827.
We remained in New York a few days, long enough to completely change
my mother's appearance; the mosquitoes found her a very healthy English
woman and feasted at their will. We were then sent to Philadelphia, to
the old Walnut Street Theatre. I remember seeing the "first appearance"
of most of the parties, of course; my mother's made the finest
impression on me. It was as _Margeritta_ in "No Song, no Supper." The
symphony of her entrance song is a long one, and the orchestra had
to play it twice, her reception was so hearty and her nervousness so
great. I appeared in September, I think, as _The Duke of York_ to the
elder Booth's _Richard III._ Then we were sent to Baltimore, to Mr.
Joe Cowell's Theatre, where I had the honor of appearing as _Albert_
to Mr. Edwin Forrest's _William Tell_, and received a medal from that
gentleman for the performance. At that time he was, I suppose, about
twenty-two or twenty-three, and the handsomest man I ever saw. Alas!
how he changed! Mr. Forrest was never a good-tempered man, and was
apt to be morose and churlish at rehearsals. But he had many noble
qualities; he was the "fairest" actor that ever played. If the character
you sustained had anything good in it, he would give you the finest
chance of showing it to the audience. He would get a little below you,
so that your facial expression could be fully seen; he would partially
turn his back, in order that the attention should be given entirely to
you. This will be better understood by actors, who know how differently
some players act. He was not without appreciation of a little "joke"
either. On one occasion, at the old Park Theatre, we were playing,
as an afterpiece, "Therese, the Orphan of Geneva." He, as _Carwin_,
rushes with a drawn dagger into the pavilion where he believes that
_Therese_ is sleeping. Immediately the place is struck by lightning; he
then staggers out of the pavilion, exclaiming, "'Tis done; _Therese_
is now no more." Then _Therese_ enters and rushes into the pavilion
to rescue her benefactress. On this occasion I, as _Therese_, rushed
from the house before _Carwin_ had time to come out, and we met, face
to face, in the apartment of the murdered countess, who had hardly
finished screaming for her life. I was horror-stricken at my error. "Oh!
horrors, Mr. Forrest, what shall I do?" He smiled the beautiful smile
which illuminated his face, and said: "Never mind—I'll go out by the

  [Illustration: Play Bill of the Chestnut Street Theatre. January 9,
   1829. Miss Lane (Mrs. Drew) appears in four characters in the "Four

   In the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

  [Illustration: George Horton Barrett.[D]

   From a photograph by Meade Brothers, New York. In the collection of
   Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

  [Illustration: Miss Fanny Kemble.[E]

   From a lithographic reproduction of a drawing by Gigoux. Published by
   John Spratt, London, 1830. In the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

I must mention now that my mother had been married some months before to
Mr. John Kinlock, a stage manager, and a very capable actor and manager.

Well, from this time my parents' ambition was fixed for me. Miss Clara
Fisher was then at the zenith of her attraction, and father determined
that I should be a second "Clara;" I appeared at the Bowery Theatre, at
that time a rival to the Old Park, and was managed by the celebrated Mr.
Gilfert. George Barrett and his beautiful wife, Charles Young and his
really lovely wife, Mrs. Gilfert and Mrs. Holman were in the company.
Shall I ever forget my stage-fright whilst waiting to hear my cue as
_Little Pickle_ in "The Spoiled Child." But when the time of entrance
came every feeling but exhilaration vanished—only the certainty of
success remained. From this time to the latter part of 1830 I played
as a star with varying success (financially); among other parts,
_Dr._ _Pangloss_, in "The Heir at Law," _Goldfinch_, in "The Road to
Ruin;" "Winning a Husband" (seven characters); "72 Piccadilly" (five
characters); "Actress of All Work" (six characters); "Four Mowbrays;"
_Thomas_, in "The Secret;" _Gregory_, in "Turn Out," and the fourth
and fifth acts of Richard III. I would here mention that, in acting
_Dr. Pangloss_ at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, the elder
Joseph Jefferson, grandfather of the present great actor of that name,
played _Zekiel Homespun_. Think of that great old actor playing with a
child of nine years old! At one time we (father, mother, and I) were
associated with Madame Celeste, her sister Constance and husband,
Henry Elliott; and we acted and danced through the State of New York.
All the towns, now splendid cities with magnificent opera-houses,
were then guiltless of any decent halls, and the orchestras were the
great difficulties. In Buffalo, a pretty village, the only available
music was one violin played by an old darkey, and all he knew was
"Hail, Columbia," and "Yankee Doodle;" so, as Celeste danced twice,
the orchestra (!) commenced the first time with "Hail, Columbia," and
finished with "Yankee Doodle," and for the second dance reversed the
order of precedence. Poor Celeste, who spoke very little English then,
her patience exhausted, exclaimed "D—— 'Yankee Doodle' and 'Hail,
Columbia.'" The latter part of 1830, father, bitten with the idea
of management, arranged a partnership with a Mr. Jones, in New York,
to take a company out to Jamaica, W. I. In November we started. The
company consisted of Mr. W. C. Forbes, Mr. Kelsey, Mr. Crouta, Mr. and
Mrs. Holden, Miss Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and ourselves. When out
about ten days we struck a hidden rock—a case of ignorant carelessness,
I should think, as it was a most beautiful moonlight night. The ship
remained standing, so every one got dressed, ready for leaving, as we
could even at night see the beach before us. The captain found that
it was San Domingo. In the morning we all got safely to shore, all
our baggage with us; then the crew started to erect tents, one for
the ladies with the gentlemen appertaining to them, one for the other
gentlemen, and one for the crew. Our deck-load had been shingles and
staves, which proved very useful, as did all the stores from the ship;
and we settled ourselves to stay for some time, as they ascertained that
we were forty miles from any settlement, and the captain and one other
would have to go to the City of San Domingo and obtain a brig to get
us off. To haul by land was impossible. We were there six weeks, and
I celebrated my eleventh birthday there. In due season we got to the
City of San Domingo, and there obtained some sort of vehicle which took
us to Kingston, Jamaica. The company was quite successful there; but
yellow fever killed my father, his youngest child, a baby of ten months,
and nearly took my mother. Indeed, she had such a siege of illness
as for a time to completely prostrate me. By the doctor's advice she
went to the north part of the island, to Falmouth. I suppose we acted
there, but have no remembrance of it. I only remember the amount of
kindness we met with there, really unparalleled. Rumors of insurrection
became alarming, and my mother and myself, driven by the leader of the
orchestra, Mr. Myers, came across the country to Kingston—more kindness
there, till finally we embarked for New York; then to Philadelphia
during the first cholera season. That was a fearful time; but youth must
have its amusement. In the boarding-house I met Alexina Fisher, a very
pretty little girl one year my junior, and we used to act together in
the empty attic room—stab each other with great fury and fall upon the
ground, until expostulation from the boarders in the third story caused
our reconciliation with tears and embraces. In after years Alexina and
I were very dear friends. She married John Lewis Baker, a very good
actor. She was a charming actress, and they made a moderate fortune in
California, which was injured by the deterioration in property. At this
time, 1832, the Arch Street Theatre was flourishing pretty well with
an entire company of American actors, which was a kind of curiosity,
being the first of its kind. The managers were Messrs. William Forrest
and Duffy. The company consisted of John R. Scott, Mr. Jones, E. N.
Thayer, James E. Murdock, Mrs. Stone, Miss Eliza Riddle, and Mrs. E.
N. Thayer. The latter, though of English birth, began her long and
honorable career on the stage of this country. Mr. Forrest was backed
by his brother Edwin, who produced all his original plays at the Arch
Street Theatre—"The Gladiator," "Metamora," "Broker of Bogota," and
later "Jack Cade." This season, 1832, "The Ravel Family" came to cheer
the oppressed public. What a capital performance it was, and how long
they cheered the people! I don't think one of the "Family" is left!
We were divided off soon, mother in Baltimore and I in Washington.
(During a former engagement in the last-named city, I was on a visit
to Mrs. Eaton's little girl, and Mrs. Eaton took me to the President's
Levee—General Jackson then filling the chair of state. She introduced
me to him. He was very kind and sweet to me, kissed me, and said I was
"a very pretty little girl." Need I say that I was a Jackson Democrat
from that hour, and have remained one up to date!)

  [Illustration: Charles Kemble.[F]

   From a lithographic reproduction of a drawing by R. J. Lane, A.R.A.
   Published by J. Dickinson, London, May, 1830. In the collection of
   Douglas Taylor, Esq.]

  [Illustration: Junius Brutus Booth.

   From a daguerreotype in the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.

Junius Brutus Booth was restless and erratic even in youth. After
absorbing a fine classical education he attempted to learn the
printing-trade, then studied law, which he soon left to enter the
navy; finally, at seventeen, he became a strolling actor with Penley's
Circuit, and, after two years of provincial playing, reached a small
stock position in Covent Garden Theatre in 1815 and 1816.

An injudicious attempt of his friends to place him in competition with
Edmund Kean, who at times assumed to be his friend, resulted in angry
rivalry and riot, and ended in his leaving England in April, 1821, for

Having already achieved a success with all but Kean's supporters in
"Richard III.," he chose that for his principal part in the New World,
and soon established his reputation as a star of the first magnitude
throughout the Union, especially in _Richard_, _Pescara_, _Iago_,
_Hamlet_, _Sir Giles_, _Shylock_, _Sir Edward Mortimer_ and _Brutus_
in John Howard Payne's tragedy. His eccentricity was exhibited in
occasionally performing _John Lump_ in the "Review," or _Jerry Sneak_
in the "Mayor of Garrett" (clownish, comic afterpieces on his benefit
nights), and his acquirements were shown by his performance at Bristol
of _Shylock_ in a strange Hebrew dialect and of _Orestes_ in the
original French at New Orleans.

From 1822 to 1838 his starring tours (including two visits to England,
where his splendid abilities were finally acknowledged), brought him
increasing fame and fortune, but both were sadly interfered with by
his unfortunate intemperance, approaching at times to insanity. After
1838, when an accidental blow of his friend, Tom Flynn, broke his nose,
defacing his handsome visage and spoiling a splendid voice, he played
but seldom, passing his days on his farm in Maryland. His last years,
clouded by his growing infirmity, ended with his performances in New
Orleans in November, 1852, and he died on the boat, on his way home, on
the 22d of that month.]

  [Illustration: Alexina F. Baker.[G]

   From an engraving by H. B. Hall, after a crystalotype. In the
   collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

Mr. Kemble and his daughter Fanny acted in Washington in 1833. Of
course, it may be said that I was too young to judge, but I shall never
forget either of them. Mr. Kemble was the only _Sir Thomas Clifford_
I have ever seen, and he gave to the character a dignity and pathos
without parallel. As _Julia_ Fanny was really great, as she was in

At the close of the season we drifted to Richmond, Va., under the
management of Mr. Phillips, known to the profession as "Nosey" Phillips.
He did finely with such stars as Booth, Hamblin, Cooper, and Miss

I never heard any one read just like the elder Booth. It was beautiful;
he made the figure stand before you! It was infinitely tender. Some
of the passages of "Lear" were touching in the extreme, though he used
Cibber's frightfully bad edition of that sublime tragedy. He had some
very odd ways at times. We were playing "Hamlet" one night in Natchez,
and during _Ophelia's_ mad scene a cock began to crow lustily. When the
curtain fell upon that fourth act this crowing became more constant; and
when the manager could not find Mr. Booth to commence the next act, he
looked up and saw him perched on the top of the ladder, which was the
only way to reach the "flies" in that primitive theatre. The manager
ascended the ladder and had quite a lengthy discussion with Mr. Booth,
who at last consented to come down on condition that he should resume
his high position after the play, and remain there until Jackson was
re-elected President.

  [Illustration: Madame Celeste.[H]

   From a photograph by Fredricks, New York. In the collection of Peter
   Gilsey, Esq.]

Mr. Hamblin was a splendid-looking man and a very good actor. I don't
think he could ever have been called "great." He had a long career as
manager of the Bowery Theatre, and brought out several female stars.
Miss Naomi Vincent was a very sweet actress, who died in her youth;
Miss Josephine Clifton, "divinely fair and more than divinely tall,"
she being five feet eleven inches high. She was a very beautiful
woman, but never arrived at any distinction as an actress. She died
young. Mr. Hamblin finally married Mrs. Shaw, a once beautiful woman,
bearing a strong resemblance to Mrs. Siddons's portraits. She was an
excellent tragedienne, and died in middle age, closing life as Mrs.
Judge Phillips.

Mr. Cooper was a very handsome man (the remains of one, when I saw
him), eminently gentlemanlike in appearance. In the company of the old
Chestnut Street Theatre at this epoch was a young actor, Mr. George
Barrett, called generally "Gentleman George." He was a juvenile actor
of great local repute in Philadelphia, and moved among all the young
swells of that day. He was to play _Laertes_ in "Hamlet" with Cooper,
who arrived from Baltimore too late for rehearsal; so George went to his
dressing-room in order to ascertain the arrangement of the fencing-match
in the last scene. Mr. Cooper was morose, and said, "Go to the prompter,
sir, and find out!" When the fencing began, Barrett would not let Cooper
disarm him, and the audience could see this fact and became excited.
Finally Barrett, with sword down, stood quietly to be run through by
Cooper. When the curtain fell Cooper started up in a towering passion,
and exclaimed to Barrett, "What did you mean by your conduct, sir?"
Drawing himself up to his full height, six feet two inches, Barrett
replied, "Go to the prompter, sir, and find out!"

  [Illustration: Charlotte Cushman[I] as _Romeo_.

   From a photograph by Case & Getchell, Boston. In the collection of
   Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

  [Illustration: Thomas Apthorpe Cooper.[J]

   From an engraving by Edwin. In the collection of Peter Gilsey, Esq.]

When they went away there was nobody engaged to follow them. The manager
sped away to New York to secure talent, and never returned, leaving us
to act if anybody would come to see us; but they didn't. Consequently,
we were all anxious to be gone; and somehow the voyage was arranged for,
and we embarked on a schooner. The company consisted of Edmon S. Conner,
Thomas Hadaway, Mr. Isherwood, mother, myself, and a little half-sister,
named Adine. We were wrecked on a sand-bar in Egg Harbor, West Indies,
in the middle of a very stormy night. Up and dressed in a few minutes,
watching and listening for the planks to give way, as nothing could
be done in the way of rescue till morning. Little Adine was quite
passive, only saying, "Mamma, if we all go in the water, will God give
us breakfast?" Our rescue was somewhat perilous, as we went along the
"bowsprit" with our feet on the rope below, and when we got to the end,
dropped into the boat at the moment it came up on the waves; but we
all got off and had a long walk in the deep sand to the first house we
came to, and then after refreshments(!) it was arranged that we should
proceed to New York in a "wood boat"—that was, a vessel without any
bulwarks, and loaded with wood for building. Into this we were packed,
and finally arrived in New York on a magnificent morning. Mother and I
had an engagement with Mr. Hamblin at the new "Bowery." At this time I
was of a very unhappy age (thirteen), not a child and certainly not a
woman, so the chances were against my acting anything of importance.
When "The Wife" was brought out I was cast for _Florabel_—a young
person who enters with a soliloquy of about fifty lines in Sheridan
Knowles's most inflated style, which they "cut out" bodily the second
night of the play. There was "another check to proud ambition!" Then
Mr. Gale and his horses arrived from England. "Mazeppa" was prepared,
Mr. Farren, the stage manager, said at an expense of exactly $100, and
they made thousands from it. Then, in consequence of a lady's illness,
I got a little chamber-maid's part, with a front scene with Mr. Gates,
the popular comedian, and sang a little song called "Nice Young Maiden"
for forty-eight successive nights, and was very happy, for my song was
always encored. Mother, being ambitious for me, accepted an engagement
at "The Warren Theatre," Boston, managed by Mr. Pelby, the well-known
actor and manager, where we jointly received a salary of $16 per
week. I don't know how we lived; but mother was a splendid manager at
that time, a marvellously industrious woman, and we all lived at "Ma"
Lenthe's, at the corner of Bowdoin Square, a gable-end. We had a large
room on the second story, a trundle-bed which went under the other,
for the accommodation of little children, a large closet in which we
kept a barrel of ale and all our dresses, and passed a very happy two
seasons in the enjoyment of that large salary, which was eked out by
the three clear half-benefits very nicely. The company at the "Warren"
consisted of Fred Hill, stage manager and actor; J. S. Jones, J. Mills
Brown, Mr. Spencer, Mr. Houpt, Mr. Meers, Mr. William Rufus Blake and
wife, Miss Pelby, Mr. Pelby, Miss E. Mestayer, Miss Kerr, Miss Arbury,
and mother and myself. In the summer some of us went to Portland, Me.
I acted _Julia_ there, and won considerable local fame. Some of the
patrons of the theatre wanted to see "George Barnwell," and decided
that I must act _Millwood_, because I was too young to make ill-thinking
possible. At the close of the second season at the "Warren" we went to
Halifax, Nova Scotia, to act with the Garrison amateurs twice a week
during the summer. We saw a good deal of human nature there—all the
petty strife of real actors without their ability. However, it passed
the summer away very pleasantly. We were under engagement now to go to
New Orleans, to the new St. Charles Theatre; but that didn't open till
late in November, so on our return to Boston Mr. Thomas Barry, a very
old friend of my parents, offered us an engagement till such time as
we should go to New Orleans. Madame Celeste, now a great attraction,
played just at the opening, and I (then fifteen) played several young
mothers of the rightful heirs in her pieces. Oh, what delight it was
then to drag a little child after me during three long acts, to have
him wrenched from my arms, torn away in despite of my unearthly shrieks
to summon my faithful page (Celeste), who undertook to find him and
punish the "wretches who had stolen him," and always succeeded after
many hair-breadth escapes in the "imminent deadly breach!" We went to
New Orleans in the good ship Star. On the ship were Clara Fisher, Mr.
James Gaspard Maeder, to whom she had been married for about a year,
their beautiful little baby girl; Miss Charlotte Cushman (Mr. Maeder's
pupil), Signor Croffi, a great trombone player; Signor Candori, greatest
of bass-violin players; Signor Burkia, great violoncello player, and
some others whose names have escaped me, all bound for the new "St.
Charles." As our ship entered the Balize, another one laden with more
recruits met us, containing Mrs. Gibbs, a lovely soprano; Mr. Latham,
the comedian; and many others direct from England, and Mr. T. Bishop.
Of course, there were great shaking of hands and affectionate greetings.

Upon our arrival Mr. James H. Caldwell, the owner of the fine St.
Charles Theatre, called upon us, and we began the season late in
November. The company was a very large one, consisting of Mr. De Camp,
Mr. J. Cowell, Mr. Barton, Mr. Latham, Mr. Henry Hunt, Mr. B. De Bar,
Mr. Creveta, Mr. James E. Murdock, Mr. Tom Bishop, Mrs. J. G. Maeder,
Mr. George Holland, Mrs. S. Conde, Mrs. Bannister, Miss Verity, Miss
C. Cushman, Mrs. Gibbs, Miss De Bar, mother and myself. The orchestra
was a splendid one, all soloists. Mr. Maeder was music conductor, and
Mr. Willis the leader. We opened with "The School for Scandal." Mrs.
Maeder's reception as _Lady Teazle_ was memorable; I was _Maria_. In
"The Spoiled Child," which concluded the performance, Miss De Bar played
_Little Pickle_, and made quite a hit. Mr. Caldwell wanted me to do
it, but I begged off. In the March following I was married, at sixteen,
to Mr. Henry Blaine Hunt, a very good singer, a nice actor, and a very
handsome man of forty. In the summer we went to Louisville, and returned
to New Orleans for the second season. During this season Madame Celeste
produced "Le Dieu and Le Bayadère." Mr. George Holland went to Havana
as agent, and engaged two dancers to alternate the second "Bayadère."
At the end of the piece Celeste sent for me (we were all Bayadères),
and said, "Louise, you must be the second Bayadère to-morrow; I will
not have those coming from Havana. They are too dreadful!" She denied
all remonstrances, and I danced the trial dance for twelve nights with
considerable applause.

  [Illustration: E. S. Conner.[K]

   From a photograph by Fredricks, New York. In the collection of Peter
   Gilsey, Esq.]

  [Illustration: Thomas S. Hamblin.[L]

   Drawn on stone from life by S. H. Gimber. In the collection of Peter
   Gilsey, Esq.]

Acting on Sunday came into fashion this season, and as at that time I
was too good a Christian to do that, and as I acted in everything, there
was a great trouble to get my parts studied for one night. My engagement
closed with the season. The next season was spent in Vicksburg, Miss.,
under the management of Scott & Thorne. Mr. Scott was known as "Long
Tom Coffin" Scott, and Mr. James Thorne was an English barytone who had
come over to the Old Park, and had drifted into low comedy, and was a
very good actor. Here I played chamber-maids and all the like business.
The next season Mr. Thorne went to Natchez, Miss., and we went with
him. This was my first recognized position as leading lady; we played
"The Lady of Lyons" for the first time. Mr. C. Horn (?) was the _Claude
Melnotte_; it was very successful. Here I first acted _Lady Macbeth_
with Mr. Forrest; sang _Cinderella_ and _Rosina_ in the stock, and at
the close of the season went to Philadelphia. There I was engaged by
Mr. Mayer for the Walnut Street Theatre for leading lady, at the highest
salary known there, $20 per week. How did we do it? Of course, we didn't
dress as we do now, and I am inclined to think all the better. The
next two seasons were passed at the old Chestnut Street Theatre. Mr.
Tyrone Power acted there for three weeks; and as he had specified all
the company were to play in his pieces, I was in every one except "The
Irish Tutor" and "Flanigan and the Fairies." He was a truly great actor
in his line, and chose to be very agreeable during his last engagement.
During the latter part of the second season the payments became so
infrequent that I was obliged to stop playing, and went to Pittsburg
with Mr. Dinneford of the Walnut. Here we produced "London Assurance"
with a degree of excellence unheard of in that vicinity—a fountain of
real water, and entirely new carpet and furniture, mirrors, and new

Then we drifted into Cincinnati and Louisville, where we were in dire
straits; and I played _Richard the Third_, to get us out of town, and
it did!

                     (To be concluded in November.)


By Joel Chandler Harris


The visit of Aunt Minervy Ann, which enabled her to take the place
of the absent cook, has already been told of, and I have tried to
reproduce the somewhat singular narrative which was the outcome of her
conversation on the veranda. It so happened that the cook was late the
next morning and Aunt Minervy Ann insisted on getting breakfast, in
spite of the fact that it compelled her to miss her train and rendered
her return ticket of no value.

It was getting on to ten o'clock when the cook arrived, bringing with
her a thousand plausible excuses, and a tangled tale of adventure.
She was very much surprised to see the kitchen occupied, but saluted
Aunt Minervy Ann modestly. The response to the salute was quite

"Ain't you a Newnan nigger?" Aunt Minervy Ann asked, with some asperity.

"Yessum, I is," replied the cook, somewhat surprised.

"Den 'tain't no need ter ax what you got in yo' pocket," was the dry

"Which pocket?" inquired the cook, slapping herself somewhat nervously.
On one of her fingers was a large brass ring, and when she slapped
her pocket, this ring struck against something which gave forth an
unmistakable sound. It was a bottle.

"Huh!" exclaimed Aunt Minervy Ann; "yo' han' kin tell de trufe quicker'n
yo' tongue."

"Well, I declare to gracious!" sighed the cook. "How did you know I was
frum Newnan?"

"Why, you got de look on you. De white er yo' eyes is blood red, you
got yo' ha'r wrop de wrong way, an' dar's dat ar tickler in yo' pocket."

"Well, I declare!" cried the cook; "you outdoes me!" There was a note
of admiration in her voice calculated to propitiate her critic.

"Come on in here, den, an' git ter work," said Aunt Minervy Ann. "Dey
ain't nothin' ter do but ter cook de dinner. An' don't put so much wood
in dat range. You kin cook dat dinner wid five mo' little sticks ef you
put um in at de right time."

With that, Aunt Minervy Ann transferred her attention to the house
proper, and proceeded to give the beds a good shaking up. She went about
the matter so deftly and with such earnestness that she quite won the
admiration of the lady of the house, who had been used to an entirely
different kind of service. In half an hour every bed had been put to
rights, and, as Aunt Minervy Ann hit the piano the last lick with her
feather duster, the whistle of the letter-carrier was heard at the gate.
The delivery consisted of three letters and a postal-card.

This postal-card caused the lady of the house to catch her breath. It
was a notice from one of the city banks to the effect that a note of
acceptance for $300 would fall due at such a date.

"Oh, I hope you haven't been borrowing money!" she cried.

"No; there is some mistake," I replied. The card was addressed to a Mr.
Haines, and the carrier, hastily glancing at the name, had left it at
the wrong place.

"I 'speck dey got mo' banks up here dan what we got down yan' whar I
come fum," said Aunt Minervy Ann, laughing. She laughed so heartily that
we looked at her in some astonishment. "I know you all'll b'lieve I done
los' what little sense I had, but when you say bank, it allers puts
me in min' er de time when me an' Marse Tumlin frailed out de Gossett

"Frailed out the Gossett boys?" I exclaimed.

"Yasser, frailed is de word."

"But what has that to do with a bank?" I inquired.

"Hit got all ter do wid it, suh," she replied. We were in the
sitting-room, and Aunt Minervy Ann sank down on a footstool and rested
one arm on the lounge. "Right atter freedom dey wa'n't nothin' like
no bank down dar whar we live at; you know dat yo'se'f, suh. Folks say
dat banks kin run widout money, but 'fo' you start um, dey got ter have
money, er sump'n dat look like money. An' atter freedom dey wa'n't no
money down yan' 'cep' dat kin' what nobody ain't hankerin' atter.

"But bimeby it 'gun ter dribble in fum some'rs; fus' dem ar little
shinplasters, an' den de bigger money come 'long. It kep' on dribblin'
in an' dribblin' in twel atter while you could git a dollar here an' dar
by workin' yo' han's off, er sprainin' yo' gizzard ter git it. Bimeby
de news got norated 'roun' dat ol' Joshaway Gossett gwine ter start a
bank. Yasser! ol' Joshaway Gossett. Dat make folks open der eyes an'
shake der head. I 'member de time, suh, when ol' Joshaway wuz runnin' a
blacksmith shop out in de country. Den he sot in ter make waggins. Atter
dat, he come ter be overseer fer Marse Bolivar Blasengame, but all de
time he wuz overseein' he wuz runnin' de blacksmith shop an' de waggin

"When de war come on, suh, dey say dat ol' Joshaway tuck all de money
what he had been savin' an' change it inter gol'; de natchul stuff. An'
he had a pile un it. He kep' dat up all endurin' er de turmoil, and
by de time freedom come out, he had mo' er de natchul stuff dan what
Cyarter had oats. Dat what folks say, suh, an' when eve'ybody talk one
way you may know dey ain't fur fum de trufe. Anyhow, de word went 'roun'
dat ol' Joshaway gwine ter start a bank. Folks wa'n't 'stonished 'kaze
he had money, but bekaze he gwine ter start a bank, an' he not much mo'
dan knowin' B fum bull-foot. Some snicker, some laugh, an' some make
fun er ol' Joshaway, but Marse Tumlin say dat ef he know how ter shave
a note, he bleeze ter know how ter run a bank. I ain't never see nobody
shave a note, suh, but dat 'zackly what Marse Tumlin say.

"But ol' Joshaway, he ain't a-keerin' what folks say. He start de bank,
an' he kep' it up twel de time I'm gwine tell you 'bout. He bought 'im
a big strong safe, an' he had it walled up in de back er de bank, an'
dar 'twuz. Don't make no diffunce what folks say 'bout ol' Joshaway, dey
can't say he ain't honest. He gwine ter have what's his'n, an' he want
yuther folks fer ter have what's der'n. When dat de case, 'tain't no
trouble ter git folks ter trus' you. Dey put der money in ol' Joshaway's
bank, whar he kin take keer un it, bekaze dey know'd he wa'n't gwine
ter run off wid it.

"Well, suh, de bank wuz runnin' 'long des like 'twuz on skids, an' de
skids greased. Ol' Joshaway ain't move ter town, but he hired 'im a
clerk, an' de clerk stayed in de bank night an' day, an' I hear folks
say de town wuz better'n bigger on 'count er ol' Joshaway's bank. I
dunner how dey make dat out, 'kaze de bank wa'n't much bigger dan yo'
kitchen back dar. Anyhow, dar she wuz an' dar she stayed fer a time an'
a time.

"But one day Marse Tumlin Perdue tuck de notion dat he got ter borry
some money. He seed yuther folks gwine in dar an' borryin' fum ol'
Joshaway, an' he know he got des ez much bizness fer ter borry ez what
dey is. Mo' dan dat, when he had plenty er money an' niggers, he done
ol' Joshaway many a good turn. I know'd dat myse'f, suh, an' 'tain't no
hearsay; I done seed it wid my own eyes. On de day I'm talkin' 'bout,
Miss Vallie sent me up town fer ter ax Marse Tumlin kin he spar' two
dollars—dat wuz befo' Miss Vallie wuz married; 'bout a mont' befo', an'
she wuz makin' up her weddin' fixin's.

"Twa'n't no trouble ter fin' Marse Tumlin. He wuz settin' in de shade
wid a passel er men. He seed me, he did, an' he come ter meet me. When
I tell 'im what Miss Vallie want, he kinder scratch his head an' look
sollum. He studied a minit, an' den he tell me ter come go 'long wid
'im. He cut 'cross de squar' an' went right ter ol' Joshaway's bank, me
a-follerin' right at his heels. He went in, he did, an' 'low, 'Hello,
Joshaway!' Ol' Joshaway, he say, 'Howdy, Maje?' He wuz settin' in dar
behime a counter what had wire palin's on top un it, an' he look fer all
de worl' like some ongodly creeter what dey put in a cage fer ter keep
'im fum doin' devilment.

"Marse Tumlin 'low, 'Joshaway, I want ter borry a hunderd dollars for
a mont' er so.' Ol' Joshaway kinder changed his cud er terbacker fum
one side ter de yuther, an' cle'r up his th'oat. He say, 'Maje, right
dis minit, I ain't got fifty dollars in de bank.' Nigger ez I is, I
know'd dat wuz a lie, an' I couldn't he'p fum gruntin' ef I wuz gwine
to be kilt fer it. At dat ol' Joshaway look up. Marse Tumlin stood dar
drummin' on de counter. Bimeby ol' Joshaway say, 'Spoze'n I had it,
Maje, who you gwine git fer yo' skyority?' des so. Marse Tumlin 'low,
'Fer my what?' 'Fer yo' skyority,' sez ol' Joshaway. I up an' say, 'Des
lissen at dat!' Marse Tumlin 'low, 'Who went yo' skyority when I use
ter loan you money?' 'Times is done change, Maje,' sez ol' Joshaway.
Marse Tumlin flirted de little gate open, an' went 'roun' in dar so
quick it made my head swim. He say, '_I_ ain't change!' an' wid dat, he
took ol' Joshaway by de coat-collar an' cuff'd 'im 'roun' considerbul.
He ain't hurt ol' Joshaway much, but he call 'im some names dat white
folks don't fling at one an'er widout dey's gwine ter be blood-lettin'
in de neighborhoods.

"Den Marse Tumlin come out fum behime de counter, an' stood in de do'
an' look up town. By dat time I wuz done out on de sidewalk, 'kaze I
don't want no pistol-hole in my hide. When it come ter fa'r fis' an'
skull, er a knock-down an' drag-out scuffle, I'm wid you; I'm right
dar; but deze yer guns an' pistols what flash an' bang an' put out yo'
lights—an' maybe yo' liver—when it come ter dem, I lots druther be on
t'er side de fence. Well, suh, I fully 'spected ol' Joshaway to walk
out atter Marse Tumlin wid de double-bairl gun what I seed behime de
counter; an' Marse Tumlin 'spected it, too, 'kaze he walk up an' down
befo' de bank an' eve'y once in awhile he'd jerk his wescut down in
front like he tryin' ter t'ar de bindin' off. Bimeby I see Marse Bolivar
Blasengame git up fum whar he settin' at, an' here he come, swingin'
his gol'-head cane, an' sa'nt'in' 'long like he gwine on a promenade.

"I know'd by dat, suh, dat Marse Bolivar been watchin' Marse Tumlin's
motions, an' he seed dat trouble er some kind wuz on han'. He walk up,
he did, an' atter he cut his eye at Marse Tumlin, he turn ter me an'
laugh ter hisse'f—he had de purtiest front teef you mos' ever is see,
suh—an' he 'low, 'Well, dang my buttons, ef here ain't ol' Minervy Ann,
de war-hoss fum Wauhoo! Wharsomever dey's trouble, dar's de ol' war-hoss
fum Wauhoo.' Wid dat, he lock arms wid Marse Tumlin, an' dey march off
down de street, me a-follerin'. You ain't kin fin' two men like dem
unywhar an' eve'ywhar. Dey wa'n't no blood-kin—dey married sisters—but
dey wuz lots closer dan br'ers. Hit one an' you'd hurt de yuther, an'
den ef you wa'n't ready ter git in a scuffle wid two wil'-cats, you
better leave town twel dey cool off.

"Well, suh, dey ain't took many steps 'fo' dey wuz laughin' an' jokin'
des like two boys. Ez we went up de street Marse Tumlin drapt in a sto'
er two an' tol' um dat ol' Joshaway Gossett vow'd dat he ain't got fifty
cash dollars in de bank. Dish yer money news is de kin' what spreads,
an' don't you fergit it. It spread dat day des like powder ketchin' fire
an' 'twa'n't no time 'fo' you could see folks runnin' 'cross de squar'
des like dey er rabbit-huntin', an' by dinner-time dey wa'n't no bank
dar no mo' dan a rabbit. Folks say dat ol' Joshaway try mighty hard ter
'splain matters, but dem what had der money in dar say dey'd take de
spondulix fus' an' listen ter de 'splainin' atterwards. 'Long to'rds de
noon-hour ol' Joshaway hatter fling up his han's. All de ready money
done gone, an' folks at de do' hollin' fer dat what dey put in dar. I
dunner how he ever got 'way fum dar, 'kaze dey wuz men in dat crowd ripe
ter kill 'im; but he sneaked out an' went home, an' lef' someun else
fer ter win' up de shebang.

"De bank wuz des ez good ez any bank, an' folks got back all dey put
in dar des ez soon ez dey'd let ol' Joshaway show his head in town; but
he drapt dat kinder bizness an' went back ter farmin' an' note-shavin'.
An' all bekaze he want skyority fer Marse Tumlin, which his word des ez
good ez his bon'. He mought not er had de money when de clock struck de
minit, but what diffunce do dat make when you know a man's des ez good
ez gol'? Huh! no wonder dey broke ol' Joshaway down!"

Aunt Minervy Ann's indignation was a fine thing to behold. Her scorn
of the man who wanted Major Perdue to put up security for his note was
as keen and as bitter as it had been the day the episode occurred. She
paused at this point as if her narrative had come to an end. Therefore,
I put in a suggestion.

"Was this what you call frailing out the Gossett boys?"

"No, suh," she protested with a laugh; "all deze yer gwines-on 'bout dat
ar bank wuz des de 'casion un it. You bleeze ter know dem Gossett boys,
suh. Dey had sorter cool down by de time you come down dar, but dey wuz
still ripe fer any devilment dat come 'long. Dar wuz Reub an' Sam an'
John Henry, an' a'er one un um wuz big ez a hoss. Dey use ter come ter
town eve'y Chuseday an' Sat'day, an' by dinner-time dey'd be a-whoopin'
an' hollin' in de streets, an' a-struttin' 'roun' mashin' folks' hats
down on der eyes. Not all de folks, but some un um. An' all fer fun;
dat what dey say.

"Tooby sho', dey had a spite ag'in Marse Tumlin and Marse Bolivar atter
de bank busted. Dey show'd it by gwine des so fur; dey'd fling out der
hints; but dey kep' on de safe side, 'kaze Marse Tumlin wa'n't de man
fer ter go 'roun' huntin' a fuss, ner needer wuz Marse Bolivar; but
fetch a fuss an' lay it in der laps, ez you may say, an' dey'd play
wid it an' dandle it, an' keep it fum ketchin' col'. Dey sho' would,
suh. When dem Gossett boys'd come ter town, Marse Tumlin an' Marse
Bolivar would des set' 'roun' watchin' um, des waitin' twel dey cross
de dead-line. But it seem like dey know des how fur ter go, an' right
whar ter stop.

"Well, suh, it went on dis away fer I dunner how long, but bimeby,
one day, our ol' cow got out, an' 'stidder hangin' 'roun' an' eatin'
de grass in de streets like any yuther cow would 'a' done, she made a
straight shoot fer de plantation whar she come fum. Miss Vallie tol'
Marse Tumlin 'bout it, an' he say he gwine atter her. Den some er de
niggers in de nex' lot tol' me dat de cow wuz out an' gone, an' I put
out atter her, too, not knowin' dat Marse Tumlin wuz gwine. He went de
front street an' I went de back way. Ef de town wuz big ez de streets
is long, we'd have a mighty city down dar; you know dat yo'se'f, suh.
De place whar de back street jines in wid de big road is mighty nigh
a mile fum de tempunce hall, an' when I got dar, dar wuz Marse Tumlin
polin' 'long. I holler an' ax 'im whar he gwine. He say he gwine atter
a glass er milk. Den he ax me whar I gwine. I say I'm gwine atter dat
ol' frame dat nigh-sighted folks call a cow. He 'low dat he'd be mighty
thankful ef de nex' time I tuck a notion fer ter turn de cow out I'd
tell 'im befo'han' so he kin run 'roun' an' head 'er off an' drive 'er
back. He wuz constant a-runnin' on dat away. He'd crack his joke, suh,
ef he dyin'.

"We went trudgin' 'long twel we come 'pon de big hill dat leads down
ter de town branch. You know de place, suh. De hill mighty steep, an'
on bofe sides er de road der's a hedge er Cherrykee roses; some folks
calls um Chickasaw; but Chicky er Cherry, dar dey wuz, growin' so thick
a rabbit can't hardly squeeze th'oo um. On one side dey wuz growin'
right on de aidge uv a big gully, an' at one place de groun' wuz kinder
caved in, an' de briar vines wuz swayin' over it.

"Well, suh, des ez we got on de hilltop, I hear a buggy rattlin' an'
den I hear laughin' an' cussin'. I lookt 'roun', I did, an' dar wuz de
Gossett boys, two in de buggy an' one ridin' hossback; an' all un um
full er dram. I could tell dat by de way dey wuz gwine on. You could
hear um a mile, cussin' one an'er fer eve'ything dey kin think un an'
den laughin' 'bout it. Sump'n tol' me dey wuz gwine ter be a rumpus,
bekaze three ter one wuz too good a chance for de Gossett boys ter
let go by. I dunner what make me do it, but when we got down de hill a
little piece, I stoop down, I did, an' got me a good size rock.

"Terreckly here dey come. Dey kinder quiet down when dey see me an'
Marse Tumlin. Dey driv up, dey did, an' driv on by, an' dis make me
b'lieve dat dey wuz gwine on 'bout der bizness an' let we-all go on
'bout our'n, but dat idee wa'n't in der head. Dey driv by, dey did, an'
den dey pulled up. We walkt on, an' Marse Tumlin lookt at um mighty
hard. Reub, he was drivin,' an ez we come up even wid um, he 'low,
'Major Perdue, I hear tell dat you slap my pa's face not so mighty
long ago.' Marse Tumlin say, 'I did, an' my han' ain't clean yit.' He
helt it out so dey kin see fer deyse'f. 'I b'lieve,' sez Reub, 'I'll
take a closer look at it.' Wid dat he lipt out er de buggy, an' by de
time he hit de groun,' Marse Tumlin had knockt 'im a-windin' wid his
curly-hick'ry walkin'-cane. By dat time, John Henry had jumpt out'n de
buggy, an' he went at Marse Tumlin wid a dirk-knife. He kep' de cane
off'n his head by dodgin', but Marse Tumlin hit a back lick an' knock
de knife out'n his han' an' den dey clincht. Den Reub got up, an' start
to'rds um un de run.

"Well, suh, I wuz skeer'd an' mad bofe. I seed sump'n had ter be done,
an' dat mighty quick; so I tuck atter Reub, cotch 'm by de ellybows,
shoved 'im ahead faster dan he wuz gwine, an' steer'd 'im right to'rds
de caved-in place in de brier-bushes. He tried mighty hard ter stop, but
he wuz gwine down hill, an' I had de Ol' Boy in me. I got 'im close ter
de place, suh, an' den I gi' 'm a shove, an' inter de briers he went,
head over heels. All dis time I had de rock in my han'. By de time I
turn 'roun' I see Sam a-comin'. When de rumpus start up, his hoss shied
an' made a break down de hill wid 'im, but he slew'd 'im 'roun', an'
jumped off, an' here he come back, his face red, his hat off, an' ol'
Nick hisse'f lookin' out'n his eyes. I know'd mighty well I can't steer
him inter no brier-bush, an' so when he run by me I let 'im have de rock
in de burr er de year. 'Twa'n't no light lick, suh; I wuz plum venomous
by den; an' he went down des like a beef does when you knock 'im in de
head wid a ax."

Aunt Minervy Ann, all unconscious of her attitudes and gestures, had
risen from the floor, and now stood in the middle of the room, tall,
towering, and defiant.

"Den I run ter whar Marse Tumlin an' John Henry Gossett had been
scufflin'; but by de time I got dar John Henry squalled out dat he had
'nuff; an' he wa'n't tellin' no lie, suh, fer Marse Tumlin had ketched
his cane up short, an' he used it on dat man's face des like you see
folks do wid ice-picks. He like to 'a' ruint 'im. But when he holla dat
he got 'nuff, Marse Tumlin let 'im up. He let 'im up, he did, an' sorter
step back. By dat time Reub wuz a-climbin' out'n de briers, an' Sam
wuz makin' motions like he comin'-to. Marse Tumlin say, "Lemme tell you
cowardly rascals one thing. De nex' time a'er one un you bat his eye at
me, I'm gwine ter put a hole right spang th'oo you. Ef you don't b'lieve
it you kin start ter battin' um right now.' Wid dat, he draw'd out his
ervolver an' kinder played wid it. Reub say, "We'll drap it, Major; we
des had a little too much licker. But I'll not drap it wid dat nigger
dar. I'll pay her fer dis day's work, an' I'll pay 'er well.'

"Well, suh, de way he say it set me on fire. I stept out in de middle
er de road, an' 'low, '_Blast yo' rotten heart, ef you'll des walk out
here I'll whip you in a fa'r fight. Fight me wid yo' naked han's an'
I'll eat you up, ef I hatter pizen myse'f ter do it._'"

Once more Aunt Minervy Ann brought the whole scene mysteriously before
us. Her eyes gleamed ferociously, her body swayed and her outstretched
arm trembled with the emotion she had resummoned from the past. We
were on the spot. The red hill-side, the hedges of Cherokee roses,
Major Perdue grim and erect, Sam Gossett struggling to his feet, John
Henry wiping his beaten face, Reub astounded at the unwonted violence
of a negro woman, the buggy swerved to one side by the horse searching
for grass—all these things came into view and slowly faded away. Aunt
Minervy Ann, suddenly recollecting herself, laughed sheepishly.

"I ain't tellin' you no lie, suh, dat ar Rube Gossett stood dar like de
little boy dat de calf run over. He mought er had sump'n ugly ter say,
but Marse Tumlin put in. He 'low, 'Don't you fool yo'se'f 'bout dis
nigger 'oman. When you hit her you hits me. Befo' you put yo' han' on
'er you come an' spit in my face. You'll fin' dat lots de cheapes' way
er gittin' de dose what I got fer dem what hurts Minervy Ann.'

"Well, suh, dis make me feel so funny dat a little mo' an' I'd a got
ter whimperin', but I happen ter look 'roun', an' dar wuz our ol' cow
lookin' at me over a low place in de briers. She done got in de fiel' by
a gap back up de road, an' dar she wuz a-lookin' at us like she sorry.
Wid me, suh, de diffunce 'twixt laughin' an' cryin' ain't thicker dan a
fly's wing, an' when I see dat ol' cow lookin' like she ready ter cry,
I wuz bleeze to laugh. Marse Tumlin look at me right hard, but I say,
'Marse Tumlin, ol' June lis'nin' at us,' an den _he_ laughed.

"Dem Gossett boys brush deyse'f off good ez dey kin an' den dey put out
fer home. Soon ez dey git out er sight, Marse Tumlin started in ter
projickin'. He walk all 'roun' me a time er two, an' den he blow out
his breff like folks does when dey er kinder tired. He look at me, an'
say, '_Well, I be dam!_' 'Dat would 'a' been de word,' sez I, 'ef ol'
Minervy Ann hadn't 'a' been here dis day an' hour.' He shuck his head
slow. 'You hit de mark dat time,' sez he; 'ef you hadn't 'a' been here,
Minervy Ann, dem boys would sholy 'a' smasht me; but ef I hadn't 'a'
been here, I reely b'lieve you'd 'a' frailed out de whole gang. You had
two whipt, Minervy Ann, an' you wuz hankerin' fer de yuther one. I'll
hatter sw'ar ter de facts 'fo' anybody'll b'lieve um.' I 'low, ''Tain't
no use ter tell nobody, Marse Tumlin. Folks think I'm bad 'nuff now.'

"But, _shoo_! Marse Tumlin would 'a' mighty nigh died ef he couldn't
tell 'bout dat day's work. I ain't min' dat so much, but it got so dat
when de Gossetts come ter town an' start ter prankin', de town boys 'ud
call um by name, an' holla an' say, 'You better watch out dar! Minervy
Ann Perdue comin' 'roun' de cornder!' Dat wuz so errytatin', suh, dat
it kyo'd um. Dey drapt der dram-drinkin' an' spreein', an' now dey er
high in Horeb Church. Dey don't like me, suh, an' no wonder; but ef dey
kin git ter hev'm widout likin' me, I'd be glad ter see um go.

"Well, suh, I call de ol' cow, an' she foller long on 'er side er de
briers, an' when she got whar de gap wuz, she curl 'er tail over 'er
back an' put out fer home, des for all de worl' like she glad 'kaze me
an' Marse Tumlin frailed out de Gossett boys.

"I say, 'Marse Tumlin, I'm a member er de church an' I don't b'lieve in
fightin', but ef we hadn't er fit wid dem Gossetts we'd 'a' never foun'
dat ol' cow in de roun' worl'.' He 'low, 'An' ef we hadn't er fit wid
um, Minervy Ann, I'd 'a' never know'd who ter take wid me fer ter keep
de booger-man fum gittin' me.'

"Dat night, suh, Marse Bolivar Blasengame come rappin' at my do'. Hamp
wuz done gone ter bed, an' I wuz fixin' ter go. Marse Bolivar come in,
he did, an' shuck han's wid me like he ain't seed me sence de big war.
Den he sot down over ag'in' me an' look at me, an' make me tell 'im all
'bout de rumpus. Well, suh, he got ter laughin', an' he laughed twel he
can't hardly set in de cheer. He say, 'Minervy Ann, ef dem folks say a
word ter hurt yo' feelin's, don't tell Tumlin. Des come a-runnin' ter
me. He done had his han's on um, an' now I want ter git mine on um.'

"Dat 'uz de way wid Marse Bolivar. He wa'n't no great han' ter git in
a row, but he wuz mighty hard ter git out'n one when he got in. When
he start out he stop on de step an' say, 'Minervy Ann, I didn't know
you wuz such a rank fighter.' 'I'm a Perdue,' sez I. Wid dat he got ter
laughin' an' fur ez I kin hear 'im he wuz still a-laughin'. He b'longed
ter a mighty fine fambly, suh; you know dat yo'se'f."

"I think if I had a woman like you to attend to things about here, I'd
be happy," remarked the lady of the house with a sigh.

"No'm, you wouldn't—no ma'm!" exclaimed Aunt Minervy Ann. "You'd hatter
be use ter me all yo' life. Yessum! I wouldn' be here a week 'fo' I'd
fly up an' say sump'n sassy—des like I does at home. You'd say it 'uz
sassy. When I fly up at Miss Vallie, she stan's up an' makes a mouf at
me, an' she look so purty when she do it, an' so much like ol' miss dat
I dunner whedder ter laugh er cry. Miss Vallie know 'tain't sassiness,
but you wouldn't know it, ma'm, an' we'd be cross ways.

"I made out like I wuz gwine ter quit Miss Vallie one time, an' I did
quit fer a whole fortnight. She make out she 'uz glad, an' she hire
Hamp's sister in my place. I went back dar one mornin' an' I hear dat
nigger 'oman flingin' 'er talk in de back porch, an' I see Miss Vallie
settin' in dar cryin'; she's a mighty tenderhearted creetur. Well'um,
fire won't burn me no wuss'n dat sight did, an' I des clum up dem steps
an' got dat nigger, an' clum down wid 'er, an' when I turn 'er loose de
few cloze what I lef' on 'er back ain't never fit 'er no mo'."

"It's a pity you are not around here sometimes," said the lady of the

"_Sh-o-o-o!_ dey'd have me in de chain-gang, ma'm, 'fo' I'd been here
a week."


Having missed the morning train by reason of the failure of our cook to
make her appearance, there was nothing for Aunt Minervy Ann to do but
to wait for the train which went out late in the afternoon. She seemed
to be well content, however, and made herself as much at home as if she
had been employed as housekeeper. She went about tidying things, and
dusting, and talking. Noticing that the lady of the house, unconsciously
and from habit, went over the same ground (so to say), Aunt Minervy Ann
turned to me with a laugh.

"De mistiss," she said, "is been foolin' wid no 'count niggers so long
dat she bleeze ter do her work over. Now, dat ain't no way. Ef dey ain't
do right at fus', call um back an' make um do it ag'in, an' keep on dat
away twel dey git it 'zackly right; 'twon't be long 'fo' dey'll do it
like you want it done. De mistiss here ain't workin' when she follerin'
'long atter um; she's worryin'; dat des 'zackly what she doin'. An'
worry is lots wuss'n work. How come de white wimmen folks for ter git
ol' and flabby an' wrinkly long 'fo' der time? 'Tain't nothin' but
worry, suh. Ef it hadn't 'a' been fer me, Miss Vallie would 'a' broke
down 'long 'go. But you look at 'er, suh, an' you'll see one er de
purtiest wimmen you ever laid yo' eyes on; an' she ain't no chicken."

It is to be feared that these acute observations were altogether lost on
the lady for whom they were intended, for she continued to move things
about and rearrange them in a way and after a manner that showed she
was doing it unconsciously and as the result of habit.

"Dis ain't de fus' time I been ter dis town, not by a long shot,"
remarked Aunt Minervy Ann, after awhile. "Ain't dey use ter be a miner'l
spring 'cross de road in dat grove dar? I know'd it!" she declared when
I confirmed the accuracy of her memory. "Fur back ez dat dey use ter
call dis part er town Wes' Een', an' 'twuz er _Een_', sho' ez you er
settin' dar. Dey use ter have a buery out here whar dey make beer, an'
dey had some mighty quare gwines-on at dat ar buery. Dey'd come fum
town, suh, an' fiddle an' dance an' guzzle beer dar de live-long night."

Aunt Minervy Ann paused as if contemplating the incidents of those
times, and then suddenly remarked:

"Ain't I never tell you, suh, 'bout de time when I b'longed ter de
Georgy Legislatur'?" The lady of the house, who was arranging and
rearranging some pieces of bric-à-brac on the mantel, stopped short and
stared at Aunt Minervy Ann in sheer amazement. For my part, I could only
laugh at the incongruities called into being by her inquiry. But she
was very serious about the matter.

"You may look," she said, "an' you may laugh, but dat don't wipe
out de trufe. Dey wuz a time when I jined de Legislatur' an' when I
b'long'd ter de gang same ez Hamp did. You don't 'spute but what Hamp
b'long'd ter de Legislatur', suh?" asked Aunt Minervy Ann, anxious to
make out the title of her own membership. No, I didn't dispute Hamp's
credentials. He had been elected and he had served.

"I know'd you couldn't 'spute dat, suh," Aunt Minervy Ann went on,
"'kaze you wuz down dar when dey choosen'd 'im, an' you wuz dar when dem
ar white folks come mighty nigh ku-kluckin' 'im; you wuz right dar wid
Marse Tumlin an' Marse Bolivar. I never is ter fergit dat, suh, ner Hamp
nudder, an' ef you don't b'lieve it you des sen' us word you want us.
Ef we get de word at midnight we'll git up, an' ef de railroad track is
tore up we'll git a waggin, an' ef we can't git a waggin, we'll walk,
but what we'll come."

"Well," said I, "tell us about your joining the Legislature."

"I may be long in tellin' it, suh, but 'tain't no long tale," replied
Aunt Minervy Ann. "Atter Hamp come up here an' tuck his seat—dat what
dey call it den, ef dey don't call it dat now—well, atter he come up
an' been here some little time, I tuck notice dat he 'gun ter hol' his
head mighty high; a little too high fer ter suit me. He want me ter go
up dar wid 'im an' stay dar, 'kaze he sorter skittish 'bout comin' home
when dem country boys mought be hangin' 'roun' de depot. But I up an'
tol' 'im flat an' plain dat I wa'n't gwine ter leave Miss Vallie an'
let 'er git usen ter strange niggers. I tol' 'im he mought go an' stay
ef he want ter, but de fus' week he miss comin' home, I wuz gwine atter
'im, an' ef I fotch 'im home he won't go back in a hurry; I tol' 'im
dat flat an' plain.

"Well, suh, he done mighty well; I'll say dat fer 'im. He want too many
clean shirts an' collars fer ter suit me, but he say he bleeze ter have
um dar whar he at, an' I ain't make no complaint 'bout dat; but I tuck
notice dat he wuz sorter offish wid Marse Tumlin. Mo' dan dat, I tuck
notice dat needer Marse Tumlin ner Marse Bolivar so much ez look at 'im
when dey pass 'im by. I know'd by dat dat sump'n wuz up.

"Now Hamp ain't had no reg'lar time fer comin' home. Sometimes he'd come
We'n'sday, an' den ag'in he'd come Friday. I ax 'im why he ain't stay de
week out an' 'ten' ter his work like he oughter. He say he gettin' des
much pay when he at home loafin' 'roun' ez he do when he up yer. Well,
suh, dat 'stonish me. You know yo'se'f, suh, dat when folks is gittin'
pay fer dat what dey ain't doin,' dey's boun' ter be swindlin' gwine on
some'rs, ef not wuss, an' dat what I tol' 'im. He laugh an' say dat's
on account er politics an' de erpublican party, an' I make answer dat
ef dat de case, dey er bofe rank an' rotten; desso.

"We went on fum one thing ter an'er, twel bimeby I ax 'im what dey
is 'twixt 'im an' Marse Tumlin an' Marse Bolivar. Hamp say dey ain't
nothin' 'ceppin' dat dey done ax 'im fer ter do sump'n dat ain't in
'cordance wid erpublican pencerpuls, an' he bleeze ter erfuse um. Well,
suh, dis kinder riled me. I know'd right pine-blank dat Hamp ain't know
no mo' 'bout erpublican pencerpuls dan I is, an' I wouldn't a-know'd um
ef I'd a met um in de road wid der name painted on um; so I ax 'im what
erpublican pencerpuls hender'd 'im fum doin' what Marse Tumlin ax 'im
ter do. He sot dar an' hummed an' haw'd, an' squirm'd in his cheer, an'
chaw'd on de een' er his segyar. I wait long 'nuff, an' den I ax 'im
ag'in. Well, suh, dat's been twenty year ago, an' he ain't never tol'
me yit what dem erpublican pencerpuls wuz. I ain't flingin' off on um,
suh. I 'speck dey wuz a bairlful er dem erpublican pencerpuls, an' maybe
all good uns, but I know'd mighty well dat dey ain't hender dat nigger
man fum doin' what Marse Tumlin ax 'im ter do.

"So de nex' chance I git, I up'n ax Marse Tumlin what de matter wuz
'twix' him an' Hamp. He say 'twa'n't nothin' much, 'cep' dat Hamp
had done come up here in Atlanta an' sol' hisse'f out to a passel er
kyarpit-baggers what ain't no intruss down here but ter git han's on all
de money in sight. I say, 'He may 'a' gi' hisse'f 'way, Marse Tumlin,
but he sho' ain't sell hisse'f, 'kaze I ain't seen one er de money.'
Marse Tumlin 'low, 'Well, anyhow, it don't make much diffunce, Minervy
Ann. Dem kyarpit-baggers up dar, dey pat 'im on de back an' tell 'im he
des ez good ez what dey is. I had de idee, Minervy Ann,' he say, 'dat
Hamp wuz lots better dan what dey is, but he ain't; he des 'bout good
ez dey is.'

"Marse Tumlin do like he don't wanter talk 'bout it, but dat ain't nigh
satchify me. I say, 'Marse Tumlin, what did you want Hamp ter do?' He
drum on de arm er de cheer wid his fingers, an' sorter study. Den he
say, 'Bein' it's all done an' over wid, I don't min' tellin' you all
about it. Does you know who's a-runnin' dis county now?' I had a kinder
idee, but I say, 'Who, Marse Tumlin?' He 'low, 'Mahlon Botts an' his
br'er Mose; dey er runnin' de county, an' dey er ruinin' it.'

"Den he ax me ef I know de Bottses. Know um! I'd been a-knowin' um sence
de year one, an' dey wuz de ve'y drugs an' offscourin's er creation. I
ax Marse Tumlin how come dey ter have holt er de county, an' he say dey
make out dey wuz good erpublicans des ter make de niggers vote um in
office—so dey kin make money an' plunder de county. Den I ax 'im what
he want Hamp ter do. He say all he want Hamp ter do wuz ter he'p 'im
git er whatyoumaycallum—yasser, dat's it, a bill; dat's de ve'y word he
say—he want Hamp ter he'p 'im git a bill th'oo de Legislatur'; an' den
he went on an' tell me a long rigamarolious 'bout what 'twuz, but I'll
never tell you in de roun' worl'."

[The proceedings of the Georgia Legislature reported in the Atlanta
_New Era_, of November 10, 1869, show that the measure in question was a
local bill to revive the polling-places in the militia districts of the
county represented by the Hon. Hampton Tumlin, and to regulate elections
so that there could be no repeating. This verification of Aunt Minervy
Ann's statement was made long after she told the story, and purely
out of curiosity. The discussions shed an illuminating light over her
narrative, but it is impossible to reproduce them here, even in brief.]

"He tol' me dat, suh, an' den he le'nt back in de cheer, an' kinder
hummed a chune. An' me—I stood up dar by de fireplace an' studied.
Right den an' dar I made up my min' ter one thing, an' I ain't never
change it, needer; I made up my min' dat ef we wuz all gwine ter be
free an' live in de same neighborhoods—dat ef we wuz gwine ter do
dat, whatsomever wuz good fer de white folks bleeze ter be good fer de
niggers, an' whatsomever wuz good fer Marse Tumlin an' Miss Vallie wuz
des ez good fer me an' Hamp.

"I 'low, 'Marse Tumlin, when you gwine up dar whar Hamp at?' He say,
'Oh, I dunno; I'm tired er de infernal place,' desso. Den he look
at me right hard. 'What make you ax?' sez he. I 'low, ''Kaze ef you
er gwine right soon, I'm gwine wid you.' He laugh an' say, 'What de
dickunce you gwine up dar fer?' I 'low, 'I'm gwine up dar fer ter jine
de Legislatur'. I ain't here tell dat dem what jines hatter be baptize
in runnin' water, an' ef dey ain't, den I'll jine long wid Hamp.' Marse
Tumlin say, 'You reckin Hamp would be glad fer to see you, Minervy Ann?'
I 'low, 'He better had be, ef he know what good fer 'im.' Marse Tumlin
say, 'Ef I wuz you, Minervy Ann, I wouldn't go up dar spyin' atter Hamp.
He'll like you none de better fer it. De las' time I wuz up dar, Hamp
wuz havin' a mighty good time. Ef you know what's good fer you, Minervy
Ann, you won't go up dar a-doggin' atter Hamp.'

"Well, suh, right at dat time I had de idee dat Marse Tumlin wuz
prankin' an' projeckin'; you know how he runs on; but he wa'n't no
mo' prankin' dan what I am right now. (Nummine! I'll git back ter Hamp
terreckly.) I laugh an' say, 'I ain't gwine ter dog atter Hamp, Marse
Tumlin; I des wanter go up dar an' see how he gittin' on, an' fin' out
how folks does when dey sets up dar in de Legislatur'. An' ef you'll put
dat ar whatshisname—bill; dat's right, suh; bill wuz de word—ef you'll
put dat ar bill in yo' pocket, I'll see what Hamp kin do wid it.' Marse
Tumlin 'low, ''Tain't no use fer ter see Hamp, Minervy Ann. He done tol'
me he can't do nothin'. I lef' de bill wid 'im.'

"I say, 'Marse Tumlin, you dunner nothin' 'tall 'bout Hamp. He must er
change mightly sence dey 'fo' yistidy if he erfuse ter do what I tell
'im ter do. Ef dat de case I'll go up dar an' frail 'im out an' come on
back home an' 'ten' ter my work.'

"Marse Tumlin look at me wid his eyes half shot an' kinder laugh way
down in his stomach. He 'low, 'Minervy Ann, I been livin' a long time,
an' I been knowin' a heap er folks, but you er de bangin'est nigger I
ever is see. Free ez you is, I wouldn't take two thousan' dollars fer
you, cash money. I'll git Bolivar, an' we'll go up dar on de mornin'
train. Vallie kin stay wid 'er aunt. 'Tain't gwine ter hurt you ter go;
I want you ter see some things fer yo'se'f.'

"Well, suh, sho' 'nuff, de nex' mornin' me an' Marse Tumlin an' Marse
Bolivar, we got on de train, an' put out, an' 'twa'n't long 'fo' we wuz
pullin' in under de kyar-shed. Dat 'uz de fus' time I ever is been ter
dis town, an' de racket an' de turmoil kinder tarrify me, but when I
see 't'er folks gwine 'long 'tendin' ter der bizness, 'twa'n't no time
'fo' I tuck heart, 'kaze dar wuz Marse Tumlin an' Marse Bolivar right
at me, an' dey wuz bowin' an' shakin' han's wid mos' eve'ybody dat come
'long. Dey wuz two mighty pop'lous white men, suh; you know dat yo'se'f.

"I 'speck de train must 'a' got in 'fo' de Legislatur' sot down, 'kaze
when we went th'oo a narrer street an' turn inter de one what dey call
Decatur, whar dey carry on all de devilment, I hear Marse Tumlin say
dat we wuz 'bout a hour too soon. Right atter dat Marse Bolivar say,
'Tumlin, dat ar nigger man 'cross dar wid de gals is got a mighty
familious look ter me; I done been seed 'im somewhar, sho'.' Marse
Tumlin say, 'Dat's a fac'; I used ter know dat man some'rs.' Well, suh,
I lookt de way dey wuz a-lookin', an' dar wuz Hamp! Yassar! Hamp! Hamp
an' two mulatter gals. An' I wish you could 'a' seed um; I des wish
you could! Dar wuz Hamp all diked out in his Sunday cloze which I tol'
'im p'intedly not ter w'ar while he workin' in de legislatur'. He had a
segyar in his mouf mos' ez big an' ez long ez a waggin-spoke, an' dar he
wuz a-bowin' an' scrapin' an' scrapin' an' gigglin' an' de mulatter gals
wuz gigglin' an' snickerin' an' squealin'—'I _declaire_, Mr. Tumlin!
you oughter be _'shame_ er yo'se'f; oh, youer too _b-a-a-a-d_!'"

With powers of mimicry unequalled, Aunt Minervy Ann illustrated the
bowing and scraping of Hamp, and reproduced the shrill but not unmusical
voices of the mulatto girls.

"I tell you de trufe, suh, whiles you could count ten you might 'a'
pusht me over wid a straw, an' den, suh, my dander 'gun ter rise. I
must 'a' show'd it in my looks, 'kaze Marse Tumlin laid his han' on my
shoulder an' say, 'Don't kick up no racket, Minervy Ann; you got Hamp
right whar you want 'im. You know what we come fer.' Well, suh, I hatter
stan' dar an' swaller right hard a time er two, 'kaze I ain't got no use
fer mulatters; to make um, you got ter spile good white blood an' good
nigger blood, an' when dey er made dey got in um all dat's mean an' low
down on bofe sides, an' ef dey yever is ter be saved, dey'll all hatter
be baptize twice han' runnin'—once fer de white dat's in um, and once
fer de black. De Bible mayn't sesso, but common-sense'll tell you dat

"Well, suh, I stood dar some little time watchin' Hamp's motions, an'
he wuz makin' sech a big fool er hisse'f dat I des come mighty nigh
laughin' out loud, but all dat time Marse Tumlin had de idee dat I
wuz mad, an' when I start to'rds Hamp, wid my pairsol grabbed in de
middle, he 'low, 'Min' yo' eye, Minervy Ann.' I walk up, I did, an'
punch Hamp in de back wid de pairsol. Ef I'd 'a' hit 'im on de head wid
a pile-driver, he couldn't 'a' been mo' dum'founder'd. He look like he
wuz gwine th'oo de sidewalk. I say, 'When you git time, I'd like ter
have a little chat wid you.' He 'low, 'Why, why'—an' wid dat he stuck
de lit een' er his segyar in his mouf. Well, suh, you may b'lieve you
done seed splutterin' an' splatterin', but you ain't never seed none
like dat. He made a motion, Hamp did, like he wanter make me 'quainted
wid de mulatter gals, but I say, 'When you git time fum yo' Legislatur',
I got a sesso fer you ter hear.'

"Wid dat, suh, I turn 'roun' an' cross de street an' foller on atter
Marse Tumlin an' Marse Bolivar. I ain't mo'n git 'cross, 'fo' here come
Hamp. He 'low, 'Why, honey, whyn't you tell me you wuz comin'? When'd
you come?' I say, 'Oh, I'm _honey_, is I? Well, maybe you'll fin' a bee
in de comb.' He 'low, 'Whyn't you tell me you wuz comin' so I kin meet
you at de train?' I say, 'I wanter see what kinder fambly you got in
dis town. An' I seed it! I seed it!'

"Well, suh, I 'speck I'd 'a' got mad ag'in, but 'bout dat time we cotch
up wid Marse Tumlin an' Marse Bolivar. Marse Tumlin turn 'roun', he
did, an' holler out, 'Well, ef here ain't Minervy Ann! What you doin' up
here, an' how did you lef' yo' Miss Vallie?' He shuck han's des like he
ain't see me befo' in a mont', an' Marse Bolivar done de same. I humor'd
um, suh, but I ain't know what dey wuz up ter fer long atterwards. Dey
don't want Hamp ter know dat I come 'long wid um. Den dey went on, an'
me an' Hamp went ter whar he stay at.

"When I got 'im off by hisse'f, suh, he sot in ter tellin' me how come
'im ter be wid dem ar gals, an' he want me ter know um, an' he know
mighty well I'd like um—you know how men-folks does, suh. But dey
wa'n't na'er minit in no day dat yever broke when Hamp kin fool me,
an' he know'd it. But I let 'im run on. Bimeby, when he get tired er
splanifyin', I 'low, 'Whar dat paper what Marse Tumlin ax you ter put
in de Legislatur'?' He say, 'How you know 'bout dat?' I 'low, 'I hear
Marse Tumlin tellin' Miss Vallie 'bout it, an' I hear Miss Vallie wonder
an' wonder what de matter wid you.'

"I fotch Miss Vallie in, suh, bekaze Hamp think dey ain't nobody in de
worl' like Miss Vallie. One time, des 'fo' de big turmoil, when Marse
Tumlin hire Hamp fum de Myrick 'state, he fell sick, an' Miss Vallie
(she wa'n't nothin' but a school-gal den) she got sorry fer 'im 'kaze
he wuz a hired nigger, an' she'd fill a basket wid things fum de white
folks' table an' tote um to 'im. Mo' dan dat, she'd set dar whiles
he's eatin' an' ax 'bout his folks. Atter dat, suh, de groun' whar Miss
Vallie walk wuz better'n any yuther groun' ter Hamp. So when I call her
name up, Hamp ain't say nothin' fer long time.

"Den he shuck his head an' say dey ain't no use talkin', he des can't
put dat ar paper in de Legislatur'. He say ef he wuz ter, 'twon't
do no good, 'kaze all de erpublicans would jump on it, an' den dey'd
jump on him ter boot. I 'low, 'Whar you reckon I'll be whiles all dat
jumpin' gwine on?' He say, 'You'll be on de outside, an' ef you wuz on
de inside, dey'd hike you out.' 'An' who'd do de hikin'?' sez I. 'De
surgeon er de armies,' sez he. 'White er black?' sez I. 'Yaller,' sez
Hamp. I 'low, 'Good 'nuff; we'll see which un'll be hiked.' An' I tol'
Hamp right den an' dar, dat ef he erfuse ter put dat paper in, I'll do
it myse'f.

"Well, suh, whiles we settin' dar talkin', dey come a-rappin' at de do'
an' in walk a big bushy-head mulatter, an' I ain't tellin' you no lie,
he de mos' venomous-lookin' creetur you ever 'laid yo' eyes on. His ha'r
wuz all spread out like a scourin' mop, an' he had a grin on 'im ez big
ez dat gate dar. Hamp call 'im Arion Alperiar Ridley."

At this point I was compelled to come to the rescue of Aunt Minervy
Ann's memory. The statesman's real name was Aaron Alpeora Bradley, and
he was one of the most corrupt creatures of that corrupt era. He had a
superficial education that only added to the density of his ignorance,
but it gave him considerable influence with the negro members of the
Legislature. Aunt Minervy Ann accepted the correction with alacrity.

"I fergot his name, suh, but I ain't never fergit him. He so
mean-lookin' he make de col' chills run over me. He wuz a low-country
mulatter, suh, an' you know how dey talk. Eve'y time he look at me, he'd
bow, an' de mo' he bowed de mo' I 'spized 'im. He call Hamp 'Mistooah
Tummalin,' an' eve'y time he say sump'n', he'd gi' one er dem venomous
grins. I declar' ter gracious, suh, I oughtn't ter talk 'bout dat man
dis away, but de way he look wuz scan'lous. I done fergive 'im for dat
long time 'go on 'count er what he done, but when I hear white folks
'busin' 'im in dat day an' time I know'd dey had mighty good groun',
bekaze dey ain't no human kin look like dat man an' not be mean at

"Well, suh, Hamp, he up'n tol' dish yer Alpory er Alpiry (whatsomever
his name mought be) what I come ter town fer, an' Alpory, he say,
'Mistooah Tummalin, you kyarn't do it. Hit would-er ruin you in de-er
party, suh—er ruin you.' I kinder fired up at dat. I 'low, 'How come
he can't do it? Ain't he free?' Ol' Alpory, he grin an' he talk, he
talk an' he grin, but he ain't budge me. At de offstart I say ef Hamp
don't put dat paper in de Legislatur', I'll put it in myse'f, an' at
de windin' up I still say dat ef he don't put Marse Tumlin's paper in
de Legislatur', den I'll be de one ter do it. Ol' Alpory say, 'You-er
is got no marster, ma'm.' Den I snapt 'im up an' cut 'im off short; I
say, 'I got one ef I want one. Ain't I free?' Den he went on wid a whole
passel er stuff dat I can't make head er tail un, ner him needer, fer
dat matter, twel bimeby I say, 'Oh, hush up an' go on whar you gwine.'

"Hamp look so broke up at dis dat I wuz kinder sorry I say it, but dat's
de only way ter deal wid dem kind er folks, suh. Ol' Alpory wuz des
famishin', suh, fer some un ter b'lieve he's a big Ike; dat 'uz all de
matter wid him an' I know'd it. So he quit his jawin' when I snapped 'im
up, an' he sot dar some time lookin' like a cow does when her cud don't
rise. Bimeby he ax Hamp fer ter let 'im see de paper what I want 'im
ter put in de Legislatur'. He tuck it, he did, an' look at it sideways
an' upside down, an' eve'y which-away. Ez ef dat wa'n't 'nuff, he took
off his goggles an' wiped um an' put um on ag'in, an' read de paper all
over ag'in, noddin' his head an' movin' his mouf, an' grinnin'.

"Atter he got th'oo, he fol' de paper up an' han' it back ter Hamp.
He say he can't see no harm in it ter save his life, an' he 'low dat
ef Hamp'll put it in at one een' er de Legislatur', he'll put it in at
de 't'er een'. Dey call one part a house, but nobody ain't never tell
me why dey call a wranglin' gang er men a house. Dey des might ez well
call um a hoss an' buggy; eve'y bit an' grain. Well, suh, de house wuz
de part what Hamp b'longs ter, an' de 't'er part wuz whar ol' Alpory
b'long'd at, an' by de time dey wuz ready fer ter set down in dar dey
had e'en 'bout 'greed fer put de paper in at bofe een's.

"I went 'long wid Hamp, suh, an' he show'd me de way ter de gall'ry,
an' I sot up dar an' look down on um, an' wonder why all un um, white
an' black, wa'n't at home yearnin' der livin' 'stidder bein' in dat
place a-wranglin' an callin' names, an' howlin' an' wavin' der arms an'
han's. Dey wuz a big fat white man settin' up in de pulpit, an' he kep'
on a-maulin' it wid a mallet. I dunner what his name wuz, but I hear one
big buck nigger call 'im Mr. Cheer. Marse Tumlin tol' me atterwards dat
de man wuz de speaker, but all de res' done lots mo' speakin' dan what
he did; all un um 'cep' Hamp.

"Yasser; all un um 'cep' Hamp, an' he sot dar so still dat 'twa'n't long
'fo' I 'gun ter git shame un him. He sot dar an' fumble wid some papers,
an' helt his head down, an' look like he skeer'd. I watch 'im, suh, twel
I got so res'less in de min' I can't set still. Bimeby I got up an' went
down ter de front do'; I wuz gwine ter make my way in dar whar Hamp wuz
at, an' kinder fetch 'im out'n his dreams, ef so be he wuz dreamin'. An'
I'd a gone in, but a nigger man at de do' barred de way. He say, 'Who
you want ter see?' I 'low, 'I wanter see Hamp Tumlin, dat's who.' He
say, 'Does you mean de Honnerbul Hampton Tumlin?' I 'low, 'Yes, I does
ef you wanter put it dat away. _Go in dar an' tell 'm dat de Honnerbul
Minervy Ann Perdue is out here waitin' fer 'im, an' he better come quick
ef he know what good fer 'im._'

"Wid dat, suh, I hear somebody laugh, an' look up an' dar wuz Marse
Tumlin standin' not fur fum de do' talkin' wid an'er white man. He 'low,
'Scott, dis is Minervy Ann. She got mo' sense an' grit dan half de white
folks you meet.' Well, suh, de man come up, he did, an' shuck han's an'
say he mighty glad ter see me. I never is ter fergit his name on 'count
er what happen atterwards. 'Bout dat time Hamp come out an' Marse Tumlin
an' de 't'er man draw'd off up de hall.

"I say, 'Hamp, why in de name er goodness ain't you 'ten' ter yo'
bizness? What you waitin' fer? Is you skeer'd?' He vow an' declar' dat
he des waitin' a chance fer ter put de paper in. I tol' 'im dat de way
ter git a chance wuz ter make one, an' wid dat he went on in, an' I went
back in de gall'ry. Well, suh, 'twa'n't long 'fo' Hamp put in de paper.
A man at de foot er de pulpit read it off, an' den a white man settin'
not fur fum Hamp jump up an' say he want sump'n done wid it, I dunner
what. Hamp say sump'n back at 'im, an' den de white man say he sorry fer
ter see de honnerbul gemman gwine back on de erpublican party. Den Mose
Bently—I know'd Mose mighty well—he riz an' say ef de erpublican party
is got ter be led 'roun' by men like de one what des tuck his seat, it's
high time fer honest folks ter turn der backs on it.

"Well, suh, when Mose say dat, I clap my han's, I did, an' holla 'Good!
good! now you got it!' I couldn't he'p it fer ter save my life. De man
in de pulpit maul de planks wid de mallet like he tryin' ter split um,
an' he 'low dat ef folks in de gall'ry don't keep still, he'll have um
cle'r'd out. I holla back at 'im, 'You better have some er dat gang
down dar cle'r'd out!' Quick ez a flash, suh, dat ar Mr. Scott what
been talkin' wid Marse Tumlin jump up an' 'low, 'I secon's de motion!'
De man in de pulpit say, 'What motion does de gemman fum Floyd secon'?'
Den Mr. Scott fling his head back an' 'low, 'De Honnerbul Minervy Ann
Perdue done move dat de flo' be cle'r'd 'stidder de gall'ry. I secon's
de motion.'

"Den fum dat he went on an' 'buze de erpublican party, speshually dat ar
man what had de 'spute wid Hamp. Mr. Scott say dey got so little sense
dat dey go ag'in a paper put in by one er der own party. He say he ain't
keer nothin' 'tall 'bout de paper hisse'f, but he des wanter show um up
fer what dey wuz.

"He totch'd um, suh, ez you may say, on de raw, an' when he git th'oo
he say, 'Now, I hope de cheer will deal wid de motion of de Honnerbul
Minervy Ann Perdue.' Mr. Scott say, 'She settin' up dar in de gall'ry
an' she got des ez much right ter set on dis flo' es nineteen out er
twenty er dem settin' here.' De man in de pulpit look at me right hard,
an' den he 'gun ter laugh. I say, 'You nee'n ter worry yo'se'f 'bout me.
You better 'ten' ter dem ar half-drunk niggers an' po' white trash down
dar. I wouldn't set wid 'em ef I never did fin' a place fer ter set at.'

"Wid dat, suh, I pickt up my pairsol an' make my way out, but ez I went
I hear um whoopin' an' hollerin'."

"Well, they didn't pass the bill, did they?" I asked.

"What? dat paper er Marse Tumlin's? Bless yo' soul, suh, dey run'd over
one an'er tryin' ter pass it. Mr. Scott fit it like he fightin' fire,
an' make out he wuz turribly ag'in it, but dat des make um wuss. Hamp
say dat inginer'lly dem ar laws has ter wait an' hang fire; but dey
tuck up dat un, an' shove it th'oo. Dey tuck mo' time in de 't'er een'
er de Legislatur', whar ol' Alpory wuz at, but it went th'oo when it
start. Dey don't have no sech gwines-on now, suh. Ef dey did, I 'speck
I'd hatter come up an' jine de Legislatur' ag'in."

Whereupon, Aunt Minervy Ann laughed heartily, and began to make her
preparations for returning home.



By Bliss Carman

     To-day when the birches are yellow,
       And red is the wayfaring tree,
     Sit down in the sun, my soul,
       And talk of yourself to me!

     Here where the old blue rocks
       Bask in the forest shine,
     Dappled with shade and lost
       In their reverie divine.

     How goodly and sage they are!
       Priests of the taciturn smile
     Rebuking our babble and haste,
       Yet loving us all the while.

     In the asters the wild gold bees
       Make a warm busy drone,
     Where our Mother at Autumn's door
       Sits warming her through to the bone.

     What is your afterthought
       When a red leaf rustles down,
     Or the chickadees from the hush
       Challenge a brief renown?

     When silence falls again
       Asleep on hill-side and crest,
     Resuming her ancient mood,
       Do you still say, "Life is best?"

     We have been friends so long,
       And yet not a single word
     Of yourself, your kith or kin
       Or home, have I ever heard.

     Nightly we sup and part,
       Daily you come to my door;
     Strange we should be such mates,
       Yet never have talked before.

     A cousin to downy-feather,
       And brother to shining-fin,
     Am I, of the breed of earth,
       And yet of an alien kin,

     Made from the dust of the road
       And a measure of silver rain,
     To follow you brave and glad,
       Unmindful of plaudit or pain.

     Dear to the mighty heart,
       Born of her finest mood,
     Great with the impulse of joy,
       With the rapture of life imbued,

     Radiant moments are yours,
       Glimmerings over the verge
     Of a country where one day
       Our forest trail shall emerge.

     When the road winds under a ledge,
       You keep the trudging pace,
     Till it mounts a shoulder of hill
       To the open sun and space.

     Ah, then you dance and go,
       Illumined spirit again,
     Child of the foreign tongue
       And the dark wilding strain!

     Through the long winter dark,
       When slumber is at my sill,
     Will you leave me dreamfast there,
       For your journey over the hill?

     To-night when the forest trees
       Gleam in the frosty air,
     And over the roofs of men
       Stillness is everywhere,

     By the cold hunter's moon,
       What trail will you take alone,
     Through the white realms of sleep,
       To your native land unknown?

     Here while the birches are yellow,
       And red is the wayfaring tree,
     Sit down in the sun, my soul,
       And talk of yourself to me.

  [Illustration: John was a very poor machine, indeed.—Page 450.]


By Judson Knox


I was early down at the bank that morning, as the day promised to be
a sweltering one, and a little extra work in the cool of the forenoon
would save a deal of discomfort later on.

So, by half-past eight, when Ted Lummis, the book-keeper, and Bill Ryan,
who balanced pass-books and ran the appendix ledger, arrived, I had the
safe open, and their ledgers, with fresh blotters, laid out ready for
them on their desks.

But, as usual, they preferred to loiter and chat awhile in the
president's office. After a few words to me, therefore, Ted comfortably
settled himself in the big desk-chair, lit a cigarette, and commenced
unfolding the morning paper. Bill, as his custom was, took up a post by
the window and watched the loafers on the street corner.

I was wetting the teller's sponges at the sink, and speculating how
long his mistakes in cash would keep us after hours that afternoon,
when a great guffaw broke out in the office. I recognized the voice as
Ted's, and, squeezing my sponges into their dishes, hurried into the
banking-room, slopping a trail of water on the floor behind me.

From there I could see the backs of the two fellows, still shaking with
laughter, bent over the president's desk, on which the open paper was

"You didn't know he was going to have one?" Ted was saying, in a tone of
superiority to which he apparently considered the possibility of asking
this question entitled him.

"No. How should I?" replied Bill, evidently piqued; and then added, by
way of subterfuge, "what's he or his family to me?"

When Bill spoke in this way it was pretty certain he was talking about
John Makeator, our teller.

"Well," pressed the other, bound on making his point, "you knew he
wouldn't take a vacation this summer. What did you suppose that was

"Why? Good Lord, isn't he stingy enough?"

"Perhaps he wanted the additional salary to help pay for his mistakes
in cash," I suggested, scarcely less uncharitably, but with the memory
of yesterday's three hours' hunt for a balance rising again in my mind.

"_He_ is John, I presume," I went on, as the others turned around; "but
what's up with him, Ted? What's he 'got?'"

"'Got!' You fellows are as blind as if you were locked up in the vault.
'Got!' Why, a baby, of course, Jim!"

Ted, with difficulty, repressed his emotions, reckoning, doubtless, on a
more dramatic effect if my outburst should come unaccompanied. However,
at the moment, the news struck me in quite other than a laughable light;
and I must have disappointed Ted, for I only said:

"Well, it's mighty funny; but I'm sure we ought to be glad for poor old

Ted, who at heart is the kindest fellow in the world, instantly sobered.

"Glad, why, of course, I'm glad, Jim! But——"

"You'll be damn glad, then, at three o'clock this afternoon," broke in
Bill, testily, seeing the turn the conversation was taking. "Yesterday
he kept us here till after seven; last night he had a baby, and
to-day—oh, Lord! Well, stay and talk about it if you want to; and make
out to rejoice with him when he comes in. I'm going to work," and he
walked off irritably to his desk in the other room.

Ted looked after him and smiled.

"He hasn't forgiven John for speaking to Habinger about him the other
day." Habinger was the president.

"John was right," I said. "Bill had no business to meddle with his cash,
even if John is slow in counting it."

"Yes," assented Ted; and then he laughed again, so openly and frankly
this time, that the merely comic element in the news came over me
irresistibly, and I could not help joining him.

"Mr. Young!" shouted Bill from his desk, where he was making a show of
sorting pass-books, but, in reality, was watching the door, so as to be
the first to announce John's arrival. He then slipped to the teller's
counter, pressed the button which springs the electric lock, and Mr.
Young, the cashier, came in.

"Well, Mr. Young," asked Bill, "what time is John going to let us out
to-day?" The question was put, even before the door had shut behind the
cashier. The idea of working late into the evening was pleasanter to
Bill than he would have cared to admit, or, perhaps, realized.

"Hello, Bill! Good-morning, Ted!—Oh, yes! I thought you'd have heard
the news. And we'll have to make Margaret—that's her name—a present. I
saw John early this morning. He'll be down soon, too."

The cashier briskly pushed the little swing door of the office, and came
in to Ted and me. He was going to say something more, but, noticing that
our looks were turned across to Bill, glanced over that way himself,
and comprehending the situation quickly, cried good naturedly:

"I wouldn't tease him too much about it when he comes, Bill. He's
sensitive, you know. Besides, it's his first one——"

"Well, it was time I hope," was the contemptible retort, which put into
spiteful, bitter form the idea which to the rest of us was only reason
for special satisfaction.

As Bill took up his perch again, the cashier walked into the banking
room, and Ted and I followed him. Mr. Young sat down at a table and
inspected the morning's mail, which I cut open for him.

"Oh, yes, he'll be down this morning," he began, as he rapidly and
keenly went through envelope after envelope. "Ah, here's a draft on
Potter, Jim—yes, his wife is doing nicely. No danger at all—Another on
Smith and Weston, $2,600. Means a sweat for you, and don't——"

"We'll all sweat enough before the day's over," came from Bill.

"Look here, old man," laughed the cashier, with a sharp knitting of
his brows, however; "I'll bet you half a dozen cigars" (two-fers were
a stock wager among us) "that John makes fewer mistakes in cash to-day
than you."

"And you only affect cash in the clearings," put in Ted.

"Don't want to bet," was the surly, almost inaudible response, and Bill
wheeled his stool about again, and began making perfunctory scratches
with his pen, the corner of his eye all the while on the door.

"John!" he cried suddenly in the tone of a look-out on board a
man-of-war off a hostile harbor.

We all turned about and faced the door. Ted hastily folded up the
morning paper, which was still in his hand, and put it behind him. Mr.
Young gathered his letters into a pile before him and stood up, and Bill
left his station, and took up a position back of the rest of us where
he could spy without seeming to be interested.

"With his wheel polished clean, and a new pair of stockings," he
snickered, peering, on tiptoe, over my shoulder.

This time no one offered to press the electric button, so John had to
use his key. We could hear it click some time on the metal outside,
before the bolt shot.

However, John was the first to speak as he entered. His voice was even
higher than ordinary and more forced; but there was a clear ring to it,
and it did not waver.

"Mornin', George," he said, simply, and then turned his attention to
getting his wheel into the passage.

"Hello, John!" cried the cashier, cheerily. "Coming out to congratulate
you again. How's everything?"

"Fine, George, fine!" answered the latter, straightening up to his full
height, and with a firmer snap in his voice than ever.

  [Illustration: Bill Ryan.]

"Blacked his shoes," muttered Bill, turning away and suppressing a grin.
"Oh, Lord! and a clean shave, too."

By this time the teller and the cashier had stopped hand-shaking, and
the latter was pushing John in through the office door toward us.

"The rest of the fellows want to shake hands with you, John," said he,
slapping the disconcerted father on the back.

This was John's ordeal. Two emotions were visibly struggling in him.
He knew perfectly, poor fellow, his incompetence, and the consequent
slight estimate in which we (being only plodding accountants, with no
very exalted criterion to judge men by) held him. Nevertheless, this
morning it must have been plain to him a new factor had entered into
his position among us—one, moreover, which, quite irrespective of his
ability or inefficiency as a commercial automaton, entitled him to a
positive measure of respect from us. Diffident, however, and totally
lacking in self-confidence as he was, how was he to break through the
old barriers of contempt and derision which we held out against him, and
demand of us, and enforce from us the payment of this new obligation?

It was a task, truly, which seemed to require more courage and power
over others than the little man possessed, and very much depended on
an initial success. One could see that he felt this himself; for as he
walked toward us (his knees perceptibly shaking, in spite of the unusual
length of his strides) he shifted his eyes from side to side; and when
they did rest on one of us for a moment, there was in their weak, watery
blue an appeal rather than a command.

Ted was the first to meet him. He gripped his hand hard and cordially,
and looked straight into his face.

"Mighty glad to hear it, John," he said.

John flushed, and his eyes brightened and he held on fast.

"Thanks, Ted, thanks!" he stammered, much moved.

But, as their hands parted, Ted smiled. It was not meant unkindly; but
Ted, who was a cocky, self-assured chap, and something of a sport, too,
never seemed able to look seriously at the affair for more than a second
at a time.

John's courage, which had begun to rise, left him instantly; and he
quite lost his self-control. He was white as he took the limp hand Bill
stretched out to him.

"Congratulate you, John," the latter said, frigidly, and the "Thanks,
Bill, thanks," of the reply was all of a tremble.

Suddenly, however, a new feeling seemed to come over John, and this was
indignation—indignation at himself, and anger at the man before him. He
reddened, and stood erect again, and dropped Bill's hand; and, without
a word, turned to me.

I don't recollect what I said to John. Perhaps I said nothing. I
remember only I was thinking, "You'd have lost that bet, Bill, if you'd
taken it."


Shortly after, Al Williams, who was John's next in rank, came in; but
I did not notice his greeting as I was busy over by the window filing
checks. Then, at nine, we opened up, and the regular routine of work

Nine-thirty was my time for starting off with the morning's collections,
drafts on tradespeople, post-office orders, protested checks and the
like. I was very anxious that the president should arrive before I
left, for I was particularly curious to see how John would take his
congratulations, and in what spirit they would be offered.

John had entered the bank as clerk when the president was teller—almost
twenty years ago—and had worked under him ever since. Both men at first
sight impressed one as of a type very common in this bustling country of
ours. Small, nervous men, with light, drooping mustaches, and excitable
ways, they both were. To each of them the touch of silver, or the smell
of dirty bills, or the holding of a pen between the fingers was but
the signal for a certain set of reactions on the accuracy of which his
claim to usefulness in this world depended. Mere machines one might call
them both, but there was a vast difference between them nevertheless.
For, while John's nervousness was the nervousness of dissipated force,
the president's was that of concentrated alertness and precision and
celerity. John was a very poor machine, indeed, and as like as not to go
wrong and become tangled up in his own mechanism. Habinger, on the other
hand, was a very perfect one, and it was a saying in the bank that he
could foot a column with every wink of his eye. His every pen-stroke,
too, was an ultimatum, and stood on the books as it was first written,
without blot or erasure.

So John (who had no other standards to measure men by but those of
the ledger and the time-lock) had made an idol of the president. In
his worship he was not only sincere and fervent, but entirely without
jealousy; for whatever egotism he might have had to start with must
long ago have been knocked out of him by the successions of selfish and
ambitious clerks he had seen pass beyond and above him; and, as Bill
had so cruelly hinted, by his ten years of unfruitful married life.

It was, then, a real pleasure for John, on days when business was
rushing, to have Habinger unceremoniously shove him aside at the
counter, and in fifteen minutes dispose of a long row of customers whom
the hapless teller had suffered to gather there.

At these times John would stand behind the president, and look over
his shoulder with wonder like a little child's on his face; and when
the work was finished, his "Thank you, sir; thank you!" was uttered in
a tone of glad gratitude quite unalloyed, even by the consciousness of
Bill's sneering whispers at his back, or by the sly smile of the next
depositor, as he handed over his bills and checks.

So, as I said, I wished greatly to be in the bank when the president
came; and with this purpose I lingered a moment over my time at the
check-file, pretending to be very much occupied.

John's eye this morning, however, was as sharp as Habinger's; and, as
the pointer of the clock above his head marked five minutes past the
half hour, he called out brusquely,

"Hi, Jimmy! Time you were gone; and a heavy clearing this morning, too,
so you want to be back early."

His manner was authoritative, and I rose hastily, and reluctantly
commenced sorting out my collections and memoranda. But just then
Habinger came in, and with a quick brush of my arm, I swept my papers
on the floor directly behind John.

I don't know whether John fathomed my design or not; but he was down
by me on the floor in an instant; and before I had touched one of them,
the papers were gathered up and stuffed into my pocket-book.

"Now, off with you!" he cried, and gave me a shove, and then turning,
met the president's outstretched hand.

  [Illustration: Ted comfortably settled himself.—Page 447.]

"Mr. Makeator," the latter began, and this was all I heard, for I was
heartily ashamed of my impertinence.

However, those two words and the glance I could not help throwing back
were enough. John's face was flushed again, but this time with joy and
pride; for never before had the president thus publicly called him by
his last name. Indeed, of all the shrewd things Habinger ever said, I
believe this was the shrewdest, and I would have given Bill ten to one
on that bet had I thought he would take it.

I made a mess of my work that morning I know—was fined two dollars at
the clearing for a wrong subtraction; forgot to call for a couple of
drafts I had left at Shan's—the liquor dealer—the day before; mislaid a
registered letter; and entered Boston remittances in the New York book.
My thoughts while out of the bank were on John, and while in the bank
my eyes were on no one else.

Indeed, there was a fascination in watching the little teller work.
He never made more mistakes, perhaps, in his life; but he detected
every one of them instantly. He had squeezed his sponges dry in two
hours, and, not thinking to have me moisten them again, simply wet his
fingers in his mouth, and thumbed his bills and scraped his silver all
unconscious of any inconvenience.

He was perpetually on the go, dabbling in everyone else's work, but
never losing his head. He ordered us around as if he were president
and directors all in one. Once, I recollect, when a ten-dollar roll of
quarters fell and split on the floor, he told Bill peremptorily to pick
them up, without so much as a "please," or turning around to see if he
were obeyed—which he was, and promptly, too.

As for Bill, at first he simply sat dumfounded on his stool, and watched
John open-mouthed. But John found him out in a jiffy, tossed him a
handful of pass-books, which Bill took without a remark and proceeded
to balance forthwith.

John's conversation over the counter was of a line with his actions.

  [Illustration: John would stand behind the president.—Page 450.]

"Mornin', Mr. Bemis, mornin'! Hot day? Yes, I should say so. Good
deposit this morning. Business picking up? Yes?—Eh?—Ah.—Yes!—yes,
thanks, sir! yes, doin' splendid sir, splendid!—Coughlin to pitch this
afternoon?—yes, going to call her Margaret, sir—my wife's name—Ah,
this check here, sir? Call & Co. $123.75. Well—Eh—Hi, Jim!" (this in
a whisper to me, and handing me the doubtful check under the counter).
"Telephone down to the 'Third' and see if that's good—yes, ten pounds
seven ounces, sir. Let's see, $443 in bills I make it only."

Then, as I came back from the telephone, "All right, Mr. Bemis.
Wanted to make sure, you know; $123.75? Born at half-past two exactly.

"But, Mr. Bemis! _Oh_, Mr. Bemis! Wait a moment, please. Forgot to
indorse this, I guess? Yes? All right. Feeling fine myself, sir—first
rate. Yes. Good-morning."


Mr. Young insisted on John's leaving early for lunch, and staying as
long as he pleased.

"Well, George, I will," said the latter, "because my work's all done
up ahead of time—B & A bills counted" (and he pointed to a heap of
vile-smelling green-backs, neatly sorted into little packages, and lying
at one side) "and pay-rolls all made up. And I'll stay, too, if they
want me."

However, he was back sharp at half-past one; and came in with two
packages of dry goods under his arm. These he hurriedly secreted in a
cupboard under the counter, though from the solicitude with which he
handled them, I judged that he would almost have preferred to lock them
up in the vault. Bill (and the occurrence did not seem strange then)
made no comments of any sort during this proceeding.

Then he went out back, put on his linen jacket, and in a moment replaced
Al at the counter, and the hustling commenced again.

From now on, until a quarter to four, John did all the talking. The
rest of us were too much occupied in obeying his orders. I never knew
him so voluble. He must first tell us about the state of affairs at
home. Everything was doing finely; baby lusty and thriving, wife in
good spirits, and "almost strong enough to get up," nurse scarcely
needed, doctor still less. Then a list of his congratulations, and an
account of Mrs. Makeator's visitors during the morning; and finally,
as the choicest bit of news, and typical of the generally satisfactory
condition of things, his wife's declaration that he must not bother
about her and the baby, but go up to the park with the rest of us and
see the ball-game.

All this was gone over a dozen times to us; and once, at least, to every
customer whom he knew. While telling it, too, he thumbed his bills,
checked off deposit tickets, received telephone messages from me, and
directed the answering of them; bossed Bill, Ted, and Al about, as he
had never done before, and never once asked the cashier's or president's
advice on any topic—a circumstance entirely new in our experience of

At a quarter to four we were ready to strike a balance. Al, with the
result of his half of the figuring (with which John's counter-book
should agree), stood peering over the little man's shoulder. Bill, by
force of habit mainly (for he looked forlorn enough), was behind John
on the other side. Ted and I pressed up close, too; and Mr. Young sat
at his table quietly, watching the group of us.

At these times John was generally very nervous; and frequently the mere
consciousness of having all of us at his back flustered him so that he
could not make his last deduction correctly. But his hour of triumph
was now at hand, and he knew it and rose manfully to the occasion. He
worked imperturbably and without the slightest trace of annoyance; nor
was there the least hesitancy in the rapid tappings of his pen; and he
made his footings with a decision which showed how thoroughly confident
he was of the correctness of his calculations.

When he was done he said, "All right, Al. How is it?" and Al read off
his balance.

John jotted it down in pencil beside his own, and subtracted.

"847.43," he said.

"Over?" asked the cashier from his table.

"No; short, George," and without waiting to prove his own work, John
jumped over to Bill's clearing-books, and began footing them.

Bill and Ted and Al (Bill in front) pounced on John's book; but they
had barely time to put pencil to it before John cried out:

"Seven less on the credit!" and Bill had the pleasure of correcting his
own mistake on John's book.

  [Illustration: He knew perfectly, poor fellow, his incompetence.—Page

"Footing?" he queried, moodily.

"Yes," said John, without looking up, as he ran his pencil down another
row of figures.

"Seven cents on the 'first' footing," he called again, almost
immediately. "More on the credit this time, Bill. Makes it just 850.50,
doesn't it?"

Bill, however, did not answer, but edged out between Ted and Al, and
went to work on his own pass-books, errors in which did not appear "in

Then John called to me to check the listing while he read off the
clearings. Here, again, we found two mistakes, an inversion and another,
which reduced the discrepancy to about fifty dollars.

This time John did not announce the mistake (for, with his growing
assurance, all desire for public vindication and acquittal had left
him), but went and "fixed" it himself.

Ted and Al had, long since, given up the search at the counter; and the
latter, who was entering into the fun of the moment, cried laughingly,
after going over my draft-registers,

"All right, Jim!" and then to Mr. Young, "Bill didn't take your bet,
did he, George?"

"No," laughed the cashier in his turn, and added, "Better help us on
'cash,' Bill. Your books will wait."

Bill, crestfallen, marched over to his clearing-books, and gazed
sheepishly at the corrections on them in John's handwriting.

John then discovered an error in Al's "Redemption" letter, which Al
good-humoredly acknowledged; and, shortly after, one "on" Mr. Young

This left us only a few cents out, so the cashier cried, "All right,
boys. Let her go. You'll see seven innings of the game if you hurry."

  [Illustration: John jotted it down.—Page 453.]

"Why, aren't you going, too, George?" exclaimed John with evident
disappointment. "I wanted to treat you this afternoon," and he pulled
out of his pocket one of the new bank-notes which had come in just a
few days ago.

  [Illustration: It was too hot for talk.—Page 455.]

"Sorry, John, but I've got some back work I must make up. And I want
you to stay, too, Jim, and slice the rest of these green-backs. Habinger
was late in signing them, you know."

This was, in some measure, a fresh disappointment to John (as it was a
very great one to me), for I could see he wanted to take the whole of
us. Al and Ted had already accepted.

Finally he went up to Bill and asked timidly and expectantly: "You're
going, too, aren't you Bill?"

But Bill refused the offer snarlingly, and mumbling something in a
priggish tone about playing golf, left the bank without another word.

Five minutes later the others had gone, too. As they went out, John

"I'll stop in on the way back to get my wheel. You'll be here, George?"

"Yes. See you later, John. Good luck to you."


The afternoon was broiling. The sun came in, scarcely checked by the
yellow shades; fell on and soaked into the smooth, varnished surfaces of
the desks and tables, and turned the iron of the big vault into a sort
of storage battery of heat. Even the electric fan in the president's
office, which we had placed on top of the telephone closet (as near us
as its length of wire would allow), gave but little relief.

Both of us were working in our shirt-sleeves, but the sweat stood on our
brows, and my fingers were so sticky I could scarcely handle my bills.
It was too hot for conversation even; so the only sounds in the room
were the snipping of my shears, the crisp fluttering of the fresh, new
bills as they fell one by one on the table; and the snapping of rubber
bands as the cashier went over bundle after bundle of the bank paper,
on the security of which all our positions depended.

As I said, it was too hot for talk; and besides, I had plenty to engross
me in my own thoughts—which were about John, of course.

I began by thinking how profitable it would be to the bank if John might
only have a baby every day; and then, as this was out of the question,
fell to calculating how long this one that had just arrived would
continue to work the same beneficial influence on her father's actions.

Presently, however, my ideas became more serious; and at last so serious
that they brought about a reaction in the shape of a suspicion that
perhaps I had been making too much out of the incident, after all. So
I determined to get Mr. Young's opinion on the subject, if I could; and
was just framing my first interrogatory, when the telephone rang.

"Claflin National?" said the voice.


"The cashier in? Young, isn't it?"

"Yes. Yes, he's in."

"See him a moment?"


I was certain that the voice did not belong to any of the bank employees
in town; and yet it was familiar.

"Someone to see you, sir," I said, trying all the while to place the
voice; and then, the resemblance suddenly dawning on me,

"Is Spencer John's family physician?"

"Yes. Why?" and the cashier started.

"I think it's he at the 'phone."

The cashier was in the telephone closet almost five minutes. When he
came out he was white, and it was plain he had been undergoing very
strong emotions, though the worst of them was evidently passed.

He began hurriedly gathering his notes together.

"Put up your work, Jim," he said. "We must lock up as soon as possible.
John's baby's dead."

The news hardly took me by surprise. I foresaw from the first that it
was something pretty bad. So I simply commenced doing as I was told.

"He wants me to tell him," began the cashier after a moment.

"The doctor?"

"Yes, and," looking at the clock, "he'll be back any minute now, and,
perhaps, Jim——"

"I'd best be going?"

"Yes. I'll fix up, and—My God, it's sad!—and be down early to-morrow,

"John won't be here, I suppose."

"I hope not; but there's no telling. At any rate he
won't—hustle—to-morrow as—he did to-day. I was thinking of that."

So, as I left the bank, I found that the question I was going to put
the cashier as the telephone rang, had been answered, after all.


  [Illustration: A Stork's Nest, Dordrecht, Holland—12-inch Lens.]

  [Illustration: Stork's Nest—Telephoto Lens.]


By Dwight L. Elmendorf


Just when the telescope was invented is not known, but it is certain
that Galileo was the first to direct his toward the heavens early in
the seventeenth century. His instrument consisted of a long tube with
a convex lens at one end and a concave ocular at the other. A modified
form of this instrument still obtains in the ordinary opera and field
glasses, which are binocular Galilean telescopes; and a single barrel
of a field-glass is practically the telephoto lens of to-day.

Whenever anything is so far away that we cannot see it distinctly, we
make use of a field-glass or telescope, which produces a magnified image
of the object so that we are able to perceive what the unaided eye could
not. In a similar manner the telephoto attachment enlarges the image
formed by the ordinary lens in the camera. To produce on a photographic
plate an image that fairly resembles what our eyes see, requires a lens
of much longer focus than is generally used, and a camera that would
permit the use of such a lens would be unwieldy and too cumbersome for a
peripatetic photographer, and simply impossible for a mountain-climber.
The telephoto lens overcomes this difficulty by producing the effect of
a lens of long focus in a very compact camera.

It would be interesting to know who first applied this form of lens to a
camera for the purpose of photographing distant objects. In 1890, while
experimenting with the lenses from an old field-glass, I discovered that
a dim yet distinct image of St. Patrick's Cathedral spires was formed in
my camera, although the Cathedral was eighteen blocks away. After making
several exposures with this combination of lenses I became convinced
that with lenses of the best possible optical construction wonderful
results might be attained. Having previously purchased a telescope with
a three-and-a-half inch lens of sixty inches focus (with the idea of
attaching it to a long box-camera as a photographic lens for the purpose
of making photographs of distant terrestrial objects, as astronomers
photograph heavenly bodies). I found that the field-glass combination
of lenses yielded an image nearly as large as that produced by the
telescope lens, and that too with a camera only one third the length of
the other.

  [Illustration: Milan Cathedral from Opposite Corner of Piazza.]

Becoming deeply interested in this line of investigation I called upon
a celebrated lens maker in London and learned that he had manufactured
what he called a "Compound Telephoto Lens" consisting of a portrait lens
with a small negative or concave lens adjusted at a suitable distance
back of it. This instrument was too large and cumbersome for my small
camera, and shortly afterward a negative lens, with a rack and pinion
mounting, was manufactured of such a size that it could be attached
to any fine rectilinear lens of suitable focus, although in some cases
special corrections are necessary.

This is called the "Telephoto Attachment," and was employed in making
the telephoto illustrations here shown. The tube is 3¼ inches long and
1½ inch in diameter. When this lens is attached to the ordinary lens
the time of exposure is necessarily increased, because only a few of
the rays of light which diverge from the positive or ordinary lens pass
through the negative lens to the plate. This is a serious drawback,
for it not only debars one from using it upon moving subjects, but
also increases the liability of the image to be blurred by vibrations
of the camera. In order to obtain the best results the camera must be
very rigid. Most of the cameras and tripods of to-day are too light and
unstable for telephotography.

The method of using the telephoto attachment is very simple, but
requires very great care, particularly in the matter of focussing.
Suppose that an exposure has been made in the ordinary way upon a
certain object; the lens is then removed from the camera front and
screwed into the tube of the telephoto attachment, forming a small
telescope; the whole combination is then put back on the camera as if
it were the ordinary lens. Upon the ground glass or focussing screen
will be seen an enlarged image which may be made sharp or distinct by
adjusting the focus by means of the rack and pinion movement on the
telephoto tube, just as a field glass is adjusted to suit the eyes of
the observer. If greater amplification be desired it is obtained by
moving the front of the camera, holding the lenses farther from the
ground-glass and then readjusting the focus as before. It will be seen
from this that the attachment forms a lens of variable focus, changeable
at the pleasure of the operator within the limits of the camera.

  [Illustration: Roof and Dome, Milan Cathedral—Telephoto Lens, from
   Same Corner of Piazza.]

Some of the attachments on the market require a camera with a very
long bellows, because the difference between the foci of the negative
and positive lenses is not great enough to give ample power unless the
combination is several feet from the plate. With my own attachment,
eight inches from the plate the image is equal to that formed by an
ordinary lens of twenty-four inches focus; while at twenty-four inches
from the plate it is equivalent to that of a lens of sixty-four inches

The camera used in making the accompanying illustrations takes a plate
measuring four by five inches, and the bed allows an extension of
twenty-four; and when closed for transportation the box measures seven
by seven by six-and-a-half inches.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of all my experiences in photography none were so unsatisfactory as my
attempts on mountain scenery with an ordinary lens. This was especially
true of the photographs of the Alps made while tramping through that
heavenly tramping ground, Switzerland. The small camera made the
mountains look like little humps of rocks and snow, and all the views
made from a great elevation seemed to be like photographs of the waves
of the ocean, smoothed out flat. These results caused me to experiment
in the direction of telescopic work with the camera.

It is often the case that grand mountains appear at their best only
from some point so distant that the ordinary lens can produce little or
nothing of the desired effect.

One of the most charming views in Switzerland is the evening view of
the Jungfrau as seen from the Höheweg or promenade at Interlaken, about
sixteen miles from the mountain. With her robes of dazzling white she
rises majestically above the Lauterbrunnen Thal to a height of nearly
fourteen thousand feet. Upon several former occasions I had endeavored
to photograph this queen of the Bernese Oberland, but did not succeed
until I used the telephoto attachment. The two illustrations of this
view [pp. 462-63] were made from the same standpoint on the Hoheweg, one
with the ordinary lens, the other with the telephoto attachment added to
the lens, no change being made in the camera at all. It is a pleasure
to note the wonderful detail in the telephotograph, and not only that,
the mountain seems to rise, giving the impression of abruptness which
rarely if ever is obtained with an ordinary lens. I suppose something of
this result might have been obtained with the ordinary lens had I been
up in a balloon at an elevation of about four thousand feet and about
three miles from the Jungfrau. The pictures of this mountain taken from
the Wengern Alp do not give this beautiful effect.

  [Illustration: Façade of the Cathedral of Florence, from Sidewalk.]

This is especially the case with Popocatepetl in Mexico, a beautiful
volcanic cone rising gradually above the plateau about ten thousand
feet, its snow-capped summit being over seventeen thousand feet above
sea-level. Having tried in vain from several places near by, I finally
succeeded in obtaining a fair view of it from the roof of the Hotel
Jardin in the city of Puebla, about thirty miles or more from the peak
[pp. 466-67]. Desiring to take the only train for Oaxaca, leaving Puebla
at 5.30 in the morning, I was compelled to photograph the mountain
rather early, and the atmosphere was not at that time in the best
condition, so that the reader would have needed a field-glass to see the
mountain clearly. To obtain good results with the telephoto attachment
a clear atmosphere is a _sine qua non_.

Not only does this apply to mountain subjects but to many others alike.
What remarkable pictures of the naval battle of Santiago, the chase of
the Cristobal Colon, or the gallant rescue of the despairing Spaniards
from their burning ships, might have been obtained from the battle-ship
New York, with a lens of this description, even at long range! I believe
it will be of inestimable value for the purpose of securing views of the
batteries and fortifications of an enemy's harbor, which might be done
at a safe distance from their guns.

  [Illustration: Central Rose Window, Cathedral of Florence, from
   Sidewalk—Telephoto Lens.]

While this attachment is of great value in photographing things miles
away, it is even more useful in obtaining photographs of choice bits of
landscape which are on the opposite side of a river or lake, and are
just beyond the working capacity of an ordinary lens. Odd things are
always turning up at unexpected moments, and are frequently just out of

  [Illustration: Mosaic over Central Door, Cathedral of Florence, from
   side of Baptistery—Telephoto Lens.]

A particular instance of this kind is illustrated in the two views made
of a stork's nest [p. 457] which I happened to see while sauntering
along one of the picturesque old canals near Dordrecht in Holland.
Of course the nest was on the wrong side of the canal, and a nearer
approach was impossible without a ducking; so one view was made with a
twelve-inch lens and then the telephoto was used, although not much was
expected, for there was a stiff Holland breeze blowing, which is not
conducive to perfect results, and moreover the storks seemed inclined
to greater activity than well-behaved birds of this species generally
exhibit. The exposure was almost instantaneous and the result a surprise
to the operator.

  [Illustration: The Jungfrau from the Höheweg, Interlaken, Switzerland
   (sixteen miles distant).]

Another example of the curious uses to which this lens may be put
is seen in the illustration of the beautiful memorial column at West
Point [p. 468]. The general view was taken at a distance of about three
hundred feet in the ordinary way and then a telephoto was made of the
bronze figure of Victory which surmounts the column.

Inaccessible parts of fine architecture offer an endless series of
subjects for telephoto work, where remarkable results may be obtained.
The cathedral at Milan, since the removal of the buildings which
formerly obstructed the view, now appears to great advantage when viewed
from the opposite side of the piazza. The two views of this beautiful
structure [pp. 458-59] were made from a second story window on the
opposite side of the piazza. I chose this point of view because of the
enormous dimensions of the building. I first used the ordinary lens,
obtaining the general view, and then telephotographed various portions
of it.

The cathedral at Florence is so shut in by adjacent buildings that
it must receive other treatment. The vast amount of work upon the
façade is lost to the casual observer because of the propinquity of
the baptistery, which completely destroys the effect of this wonderful
mosaic. Standing on the sidewalk, as far from the façade as the other
buildings would permit, I made the general view of it with a lens of
four inches focus, then retreating still farther, till a corner of the
baptistery began to interfere, I used the telephoto attachment on the
central rose-window, the camera being about a hundred yards from it [pp.
460-61]. Then taking a position beside the baptistery I telephotographed
the mosaic over the central door. It will be noticed that in the
telephotographs there is less distortion than in the ordinary view, for
although the rose-window is over a hundred feet above the pavement it
was photographed from such a distance that only a slight inclination of
the camera was necessary, and the picture appears as if taken from an
elevation, whereas it was actually made from the sidewalk. The delicate
carving and mosaic work about the central door are distinctly brought
out, and it is one of the best examples of telephoto work the attachment
has made.

  [Illustration: The Jungfrau from the same Standpoint (sixteen miles
   distant), Telephoto Lens.]

At Venice one turns instinctively toward the grand Piazza, the Mecca
of many a traveller as well as of the Venetians themselves. St. Mark's
Cathedral offers many studies for the camera, and for many years the
glass mosaics upon the upper part of the front of the building were a
perplexing problem to me, for the balcony was too near and the pavement
below was too far away for successful work with the ordinary lens; and
if taken from a near position below they were so distorted as to be
useless. The problem was not solved till the advent of the telephoto
attachment, which procured the studies with ease. After making a picture
of the whole front of the cathedral from the centre of the piazza in
the ordinary way, the camera was moved a little to the right, so that
one of the large flag-poles would not interfere, and the upper left-hand
mosaic, representing the "Descent from the Cross," was telephotographed
[pp. 466-67]. The result is about the same as that which might have been
obtained in the ordinary way from the top of a scaffold fifty feet high
and about forty feet from the mosaic.

  [Illustration: A Cocoanut-tree, St. Kitts, British West Indies.]

  [Illustration: Cocoanuts on the Tree, St. Kitts, British West
   Indies—Telephoto Lens.]

As all the illustrations mentioned were made with the idea of
reproducing them as lantern slides, which are only about three inches
square, they do not indicate the full power of the attachment in a
single case. Therefore I placed my camera near a window in one of
my rooms and photographed the row of dwellings across the back yards
[p. 465]. The actual distance from the camera to the first dwelling
is one hundred and thirty feet; to the chimney, one hundred and
fifty-four feet. Then, after putting on the telephoto attachment and
extending the front of the camera as far as the bellows would permit, I
telephotographed one of the chimneys on the third house, the only change
in the camera being a slight inclination so that the chimney would
be in the centre of the plate. This picture, when compared with that
taken with the ordinary lens, shows an enlargement of nearly sixteen
diameters, which is considerably more than the capacity or power of a
very large field-glass.

  [Illustration: From My Window. (The house is 130 feet distant.)]

  [Illustration: Chimney of Third House, 154 feet from My
   Window.—Telephoto Lens, full power, sixteen diameters.]

  [Illustration: Popocatepetl, Thirty Miles from Hotel Jardin, Puebla,

  [Illustration: St. Mark's Cathedral, Venice.]

Although some of the detail is lost in half-tone reproduction, yet the
vast difference between the ordinary photograph and the telephotograph
is well shown. The telegraph wires and the other details which are
not visible in the former are clearly brought out in the latter. The
exposure with the ordinary lens was about one-thirtieth of a second,
while that with the attachment was one-fourth of a second. One-fourth of
a second may seem to be a very short period of time, but it is entirely
too long for many subjects that are very desirable.

  [Illustration: Popocatepetl from Same Point of View, Thirty Miles
   Distant—Telephoto Lens.]

  [Illustration: Left Mosaic of the Cathedral, Venice, from Piazza at a
   Distance of More than 200 Feet—Telephoto Lens.]

The shortest exposure I have ever made with the attachment was upon a
very fruitful specimen of the cocoanut-tree on the island of St. Kitts,
one of the emerald gems of the Lesser Antilles, belonging to Great
Britain. After making an instantaneous picture in the ordinary way,
I used the attachment on the cocoanuts, making use of a drop-shutter
giving an exposure of about one-tenth of a second. As the tree was
swaying with the strong trade-wind a very quick exposure was necessary,
and thanks to the intense light the plate responded to the application
of a powerful developer [p. 464].

  [Illustration: Telephoto of the Bronze Figure of Victory on Memorial
   Column at West Point. (Distance 100 Yards.)]

With a new combination of very thin lenses now in process of
construction, I hope to be able to diminish the time of exposure so that
moving objects may be photographed without difficulty. If successful,
this new lens will be invaluable for the purpose of obtaining pictures
of birds and wild animals in their natural haunts, long before they
become aware of the approach of their enemy. It would enable one to
photograph domestic animals in their natural picturesque attitudes,
which are almost always lost as soon as the camera is observed, and only
too often the owner of the camera is compelled to beat a hasty retreat,
sometimes with the loss of everything but honor.

  [Illustration: The Memorial Column, West Point. (Distance 100 Yards.)]

The improvement in photographic lenses in the last few years has been
very remarkable, and if the telephoto receives the attention it deserves
of the best lens makers, the accompanying telephoto illustrations may
be but harbingers of better things to come. Instead of being compelled
to carry heavy unwieldy cameras and a battery of lenses, the wandering
photographer will be able to accomplish even more with a compact camera
and a little telephoto tube, no larger than the single barrel of a small



Edited by Sidney Colvin


It was on July 26, 1888, that Stevenson started from the harbor of San
Francisco on what was intended to be a health and pleasure excursion
of a few months' duration, but turned into a voluntary exile prolonged
until the hour of his death. The trading party consisted, besides
himself, of his wife, his mother, his stepson, Mr. Lloyd Osbourne, and
the servant Valentine. They sailed on board the schooner yacht Casco,
Captain Otis, and made straight for the Marquesa dropping anchor on
July 28th in the harbor of Nukahiva. The magic effect of this first
island landfall on his mind he has described in the opening chapter of
his book _The South Seas_. After spending six weeks in this group they
sailed southeastward, visiting (a somewhat perilous piece of navigation)
several of the coral atolls of the Paumotus or Low Archipelago. Thence
they arrived in the first week of October at the Tahitian group or
"Society Islands." In these their longest stay was not at the chief
town, Papeete, but in a more secluded and very beautiful station,
Tautira, where they were detained by the necessity of re-masting the
schooner, and where Stevenson and one of the local chiefs, Ori a Ori,
made special friends and parted with heartfelt mutual regret. Thence
sailing due northward through forty degrees of latitude, they arrived
about Christmas at Honolulu, the more than semi-civilized capital of the
Hawaiian group (Sandwich Islands), where they paid off the yacht Casco
and made a stay of nearly six months. There the elder Mrs. Stevenson
left them to return to Scotland, and only rejoined her son's household
when it was fairly installed two years later at Vailima. From Honolulu
Stevenson made several excursions, including one, which profoundly
impressed him, to the leper settlement at Molokai, the scene of Father
Damien's ministrations and death.

The result of this first year's voyaging and residence among the Pacific
Islands had been so encouraging a renewal of health, and so keen a
zest added to life by the restored capacity for outdoor activity and
adventure, that Stevenson determined to prolong his experiences in yet
more remote archipelagoes of the same ocean. He started accordingly from
Honolulu in June, 1889, on a trading schooner, the Equator, bound to the
Gilberts, one of the least visited and most primitively mannered of all
the island groups of the Western Pacific; emerged toward Christmas of
the same year into semi-civilization again at Samoa; stayed there for
six weeks, enchanted with the scenery and the people; bought a property,
the future Vailima, on the mountain-side above Apia, with a view to
making it, if not a home, at least a place of rest and call on later
projected excursions among the islands; and began to make collections
for his studies in recent Samoan history. In February he went on to
Sydney to find his correspondence and consider future plans. It was
during this stay at Sydney that his righteous indignation was aroused by
the publication of a letter in depreciation of Father Damien, written
by the Rev. Dr. Hyde of Honolulu. Here also he fell once more sharply
ill, with a renewal of all his old symptoms, and the conclusion was
forced upon him that he must make his home for the rest of his life in
the tropics—though with occasional excursions, as he then thought, at
least half-way homeward to places where it might be possible for friends
from England to meet him. With a view to shaking off the effects of
his fresh attack, he started with his party on a fresh sea voyage from
Sydney, this time on a trading steamer, the Janet Nicoll, which took him
by a very devious course among many remote islands during the months of
April-August, 1890. During this journey he began to put into shape the
notes for a comprehensive book on the South Seas—not one of incidents
and impressions only, which was what his readers craved from him, but
one of studious inquiry and research—which he had been compiling ever
since he left San Francisco. On the return voyage of the Janet Nicoll
he left her at New Caledonia, staying for some days at Noumea before
he went on to Sydney, where he spent four or five weeks of later August
and September; and in October he came to take up his abode for good on
his Samoan property, where the work of clearing and planting had been
going on busily during his absence.

The letters in the following section are selected from those which
reached his correspondents in England and the United States at
intervals, necessarily somewhat rare, during the first part of these
voyages—that is, from the Marquesas, Paumotus, and the Tahitian and
Hawaiian groups—down to June, 1889.

                                 YACHT _Casco_, ANAHO BAY, NUKAHIVA,
                                    MARQUESAS ISLANDS. [July, 1888.]

MY DEAR COLVIN,—From this somewhat (ahem) out of the way place, I write
to say how d'ye do. It is all a swindle: I chose these isles as having
the most beastly population, and they are far better, and far more
civilised than we. I know one old chief Ko-o-amua, a great cannibal in
his day, who ate his enemies even as he walked home from killing 'em,
and he is a perfect gentleman and exceedingly amiable and simple-minded:
no fool, though.

The climate is delightful; and the harbour where we lie one of the
loveliest spots imaginable. Yesterday evening we had near a score
natives on board; lovely parties. We have a native god; very rare now.
Very rare and equally absurd to view.

This sort of work is not favourable to correspondence; it takes me
all the little strength I have to go about and see, and then come home
and note the strangeness around us. I shouldn't wonder if there came
trouble here some day, all the same. I could name a nation[M] that is
not beloved in certain islands—and it does not know it! Strange: like
ourselves, perhaps, in India! Love to all and much to yourself.

                                                            R. L. S.

                           YACHT CASCO, _at sea, near the Paumotus_,
                                      7 A.M., _September 6th, 1888_.

MY DEAR CHARLES [BAXTER],—Last night as I lay under my blanket in the
cockpit, courting sleep, I had a comic seizure. There was nothing
visible but the southern stars, and the steersman there out by the
binnacle lamp; we were all looking forward to a most deplorable landfall
on the morrow, praying God we should fetch a tuft of palms which are
to indicate the Dangerous Archipelago; the night was as warm as milk,
and all of a sudden I had a vision of—Drummond Street. It came on me
like a flash of lightning; I simply returned thither, and into the
past. And when I remember all I hoped and feared as I pickled about
Rutherford's in the rain and the east wind; how I feared I should make a
mere shipwreck, and yet timidly hoped not; how I feared I should never
have a friend, far less a wife, and yet passionately hoped I might;
how I hoped (if I did not take to drink) I should possibly write one
little book, etc. etc. And then now—what a change! I feel somehow as if
I should like the incident set upon a brass plate at the corner of that
dreary thoroughfare for all students to read, poor devils, when their
hearts are down. And I felt I must write one word to you. Excuse me if
I write little: when I am at sea, it gives me a headache; when I am in
port, I have my diary crying, 'Give, give.' I shall have a fine book of
travels, I feel sure; and will tell you more of the South Seas after
very few months than any other writer has done—except Herman Melville
perhaps, who is a howling cheese. Good luck to you, God bless you.—Your
affectionate friend,

                                                            R. L. S.

                          TAITI, _as ever was_, _6th October, 1888_.


... You will receive a lot of mostly very bad proofs of photographs:
the paper was so bad. Please keep them very private, as they are for the
book. We send them, having learned so dread a fear of the sea, that we
wish to put our eggs in different baskets. We have been thrice within
an ace of being ashore: we were lost (!) for about twelve hours in the
Low Archipelago, but by God's blessing had quiet weather all the time;
and once, in a squall, we cam' so near gaun heels ower hurdies, that I
really dinnae ken why we didnae a' thegither. Hence, as I say, a great
desire to put our eggs in different baskets, particularly on the Pacific
(aw-haw-haw) Pacific Ocean.

You can have no idea what a mean time we have had, owing to incidental
beastlinesses, nor what a glorious, owing to the intrinsic interest of
these isles. I hope the book will be a good one; nor do I really very
much doubt that—the stuff is so curious; what I wonder is, if the public
will rise to it. A copy of my journal, or as much of it as is made,
shall go to you also; it is, of course, quite imperfect, much being to
be added and corrected; but O, for the eggs in the different baskets.

All the rest are well enough, and all have enjoyed the cruise so far,
in spite of its drawbacks. We have had an awfae' time in some ways,
Mr. Baxter; and if I wasnae sic a verra patient man (when I ken that
I _have_ to be) there wad hae been a braw row; and ance if I hadnae
happened to be on deck about three in the marnin', I _think_ there
would have been _murder_ done. The American Mairchant Marine is a kent
service; ye'll have heard its praise, I'm thinkin'; an' if ye never did,
ye can get _Twa Years Before the Mast_, by Dana, whaur forbye a great
deal o' pleisure, ye'll get a' the needcessary information. Love to your
father and all the family.—Ever your affectionate friend,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

[Miss Boodle had made Mr. Stevenson a present of a paper-cutter when he
left Bournemouth; and it is in the character of the paper-cutter that
he now writes to her:]

                                          TAITI, October 10th, 1888.

DEAR GIVER,—I am at a loss to conceive your object in giving me to a
person so locomotory as my proprietor. The number of thousand miles
that I have travelled, the strange bed-fellows with which I have been
made acquainted, I lack the requisite literary talent to make clear to
your imagination. I speak of bed-fellows; pocket-fellows would be a more
exact expression, for the place of my abode is in my master's right-hand
trouser-pocket; and there, as he waded on the resounding beaches of
Nukahiva, or in the shallow tepid water on the reef of Fakarava, I have
been overwhelmed by and buried among all manner of abominable South Sea
shells, beautiful enough in their way, I make no doubt, but singular
company for any self-respecting paper-cutter. He, my master—or as I more
justly call him, my bearer; for although I occasionally serve him, does
not he serve me daily and all day long, carrying me like an African
potentate on my subject's legs?—_he_ is delighted with these isles,
and this climate, and these savages, and a variety of other things. He
now blows a flageolet with singular effects; sometimes the poor thing
appears stifled with shame, sometimes it screams with agony; he pursues
his career with truculent insensibility. Health appears to reign in
the party. I was very nearly sunk in a squall. I am sorry I ever left
England, for here there are no books to be had, and without books there
is no stable situation for, dear Giver, your affectionate

                                                WOODEN PAPER-CUTTER.

A neighbouring pair of scissors snips a kiss in your direction.

[The ballad referred to in the letter which follows is the _Feast of
Famine_ (published with others in the collection of 1890; "Ballads,"
Chatto & Windus). I never very much admired his ballads for any quality
except their narrative vigor; thinking them unequal and uncertain both
in metre and style.]

                                          TAITI, October 16th, 1888.

MY DEAR COLVIN,—The cruiser for San Francisco departs to-morrow morning
bearing you some kind of a scratch. This much more important packet
will travel by way of Auckland. It contains a ballant; and I think a
better ballant than I expected ever to do. I can imagine how you will
wag your pow over it, and how ragged you will find it, etc., but has
it not spirit all the same? and though the verse is not all your fancy
painted it, has it not some life? And surely, as narrative, the thing
has considerable merit! Read it, get a type-written copy taken, and send
me that and your opinion to the Sandwiches. I know I am only courting
the most excruciating mortification; but the real cause of my sending
the thing is that I could bear to go down myself, but not to have much
MS. go down with me. To say truth, we are through the most dangerous;
but it has left in all minds a strong sense of insecurity, and we are
all for putting eggs in various baskets.

We leave here soon, bound for Uahiva, Reiatea, Bora-Bora, and the

     O, how my spirit languishes
     To step ashore on the Sanguishes;
     For there my letters wait,
     There shall I know my fate.
     O, how my spirit languidges
     To step ashore on the Sanguidges.

_18th._—I think we shall leave here if all is well on Monday. I am quite
recovered, astonishingly recovered. It must be owned these climates
and this voyage have given me more strength than I could have thought
possible. And yet the sea is a terrible place, stupefying to the mind
and poisonous to the temper, the sea, the motion, the lack of space, the
cruel publicity, the villainous tinned foods, the sailors, the captain,
the passengers—but you are amply repaid when you sight an island, and
drop anchor in a new world. Much trouble has attended this trip, but
I must confess more pleasure. Nor should I ever complain, as in the
last few weeks, with the curing of my illness indeed, as if that were
the bursting of an abscess, the cloud has risen from my spirits and to
some degree from my temper. Do you know what they called the _Casco_ at
Fakarava? The _Silver Ship_. Is that not pretty? Pray tell Mrs. Jenkin,
_die silberne Frau_, as I only learned it since I wrote her. I think
of calling the book by that name: _The Cruise of the Silver Ship_—so
there will be one poetic page at least—the title. At the Sandwiches we
shall say farewell to the _S. S._ with mingled feelings. She is a lovely
creature: the most beautiful thing at this moment in Taiti.

Well, I will take another sheet, though I know I have nothing to say.
You would think I was bursting: but the voyage is all stored up for the
book, which is to pay for it, we fondly hope; and the troubles of the
time are not worth telling; and our news is little.

Here I conclude (Oct. 24th, I think) for we are now stored, and the Blue
Peter metaphorically flies.

                                                            R. L. S.

[The second part of this letter is addressed to a young son of Mr.
Archer's, with whom Stevenson, as with almost every boy he met, was on
terms of special and private understanding.]]

                                          TAITI, October 17th, 1888.

DEAR ARCHER,—Though quite unable to write letters, I nobly send you a
line signifying nothing. The voyage has agreed well with all; it has
had its pains, and its extraordinary pleasures; nothing in the world can
equal the excitement of the first time you cast anchor in some bay of a
tropical island, and the boats begin to surround you, and the tattooed
people swarm aboard. Tell Tomarcher, with my respex, that hide-and-seek
is not equal to it; no, nor hidee-in-the-dark; which, for the matter
of that, is a game for the unskilful: the artist prefers daylight,
a good-sized garden, some shrubbery, an open paddock, and—come on,

       *       *       *       *       *

TOMARCHER, I am now a distinguished litterytour, but that was not the
real bent of my genius. I was the best player of hide-and-seek going;
not a good runner, I was up to every shift and dodge, I could jink very
well, I could crawl without any noise through leaves, I could hide under
a carrot plant, it used to be my favorite boast that I always _walked_
into the den. You may care to hear, Tomarcher, about the children in
these parts; their parents obey them, they do not obey their parents;
and I am sorry to tell you (for I daresay you are already thinking the
idea a good one) that it does not pay one halfpenny. There are three
sorts of civilisation, Tomarcher: the real old-fashioned one, in which
children either had to find out how to please their dear papas, or their
dear papas cut their heads off. This style did very well, but is now out
of fashion. Then the modern European style: in which children have to
behave reasonably well, and go to school and say their prayers, or their
dear papas _will know the reason why_. This does fairly well. Then there
is the South Sea Island plan, which does not do one bit. The children
beat their parents here; it does not make their parents any better; so
do not try it.

Dear Tomarcher, I have forgotten the address of your new house, but will
send this to one of your papa's publishers. Remember us all to all of
you, and believe me, yours respectably,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

[The following is the draft of a proposed dedication to the South Sea
travel book which was to be the fruit of the present voyages; as is
explained in a note at foot.]

                                                  November 11, 1888.

                                                   TO J. A. SYMONDS.

One November night, in the village of Tautira, we sat at the high
table in the hall of assembly, hearing the natives sing. It was dark
in the hall, and very warm; though at times the land wind blew a little
shrewdly through the chinks, and at times, through the larger openings,
we could see the moonlight on the lawn. As the songs arose in the
rattling Tahitian chorus, the chief translated here and there a verse.
Farther on in the volume you shall read the songs themselves; and I am
in hopes that not you only, but all who can find a savour in the ancient
poetry of places, will read them with some pleasure. You are to conceive
us, therefore, in strange circumstances and very pleasing; in a strange
land and climate, the most beautiful on earth; surrounded by a foreign
race that all travellers have agreed to be the most engaging; and taking
a double interest in two foreign arts.

We came forth again at last, in a cloudy moonlight, on the forest
lawn which is the street of Tautira. The Pacific roared outside upon
the reef. Here and there one of the scattered palm-built lodges shone
out under the shadow of the wood, the lamplight bursting through the
crannies of the wall. We went homeward slowly, Ori a Ori carrying behind
us the lantern and the chairs, properties with which we had just been
enacting our part of the distinguished visitor. It was one of those
moments in which minds not altogether churlish recall the names and
deplore the absence of congenial friends; and it was your name that
first rose upon our lips. "How Symonds would have enjoyed this evening!"
said one, and then another. The word caught in my mind; I went to bed,
and it was still there. The glittering, frosty solitudes in which your
days are cast, arose before me: I seemed to see you walking there in
the late night, under the pine-trees and the stars; and I received the
image with something like remorse.

There is a modern attitude towards fortune; in this place I will not
use a graver name. Staunchly to withstand her buffets and to enjoy
with equanimity her favours was the code of the virtuous of old. Our
fathers, it should seem, wondered and doubted how they had merited their
misfortunes: we, rather how we have deserved our happiness. And we stand
often abashed, and sometimes revolted, at those partialities of fate
by which we profit most. It was so with me on that November night: I
felt that our positions should be changed. It was you, dear Symonds,
who should have gone upon that voyage and written this account. With
your rich stores of knowledge, you could have remarked and understood a
thousand things of interest and beauty that escaped my ignorance; and
the brilliant colors of your style would have carried into a thousand
sickrooms the sea air and the strong sun of tropic islands. It was
otherwise decreed. But suffer me at least to connect you, if only in
name and only in the fondness of imagination, with the voyage of the
_Silver Ship_.

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

DEAR SYMONDS,—I send you this (November 11th), the morning of its
completion. If I ever write an account of this voyage, may I place this
letter at the beginning? It represents—I need not tell you, for you
too are an artist—a most genuine feeling, which kept me long awake last
night; and though perhaps a little elaborate, I think it a good piece
of writing. We are _in heaven here_. Do not forget

                                                            R. L. S.

Please keep this: I have no perfect copy.

_Tautira, on the peninsula of Tahiti._

                                           TAUTIRA, ISLAND OF TAHITI
                                                   [November, 1888].

DEAR TOMARCHER,—This is a pretty state of things! seven o'clock and
no word of breakfast! And I was awake a good deal last night, for it
was full moon, and they had made a great fire of cocoanut husks down
by the sea, and as we have no blinds or shutters, this kept my room
very bright. And then the rats had a wedding or a school-feast under
my bed. And then I woke early, and I have nothing to read except
Virgil's _Æneid_, which is not good fun on an empty stomach, and a Latin
dictionary, which is good for naught, and by some humorous accident,
your dear papa's article on Skerryvore. And I read the whole of that,
and very impudent it is, but you must not tell your dear papa I said so,
or it might come to a battle in which you might lose either a dear papa
or a valued correspondent, or both, which would be prodigal. And still
no breakfast; so I said 'Let's write to Tomarcher.'

This is a much better place for children than any I have hitherto seen
in these seas. The girls (and sometimes the boys) play a very elaborate
kind of hopscotch. The boys play horses exactly as we do in Europe; and
have very good fun on stilts, trying to knock each other down, in which
they do not often succeed. The children of all ages go to church and
are allowed to do what they please, running about the aisles, rolling
balls, stealing mamma's bonnet and publicly sitting on it, and at last
going to sleep in the middle of the floor. I forgot to say that the
whips to play horses, and the balls to roll about the church—at least I
never saw them used elsewhere—grow ready made on trees; which is rough
on toy-shops. The whips are so good that I wanted to play horses myself;
but no such luck! my hair is grey, and I am a great, big, ugly man. The
balls are rather hard, but very light and quite round. When you grow
up and become offensively rich, you can charter a ship in the port of
London, and have it come back to you entirely loaded with these balls;
when you could satisfy your mind as to their character, and give them
away when done with to your uncles and aunts. But what I really wanted
to tell you was this: besides the tree-top toys (Hush-a-by, toy-shop,
on the tree-top!), I have seen some real _made_ toys, the first hitherto
observed in the South Seas.

This was how. You are to imagine a four-wheeled gig; one horse; in the
front seat two Tahiti natives, in their Sunday clothes, blue coat,
white shirt, kilt (a little longer than the Scotch) of a blue stuff
with big white or yellow flowers, legs and feet bare; in the back seat
me and my wife, who is a friend of yours; under our feet, plenty of
lunch and things; among us a great deal of fun in broken Tahitian, one
of the natives, the sub-chief of the village, being a great ally of
mine. Indeed we have exchanged names; so that he is now called Rui, the
nearest they can come to Louis, for they have no _l_ and no _s_ in their
language. Rui is six feet three in his stockings, and a magnificent
man. We all have straw hats, for the sun is strong. We drive between
the sea, which makes a great noise, and the mountains; the road is cut
through a forest mostly of fruit trees, the very creepers, which take
the place of our ivy, heavy with a great and delicious fruit, bigger
than your head and far nicer, called Barbedine. Presently we came to a
house in a pretty garden, quite by itself, very nicely kept, the doors
and windows open, no one about, and no noise but that of the sea. It
looked like a house in a fairy-tale, and just beyond we must ford a
river, and there we saw the inhabitants. Just in the mouth of the river,
where it met the sea waves, they were ducking and bathing and screaming
together like a covey of birds: seven or eight little naked brown boys
and girls as happy as the day was long; and on the banks of the stream
beside them, real toys—toy ships, full rigged, and with their sails
set, though they were lying in the dust on their beam ends. And then
I knew for sure they were all children in a fairy-story, living alone
together in that lonely house with the only toys in all the island; and
that I had myself driven, in my four-wheeled gig, into a corner of the
fairy-story, and the question was, should I get out again? But it was
all right; I guess only one of the wheels of the gig had got into the
fairy-story; and the next jolt the whole thing vanished, and we drove on
in our sea-side forest as before, and I have the honor to be Tomarcher's
valued correspondent, TERIITERA, which he was previously known as

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

                            YACHT CASCO, AT SEA, 14th January, 1889.

MY DEAR COLVIN,—20 days out from Papeete. Yes, sir, all that, and only
(for a guess) in 4° north or at the best 4° 30', though already the wind
seems to smell a little of the North Pole. My handwriting you must take
as you get, for we are speeding along through a nasty swell, and I can
only keep my place at the table by means of a foot against the divan,
the unoccupied hand meanwhile gripping the ink-bottle. As we begin (so
very slowly) to draw near to seven months of correspondence, we are
all in some fear; and I want to have letters written before I shall be
plunged into that boiling pot of disagreeables which I constantly expect
at Honolulu. What is needful can be added there.

We were kept two months at Tautira in the house of my dear old friend,
Ori a Ori, till both the masts of this invaluable yacht had been
repaired. It was all for the best: Tautira being the most beautiful
spot, and its people the most amiable, I have ever found. Besides which,
the climate suited me to the ground; I actually went sea-bathing almost
every day, and in our feasts (we are all huge eaters in Taiarapu) have
been known to apply four times for pig. And then again I got wonderful
materials for my book, collected songs and legends on the spot; songs
still sung in chorus by perhaps a hundred persons, not two of whom can
agree on their translation; legends, on which I have seen half-a-dozen
seniors sitting in conclave and debating what came next. Once I went a
day's journey to the other side of the island to Tati, the high chief of
the Tevas—_my_ chief that is, for I am now a Teva and Teriitera at your
service—to collect more and correct what I had already. In the meanwhile
I got on with my work, almost finished the _Master of Ballantrae_, which
contains more human work than anything of mine but _Kidnapped_, and
wrote the half of another ballad, the 'Song of Rahero,' on a Taiarapu
legend of my own clan, sir—not so much fire as the _Feast of Famine_,
but promising to be more even and correct. But the best fortune of
our stay at Tautira was my knowledge of Ori himself, one of the finest
creatures extant. The day of our parting was a sad one. We deduced from
it a rule for travellers: not to stay two months in one place—which is
to cultivate regrets.

At last our contemptible ship was ready; to sea we went, bound for
Honolulu and the letter bag, on Christmas Day; and from then to now
have experienced every sort of minor misfortune, squalls, calms,
contrary winds and seas, pertinacious rains, declining stores, till we
came almost to regard ourselves as in the case of Vanderdecken. Three
days ago our luck seemed to improve, we struck a leading breeze, got
creditably through the doldrums, and just as we looked to have the N.E.
trades and a straight run, the rains and squalls and calms began again
about midnight, and this morning, though there is breeze enough to send
us along, we are beaten back by an obnoxious swell out of the north.
Here is a page of complaint, when a verse of thanksgiving had perhaps
been more in place. For all this time we must have been skirting past
dangerous weather, in the tail and circumference of hurricanes, and
getting only annoyance where we should have had peril, and ill-humour
instead of fear.

I wonder if I have managed to give you any news this time, or whether
the usual damn hangs over my letter? 'The midwife whispered, Be thou
dull!' or at least inexplicit. Anyway I have tried my best, am exhausted
with the effort, and fall back into the land of generalities. I cannot
tell you how often we have planned our arrival at the Monument: two
nights ago, the 12th January, we had it all planned out, arrived in the
lights and whirl of Waterloo, hailed a hansom, span up Waterloo Road,
over the bridge, etc., etc., and hailed the monument gate in triumph
and with indescribable delight. My dear Custodian, I always think we are
too sparing of assurances: Cordelia is only to be excused by Regan and
Goneril in the same nursery; I wish to tell you that the longer I live,
the more dear do you become to me, nor does my heart own any stronger
sentiment. If the bloody schooner didn't send me flying in every sort of
direction at the same time, I would say better what I feel so much; but
really if you were here, you would not be writing letters, I believe;
and even I, though of a more marine constitution, am much perturbed with
this bobbery and wish—O ye gods, how I wish—that it was done, and we
had arrived, and I had Pandora's Box (my mail bag) in hand, and was in
the lively hope of something eatable for dinner instead of salt horse,
tinned mutton, duff without any plums, and pie fruit, which now make up
our whole repertory. O Pandora's Box! I wonder what you will contain. As
like as not you will contain but little money; if that be so, we shall
have to retire to 'Frisco in the _Casco_, and thence by sea _viâ_ Panama
to Southampton, where we should arrive in April. I would like fine to
see you on the tug: ten years older both of us than the last time you
came to welcome Fanny and me to England. If we have money, however, we
shall do a little differently: send the _Casco_ away from Honolulu empty
of its high-born lessees, for that voyage to 'Frisco is one long dead
beat in foul and at last in cold weather; stay awhile behind, follow by
steamer, cross the States by train, stay awhile in New York on business,
and arrive probably by the German Line in Southampton. But all this is
a question of money. We shall have to lie very dark awhile to recruit
our finances: what comes from the book of the cruise, I do not want to
touch until the capital is repaid.

                                                            R. L. S.

                                       HONOLULU, February 8th, 1889.

MY DEAR CHARLES [BAXTER],—Here we are at Honolulu, and have dismissed
the yacht, and lie here until April anyway, in a fine state of haze,
which I am yet in hopes some letter of yours (still on the way) may
dissipate. No money, and not one word as to money! However, I have
got the yacht paid off in triumph, I think; and though we stay here
impignorate, it should not be for long, even if you bring us no extra
help from home. The cruise has been a great success, both as to matter,
fun, and health; and yet, Lord, man! we're pleased to be ashore! Yon was
a very fine voyage from Tahiti up here, but—the dry land's a fine place
too, and we don't mind squalls any longer, and eh, man, that's a great
thing. Blow, blow, thou wintry wind, thou hast done me no appreciable
harm beyond a few grey hairs! Altogether, this foolhardy venture is
achieved; and if I have but nine months of life and any kind of health,
I shall have both eaten my cake and got it back again with usury. But,
man, there have been days when I felt guilty, and thought I was in no
position for the head of a house.

Your letter and accounts is doubtless at S. F., and will reach me in
course. My wife is no great shakes; she is the one who has suffered
most. My mother has had a Huge Old Time; Lloyd is first chop; I so
well that I do not know myself—sea-bathing, if you please, and what is
far more dangerous, entertaining and being entertained by His Majesty
here, who is a very fine intelligent fellow, but O, Charles! what a
crop for the drink! He carries it too like a mountain with a sparrow on
its shoulders. We calculated five bottles of champagne in three hours
and-a-half (afternoon) and the sovereign quite presentable, although
perceptibly more dignified at the end....

The extraordinary health I enjoy and variety of interests I find among
these islands would tempt me to remain here; only for Lloyd, who is not
well placed in such countries for a permanency; and a little for Colvin,
to whom I feel I owe a sort of filial duty. And these two considerations
will no doubt bring me back—to go to bed again—in England. I will write
again soon and beg for all news of the Henleys and all friends.—Yours
ever affectionately,

                                                            R. L. S.

                                         HONOLULU, HAWAIIAN ISLANDS,
                                                     February, 1889.

MY DEAR BOB [STEVENSON],—My extremely foolhardy venture is practically
over. How foolhardy it was I don't think I realized. We had a very small
schooner, and, like most yachts over-rigged and over-sparred, and like
many American yachts on a very dangerous sail plan....

The waters we sailed in are, of course, entirely unlighted, and very
badly charted; in the Dangerous Archipelago through which we were fools
enough to go, we were perfectly in ignorance of where we were for a
whole night and half the next day, and this in the midst of invisible
islands and rapid and variable currents; and we were lucky when we
found our whereabouts at last. We have twice had all we wanted in the
way of squalls; once, as I came on deck, I found the green sea over the
cockpit coamings and running down the companion like a brook to meet
me; at that same moment the foresail sheet jammed and the captain had
no knife; this was the only occasion on the cruise that ever I set a
hand to a rope, but I worked like a Trojan, judging the possibility
of hæmorrhage better than the certainty of drowning. Another time I
saw a rather singular thing: our whole ship's company as pale as paper
from the captain to the cook; we had a black squall astern on the port
and a white squall ahead to starboard; the complication passed off
innocuous, the black squall only fetching us with its tail, and the
white one slewing off somewhere else. Twice we were a long while (days)
in the close vicinity of hurricane weather, but again luck prevailed,
and we saw none of it. These are dangers incident to these seas and
small craft. What was an amazement, and at the same time a powerful
stroke of luck, both our masts were rotten, and we found it out—I was
going to say in time, but it was stranger and luckier than that. The
head of the mainmast hung over so that hands were afraid to go to the
helm; and less than three weeks before—I am not sure it was more than a
fortnight—we had been nearly twelve hours beating off the lee shore of
Eimeo (or Moorea, next island to Tahiti) in half a gale of wind with a
violent head sea; she would neither tack nor wear once, and had to be
boxed off with the mainsail; you can imagine what an ungodly show of
kites we carried—and yet the mast stood. The very day after that, in
the southern bight of Tahiti, we had a near squeak, the wind suddenly
coming calm; the reefs were close in, with, my eye! what a surf! The
pilot thought we were gone, and the captain had a boat cleared, when a
lucky squall came to our rescue. My wife, hearing the order given about
the boats, remarked to my mother, 'Isn't that nice? we shall soon be
ashore!' Thus does the female mind unconsciously skirt along the verge
of eternity. Our voyage up here was most disastrous—calms, squalls,
head sea, waterspouts of rain, hurricane weather all about, and we in
the midst of the hurricane season, when even the hopeful builder and
owner of the yacht had pronounced these seas unfit for her. We ran out
of food, and were quite given up for lost in Honolulu: people had ceased
to speak to Belle[N] about the Casco, as a deadly object.

But the perils of the deep were part of the programme; and though I
am very glad to be done with them for a while and comfortably ashore,
where a squall does not matter a snuff to any one, I feel pretty sure
I shall want to get to sea again ere long. The dreadful risk I took was
financial, and double-headed. First, I had to sink a lot of money in the
cruise, and if I didn't get health, how was I to get it back? I have
got health to a wonderful extent; and as I have the most interesting
matter for my book, bar accidents, I ought to get all I have laid out
and a profit. But second (what I own I never considered till too late),
there was the danger of collisions, of damages and heavy repairs, of
disablement, towing, and salvage; indeed, the cruise might have turned
round and cost me double. Nor will this danger be quite over till I hear
the yacht is in San Francisco; for though I have shaken the dust of her
deck from my feet, I fear (as a point of law) she is still mine till
she gets there.

From my point of view, up to now the cruise has been a wonderful
success. I never knew the world was so amusing. On the last voyage we
had grown so used to sea-life that no one wearied, though it lasted a
full month, except Fanny, who is always ill. All the time our visits to
the islands have been more like dreams than realities: the people, the
life, the beach-combers, the old stories and songs I have picked up, so
interesting; the climate, the scenery, and (in some places) the women so
beautiful. The women are handsomest in Tahiti; the men in the Marquesas,
both as fine types as can be imagined. Lloyd reminds me, I have not told
you one characteristic incident of the cruise from a semi-naval point of
view. One night we were going ashore in Anaho Bay; the most awful noise
on deck; the breakers distinctly audible in the cabin; and there I had
to sit below, entertaining in my best style a negroid native chieftain,
much the worse for rum! You can imagine the evening's pleasure.

This naval report on cruising in the South Seas would be incomplete
without one other trait. On our voyage up here I came one day into the
dining-room, the hatch in the floor was open, the ship's boy was below
with a baler, and two of the hands were carrying buckets as for a fire;
this meant that the pumps had ceased working.

One stirring day was that in which we sighted Hawaii. It blew fair, but
very strong; we carried jib, foresail, and mainsail, all single-reefed,
and she carried her lee rail under water and flew. The swell, the
heaviest I have ever been out in—I tried in vain to estimate the height,
_at least_ fifteen feet—came tearing after us about a point and a half
off the wind. We had the best hand—old Louis—at the wheel; and, really,
he did nobly, and had noble luck, for it never caught us once. At times
it seemed we must have it; Louis would look over his shoulder with the
queerest look and dive down his neck into his shoulders; and then it
missed us somehow, and only sprays came over our quarter, turning the
little outside lane of deck into a mill race as deep as to the cockpit
coamings. I never remember anything more delightful and exciting. Pretty
soon after we were lying absolutely becalmed under the lee of Hawaii, of
which we had been warned; and the captain never confessed he had done it
on purpose, but when accused, he smiled. Really, I suppose he did quite
right, for we stood committed to a dangerous race, and to bring her to
the wind would have been rather a heart-sickening manœuvre.

                                                            R. L. S.

[At Honolulu Stevenson found awaiting him among the accumulations of
the mail-bag, two letters of friendly homage—the first, I think, he had
received from any foreign _confrère_—addressed to him by a distinguished
young French scholar and man of letters, M. Marcel Schwob.]

                                         HONOLULU, SANDWICH ISLANDS,
                                                 February 8th, 1889.

                                                          M. SCHWOB.

DEAR SIR,—I thank you—from the midst of such a flurry as you can
imagine, with seven months' accumulated correspondence on my table—for
your two friendly and clever letters. Pray write me again. I shall
be home in May or June, and not improbably shall come to Paris in the
summer. Then we can talk; or in the interval I may be able to write,
which is to-day out of the question. Pray take a word from a man of
crushing occupations, and count it as a volume. Your little _conte_ is
delightful. Ah yes, you are right, I love the eighteenth century; and
so do you, and have not listened to its voice in vain.—The Hunted One,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

                                          HONOLULU, April 2nd, 1889.

MY DEAR COLVIN,—I am beginning to be ashamed of writing on to you
without the least acknowledgement, like a tramp; but I do not care—I
am hardened; and whatever be the cause of your silence, I mean to write
till all is blue. I am outright ashamed of my news, which is that we are
not coming home for another year. I cannot but hope it may continue the
vast improvement of my health; I think it good for Fanny and Lloyd; and
we have all a taste for this wandering and dangerous life. My mother I
send home, to my relief, as this part of our cruise will be (if we can
carry it out) rather difficult in places. Here is the idea: about the
middle of June (unless the Boston Board objects) we sail from Honolulu
in the missionary ship (barquentine auxiliary steamer) _Morning Star_:
she takes us through the Gilberts and Marshalls, and drops us (this is
my great idea) on Ponapue, one of the volcanic islands of the Carolines.
Here we stay marooned among a doubtful population, with a Spanish
vice-governor and five native kings, and a sprinkling of missionaries,
all at loggerheads, on the chance of fetching a passage to Sydney in
a trader, a labor ship or (maybe, but this appears too bright) a ship
of war. If we can't get the _Morning Star_ (and the Board has many
reasons that I can see for refusing its permission) I mean to try to
fetch Fiji, hire a schooner there, do the Fijis and Friendlies, hit
the course of the _Richmond_ at Tonga Tabu, make back by Tahiti, and so
to S. F., and home: perhaps in June, 1890. For the latter part of the
cruise will likely be the same in either case. You can see for yourself
how much variety and adventure this promises: and that it is not devoid
of danger at the best, but if we can pull it off in safety, gives me a
fine book of travel, and Lloyd a fine lecture and diorama, which should
vastly better our finances. I feel as if I were untrue to friendship;
believe me, Colvin, when I look forward to this absence of another
year, my conscience sinks at thought of the Monument; but I think you
will pardon me if you consider how much this tropical weather mends my
health. Remember me as I was at home, and think of me sea-bathing and
walking about, as jolly as a sandboy; you will own the temptation is
strong; and as the scheme, bar fatal accidents, is bound to pay in the
bargain, sooner or later, it seems it would be madness to come home now,
with an imperfect book, no illustrations to speak of, no diorama, and
perhaps fall sick again by autumn. I do not think I delude myself when
I say the tendency to catarrh has visibly diminished.

It is a singular thing that as I was packing up old papers ere I left
Skerryvore, I came on the prophecies of a drunken Highland Sybil, when
I was seventeen. She said I was to be very happy, to visit America,
and _to be much upon the sea_. It seems as if it were coming true with
a vengeance. Also, do you remember my strong, old, rooted belief that
I shall die by drowning? I don't want that to come true, though it
is an easy death; but it occurs to me oddly, with these long chances
in front. I cannot say why I like the sea; no man is more cynically
and constantly alive to its perils; I regard it as the highest form
of gambling; and yet I love the sea as much as I hate gambling. Fine,
clean emotions; a world all and always beautiful; air better than wine;
interest unflagging: there is upon the whole no better life. Yours ever,

                                                            R. L. S.

                                          HONOLULU, April 6th, 1889.

MY DEAR MISS BOODLE,—The family seems to say I am the man, or rather,
mine is the voice; for as to gratitude, we are all in a concatenation.
Nobody writes a better letter than my gamekeeper; so gay, so pleasant,
so engagingly particular, answering (by some delicate instinct) all
the questions she suggests. It is a shame you should get such a poor
return as I can make, from a mind essentially and originally incapable
of the art epistolary. I would let the paper-cutter take my place;
but I am sorry to say, the little wooden seaman did after the manner
of seamen, and deserted in the Societies. The place he seems to have
stayed at—seems, for his absence was not observed till we were near the
Equator—was Tautira, and, I assure you, he displayed good taste, Tautira
being as 'nigh hand heaven' as a paper-cutter or anybody has a right to

I think all our friends will be very angry with us, and I give the
grounds of their probable displeasure bluntly—we are not coming home for
another year. My mother returns next month. Fanny, Lloyd, and I push
on again among the islands on a trading schooner, _The Equator_—first
for the Gilbert group, which we shall have an opportunity to explore
thoroughly; then, if occasion serve, to the Marshalls and Carolines;
and if occasion (or money) fail, to Samoa, and back to Tahiti. I own
we are deserters, but we have excuses. You cannot conceive how these
climates agree with the wretched house-plant of Skerryvore; he wonders
to find himself sea-bathing, and cutting about the world loose, like a
grown-up person. They agree with Fanny too, who does not suffer from
her rheumatism, and with Lloyd also. And the interest of the islands
is endless, and the sea, though I own it is a fearsome place, is very
delightful. We had applied for places in the American missionary ship,
the _Morning Star_, but this trading schooner is a far preferable idea,
giving us more time and a thousand-fold more liberty; so we determined
to cut off the missionaries with a shilling.

The Sandwich Islands do not interest us very much; we live here,
oppressed with civilisation, and look for good things in the future.
But it would surprise you if you came out to-night from Honolulu (all
shining with electric lights, and all in a bustle from the arrival of
the mail, which is to carry you these lines) and crossed the long wooden
causeway along the beach, and came out on the road through Kapiolani
park, and seeing a gate in the palings, with a tub of gold-fish by the
wayside, entered casually in. The buildings stand in these groups by the
edge of the beach, where an angry little spitfire sea continually spirts
and thrashes with impotent irascibility; the big seas breaking further
out upon the reef. The first is a small house, with a very large summer
parlour, or _lanai_, as they call it here, roofed, but practically open.
There you will find the lamps burning and the family sitting about the
table, dinner just done; my mother, my wife, Lloyd, Bell, my wife's
daughter, Austin her child, and to-night (by way of rarity) a guest.
All about the walls our South Sea curiosities, war clubs, idols, pearl
shells, stone axes, etc., and the walls are only a small part of a
lanai, the rest being glazed or latticed windows, or mere open space.
You will see there no sign of the Squire, however; and being a person of
a humane disposition, you will only glance in over the balcony railing
at the merry-makers in the summer parlour, and proceed further afield
after the Exile. You look round, there is beautiful green turf, many
trees of an outlandish sort that drop thorns—look out if your feet are
bare; but I beg your pardon, you have not been long enough in the South
Seas—and many oleanders in full flower. The next group of buildings
is ramshackle, and quite dark; you make out a coach-house door, and
look in—only some cocoanuts; you try round to the left and come to the
sea front, where Venus and the moon are making luminous tracks on the
water, and a great swell rolls and shines on the outer reef, and here
is another door—all these places open from the outside—and you go in,
and find photography, tubs of water, negatives steeping, a tap, and
a chair and an inkbottle, where my wife is supposed to write; round a
little further, a third door, entering which you find a picture upon the
easel and a table sticky with paints; a fourth door admits you to a sort
of court, where there is a hen sitting—I believe on a fallacious egg.
No sign of the Squire in all this. But right opposite the studio door
you have observed a third little house, from whose open door lamplight
streams and makes hay of the strong moonlight shadows. You had supposed
it made no part of the grounds, for a fence runs round it lined with
oleander; but as the Squire is nowhere else, is it not just possible
he may be here? It is a grim little wooden shanty; cobwebs bedeck it;
friendly mice inhabit its recesses; the mailed cockroach walks upon
the wall; so also, I regret to say, the scorpion. Herein are two pallet
beds, two mosquito curtains, strung to the pitch-boards of the roof, two
tables laden with books and manuscripts, three chairs, and, in one of
the beds, the Squire busy writing to yourself, as it chances, and just
at this moment somewhat bitten by mosquitoes. He has just set fire to
the insect powder, and will be all right in no time; but just now he
contemplates large white blisters, and would like to scratch them, but
knows better. The house is not bare; it has been inhabited by Kanakas,
and—you know what children are!—the bare wood walls are pasted over with
pages from the _Graphic_, _Harper's Weekly_, etc. The floor is matted,
and I am bound to say the matting is filthy. There are two windows and
two doors, one of which is condemned; on the panels of that last a sheet
of paper is pinned up, and covered with writing. I cull a few plums:—

     'A duck hammock for each person.

     A patent organ like the commandant's at Taiahae.

     Cheap and bad cigars for presents.


     Permanganate of potass.

     Liniment for the head and sulphur.

     Fine tooth-comb.'

What do you think this is? Simply life in the South Seas foreshortened.
These are a few of our desiderata for the next trip, which we jot down
as they occur.

There, I have really done my best and tried to send something like a
letter—one letter in return for all your dozens. Pray remember us all to
yourself, Mrs. Boodle, and the rest of your house. I do hope your mother
will be better when this comes. I shall write and give you a new address
when I have made up my mind as to the most probable, and I do beg you
will continue to write from time to time and give us airs from home.
To-morrow—think of it—I must be off by a quarter to eight to drive into
the palace and breakfast with his Hawaiian Majesty at 8.30; I shall be
dead indeed. Please give my news to Scott, I trust he is better: give
him my warm regards. To you we all send all kinds of things, and I am
the absentee Squire,

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

[The allusions in the latter half of this letter are to the departure
for Europe of the young Hawaiian princess Kaiulani (see the poem
beginning 'When from Her Land to Mine She Goes,' in _Songs of Travel_,
p. 47); and to the circumstances of the great hurricane at Apia, on
March 15, 1889.]

                                      HONOLULU (about) 20th May '89.

MY DEAR LOW,— ... The goods have come; many daughters have done
virtuously, but thou excellest them all.—I have at length finished
the Master; it has been a sore cross to me; but now he is buried, his
body's under hatches,—his soul, if there is any hell to go to, gone
to hell; and I forgive him; it is harder to forgive Burlingame for
having induced me to begin the publication, or myself for suffering
the induction.—Yes, I think Hole has done finely; it will be one of
the most adequately illustrated books of our generation; he gets the
note, he tells the story—_my_ story: I know only one failure—the Master
standing on the beach.—You must have a letter for me at Sydney—till
further notice. Remember me to Mrs. Will. H., the godlike sculptor, and
any of the faithful. If you want to cease to be a republican, see my
little Kaiulani, as she goes through—but she is gone already. You will
die a red; I wear the colours of that little royal maiden, _Nous allons
chanter à la ronde, si vous voulez!_ only she is not blonde by several
chalks, though she is but a half-blood, and the wrong half Edinburgh
Scots like mysel'. But, O, Low, I love the Polynesian: this civilisation
of ours is a dingy, ungentlemanly business; it drops out too much of
man, and too much of that the very beauty of the poor beast; who has
his beauties in spite of Zola and Co. As usual here is a whole letter
with no news; I am a bloodless, inhuman dog; and no doubt Zola is a
better correspondent.—Long live your fine old English admiral—yours, I
mean—the U.S.A. one at Samoa; I wept tears and loved myself and mankind
when I read of him: he is not too much civilised. And there was Gordon,
too; and there are others, beyond question. But if you could live, the
only white folk, in a Polynesian village; and drink that warm, light
_vin du pays_ of human affection, and enjoy that simple dignity of all
about you—I will not gush, for I am now in my fortieth year, which seems
highly unjust, but there it is, Mr. Low, and the Lord enlighten your

                                                            R. L. S.

[The following two letters, one to his wife and one to me, were written
during and immediately after Stevenson's trip to the noted leper
settlement, the scene of Father Damien's labors, at Molokai.]

                                  No date. (The latter part of May.)
                                       KALAWAO, MOLOKAI [May, 1889].

DEAR FANNY,—I had a lovely sail up. Captain Cameron and Mr. Gilfillan,
both born in the States, yet the first still with a strong Highland,
and the second still with a strong Lowland accent, were good company,
the night was warm, the victuals plain but good. Mr. Gilfillan gave me
his berth, and I slept well, though I heard the sisters sick in the next
stateroom, poor souls. Heavy rolling woke me in the morning; I turned in
all standing, so went right on the upper deck. The day was on the peep
out of a low morning bank, and we were wallowing along under stupendous
cliffs. As the lights brightened, we could see certain abutments and
buttresses on their front where wood clustered and grass grew brightly.
But the whole brow seemed quite impassable, and my heart sank at the
sight. Two thousand feet of rock making 19° (the Captain guesses) seemed
quite beyond my powers. However, I had come so far; and to tell you the
truth, I was so cowed with fear and disgust that I dared not go back
on the adventure in the interests of my own self-respect. Presently we
came up with the leper promontory: lowland, quite bare and bleak and
harsh, a little town of wooden houses, two churches, a landing stair,
all unsightly, sour, northerly, lying athwart the sunrise, with the
great wall of the pali cutting the world out on the south. Our lepers
were sent on the first boat, about a dozen, one poor child very horrid,
one white man, leaving a large grown family behind him in Honolulu, and
then into the second stepped the sisters and myself. I do not know how
it would have been with me had the sisters not been there. My horror
of the horrible is about my weakest point; but the moral loveliness at
my elbow blotted all else out; and when I found that one of them was
crying, poor soul, quietly under her veil, I cried a little myself;
then I felt as right as a trivet, only a little crushed to be there so
uselessly. I thought it was a sin and a shame she should feel unhappy; I
turned round to her, and said something like this: 'Ladies, God Himself
is here to give you welcome. I'm sure it is good for me to be beside
you; I hope it will be blessed to me; I thank you for myself and the
good you do me.' It seemed to cheer her up; but indeed I had scarce
said it when we were at the landing-stairs and there was a great crowd,
hundreds of (God save us!) pantomine masks in poor human flesh, waiting
to receive the sisters and the new patients. Every hand was offered;
I had gloves, but I had made up my mind on the boat's voyage _not_ to
give my hand, that seemed less offensive than the gloves. So the sisters
and I went up among that crew, and presently I got aside (for I felt
I had no business there) and set off on foot across the promontory,
carrying my wrap and the camera. All horror was quite gone from me; to
see these dread creatures smile and look happy was beautiful. On my way
through Kalaupapa I was exchanging cheerful _alohas_ with the patients
coming galloping over on their horses; I was stopping to gossip at
house-doors; I was happy, only ashamed of myself that I was here for no
good. One woman was pretty, and spoke good English, and was infinitely
engaging and (in the old phrase) towardly; she thought I was the new
white patient; and when she found I was only a visitor, a curious change
came in her face and voice—the only sad thing, morally sad, I mean—that
I met that morning. But for all that, they tell me none want to leave.
Beyond Kalaupapa the houses became rare; dry stone dykes, grassy, stoney
land, one sick pandanus; a dreary country; from overhead in the little
clinging woods shogs of the pali chirruping of birds fell; the low sun
was right in my face; the trade blew pure and cool and delicious; I felt
as right as ninepence, and stopped and chatted with the patients whom I
still met on their horses, with not the least disgust. About half-way
over, I met the superintendent (a leper) with a horse for me, and O
wasn't I glad! But the horse was one of those curious, dogged, cranky
brutes that alway dully want to go somewhere else, and my traffic with
him completed my crushing fatigue. I got to the guest-house, an empty
house with several rooms, kitchen, bath, etc. There was no one there,
and I let the horse go loose in the garden, lay down on the bed, and
fell asleep.

Dr. Swift woke me and gave me breakfast, then I came back and slept
again while he was at the dispensary, and he woke me for dinner; and
I came back and slept again, and he woke me about six for supper; and
then in about an hour I felt tired again, and came up to my solitary
guest-house, played the flageolet, and am now writing to you. As yet,
you see, I have seen nothing of the settlement, and my crushing fatigue
(though I believe that was moral and a measure of my cowardice) and
the doctor's opinion make me think the pali hopeless. 'You don't look
a strong man,' said the doctor; 'but are you sound?' I told him the
truth; then he said it was out of the question, and if I were to get up
at all, I must be carried up. But, as it seems, men as well as horses
continually fall on this ascent: the doctor goes up with a change of
clothes—it is plain that to be carried would in itself be very fatiguing
to both mind and body; and I should then be at the beginning of thirteen
miles of mountain road to be ridden against time. How should I come
through? I hope you will think me right in my decision: I mean to stay,
and shall not be back in Honolulu till Saturday, June first. You must
all do the best you can to make ready.... Dr. S. has a wife and an
infant son, beginning to toddle and run, and they live here as composed
as brick and mortar; at least the wife does, a Kentucky German, a fine
enough creature I believe, who was quite amazed at the sisters shedding
tears! How strange is mankind! —— too, a good fellow I think, and far
from a stupid, kept up his hard Lowland Scottish talk in the boat while
the sister was covering her face; but I believe he knew, and did it
(partly) in embarrassment, and part perhaps in mistaken kindness. And
that was one reason, too, why I made my speech to them. Partly, too, I
did it, because I was ashamed to do so, and remembered one of my golden
rules, 'When you are ashamed to speak, speak up at once.' But, mind
you, that rule is only golden with strangers; with your own folks, there
are other considerations. This is a strange place to be in. A bell has
been sounded at intervals while I wrote, now all is still but a musical
humming of the sea, not unlike the sound of telegraph wires; the night
is quite cool and pitch dark, with a small fine rain; one light over in
the leper settlement, one cricket whistling in the garden, my lamp here
by my bedside, and my pen cheaping between my inky fingers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Next day, lovely morning, slept all night, 80° in the shade, strong,
sweet, Anaho trade-wind.

                                        HONOLULU, May or June, 1889.

MY DEAR COLVIN,—I am just home after twelve days journey to Molokai,
seven of them at the leper settlement, where I can only say that the
sight of so much courage, cheerfulness and devotion, strung me too high
to mind the infinite pity and horror of the sights. I used to ride over
from Kalawao to Kalaupapa (about three miles across the promontory, the
cliff-wall, ivied with forest and yet inaccessible from steepness, on
my left), go to the Sisters' home which is a miracle of neatness, play a
game of croquet with seven leper girls (90° in the shade), get a little
old-maid meal served me by the Sisters, and ride home again, tired
enough but not too tired. The girls have all dolls, and love dressing
them. You who know so many ladies delicately clad, and they who know so
many dressmakers, please make it known it would be an acceptable gift
to send scraps for doll dressmaking to the Reverend Sister Maryanne,
Bishop Home, Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaiian Islands.

I have seen sights that cannot be told, and heard stories that cannot
be repeated: yet I never admired my poor race so much, nor (strange as
it may seem) loved life more than in the settlement. A horror of moral
beauty broods over the place: that's like bad Victor Hugo, but it is the
only way I can express the sense that lived with me all these days. And
this even though it was in great part Catholic, and my sympathies flew
never with so much difficulty as towards Catholic virtues. The pass-book
kept with heaven stirs me to anger and laughter. One of the sisters
calls the place "the ticket-office to heaven." Well, what is the odds?
They do their darg, and do it with kindness and efficiency incredible;
and we must take folk's virtues as we find them, and love the better
part. Of old Damien, whose weaknesses and worse perhaps I heard fully,
I think only the more. It was a European peasant: dirty, bigotted,
untruthful, unwise, tricky, but superb with generosity, residual candour
and fundamental good-humour: convince him he had done wrong (it might
take hours of insult) and he would undo what he had done and like his
corrector better. A man, with all the grime and paltriness of mankind,
but a saint and hero all the more for that. The place as regards scenery
is grand, gloomy and bleak. Mighty mountain walls descending sheer
along the whole face of the island into a sea unusually deep; the front
of the mountain ivied and furred with clinging forest, one iridescent
cliff: about half-way from east to west, the low, bare stony promontory
edged in between the cliff and the ocean; the two little towns (Kalawao
and Kalaupapa) seated on either side of it, as bare almost as bathing
machines upon a beach; and the population—gorgons and chimæras dire.
All this tear of the nerves, I bore admirably; and the day after I
got away, rode twenty miles along the opposite coast and up into the
mountains: they call it twenty, I am doubtful of the figures: I should
guess it nearer twelve; but let me take credit for what residents
allege; and I was riding again the day after, so I need say no more
about health. Honolulu does not agree with me at all; I am always out
of sorts there, with slight headache, blood to the head, etc. I had a
good deal of work to do and did it with miserable difficulty; and yet
all the time I have been gaining strength as you see, which is highly
encouraging. By the time I am done with this cruise I shall have the
material for a very singular book of travels: names of strange stories
and characters, cannibals, pirates, ancient legends, old Polynesian
poetry; never was so generous a farrago. I am going down now to get
the story of a shipwrecked family, who were fifteen months on an island
with a murderer: there is a specimen. The Pacific is a strange place,
the nineteenth century only exists there in spots; all round, it is a
no man's land of the ages, a stir-about of epochs and races, barbarisms
and civilisations, virtues and crimes.

It is good of you to let me stay longer, but if I had known how ill
you were, I should be now on my way home. I had chartered my schooner
and made all arrangements before (at last) we got definite news. I feel
highly guilty; I should be back to insult and worry you a little. Our
address till further notice is to be c/o R. Towns & Co., Sydney. That
is final; I only got the arrangement made yesterday; but you may now
publish it abroad. Yours ever,

                                                            R. L. S.

[The following was written to his old friend of Cornhill Magazine days,
Mr. James Payn, on receiving in Hawaii ill news of that gentleman's

                                   HONOLULU, H. I., June 13th, 1889.

MY DEAR JAMES PAYN,—I get sad news of you here at my offsetting for
further voyages; I wish I could say what I feel. Since there was never
any man less deserved this calamity; for I have heard you speak time and
again, and I remember nothing that was unkind, nothing that was untrue,
nothing that was not helpful, from your lips. It is the ill-talkers that
should hear no more. God knows, I know no word of consolation; but I do
feel your trouble. You are the more open to letters now; let me talk to
you for two pages; I have nothing but happiness to tell; and you may
bless God you are a man so sound-hearted that (even in the freshness
of your calamity) I can come to you with my own good fortune unashamed
and secure of sympathy. It is a good thing to be a good man, whether
deaf or whether dumb; and of all our fellow-craftsmen (whom yet they
count a jealous race), I never knew one but gave you the name of honesty
and kindness: come to think of it gravely, this is better than the
finest hearing. We are all on the march to deafness, blindness, and all
conceivable and fatal disabilities; we shall not all get there with a
report so good. My good news is a health astonishingly reinstated. This
climate; these voyagings; these landfalls at dawn; new islands peaking
from the morning bank; new forested harbours; new passing alarms of
squalls and surf; new interests of gentle natives,—the whole tale of my
life is better to me than any poem. I am fresh just now from the leper
settlement of Molokai, playing croquet with seven leper girls, sitting
and yarning with old, blind, leper beach-combers in the hospital,
sickened with the spectacle of abhorrent suffering and deformation
amongst the patients, touched to the heart by the sight of lovely and
effective virtues in their helpers: no stranger time have I ever had,
nor any so moving; I do not think it a little thing to be deaf, God
knows, and God defend me from the same!—but to be a leper, or one of
the self-condemned, how much more awful! and yet there's a way there
also. 'There are Molokais everywhere,' said Mr. Dutton, Father Damien's
dresser; you are but new landed in yours; and my dear and kind adviser,
I wish you, with all my soul, that patience and courage which you will
require. Think of me meanwhile on a trading schooner, bound for the
Gilbert Islands, thereafter for the Marshalls, with a diet of fish and
cocoanut before me; bound on a cruise of—well, of investigation to what
islands we can reach, and to get (some day or other) to Sydney, where
a letter addressed to the care of R. Towns & Co. will find me sooner
or later; and if it contain any good news, whether of your welfare or
the courage with which you bear the contrary, will do me good.—Yours
affectionately (although so near a stranger),

                                             ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.



By Edwin Milton Royle


The Vaudeville Theatre is an American invention. There is nothing like
it anywhere else in the world. It is neither the Café Chantant, the
English music-hall, nor the German garden. What has been called by a
variety of names, but has remained always and everywhere pretty much the
same—reeky with smoke, damp with libations, gay with the informalities
of the half-world—is now doing business with us under the patronage of
the royal American family.

Having expurgated and rehabilitated the tawdry thing, the American
invites in the family and neighbors, hands over to them beautiful
theatres, lavishly decorated and appointed, nails up everywhere church
and army regulations, and in the exuberance of his gayety passes around
ice-water. He hasn't painted out the French name, but that is because
he has been, as usual, in a hurry. Fourteen years ago this may have
been a dream in a Yankee's brain; now it is a part of us. The strictly
professional world has been looking for the balloon to come down, for
the fad to die out, for the impossible thing to stop, but year by year
these theatres increase and multiply, till now they flourish the country

Sometimes the vaudeville theatre is an individual and independent
enterprise; more often it belongs to a circuit. The patronage, expenses,
and receipts are enormous. One circuit will speak for all. It has a
theatre in New York, one in Philadelphia, one in Boston, and one in
Providence, and they give no Sunday performances; and yet these four
theatres entertain over 5,000,000 people every year, give employment
to 350 attachés and to 3,500 actors. Four thousand people pass in
and out of each one of these theatres daily. Ten thousand dollars
are distributed each week in salaries to the actors and $3,500 to the
attachés. Take one theatre for example, the house in Boston. It is open
the year round and it costs $7,000 a week to keep it open, while its
patrons will average 25,000 every week. On a holiday it will play to
from ten to twelve thousand people. How is it possible?

  [Illustration: Persons who secrete campaign rations about them,
   and camp there from 9.30 A.M. to 10.30 P.M.—Page 486.]

A holiday to an American is a serious affair, so the doors of the
theatre are open and the performance begins when most people are eating
breakfast; 9.30 A.M. is not too soon for the man who pursues pleasure
with the same intensity he puts into business. There are no reserved
seats, so one must come first to be first served. One may go in at 9.30
A.M. and stay until 10.30 at night. If he leaves his seat, though, the
nearest standing Socialist drops into it and he must wait for a vacancy
in order to sit down again.

Not over two per cent. of an audience remains longer than to see the
performance through once, but there are persons who secrete campaign
rations about them, and camp there from 9.30 A.M. to 10.30 P.M., thereby
surviving all of the acts twice and most of them four or five times.
The management calculate to sell out the house two and a half times
on ordinary days and four times on holidays, and it is this system
that makes such enormous receipts possible. Of course I have taken the
circuit which is representative of the vaudeville idea at its best, but
it is not alone in its standards or success, and what I have said about
the houses in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia applies more or less to
all the principal cities of the country, and in a less degree of course
to the houses in the smaller cities.

Some of these theatres are never closed the year round. Some are content
with three matinees a week in addition to their night performances.
Others open their doors about noon and close them at 10.30 at night.
These are called "continuous" houses. It is manifest, I think, that the
vaudeville theatre is playing an important part in the amusement world
and in our national life. Perhaps we should be grateful. At present it
would seem that the moral tone of a theatre is in the inverse ratio of
the price of admission. The higher the price, the lower the tone. It
is certain that plays are tolerated and even acclaimed on the New York
stage to-day which would have been removed with tongs half a dozen years

  [Illustration: Begged me "to soften the asperities."—Page 488.]

On the eighteenth day of last April the member of Parliament for
Flintshire made a formal query in the House of Commons in relation to
the drama, asking "if the Government will, in view of the depraving
nature of several plays now on the stage, consider the advisability
of controlling theatres by licenses." The honorable member appeared to
think one censorship in the person of the Lord Chamberlain not enough
for the growing necessities of London. As we are no longer manufacturers
but importers of plays, and largely by way of London, it is not strange
that there should be some talk here of a legal censorship for our

So far as the vaudeville theatres are concerned, one might as well
ask for a censorship of a "family magazine." It would be a work
of supererogation. The local manager of every vaudeville house is
its censor, and he lives up to his position laboriously and, I may
say, religiously. The bill changes usually from week to week. It is
the solemn duty of this austere personage to sit through the first
performance of every week and to let no guilty word or look escape. But
this is precautionary only.

  [Illustration: A Ballad Singer.]

"You are to distinctly understand," say the first words of the contracts
of a certain circuit, "that the management conducts this house upon a
high plane of respectability and moral cleanliness," etc.

But long before the performer has entered the dressing-rooms, he has
been made acquainted with the following legend which everywhere adorns
the walls:

                          NOTICE TO PERFORMERS.

     _You are hereby warned that your act must be free from all
     vulgarity and suggestiveness in words, action, and costume,
     while playing in any of Mr. ——'s houses, and all vulgar,
     double-meaning and profane words and songs must be cut out of
     your act before the first performance. If you are in doubt as
     to what is right or wrong, submit it to the resident manager
     at rehearsal._

     _Such words as Liar, Slob, Son-of-a-Gun, Devil, Sucker,
     Damn, and all other words unfit for the ears of ladies and
     children, also any reference to questionable streets, resorts,
     localities, and bar-rooms, are prohibited under fine of
     instant discharge._
                                                  —— ——,

                                                  _General Manager._

And this is not merely a literary effort on the part of the management;
it is obligatory and final. When we have about accepted as conclusive
the time-honored theory that "You must give the public what it
wants," and that it _wants_ bilge-water in champagne glasses, we are
confronted with the vaudeville theatre, no longer an experiment, but a
comprehensive fact.

The funniest farce ever written could not be done at these houses
if it had any of the ear-marks of the thing in vogue at many of our
first-class theatres. Said a lady to me: "They (the vaudeville theatres)
are the only theatres in New York where I should feel absolutely safe
in taking a young girl without making preliminary inquiries. Though
they may offend the taste, they never offend one's sense of decency."
The vaudeville theatres may be said to have established the commercial
value of decency. This is their corner-stone. They were conceived with
the object of catering to ladies and children, and, strange to say, a
large, if not the larger, part of their audiences is always men.


What I have said does not describe all theatres which may have
"fashionable vaudeville" over their doors. Godliness has proved so
profitable that there be here, as elsewhere, wolves masquerading in
woollens, but the houses I have described are well known. Nor have the
stringent regulations of these theatres exiled the "song-and-dance man,"
who was wont to rely on risqué songs and suggestive jokes—they have
only forced him to happier and saner efforts, and the result is not
Calvinistic; on the contrary, nowhere are audiences jollier, quicker,
and more intelligent, and the world of fashion even is not absent from
these theatres primarily designed for the wholesome middle classes.

  [Illustration: She ruled, she reigned, she triumphed.—Page 492.]

I never for a moment suspected that these admirable regulations could
be meant for me, or that indeed I was in need of rules and regulations,
but my self-righteousness, as was meet, met with discipline. I had a
line in my little farce to this effect: "I'll have the devil's own time
explaining," etc. I had become so familiar with the devil that I was
not even aware of his presence, but the management unmasked me and I
received a polite request (which was a command) to cast out the devil. I
finally got used to substituting the word "dickens." Later on, the local
manager, a big, handsome man, faultlessly attired, in person begged me
"to soften the asperities." Need I add that this occurred in Boston?
When I travel again I shall leave my asperities at home.

A friend of mine was leaving a spacious vaudeville theatre, along with
the audience, and was passing through the beautiful corridor, when one
of the multitude of uniformed attachés handed him this printed notice:

     _Gentlemen will kindly avoid carrying cigars or cigarettes in
     their mouths while in the building, and greatly oblige_

                                                 _The Management._

My friend was guilty of carrying in his hand an unlighted cigar.

How careful of the conduct of their patrons the management is may be
seen from the following printed _requests_ with which the employees are

     _Gentlemen will kindly avoid the stamping of feet and pounding
     of canes on the floor, and greatly oblige the Management. All
     applause is best shown by clapping of hands._

     _Please don't talk during acts, as it annoys those about you,
     and prevents a perfect hearing of the entertainment._

                                                 _The Management._

When we were playing in Philadelphia a young woman was singing with what
is known as the "song-sheet," at the same theatre with us. Her costume
consisted of silk stockings, knee-breeches, and a velvet coat—the
regulation page's dress, decorous enough to the unsanctified eye; but
one day the proprietor himself happened in unexpectedly (as is his wont)
and the order quick and stern went forth that the young woman was not
to appear again except in skirts—her street-clothes, if she had nothing
else, and street-clothes it came about.

These are the chronicles of what is known among the vaudeville
fraternity as "The Sunday-school Circuit," and the proprietor of "The
Sunday-school Circuit" is the inventor of vaudeville as we know it. This
which makes for righteousness, as is usual, makes also for great and
abiding cleanliness—physical as well as moral. I almost lost things in
my Philadelphia dressing-room—it was cleaned so constantly. Paternal,
austere perhaps, but clean, gloriously clean!

       *       *       *       *       *

The character of the entertainment is always the same. There is a
sameness even about its infinite variety. No act or "turn" consumes much
over thirty minutes. Everyone's taste is consulted, and if one objects
to the perilous feats of the acrobats or jugglers he can read his
programme or shut his eyes for a few moments and he will be compensated
by some sweet bell-ringing or a sentimental or comic song, graceful
or grotesque dancing, a one-act farce, trained animals, legerdemain,
impersonations, clay modelling, the biograph pictures, or the stories
of the comic monologuist. The most serious thing about the programme
is that seriousness is barred, with some melancholy results. From
the artist who balances a set of parlor furniture on his nose to the
academic baboon, there is one concentrated, strenuous struggle for a
laugh. No artist can afford to do without it. It hangs like a solemn
and awful obligation over everything. Once in a while an artist who
juggles tubs on his feet is a comedian, but not always. It would seem
as if a serious person would be a relief now and then. But so far the
effort to introduce a serious note, even by dramatic artists, has been
discouraged. I suspect the serious sketches have not been of superlative
merit. Though this premium is put upon a laugh, everyone is aware of
the difference between the man who rings a bell at forty paces with a
rifle, and the man who smashes it with a club, and the loudest laugh is
sometimes yoked with a timid salary. The man who said: "Let me get out
of here or I'll lose my self-respect—I actually laughed," goes to the
vaudeville theatres, too, and must be reckoned with.


  [Illustration: The orchestra's place is filled by pianists.—Page 493.]

So far as the character of the entertainment goes, vaudeville has the
"open door." Whatever or whoever can interest an audience for thirty
minutes or less, and has passed quarantine, is welcome. The conditions
in the regular theatres are not encouraging to progress. To produce a
play or launch a star requires capital of from $10,000 upward. There is
no welcome and no encouragement. The door is shut and locked. And even
with capital, the conditions are all unfavorable to proof. But if you
can sing or dance or amuse people in any way; if you think you can write
a one-act play, the vaudeville theatre will give you a chance to prove
it. One day of every week is devoted to these trials. If at this trial
you interest a man who is looking for good material, he will put you
in the bill for one performance, and give you a chance at an audience,
which is much better. The result of this open-door attitude is a very
interesting innovation in vaudeville which is more or less recent,
but seems destined to last—the incursion of the dramatic artist into

  [Illustration: Singing Soubrettes.]

The managers of the vaudeville theatres are not emotional persons, and
there were some strictly business reasons back of the actor's entrance
into vaudeville. We do not live by bread alone, but by the saving
graces of the art of advertising. It was quite impossible to accentuate
sixteen or eighteen features of a bill. Some one name was needed to
give it character and meaning at a glance. A name that had already
become familiar was preferred. The actor's name served to head the bill
and expand the type and catch the eye, and hence arose the vaudeville

This word is not used in contracts, but it is established and
understood, and carries with it well-recognized rights and privileges,
such as being featured in the advertisements, use of the star
dressing-room, and the favorite place on the bill; for it is not
conducive to one's happiness or success to appear during the hours
favored by the public for coming in or going out. The manager was not
the loser, for many people who had never been inside a vaudeville
theatre were attracted thither by the name of some well-known and
favorite actor, and became permanent patrons of these houses.

At first the actor, who is sentimental rather than practical, was
inclined to the belief that it was beneath his dignity to appear on the
stage with "a lot of freaks," but he was tempted by salaries no one else
could afford to pay (sometimes as high as $500 to $1,000 per week) and
by the amount of attention afforded to the innovation by the newspapers.
He was told that if he stepped from the sacred precincts of art, the
door of the temple would be forever barred against him. The dignity of
an artist is a serious thing, but the dignity of the dollar is also a
serious thing. None of the dire suppositions happened. The door of the
temple proved to be a swinging door, opening easily both ways, and the
actor goes back and forth as there is demand for him and as the dollar
dictates. Indeed, the advertising secured by association with "a lot of
freaks" oiled the door for the actor's return to the legitimate drama
at an _increased salary_.

Manifestly, it has been a boon to the "legitimate" artist. To the
actor who has starred; who has had the care of a large company, with
its certain expenses and its uncertain receipts; who has, in addition,
responsibility for his own performance and for the work of the
individual members of his company and for the work of the company as a
whole, vaudeville offers inducements not altogether measured in dollars
and cents. He is rid not only of financial obligation, but of a thousand
cares and details that twist and strain a nervous temperament. He hands
over to the amiable manager the death of the widely mourned Mr. Smith,
and prevalent social functions, Lent and the circus, private and public
calamities, floods and railroad accidents, the blizzard of winter and
the heat of summer, desolating drought and murderous rains, the crops,
strikes and panics, wars and pestilences and opera. It is quite a bunch
of thorns that he hands over!

Time and terms are usually arranged by agents, who get five per cent.
of the actor's salary for their services. Time and terms arranged, the
rest is easy. The actor provides himself and assistants and his play or
vehicle. His income and outcome are fixed, and he knows at the start
whether he is to be a capitalist at the end of the year; for he runs
almost no risk of not getting his salary in the well-known circuits.

  [Illustration: The Monologuist.]

It is then incumbent on him to forward property and scene-plots,
photographs and cast to the theatre two weeks before he opens, and on
arrival, he plays twenty or thirty minutes in the afternoon and the
same at night. There his responsibility ends. It involves the trifling
annoyance of dressing and making up twice a day. In and about New York
the actor pays the railroad fares of himself and company, but when he
goes West or South, the railroad fares (not including sleepers) are
provided by the management.

  [Illustration: A couple of stage hands ran in and shut you out
   with two flats upon which were painted in huge letters
   "N. G."—Page 494.]

The great circuit which covers the territory west of Chicago keeps an
agent in New York and one in Chicago to facilitate the handling of their
big interests. These gentlemen purchase tickets, arrange for sleepers,
take care of baggage, and lubricate the wheels of progress from New York
to San Francisco and back again. The actor's only duty is to live up to
the schedule made and provided.

  [Illustration: The Human Lizard and the Human Frog.—Page 494.]

The main disadvantage of the Western trip is the loss of a week going
and one coming, as there is no vaudeville theatre between Omaha and San
Francisco. To avoid the loss of a week on my return I contracted for
two nights at the Salt Lake Theatre. My company consisted of four people
all told, and my ammunition, suited to that calibre, was three one-act
plays. To give the entire evening's entertainment at a first-class
theatre, at the usual prices, with four people was a novel undertaking.

I finally determined to add to my mammoth aggregation a distinctly
vaudeville feature, and while in San Francisco I engaged a young woman
who was to fill in the intermissions with her song-and-dance specialty.
Scorning painful effort to escape the conventional, I billed her as
"The Queen of Vaudeville," whatever that may mean. We were caught in a
tunnel fire at Summit and delayed thirty-six hours. I threatened the
railroad officials with various and awful consequences, but the best
I could do was to get them to drag my theatre-trunks around the tunnel
by hand over a mile and a half of mountain trail, newly made, and get
me into Salt Lake just in time to miss my opening night, with a big
advance sale and the heart-rendings incident to money refunded. We were
in time to play the second night, but my Queen, starting from 'Frisco on
a later train, had shown no signs of appearing when the curtain rose.
I made the usual apologies. The evening's entertainment was half over
when a carriage came tearing up to the theatre and my Queen burst into
the theatre without music, trunks, costumes, make-up, supper.

She borrowed a gown from my ingenue, which was much too small for her; a
pair of slippers from my wife, which were much too big for her; make-up
from both ladies, and went on. She leaned over, whispered the key to the
leader of the orchestra and began to sing. The orchestra evolved a chord
now and then, jiggled and wiggled, stalled, flew the track, crawled
apologetically back, did its amiable best individually, but its amiable
worst collectively. No mere man could have lived through it. But the
young woman justified my billing. She ruled, she reigned, she triumphed.
Pluck and good humor always win, and so did the Queen of Vaudeville.


When high-class musical artists and dramatic sketches were first
introduced into vaudeville, I understand policemen had to be stationed
in the galleries to compel respectful attention, but now these acts
are the principal features of every bill, and if they have real merit
the gallery-gods are the first to appreciate it. So it would seem that
vaudeville has torpedoed the ancient superstition that the manager
is always forced to give the public just what it wants. At first his
efforts were not taken seriously either by the actor himself or the
public, and many well-known artists failed to "make good," as the
expression is, largely because they used "canned" or embalmed plays;
that is, hastily and crudely condensed versions of well-known plays; but
many succeeded, and the result has been a large increase in the number
of good one-act farces and comedies, and a distinct elevation in the
performance and the patronage of the vaudeville theatres. This has been
a gain to everybody concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

It cannot be denied that the vaudeville "turn" is an experience for the
actor. The intense activity everywhere, orderly and systematic though
it is, is confusing. The proximity to the "educated donkey," and some
not so educated; the variegated and motley samples of all strange things
in man and beast; the fact that the curtain never falls, and the huge
machine never stops to take breath until 10.30 at night; the being
associated after the style of criminals with a number, having your name
or number shot into a slot in the proscenium arch to introduce you to
your audience; the shortness of your reign, and the consequent necessity
of capturing your audience on sight—all this, and some other things,
make the first plunge unique in the actor's experience.

  [Illustration: Irish Comedians.]

One comedian walks on and says, "Hello, audience!" and no further
introduction is needed; for the audience is trained to the quick and
sharp exigencies of the occasion, and neither slumbers nor sleeps.

One of the first things to surprise the actor in the "continuous"
house is the absence of an orchestra. The orchestra's place is filled
by pianists who labor industriously five hours a day each. As they
practically live at the piano, their knowledge of current music and
their adaptability and skill are often surprising, but they are the
most universally abused men I ever met. Everyone who comes off the
stage Monday afternoon says of the pianist that he ruins their songs;
he spoils their acts; he has sinister designs on their popularity, and
he wishes to wreck their future. The pianist, on the other hand, says
he doesn't mind his work—the five thumping, tyrannous hours—it is the
excruciating agony of being compelled to sit through the efforts of the
imbecile beings on the stage. It is the point of view!

The Monday-afternoon bill is a tentative one, but thereafter one's
position on the bill and the time of one's performance are fixed and
mathematical for the remainder of the week. The principal artists appear
only twice a day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening, but
there is an undivided middle, composed of artists not so independent
as some others, which "does three turns" a day (more on holidays), and
forms what is picturesquely known as the "supper bill." The "supper
bill" explains itself. It lasts from five o'clock, say, till eight or
eight-thirty. Who the singular people are who do not eat, or who would
rather see the undivided middle than eat, will always be a mystery to
me. But if they were not _in esse_, and in the audience, the management
would certainly never retain the "supper bill."

The man who arranges the programme has to have some of the qualities
of a general. To fix eighteen or nineteen different acts into the
exact time allotted, and so to arrange them that the performance shall
never lapse or flag; to see that the "turns" which require only a front
scene can be utilized to set the stage for the "turns" which require
a full stage, requires judgment and training; but there is very little
confusion even at the first performance, and none thereafter.

Many of our best comedians, men and women, have come from the variety
stage, and it is rather remarkable that some of our best actors have of
late turned their attention to it. This interchange of courtesies has
brought out some amusing contrasts. A clever comedian of a comic-opera
organization was explaining to me his early experience in the "old
days," when he was a song-and-dance man. "The tough manager," he said,
"used to stand in the wings with a whistle, and if he didn't like your
act he blew it and a couple of stage hands ran in and shut you out from
your audience with two flats upon which were painted in huge letters
'N. G.,' and that was the end of your engagement." Then he proceeded
to tell with honest pride of his struggles, and his rise in the world
of art. "And now," said he to me, "I can say '_cawn't_' as well as you

  [Illustration: German Dialect Comedians.]

Our first day in vaudeville was rich in experience for us, and
particularly for one of the members of my little company. He was already
busy at the dressing-table making up, when the two other occupants of
his room entered—middle-aged, bald-headed, bandy-legged little men,
who quickly divested themselves of their street-clothes, and then
mysteriously disappeared from sight. Suddenly a deep-drawn sigh welled
up from the floor, and turning to see what had become of his companions,
the actor saw a good-humored face peering up out of a green-striped
bundle of assorted legs and arms. He was face to face with the Human
Lizard, and his partner in the Batrachian business, the Human Frog.


"Good Lord! what are you doing?" exclaimed Mr. Roberts.

"Loosenin' up!"—laconically.

"But do you always do that?"

"Yes. _Now!_"

"Why _now_?"

"Well, I'm a little older than I was when I began this business, and yer
legs git stiff, ye know. I remember when I could tie a knot in either
leg without cracking a joint, but now I am four-flushing until I can
get enough to retire."


"Yes, doin' my turn one card shy. You understand."

And the striped bundle folded in and out on itself and tied itself in
bows, ascots, and four-in-hands until every joint in the actor's body
was cracking in sympathy.

Meanwhile his partner was standing apart with one foot touching the low
ceiling, and his hands clutching two of the clothes-hooks, striving for
the fifth card to redeem _his_ four-flush.

"Number fourteen!" shouts the call-boy through the door.

"That's us!"

And the four-flushers unwound and, gathering their heads and tails under
their arms, glided away for the stage.

Presently they were back panting and perspiring, with the information
that there was a man in one of the boxes who never turned his head
to look at their act; that there was a pretty girl in another box
fascinated by it; that the audience had relatives in the ice business
and were incapable of a proper appreciation of the double split and the
great brother double tie and slide—whatever that may be; and the two
athletes passed the alcohol bottle, and slipped gracefully back into
their clothes and private life.

  [Illustration: Rag-time Dance.]

This unique and original world has its conventions, too, quite as hard
and fast as elsewhere. The vaudeville dude always bears an enormous cane
with a spike in the end of it even though the style in canes may be a
bamboo switch. The comedian will black his face, though he never makes
the lightest pretence to negro characterization, under the delusion that
the black face and kinky hair and short trousers are necessary badges of
the funny man. The vaudeville "artist" and his partner will "slang" each
other and indulge in brutal personalities under the theory that they are
guilty of repartee; and with a few brilliant exceptions, they all steal
from each other jokes and gags and songs and "business," absolutely
without conscience. So that if a comedian has originated a funny story
that makes a hit in New York, by the time he reaches Philadelphia he
finds that another comedian has filched it and told it in Philadelphia,
and the originator finds himself a dealer in second-hand goods.

It is manifest, I think, that vaudeville is very American. It touches
us and our lives at many places. It appeals to the business man, tired
and worn, who drops in for half an hour on his way home; to the person
who has an hour or two before a train goes, or before a business
appointment; to the woman who is wearied of shopping; to the children
who love animals and acrobats; to the man with his sweetheart or sister;
to the individual who wants to be diverted but doesn't want to think or
feel; to the American of all grades and kinds who wants a great deal for
his money. The vaudeville theatre belongs to the era of the department
store and the short story. It may be a kind of lunch-counter art, but
then art is so vague and lunch is so real.

And I think I may add that if anyone has anything exceptional in the
way of art, the vaudeville door is not shut to that.


By William Maynadier Browne

One day, early in June—I cannot recall the exact date—Mrs. Timothy
Fennessey, née O'Connor, presented her husband with a fine ten-pound
boy. Now, the Fennesseys are of royal descent, as well as are the
O'Connors. The last of the House of Fennessey (Tim was collaterally
descended) was slain in battle, if I be not mistaken; still, I cannot
vouch for this. He may have been assassinated, struck by lightning,
or drowned in a bag, as many of Ireland's kings were. I am quite sure,
however, he did not die in his bed. Very, very few of those whose names
appear in the chronological table of Ireland's rulers reached so prosaic
an end as natural death.

Thus, by the wedding of Mollie O'Connor with Tim Fennessey, two royal
houses were united, and, as you may imagine, the Heir Apparent was a
personage of no small importance.

One week after the baby's birth, his grandfather, dear old O'Connor
himself, came to the office to call upon Mr. Cutting and to inform him
of the new arrival. Incidentally, I had heard the news some days before,
and had been from that time expecting a visit from O'Connor. So, when
I saw the office-door slowly and noiselessly move inward, I was quite
prepared to see the royal grandparent. But I was not prepared to see so
modest an entrance—to use the parlance of the stage.

The door moved inward, gingerly, for perhaps a foot; next I caught
sight of a homely, well-used hand clasped about its outer edge. Then
followed a much-brushed, tall silk hat of ancient design and of great
respectability. This hat was held by the fitting fellow of the hand I
had first seen and that still grasped the door-rim. Now, from between
the two, came in the white-halo-ed, wrinkled face of Michael J., lineal
descendant of Roderic, last King of Ireland.

"Mr. Cuttin', sor," I heard in a husky, happy, excited whisper; "are
you busy, sor?" Mr. Cutting looked up from his desk and called out in
his brusque, pleasant way:

"Hello! That you, Michael? Not too busy to see _you_. Come right in."
Then followed the real entrance; for what I have thus far described
might better be called "an appearance," to again use the vernacular of
the stage. With hurried, tender steps, O'Connor almost danced across the
room to where Mr. Cutting was seated. His face was completely covered
with one expansive smile of radiant happiness, and, as if to even
emphasize this, when he had reached his short journey's end, he upraised
both his hands, the right one still grasping the royal headgear, and
exclaimed in tones of awe at his own joy:

"Oh my, oh my, oh my! Shure, Mr. Cuttin', you should see him!"

"Who?" replied Mr. Cutting, laconically, and with careful indifference
to grammar.

"The little felly. Mollie, me daughter, that is now Mrs. Fennessey, do
be afther havin' a fine boy. Ah-h! He is a marvil."

"And how is Mollie?" asked Mr. Cutting.

"Shure Mollie's well. She is a fine, strong girl." O'Connor dismissed
the interpolation with a kindly wave of the hand and immediately
returned to the main proposition. "But the little felly!" At this point
he so far forgot himself as to pull his chair close to Mr. Cutting's
and to place one of his honest hands on that gentleman's knee. Mr.
Cutting quietly allowed his own to rest for a moment upon that of his
old friend, and said:

"Tell me all about him, Mike."

In response to this invitation, O'Connor gave his enthusiasm, and his
narrative and descriptive powers full rein. "Well, Mr. Cuttin', sor,"
he began, with manifest determination to do the subject full justice;
"as I said before, he is a marvil. Listen, now; yister' mawnin' I wint,
as is me custom, to see Mollie an' the little felly."

Here Mr. Cutting, with gentle malice aforethought, again checked
the flow, as he gravely winked at me, aside. "By the way, how is Tim
Fennessey?" he asked.

"Just the same," O'Connor replied to the interruption. "He do be doin'
his worruk as ushal—but wid wan per-pet-chill grin on him." The old man
paused long enough to chuckle, then proceeded: "Shure we all av us has
that. But lemme till ye, sor. When I leaned over to look at him——"

"Who?" said Mr. Cutting again, keenly enjoying the narration, and
evidently anxious to have no mistake or lapse in its progression.

"The little felly, av course," said O'Connor, for once, I believe,
doubting Mr. Cutting's mental capacity. "Begorra, phwat do you think,
sor? Up kem the two little fists av him—the two to wanst, moind you—an'
him but wan week ould!—an' grab me be me whishkers, here. Thin he pulled
_an'_ he pulled. Well, Mr. Cuttin', sor, what wid de drag on me hair,
an' the joy in me heart, I akchilly cried. Then the ould woman—she
is mostly at Mollie's now, except whin I needs me meals—you know how
modthers is, sor—she sez to me, 'Michael, dear,' she sez, 'go away now,
you, from the child. You are annoyin' him,' she sez; an' all the while
me unabil to move." O'Connor threw both hands in the air, and then
let them fall softly on his knees as he added, earnestly, "He will be
a grand man, sor. So, whishper! I kem to emply you." As he finished,
he leaned back in his chair with an air of importance hitherto quite
foreign to him.

"How so?" asked Mr. Cutting, his face abeam with lack of calculation.

Just here I must digress. Up to this point O'Connor had entirely ignored
my presence in the office. He hadn't even looked my way, though I knew
him well and deserved better treatment at his hands in return for the
few favors I had been able to do him in the past. Still, I was quite
alive to his mental condition, entirely due to "the little felly," and
knowing, as I did, that all Mr. Cutting's labors in his behalf had been
labors of love, and, too, I confess, because I wished to call O'Connor's
attention to myself, I could not resist a chance remark. So, when Mr.
Cutting asked, "How so?" I interjected, before O'Connor had time to

"As referee—between him and the little fellow." The effect upon O'Connor
was instantaneous. He whipped round upon me, stared an instant, and
then burst into unconstrained laughter. Mr. Cutting and I joined him,
while the old man rose from his seat and slapped his bended knees with
delight. Then he crossed to my desk, his hand clumsily extended and
apology in every line of his good face.

"Good-morning, sor," he said, as I rose to shake hands with him, "I
forgot me manners lately, sor, but—but me moind is occypied, sor." Then,
with his free hand across his mouth (I still held the other) he laughed
again until he found the breath to say:

"A referee bechune the little felly an' me! Ye young divvil!"—the last
remark being accented by an entirely playful poke upon my shoulder. An
instant afterward he was all contrition and further apology, which I
checked by reminding him of his intention to "emply" Mr. Cutting. At
my reminder, he re-crossed to my senior, and resumed his seat and his
earnestness with noticeable celerity.

"'Tis this, sor," he began, out of breath from his laughing, but
becoming at once grave; "since the little felly kem, I have been sayin'
to meself, constant, 'some day you will die.' All men does, some day,
sor, God rest their souls! And then—well, Mr. Cuttin', sor, 'tis me juty
to make me will."

I saw Mr. Cutting wince a little at the premonition of the
responsibility that must inevitably come to him. I knew that, busy
man as he was, he could refuse O'Connor nothing, whether of time or
thought. Indeed, I doubt if anybody except O'Connor could have made
an inroad upon Mr. Cutting's hours and brain on this particular day.
At the moment of O'Connor's calling, Mr. Cutting was in the intricate
midst of a complicated contract he was drawing for the Traction Co., of
which he was counsel. Still, as every man to be thoroughly able must,
he possessed the three qualities of patience, kindness of heart, and
never-failing sense of humor. So he said:

"Well, Michael, if you want to make your will, I will do my best to draw
it up for you. But a will is a pretty important matter."

"That's why I come to you, sor," said O'Connor, simply. I saw Mr.
Cutting's eyes glisten with pleasure as he answered:

"Tell me what you want done with your property."

"That's what I don't know, sor," was O'Connor's reply. Here seemed to be
a hopeless situation, until it cleared when the old man, after pulling
at his beard for a while, added: "I do be thinkin' about the little

"Yes?" said Mr. Cutting, with all the encouragement rising inflection
can give.

"Thin," O'Connor responded, "there's the ould woman, who has been a good
wife to me." Here he ruminated, his hardened hand across his seasoned
lips. At length he added: "No man could ask a betther, God knows.
An', thin, there's Mollie, me daughter—a shweet, good gurrul, an' his
modther. But I was thinkin' about the little felly—" O'Connor's supply
of speech became temporarily exhausted and the sound of his voice ceased
with a long sigh of inability to further express himself.

"There may, some day, be other little fellies—or fillies," suggested
Mr. Cutting, unable to resist the temptation.

"That's so-o," said O'Connor, thoughtfully. "Shure I forgot that." He
leaned back in his chair and considered.

"You love them all, Michael," Mr. Cutting interposed. "Your wife and
your daughter as well as your grandson?"

The reply came quickly. "I do that, sor. God bless them, ivery wan.
That's what's perplexin' me, sor." Sweeter and better perplexity could
no man have. Kindly anxiety overspread the old face.

"You have, of course, entire confidence in your son-in-law?" The
question was a steady one, fully anticipating the answer that came at

"I'd thrust Tim wid me life. He is a good man, an' a kind man—an' he
niver drinks."

"Then, Michael," said Mr. Cutting, gravely and after no slight pause,
"the best will you can make is no will."

"How is that?"

"In the first place," Mr. Cutting explained, "if you make no will, it
can't be broken." This was a bull that decidedly impressed the would-be

"That's thrue, sor," he replied, reflectively.

"In the second place," Mr. Cutting continued, "by leaving no will, those
you love will, I believe, benefit by your estate precisely as you would
wish them to. The law provides for just that."

O'Connor pondered long. At last he said:

"Well, Mr. Cuttin', sor, if all I need is the law, I'm sorry I bodthered
_you_." I ducked into the recesses of my roll-top desk, whence, after
an interval, during which I could almost hear Mr. Cutting restraining
his laughter (as I was mine), he replied:

"No bother at all, Michael." Then he added, after a sigh, "I believe I
have advised you for the best."

"Ye have that, sor. And I knowed you would." Thus the matter of the will
was closed, and nothing further was said regarding it. But I thought
I could see there was something more on O'Connor's mind. I knew the
unfinished contract was on Mr. Cutting's, though he sat and patiently
awaited further developments, meanwhile passing his thumb and forefinger
along a lead-pencil, which, in the passing, he turned and turned,
alternately resting point and end upon the blotter on his desk. During
this, O'Connor, seated on the edge of his chair, hesitated whether to
rise and go, or to further unburden his mind. Mr. Cutting relieved the

"What is the little boy's name, Mike?" he asked.

"Shure 'tis that I wished to exshplain, sor," O'Connor hastened to
reply, his hesitation gone on the instant. "Whin he was born I sez to
my wife, 'Bridget Ann,' I sez, 'we will name him Hinry Haitch Cuttin','
I sez. 'We will do no such thing,' she sez. 'Tim an' Mollie will name
the child. 'Tis no affair ov ours,' she sez. So, sor—well—" O'Connor's
finish was tinged with regret, and accented by a hopeless wave of the

"And your wife was entirely right, Michael," Mr. Cutting answered,
quickly; "although I appreciate and thank you for the compliment you
wished to pay me." He was now making marks on his blotter, the pencil in
position to jot down a memorandum. "What name did his mother give him?"
As the reply came, I saw him let the pencil fall. There was no need of
a memorandum.

"Michael Joseph, after mesilf, sor." O'Connor looked very sheepish, but
there was an undernote of pleasure in his answer.

"Eminently proper, and the best name he could have," said Mr. Cutting,
rising, and thus supplying the necessary fillip to his client's
readiness to depart. He walked to the door with the old man, his hand
on the royal shoulder, and bade him a warm "good-by," sending his
kindest regards and best wishes to all the members of the Royal Family,
especially the Heir Apparent.

Then, assuming his most professional manner, and to my surprise making
ready to go out, Mr. Cutting remarked to me:

"I shall leave the drawing-up of the contract until my return. I
am now going out to luncheon. I may be a little longer than usual
because, incidentally, I shall select a silver utensil for one Michael
Joseph O'Connor, Junior, and give directions in regard to a suitable
inscription to be thereupon engraved."

As he opened the door to leave the office, out broke his pleasant
laugh, and I heard it continuing for some moments after the sound of
his foot-fall upon the stone hallway had died out in the distance.

It must have been two months after this—indeed, I am sure it was in
August, because Mr. Cutting was away on his vacation, and I was alone
in the office—that O'Connor called again. I should state, though, in
passing, that he had called once in the meantime to thank Mr. Cutting
for a certain silver mug, duly inscribed:

                     MICHAEL JOSEPH O'CONNOR, JUNIOR

                            FROM HIS AND HIS
                          GRANDFATHER'S FRIEND

                         HENRY HARTWELL CUTTING.

I have an idea, although I have no word or proof of any kind to uphold
it, that O'Connor regarded the omission of "_Esq._" after "_Cutting_"
as an oversight. Still, he was royally pleased by the gift, and assured
Mr. Cutting it should be kept with the greatest care among the most
cherished of the family possessions, and at this point, I remember,
Mr. Cutting had occasion again to advise his client, and to the effect
that if the "little felly" were not to make actual, daily use of the
gift—not only as a utensil, but also to bite, pound, dent and treat
at will—he, the "little felly," would never acquire real affection for
it. Mr. Cutting further explained that it was from such treatment and
familiarity real affection sprang; and that he wanted the recipient to
come to love the gift—and the giver, too, perhaps, some day. This advice
the client accepted with entire faith in its wisdom; as a good client
should always accept advice from a good counsellor. But all this was
during O'Connor's intermediate visit—not at the time to which I refer.

That time was on a very hot day in August; in fact, it was, as
O'Connor tersely put it, when he had seated himself beside me, "too hot

"Mr. Cutting is away, sor?" was his next remark, made with an inflection
that showed it to be not only a statement but an interrogatory as well,
intended to serve as an introduction to matters of import. I replied,

"Yes, Mr. Cutting is on his vacation. Is there anything _I_ can do for

O'Connor's method of approach melted at once into complete confidence.
You may well imagine my pleasure at being consulted, as follows, in my
senior's absence:

"It was you I wished to see, sor," the old man went on, placing his tall
hat on my desk and his moist red handkerchief within the hat. "Ye have
been a friend to me more than once, and I wish your advice." He slowly
drew an honest, well-worn wallet from his hip pocket. I protested.
"Ye are a young felly, sor, and this is different," he said. "'Tis me
intention to pay you for the service I ask."

From "young felly" to "little felly" was a quick mental transition, and
instantly I grasped the opportunity that would enable me, as well as
the senior counsel, to bear gifts to the Heir Apparent, so I said:

"Well, Mr. O'Connor, if you wish to employ me, of course—" I paused,
while he extracted and laid upon my desk a battered ten dollar bill. I
immediately secluded it.

In justice to my poor self I must digress once more. The "little felly"
now possesses, in addition to a silver mug, (and the "mug" Heaven gave
him as a lineal descendant) a silver spoon and a silver fork of no mean
dimensions, suitably inscribed. However, that is nobody's business but
my own. Probably that is why I tell it. I never could keep my business
to myself, any more than I now can O'Connor's.

"'Tis like this, sor," the old fellow proceeded. "I have it in me moind
to go to th' ould counthree. I kem over whin I was a lad, so-o—well,
sor, there is much I dishremember now. But I would like some day to
tell the little felly all about it, and—" Here he paused a moment. "Me
sister is there, too," he added, "and sor, well—I would be afther askin'
you to arrange the thrip for me. I wish to have it done decent, d'ye
moind, and, whishper! I don't know the ropes mesilf, and I don't want
the odthers to know I don't know them, d'ye moind?"

Here was confidence from a client, indeed.

Never mind about the succeeding details, consisting of a letter of
credit, exchange, passage, and an excellent stateroom in the second
cabin. To all these details I attended personally, and can and do vouch
for their careful accomplishment.

On a certain day I shall never forget—it was in the latter part of the
same August—I stood looking out of the window of our office. From it
I had a clear view of the harbor and of the vessels that came to and
left it. Soon, a Cunarder glided into my vista, and, passing out, left
a quickly lost picture of white wake, purple sea, and low hanging gray
smoke. But the thought in my heart as I stood and watched remains:

"God bless his kindly old heart! and God grant he may return safe and
sound to the 'little felly.'"

I speak of it as a thought. It must have been a prayer, so quickly was
it answered. As I stood watching the slow blending of the smoke with the
mellow light of the afternoon, I heard behind me a gentle, initiatory

I turned. There stood O'Connor himself, hat in hand, in the centre of
the office. I can tell you nothing of his entrance.

"What in the world!" I exclaimed and asked.

He hung his dear old head, and fingered the rim of the same tall hat
I knew so well, while he slowly passed it round and round between his
hands. At last he spoke. His voice was all appeal; without a tone of

"I decided not to go."


"The little felly."

"You went aboard?"


I ventured, from intuition, "But at the last moment you felt homesick?
Is that it?"

He answered me over a half-turned, bashful, aged, and patient shoulder.


"So you left the boat before she sailed?"

"Jist that."

"And your baggage?"

"It's gone—wid the boat. But—but that's no differ."

Once more—never mind about the details. We had a long talk, our client
and I. I learned that his wife and daughter, Tim Fennessey, too, had
parted from him at his own request, a quarter of an hour before the
sailing of the liner—"To have no scene," he said—and finally I learned
what I could do in his behalf. It was to ease his return to his own

"Now, sor," he said, at the close of our interview, "will you be so kind
as to go before me and warn me wife?"

"Tell her you changed your mind at the last moment? Is that it?"
I asked.

"Yis, sor, 'tis jist that." Then, he added, with the first semblance of
assertiveness, "And it was me right."

"Unquestionably," I answered. Then I suggested that we start on our
journey, at the end of which I was to be Ambassador Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Royal Consort.

During our walk through the almost deserted streets, where the heat of
the passing day still hung in sluggish malignity, we had plenty of time
for further consultation. Old O'Connor at my side, but never once in
step, gave me minute instructions.

"You see, sor," he said, by way of additional explanation, "the windie
from me place looks to the harbor, and we can see the steamboats as they
comes and goes. 'Twas all arranged the little felly should be in wan
o' the windies to see me as I wint away; well, when the orf'cer o' the
boat sez that all thim that wasn't intendin' to go should go back to
the dock, I sez to mesilf, "_Are_ you intendin' to go?" Thin I thinks to
mesilf, 'Shure some odther day will do as well and 'tis as well to wait
until the little felly is big enough to go with me and see for himself,'
dye moind? Wid that I walks off av the boat and comes to your offus."

"Leaving your baggage on board," I added.

"Yis, sor—but that's no differ—shure the duds was all new, and I care
little for thim." His eagerness increased as we neared his home, down
on the wharf, and above his junk-store and saloon. So our conferences
came in short sentences.

"I will get your baggage back," I began.

"Can you do that, sor?"

"Certainly. I will see the steamship company." He sighed comfortably.

"Thank you, sor. 'Twill be a favor to me. But, whishper! When we reaches
my place, I will shtand outside forninst the corner. Thin, do you go
inside and exshplain to me wife and prepare her for me return, do ye

I quite understood, and said so. As we turned our last corner, we caught
the soft caress of a gentle, belated sea-breeze, and I felt my heart
uplift and my brain clear.

"Go on, now, you," was his parting instruction. "I will wait here till
ye come back and tell me."

You may be sure I made my way to the royal mansion as quickly as the
temperature would permit. In response to my knock at the inner door, it
was opened by Mrs. O'Connor herself. She greeted me with quiet, simple
courtesy and, as soon as I was seated and she had remarked upon the
heat of the day (her remarks fitting exactly into my own opinion of
the weather) she asked, before I had time to even set the wheels of my
diplomacy in motion:

"Is Michael on the corner, sor?"

"Yes," I gasped, any further need for diplomacy gone.

"Tell him, sor, if you will kindly, that Tim and Mollie is here, and
the baby, and we have supper most ready and is waiting for him."

"You knew, then?" I asked, weakly.

"Shure we all av us see him leave the boat, sor. We niver thought he'd
go. And thank you, kindly, sor, for your trouble." Mrs. O'Connor crossed
with me to the door, and a minute smile just beginning at the corners
of her shrewd, old mouth let me out.

I soon came back to my principal in the affair. "Everything is all
right," I said to him, and with the usual presumption of an ambassador,
added, "I have fixed it. You needn't worry."

"God bless you, sor," he said as he grasped my hand. "I'll be in again
soon to see you, sor. And now I—I think I will be gettin' home."

So we parted, he to his loved domain, I to my club.

I don't know the rest of the story.



By Brander Matthews

Suddenly he found himself wide awake. He had been lost in sleep,
dreamless and spaceless; and now, without warning, his slumber had left
him abruptly and for no reason that he could guess. Although he strained
his ear he caught the echo of no unusual sound. He listened in vague
doubt whether there might not be someone moving about in the apartment;
but he could hear nothing except the shrill creak of the brakes of a
train on the elevated railroad nearly a block away. Wilson Carpenter
was in the habit of observing his own feelings, and he was surprised
to note that he did not really expect to detect any physical cause for
his unexpected awakening. Sleep had left him as inexplicably as it had

He lay there in bed with no restlessness; he heard the regular breathing
of his wife, who was sleeping at his side; he saw the faint illumination
from the door open into the next room where the baby was also asleep.
He looked toward the window, but no ray of light was yet visible; and
he guessed it to be about four o'clock in the morning, perhaps a little
earlier. In that case he had not been in bed more than two or three
hours at the most. He wondered why he had waked thus unexpectedly, since
he had had a fatiguing day. Perhaps it was the excitement—there was
no doubt that he had had his full share of excitement that evening—and
he thrilled again as he recalled the delicious sensation of dull dread
yielding at last to the certainty of success.

He had played for a heavy stake and he had won. That was just what he
had been doing—gambling with fate, throwing dice with fortune itself.
That was what every dramatic author had to do every time he brought
out a new play. The production of a piece at an important New York
theatre was a venture as aleatory almost as cutting a pack of cards,
and the odds were always against the dramatist. And as the young man
quietly recalled the events of the evening it seemed to him that the
excitement of those who engineer corners in Wall Street must be like
his own anxiety while the future of his drama hung in the balance, only
theirs could not but be less keen than his, less poignant, for he was
playing his game with men and women, while what they touched were but
inanimate stocks. His winning depended upon the actors and actresses who
had bodied forth his conception. A single lapse of memory or a single
slip of the tongue, and the very sceptical audience of the first night
might laugh in the wrong place, and so cut themselves off from sympathy;
and all his labor would go for nothing, and all his hopes would shrivel
before his eyes. Of a truth it is the ordeal by fire that the dramatist
must undergo; and there had been moments that long swift evening when
he had felt as though he were tied to the stake, and awaiting only the
haggard squaw who was to apply the torch.

Now the trial was over and the cause was gained. There had been too
many war-pieces of late, so the croakers urged, and the public would
not stand another drama of the rebellion. But he had not been greatly
discouraged, for in his play the military scenes were but the setting
for a story of everyday heroism, of human conflict, of man's conquest
of himself. It was the simple strength of this story that had caught the
spectators, before the first act was half over, and held them breathless
as situation followed situation. At the adroitly spaced comic scenes
the audience had gladly relaxed, joyously relieving the emotional
strain with welcome laughter. The future of the play was beyond all
question; of that the author felt assured, judging not so much by the
mere applause as by the tensity of the interest aroused, and by the
long-drawn sigh of suspense he had heard so often in the course of the
evening. He did not dread the acrid criticisms he knew he should find
in some of the morning papers, the writers of which would be bitterer
than usual, since the writer of the new play had been a newspaper man

The author of "A Bold Stroke" knew what its success meant to him. It
meant a fortune. The play would perhaps run the season out in New York,
and this was only the middle of October. With matinées on Wednesday
as well as on Saturday, two hundred performances in the city were not
impossible. Then next season there would be at least two companies on
the road. He ought to make $25,000 by the piece, and perhaps more. The
long struggle just to keep his head above water, just to get his daily
bread, just to make both ends meet—that was over forever. He could move
out of the little Harlem flat to which he had brought his bride two
years before; and he could soon get her the house she was longing for
somewhere in the country, near New York, where the baby could grow up
under the trees.

The success of the play meant more than mere money, so the ambitious
young author was thinking as he lay there sleepless. It meant praise,
too—and praise was pleasant. It meant recognition—and recognition was
better than praise, for it would open other opportunities. The money
he made by the play would give him a home, and also leisure for thought
and for adequate preparation before he began his next piece. He had done
his best in writing the war-drama; he had spared no pains and neglected
no possibility of improvement; it was as good as he could make it.
But there were other plays he had in mind, making a different appeal,
quieter than his military piece, subtler; and these he could now risk
writing, since the managers would believe in him after the triumph of
"A Bold Stroke."

It would be possible for him hereafter to do what he wanted to do and
what he believed himself best fitted to do. It had always seemed to
him that New York opened an infinity of vistas to the dramatist. He
intended to seize some of this opulent material and to set on the stage
the life of the great city as he had seen it during his five years of
journalism. He knew that it did a man good to be a reporter for a little
while, if he had the courage to cut himself loose before it was too
late, before journalism had corroded its stigma. His reporting had taken
him into strange places now and again; but it had also taken him into
the homes of the plain people who make New York what it is. Society,
as Society was described in the Sunday papers, he knew little about,
and he cared less; he was not a snob, if he knew himself. But humanity
was unfailingly interesting and unendingly instructive; and it was more
interesting, and more instructive in the factories and in the tenements
than it was in the immense mansions on Lenox Hill.

His work as a reporter had not only sharpened his eyes and broadened his
sympathies; it had led him to see things that made him think. He had
not inherited his New England conscience for nothing; and his college
studies in sociology, that seemed so bare to him as an undergraduate,
had taken on a new aspect since he had seen for himself the actual
working of the inexorable laws of life. To sneer at the reformers
who were endeavoring to make the world better had not been easy for
him, even he was straining to achieve the false brilliance of the
star-reporter; and now that he was free to say what he thought, he was
going to seize the first opportunity to help along the good cause, to
show those rich enough to sit in the good seats in the theatre that the
boy perched up in the gallery in his shirt-sleeves was also a man and
a brother.

The young playwright held that a play ought to be amusing, of course,
but he held also that it might give the spectators something to think
about after they got home. He was going to utilize his opportunity to
show how many failures there are, and how many there must be, if the
fittest is to survive, and how hard it is to fail, how bitter, how
pitiful! With an effort he refrained from saying out loud enough to
waken his wife the quotation that floated back to his memory:

     Whether at Naishápúr or Babylon,
     Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
       The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop
     The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.

His own success, now it had come, found him wondering at it. He was a
modest young fellow at bottom, and he really did not know why he had
attained the prize so many were striving to grasp. Probably it was due
to the sturdiness of the stock he came from; and he was glad that his
ancestors had lived cleanly and had left him a healthy body and a sober
mind. His father and his mother had survived long enough to see him
through college and started in newspaper work in New York. They had been
old-fashioned in their ways, and he was aware that they might not have
approved altogether of his choice of a profession, since it would have
seemed very strange to them that a son of theirs should earn his living
by writing plays. Yet he grieved that they had gone before he was able
to repay any of the sacrifices they had made for him; it was the one
blot on his good fortune that he could not share it with them in the

The future! Yes, the future was in his power at last. As he lay there in
the darkness he said to himself that all his ambitions were now almost
within his grasp. He was young and well educated; he had proved ability
and true courage; he had friends; he had a wife whom he loved and who
loved him; his first-born was a son, already almost able to walk. Never
before had his prospects appeared so smiling, and never before had he
foreseen how his hopes might be fulfilled. And yet, now as he thought
of the future, for the first time his pulse did not beat faster. When it
was plain to him that he might soon have the most of the things he cared
for, he found himself asking whether, after all, he really did care for
them so much. He was happy, but just then his happiness was passive.
The future might be left to take care of itself all in good time. He
was wide awake, yet he had almost the languor of slumber; it surprised
him to find himself thus unenergetic and not wanting to be roused to
battle, even if the enemy were in sight. He thought of the Nirvana that
the oriental philosophers sought to gain as the final good; and he asked
himself if perhaps the West had not still something to learn from the

Afar, in the silence of the night, he heard the faint clang of an
ambulance-bell, and he began to think of the huge city now sunk in
slumber all around him. He had nearly four million fellow-citizens; and
in an hour or two or three they would awaken and go forth to labor. They
would fill the day with struggle, vying one with another, each trying to
make his footing secure; and now and again one of them would fall and be
crushed to the ground. They would go to bed again at night, wearied out,
and they would sleep again, and waken again, and begin the battle again.
Most of them would take part in the combat all in vain, since only a few
of them could hope to escape from the fight unvanquished. Most of them
would fall by the wayside or be trampled under foot on the high road.
Most of them would be beaten in the battle and would drop out of the
fight, wounded unto death. And for the first time all this ceaseless
turmoil and unending warfare seemed to him futile and purposeless.

What was victory but a chance to engage again in the combat? To win
to-day was but to have a right to enter the fray again to-morrow. His
triumph that evening in the theatre only opened the door for him; and if
he was to hold his own he must make ready to wrestle again and again.
Each time the effort would be harder than the last. And at the end,
what? He would be richer in money, perhaps, but just then money seemed
to have no absolute value. He would do good perhaps; but perhaps also
he might do harm, for he knew himself not to be infallible. He would
not be more contented, he feared, for he had discovered already that
although success is less bitter than failure, it rarely brings complete
satisfaction. If it were contentment that he really was seeking, why
not be satisfied now with what he had won? Why not quit? Why not step
out of the ranks and throw down his musket and get out of the way and
leave the fighting to those who had a stomach for it?

As he asked himself these questions a gray shroud of melancholy was
wrapped about him and all the brightness of youth was quenched in him.
Probably this was the inevitable reaction after the strain of his long
effort. But none the less it left him looking forward to the end of his
life and he saw himself withered and racked with pain; he saw his young
wife worn and ugly, perhaps dead—and the ghastly vision of the grave
glimpsed before him; he saw his boy dead also, dead in youth; and he
saw himself left alone and lonely in his old age, and still struggling,
struggling, struggling in vain and forever.

Then he became more morbid even and he felt he was truly alone now, as
every one of us must be always. He loved his wife and she loved him,
and there was sympathy and understanding between them; but he doubted if
he really knew her, for he felt sure she did not really know him. There
were thoughts in his heart sometimes that he was glad she did not guess;
and no doubt she had emotions and sentiments she did not reveal to him.
After all, every human being must be a self-contained and repellent
entity; and no two of them can ever feel alike or think alike. He and
his wife came of different stocks, with a different training, with a
different experience of life, with different ideals; and although they
were united in love, they could not but be separate and distinct to all
eternity. And as his wife was of another sex from his, so his boy was
of another generation, certain to grow up with other tastes and other

Wilson Carpenter's marriage had been happy and his boy was all he could
wish,—and yet—and yet—Is this all that life can give a man? A little joy
for the few who are fortunate, a little pleasure, and then—and then—For
the first time he understood how it was that a happy man sometimes
commits suicide. And he smiled as he thought that if he wished to choose
death at the instant of life when the outsider would suppose his future
to be brightest, now was the moment. He knew that there ought to be a
revolver in the upper drawer of the table at the side of the bed. He
turned gently; and then he lay back again, smiling bitterly at his own

A heavy wagon rumbled along down the next street, and he heard also the
whistle of a train on the river-front. These signs of returning day did
not interest him at that moment when—so it seemed to him, although he
was aware this was perfectly unreasonable—when he was at a crisis in
his life.

Then there came to him another quatrain of Omar's, a quatrain he had
often quoted with joy in its stern vigor and its lofty resolve:

     So when the Angel of the darker Drink
     At last shall find you by the river-brink,
       And, offering his Cup, invite your Soul
     Forth to your Lips to quaff—you shall not shrink.

And youth came to his rescue again, and hope rose within him once more;
and his interest in the eternal conflict of humanity sprang up as keen
as ever.

The mood of craven surrender passed from him as abruptly as it had come,
leaving him older, and with a vague impression as though he had had a
strange and unnatural experience. He knew again that life is infinitely
various, and that it is worth while for its own sake; and he wondered
how it was that he had ever doubted it. Even if struggle is the rule
of our existence in this world, the fight is its own reward; it brings
its own guerdon; it gives a zest to life; and sometimes it even takes
the sting from defeat. The ardor of the combat is bracing; and fate is
a foeman worthy of every man's steel.

So long as a man does his best always, his pay is secure; and the
ultimate success or failure matters little after all, for though he be
the sport of circumstance, he is the master of himself. To be alone
even—in youth or in age—is not the worst thing that can befall, if a
man is not ashamed of the companionship of his own soul. If his spirit
is unafraid and ready to brave the bludgeon of chance, then has man a
stanch friend in himself, and he can boldly front whatever the future
has in store for him. Only a thin-blooded weakling casts down his
weapons for nothing and flees around the arena; the least that a man of
even ordinary courage can do is to stand to his arms and to fight for
his life to the end.

Wilson Carpenter had no idea how long it was that he had been lying
awake motionless, staring at the ceiling. There were signs of dawn now,
and he heard a cart rattle briskly up to the house next door.

Perhaps his wife heard this also, for she turned and put out one arm
caressingly, smiling at him in her sleep. He took her hand in his,
gently, and held it. Peace descended upon him and his brain ceased to
torment itself with the future or with the present, or with the past.

He was conscious of no effort not to think, nor indeed of any
unfulfilled desire on his part. It seemed to him that he was floating
lazily on a summer sea, not becalmed but bound for no destination. And
before he knew it, he was again asleep.


[Sidenote: A Vain Seeking]

The recent announcements by several men of science that they believe
that they have sure proofs of the immortality of the soul may not be
so important as they seem to the gentlemen who make them, but at least
they are interesting. The proofs that are relied upon are chiefly
communications received through mediums, which are said to be so
remarkable in the knowledge which they imply, that those who receive
them are driven to conclude that they come from the spirits of persons
who lately lived on earth. To the average observer spiritualism seems
a labyrinth of frauds and mysteries, some deep, some shallow, wherein
those who wander grope from delusion to delusion, and arrive nowhere.
The cry is not so much that all spiritualism is false, as that whether
false or not it is all unprofitable. That is the usual attitude the
intelligent public has toward it, and it is based on observation which
is wide if not profound. For though we hear of reputations damaged and
lives apparently misdirected as a result of spiritualistic experiments,
we rarely hear of persons whom spiritualism has helped. The quest seems
trivial and disconcerting; not useful.

Few of us think that spiritualism will ever prove the immortality
of the soul to the satisfaction of the scientific mind. Still when
Professor Hyslop of Columbia University declares that that very thing
is about to be done, we are quite ready to give him our attention.
We have heard before of Mrs. Piper, the Cambridge medium, who has
been for ten or twelve years in the charge of the Psychical Research
Society. We know that she is looked upon as a remarkable medium, and
that the closest watching for years past has failed to detect her in
deceit. It is through her Professor Hyslop says that the proofs which
he finds satisfactory have come. They have come then by a notable and
reputable route, and they are indorsed by an observer whose indorsement
is probably as good as can be given, for Professor Hyslop is not only
a man of high character but of a ripe experience in matters of this
sort. Psychology is his specialty. He knows the tricks of commercial
spiritualism, and has often detected and exposed them. It is human to
err, and it is entirely possible that his certainties may turn vague
on exposure, and that his conclusions will not stand; but certainly his
proofs deserve and will receive respectful inspection.

But, of course, the question is not whether or not we are going
to believe the soul immortal, but merely whether we shall consider
that these newly advertised proofs of it are worth anything. Most of
us instinctively believe in a future life as it is, and will go on
believing in it however new proofs may triumph or fail. We think there
must be a future life. It is not improbable. What is grossly improbable
is that there is none. The wonder is not that there should seem to be
feeble glimmerings of intercourse between us who are still here and
those who have gone before. The wonder is that it has proved to be so
extraordinarily difficult to speak across a grave. Professor Hyslop has
probability overwhelmingly with him in his general contention. If we
are not agitated by his promises and impatient to read his disclosures,
it is because proofs of the sort he deals with have heretofore been
inconclusive and disappointing. For some reason the life of earth seems
to have been isolated. We scarcely even dream of what life may have
preceded it, and though we do dream much about the life that is to
follow, we gather surprisingly little information about it. Still, all
knowledge is hidden from man until he finds it out. It is not forbidden
to him to discover the secrets of earth. Who shall say that it is
unlawful to go farther, if he can, and pry into the mysteries that seem
to lie outside of earth? Is it trespassing to seek for sure tokens of
another life? Who shall say so? The most that conservative observers may
say is that, so far, spiritualism has seemed trivial, misleading, and
inexpedient. That demoralization, if not madness, has seemed to lie that
way; and that those who have been content to go about their business
here, taking the future life on trust, have seemed to fare better than
those who have directed earthly energies into a search for proofs of
unearthly facts.

It may be that science is about to buttress the edifice that faith has
reared; but proofs or no proofs, most of us will continue to read "to be
continued" at the bottom of the page of this life, and simply wait, each
for himself, for the page to be turned. The story does not conclude: it
simply breaks off. Of course there will be more of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the recent war with Spain, a statement often made was that women
were more in favor of it than men. If its truth or falsity cannot be
determined, one may wonder at least how there could have been the
slightest justification for it. Hardly any fact in history thrusts
itself to the front more persistently and conspicuously than the evils
that war brings upon women. Not even the men that bear the brunt of
battle pay a greater tribute to Mars than they. To be sure, they do
not to-day as in the past fall a prey to a savage soldiery. "Civilized
warfare" has done much for them, as it has for men. But there are
still moral, intellectual, and economic effects that ought to make them
all members of peace societies and ardent advocates of international

Several hundred thousand men cannot be withdrawn from the industrial
pursuits of a country and assigned to the work of destruction, or
to preparations for it, without a profound disturbance. The greatest
harm thus wrought is not the enormous waste, positive and negative—the
unproductive consumption, as the economists call it, and the check to
the production of so many toilers; it is the diversion of women from the
lighter duties that belong to them to the heavier ones that belong to
men. Whenever or wherever war has levied on the workshop and the field,
they have had to fill the vacant places. It is not the savage alone that
becomes lost to the feeling of courtesy and humanity and turns his women
into beasts of burden. The most enlightened nations commit the same
barbarous offence. The drain upon the English working-classes during the
Napoleonic wars forced even young children into the exhausting work of
adults, leading to a physical degeneracy that was thought to threaten
the primacy of the Anglo-Saxon. How many American tourists in Europe
realize the terrible significance of the spectacle of women toiling
in the fields or dragging through the streets a heavily laden cart?
To most of them it seems rather picturesque and attractive. Yet it is
the reverse of the medal that commemorates some great battle or some
military genius.

In all militant countries, the soldier is the ideal man. His is the most
honorable business. Whoever does not bear arms or is unable to endure
the hardships of a campaign sinks to a lower level. But no class is
thrust into a more intolerable position by this false test of social
worth than women. A double stigma attaches to them—that of weakness and
that of toilers. Only as mothers of soldiers do they hold a place in
public esteem. Napoleon's idea of the noblest woman was she that bore
the greatest number of children for his armies. The idea of the present
Emperor of Germany is much the same. "_Küche, Kirche, Kinder_," is the
alliterative description attributed to him of the narrow sphere in which
he would have them move. Little wonder, therefore, that the condition
of the women in the military countries of Europe differs but little
from that ignoble ideal. Little wonder, too, that American women that
transplant themselves by marriage to the countries where it prevails
often find that they have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage.

It is a commonplace of sociology that intellectual as well as political
despotism is born of war. When a nation is engaged in a desperate
struggle with an enemy, the central power must be invested, under
penalty of defeat, with all the authority needful to wield effectively
the resources of the state. Besides drafting soldiers and levying taxes,
it crushes opposition and criticism. The result is that in countries
like Russia and Germany, freedom of thought and action has still to
be won. Especially is it so in all that relates, even remotely, to
politics. But the rights denied to women include many not denied to
men. Despite German universities, German science, German philosophy,
and German culture in every direction, about which so much is said in
glowing praise, the women of the Fatherland are still in the shackles
forged by feudalism and despotism. The temples of learning are closed
against them. The right of the toilers among them to become associated
together to better their condition is repressed. Only as they move
in the narrow circle drawn by the soldier can they escape the look of
amazement that might be bestowed upon any freak of nature.

Militarism works equal havoc in the moral and spiritual domain. Recently
Count Tolstoi described the deplorable condition of the inhabitants of
the famous black-earth region. The startling feature of his powerful
picture of these victims of military despotism was the apathy,
melancholy, and fatalism that have seized them. Perhaps the Russian
women do not have to bear more than the men; but since they belong to
the more fragile sex, they are less able to bear it. As in France during
the last years of the Grand Monarch, the share of the fruits of toil
taken by the government to support armies of soldiers and officials
has become so large that these unfortunate people are constantly on the
verge of starvation. Their normal diet is a third less than sufficient
to maintain health and strength. They are not simply weakened by the
lack of food—they are paralyzed by the outlook that however much they
may exert themselves, they cannot better their condition. "Why should
we trouble ourselves?" they say. "We shall not get fat. If we can only
live." Bending under this despairing thought, they take little interest
in their task. They avail themselves of no discovery and no invention
that will make it easier or more profitable. With their primitive plough
and staggering horse, they move slowly and drearily over their fields,
glad when night comes to deliver them from their thraldom and sad when
morning breaks to renew it. The priests themselves testify to their
indifference to the consolations of religion. Aside from their desire to
get enough to keep them alive, they have no other but to forget their
sufferings and disappointments. When surcease is not sought in the
natural sleep that comes from heavy toil, it is sought in deep draughts
of Russian spirits.

The degradation of character due to militarism takes many forms. There
is the vicious ethics of war carried into social and industrial life.
The deceit and fraud, more common in militant countries than in pacific,
are evils that women must endure with men. There are the callousness
and cruelty of war, from which they suffer far mere than men. There is,
finally, the moral laxity of war. The full story of the sufferings of
women from this cause cannot be written. The standing armies of Europe
spread a poison that penetrates the remotest corner of the social
fabric. No class escapes it. The gallantry of officers is notorious.
Not less so are their mercenary marriages. Among the rank and file
occur those illegitimate unions common to every garrison town. Among the
toilers the same evil prevails. Militarism acts directly and indirectly
to make them unwilling to assume the responsibilities of marriage. How
serious this evil has become may be gathered from the report of Dr.
Hirscherberg, of Berlin. In that city alone in 1897, 8,000 victims
of these _Arbeiter-Ehen_, as they are called, who had been deserted
by their companions, appealed for public relief. In 1895 the number
reached 12,000. But Berlin is not the only capital thronging with these
unfortunates. They crowd the dark corners of the cities of all the
militant countries of Europe.




It is not this year for the first time that the Regents of the
University of New York State have prepared valuable photographs for
distribution among the schools of the State. Now, however, there
comes a "tentative list" of similar photographs, and this brings up
in a forcible way the old question, whether there is any such thing
possible as teaching art in the schools, and if so, how it may best be

Some preliminary definitions seem to be required, however. The question
as to the fitness of the photograph for this purpose is nearly always
stated, as if the graphic and plastic arts were expressible in terms of
the literary art. Unfortunately, this is not true at all. Indeed, the
student of those arts of non-literary expression is apt to go rather
too far in asserting the falsity of it.

When the student first perceives clearly that each of the fine arts
differs very widely from all the others, he is very apt to assume too
much importance for his own differentiation of those arts. He sees such
striking differences that he ignores resemblances and similarities;
or he is very ready to do so. It is evident to him that the piece of
literature needs a subject of the nature of narrative, or description,
or exhortation, or prayer, or jest, and that the dignity or meanness of
the subject has much to do with the artistical result. Then it appears
to him that music requires no subject of that character; that music
goes to work in another way and addresses the spirit of man, not by
relating or describing, not by appeals to morals or to memory. He hardly
disputes Arnold's dictum that poetry is "a criticism of life;" referring
only to the same author's explanation of criticism and to the further
elucidation of the thought which is contained in the phrases "We turn
to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us;" but
he reflects that he would be a rash critic who should try to judge any
piece of music in that way. This is clear to the mind of the student;
but still he ponders over the graphic arts, over sculpture and painting,
in all their forms, wondering why those arts seem to him half-way
between literature and music, having less to do with preaching or
portraiture than the one, and more, it seems, than the other. He finds
that painters are more concerned with light and shade, and also more
busy with composition and the leading lines and, again, more thoughtful
of bringing whites prettily together, than they are of telling any story
or influencing any person's conduct. And the sculptors are concerned
with dignity of form, and care as little about whether they deal with
piety or with passion as do the musical composers.

He reflects upon architecture, too, if his imagination and memory take
him so far out of the present time that architecture seems to him a fine
art at all; and he asks: What is the "subject" of that work of art which
exists in the interior of Aya Sophia, and which one sees as he enters it
by the _Porta Basilica_? It is, indeed, not surprising that some writers
are always at work, comparing architecture and music. Suppose that one
were to try to give in words that impressive effect of the inside of
the great church. He would have either to describe the effect produced
upon him, thus translating from one language into another, or he would
have so to combine thoughts, expressed in words, as to give the same
impression of awe-inspiring dignity, mingled with grace, with charm,
with what one might call suavity. In order to produce this effect upon
the reader of a prose passage or a piece of verse, the writer would have
to take a subject other than that afforded by the mere description of
a building. In other words, he could not translate; the language would
break down under him; he could not give the same impression in the
language of words which the artist has given in the language of space,
of masses, of delicate tones, of light and shade. And he would recall
the fact that the time was when Aya Sophia gave also an impression of
soft blooming color, of which now only a slight indication remains.

It is not then essential that the work of art in architecture should
have a subject in the sense in which the work of art in literature must
have a subject. Unless our logic is too rapid for us, it would seem that
the same rule must apply in the case of any comparison between two of
the fine arts, and that it does not follow from the need of a subject
in literature, as of narrative in one poem, of description in another,
of patriotism, mingled with exhortation to courage, in a third, and
so on, that a painting must needs have similar subject. And the first
painting that the student meets as he enters a gallery of pictures
will very likely be a landscape, and he will at once see that in this
picture there is no narration, no morality, no piety, no appeal to the
spirit—nothing but description, and a description admittedly so slight
and cursory, so deliberately incomplete, that it may almost be dismissed
as not of weight in the consideration of the picture's value. And yet
a picture must represent something natural, something tangible; it
cannot go straight to the emotions as music can, but has to act through
memory and knowledge. And the student is left wondering, as we found
him wondering a few lines above, whether painting be, indeed, half-way
between music and literature in requiring less subject of the kind that
is not merely artistic than the one art, and more than the other.


The question is rather What is the practice of the artist than What
ought to be the practice of the artist. When, in some future epoch
of thought, these questions about fine art shall be more generally
understood by the writers and thinkers than they now are, it may become
possible for some Ruskin of the future to preach an acceptable creed as
to the proper mission of the artist; but it has not been possible for
the Ruskins of the past or of the present to do so, simply because they
have failed to understand the conditions under which the artist does
his work. There is very little use in exhorting a man to better things
until you are able to sympathize with what he is already engaged upon.
Now, it requires but a limited observation of artists to ascertain that
they are little occupied in narration, in description, in preaching,
in devotion, or in jesting; but a very long continued and minute
observance of their ways will leave the beholder in the same mind about
these, and more and more convinced that artists are chiefly occupied in
producing works of art and nothing else. And what are the works of art
which they are trying to produce? In the matter of painting, which is
our present subject, it is unfortunate that the word _impression_ has
been used in a special sense as describing the way of work of a certain
special body of painters, because it more accurately described the way
in which most painters work than any other single word will suggest
it. The object of the landscape-painter is commonly to paint something
upon his canvas which will convey to the spectator an impression which
he, the landscape-painter, has already received from external nature.
That impression may have come upon him during the watches of the night,
as he thought about what he had seen by day; or it may have come upon
him instantaneously as he faced a piece of hill-side with trees, or
a single old tree. Suppose it even to be a sunset sky, with miles of
ocean illuminated by the colored fire above; it is with no hope of
adequately representing that sea and sky that he sits down to paint,
but he proposes to paint an impression which that sea and sky have made
upon his sensitive mind, and which he thinks will be interesting when
painted. That, then, is the landscape-painter's subject. Not the whole
truth, nor even any essential part of the truth, about a hay-stack
or a mountain-range, but an interesting artistic impression made upon
the artist's mind by the hay-stack or the mountain-range. Here, as in
literature, there are nobler subjects and less noble subjects; but here
much less than in literature is the nobility of the work of art affected
by the nobility of the subject. In two pictures by Homer Martin, one
represents the stretch of an Adirondack lake, with mountain and forest
and a great wealth of varied cloud-form in the sky above; while the
other represents only the ridge of a hill seen from a point so low that
the ridge cuts the sky and nothing else is seen against the sky but the
tops of a few trees which grow on the farther slope. It is impossible
to say which of the two pictures is the nobler. The bigger and fuller
picture may, indeed, be a greater work of art than the smaller one could
ever be, and yet that is so very small a fact! What the artist has done
is, first, to make a design out of the material afforded him by a broad
landscape and the varied sky, and in the other instance to make a design
out of a monotonous grassy slope, a few tree-tops, left unaccounted for
except by the beholder's intelligence, and a very uniform gray firmament
beyond. Who shall say which is the nobler design of the two?

Mr. George Moore has published an essay well worthy of consideration,
in which he undertakes to show that the "failure of the nineteenth
century" in painting is that it has assumed the necessity of taking
a subject in the literary sense, in the moral sense, in the sense of
those frequenters of picture-galleries who prefer the picture which
is to them the most like a novel, or a pathetic poem in words. The
assumption is, and it is certainly a safe one, that those persons who
are attracted to these pictures in order that they may study archæology
or feel a religious thrill, or be made curious and inclined to look up
the facts in either story, or, finally, to feel the domestic pathos of
the scene at the sick child's bedside—those students of art are on the
wrong track, and will never discover what, in most cases, the painter
is after when he paints a picture. Italian art and Dutch art had died
before "the subject" had appeared, and it was not until the end of the
eighteenth century that this evil thing "really began to make itself
felt, and like the potato blight, it soon became clear that it had come
to stay." And the conclusion is that if the painter would now produce
pictures worthy of himself he must reject the temptation to attract
spectators by tickling their feelings or showing off his learning, and
must paint pictures with painter's subjects only.


The argument continually carries us away into a seeming denial to the
graphic arts of all subject of any sort other than the painter's subject
pure and simple, that is to say, form expressed on a flat surface,
light and shade, tints and gradations, and color. And yet we cannot
be quite satisfied with this conclusion in view of the fact that the
great painters of the past, the men whom Mr. Moore cites throughout his
article named above as regardless of "the subject in the modern sense,"
still painted humanity, and that with interest. The thought expressed in
the discussion given above, if it stands alone and by itself, is likely
to mislead the student in this way, that he will suppose that the artist
in color or light and shade is indifferent to human interest. But this
is not exactly so, and an anecdote, nothing in itself, may illustrate
this fact. It is only a few days ago that a certain wide reader, one
who has much knowledge of men and of affairs, a traveller, too, and a
student, but an artist always and primarily, an artist of forty years'
constant practice, meditation, and severe training, alone with a friend,
was talking to him of Mr. Kipling's recent poem about the torpedo-boats,
and the destruction of the enemy's ships by night—and, as this seemed
to interest neither party very much, our artist's friend turned to that
other poem of Mr. Kipling's which begins with the couplet:

     This 'appened in a battle to a batt'ry of the corps.
     Which is first among the women an' amazin' first in war.

To the second poem the instantaneous response was made that that indeed
was worth reading, that there was human interest in that. Now, this
remark would have been of no special value to our present argument
had it come from the lips of a literary man, or of a sociologist, a
philanthropist, or what you please, except the man who did actually say
it, namely, an artist with the brush and with colors. That this painter,
living almost exclusively the life of a painter, should have felt the
need of human interest in the one case and the presence of it, even
in the rough soldiering and coarse-grained emotions of the other, is
notable, in a way. But observe that the comment was made upon two poems
and not upon two paintings. Had the same two subjects been painted, the
case might have been very different, because the picture of the great
fleet and the destroying torpedo-boats might have been immeasurably
more powerful from every point of view from which a picture should
be judged than the picture which would illustrate the incident on the

     Nearer the wheeling beams that spell
         The council of our foes.——

What those two lines in the poem express, and express well for a piece
of wording, the picture might easily make a principal incident and a
principal part of its subject—its artistical subject. The blaze of
the search-lights half illuminating the ocean and leaving the rest
of it the darker by contrast, while the fatal torpedo-boat eludes the
light and is dimly recognized by the path it has drawn of ripples and
foam which themselves catch what little light is diffused through the
damp atmosphere from the white beams which pierce the darkness; all
this would be a picture, and this which is here described would be the
sufficient subject of the picture. On the other hand, the battle-field
scene might easily be the stupidest thing possible; red uniforms, with
dust and horses of several colors, the gleam of light on the guns and
accoutrements; all of this is artistic subject, indeed, but it is of the
slightest and most commonplace kind, and unless treated with wonderful
technical skill, would fail to command much respect. Unquestionably, the
"human interest," if strongly felt by the painter in this case, might be
effective to give personality to the driver, to the driver's brother,
and even to the slaughtered horse, and a dramatic composition might
possibly be made out of that which, in almost any painter's hands, would
become a mere narrative picture of the kind most commonly in evidence
and most to be deprecated.

And yet there is "human interest" to be found in pictures which are
none the worse for having it. The discussion of these is simply the
most difficult task that is set to one who would write about the art
of painting. Let us take Paul Baudry's picture of Charlotte Corday.
The scene is a very small room with a low dado for the protection
of the wall, as befits a bath-room. On the left is the bath-tub with
high straight sides, and filled with the sheet, the _fond de bain_,
so commonly in use even now on the continent of Europe. Beside the
bath-tub, a rough wooden box has been "up-ended" and carries, like a
little table, an old-fashioned round ink-stand, a sheet of paper, and
a quill pen. A short plank which has been lying across the foot of the
bath-tub has tipped into the tub, carrying with it some sheets of paper.
A chair which has been standing by the side of the bath-tub is overset.
With the chair has fallen a garment which still partly covers it; and
a plumed hat fills the extreme right-hand lower corner of the picture.
A map of France, as large as the wall of the small chamber allows,
hangs opposite to the spectator and to the eye of the person occupying
the bath-tub. The well-known facts are that Marat, while following
the prescription of his physicians and taking the long-continued bath
prescribed, was occupied in writing, and that Charlotte Corday, on
her persistent demand, was admitted that she might lodge with him
some complaint, and that she then stabbed him to the heart. Of the
dying or the dead Marat, nothing is seen but the foreshortened face,
one shoulder, and the long bare arms; the handle of the deadly knife
projects and is relieved against the livid flesh. The resolute woman
stands against the window-jamb, and in full light, relieved by her
own and the wall's shadow cast upon the map and the dado behind. Her
figure is tall and massive; she is dressed in a gown with strongly
marked stripes and wears a voluminously folded handkerchief around
her shoulders and neck; her hair is loosened; her figure dominates the
picture and seems to reduce everything else to an accessory. The face
of the slayer is set, as if with the resolution she has just acted on,
and with terror as to what is now to follow. The eyes are wide open
and the action of the right hand, with clenched fingers, shows how,
in relinquishing the haft of the knife, the muscles have convulsively
closed again as if it were still retained by their clutch.

The thing to observe here is the presence of the human interest
demanded, and that in a very concentrated form, indeed; but also the
relatively larger value of the artistic language in which the story has
been told, and of the smaller value, relatively, of the human interest
itself. Let us admit that the picture is a nobler work of art because
of this expression of human interest—the striking down of the tyrant,
the momentary victory of the heroine, the approaching cruel punishment
of that heroine—patience, resignation, resolution, patriotism, and just
enough of questioning as to the glory and value of the great French
Revolution. All this, which in a poem would be insisted on, dwelt upon,
which would form the one "subject" of the work of art, here, in the
picture, forms but a part of the subject, and in the opinion of every
artist, the inferior, secondary part. The chief subject is, after all,
form, line and mass, light and shade, and color. The result is better
for having the human interest; the work of art is nobler than if the
same light and shade and color were investing walls and draperies where
no human interest existed; and the conclusion seems to be that what is
valuable in the picture is primarily the two human beings as visible
objects, and the strong contrast between them in their represented
action, their pose, their coloring—that is, in the outward aspect
of their life; and, secondly, the organized light and shade of which
these human figures form the chief and ruling part. And the lesson to
learn seems to be that the language of painting is so immensely more
important, relatively, than the language of literature, that the rules
of judgment, applied to the one art, fail lamentably when they are tried
upon the other.

                                                                 R. S.


     [A] Thomas Potter Cooke, familiarly known as "Tippy Cooke,"
     left London at the age of ten to join the navy, where he
     distinguished himself by courageous exploits on various
     occasions. The peace of Amiens closing that career he
     sought his second love—the stage, playing small parts in
     the provinces until engaged by Elliston as stage manager of
     the Surrey. He subsequently joined the Adelphi, Drury Lane,
     English Opera House and Covent Garden Theatres, performing
     eccentric and melodramatic parts suited to his mammoth
     frame, like _Orson_ and the _Monster_ in "Frankenstein," and
     being especially liked in _Long Tom Coffin_ and other sailor
     characters. In 1829 a poor playwright named Douglas Jerrold
     had "Black-Eyed Susan" accepted by Elliston, who made a small
     fortune out of its four hundred consecutive performances with
     Cooke as _William_, whose representation became a part of
     English stage history. Mr. Cooke died in 1864.

     [B] Clara Fisher's first appearance at Drury Lane in 1817,
     when but six years old, occasioned a craze for the "Infant
     Phenomenon" that swept through England; and, that being
     exhausted, she was brought in 1827 to triumph in America
     as a sparkling comedienne. Until her marriage in 1834 to
     Professor James G. Maeder she was the favorite of the stage,
     and continued to act, though with diminished lustre, until
     1880, when she left the profession.

     As an infant prodigy her greatest successes were in _Richard
     III._, _Douglas_, _Shylock_, and similar parts, and her
     more mature and acceptable performances in her famous career
     throughout the United States for ten or fifteen years were in
     "Kate Kearney," "Letitia Hardy," "Clari," "Paul, the Pet,"
     "Victoire," "Kate O'Brien" and the whole range of bright
     musical comedy and elegant vaudeville. She died at Metuchen,
     N. J., on November 12, 1898.

     [C] Joseph Jefferson, first of that name, the son of
     the comedian of Garrick's company, Thomas Jefferson, and
     grandfather of our Joe, was born in Plymouth, England, in
     1774. Tired of the Plymouth stage, with which he had been
     connected from childhood, he came, at the suggestion of
     Manager Powell of Boston, to America at the age of twenty, and
     played with Hodgkinson and Hallam at the John Street Theatre,
     New York, until Dunlap opened the Park in 1798. For five
     years he there essayed comic and old men's characters until,
     in 1803, he was fortunately and permanently engaged at the
     then leading theatre of the country, the Chestnut Street, in
     Philadelphia. There he practically remained until his death,
     in August, 1832, the favorite and popular comedian of the
     American stage. Of the two hundred characters he essayed,
     many are unknown to the playgoer of the present day, but
     his versatile talent was greatly commended in _Polonius_,
     _Jeremy Diddler_, _Touchstone_, _Bob Acres_, _Dominie
     Sampson_, _Mawworm_, _Captain Copp_, _Dogberry_, _Scaramouch_
     and _Solus_ in "Every One Has His Fault," a comedy by Mrs.

     Only careful and clear-headed readers of William Winter can
     form an idea of the comic genius involved in the name of
     Jefferson on the American stage. One of its most promising
     members, who died when but twenty-three, was John Jefferson,
     third son of Joseph. His last performance was in 1831, at
     Lancaster, in "The School for Scandal."—The cast was as

       Sir Peter Teazle              Joseph Jefferson, Sr.
       Sir Oliver Surface            John Jefferson
       Rowley                        Joseph Jefferson, Jr.
        (Father of Our Joe.)
       Lady Teazle                   Mrs. S. Chapman
        (Elizabeth Jefferson, John's sister, a celebrated and
         popular Park Theatre actress.)
       Mrs. Candour                  Mrs. Joseph Jefferson, Jr.
       Lady Sneerwell                Jane Jefferson Anderson
        (Daughter of John's sister Euphemia and mother of Effie
       Maria                         Miss Mary Anne Jefferson

     [D] George Horton Barrett ("Gentleman George"), came here
     as an infant from England, where he was born June 9, 1794,
     and appeared, when but thirteen years old as Young Norval at
     the Park Theatre. He afterward became one of the best known
     light comedians on our stage, performing, with great success,
     _Charles Surface_, _Puff_ in the "Critic," _Captain Absolute_,
     _Doricourt_, and similar characters from 1822 to 1855, when he
     took his farewell testimonial benefit at the New York Academy
     of Music. Mr. Barrett was especially celebrated as a stage
     manager through a long part of his fifty years of professional
     life, first with Gilfert of the Bowery Theatre, then with
     Tom Barry at the Tremont Theatre in Boston: afterward with
     Caldwell of the New Orleans Theatre.

     He was best known in this city as the manager of Colonel
     Mann's Broadway Theatre from its opening in 1847. He was
     a tall and graceful actor, with a refined manner which
     secured his well-known appellation. He died in New York City,
     September 5, 1860.

     [E] Frances Anne Kemble, authoress, poetess, and actress,
     beautiful and gifted, was born in London, November 27, 1809.
     To save her father, Charles Kemble, from bankruptcy, she
     went on the stage in 1829 and at once took her place on the
     top of the ladder, disdaining, however (as did an eminent
     American actress), the steps which led to renown, and made
     friends, fame, and fortune. For nearly three years she filled
     Covent Garden and replenished its exhausted treasury with her
     wonderful impersonation of _Juliet_ (her first part), and
     in _Lady Teazle_, _Portia_, _Beatrice_, _Bianca_, as well
     as her aunt's (Mrs. Siddons) great characters, _Isabella_,
     _Euphrasia_, _Calista_ and _Belvidera_. Equal to her _Juliet_
     was her original part of _Julia_ in the "Hunchback," and
     when she came with her father to America in September, 1832,
     her reception and continued support by the best elements of
     society were unprecedented. In the full tide of triumphant
     success she left the stage in 1834 to make an unhappy alliance
     with Pierce Butler of Philadelphia, who took her—an ardent
     abolitionist—to his plantation in Georgia. In 1845 she became
     divorced from Mr. Butler. The following year she spent with
     her talented sister, Adelaide Kemble Sartoris, in Continental
     travel, and in 1847 commenced her famous readings, with
     unvarying success both in America and England. The last of
     these in New York was given to crowded and cultured audiences
     in Steinway Hall, October, 1868. She died at her daughter's
     residence in London, January 16, 1893.

     [F] Charles, youngest of the Kemble family, was born the
     year his sister, Mrs. Siddons, made her first appearance
     at Drury Lane, 1775. This graceful, elegant actor, after
     awkward beginnings, became the incomparable _Mercutio_,
     _Falconbridge_, _Mirabel_, _Cassio_, _Orlando_, _Captain
     Absolute_, _Charles Surface_, _Romeo_, and _Benedick_ of the
     English stage for nearly a quarter of a century—most of it
     passed with his talented family at Drury Lane, Haymarket, and
     Covent Garden Theatres; of the last named he became manager,
     to his infinite loss and vexation.

     Saved from ruin by his daughter's talents, he brought her
     to America in 1832 to reap a golden harvest. His fame and
     her beauty, with their combined brilliant acting, filled the
     leading theatres of the country till 1834, when she married
     and in 1835 he returned to England to remain. Although he
     fairly performed leading parts in tragedies such as _Hamlet_,
     _Pierre_, _Richard III._, and _Othello_, his gay, gallant, and
     effective personation of high comedy carried the intelligent
     audiences by storm.

     From 1835 to 1840 he occasionally acted in England, but
     preferred giving readings of Shakespeare, which he did
     frequently by royal command, though his increasing deafness
     interfered greatly with his stage performances. He held the
     position of Examiner of Plays, to which he had been appointed
     by the Lord Chamberlain, until his death on November 11, 1854.

     [G] Alexina Fisher, born in Frankfort, Ky., in 1822, inherited
     her brilliant talents from her popular father and mother,
     Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Fisher, the latter best known to fame and
     Philadelphia audiences as Mrs. Edward N. Thayer. Alexina, who
     appeared in infancy on the stage, made her first success as
     _Young Norval_ at the New York Bowery in 1831, although she
     had previously appeared at the Park as _Clara_ in the "Maid
     of Milan," and she became, like her relative and predecessor,
     the celebrated Clara Fisher, a starring "infant prodigy," even
     performing _Juliet_ to George Jones's _Romeo_ for her benefit
     at the Bowery. From 1835 to 1850 Miss Fisher was attached for
     seven years to the Chestnut and eight years to the Walnut's
     regular companies in Philadelphia, dividing the honors, as a
     comedienne, with her mother.

     In 1851 she married John Lewis Baker and went with him to
     California for three years, performing there and subsequently
     at the various theatres he managed in Cincinnati, Louisville,
     and lastly the Grand Opera House, New York, all the leading
     characters in genteel comedy and lighter tragedy with
     unvarying success. Her last appearance in New York was
     in support of Edwin Booth during his famous Winter Garden
     engagement of 1862. She died in Philadelphia, March 27, 1887.

     [H] Madame Celeste, who came here under the name of
     Mademoiselle Celeste, in June, 1827, and bounded at once into
     the affections of young New York, claimed to be but fourteen
     years of age when she appeared at the Bowery, then called the
     American Theatre. The next year the precocious beauty became
     the wife of Henry Elliott, of Baltimore, but remained on
     the stage the only première danseuse and pantomimist in the

     After two years of immense success in our cities she returned
     home to Paris, then to London, and became a star on the
     English stage. Every few years she would make her "last
     appearance in America," and her farewell benefits outnumbered
     Miss Cushman's. Much as she played in English-speaking
     lands she was unable to learn the language until late in her
     career, and her attractions were confined to her wonderfully
     expressive pantomime and her exquisite dancing; she created
     _Mathilde_ in the "French Spy," _Miami_ in the "Green Bushes,"
     _Fenella_ in "Masaniello," _Miriam_ in "The Woman in Red" and
     the _Bayadère_ in Auber's beautiful ballet-opera.

     [I] Charlotte Saunders Cushman, descendant of the Puritan
     Cushmans of Mayflower days, fought down the ill-success
     attending her first essay in opera, and after years of
     struggling as a poorly paid stock actress at the Bowery
     and Park Theatres, by sheer merit rose to the position of
     the Queen of Tragedy, and maintained it for twenty years.
     From 1845 to 1849, and again from 1852 to 1857, she was so
     recognized in England and divided the applause with Macready
     at the Princess's Theatre in London on her first visit. Her
     forcible and almost masculine manner and face prevented
     success in comedy, but made her _Meg Merrilies_, _Nancy
     Sykes_, and _Helen McGregor_, as well as _Lady Macbeth_,
     _Alicia_, _Queen Catherine_, and _Bianca_ world renowned.
     In heavy tragedy and melodrama no one has filled her place.
     She was acceptable as _Romeo_, which she often played, and
     passable as _Hamlet_, _Wolsey_, and even _Claude Melnotte_.
     During the war she performed several times for the sanitary
     commissions, and gave liberally of her large fortune. She
     contented herself with giving readings, which were uniformly
     successful, from 1870 to 1875, and died, in her native city
     of Boston, February 18, 1876, in her sixtieth year.

     [J] Thomas Apthorpe Cooper left unappreciative London in his
     twentieth year to try his fortune with Manager Thomas Wignell
     at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in 1796. There,
     as afterward in New York, his handsome face and figure, fine
     voice, and unquestioned ability made him the popular favorite
     in leading parts both of tragedy and genteel comedy.

     During the first quarter of the century he was the
     acknowledged leader of the profession, and both on and off
     the stage courted and admired. In 1806 he became, first
     with Dunlap then with Stephen Price, the manager of the Park
     Theatre until 1814. In 1803 he had visited England and again
     in 1810 with only moderate success. At the latter visit he
     induced George Frederick Cooke to come to America with him;
     during Cooper's last visit to England in 1828 he was coldly
     treated as an American, but welcomed home warmly when,
     with J. H. Hackett as _Iago_, he produced "Othello" on his
     return. Both these parts, with _Hamlet_, _Macbeth_, _Leon_,
     _Pierre_, _Mark Antony_, _Beverly_, _Hotspur_, _Petruchio_,
     _Doricourt_, and _Charles Surface_ were ranked among the
     best of the one hundred and fifty characters he frequently
     appeared in. He practically left the stage in 1835, although
     he played occasionally until 1838. Through the influence of
     his son-in-law, Robert Tyler, he was appointed a New York
     Custom House officer, a position he held until his death at
     Bristol, Pa., in his seventy-third year, April 21, 1849.

     [K] Edmon Sheppard Conner, born in Philadelphia, September 9,
     1809, at twenty left the tailoring board to do small parts at
     the Arch and Walnut Street Theatres, thence to Cincinnati and
     the West. He was a fine-looking, tall, and versatile actor;
     he played all sorts of business with Wemyss from 1834 to 1838
     in Pittsburg and Philadelphia. In the latter year he became
     leading juvenile at Wallack's National Theatre in New York,
     and for several years thereafter performed mainly in New York
     and his native city lighter parts in both tragedy and comedy,
     with occasional dashes into melodrama, which was his best
     forte. His favorite parts were _Claude Melnotte_, _Wallace_,
     _Rob Roy_, etc. He also, with moderate success, managed the
     Arch Street Theatre from 1850 to 1852, and the Albany Theatre
     in 1853 and 1854. For twenty years he made starring tours
     through this country (visiting England in 1875), where his
     commanding presence and remarkable versatility were fairly
     acceptable. He died at Rutherford, N. J., on December 15,

     [L] Thomas Sowerby Hamblin was born in London in 1800, and
     after performing for six years in England, rising from small
     business in the provinces to a prominent place at Drury Lane,
     came here, in 1825, and on November 1st appeared at the Park
     Theatre as _Hamlet_. After starring through the United States
     for four years as a tragedian, he became the lessee of the
     Bowery Theatre, New York, "Baron" James H. Hackett being
     associated with him for the first year (1830). Five years of
     careful management made Hamblin sole owner, when in September,
     1836, the theatre burned down after the performance of Miss
     Medina's successful play of "Lafitte," causing a total loss.
     Undismayed, Hamblin secured a lease of the rebuilt Bowery,
     which was burned in 1838 and again in 1845.

     In 1848 he procured and refitted the Old Park Theatre, which
     opened on September 4th, and was burned down on December 16th,
     closing the career of "Old Drury" and of Hamblin as manager
     at the same time. No man was better known in the thirties
     and forties in New York than Tom Hamblin, and his fine Roman
     head and strongly marked face were familiar at Windust's,
     Florence's, the Astor and all such places where men loved to
     congregate. He was a strong melodramatic actor but troubled
     with a severe asthma which frequently affected his speech. He
     died at his residence in Broome Street, January 8, 1853.

     [M] The French: the Marquesas, Paumotus, and Tahiti being all
     dependencies of France.

     [N] Stevenson's stepdaughter, Mrs. Strong, who was at this
     time living at Honolulu, and joined his party and family for
     good and all when they continued their voyage on from thence.

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

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