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Title: The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. LXXXV: New Series Vol. LXIII, November 1912 to April 1913
Author: - To be updated
Language: English
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                          Transcriber’s Notes

  This e-text is based on ‘The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine,’
  from December, 1912. The table of contents, based on the index from
  the November issue, has been added by the transcriber.

  Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation have been retained, but
  punctuation and typographical errors have been corrected. Passages
  in English dialect and in languages other than English have not been
  altered. Footnotes have been moved to the end of the corresponding

  Specific font styles have been marked by using the following special

      italics:    _underscores_
      bold:       =equals signs=
      small caps: ~tildes~
      underlined: +plus signs+

  The caret symbol (^) denotes a following superscript character.




                              THE CENTURY


         FRANK H. SCOTT, ~President~,    WILLIAM W. ELLSWORTH,
            ~Vice-President and Secretary~,  DONALD SCOTT,
                ~Treasurer~,  ~Union Square, New York~.
                 Copyright, 1912, by The Century Co.]
                  (Title Registered U. S. Pat. Off.)
       [Entered at N.Y. Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter


The highest expression of beauty and charm combined with utility and
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  Berkey & Gay Furniture Co.
  174 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids, Michigan

                        ~The Century Magazine~

             ~Vol. LXXXV~       DECEMBER, 1912       No. 2




Author of “Mothering on Perilous,” etc.


  Copyright, 1912, by ~The Century Co.~ All rights reserved.

One Saturday morning in October the head-workers and some of the
teachers of the Settlement School on Perilous were unpacking barrels
and boxes on the front porch of the “big house,” a wagon having come
in from the railroad the previous day. Christine Potter, the newest
and youngest teacher, looked up from a box of books to see an odd
procession approaching along the road. A yellow mare, bearing a small
woman with an infant in arms, and a tiny child behind, was followed by
a half-grown mule colt, on which rode three little girls, while a small
yellow colt trotted sedately in the rear. At the school gate the party
halted. The yellow colt flung his four legs in as many directions and
began to frisk about his mother; the riders dismounted and came up the

The woman came straight to the heads, her eager face beaming under the
black sunbonnet, inevitable badge of the married woman.

“Don’t you know me?” she inquired--“little Anne Goodloe that was, from
the head of Clinch? Don’t you mind the summer, ten year’ gone, you sot
up a tent over there, and I holp you with the singing and gatherings?”

Yes, indeed, the heads remembered, and gave Anne a hearty welcome,
asking a volley of questions about her family. But these she cut short.

“Women,” she said, “all that will keep. Let me first get off my mind
what I come for. Before I lose another minute I crave to enter these
young uns of mine on the highroad to l’arning in this here fine school.
I have heared you write ’em down in a book, and take as they come; and
many’s the time I have woke with a nightmare, dreaming my offsprings
was writ down too late to get a show. I want you to put ’em down
immediate’. Phœbe, Ellen, Minervy, Lukeanna, stand forth!”

The four small girls drew up in line before their mother, their blue
sunbonnets forming an exact stairway.

“Six, four and a half, three, and going on two is their ages,”
continued Anne, “and my man-child here, too--John Jeems, four
month’,--don’t pass over him.”

One of the heads wrote down the names and ages; then she inquired:

“And the last name--your married name?”

Anne watched their faces expectantly as she replied:


“Talbert!” they exclaimed in one astonished voice.

“I allowed it would take your breath to hear that John Goodloe’s
daughter had married Jeems Talbert’s son,” Anne said, smiling.

“When we were over on Clinch the Goodloes and Talberts were mortal
enemies. There was constant trouble between them, and not a Talbert
would ever come inside our tent simply because it was on Goodloe land.”

“Yes,” said Anne; “forty year’ they have been at war--ever since Paw
and Jeems fell out over a gal, and shot each other all up.”

Christine had gathered the sunbonnets, and placed a chair for Anne,
who now sat down, smoothed and recoiled her abundant yellow hair, and
proceeded to give her man-child his dinner, the little girls ranging
themselves silently on a bench, still in step formation, and gazing
about them with big eyes and bobbing pigtails.

“There was some little shooting going on when we were there,” continued
the heads, “and five years previous the two eldest sons had killed each
other in an engagement.”

“Yes,” replied Anne; “that was a mighty sorry time when the boys on
both sides got sizable enough to take up their paps’ war--a sorry time
it was for both Goodloes and Talberts.” She sighed deeply.

“Doubtless they made peace later, or you would not have married a

[Illustration: Drawn by F. R. Gruger. Half-tone plate engraved by R. C.


“No, they hain’t never made peace; but there never was no war betwixt
me and Luke. We was the youngest on both sides, and I allus did think
Luke was the prettiest boy that ever rid a nag. When we would be out
hunting the cows, I never regretted when I met up with him, though
of course we wouldn’t speak or let on to see. But one day when we
had passed in the road unseeing that a-way, we both turned back to
look. Luke he blushed, and I laughed. ‘Goodloes hain’t pizen,’ I says.
‘Neither is Talberts,’ he says; and from that time we would stop and
pass a few words when there wa’n’t nobody in sight. ’T wa’n’t long
before I knowed he was the onliest boy I would ever marry, and him the
same of me. Of course I never told nobody but granny, and she holp us
off; she allus did contend that Goodloes and Talberts never ought to be
nothing but friends, paw and Jeems having been raised like own brothers.

“Well, maybe you think there wa’n’t a general commotion when me and
Luke run off. Paw and Jeems b’iled and raged scandalous, for men lamed
and maimed up like them, and it looked like the war would be fit all
over ag’in. Luke had took his logging money and bought a piece of
ground from his paw right j’ining ours, and raised a house on it, so we
had a roof over our heads; but nary a foot did a Goodloe or a Talbert
set in it, or so much as look our way in passing, for over a year.
But me and Luke we never seed no slights, and allus spoke civil and
cheerful to all we met, and in time they begun to drap in, first one
side and then t’other. Then when my young uns come along, paw he would
sa’nter down now and then to see ’em, and finally Jeems he stumped up
on his crutch a time or two, which pleased me a sight, and I had hopes
of their meeting peaceable and maybe patching up the war, like granny
says she knows they pine to in their hearts, now they are both widows,
and getting along in years, and lonesome. But when my man-child come,
what did I do but spile everything by naming him John Jeems, atter
both; sence which I hain’t had a glimp’ of neither.

“But though the feeling keeps up, there hain’t been to say no active
warfare betwixt paw and Jeems sence Luke and me married, and no bad
shootings amongst the sons and sons-in-law, like there used to be at
Christmas and election-time. Four year’ gone, a five-month district
school started up two mile’ down Clinch from us, and both Goodloe
and Talbert young uns has been a-going, and has got acquainted and
friendly, which has sort of swaged down their payrents; so you might
say the war is ended with everybody now but Jeems and paw.

“I been a-going to that district school myself sence it took up. From
the time you women was over on Clinch I got me a big hankering for
l’arning. Jeems Talbert had sont Luke away to school two term’, and
when we was married, to see him read and write and figure, and me not
able to tell a from izzard, went ag’in the grain terrible. No Goodloe
don’t like to be outdone by a Talbert. So when the school started,
though I were a’ old married woman of nineteen, I gathered up my young
uns and lit in for l’arning, riding back and forth to school on Cindy
and her mule colt. Luke he made cradles for the babes to lay in at
school, and the scholars holp me mind ’em, and they never give a’
hour’s trouble. Minervy here she started on the road to knowledge at
five days old,--time was precious, and I couldn’t stay away,--and now
at three she knows all her a b c’s. And I am able to read and write
and figure as good as Luke, and can read every word of that Testament
you give me, and hain’t neglected my cooking or spinning or weaving

Having made sure that Anne would remain to dinner, the heads resumed
their work, leaving Christine to entertain the guest. The interesting
fact was soon established that the two were almost of an age, both
being twenty-three, with birthdays in August.

“Just as good as twins,” exclaimed Anne, delightedly. Then she sighed,
and looked wistfully at Christine’s girlish face. “But you that fair
and tender you don’t look sixteen,” she said, “and me a’ old woman!”
Later she asked, “When a woman don’t marry at fourteen or fifteen or
anyhow sixteen, how does she put in her time? What is there for her to

“Many girls put in their time as I did,” replied Christine. “After
finishing school, I spent four years in college, then I traveled in
Europe for a year, then my father said I knew little more than an
infant about actual life, and ought to do some real work for a while to
find out; so I came here, where I hope I am learning.”

When the dinner bell rang, Christine found great pleasure in taking
Anne to the table and in watching her eager scrutiny of room, children,
manners, service.


  Drawn by F. R. Gruger      Half-tone plate engraved by R. Varley


At two o’clock Anne announced that she must depart, as it would be
necessary to reach the half-way stop-over place, nine miles distant, by

“My young uns sets a nag uncommon’ well, from such constant practice
going to school,” she said; “but I consider nine mile’ is about enough
for ’em to travel in a day. And now,” she continued, flashing a smile
at Christine, “being as we’re twins, I do hope you will use your
endeavors to make me a visit before long. Seems like I have a mighty
near feeling for you.”

A sudden thought came to Christine.

“Would you like me to come over and have my Christmas tree at your
house?” she asked. “Father has promised that I may have one.”

“I don’t rightly know what a Christmas tree is,” said Anne, “but I will
be proud to have you any time or season.”

Christine explained that a Christmas tree is simply a small evergreen
tree on which at Christmas time presents and candy are hung for the

“I should like to have the tree at your house, and invite all the
children, and older people, too, in the neighborhood,” she said.

“I can answer for the young uns turning out if there’s pretties and
rarities to see,” said Anne; “but the grown-ups is different. There
hain’t nobody but Goodloes and Talberts on the head of Clinch, and I
misdoubt if they’ll gather under one roof. But I’ll do my best, and
give ’em all a’ invite.”

Letters passed between the two later, Anne sending the names and ages
of the children of the neighborhood, Christine giving directions for
making strings of popcorn and holly-berries for the adornment of the

       *       *       *       *       *

Before day on Christmas morning, Christine, accompanied by Howard
Cleves, a big boy from the school, set forth for the head of Clinch,
the great “pokes” of Christmas things slung across the saddles standing
out like panniers from the sides of the two nags. As they wound up the
mountain-side above Perilous Creek, the whole east awoke and flushed
with joy in memory of the day.

The eighteen miles were long and difficult and lonely; the mountains
folded in and out, dazzling white where they caught the sunlight, deep
blue in the shadows. Occasionally in a hollow or beside a frozen stream
appeared a small log-house, tight-shut against the cold, the only sign
of life or cheer the thin column of smoke rising straight from its
chimney. Once or twice the travelers met parties of young men and boys
riding with jugs and pistols, doing their utmost to celebrate the day,
but always suddenly quiet at sight of Christine.

About half-past one they drew up before Luke Talbert’s house on Clinch,
and Anne, Luke, and the four little girls gave Christine the warmest of
welcomes. After being thawed and fed, she glanced about the two rooms
of the house with some surprise and disappointment.

“I see you haven’t put up the tree yet,” she said.

Anne looked puzzled.

“Hain’t put the tree up?” she repeated. “Why, it’s already up--up and
growing back here in the gyarden.” She led the way to the back porch.
There, beyond the tall palings of riven oak, in the very center of
the small, sloping garden, its delicate branches garlanded with snowy
popcorn and scarlet berries, was a splendid young hemlock, apparently
rejoicing in its vigor and beauty and in the sacred use to which it was
being put.

Christine was dumb for an instant.

“Hain’t it right?” Anne inquired anxiously.

“Yes, beautiful, the loveliest I ever saw,” answered Christine.
“Usually people cut down the Christmas tree and set it up in the house;
but how much more appropriate to have it living and growing!”

“It was such a pretty little tree I wouldn’t let Luke cut it when we
cleared the land,” said Anne; “I told him I would plant my gyarden
round it. Granny she allus liked it, too. She come down yesterday and
holp me cap corn and string berries. She’s powerful keen to see the
doings to-day, and aims to fetch paw along if she can.”

Two fires were already burning, one to the right, one to the left of
the tree, and large piles of wood stood beside them in the snow. “Luke
allowed the folks would freeze to death if we never fixed to warm ’em
abundant’,” Anne explained.

Then Christine and Anne and Luke and Howard set to work to fasten
on Christmas bells, tinsel, bags of candy, dolls, and lighter gifts,
climbing up on chairs when necessary. The oranges and heavier things
were stacked below the tree. There was no need to take out the candles,
with the glorious sunshine streaming all around.

“I warned the young uns not to show their faces before three,” said
Anne, “but they are that wild I look for ’em any minute.” She had
scarcely spoken the words before a dozen small excited faces peered
through the palings. Picking up a stick of wood, Anne sallied forth.
“Shoo, you feisty young uns, you!” she cried, “get along into that
house there! Anybody that shows a face outside till called don’t get
nary single pretty.”

Before she could return to the tree again, another crowd of children
had collected at the palings, and the rout had to be repeated.

“And I see ’em a-coming as far as eye can reach,” she reported, “up
Clinch and down Clinch, Talberts and Goodloes, both young and old. Of
course I knowed the young would turn out, but the older ones wouldn’t
make no promise, though I could see they was terrible curious to behold
a Christmas tree. They’ll be mad as hops over being shut up that a-way;
but they had no business to come so soon. And I hain’t aiming to take
no chances on their raising a quarrel, neither: I’m locking Goodloes in
one house and Talberts in t’ other, with the door fastened between.”

From this time Anne was busily occupied meeting visitors and diverting
them to the two “houses” (rooms). Once a little old lady who had just
dismounted from behind a gaunt, grizzled man dodged past Anne and ran
into the garden. “I am just bound to see how it looks,” she said. “Oh,
hain’t it a sight for cherubim!” She stood in an ecstasy of delight,
hands clasped, withered little face shining within the quilted woolen
sunbonnet, small body all alertness beneath the heavy homespun shawl.

“Now, Granny, you get right back in that house there with paw,”
admonished Anne. “You have brung him thus far; but if he sees any
Talberts, or gets wind of a whole passel being locked up in t’ other
house, you know he’ll be off like a shot.”

Granny turned sorrowfully away.

“That’s p’int’ly true,” she admitted, hastening into the Goodloe room
after her tall, stoop-shouldered son.

For a few minutes longer the sky seemed to rain Goodloes and Talberts.
Both rooms must have been filled to bursting. Then, just as the tree
was completed, and Anne was about to call out the guests, there was a
last arrival. A heavy-set man, with a crutch under one arm, rode slowly
into the yard, peering carefully about the house and over the palings
as he came.

“My Lord! Luke, if there hain’t your paw!” cried Anne, breathlessly. “I
made sure he wouldn’t come. Help him down and bring him right here, and
don’t let on there’s any Goodloes in fifty mile’!” She placed a chair
by the left-hand fire, and hither, on his crutch, Jeems Talbert was
piloted, all the time gazing in fascination upon the tree.

The next instant garden gate and house doors were flung open, and the
guests streamed out, young and old with eyes glued to the dazzling
tree. Last of all came granny, her arm in that of her son, John
Goodloe, whose one remaining eye was so intently fixed upon the tree
that he had almost reached it before he saw his blood-enemy, Jeems
Talbert, rise on his crutch not five feet distant, surprise and rage in
his eyes. Both men stiffened and glared; the hand of each instinctively
moved toward his hip-pocket; a gasp ran through the crowd. Granny’s
cracked old voice rang out sharply:

“John, Jeems, hain’t you got no manners? Do you aim to spile the
woman’s Christmas tree?”

The appeal to chivalry had its effect. Still glaring, the two enemies
backed away, each to a fire.

The general uneasiness and apprehension abated somewhat when Christine
stepped out in front of the tree, Anne’s Testament in her hand, and
began to read, in her earnest, tender voice, the story of the first
Christmas. As she proceeded, there was absolute silence. Not a person
whispered, not a child stirred, not a baby winked. Faces became rapt,
astonished, awed. The white, everlasting hills themselves appeared to
hearken. “And Joseph also went up ... to Bethlehem ... to be taxed
with Mary his espoused wife.... And she brought forth her firstborn
son, ... and laid him in a manger.... There were in this same country
shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by
night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of
the Lord shone round about them, ... and the angel said unto them, Fear
not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall
be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a
Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.... And suddenly there was with the
angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Christine and Howard lifted up their voices in “Hark the Herald Angels
Sing,” then, beginning with the youngest,--there was one infant even
newer than John Jeems, a Goodloe baby of three weeks,--Anne and Luke
read off the names and handed out the gifts. To children who had not
seen a store doll or toy before, the simple things were marvels indeed.
For every girl, little or big, there was a doll; for every boy, a toy
of some kind; every person received an orange and a tarleton bag of
candy; every family a large Christmas-bell. And at the last, at Anne’s
suggestion, the smaller bells and ornaments and tinsel were stripped
from the tree, in order that no one should go away without a “pretty.”
For granny there was a handsome Bible, none the less joyfully received
that she could not read a word of it. But even as she clasped it, her
eyes wandered to the dolls.

“Who would ever believe there was such pretty poppets in all this
world!” she exclaimed, hearing which, Christine laid the prettiest
poppet of all in her arms. At this, three or four other old ladies
crowded about granny in such voluble delight that Christine was glad
she had enough dolls left over to present to them.

Nor, in the general largess, was the “stranger within the gates”
forgotten. The tree held for Christine a fine pair of mittens from
granny, a most beautiful woven coverlet from Anne, and a rosy apple
each from Phœbe, Ellen, Minervy, Lukeanna, and John Jeems.

The scene was indeed a happy one. Absorbed in the joy of their
offspring, and in their own gratified love of the beautiful, Goodloes
and Talberts mingled freely, and melted into friendliness and
cordiality. John Goodloe and Jeems Talbert alone stood apart, each by
his fire, eying gloomily his orange and poke of candy.

Suddenly granny, laying her “pretty poppet” in Christine’s arms,
stepped forward in front of the tree and raised a hand for silence.

“Friends, Talberts and Goodloes,” she began, in a wavering old voice
which took on strength as she proceeded, “we find ourselves gathered
to-day in onlooked-for and, I may say, onpossible fashion, refreshing
our mortal eyes with the sight of this here wonderly tree, and our
immortal sperrits with the good tidings the fotch-on woman has just
read us out of the Book. I never heared just that particular scripture
read before, or if so I never kotch its full meaning. Of course I
knowed Christ had come to earth ’way back yander in old, ancient days
some time or ’nother; but I never heared tell of his coming to _all
men_. From what the preachers said, I got the idee he just come for to
snatch a few elect favor-rites out of the hell to which all the rest of
us was predestinated, whether or no; and consequent’, I never tuck no
great interest in him, or felt particular’ grateful. Even if I had had
the assurance of being one of the elect myself, which I never, I still
would have worried a sight over them which was bound to be lost, not
seeing no justice, let alone mercy, in it.

“But now comes the woman, and reads out of the scripture that the
angels theirselves laid down and declared that unto _all men_ was
borned a Saviour, that the tidings of joy was for _all_. Which, though
it takes me by surprise, is the very best and most welcomest news that
ever fell upon my years. Yes, glory to God! _all men_,--not only the
elect, not only the upright, but the very low-downest and dog-meanest,
the vilest and needingest and most predestinated, is all took in. Now
that’s the kind of a Saviour my heart has allus called for; that’s the
kind I have laid awake of nights longing to hear tell of; and now at
last the news has come, ’pears like my bosom will bu’st with the joy I
hain’t able to utter.

“And that hain’t the only good tidings we have heared this notable
day. That selfsame angel, and a multitude more, sang together in that
Christmas sky, ‘Peace on earth, good-will toward men.’ O friends and
chillens, words indeed fails me when I try to tell what powerful good
news that is to me. For if ever a woman has craved peace and pursued
it, if ever a woman has had her fill of bloodshed and warfare, and her
heart tore and stobbed by violence and contention, I am that woman.
Yes, for forty year’ I hain’t opened my eyes a single morning without
fear of what the day might bring forth; my soul and body has been wore
to a frazzle by anxiousness and tribulation. All you Talberts and
Goodloes under the shadow of my voice know well what I mean, for all
of you has staggered under the same burden. Yes, I’ll be bound there
hain’t one here but has had his ’nough of war and strife, and is ready
to welcome the good Christmas news to-day, and forgit whether he’s a
Goodloe or a Talbert.

“Not a one, that is, but two. Surveying all around and about me, I
don’t behold but two faces here that hain’t decked out, like the
love-lie tree, with Christmas joy and peace. John Goodloe and Jeems
Talbert is onliest humans in all this gathering that wears gloom and
darkness on their countenance.

“John and Jeems, I am minded to speak out my full thought to you two
boys here and now, if I die for it. I’m a-going to unbottle my mind
and feelings, now I got you together, which God knows hain’t likely
to happen ag’in. And I aim to speak to you, Jeems, just as free as to
my son John, for the time was when you was every grain as dear to me
as a son, and I never knowed no difference betwixt the two of you.
Yes, when your pore young maw died at your birth, and you was left a
leetle, pindling, motherless babe, not scarce able to cry, it was me,
your nighest neighbor, that tuck you in and keered for you, that worked
over you and prayed over you, tryin’ to keep life in your puny leetle
body. Many’s the hour you and John have laid in my arms together, him
a-sucking one breast and you t’other; and if the milk run short, he
was the one that done without, being a week older and a sight stronger
than you. And I would set, looking on you both, not able to tell which
I loved the best. For him I had love, but for you both love and pity.
Yes, I loved you pine-blank as good as John; I may say you was both my
firstborns. And when your paw got him a new woman, it was with weeping
and wailing and rebelling that I give you up; I reckon I’ll never git
over the hurt of it. But even atter that, having fell into the hands of
a step-maw, you was allus a-running back to me; my house was home to
you; you knowed where to find understanding of your leetle troubles,
sympathy for your hurts, and comfort for your stummick. I allow you
hain’t forgot them batches of gingercake I used to keep cooked up for
you and John?”

Jeems made no reply; but he swallowed perceptibly, and the hand on his
crutch twitched nervously.

“You and John,” continued granny, “was allus together in your boy-time
in all your pranks and antics; when I whupped one, I knowed it was
safe to whup t’ other, and I done it glad’ and generous’, for your
future profit. And as you begun, you kep’ on. In your teens, if one
sneezed, t’ other kotch his breath. And finally when you got up to be
tall, pretty boys, sprouting mustaches and dashing around on nags,
you was just as onseparable, doing all your rambling and drinking and
gallivanting together, even down to falling in love with the same
gal. Yes, that ’ere pretty leetle jade, Nance Bolling, I can see her
now,--these store-poppets reminds me pine-blank of her,--just as
beautiful, just as empty-headed and hollow-hearted. Well, Nance she
left nothing undone to agg you both on, and foment jealousy and hate in
your hearts, and then, when she had you plumb beside yourselves, she
sot you to fight it out. You fit it out, to that extent Jeems has gone
through life on a crutch, and John with one eye and one lung; and while
you was laid up with your wounds, Nance upped and run off with another
boy, God help him! But did that restore you to your nateral senses and
feelings? Did you rise up clothed in your right mind and ashamed of
your conduct? Far from it! You riz up b’iling with rage, thirsting for
blood, black in the face with that fierce hate which springs only from
the root of love. You that had once lived closer than brothers, sot in
to layway and ambush and kill, and to rid the earth of one another. You
will both bear me out in saying it hain’t the fault of neither that t’
other draws the breath of life to-day.

“And even when you had both forgot Nance time out of mind, and tuck
you two of as nice women as the wind ever blowed on, you still
cherished deadly hatred in your hearts, and handed it down to your
innocent offsprings as they come along, so that as they growed up they
holp you in your devilment, and there was war betwixt every man and boy
that bore the name of Goodloe and Talbert, shootings every Christmas
and election, and battles and ambushings at odd times, till I allow
there hain’t a man here that hain’t got a lot of scars to show. And
the worst come fifteen years gone, when your two oldest, as likely and
handsome a pair as ever drawed breath, and with young wives and babes
depending on them, fit the terriblest battle of all, and fell both with
six bullets in ’em, stone-dead. Yes, having nothing ag’in’ each other,
they died, a living sacrifice to the hatred in your hearts. Jeems,
John, it was a costly price to pay. I seed John, and heared of Jeems,
aging twenty-year’ in a week. The fight was right smart took out of
both of you, though the pride wa’n’t; you continued to go about with
hate in your eyes and guns in your pockets.

“John and Jeems, you know it’s the truth I’m a-laying down when I say
it is pride, and naught but pride, that stands betwixt you now at
this present time. You know well you hain’t neither of you forgot, or
can forget, them fair early days when you was nigher than brothers,
and never had a thought you couldn’t share, and that it is them very
ricollections that has give’ such a keen edge to your hate. You know
well that, being sixty year’ old now, and considable past your youth,
and widows at that, with many of your acquaintance’ drapped off and
gone, you would both injoy fine having a boyhood friend and brother to
set by the fire and talk old times with. I know myself how lonesome it
is to git old and outlive everybody.

“Jeems and John, the message comes to you this bright Christmas day
straight from the tongue of angels, ‘Peace and good-will’; no more
hate, no more pride, no more projeckin’ and devilment, but ‘Peace on
earth, good-will toward men.’ I charge you both, boys, hearken to the
words, put by your stubbornness, tromple on your pride; for Christ’s
sake and your old mother’s, be j’ined together ag’in in brotherly love!”

The two grizzled, scarred men were staring across the intervening space
now into each other’s eyes, fixedly, painfully, awfully, as though
they saw ghosts. Suddenly the hand of Jeems dropped to his hip-pocket,
he drew forth his revolver, and flung it far up on the mountain-side.
John’s pistol rose almost simultaneously in the opposite direction.
Then, with working faces, the two advanced and silently clasped hands.

Weeping and shouting, little granny caught the big men to the shrunken
bosom from which they had once drawn life. Goodloes fell on the
necks of Talberts; men embraced and wrung hands solemnly, women wept
hysterically on one another’s shoulders, children cried, not knowing
why; Anne and Luke shed happy tears on the face of little John Jeems
between them.

After a long while granny released the two men from her clasp, held
them at arms’-length a moment, looking at them hungrily and joyously,
and then laid a hand on the arm of each.

“Come along home now, boys,” she said; “it’s a-gitting on late, and I
allow you’ll both injoy a good batch of gingercake for supper.”






If the generation now coming to the front in France is healthy and
vigorous physically, mentally, and morally, and proud of its health
and vigor, if it is confident, expectant, full of energy and will,
impatient for action and fit to act, if it dares to be happy, if it
will have none of the pessimism of Schopenhauer or of the nihilism
of Renan; if it is, in a word, a generation of young young men,
whereas the generation that preceded it was a generation of old young
men, melancholy, morbid, dilettante, neurasthenic, and proud of its
melancholia, morbidness, dilettantism, and neurasthenia,--and such is
generally admitted to be the case,--certainly not the least of the
numerous and varied influences that have combined to bring about this
radical transformation is the inspiriting message of Henri Bergson.

In the early years of the twelfth century, at the base of the Tower
of Clovis, on the summit of the Montagne Ste.-Geneviève in Paris, a
scholar in the habit of a monk, Pierre Abélard, proclaimed under the
open sky “the rights of the earth, the right of the reason to reason”
in discourses which Michelet characterizes as “the veritable point of
departure of the first Renaissance for France and for Europe.” The
élite of the then civilized world--two popes, twenty cardinals, fifty
bishops, “all the orders,” Romans, Germans, Englishmen, Italians,
Spaniards, Flemings--flocked thither to listen to the great innovator.
He was silenced by the dogmatists of the period, but he left behind him
an idea which “became more and more the fixed idea of the Renaissance,
namely, ‘wisdom is not wisdom if it confines itself to logic, if it
does not add thereto erudition, all human knowledge.’”

Five hundred years later, on this same Montagne Ste.-Geneviève, René
Descartes demolished scholasticism and founded modern psychology.
Persecuted by the Sorbonne, as was nearly every other expounder of new
doctrines at that time, he nevertheless created a veritable furor among
the bluestockings of the magnificent court of Louis XIV. His “vortexes”
and “fluted matter,” his “three elements” and his “innate metaphysical
ideas,” were the small talk of the _précieuses_; snobbishness for
the most part, of course, but it is one of the redeeming features of
snobbishness that it sometimes bestows its plaudits and its patronage
upon genuine merit.

At the present time the philosopher Henri Bergson is assailing, in
his turn, another scholasticism--the scholasticism of science. At the
Collège de France, the consummation and the coronation of the various
schools of the Montagne Ste.-Geneviève, he is creating a flutter in
the dove-cotes of bluestockingdom such as no pure philosopher has
created there since the time of Descartes. Indeed, Bergson has become
so fashionable that soon, as some one facetiously observed regarding
Francis of Assisi after the appearance of Sabatier’s fascinating
biography of that saint, “they will be wearing him upon bonnets,”
another instance of snobbishness adoring actual achievement.

The biggest amphitheater the Collège de France can provide is quite too
small for M. Bergson’s would-be auditors. Long before the lecture-hour,
the seats and the steps of the aisles, which can be made to serve as
seats, are preëmpted by patient waiters of both sexes, of varying ages,
sorts, conditions, and all nationalities. The standing-room fills
up rapidly also, while about the doors are enacted scenes vaguely
reminiscent of those that occur daily at the City Hall terminal of
the Brooklyn Bridge during the rush hours, in which the gentle, but
not always mannerly, sex does rather more than its share of pushing,
tugging, elbowing, and treading upon toes, in virtue, no doubt, of its
superior zeal for knowledge.

When the lecture begins, the sitters, and such of the standers as are
lucky enough to have their arms free, scribble furiously in their
note-books, the hapless strugglers at the doors and in the vestibule
crane their necks in a futile attempt to catch a glimpse of the
platform through the rifts in the monstrous feminine headgear now in
fashion, and all alike, those who neither see, hear, nor comprehend, as
well as those who do, promptly take on the rapt, superior expression of
initiates--the expression that used to characterize the audiences at
“Pelléas and Mélisande” when Debussyism was in its infancy.

The lecturer is short of stature, spare, an almost perfect ascetic
type, somewhat, gray and slightly bald. He has slender hands, tapering
fingers, a weasel-shaped head, heavy eyebrows, a close-cropped
mustache grayer than the hair, and “liquid and profound eyes that
suggest mysterious molten metals in the stars.” He is correctly,
even fastidiously, but not foppishly, dressed. He speaks slowly and
distinctly, but easily, with engaging indifference to his notes and
without any effort at oratory, his nearest approaches to gestures being
abruptly arrested semispasmodic workings of the hands, periodical
inclinations of the head, and an occasional deepening and darkening of
the eyes. It is as though sheer intellect, abstract intellect, were
endowed with the power of speech. There is not the slightest trace
in M. Bergson’s manner of the overweening vanity that too often mars
the public appearances of world celebrities, nor is there a scrap of
the unlovely pedantry and arid officialism against the prevalence of
which at the Sorbonne a considerable portion of cultivated France
recently rose in revolt. On the contrary, he is constantly referred
to in university circles as “the lark,” partly perhaps because he
offers a certain physical resemblance to that ungarish creature; but
mainly because there is a touch of lyricism in all his utterances, even
his most trenchant analyses. He presents his views progressively and
with a modest tentativeness which makes his auditors feel that they
are assisting at the birth of a system rather than listening to the
exposition of a perfected one. They seem to see the lecturer suffer and
create, as the symbolical pelican of ecclesiastical tradition pierces
her flank for the wherewithal to feed her young. Indeed, the regular
attendants follow the stages of the creative process as eagerly and
impatiently as though they were the instalments of an absorbing novel.

How far Henri Bergson’s extraordinary vogue is due to the substance
and how far to the form of his thought is not easy to determine,
since either alone amply suffices to account for it. His philosophy
is a rehabilitation, to employ untechnical language, of God and the
soul. It is a reconciliation “in a harmony felt by the heart of terms
irreconcilable, perhaps, by the intellect,” of science and metaphysics
with religion, of knowledge with life, of law with conduct, of liberty
with authority, of the ideals of the Occident with the ideals of the
Orient, of the present with the past and with the future. According
to M. Bergson, the universe, which is incessant mobility, perpetual,
continuous flux, is acquiring a constantly swelling volume of free
creative activity, and the inner life of each and every person in the
universe is absolutely original. “Life is really creation. It is not
a fabrication determined by the idea of an end to be realized; it is
an impetus, an initiative, an effort to make matter produce something
which it would not produce of itself.” We know reality by living it. We
may act freely, and in so acting we experience creation.

M. Bergson’s philosophy is a vindication of intuition, the faculty
upon which the poets, the Shelleys and the Keatses, the Villons and
the Verlaines, have always depended for their knowledge of themselves,
of the universe, and of their relations to the universe. We who are
not poets are the deluded victims, says M. Bergson in effect, of
our reasoning faculty, which is constantly playing hob with us. We
should submit to the authority of intuition, for to do a thing without
reason, even against reason, may in certain cases be to act from the
best of reasons. This does not mean that reason should be despised or
discarded, as some of the philosopher’s overzealous followers are prone
to proclaim,--even the great poet must resort to it in expressing the
conceptions his intuition gives him,--but rather that reason is a
highly useful subordinate of intuition, bearing much the same relation
thereto that the housemaid bears to the housewife, the mason or
carpenter to the architect, the private soldier to the strategist. In
short, M. Bergson’s attitude toward reason is essentially that of the
immortal seers. It recalls Pascal’s “The heart has its reasons which
reason knoweth not,” Joubert’s “It is easy to know God if you do not
attempt to define Him,” Emerson’s “With consistency a great soul has
simply nothing to do,” and Browning’s “Others may reason and welcome,
’t is we musicians know.”

Our William James pronounced every page of Henri Bergson to be “like
the breath of morning and the song of birds.” M. Bergson’s style,
though delightfully free from affectation, is not so simple and direct
as these comparisons imply. They suggest admirably its freshness,
melodiousness, graciousness, and grace, but they fail to suggest the
exquisite subtlety which is its most distinctive trait. They may be
given a fair approach to adequacy, however, by substituting for “the
morning,” a morning of luminous haze such as Corot loved to paint,
and for “the song of birds,” the cuckoo’s “wandering voice.” As soft,
tenuous, filmy, fluid as mist or wreathing smoke, it is as precise,
not to say geometrical, in design as the spider’s gossamer web, and
is equally iridescent. The critic who characterized it as Arachnean,
therefore, was most happily inspired, though his purpose in doing so
was, if I remember right, to hold it up to derision. No living writer,
not even Maurice Maeterlinck, surpasses Henri Bergson in evoking, in
projecting, in visualizing, so to speak, those subconscious activities
of the soul which are commonly esteemed unanalyzable and, great poetry,
possibly, apart, unutterable. He “forces language to express things for
which language was not intended.” With impalpable pigments and ghostly
brushes he paints upon imaginary canvases veritable landscapes of the
soul. We do not go to pure philosophers for esthetic sensations,--no
one ever frequented Kant, for instance, for his style,--and in general
we enjoy or do not enjoy them according as they do or do not succeed
in convincing us. Henri Bergson is a striking exception to this rule.
We read Bergson, as we read Plato, out of sheer infatuation with his
verbal artistry, and we should continue to read him ecstatically if he
should undertake to prove that the moon was made of green cheese.

Such as he is in the lecture-room, such as he is in his books,
unassuming, unpedantic, gracious, well-poised, subtle, tactful, alert,
resourceful, stimulating, such Henri Bergson is in his every-day
existence. In his case, and to an unusual degree, the style is the man.
An easy talker, ever ready to speak freely upon all subjects,--his
personal affairs, work, and politics excepted,--he nevertheless
goes little into society, not because he dislikes social functions,
but because he cannot contrive to make the necessary leisure. He
resides about midway between the Seine and the Bois de Boulogne, in
an umbrageous and incredibly tranquil corner of the Auteuil quarter,
where he is well nigh as secure from the hustle and bustle of Paris
as he would be in a provincial village; and he spends his summers
in Switzerland at St.-Cergue, almost ten miles from the nearest
railway station, in a modest two-story villa, surrounded by meadows
and evergreen woods, the front windows and veranda of which afford
ravishing views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc. Winter and summer
alike, six in the morning finds him installed at his desk, and from
that moment until he retires for the night he allows himself virtually
no respite save that which is afforded by an occasional varying of

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



Though so little of a Parisian in the sense in which the word is
currently employed, M. Bergson is one of the relatively few famous
Frenchmen who possess a clear title to that distinction. He was born
in Paris on the eighteenth of October, 1859. From nine to eighteen he
attended as a day student the Lycée Condorcet (then Lycée Bonaparte),
in the Opéra quarter, an institution founded in 1803 under the
consulship of the First Napoleon, which numbers among its illustrious
alumni Dumas _fils_, De Banville, the Goncourts, Eugène Sue, and
Hippolyte Taine. Less precocious than Pascal, who at sixteen wrote a
treatise on conic sections that excited the admiration of Descartes,
and who is said to have rediscovered at twelve the first propositions
of Euclid, young Bergson was nevertheless sufficiently advanced at
eighteen to produce in the _concours général_ of the Paris _lycées_ a
mathematical solution which was accorded the unusual honor of being
published in full in the “Annales Mathématiques,” and which, if I
mistake not, exempted him from the obligation of military service.
From the Lycée Condorcet he went to the Ecole Normale Supérieure,
matriculating in the section of letters, which he had chosen over
the section of sciences after not a little hesitation and misgiving,
for he was at that time an ardent disciple of Herbert Spencer and
dreamed of perfecting Spencerianism. While at the Ecole Normale he came
under the joint influence of Félix Ravaisson, harmonizer of the Greek
spirituality of the intelligence and the Christian spirituality of
the will and of the heart, and Emile Boutroux, author of a memorable
assault upon the then dominant determinism entitled “De la contingence
des lois de la nature,” and now President of the Institut de France,
who speedily freed him from his Spencerian obsession and turned him in
the direction he has since followed. Obliged, after his graduation from
the Ecole Normale to submit, like the majority of its graduates, to a
period of banishment from Paris, he taught philosophy for two years at
the Lycée of Angers, in the province of Anjou, and for five years at
the Lycée of Clermont-Ferrand, in the province of Auvergne. During his
stay at Clermont, he delivered a number of lectures in the university
of that city, and wrote the work “L’essai sur les données immédiates
de la conscience,” which revealed him as an original thinker and as a
redoubtable antagonist of determinism. At Clermont he also mapped out
his life-work (studies, researches, and publications), calculating
carefully the time to be allotted to each subject, and thus far he has
not only succeeded in executing his program to the letter, but he has
been able to permit himself such interludes as a course of lectures on
Plotinus, his essay on laughter, a lecturing sojourn at Oxford, and the
projected visit to the United States.

His “stage” in the provinces over, he taught first in the Collège
Rollin and then in the Lycée Henri IV, located upon the very spot where
Abélard held his open-air classes. While connected with the latter
institution, he published “Matière et mémoire,” and it is thanks, no
doubt, to the sensation this work created in the university world
that he was called in 1897 to an assistant professorship in the Ecole
Normale, and, in 1900, to his present professorship at the Collège de

Teaching, for Henri Bergson, is not a makeshift, but a veritable
sacrament. His former pupils are virtually unanimous in testifying to
his conscientiousness and zeal, as well as to his magnetic qualities
as a teacher. Not a few of them, become teachers in their turn, call
upon him often for counsel and guidance, which he invariably bestows
gladly, however preoccupied and harassed by his formidable undertakings
he may be at the time. And this is not the least of the reasons why a
goodly proportion of the younger professors of philosophy in the French
_lycées_ and _collèges_ of France proclaim themselves Bergsonians.
Furthermore, the young men who have attended his classes or his
lectures or who have come under the less direct, but only a shade less
potent, spell of his writings, seem to be possessed with a passion
for “living things”--for “doing things,” we would say in America--as
distinguished from analyzing things.

Bergson has been hailed as “the inaugurator of a new era in
philosophy,” “the foremost thinker of France,” “the most original and
significant figure in the philosophical field of Europe,” “the sole
philosopher of the first rank France has had since Descartes and Europe
since Kant,” “the restorer of psychology,” “the modern Heraclitus,”
“the Darwin or the Newton of philosophy,” “the Wells of philosophy,
adventurous inventor of a new machine for exploring the world.” And
his system has been characterized as “a new principle for the integral
renovation of philosophy,” “the matrix of all future systems,” “the
ruin of Marxism,” “the annihilation of materialism.”

Whether all of these appraisals be just or none of them be just,
whether Bergsonism be sound or unsound, enduring or ephemeral, time,
the supreme winnower, will of course determine. In the meanwhile it
is perfectly safe to affirm that Bergson is a peculiarly fine and
rich personality, an admirable example of the consecrated scholar, a
consummate literary artist, a genuine prose poet, a keen psychologist,
an observer of life, and one of the most suggestive and stimulating
of contemporaneous thinkers; and this, even though his philosophy may
ultimately share the fate of the greatest of its predecessors, is
enough to make the glory of one man.

  [1] Professor Bergson is about to visit the United States, and will
      deliver a series of lectures at Columbia University in January.

[Illustration: Christmas Echoes from PROVENCE

by Edith M. Thomas]

[Illustration: The Almond Branch



  “Come answer me this, petite, petite--
  A riddle for you to guess, my sweet:
  What is the tree that in winter’s gloom
  Breaks in an hour into bloom, into bloom?
    Here’s silver for her who tells”
    (Hark to the nougat bells!)[2]


  “Mon vieux, mon vieux, that’s no riddle for me
  ’Tis a branch of the little almond tree
  The poor man brings from the orchard-plot;
  A branch for a yule-log--is all he has got,
    While his children sing +noëls+”
    (Hark to the nougat bells!)


  “But it snaps in the fire and the whole branch glows--
  Breaks into blossoms of white and rose!
  His wife and his children laugh to see
  Those blossoms of fire from the almond tree--
  And the smoke how sweet it smells!”
    (Hark to the nougat bells!)

  Edith M. Thomas

  [2] The Christmas chimes, so called from the confection of that

[Illustration: Saboly

Seventeenth Century--

  Saboly is dead,
  Is dead in Avignon!
  He made the organ sing
  As it had been a choir
  Of angels of the Lord
  Cleaving and brightening
  The roof of dark St. Pierre!
  The sound was of great glory,
  It trembled all around
  And quivered through our hearts.

  Saboly is dead,
  The maker of +noëls+
  That all the people loved,
  Saboly is dead--
  And Yule is here again;
  The great log on the hearth,
  The crèche with all its lights,
  The children gathering there;
  The Kings are on the road--
  The twilight road that leads
  From out the purple East
  The road from St. Remys!...
  How shall we sing his songs
  Who sang so well of these!
  Folk say, when death was near
  He set his hand to write
  For us a new +noël+.
  (So many a one before
  He wrote with pen of gold!)
  When he to Heaven came
  I wis was silence then.
  While Mary Mother bent
  And raised him to his place,
  The sweetness on his lips
  Of that last, best +noël+!

  But we--how can we sing
  The songs he made for us,
  Though Yule is here again!
  For Saboly is dead,
  Is dead in Avignon.

Edith M. Thomas.]

[Illustration: “Little Christmas Ghost.”


  I am an old, old woman
  And I do not see so well;
  The things that are from the things that seem,
  I may not at all times tell.


  But this for a truth I know--
  I know I had locked my door;
  And had buried the fire on the hearth
  As I’d always done before.


  I am an old, old woman--
  Not a chick nor child have I;
  But that Christmas night, as I climbed the stair,
  A Little One flitted by!


  It was nothing of flesh or blood,
  But it passed with a lilting joy;
  Its hair so bright flew out in Its haste,
  And in either hand was a toy!


  It heeded me not at all--
  It was passing me by, when I said,
  “Who art thou, thou little Christmas Ghost?”
  And quickly it turned Its head!


  I am an old, old woman
  You will not believe, but I know
  That Christmas Elf was my own child-self
  Of fourscore years ago!

Edith M. Thomas.]




Drawn by Joseph Clement Coll

Lizette Amboise sat beside the window making lace. The lovely line
of her profile caught the light; the clear white of cap and kerchief
enriched the olive of her skin. Seen thus from within the room, she was
so beautiful that the old eyes of Pierre’s mother brightened as they
looked at her.

Pierre himself was working in the woolen mills at Lisieux. Soon after
he went his house had caught fire, and Lizette, rushing through the
flames, had led his mother out to safety. Since then the old woman had
remembered only in flashes.

So there she sat in Lizette’s cottage, her eyes brightening as they
rested on the girl. But all at once they clouded; she had remembered.

“If it was as it used to be,” she broke out in a quavering voice, “you
might be restored for Pierre’s coming home.”

At the words Lizette turned, and the old woman began to cry.

“For him to come back at Christmas,” she wailed, “to see that!”

The girl looked quickly away. The rich olive of her cheek had faded to
a dead pallor; her hands lay idle in her lap. “For him to come back
to see that!” She used to rejoice in Pierre’s love of beauty. He was
different from the other young men of the village, who cared more for a
woman’s strength than for her face, and who looked always at the earth
they tilled and never at the sky. Pierre could be keen and shrewd as
any other Norman peasant; but Lizette knew his dreams, his delight in
beauty, the thoughts he hid from his neighbors.

Once Lizette had said to him:

“Perhaps I can serve you as well making my lace as though I were strong
to work in the fields.”

And Pierre, his dark eyes glowing, had answered:

“It is not your service I want, my Lizette. I want only to have you
near me, to be able to look into your face.”

The words had pleased her when he spoke them; now they stabbed her to
the heart. And so did these lines of the letter Pierre had written
after he heard from the curé about the burning of his house, and how
Lizette had saved his mother: “My beautiful, brave Lizette! How shall I
wait to see you! Your face is always before me.”

“Mère Bernay,”--Lizette had turned again to the old woman,--“listen to
me, Mère Bernay. What did you mean when you said I could be restored
for Pierre’s return if it was as it used to be?”

“By a miracle of Little Noël. You would make the nine-days’ prayer
before Christmas mass. Many are the cures were made so at our church in
the old days. But that was long ago; they are made no more.”

The miracles of Little Noël! Lizette had heard of them ever since she
was a child, but they had seemed merely a tradition. Suppose--her eyes
widened and she drew her breath in quickly.

If the miracles had ceased, it must be because the faith of the people
had died. Had not the curé often bewailed the worldliness of the times,
the love of pleasure that had replaced piety? If she had faith, if she
prayed with her whole heart, it might be that a miracle of Little
Noël would be wrought even now for her!

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


It was only two weeks before Christmas. Soon she could begin the nine
days of special fasting and prayer; and there was time before that for
preparation. Lizette rose, took down her long cloak, bent over Pierre’s
mother, kissed her withered cheeks, and then went out into the golden
light of the sunset.

She pulled the hood of her cloak far over her face, and walked rapidly.
She saw no one until Mère Fouchard came to her door, calling shrilly to
the little Henri. Mère Fouchard stopped shrilling when she saw Lizette.

“How the girl keeps the hood over her face!” she said to herself. And
then, “Does she think she can hide it thus from Pierre Bernay when he
comes back!”

She called a greeting, hoping Lizette would turn; but she was
disappointed. The girl answered without looking around.

The church was in the middle of the wood in which the village was
built. In Normandy these little villages try to hide themselves among
the trees; but the gleam of their white-walled cottages betrays them.

When Lizette reached the church, twilight was gathering, and the
branches of the trees wove delicate traceries against a sky of pale
amethyst and rose. The old stone church, with its square tower, made a
picture amid that setting which Lizette was quick to note. Pierre had
taught her to see such things.

But she noted also, and with a sorrow she had never felt before, the
dilapidated condition of the church. In the days when the miracles of
Little Noël made the village famous, it had been different. Then, as
Lizette knew, not a crumbling bit of mortar had gone untended or a
candlestick unpolished. And the women of the village had woven finest
cloth for the altars, and bordered them with lace of their own making.
Lizette resolved that she would begin such an altar-cloth on the morrow.

Now she pushed the door open and looked shrinkingly about. There was
only stillness and peace within, and the Virgin with the Child in her
arms. It seemed she was waiting for Lizette. With a little sob, swept
by a wave of emotion that laid bare all her heart, the girl went
forward and fell on her knees, throwing back the hood from her head.

Her face was now revealed, as though for the pitiful eyes of the Virgin
to see. On one side it was the beautiful face Pierre Bernay hungered
for day and night: on the other it was furrowed across by the crimson
scars the fire had made.

The starry eyes, upraised, overflowed with tears; the lips quivered in
their supplications: “Grant to me faith, that a miracle of Little Noël
may be wrought upon me! Have pity upon me and restore me for Pierre’s

How often she had pictured that return--the leap of her lover’s eyes to
her face, their horrified turning away; for she had begged the curé to
write no hint of her disfigurement. She would have no pretense, she who
had throbbed and glowed under the long caress of Pierre’s gaze. If he
could not bear to look upon her, she must know it. It would be better
than finding out little by little. If it should be as she feared,
she would go away. She had a cousin who worked on a farm in the rich
country to the east. Perhaps she could find the place; it did not much

Suddenly Lizette realized that these thoughts were intruding themselves
upon her devotions; that fear and foreboding were driving out the faith
she longed for. She began to pray again, and little by little her heart
grew still within her. It was as though a light broke softly and grew;
there was no room left for fear.

In the church, meantime, the dusk had been gathering. Lizette, when she
rose to her feet, could just see the face of the Child. It was in honor
of his birthday the cures had been made; for the sake of the little
Jesus, who had come to heal the sicknesses and sorrows of all the world.

For some minutes Lizette stood there. Then she remembered the Mère
Bernay, sitting all alone, with the fire dying on the hearth; and
she hurried away. But the crushing weight was gone from her heart.
She walked with light steps, and looked up at the stars, which were
beginning to come out in the sky.

Every day now Lizette prayed in the church, but no one who saw her pass
guessed at what was in her heart. It may be, however, that Pierre’s
mother knew; she knew many things that no one ever told her. Sometimes
when Lizette came in with that light on her face the old woman would
look at her with eyes which seemed to understand.

When the time came for her to make the nine-days’ prayer, Lizette went
to her devotions both morning and evening, and so absorbed was she that
the fire often died on the hearth, and Pierre’s mother shivered as she
sat beside it. But it was on the last day of her waiting that the girl
knelt longest in the little church. When she came again it would be
for the midnight mass; she hardly dared to think further than that.
The old fear seemed to be hovering near, threatening to seize her.
She sought shelter from it in her prayers: she even tried to forget a
certain resolve she had made, lest it argue lack of faith. This resolve
was that Pierre’s eyes should be the first to rest upon her after the
midnight mass. She would neither look in her glass nor touch her face
with her fingers. His eyes, and his alone, should tell her whether the
miracle had been performed.

Pierre had written again, saying that he would come early on Christmas
morning. In a few hours he would be on his way, walking from Lisieux to
a little inn where he slept. But long before dawn he would start again,
and be with her soon after the sun was up. She was glad that Mère
Bernay lay in bed until late. She wished to watch for Pierre alone.

That evening she told the old woman that they would eat the réveillon
before mass. “You would be too weary if you waited for my return,” she
said; but the true reason lay in her resolve that Pierre should be the
first to see her face after the midnight mass.

The réveillon may be spread either before or after that mass. Lizette
brought out the roasted chestnuts soaked in wine and the little cakes.
Her heart was suddenly light and gay. She made Mère Bernay put her
shoes on the hearth, ready for gifts; then Lizette put one of her own
beside them, and next to that she put the other of the pair for her

The gifts were in readiness; the cottage wore a festive air. Branches
of laurel and pine were fastened over the fireplace, and the vessels of
copper and brass twinkled in the light of the yule log. Père Fouchard
had brought the log in that morning. He was as kind as his wife was

When the feast was eaten and Pierre’s mother was in bed, Lizette made
herself ready to go to the church. With greater care than ever she hid
her face in the hood of her cloak; then she lighted her lantern and
stepped out into a white mist, which seemed to open to receive her. The
frosty road crackled beneath her feet, and the branches of the trees
waved ghostly arms on each side.

The mist was like a delicate veil, entwining everything. Lizette knew
that the little procession of village folk had already passed on its
way to the church. She had heard them singing a few minutes before as
they went; but she had not wished to join them.

Now that she was on her way, she realized that her gaiety had deserted
her, that she felt frightened. But she must not be frightened; she must
have faith. It was faith that would make the miracle possible.

So Lizette came to the church after the others, and slipped into a dim
corner. Nevertheless, several saw her and peered curiously. Among these
was Mère Fouchard. Like all the rest, she had heard that Pierre Bernay
returned on the morrow.

Lizette scarcely heard the hymns or the sermon. She sat like one
tranced, waiting. Her rosary slipped through her fingers, and her pale
lips moved. She tried to think of the words of the prayers, and she
tried not to see Pierre’s eyes as they leaped to her face. Beyond her
meeting with Pierre everything was a blank.

The mass was over, and Lizette was on her way home. The others had
lingered to sing the Christmas carols and to exchange greetings; but
Lizette had slipped out quickly, and went alone through the fog. She
held her cloak tight about her with both hands. At first it had been
all she could do not to touch her face, but that temptation had passed.
She did not even think of it; she knew she would wait for Pierre’s

But the reaction after the long strain had set in. She felt a great
weariness; she would have liked to creep away into the wood and cry
like a little child. But she stumbled on through the fog, came to the
cottage, and lay down on her bed.

Then it was morning, and the mist was lifting and drifting away. It
drifted away in trailing veils, clinging to everything it passed. But
Lizette looked at the mist only a few moments; she had to make herself
ready for Pierre’s coming.

She watched for him from the window where she sat when she made her
lace, and the mist rose as though to let her see as far down the road
as possible. She could not have said whether she believed herself
healed. There was a sort of blankness in her head. Yet she knew she was
suffering supreme suspense. Now and again the anguish of it pierced
through the blankness; but it was only for a moment, or she could not
have borne it.

Then a figure came into sight at the farthest point of the road she
could see. She rose instantly; she knew it was Pierre. His tall figure,
his eager gait--how often she had seen him coming thus to the cottage!
But now her heart seemed to stop, and she felt she would never get to
the door; never put on her cloak, and pull her hood over her head. She
held the hood tight about her face as she went.

When Pierre saw her coming he stood perfectly still, his head lifted
up. It was as though his very longing, the piercing delight of her
nearness, had fixed him there. And Lizette, her knees trembling beneath
her, went on toward him. Then stopping suddenly, she lifted her hands
and threw back the hood from her face.

Ah, the leap of Pierre’s eyes! But before Lizette’s there came a
swimming blackness; the earth seemed to rise up and the trees to
rush past her. She tried to speak, she tried to see; then the deadly
struggling ceased.

She found herself in Pierre’s arms. His eyes were on her face. Their
love enveloped her and drew her close--closer than ever before. It was
like something in which she lost herself. She lay still, looking up at

“Lizette,” he whispered brokenly. He put his face down against hers.
“My brave, beautiful Lizette!”

Tears sprang to her eyes; an incredible happiness flooded her being.

“It is the miracle of Little Noël,” she whispered.

Pierre paid no heed. He seemed not to care about her meaning; he cared
only for her. Raising her to her feet, he supported her with his
arm. He gazed in her face as though his hunger for it could never be
appeased; and at last he put one hand beneath her chin and turned her
head gently to one side.

“This is the Lizette I left,” he said--“the Lizette whose beautiful
face made me forget her soul. I loved her as a man loves a woman when
both are young.”

He stopped, and then he turned Lizette’s face so that his eyes rested
upon the side which had been burned.

“And this--” He broke off; when he could speak again, his voice had a
hushed, exquisite note--“and this,” he said, “is the Lizette I never
knew. It is the wonderful, beautiful soul of Lizette. When we are old
and our bodies have changed, still I shall always see your brave,
tender, beautiful soul.”

But Lizette, with a low cry, had pushed him from her. She put a hand to
her face.

“The burns!” she gasped. “I feel the burns!”

Pierre seized her hands in his. He drew her to him, kissing the scars
again and again.

“My Lizette,” he whispered, “I did not know before what love was--this
love of soul and body!”

And Lizette, raising her head, clasped her hands together.

“It is the miracle of Little Noël,” she said.






No period of our history better repays perusal by thoughtful readers
and good citizens than the political happenings of the three years
following the Civil War, culminating in the attempt to “recall”
President Johnson. But the subject is so vast that no magazine article
can more than suggest its outlines, or sketch the personalities
involved in the first efforts to reëstablish civil order in the South.

Probably no actor in that series of passionate events could write of
them without some bias; nor would any picture be quite true without the
perspective due to individual experience.

Considered in the large, the long fight between Congress and President
Johnson must be regarded as a wrestling of political forces, a struggle
for major influence in reconstruction, between the executive and
legislative branches of the Government.

In the Civil War the Democratic party, which for many years had been
dominated by the slave-holding interests of the South, had been
dethroned by the new Republican party, which, however, could not have
achieved its purpose to save the Union and abolish slavery without the
aid of the large body of War Democrats who had been rallied to the
support of Lincoln by his defeated rival, Senator Douglas.

At the end of the war, the Republican party was dominated by its
Radical wing, whose extreme aims were almost as offensive to the War
Democrats as to their old allies of the South; and the latter were not
slow to grasp at the political advantage of a reunion which promised
Democratic control of the National Government.

A fourth great factor in the war had been the Union men of the South,
formerly Democrats, of whom Andrew Johnson had been the forceful
leader. It was this prominence which dictated his nomination for
Vice-President in 1864. When, at the close of the war, by the
assassination of Lincoln he became President, his utterances gave the
Republicans hope that as a convert his zeal would equal if not exceed
that of the Radicals in their purpose to subject the South to a period
of political probation. But it was soon manifest that he would steer
the course of conciliation which Lincoln, before the end of battle, had
already charted and begun. The tendency of Johnson’s policy was to draw
to him men imbued with the old Democratic sentiment. In a little while,
the Republican leaders perceived that as soon as the Democrats of the
South should be allowed to vote they would unite with the Democrats of
the North, and thus Republican ascendancy might come to a sudden end,
and some of the results achieved by battle might be reversed at the

The black man had been freed, and, to protect him against the political
power of his former masters, the Republicans decided to give him the
ballot. This, it was expected, would also offset Democratic votes
in the South, and help to perpetuate Republican rule. President
Johnson had championed emancipation, but was opposed to immediate
Negro suffrage. In the minds of the Radicals that attitude not only
stamped him as a traitor to the party which elected him, but also
incited an obstinate South. When the efforts to thwart the President
by obstructive laws had failed, the Radicals sought to remove him by

Each side had abundant legal and moral grounds for its actions, and
each believed that the other was reaching for selfish political
advantage. Outbreaks of lawlessness in the South, peculiar to the
extraordinary conditions, and chargeable to both sides, convinced each
that its worst fears were justified.

In the pages which follow, the main motives for impeachment are
sketched by General Otis, who fought through the Civil War as a
Union soldier, then entered the long political contest as a militant
journalist, and finally resumed his place by the flag in the war
with Spain. A more conservative view is taken by General Henderson,
a War Democrat high in Lincoln’s confidence, and a slaveholder who
yet proposed the final edict of freedom in the Senate. He is the only
survivor of the seven Republican senators who thwarted impeachment,
ex-Senator George F. Edmunds, of Vermont, being the only other
surviving member of the court. Out of his personal recollection
General Henderson describes his intercourse with Lincoln in securing
emancipation, and his part in the impeachment fiasco.

Papers to follow, in the January ~Century~, will include an account
of the impeachment trial, largely based on the President’s notes and
letters, and an anecdotal sketch of Andrew Johnson, one of the most
peculiar characters in American history.

In subsequent papers, after an interval, the later aspects of
“Reconstruction” will be treated from the Southern point of view.--~The




Editor of the “Los Angeles Times”; veteran of the war for the Union;
Brevet Major-General in the war with Spain


The War of the Rebellion was the offspring of a desire on the part of
the South to secure exemption from laws that its people believed would
be enacted by a great Northern party, following the election of Abraham
Lincoln, and which would put an end to the extension of slavery, and
menace its safety in the States where it existed. In vain Republican
statesmen protested that slavery would not be interfered with south of
the Potomac. Behind Lincoln and Seward the South beheld Garrison and
Lovejoy and Phillips. It was the belief of Davis and Breckinridge and
Benjamin and Toombs that to exclude slavery from Kansas and Nebraska
would be to sound the prelude of its abolition in Virginia and the
Carolinas, and that those who commended the raid of John Brown and
indorsed Helper’s “Impending Crisis” would sooner or later dominate the
Republican party and commit it to universal abolition of the system of
servile labor, upon the perpetuation of which depended the industrial
life of the South.

It was believed by Southern publicists that the Dred Scott decision
would be reversed by a reorganized Supreme Court, and that a
Republican Congress would enact laws denying the slaveholders the right
to carry their slaves into the territories, and to be protected there
by Federal power. As a matter of fact, slave labor could not have been
employed profitably in the corn-fields of Kansas and Nebraska, and the
cotton States had no slaves to spare. As was wittily said by Charles
Francis Adams, “The South seceded because she couldn’t get protection
for a thing she hadn’t got, in a place where she didn’t want it.”

In the months between the election and inauguration of Lincoln,
during which the Southern Confederacy was organized, members of the
Thirty-sixth Congress made futile efforts to avert the coming struggle.
Senator Mason of Virginia sneeringly characterized the Crittenden
compromise resolutions as “a bread pill.” Senator Douglas rejoined
that “hypochondriacs were sometimes best cured of imaginary disorders
by the use of bread pills.” Compromise was impossible. The South was
determined on separation. Her press and her orators cherished the
delusion that Northern men would not fight to preserve the Union. They
fired the Southern heart and precipitated the cotton States into a

The uprising in the North that followed the assault on Sumter amazed
the South and astonished the world; but it was not until nearly two
years after Sumter that the nation became fully aroused to a sense of
its power, its duty, and its destiny. The Emancipation Proclamation of
President Lincoln struck swift and sure at the cause of the war, which
was the Southern determination to perpetuate slavery. It enlisted the
sympathies of Christian civilization. By the late summer of 1864 it
became apparent that the sacrifices, the generalship, and the desperate
valor of the Confederates could not much longer hold out against the
superiority of the Union forces in numbers and arms, and the financial
resources of the Federal government. The one hope of the Confederacy
was that, at the ensuing election, the people of the loyal States might
decree to end the contest. But the soul went out of the Confederacy
on the sixth of November, 1864, when the ballots cast for Abraham
Lincoln settled the issue of continuing the war for the Union. Victory
succeeded victory, until the old banner, hallowed by the new motive,
floated over every Southern stronghold.


Many of the volunteer troops had been authorized by the laws of
their respective States to vote in the field for President of the
United States. In the case of my command, this voting was done in the
Shenandoah Valley on November 6, about a fortnight after the famous
battle of Cedar Creek, the scene of “Sheridan’s Ride.” My brigade was
then on the march from Cedar Creek to Martinsburg as guard to a long
supply-train. The usual practice on infantry marches was to march
fifty minutes and rest ten minutes. Our troops availed themselves of
the opportunity offered by these ten-minute rests to go to the polls
and cast their ballots. Polling-places had been provided in every
regimental line, proper election blanks supplied by the State, and the
voting was done not “early and often,” but with honesty and a fair
degree of regularity. In my own regiment the care of the rolls fell
to me and my associate election judges, who had charge of the polling
throughout the day. A bullet through the leg, received in the battle
of Kernstown three months before, had deprived me of my full “hiking”
powers, compelling me to resort to the “hurricane-deck” of a mule for
transportation throughout the march; but I “arrived” all right, and on
the following day, in the midst of a snow-storm, I was able to collect
the rolls, certify to the results, and officially transmit the papers
to the Ohio Secretary of State. The votes cast were almost entirely
for Abraham Lincoln’s reëlection, General George B. McClellan, his
Democratic, anti-war opponent, securing scarcely more than a “look in”
at the hands of this steadfast Ohio brigade. McClellan fared little
better at the hands of those Ohio volunteers than had Clement L.
Vallandigham when he was a candidate for governor of the Buckeye State.


The surrender of Lee and Johnston left the South in a deplorable
condition. Its people were without money or credit, and their labor
system was destroyed. Its legislators and judges were fleeing or hiding
from Federal soldiers. The organic and statutory laws of the South that
were in existence before the war had been changed by State conventions
and legislatures during the war. Twelve millions of people, white and
black, were not only without representation at Washington, but they
were without local law, without civil government of any kind, without
other protection than the bayonets of Federal troops. Somewhere there
must exist the power to create, to adjust, to set the machinery of
government again in motion. Clearly the creative power was in the
people of each State capable of giving their consent to be governed,
and not in a few, or in a class who should assume to govern the others.
The adjusting power was in Congress under Section 8 of Article I of
the Federal Constitution, which provides that Congress “shall have the
power to provide for the general welfare of the United States.”

The national statesmen of those days were confronted with a perplexing
problem. They desired to remove the blight from the fair face of the
South, to open her seaports to the ships of the world, to restore her
marts to commerce, her fields to plenty, her people to prosperity,
to citizenship, to equality, and to a place in the councils of the
Government. Nothing less than this was intended by those who undertook
the task of reconstruction. There was no vengeful outbreak of passion,
no proscription of the Southern people, no spirit of retaliation in the
hearts of Union men.

The new nation which was to issue from the war began to take form
before the surrender of Lee or the assassination of President Lincoln.
The Thirteenth Amendment, validating the Emancipation Proclamation and
abolishing slavery, had been ratified by eleven of the States which had
joined the Confederacy, also by Maryland and Missouri of the border
States, and by all the Northern States. Delaware and Kentucky alone had
refused to ratify. But it was unfortunate for the Southern people that
their leaders in the fighting did not participate in the public affairs
of the South and advise the politicians that they could not expect
to win from Union statesmen what their armies had failed to gain on
the battle-field. Southern soldiers, as a whole, showed the spirit of
men who had fought bravely and lost fairly, and recognized the duty,
not less than the patriotism, of submitting to the inevitable. Almost
without exception, Union soldiers of the line and their officers stood
ready to reflect in their acts, attitude, and feelings the sentiments
of their great commander General Grant, who had said to the vanquished
at Appomattox: “Take your horses home with you; you will need them to
put in your crops.” Had the Southern people, the non-combatants among
them, taken the attitude of the mass of the Confederate soldiers,
the difficulties of reconstruction would have been lessened. But in
the first year after the close of the war the country, as already
described, was convulsed by disturbing political events, in which the
rebellious spirit shown by the Southern people caused deep anxiety and
created marked revulsion in the North. There were strong exhibitions
of aroused and indignant sentiment in Union conventions and other
public assemblies, and there was a tremendous outpouring of protest and
warning. At the same time the South was aflame with claims of Southern
rights denied and of wrongs suffered.


Two incidents within my personal knowledge illustrate the inconvenience
caused by the total absence of civil law in the South at that
juncture. In June, 1865, I was serving as provost-marshal at the town
of Harrisonburg, in the Valley of the Shenandoah, with instructions
to preserve order, gather up various sorts of United States military
property scattered through the country, arrest outlaws and marauders,
and receive the surrender of, and give paroles to, bands of scattered
Confederate soldiers who had not been “in” at the all-compelling
surrender at Appomattox Court House two months before. The country was
honeycombed with stragglers, and I was burdened with my unique tasks.
Civil government being non-existent, there was not even authority for
the issuance of marriage-licenses and for the performance of like civic
duties. One day, in this emergency, I received a personal application
from an ardent Virginia swain, who announced that he wished to get
married, and appealed to me for instructions as to how to go about the
tender though untimely task. Rising to the occasion, I told him that
I would issue him a license, and accordingly did so in my capacity
as a captain of United States Volunteers, and for the time being
provost-marshal of that district. I wrote out the necessary authority,
observing no forms, empowering any minister of the gospel, or any
former justice of the peace under the Confederacy, to perform the
ceremony. Then I sent the happy lover on his way rejoicing, and assumed
that the knot was tied with due solemnity, that the couple would live
happily ever after, and rear a family of Virginia children.

As provost-marshal I imposed a fine on a portly Negro saloon-keeper for
violating a military order commanding the closing of all liquor shops
in the town. The amount of the fine was fifty dollars in greenbacks,
which was promptly, albeit ungraciously, paid by the aggrieved
dispenser of firewater. Then, not knowing what to do legally with the
money, I transmitted it to the regimental and post commander. He,
also, not knowing how to dispose of this exceptional collection under
any section of the army regulations, sent it to the Treasury of the
United States at Washington, accompanied by an explanatory letter. The
treasury officials, likewise “stumped” by the unusual problem, sent
the fifty dollars back to the colonel commanding. He in turn threw the
money back upon me, with a hint that in the unique dilemma the colored
man’s unwilling contribution might not inappropriately be covered into
the treasury of a certain regimental fund which was then being raised
to promote a permanent, patriotic, and reverent object. Without delay I
proceeded to act upon the hint, and to this day I hold among my private
military archives the receipt of the regimental quartermaster for the
money thus forcibly extorted from that Negro at Harrisonburg who had
undertaken to sell Virginia apple-jack without a military license.


The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, which
was pending when Lee surrendered, was not acceptable to the South.
Almost the first acts of the Southern legislatures which assembled
under President Johnson’s proclamation of amnesty, and the provisional
organizations provided for by these agencies, breathed antagonism to
the abolition of slavery. In November, 1865, Mississippi provided
by legislative enactment that any Negro over eighteen years of age
found in that State with no lawful employment or business should be
deemed a vagrant. Conviction of vagrancy was punished by fine, and for
non-payment of fine for five days it was made the duty of the sheriff
to hire out the “vagrant” to any person who for the shortest period
of service would pay the fine. In March, 1865, three months after the
Thirteenth Amendment was declared in force, Georgia enacted a vagrant
law authorizing the sale of the black man’s time for a year. The same
law provided for the return and punishment by fine and imprisonment
of runaway black employees, and authorized the employer to pay the
fine and deduct it from the servant’s wages. Alabama, South Carolina,
and Virginia had vagrant laws similar to those of Mississippi, and
Louisiana had an additional provision requiring employers to pay only
half-wages, and giving them the right to keep the remainder if the
laborer quit before his time was out; and also the right to complain of
a laborer who might quit work, and cause him to be put on the public
works, without pay, until he returned to his employer.

Union men who had left their Southern homes during the war came back to
find their property, real and personal, in the hands of Confederates,
who refused to surrender it. Returning Unionists encountered such
persecution as compelled them to leave again. There was, under “the
black law,” a virtual reënslavement of Negroes. Confederate sentiment
was nearly as dominant from the Potomac to the Gulf as when the Stars
and Bars floated from every flagstaff. Georgia elected, or tried to
elect, Alexander H. Stephens a United States Senator. Mobile made
Raphael Semmes, the captain of the _Alabama_, a probate judge. Monroe
was elected mayor of New Orleans, and Robert E. Lee was offered the
nomination for Governor of Virginia. National airs were hissed in
the theaters, and the national flag was insulted in the streets.
The local press extolled the “Lost Cause” and flouted those who had
overthrown it. Former Confederate officers were the chosen leaders of
public sentiment. Taxation was levied to pay municipal indebtedness
contracted to fit out Confederate regiments. The generally expressed
Southern opinion was that, if reconstruction was necessary, it was the
Confederates who should do the reconstructing.

Northern representatives in Congress, under the leadership of Thaddeus
Stevens and Henry Winter Davis, were not hospitable to the Southern
claims for immediate and unconditional representation in Congress. In
substance they said: The alleged “right” of secession has been trampled
under the feet of the Union armies; the Confederate claims of exemption
from the consequences of their action is not allowed. The North does
not demand punishment of Confederates, nor indemnity for the past, but
it will have security for the future. Taxation is a consequence of war
which the South must bear with the North. Representation--participation
in public rule--is a privilege which, except under satisfactory
conditions and guarantees, will not be extended to the people of the
cotton States.


A law of Congress was enacted authorizing an officer not below the
rank of brigadier-general of the United States army to make a list
of all the voters in a State which might be under his command as
a military district. In making this list, residence and manhood
were the only qualifications.[3] The general was authorized and
directed to issue a proclamation inviting the listed voters to
assemble at the polls and elect delegates to a convention to draft a
State constitution to be submitted to a vote of the people, and if
ratified and approved by Congress, the State to be placed at once in
practical political relations with the other States, and accorded her
proper representation in Congress. The only persons excluded from
participation in reconstruction were those who before the war had
taken an official oath to support the Government and Constitution
of the United States, and who had afterward violated that oath by
voluntarily bearing arms against the Government of the United States.
The class thus excluded from suffrage was perhaps 30,000 in number. The
conventions were required to perpetuate the basis of suffrage set forth
in the Reconstruction Act and to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment. That
amendment provided that Federal indebtedness should be paid, and that
Confederate indebtedness should not be paid; that those who were under
disabilities should not be eligible to office until Congress should
remove their disabilities; that representation in Congress and in the
Electoral College should not be accorded to those to whom the right of
suffrage had been or might be denied, and that all persons should be
protected in their rights of liberty and property.

The Fourteenth Amendment was opposed both South and North by those who
asserted that the Union armies had fought to establish the doctrine
that no State could secede from the Union; that the Union victories had
established such doctrine; that as no State could secede, therefore no
State did secede, and, so being in the Union, every Southern State was
entitled to representation without conditions.

To such reasoning it was answered that no statesman and no party had
ever claimed that a State might not destroy herself, even as a city
might disincorporate, or a county merge itself with another. No State
could absolve its citizens from their allegiance to the United States
or release them from their obligation to obey Federal laws and their
liability for Federal taxes, or deprive them of their right to Federal
protection. No State could withdraw her territory or her people from
the dominant jurisdiction of the United States. But, nevertheless, a
State might destroy her internal government, repeal her local laws, and
discontinue her political relations with the other States. She might
commit state suicide. If she sent no senators or representatives to the
Federal Congress; if through her officers she emptied her treasury,
abrogated her courts, disrobed herself of sovereignty, dissolved her
legislature, smote her constitution to pieces with anarchic blows,
and submitted to military rule or to the sway of a revolutionary
central power, she did not take her territory or her people out of
the Union, but she took herself out of existence as a State, leaving
only her territorial boundaries to mark her place on the map. In such
circumstances it became the duty of the Government of the United
States to treat such disorganized Federal territory as it would treat
unorganized Federal territory acquired by purchase or by conquest.


Between the assassination of President Lincoln and the meeting of
Congress in December, 1865, an interval of over seven months, there
was no authoritative Republican declaration of the party policy as to
reconstruction. The murder of Lincoln, hastily and unjustly charged by
some Union men against the entire South, was received with an outburst
of rage that encouraged Thaddeus Stevens and other leading Radicals to
propose that the South should be reconstructed by treating the eleven
late Confederate States as conquered territory, wiping out State lines,
and organizing the Territory of Grant, the Territory of Lincoln, the
Territory of Sherman, the Territory of Sheridan, and other territories
to be named after Union officers, which should be governed like the
Territories of Idaho, Montana, and Colorado, and in due time admitted
to the Union on a satisfactory showing in each case.

President Johnson opposed the program of Thad. Stevens. He called
attention to the fact that before the surrender of Lee at Appomattox
the white men of Tennessee elected two United States senators and a
full complement of congressmen, made Brownlow governor, and gave a
majority for Lincoln and Johnson. He reasoned that if Tennessee was
in the Union sufficiently to provide a Vice-President who had become
President, she was in the Union absolutely, and entitled to have her
senators and representatives admitted to seats in Congress. Johnson’s
policy was to ignore everything in the past; to readmit senators and
representatives from the late Confederate States without guarantees
and without delay; to withdraw our armies, and permit the Confederates
to reëstablish their local governments to suit themselves. He proposed,
in effect, that the Confederates, after four years of fighting, having
surrendered to the Union, Union men in turn should, after four weeks of
rejoicing, surrender to the Confederacy.

In assuming this position, Johnson claimed that he was carrying out
Lincoln’s plan of reconstruction, for Lincoln had said long before
the surrender of Lee that his purpose was to save the Union, whether
such saving was accomplished by abolishing slavery or by preserving
it. But Lincoln was a progressive and constructive statesman, and a
policy which he might have favored to obtain peace conditioned on the
disbandment of the Confederate armies, while they were still in the
field as a mighty force, might not have been his policy after the
enforced surrender of Lee and Johnston.

There was no time between the collapse of the Confederacy and the
assassination of Lincoln for him to formulate any policy. It may be
said, however, that he was not in favor of the plan of Thad. Stevens
and Ben. Wade to blot out lines and names in eleven States, and deal
with them as conquered territory. Lincoln’s plan was not to destroy
the Southern States as existing entities, but to recognize the fact
that, as far as government in those entities was concerned, “chaos
had come again,” and it was the duty of Congress to provide for a
reëstablishment of government there, and to prescribe the conditions
on which the people of those States should be accorded national


Congress was determined that one of the conditions of reconstruction
should be the admission of colored men to the right of suffrage. Most
of those who advised this were influenced by politico-economic rather
than moral or sentimental considerations. They said to the South, the
action of your legislatures and the utterances of your public men and
newspapers all evince your determination virtually to restore slavery
by establishing peonage. We must either garrison every school district
in the South with soldiers at enormous cost in order to protect the
Negro, or else we must give him the ballot and enable him to protect
himself. If he is made a voter, the struggle of candidates to obtain
his vote may protect him.

Congress, as subsequently appeared, was determined to make Negro
suffrage an essential part of any plan of reconstruction. Johnson was
equally determined to refuse the franchise to the black man, and he had
the power to do it.


One of the most potent instrumentalities in discrediting Andrew
Johnson was the Ku-Klux Klan. It would be impossible within the
limits of this article to give even a brief synopsis of the outrages
of this remarkable band of outlaws. The report of the “Congressional
Committee on Affairs in the Insurrectionary States,” made to the
Forty-second Congress, fills thirteen large volumes. The Ku-Klux
organization extended over eleven States. It was estimated that
its membership exceeded one hundred thousand, and included men who
otherwise were reputable and respected citizens. Its avowed purpose
was to exclude from participation in public affairs, either as voters
or office-holders, all Negroes, all “carpet-baggers,” as incomers from
the North were called, and all “scallywags,” as Southern Union men were

The purpose of the Ku-Klux Klan was not primarily to depredate private
property, but for a long period they were merciless in dealing
with those who came under their ban. A white man obnoxious to them
was ordered to leave the vicinage. If he failed to obey, the torch
was applied to his home, and he was openly assaulted or secretly
assassinated. If he offered armed resistance, he was murdered. The
colored man who attempted to exercise the right of suffrage was called
from his cabin at midnight, tied to a tree, and whipped, and his house
was burned to the ground. Prosecutions of the members of the Ku-Klux
instituted in the Federal courts in North Carolina, in South Carolina,
and in other States almost invariably resulted in failure for want of
proof, hard to get; and not until the second administration of General
Grant were these outlaws finally disbanded and dispersed.


Two great national conventions were held in the year 1866, one at
Pittsburg and the other at Philadelphia. The latter, beginning on
September 3, was made up in large measure of Southern loyalists and
other civilians, among whom the tide of patriotism ran high. It made
a tremendous impression upon the country and upon the recalcitrant
and dissatisfied South. Among the delegates were Ralph Waldo Emerson,
James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John G. Whittier, eleven
governors, and eight United States senators. Among the thousands of
Unionists whom I met there was James A. Garfield, who had won his spurs
as a major-general in the field, who subsequently served in the House
of Representatives, became President, and died that tragic death which
history has sadly recorded. In his joyousness and geniality he seemed
to me like a great overgrown boy. While masses of shouting, cheering,
and singing men were parading through Independence Square, within the
sound of the Liberty Bell, that big man passed his arms affectionately
about the shoulders of a young soldier, whom he did not know, and
strode proudly along as though the latter had been his lifelong friend.
It was enough for Garfield to know that the other was a comrade. I was
the obscure young soldier.

The object of the convention was to devise means for the protection of
the imperiled lives and property of loyal Southerners. The chairman,
the Hon. Charles Gibbons, voiced the purpose of the convention when he
said: “It is the honest sentiment of the North, held and uttered in the
interests of union, of peace, and of Christianity, that when the South
returns to her duty she must come in new robes, with new covenants for
liberty, equality, and justice, led by her own loyal Unionists, who are
free from the guilt of treason.”

The Union Soldiers’ and Sailors’ convention, at Pittsburg, followed
the other in the same month. It was equally large, equally serious and
determined in its character and utterances. It was attended by hosts
of soldiers of all grades, from private to major-general. The speeches
and resolutions breathed a sentiment of deep devotion to the restored
Union, expressed a fearless determination to prevent the fruits of the
nation’s sacrifices from being snatched away or diluted. Revolt against
the tendencies in the White House and the South was general among the
friends of the Union.


In 1867 an act of Congress was passed depriving the President of
the power to issue an amnesty proclamation, which he overrode. His
disposition and his plans to defy Congress and pursue his own method of
reconstructing the South caused Congress to deprive him of the command
of the army, a bold act, the constitutionality of which might well
be disputed at any stage, but which illustrates the almost desperate
frame of mind in which Congress then was. Johnson’s continued defiance
was met by the enactment into law of the Tenure-of-Office bill, which
prevented him from making a change in his cabinet, his own official

These strained relations between the President and Congress, which had
existed for more than two years, reached an open rupture on February
21, 1868, when the President informed the Senate that he had removed
Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War, contrary to the Tenure-of-Office
act. The House at once adopted a resolution, by a vote of 122 to 47
(not voting 17) to “impeach Andrew Johnson, President of the United
States, of high crimes and misdemeanors.” James G. Blaine, in his
“Twenty Years of Congress,” says that, in adopting this resolution of
impeachment, Congress acted hastily; but it is the opinion of many
still living that he did not consider the precedent circumstances,
which, as much as the removal of Stanton, led 122 congressmen to cast
their votes for impeachment. Still, it was probably fortunate for the
nation that Johnson was saved from impeachment by one senatorial vote.
If Johnson had been impeached, Ben. Wade of Ohio, a fearless Republican
statesman, would have become President. Wade was a Radical of the
Radicals, who always had the courage of his convictions. He probably
would have given the whole force of his administration to the plan of
Thad. Stevens to organize the South into territories and govern it
as such, yet granting the States readmission to the Union gradually
and on stipulated terms. The people of the North were so enraged over
the assassination of Lincoln and the continued efforts of the Southern
States to nullify the Thirteenth Amendment that they might then have
approved the Stevens plan of reconstruction. At this day, nearly half a
century after Appomattox, it seems best that neither the Johnson plan
nor the Stevens plan did prevail.


The failure to impeach Johnson accentuated the need of further
constitutional amendment. As early as June 13, 1866, the Fourteenth
Amendment, declaring that no State may abridge the rights of citizens
of the United States, was proposed in Congress, but it was not finally
ratified and declared to be in force until July 28, 1868. California
never took final action on this amendment. It was rejected by
Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky. New Jersey and Ohio rescinded their
ratification of it. Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia at first rejected the
amendment, but afterward ratified it.

Notwithstanding the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, feud,
anarchy, and devastation continued in the Southern country, and the
failure to impeach Johnson was an incentive to continued disorder. How
to secure peace, justice, and prosperity was the pressing question of
the hour. Congress had tried constitutional amendments, and the South
ignored them. It had tried civil-rights bills, which were useless
without military power to enforce them. Then Congress said in effect
to the Southern people: “If you have not a loyal white majority
which can be trusted with the administration of civil government, we
will enfranchise the black man. We must either garrison every school
district with Union troops in order to protect the Negro from a peonage
that is practical reënslavement, or we must give him the ballot and let
him protect himself.” It was believed that the contending ambitions of
office-seekers to obtain the colored man’s vote would cause them to
treat him justly.

It was such conditions that produced the Fifteenth Amendment, providing
that no State might deprive a citizen of his vote “on account of
race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The first draft
contained the word “nativity,” which was obnoxious to the Pacific
coast because of the apprehension of Chinese suffrage, so the word
was eliminated. Nevada was the first State to ratify the Fifteenth
Amendment. California, Oregon, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and New
Jersey rejected it. Georgia and Ohio at first rejected it, but finally
ratified it. New York rescinded her ratification. The amendment was
proposed February 26, 1869, and declared in force March 30, 1870.

Half a century ago human slavery had been banished from every civilized
nation in the world except the United States. Here it was intrenched
behind apparently impregnable fortifications composed of cotton-bales,
pulpits, and counting-rooms, of bank vaults and political conventions.

The reverberations of Sumter’s guns changed a majority of the people
of the Northern States from conservative indifference to toleration
of antislavery sentiments, and, as the war progressed, into active
abolitionists; and thus the Emancipation Proclamation was acclaimed
by millions who three years before would have scouted such a measure.
It is more than forty-seven years since the last gun was fired in
the Civil War; it is more than forty years since the last measure of
reconstruction was enacted. The generals and statesmen of that historic
era have journeyed on. The veterans in the soldiers’ homes grow rapidly
fewer in number, and it will not be many years until the last of them
will have joined the great majority. The acerbities and rancors of the
war have been submerged in Lethean waters, and the Southern States,
once desolated, have become prosperous and powerful supporters of the
Old Flag.

[Illustration: Drawn by Joseph Pennell


  [3] See page 195 for a reference to the Fifteenth Amendment, which
      introduced into the fundamental law the phrase, “without
      distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”





Article II, Sec. 4, of the Constitution provides that “The President,
Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be
removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason,
bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Thus the principle
of the “recall,” in very broad terms, has been written into our
fundamental law. Human nature is such that the idea of resorting to
this remedy originates first in the minds of political opponents. As
applicable to Presidents, the recall was probably much desired by the
enemies of John Adams, the second President, and of Andrew Jackson,
the seventh. Fortunately it has actually been invoked only against
the seventeenth President, Andrew Johnson, who owed his position to
the recall by assassination of Abraham Lincoln. His impeachment, I
believe, was due mainly to a counter-tide of passion, prejudice, and
political revenge. His trial formed a crisis in the life of the nation,
the dangerous import of which may not yet be fully understood. His
rescue from conviction by the narrow margin of one vote was followed
by demands for the recall of the seven Republican senators who voted
with the Democrats. I happened to be the youngest of the seven, though
not the least berated. By the refusal of a reëlection, all of the seven
were retired to private life. Then out of several years of bitterness
came the wisdom of reflection. Those who had reviled began to praise
and finally to utter words of thankfulness. Even some of the leaders
of impeachment, in the calm of reason, have put on record frank
confessions of error. Thus it has been my happiness to live to see the
keenest disappointment of my public life transformed into its chief


In his great wisdom Lincoln early perceived that unless antislavery
sentiment could be sustained in the border States, the Federal cause
was likely to fail. With that belief he sought information and
counsel from those men in Congress who, like myself, had been bred
in the shadow of slavery and who yet desired the extinction of the
institution. Though born in Danville, Virginia, most of my early life
was spent at Louisiana, a town north of St. Louis, on the Missouri side
of the Mississippi. There I began to practise law in 1848 and to hear
of a lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, located at Springfield, seventy-five
miles to the northeast. In that year he was serving his only term in
Congress, while I was beginning public life as a member of the Missouri
legislature, to which I returned in 1856. Though a member of the
Electoral College in 1856 which made Buchanan President, I was strongly
opposed to his Kansas policy. In 1860 I was an elector on the Stephen
A. Douglas ticket. I had inherited slave property, but was convinced
that slavery was an economic drawback in Missouri. On her borders, east
and north, white settlers were founding prosperous communities, and
avoiding us because white labor would not compete with slave labor.
My only purchase of slaves was made on the appeal of a black man who
had built the fires in my office. He and his wife and son were sold at
auction to pay the debts of their master. I bought them in for about
$1400. Thereafter they never served me; but as the law required that
they should be in regular employ, I hired them out, they taking the

Civil war was an actual fact in Missouri before the sword and the torch
were at work in the other border States. Early in 1861 our legislature,
which was secessionist in sentiment, provided for a state convention
to join, as they hoped, the other seceding States; but, to their great
surprise, a majority of Union delegates were chosen at the special
election, I being among that majority. Ex-Governor Sterling Price,
then classed with the opponents of secession, became president of the
convention which assembled soon after Lincoln’s first inaugural made
it plain that a conflict was inevitable. As Jackson, our governor at
that time, was disloyal, the life of the convention was prolonged by
adjournment, during which the secession element ranged itself under
Jackson and Price, and the Union element, with the continuing authority
of the convention, grew strong enough to organize and to elect Governor
Gamble. Under the arrangements for home defense, I organized a brigade,
and in General Schofield’s command operated against the raiders who
burned bridges and disturbed northeastern Missouri during the first
year of the war. The conditions were such that no man could safely
remain neutral. Unless he was openly for one side or the other, he was
suspected by both, and doubly liable to pillage and arrest.


From the field I was sent to the United States Senate in January, 1862,
to fill the unexpired term of Trusten Polk, who had joined the South.
In March, President Lincoln sent to Congress his message asking for
a joint resolution favoring the gradual abolishment of slavery with
compensation. A few days later he asked the border States delegations
to a conference at the White House in which he urged that policy
without gaining much encouragement. On July 12 he made a second direct
appeal to the same delegations, in conference, and urged that if the
border States would adopt measures of compensated emancipation, the
war must shortly end, since then, and not till then, would the South
realize that slavery was doomed. Twenty of them signed a written
qualified refusal to urge his recommendation; seven assented in a
prepared address; and Horace Maynard and I wrote individual replies.
I had been absent from the conference on business relating to my
duties as senator, but I gave the President my view that, while I
had supported the measure when first introduced, I did not share his
belief that it alone would bring the war to an early termination. But
I added that in such a period of national distress I knew of “no human
institution too sacred for discussion, no material interest belonging
to the citizen that he should not willingly place upon the altar of
his country, if demanded by the public good. The man who cannot now
sacrifice party and put aside selfish considerations is more than half
disloyal. Pride of opinion, based upon sectional jealousies, should not
be permitted to control the decision of any political question. These
remarks are general, but apply with peculiar force to the people of the
border States at present.”


These sentiments indicated that I was drifting toward Lincoln’s
position that emancipation was indispensable to the saving of the
Union. After the July conference at the White House, a general bill
offering aid to the border States if they would adopt compensated
emancipation was introduced in Congress, but not brought to final
action. In the autumn, at Mr. Lincoln’s request, I went to Missouri
to take part in the agitation of the question, and the reversal of
sentiment shown at the November election seemed altogether favorable.
So, on December 10, I introduced a bill in the Senate appropriating
twenty millions of dollars to aid Missouri if her people would adopt
compensated emancipation. At the same time Congressman Noell, in the
House, gave notice of a similar bill, but reducing the aid to ten
millions. His bill passed the House on January 6, 1863, and was sent
to the Senate, where, on February 7, a compromise of fifteen millions
was adopted; but the pro-slavery members from Missouri gathered
enough strength to prevent action by the House. Meantime Lincoln’s
proclamation of freedom to all slaves in rebellious territory had gone
into effect on the first of January.

The idea of compensated emancipation for the border States made no
further progress in Congress, and probably lost ground in the North,
for a reason humorously stated by Senator Jacob Collamer of Vermont.
During the recess he addressed a meeting of several hundred neighbors
and stated that the measure would call for the payment of about $300
each for four million slaves. He asked them to go home and consider
what they would advise their representatives to do. An old leader
in the town waxed eloquent over the fact that the North shared the
responsibility for slavery and ought to help settle the bill, and,
though poor, he declared himself willing to pay his share. But in a day
or two he was back again with a different opinion.

“Senator,” he exclaimed, “me and wife and the boys figure that our
share would be just about all we’ve got; so I guess you might as well
let that damned Negro question alone.”


A year later the distress of the nation had enforced a more united
sentiment, and on January 11, 1864, I offered in the Senate a joint
resolution to abolish slavery in the United States. After a good deal
of discussion over the wording of the resolution, Senator Sumner
offering one form, and Senator Trumbull suggesting the terms of the
ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery in all the Northwest, the
latter was favored. Though the requisite two-thirds vote was obtained
in the Senate, the House did not acquiesce until after a whole year of
discussion. The bill became a law on January 31, 1865. A hundred guns
announced the event, and the rejoicing was great and spontaneous.


At the second inauguration of Lincoln I was chairman of the committee
which escorted the President to the Capitol, and sat by his side while
Andrew Johnson, after taking the oath as Vice-President, harangued
the crowded senate chamber. During the painful ordeal, Mr. Lincoln’s
head drooped in the deepest humiliation. As I offered him my arm for
the procession to the steps of the Capitol, where he delivered the
Inaugural, he turned to the marshal and said, “Don’t let Johnson speak

Senator Doolittle, who had escorted the Vice-President elect to the
Capitol, told me that when they went into Mr. Hamlin’s room Johnson
said to the retiring Vice-President:

“Mr. Hamlin, I have been feeling very ill. Can you give me some good

A bottle of French brandy was found, and to brace his nerves for
the task before him, he poured out the full glass that wrought the
mischief. His reputation was that of a temperate man; and this was his
only show of inebriety; but the scene was so deeply humiliating that
a caucus of senators a few days afterward seriously considered the
propriety of asking him to resign as their presiding officer.

Mr. Lincoln’s aversion to liquor and tobacco was well known. He
once told me with relish of a rebuke for his abstinence given by a
friendly stage-driver. During the time that he was a circuit lawyer,
he sometimes walked from one county court to another. While on such a
tramp a stage overtook him and the driver invited him to take a seat
on the box. After they had chatted for a while the driver produced a
whisky-flask, saying:

“Stranger, won’t you take a drink?”

“No, thank you,” Lincoln replied; “I never drink.”

A little later the driver drew some tobacco from his pocket and said:

“Stranger, won’t you have a chew?”

Lincoln answered:

“No, thank you, I never chew.”

After a period of reflection the driver said:

“Stranger, do you smoke?”

Lincoln replied:

“No, I never smoke.”

Looking at him quizzically, the driver exclaimed:

“So you’re one of those men I’ve heard of who have no small vices.”

To which Lincoln answered:

“It is true that I don’t use liquor or tobacco.”

Then the driver turned on him with the conclusive remark:

“Stranger, I’ll tell you what I think: those men who have no small
vices seldom have any large virtues.”

I once heard Mr. Lincoln tell of another liquor experience, this time
at the expense of Senator David Davis, who was present and enjoyed
it as much as the rest of the company. While attending a session of
court presided over by Judge Davis, the latter overtook him one morning
on the road, and asked him to get into the Davis carriage, which was
drawn by a pair of spirited horses, driven by a trusted coachman. They
traveled at a rate which made Lincoln uneasy, and soon entered on a
piece of new road abounding in ruts and stumps. As the carriage bumped
and swayed, Lincoln, in much alarm, turned to the judge and asked:

“Mr. Davis, isn’t your driver drunk?”

[Illustration: From a photograph by Prince, taken in 1908. Half-tone
plate engraved by H. Davidson


“No,” replied the judge, “Michael is a sober man and never takes

After a jar which nearly upset them, Lincoln asked that the carriage
should be stopped, so that he could get out. The judge expostulated,
but when they struck another stump, Lincoln exclaimed:

“Mr. Davis, your driver _is_ drunk!”

Thereupon Davis loudly demanded of the coachman that he should stop,
and, observing him closely, saw the whole truth in the wild gleam of
his eyes. The judge indignantly exclaimed:

“Michael, you are drunk!”

And Michael, with an approving leer, answered:

“Judge Davis, that’s the correctest decision you’ve rendered in the
last twelve months.”


My last interview with Mr. Lincoln occurred after the adjournment of
the extra session of the Senate about the middle of March, 1865. I went
to the White House to ask the President to pardon a number of the men
who had been languishing in Missouri prisons for various offenses, all
political. Some of them had been my schoolmates, and their mothers,
sisters, and sweethearts had persisted in appeals that I should use
my influence for their release. Since it was evident to me that the
Confederacy was in its last throes, I felt that the pardon of most of
these prisoners would do more good than harm. I had separated them
according to the gravity of the offense into three classes, and handing
the first list to him, I said:

“Mr. President, the session is closed, and I am about to start for
home. The war is virtually over. Grant is pretty certain to get Lee
and his army, and Sherman is plainly able to take care of Johnston.
In my opinion, the best way to prevent guerrilla warfare at the end
of organized resistance will be to show clemency to these rebel

Lincoln shook his head and said:

“Henderson, I am deeply indebted to you and I want to show it, but
don’t ask me at this time to pardon rebels.”

Then I offered new arguments, but he replied in a grieved tone:

“I can’t do it! People are continually blaming me for being too
lenient. Don’t encourage such fellows by inducing me to turn loose a
lot of men who, perhaps, ought to be hanged.”

I answered:

“Mr. President, these prisoners and their friends tell me that for them
the Rebellion is over, and it will surely have a good influence now to
let them go.”

He answered:

“Henderson, my conscience tells me that I must not do it.”

But I persisted:

“Mr. President, you _should_ do it. It is necessary for good feeling in
Missouri that these people should be released.”

“If I sign this list as a whole, will you be responsible for the future
good behavior of the men?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“Then I will take the risk and sign it.” He wrote the word “pardoned,”
signed the general order of release, and returned the paper to me.

“Thank you, Mr. President,” I said, “but that is not all; I have
another list here.”

“You are not going to make me let loose another lot!” he exclaimed.

“Yes,” I answered, “but I am not quite so sure of the merits of this
list. However, I believe the men are not dangerous, and it will be good
policy to let them go. My argument for this list is the same as for the
other. The war is virtually over; the guilt of these men is at least
doubtful; mercy must be the policy of peace.”

With the only word approaching profanity I ever heard him utter, he

“I’ll be durned if I don’t sign it!” and he signed the second list like
the first. “Now, Henderson,” he said, as he handed the list back to me,
“remember that you are responsible to me for these men; and if they
don’t behave, I shall have to put you in prison for their sins.”


On December 18, 1865, eight months after the death of Lincoln, the
Thirteenth Amendment was proclaimed by Secretary Seward, it having
received the indorsement of two thirds of all the States in the
Union. Partly through my solicitation, President Johnson had used
his great influence with the border States to gain their approval of
emancipation. During the fight for the Thirteenth Amendment it was no
secret that some of the leading Radicals in Congress were indifferent
toward the abolishment of slavery at that time, as well as toward
Mr. Lincoln’s scheme of reconstruction, out of the belief that those
measures would make inevitable his renomination and election, which
they did not favor. The Radicals had been sympathetic toward Andrew
Johnson as senator and as military governor of Tennessee, on account
of his vigorous antislavery views, but when he became President,
and, as he believed, took up the work of reconstruction on the lines
that Lincoln had begun, they at once realized that his success would
frustrate their plans for the political domination of the South.

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


This portrait is from a photograph taken not long before his death.]

Senator Sumner’s theory of “State suicide” and Thad. Stevens’s idea
of “conquered provinces,” became the basis of the Radical scheme of
territorializing the South by keeping the States that had seceded
under semi-military rule, and condemning them to a period of probation
before they should be allowed to come back into the Union on terms of

Those of us in Congress who believed that Johnson’s policy was in
the main in line with the right principles were nevertheless not in
entire agreement with him. He felt that he was following precedent as
far as Lincoln had established it, and that he was entitled to the
confidence of the conservative Union element of the country; but he was
hot-headed, and as the controversy with the Radicals in Congress grew,
his attitude became more and more aggressive and irritating to the

Early in 1866, Congress passed a bill enlarging the powers of the
Freedmen’s Bureau. Johnson vetoed it, as well as a revised bill that
followed, and the latter was enacted over his head. Congress soon after
enacted a measure to fortify the rights of the Negroes, known as the
Civil-Rights Bill, which he promptly vetoed, and which was as promptly
passed over his head. Then, to prevent the President, who was now in
open conflict with the Radical Republicans, from dispossessing the
office-holders who were their friends, Congress passed the Tenure of
Office Act in a form which most of the Radicals interpreted to mean
that the President might not supplant even a member of his own Cabinet.
As another weapon against the administration, Congress passed the
Reconstruction Act, which designated as illegal the State governments
which had been set up by Johnson in the South, and provided that
those States should be ruled by military governors appointed by the
President, but really under control of the head of the army. Both these
bills were vetoed by the President and Congress promptly enacted them
over his head.

The President’s official advisers, who, it should not be forgotten,
were those who had formed Lincoln’s Cabinet, themselves strongly
objected to the Tenure of Office Act, the President’s veto being drawn
up by Seward and Stanton. The latter was most emphatic in declaring
that the act was unconstitutional; but it was part of the irony of
the situation that Stanton was the first to feel its effects, and
thereafter to become active in maintaining its validity. With Stanton’s
suspension and the appointment, first of General Grant, and then of
General Lorenzo Thomas, as Secretary of War _ad interim_, the first
practical move for impeachment may be said to have begun.


Thus the impeachment of Andrew Johnson was the culmination of political
differences which had become increasingly strained in the disturbed
conditions which followed the death of Lincoln. The trial has been
wrongly described as a great judicial event, but in the strict sense
it was not a judicial event, since it was without sound basis in law.
It was the culmination of a struggle for political advantage. Still
the Radicals who brought it about were intensely in earnest. They felt
that the tendency of Johnson’s reconstruction policy was toward the
return of the Democratic party to power, which would have the effect of
neutralizing the political results of the Civil War.

The very nature of the so-called Court of Impeachment was a
monstrosity, as several of the lawyers in that body perceived, for the
Senate was to act both as judge and as jury. I made several motions
or orders to separate the jurisdiction of the jury from that of the
judge, but in vain. I wanted a judge, preferably Chief-Justice Chase,
to decide the judicial points, as the Senate was like a mob, deciding
everything for themselves.







[Illustration: From a photograph by Brady


Impeachment was of course a matter in which personalities and personal
ambitions played a large part. Without Benjamin F. Butler and Thad.
Stevens, there never would have been an impeachment trial, for
impeachment was chiefly a scheme to get place and power for themselves
and their friends. Like many other politicians of selfish aims, they
flourished under the peculiar conditions following the war--conditions
in which the sole inquiry was, “Is he loyal?” and not, “Is he honest?”

Butler was able to push the impeachment scheme on the claim that
Johnson was not loyal. It was even charged that Johnson was conspiring
to form a new secession, despite the fact that he had been instrumental
in securing the adhesion of a number of the Southern States to the
Thirteenth Amendment. And this charge was fomented by Butler, the man
whom I had heard vote fifty-seven times in the Charleston convention
for Jeff Davis as President, and whom I heard address a group of
Southern delegates in support of a declaration for the protection of
slavery in all territories. On that occasion he declared that if the
North undertook to raise troops to “coerce the South,” the bones of the
Northern soldiers would rot upon the mountains before they reached the
South. Yet this same man was the leader of one of the first regiments
to march through Baltimore to “coerce the South.”

Feeling ran high in all parts of the country, and whenever a Republican
senator showed a disinclination to join in impeachment he was bombarded
by excited constituents. I was not slow to make my attitude known,
for I would as soon have voted to condemn an innocent man to death
as to vote to impeach Johnson on the articles that were presented.
The Republicans in Missouri were, if possible, more aroused than in
other parts of the country. Even the legislature passed a resolution
requesting me to resign. I replied finally that I would hold my seat
until impeachment was defeated. That position carried a great deal of
significance, since the alinement of forces indicated clearly that the
change of a single vote would result in the President’s condemnation.

[Illustration: From a photograph by Brady, taken in 1867


All of the articles of impeachment were based on some phase of the
quarrel with Stanton. The eleventh article, which accused him of
violating an act of Congress in suspending the Secretary of War was the
strongest, though in my view of the law, as I declared in the Senate,
he had legally suspended Stanton and had undoubted authority to fill
the vacancy by an _ad interim_ appointment. When the Tenure of Office
Act was before the Committee of Conference, Senator John Sherman,
chairman of the committee, was asked if the bill was intended to take
away the power of the President to remove his own Cabinet, and he
answered, “No, it is not to interfere with his power to remove or to
retain his Cabinet.” During the impeachment trial, when it was reported
that Senator Sherman was in favor of convicting Johnson on the eleventh
article, I had a talk with him, and asked:

“Do you remember your attitude in the Committee of Conference on the
question of the power of the President to remove his Cabinet?”

He said:

“I remember it very well.”

Then I asked bluntly:

“You are not going to stultify yourself by voting for the eleventh

He replied:


That conversation convinced me that the advocates of impeachment could
not depend, as they hoped, on Sherman to vote guilty on the eleventh
article, and in fact, when the crucial moment came, he voted against it.


During most of the period of agitation for impeachment General Grant
had ranged himself with those who stood by the President. Everybody
believed in the honesty of his purpose, and owing to his great fame,
his influence was paramount. The Radical leaders understood the
difficult task of carrying out their plans without Grant’s coöperation,
and they shaped their course so that he would profit by the overturn
of the administration. Grant’s quarrel with the President, over the
question of his relations as head of the army to the Secretary of
War, afforded them a line of approach, and the talk of making Grant a
Presidential candidate in the coming election suggested the reward.

About the last of April, 1868, I received an invitation to a ten
o’clock breakfast at General Grant’s house, which had recently been
presented to him. Commodore Porter and other guests were present. Our
host asked me to remain, and after the other guests had departed, he
lighted a cigar--I did not smoke--and proposed a walk.

He shortly broached the question of impeachment, and asked for my
opinion as to the result, saying that there were personal reasons why
he should like to know definitely what might be expected.

I said:

“General Grant, you may rest assured that impeachment will fail.”

He answered:

“Senator, I have reason to believe, from good authority, that the
managers of impeachment are confident of success.”

“They have no substantial grounds for such confidence,” I replied.

“I may tell you in confidence,” he then said, “that not only is it
expected that Ben. Wade will become President, but the members of his
Cabinet have already been selected.”

“Can you tell me, General, who they are to be?” I asked.

“Perhaps I ought not to say,” he replied, “but I will tell you, at
least, that General Butler has been designated as Secretary of State.”

I reiterated my belief that the program never would be carried out,
whereupon General Grant said:

“You know that people are talking of me for the Presidency at the
coming election. I have not had political ambition, but I begin to
think that possibly I might be of great service to the country in
bringing peace to the disturbed sections of the Union. These men who
are counting on the success of impeachment offer me their influence as
the nominee to succeed Wade in case he becomes President by the removal
of Johnson.”

“What are the conditions?” I asked.

“That I shall agree to take over Wade’s Cabinet.”

“Good God, General!” I exclaimed, in astonishment, “you didn’t consent
to that, did you?”

“No,” he replied; “I did not give them any answer.”

He expressed distrust of Butler; yet I thought he seemed to lean toward
the bargain. Then I said:

“General Grant, you may feel confident of the nomination whether these
men support you or not; and you may rest assured that the succession
will not occur as they promise.”

[Illustration: Drawn by Jay Hambidge, on the basis of a woodcut in
“Leslie’s Weekly,” April 11, 1868

MARCH 23, 1868

Benjamin R. Curtis of the counsel for the President is reading the
answer to the articles of impeachment. At the table in the middleground
are seated the Committee of Managers of the House of Representatives.]

About a week later, as I was coming from the Capitol in a street-car,
General Grant got in. The car was well filled, and the General came
over and sat beside me. He asked whether I had changed my opinion about
the impeachment.

“No, General,” I answered, “I am of the same mind about it.”

“Do you think you can defeat it?” he asked.

“Well, I can’t warrant that,” I replied. “We have friends enough
against it to defeat it, but I cannot give a pledge that we shall
actually defeat it.”

“Well,” he said, “I hope you won’t.”

“Why, General,” I exclaimed, “you wouldn’t impeach Johnson?”

“Yes I would,” he answered bruskly.

“Then you have changed your mind,” I said, “and I am sorry to hear it.”

“Yes,” he repeated, “I would impeach him if for nothing else than
because he is such an infernal liar.”

“I very much regret to hear you say it,” I answered, looking at him
earnestly, for his language and manner aroused my indignation. “I
regret it because on such terms it would be nearly impossible to find
the right sort of man to serve as President.”

He seemed annoyed, but made no further remark, and in a few minutes
left the car. We never had any further conversation on the subject. I
inferred that the Radicals hoped to influence me through Grant, since
they knew I was ready to support him for President. When I saw how and
why he had changed about, I lost respect for his opinion.

From that time a coolness entered into our relations; but during his
Presidency I was paid the compliment of being asked to take charge of
the Whisky Ring prosecution in St. Louis.


All of the Democratic senators were ranged on the side of President
Johnson, and the division of the voting power was such that seven
Republican senators voting with the Democrats could defeat impeachment.
We senators who were opposed to the scheme held several informal
conferences. At first we numbered at least eight, since Senator William
Sprague of Rhode Island joined in the talks and was frankly on our
side. He was the son-in-law of the Chief-Justice who would preside at
the trial, and it was no secret that Chase looked upon the articles
of impeachment as flimsy. But after the opposing senators began to
be deluged with appeals and threats from their constituents, Sprague
evidently decided that the good of the country required that he should
return to the Senate, and he absented himself from further conference.
It was rumored that Senator Edwin D. Morgan, formerly Governor of New
York, would have voted with us in case of the defection of one of
the seven. For political reasons he finally alined himself with the

The tension in the senate chamber during the first vote, which was on
the last, or eleventh, article, was tremendous, for at least two of the
seven Republicans were claimed by both sides. William P. Fessenden of
Maine was the first of the seven to rise on roll-call and be questioned
by the Chief-Justice, saying:

“Mr. Senator Fessenden, how say you? Is the respondent, Andrew Johnson,
President of the United States, guilty or not guilty of a high
misdemeanor as charged in this article?”

Fessenden responded in a clear voice, “Not guilty.” In a written
opinion filed later he disposed of the suggestion that “popular
opinion” demanded the conviction of the President, by saying that the
people had not heard the evidence as the Senate had heard it, and that
the responsibility was not on the people, but on the senators who had
taken an oath “to do impartial justice according to the Constitution
and the laws.”

When the name of Senator James W. Grimes of Iowa was called, Fessenden
asked for a moment’s delay, in order that the senator, who was ill,
might be brought into the chamber. He was carried in and placed in his
seat. Before the Chief-Justice summoned him to answer he suggested that
Grimes might answer from his seat; but the ill senator rose with the
aid of friends and, after the summons, in a feeble voice answered, “Not
guilty.” Perhaps no one of the seven was afterward so roundly abused by
newspapers and politicians who had formerly been his friends.

Senator Joseph F. Fowler of Tennessee had been claimed by both sides,
since he had voted on some questions favorable to the Radicals and
on others favorable to the President. Though not a man of conspicuous
ability, he was regarded as level-headed. After his vote of “Not
guilty” he received a despatch congratulating him on the position he
had taken, to which he answered, “I acted for my country and posterity,
in obedience to the voice of God.”

After my vote of “Not guilty,” which created no surprise, Senator
Edmund G. Ross of Kansas was the next Republican to disappoint his
party friends. He had begun political life as an Abolitionist and
had been appointed to fill the unexpired term of the noted senator,
“Jim” Lane. He had voted with the Radicals on some questions, and the
reticence he had maintained with regard to his position on impeachment
subjected him to enormous pressure. Still he maintained silence, and
the audience held its breath until, in a clear voice he unhesitatingly
answered, “Not guilty.” As Ross had been the main hope of the Radicals,
his vote made a sensation. It was claimed that a sum of money had
been subscribed to reward him for taking the stand he did contrary to
the sentiment of the people of Kansas, who had threatened him with
expulsion from the State if he voted for the President. He was made
to suffer heavily for his adherence to principle, and his immediate
hardships and poverty indicated that he was not bribed. After the trial
was over, he stated in the Senate that he had entertained doubts on
some of the articles until a few days before the vote, but had settled
the matter in his own mind, as he said, “by giving his country the
benefit of his doubts.”

Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, though he had voted for the
resolution censuring Stanton, had been outspoken against impeachment;
consequently his vote of “Not guilty” awakened no surprise. His
position was based on the harm which would be done to the country by
setting the example of impeaching a President, and he expressed the
opinion that if Johnson were removed on such partizan grounds, “no
future President will be safe who happens to differ with a majority of
the House and two thirds of the Senate on any measure desired by them,
particularly if of a political character.” In other words, his action
was based on antagonism to the principle of the “recall” as it is
being urged to-day.

Senator Peter G. Van Winkle of West Virginia was a substantial,
fair-minded man, who on some questions had favored the President and
on others had voted with the Radicals. Still, his vote of “Not guilty”
occasioned no surprise.

During the clamor from Missouri to induce me to change my attitude, I
was appealed to by the Missouri delegation in Congress, who, as a body,
besought me to vote for impeachment. Under the stress of their urging
I entertained momentarily the question of resigning, but as that would
have brought victory to the side of the impeachers, I resolved to stay.
On May 13 I received from St. Louis a despatch making a final appeal,
which read:

  There is intense excitement here. Meeting called for to-morrow night.
  Can your friends hope that you will vote for the eleventh article? If
  so, all will be well.

To this I immediately replied:

  Say to my friends that I am sworn to do impartial justice according
  to law and conscience and I will try to do it like an honest man.

Every one of the seven Republican senators who voted against
impeachment was relegated to private life at the expiration of his
term. In addition to all kinds of printed and written abuse, I was
burned in effigy at Macon, Missouri.


My part in this crisis strained some of my friendships, particularly
that with Sumner. At first he had been rather opposed to impeachment,
especially to the eleventh article, remarking that no one but a
Pennsylvania justice of the peace (alluding to Thad. Stevens) could
have drawn that article; but he and Stevens were “thick as thieves”
before the trial terminated. Meantime, as Sumner’s enthusiasm for
impeachment grew, his regard for those of us who opposed it lessened.
After the trial he directed a personal remark at me in the senate
chamber that rankled. I was denouncing the course of the managers of
impeachment for converting themselves into a committee to investigate
and punish the seven senators. They sent telegrams and spies over the
country. Butler was the most active in using the spy system, and it
became an acute annoyance. Mr. Fessenden complained of it to me. He
said, “I cannot go out at night without being pursued by spies who
come behind me at every cross street.” Others told me the same. I
had nothing to fear, for there was nothing they might not know about
me. While I was denouncing the conduct of this committee as that of
traitors, Sumner in a taunting voice exclaimed, “It is only the wounded
bird that flutters.”

The coldness between us lasted for several years. In fact, it was not
until the controversy over the treaty for annexing Santo Domingo arose
that I had any further relations with him. At that time I had gone to
Washington to argue a case before the Supreme Court, and Mr. Sumner
asked me to dinner. I was a little surprised, but I went to his dinner,
where I found a very good company. When I was ready to bid him good
night, he insisted on my staying, as he wished to talk with me; but
I was reluctant, as I wanted to do some work before I went to sleep.
Still he insisted, and after Senator Thurman, who lingered enjoying his
cigar, had gone, Sumner said that he had desired for several years to
have a private talk with me over the impeachment of Johnson. He then
said impressively:

“I want to say that in that matter you were right and I was wrong.”

“Mr. Senator,” I answered, “I am very glad to hear you say so for my
own satisfaction, and also on your own account, because your course
was a disappointment. I believed that you would take ground against

“That was my original impression,” he replied, “but Johnson talked so
foolishly, and was so abusive, I came to believe it would be just as
well to turn him out.” After a pause he repeated earnestly: “I didn’t
want to die without making this confession, that in the matter of
impeachment you were right and I was wrong. But,” he added, “if it is
just as convenient to you, I would rather you would say nothing about
it until I am dead--and I won’t live many years.”

In his “Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate, and Cabinet”
John Sherman says:

  I felt bound, with much regret, to vote “guilty” in response to my
  name, but I was entirely satisfied with the result of the vote,
  brought about by the action of several Republican senators.

James G. Blaine in “Twenty Years of Congress” is less apologetic and
more candid. He says:

  The sober reflection of later years has persuaded many who favored
  impeachment that it was not justifiable on the charges made, and
  that its success would have resulted in greater injury to free
  institutions than Andrew Johnson in his utmost endeavor was able to

It would be well if those who are urging the “recall” as a general
panacea for mistakes and dissatisfaction in the working of elections,
would study the personal motives and partizan manœuverings which were
the soul and body of this enormity of injustice in American history.






Early in December the Angel of Peace on earth came to us, saying:

“How would you like a Christmas day deep in the woods, with no
tissue-paper parcels or tinsel ribbon, with the people that you know
best and like best and their children, with old English carols and
games and wassail-songs and morris-dances, and stockings, and a huge
bowl of innocent punch, and presents that cost fifteen cents, and no
more, on pain of death? Now, how would you?”

Then we cried with one accord:

“Hath eye seen or ear heard? Can the cords of custom be loosened?”

“They can,” said the Angel, snapping her glove-clasp into its socket.
She rose.

We turned questioningly to our Valiant One.

“I should like that,” she said. “I remember seventy Christmases, but
none like that.”

“If I go,” said the Objector, “my Christmas-tree shall be a living
tree. No cut-down, mutilated trees in a forest for me.”

The Angel frowned. Commentators spring up to amend the text almost
before a miraculous visitant can catch a ferry-boat back to town. “We
will see,” she said with the asperity common to women and angels.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many were called before our party of foresters was chosen. We were
told that a little inn on a mountain-side, in a redwood grove, even in
California, is a drafty place for aged parents and young children to be
laid. And who would be separated from his own on Christmas day?

We found, too, that when Heaven had made the marriages between
our friends, that no trouble had been taken to pair them for like
qualities. Initiative and energy lay in streaks in families: the woman
would, and the man would not, or the other way around, which, alas!
was no way around at all, but just an _impasse_. Then there were aged
parents-in-law who purposed to eat their turkey in the immemorial,
family way or to perish forthwith of reproachful old age; others
frankly confessed themselves caught in the Christmas mill: it was
not that they enjoyed shopping for Christmas, or even the effects of
Christmas-shopping, but to stop seemed perilous. Had it been tried?

At length forty freed spirits agreed. Muir Inn, part way up the shaggy
flank of Mount Tamalpais, was to be the place; December 24 was to be
the time; and sixteen young people were to do what they could toward
supplying the action.


On the day before Christmas seven of us, tucked in a touring-car, were
climbing the foot-hills opposite the purple bulk of the mountain. A
soft drizzle hung its drops on the fronds of the redwoods and made the
leaves of the dwarf manzanita look ashen on their twisted, wine-red
stems. As we beat up the grade, the world behind and below began to
unroll, the inlets of the bay and the light-lying islands flattened to
a map, while across and beyond we lifted San Francisco on her hills.
The broken gray of the city houses laid washes of color, one above
another, dove against rose-gray, against fawn, against pearl, and all
cut by the sharper tones of the dark buildings.

At the crest of the foot-hills the car plunged down into the
green-black shade of Muir Woods. Autumn and winter had touched the
interior of the forest, and left sparse, lantern-like leaves of
pale yellow on the bushes along the stream that gave to the wide,
dim evergreen space an air of delicate and transient mortality.
We ran beside the stream, the huge, shifting columns and the red,
needle-silenced ground flowing past us, and on our eyelashes clung the
caressing mist. Then our good cylinders labored hard to lift us by a
winding, slippery grade up the abrupt side of the mountain to the inn.
At a turn, without warning, we came out on a little plateau and up to
the weather-stained building itself.


As we stopped, the inn doors flew open, and out on the porches came
friends, and friends, children, young girls, and men called our names,
tossing us greetings and laughing. Something tightened in the throat,
and we knew, before we tore the rugs off our knees, that the Muir Woods
Christmas was going to be--different.

The inn was chiefly one big room of seventy feet or so smelling of
evergreens. The fireplace, built for a sleigh-and-six, held a red
mound of fire that just now gnawed, half-sated, at the carcass of
a tree. Evergreens hung from the rafters, and all the tangle of
California winter woods--wild huckleberry, manzanita, sallol, Oregon
grape, rose-haws, Woodwardia fern, as tall as the tallest child, and
swordfern--branched forth from jars in the corners.

We were busy at once. There were costumes to arrange for the charades,
and costumes to trim in secrecy for the Christmas masque in the woods;
there were stockings--each family had brought characteristic ones for
its group--to make ready to be strung on the wire in front of the fire;
there were derisive jingles to be written and affixed to fifteen-cent
presents for one’s dearest friend; ferns, evergreens, and candies had
to be tied to things; there were packages with disguised contours to be
hidden. Concealment, like a worm, preyed everywhere, and people talked
muffledly because of twine and tacks between the teeth. Busy, efficient
men nailed things, to the envy of wives who had brought ruminative,
pocket-handed men of the smoking variety. The children romped and
peeped at forbidden things, and the people who were not their mothers
said they were wonderfully good, and what the mothers said was not
recorded. About the whole place there was such a smell of evergreens
and such a mood of noisy fellowship, climbing, nailing, upsetting,
and standing about, that one suddenly realized that Dickens was not a
caricaturist, just a merrymaker.

When the lights were lighted and things at their busiest, so that they
could not possibly be moved from the tables, the waiters came to lay
the cloth for Christmas-eve dinner. This sent us all to the fire. Laps
were made, two-child deep; the very little people were fed hygienic
pulp and simmered into drowsiness, so that they could be put to bed;
and the women, and especially the girls, went and dressed in chilly
little bedrooms smelling of matting.

We got back to the warm room again, to find that the tables had been
laid in the form of a great cross, red berries at every place. All
seemed sweet and familiar as we seated ourselves, for every face was
the face of a friend. Food came and went, songs, stories, laughter;
toasts were drunk and answered, and we wagged our heads and said the
inevitable thing, “There used to be a time when people had families the
size of this!” and were half sad and half glad for the decline of the
good old times of abundance.

After dinner, chairs and tables were pushed aside, the great fire was
fed again, and by its light Christmas stories, in sober pantomime,
were enacted: Joseph and Mary, foot-sore and weary, knocked at the
door of the inn at Bethlehem, and found not where to lay their heads;
the shepherds fed their flocks by night, and a voice sang of peace on
earth, good-will to men; then came the Magi, following the star, to
the manger where the Child was laid and offered gifts of frankincense
and myrrh, and all the simple, reverent scenes spelled adoration for
those who watched. The absence of footlights and formal costumes made
the little plays seem a part of some humble worship in memory of
the hallowed and gracious time. The familiar faces, with a thousand
every-day associations, perhaps, under veil or turban took on a new
suggestion, a shade of mystery from a time and thought not wholly ours,
yet wrought with ours by centuries of faith.

“Mirth is also of Heaven’s making,” and this soberness melted into
laughter with the tramping of feet as the big circle formed to play the
old English ring-games that have been sung and played where children
have gathered, in merrymaking times, since our speech broke into
rugged, rhythmic verse. As the older children and most of the grown
people played,--for only trundle-bed trash had been put to bed,--the
rope in front of the fire was putting forth a grotesque fruitage of
harlequin stockings, stuffed with ten-cent surprises. One giant, pink
sock, decorated with carnations, was for some one’s big, red-haired
nephew, and the St. Patrick green one, bound with serpents, was
marked “For Rattlesnake Pete, the Sierra Snake-Destroyer.” And so
all down the line the stockings mocked their owners with intimate
audacities. There were genuine baby stockings, too, to melt one’s
heart, so little, woolly, and shrunken from the wash.


It grew late; the piano, which had been beating its life out all the
evening over, “Oats, Pease, Beans, and Barley Grows” and “London Bridge
is Falling Down, O My Lady!” began whispering a strange, old air, a
marching tune with a pulse of marching feet, more and more loudly,
until suddenly we all sang in lusty unison:

  “Here we come a-wassailing
    Among the leaves so green,
  Here we come a-wandering
    So fair to be seen.
  Love and joy come to you--”

when in came the large and paunchy punch-bowl, borne by the stoutest
of the waiters. All in line, singing and marching, old and young, we
circled in a wide detour about the room, coming to a stand, our glasses
high, about the wassail-bowl.

“Christmas! God bless us!” We drank the toast, and even the lip of the
abstainer was touched with the foam of egg-nog.

When at last all was quiet for the night, the big room dark and empty,
and the heavy line of forty stockings sagged and bulged in front of the
fire, several sober rioters stole back for a few last words.

“The only thing that could spoil Christmas now,” said an anxious
Martha, stooping to pick up a string from the floor, “would be that
some of the younger children who have been sending letters to Santa
Claus for automobiles and hill-coasters may be disappointed by ten-cent

“I know children,” said the Chief Emancipator. “They are not half as
mercenary as we think. Play is what they love. They will never think
of hill-coasters on the happy day when the grown people come to their
senses and give themselves up to fun.”

  Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël,
  Born was the King of Israel!

Did you ever wake on a Christmas morning to the sound of fresh voices
singing at your door and the soft swish of a redwood bough across your
window-pane--eyes opening upon walls as bare as the walls of a stable,
and the smell and feel of Christmas in the air of your naked little

  The first Noël, the angels did say,
  Was to certain poor shepherds, in fields as they lay,
  In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
  On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
        Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël,
        Born was the King of Israel!

The carolers were down from the little cabins on the hillside where
they had slept with a figment of roof between them and the stars, and
the cries of Merry Christmas beat upon our doors until we all came
together, in noisy collision; on the porches, and swept in to strip the
line of stockings. The babies dropped on the floor with their pouches,
dumping their toys frankly between their outspread legs, laughing,
crooning, and picking, with tiny, pointed fingers, at the mystery of
things. It was with them, as the wise woman had said, all bubbling
contentment and delight. Little tin wagons bounded over the floor, any
side up, two babies abreast, and every mouth blew upon squeakers and
trumpets the blasts of which were mercifully tempered to the short wind
of the little lambs. Our own gifts unmasked, with even-handed justice,
our inner foibles, but the children’s came to the breakfast table
with them in a spirit of peace. Live stock surrounded every plate,
and cattle fed from porcelain mangers, and became entangled in patent
breakfast foods.

As breakfast ended, a call came from the doorway, “Who wants to come
with me to the woods and pick out a Christmas tree?” It was she of the
Yerba Buena wreath and shoe-top skirt. We all wanted to come. This
finding of the tree was to be a ceremony. Though a faint mist was still
a-drift, no one cared, and a few wraps made the children snug.

A dozen tangled little paths lead down among the chaparral to the
redwoods, and here the children gathered from everywhere, laughing and
calling among the undergrowth, scattering, breaking, and running down
the steep paths exactly as a brood of quail run and call and scatter
through the mesquite under the convoy of their crested leader.

“The Woodsman! The Woodsman! First we must find a woodsman with an ax
to cut the Christmas-tree,” called the leader. “He used to live over
here. Who can find him?”

Her brood scurried here and there, unconsciously led where she would,
beating up the brush, when suddenly, shouting with delight, they came
full upon a man with an ax--a flannel-shirted man with a kind face and
a great, broad, shining ax.

“Yes, I am the Woodsman,” he called. “May I cut a Christmas-tree for
you this morning?” He came forward, and jumped straight into the story,
without preliminaries. The whole flock surged down upon him and off to
find the tree, accepting his being there with his ax as children do
accept pleasant things. We all went down into the winding wood road,
almost roofed over by redwood plumes, the little children stopping
to consult gravely with the Woodsman about the suitability of trees
two hundred feet high or saplings of a century’s growth, squinting
up trunks, considering, rejecting, earnestly intent, each one, upon
finding the perfect tree. The older conspirators, half lost in brake
and fern, kept close behind.

“This one I think will do,” cried the Woodsman at last, and he lifted
his ax.

At that moment from the hollow trunk of a redwood another figure
stepped out, and all the children started, he was so strange.

“I am the Spirit of the Woods,” he said in a deep voice; “I come to
plead with you for the life of this tree.”

He wore a mantle bordered with fern and moss. Instead of hair, his head
was closely covered with the greenish lichen that grows on the north
side of trees in winter, and his beard was of long, gray moss. He spoke
very earnestly, and told the children how sweet it is to live, as a
tree, in the forest. They were not exactly frightened; they even drew
a step nearer: in that beautiful, solemn place strange things might
happen. Then the Woodsman once more lifted his ax, when a very little
boy, quite unprompted, and to every one’s surprise, suddenly broke from
his father, and ran to the Woodsman, clasping his arms about him,
crying out for the life of the tree.

“Don’t cut it down!” he sobbed. “It wants to be a tree; it doesn’t want
to be logs.”

We were quite still for a moment, then the Spirit of the Woods said:
“The tree has another friend. I thought I was the only one who really
loved it.” Then turning to us all, he said with authority: “Do as
the child bids. Come with me, for I have something to show you.” He
moved with a long stride in his long mantle, the moss wagged from his
sleeves like the beard of a goat, and the children crowded nearer to
the Woodsman; but at a turn of the road they all cried out and ran
forward. Growing beside the road, with its branches full of gold and
silver ornaments, snow and cranberries and gifts, was a lovely living
Christmas-tree, bearing its shining fruitage in the thick forest.

Then all took hands and danced about the tree, and sang to it, and
praised it, and called it beautiful. From the thick branches, which
were not so very high in that high place, grown people took packages
marked with names. There were little Robin Hood costumes for several
of the children, with feathered caps and feathered bows, and a Cupid’s
dress of white gauze and filmy wings for the four-year-old cherub, and
green mantles for every one, that slipped over the head, and wreaths of
fresh green vines for the hair. The living tree gave up toys and tinsel
and everything, as other trees, that have given up their lives, have
never been known to do. The children starred themselves over with its
ornaments, and everybody dressed at the same moment. The pretty girls
wrapped tinsel and cranberry ropes in their hair, and looked prettier
than ever. It was so deep in the forest that for mirrors each must
inquire of the eyes that loved her for news of how she looked.

By the time that the tree was stripped quite bare, with only a spangle
here or a fleece of snow there, the whole party was peacocking in its
finery down the wood road, two by two, and two by two: the Woodsman
with his boy on his shoulder; the green-mantled, vine-wreathed folk;
the lonely Spirit of the Woods, a hesitating child peeping up at
him; the little Robin Hoods, a-chase for sparrows; and, straggling
behind the rest, the Cupid-baby, like a new-born butterfly, not
quite able either to run or to fly. And so, winding with the winding
red road, all our brightness subdued to the dim atmosphere in which
we moved,--that impalpable violet that floats about the stems of the
trees in these vast groves, giving an almost intolerable beauty to
the age-old trunks,--we came to recognize that about us were the real
Christmas-trees; for they were fast-rooted here when homeless Mary was
with child in Bethlehem.

What broke the spell was the old Edenic curse. Some one spoke of
food. I think it was a man. He said, in effect, that he wished to be
comforted with apples; that he was sick of love; he described a cold
Christmas dinner; then a dinner burned to a crisp and served to forty
empty chairs. It was a moving tale, and had that effect upon our

The dinner-hour had been set early that every child might come; and
one or two little heads, with their first thistle-down thatch, beside
the old white ones, made the Christmas dinner seem more than ever a
gracious family feast. We did not come dressed as people dining on
Christmas day, but all still in our mantles of forest green and wreaths
of vine. Down the tables, formed like a cross, shone the red of toyon
berries, in the folds of the girls’ coiled hair and in the chains about
children’s necks.

If there, was a moment of disillusionment, it was the one in which
it was discovered that the Spirit of the Woods did not subsist on
wood-alcohol, as had been rumored, but contrived large pieces of turkey
between the fringes of moss about his lips. But this, too, had a happy
influence, because it loosened some rather silent tongues, and the
children’s talk burst out fluent and simultaneous.

Housed intimately in by the evergreen-hung walls, the fire-light and
soft lamps bringing us into one warm group, the sense of comradeship,
up there on the big, misty mountain, and the gracious presence of
little children and our own, dear people, brought us to our feet to
sing again the wassail-song.

  “Here we come a-wassailing
    Among the leaves so green,
  Here we come a-wandering
    So fair to be seen.”

And as we stood, glasses lifted, we looked from the faces that had made
our own first Christmases bright to the little ones, just above the
cloth, and pledged the birth of this good, new way of being glad on
Christmas day.




  Our lives are molded by the things we miss.
  Not by Love’s answering eyes, not by his kiss,
  But by Love’s hunger do we learn Love’s bliss.

  Our growth must answer to the swell and strain
  Of thew and sinew toward the ultimate gain;
  The warrior’s worth is measured by his pain.

  Upward our hopes are flung, like tongues of fire.
  The dreams denied unendingly aspire;
  The soul must take the shape of its desire.



Miss Ashbell’s first name was Matilda, but everybody at her
boarding-house called her “Miss Mittie” by way of friendliness to a
stranger; nor did they express much wonder as to what had brought
her from Philadelphia to Laramie, because to a Wyomingite it is the
most natural thing in the world that anybody should forsake every
other place in the world for Wyoming, the only wonder being that
millions more did not do it all the time. Possibly these dwellers
on the altitudes would have thought her being in Laramie still more
natural had they seen the house of her birth and rearing, one of those
three-hundred-and-forty-seven-thousand-all-just-alike homes for which
Philadelphia is famous, each with its bath-room, each bath-room with
its cake of Cashmere bouquet soap, each parlor with its onyx-topped
table between the two lace-curtained windows; and outside, white marble
steps, and white, solid wood shutters to keep the Indians out at
night. That is, they were to keep the Indians out, but as the Indians
went faster than Philadelphia, the shutters are there yet. And Miss
Mittie missed them dreadfully in Laramie; it didn’t seem like home if
you couldn’t barricade at night, and scrub white marble steps in the

But at Mrs. Ingersoll’s store, where Miss Mittie “had the ribbons,”
they called her “Holy Calm,” pronouncing it “ca’m.” Coming from
peaceful nights behind white, solid shutters, calm was to be expected,
though perhaps not so much of it as Miss Mittie had. Her calm was of
the peculiarly Quaker variety that exasperated you to the depths:
instantly your desire was to ruffle it, to tear it open, and find out
what was underneath, and if it were calm all through, and holy, or
just put on for effect. And you felt somehow that the Lord made her on
Sunday, after He had rested from His labors in the meetings attended by
her father and mother; and by the same token, you felt that the Lord
made Roddy McQueed on Monday, as a preliminary to getting the creative
hand in on original chaos. It is beyond me to determine why these two
should have been each other’s particular fate, yet such was the case.

My one experience with Miss Mittie showed me what she was. It was in
the days when they were wearing yard-long hat-pins as articles of
warfare. I went into the store to buy two short ones, and Holy Calm
showed me a cushionful of rapiers, and told me “those were all they had

There was just something in the way she said it that “got” me. I
retorted that she didn’t know her stock--that I had bought proper
hat-pins there three months before on my way up to the ranch, and there
were a million of ’em still in a box.

“Oh, only two sold,” said she, taking it for truth, though never till
that instant had she set eyes on me. “Then they must all be here except
those two,” and with that, she drew out a box marked “ruching” in black
letters six inches long. It contained ruching.

Miss Mittie only murmured apologetically to the box, “Not here, I
see,” and drew forth another marked “stocks” containing stocks, and
then one marked “gloves” containing gloves, and a fourth marked “ties”
containing ties.

At this point my wickedness took me, and I showed her a box marked
“corsets” containing corsets, a box marked “baby ribbon” containing
baby ribbon, a box marked “embroidery cotton” containing embroidery
cotton; after which I swept a commanding gesture over a table where
silk hose were displayed and said artfully, “You’d better look under
those stockings.”

She thanked me for the kind suggestion and conscientiously turned over
every pair, soberly telling me, when she was through, she “didn’t see
any hat-pins.” Neither did she see the glitter in my eye nor hear the
derision in my voice; she positively never suspected that I was “doing
her” in a way that would have reduced a New York “saleslady” either
to rage or a red-faced pulp. I’d have kept it up for an hour until I
forced her to show some sign of human feeling, but time was pressing,
and I couldn’t sacrifice my sleeping-car berth east for the fine sport
of baiting her Holy Calm. I stepped behind the counter and took a box,
in full sight all the time, marked “hat-pins--short,” opened it, and
put it in her hand.

No written words can convey the manner in which she said, “Oh, yes--two
of those. Ten cents,” and wrote her slip.

I went off feeling defeated--the calm had never quivered; I had
mentally made no more impression on her than if she’d been a waxwork.

But it had been borne in upon me that Miss Mittie’s soul needed
saving to a world of human endeavor--that she was in bondage to
some intangible inner force; and I was still thinking of her as
a psychological phenomenon, wondering how a person so devoid of
perception and imagination could contrive to earn her daily bread even
in Wyoming, where the stress of commercial conditions is much easier
than in the East, when the porter took my suitcase from Roddy’s hand
and he cheered me off.

Roddy had driven me down from the ranch,--an all-day trip across the
plains, with a sandwich lunch in the middle,--and he had made use of
the opportunity to tell me the whole, _true_ story of his life. He was
emphatic on the truth of it, and said that I ought to write it up for
the New York papers; and with this in view he went into details that
would have made me faint away if they had been true. But knowing Roddy
after three summers of him, I took his recitation quietly. My vague
“Did you’s?” annoyed him but stimulated him to larger invention; and
when at last we reached Laramie, he was in fine fettle for an adventure
that would eclipse all the rest.

In this mood he strolled up the street after leaving me, and almost
trampled Mrs. Ingersoll under foot as she dashed out of her store. She,
too, had just received defeat at the hands of Holy Calm, and felt she
had to save a soul alive.

Mrs. Ingersoll and Roddy were friends, after a sort. Everybody in the
country was friends with him in the same fashion, as you’ve got to be
with a next-to-nature man who has a reputation for originality in sin
and has been in the papers no less than five times for it. So when
Roddy and she collided and he said: “Why, hello, Mis’ Ingersoll! I
didn’t _go_ fer to smash ye,” and held out his big paw, she, with fine
courtesy, gave him her hand and told him, smiling as though she liked
to be smashed by careless cow-boys, “You’re just the one I want to see.”

Roddy was flattered. He knew, of course, that he was “just the one”
any lady would want to see,--why not?--but somehow Mrs. Ingersoll was
a little bit different from the rest. She did things, too, and her
name was in the papers almost any time, attached to real news. Didn’t
she organize the Laramie brass band that beat the Cheyenne band all to

So it really meant something to be wanted to be seen by _her_, and
Roddy, hastily reviewing the situation, returned a handsome, “Well,
you’re jest the one _I_ wanta see. Now, ain’t that two of a kind?” and
felt he had scored himself.

This paved the way for confidences. They were both smarting from too
much Holy Calm. Mrs. Ingersoll blurted out her own experience, and
asked Roddy how did he account for a girl like that?

Roddy pushed his hat back on his head to let out the thought that Miss
Mittie seemed to lack a sense of humor and ought to be shown a thing or
two; Mrs. Ingersoll, however, inclined to the belief that the trouble
was “Holy Calm was too good for use,” or at least too good for any use
in a millinery establishment. Roddy suggested that “something might be
done fer her if ye went about it right,” but Mrs. Ingersoll averred
despairingly that you’d never get an idea into Miss Mittie’s head short
of cutting it open with an ax. However, after sifting the situation
back and forth between them, the upshot was a soul-saving plot: Mrs.
Ingersoll was to slip out just before closing time, leaving Miss
Mittie to shut up shop alone; then Roddy, with a gang of cow-boys, was
to “jump the store” and hold her up for a couple of hundred yards of
ribbon, which they were to carry up to Mrs. Ingersoll’s house afterward.

All started off according to program. Holy Calm, softly humming to
herself, was putting the store to bed as snug as anything, and thinking
of her well-earned rest, when five young, seemingly desperate rascals,
Roddy leading, fired their guns in the air and landed with a bounce
inside, two of the boys blocking the door so she couldn’t get away.

Miss Mittie never quivered an eyelash.

“What can I do for you, gentlemen?” she asked, fixing her gaze and a
smile on Roddy, whom she had met, and admired tremendously for the
tales told of him.

Roddy was just a trifle dashed by her politeness, for he’d “allowed
she’d screech, er something, like a woman always does,” and when
anybody screeched his rule was, “Give ’em some more o’ the same
medicine.” But under her serene, uncomprehending stare Roddy forgot
what he’d come for.

Beany Johnson nudged him in the ribs as a reminder, and then, seeing
a hesitancy, kicked him with his spur. Thus pushed to his duty, Roddy
blurted out:

“I want some ribbon--pink ribbon--fer a church-fest’val decorations.”
He slipped his gun into its holster, gave a hitch to his chaps and a
jerk to the red handkerchief about his neck, picked up a roll from the
counter, and told her in an offhand way: “This here will do. Gimme
forty yards offen it,” and began carelessly unwinding it on the counter.

“There aren’t forty yards in that piece,” said she, taking the roll
from his hand with her holiest calm and a smile at him, and at the same
time noting the number on the roll. “There’s only eight and a quarter.”

“Well, gimme what they is--an’ then some more,” he commanded.

She measured off the eight and a quarter, then ten from another roll,
said she was sorry she couldn’t match that pink exactly, but it was
“special-sale goods,” and wouldn’t something else do, since it was for
a church and not for a dress? The quality would be absolutely the same;
the store didn’t carry any but the best.

Roddy, who had somewhat found himself by this time, amiably explained
that “It didn’t matter about the match; it was only fer a church,
anyways,” and handed her a roll of bright green.

She measured it demurely without looking at him. Still, it wouldn’t
have helped her if she had; she wouldn’t have perceived the glitter of
his eye.

With the green on the counter his self-confidence entirely returned.
At the same time Beany Johnson and Hank Homans began to clamor, their
arms overflowing with ribbons, that she measure some for them; and
presently upon that counter lay a haystack of silk of all colors of
the rainbow, and every roll that the boys could lay hands on had been

“Thirty-seven dollars and five cents,” said Miss Mittie. “But I’ll
throw in the remnant and call it an even thirty-seven, since you took
so much.” She had done the sum all in her head while she was measuring

“Charge it,” said Roddy, loftily. “This here gent--” He presented
Hank, who bowed acknowledgment--“is Mr. Andy Carnegie. I guess you
heard of him often enough, and know you can trust him all right; an’
this here one with the _mus_tache is Mr. Pierpont Morgan. I am John D.
Rockyfelly.” That being the preconcerted cue for them to go on with
their parts, they began gathering the ribbons into their arms as fast
as they could, meaning to cut and run with them.

“Excuse me, but this is a cash-down store,” informed Miss Mittie,
laying her hand on the ribbons nearest her. “I can’t charge anything.
I’m sorry not to oblige,--” She turned a little pale at the thought of
it,--“but you see how it is; I’m not allowed, so I can’t. Thirty-seven
dollars, please.”

“Well, I guess you won’t refuse _us_,” said Roddy, ingratiatingly,
pulling surreptitiously at the ribbons while Hank added this sweet
touch, “it’s fer a strawb’ry fest’val--real strawb’ries, real cream,
you know.” (The season was late October.)

The words gave Roddy an idea. “Perhaps you’d like to go--with _me_.”
The wretch beamed at her, thinking here was the best chance yet to “do
her one” and send the shivers over her in a way she’d never forget.

A faint tinge of color suffused her cheeks. How kind of him, the great
Roddy, to want her! She spoke, however, with her calm:

“I’d like to go with you ever so much. Yes, I’m sure I can go to-night;
I haven’t anything else. I’ll go,” she accepted, making what she felt
a momentous decision. Never yet had she been anywhere with a real
live cow-boy, and it had been the dream of her life--the dream now
at last come true! What a story to write home to Philadelphia! She
smiled happily at Roddy, then, suddenly remembering her duty, said,
“Thirty-seven dollars, please,” but very sweetly, and as though she
hated to ask him for it after that invitation, and felt it not quite

“Charge it, please,” he gave back, with a sweetness imitating her own,
while a flush was beginning to be felt on his cheeks also. He hadn’t
expected her to take him up so quickly. He was prepared to wheedle
and urge, and it made him feel just a bit mean to see her so eager
to go with him to a fictitious festival; and after his first stab of
self-pride came the thought, was he “the first fella ever ast her to go
somewheres in the evening? Didn’t she git no amusement at all? Why, the
poor kid!”

He questioned, hesitating:

“You--ain’t been out much--in Laramie--sence you come?”

She shook her head.

“I haven’t been to one thing,” she replied, giving him a wistful look,
and adding with a brighter one and a sigh, “until to-night.”

Meanwhile the two guards at the door had become so entranced with the
scene at the ribbon counter that they’d cast aside their duty: they
acknowledged the duty, however, by tiptoeing to the region of the
ribbons, flattering themselves that, if they were not heard, they would
not be seen.

Miss Mittie swept a glance at the five young men ranged before her and
then at the clock. It was ten minutes past closing-time, and the street
door stood wide open! Dreadful! In her shy delight at the prospect of
a strawberry festival, she’d forgotten her sacred trust in putting the
store to bed. What would Mrs. Ingersoll say when she found it out?

With a quick, “Excuse me,” she slipped along behind the counter, those
five cow-boys standing like gawks and watching her do it, and locked
the door and put the key in her pocket. She took the key, naturally,
so she could get in the next morning, and she was intending to let the
young men out by a certain back way in order that nobody should know
how remiss she’d been. Returning hurriedly, she said, “Thirty-seven
dollars, please,” and stuck her pencil in her hair.

The young men had been exchanging disconcerted glances. Roddy dropped
his ribbon on the counter. Figuratively speaking, he threw up the
sponge then; but it was Hank Homans who first found a usable tongue.

“I guess we don’t want it, after all,” said he, depositing his armful
beside Roddy’s.

She smiled at him a smile that nothing but calm that is calm all
through can produce on earth, and said, “Thirty-seven dollars, please.”

“No--I guess we don’t want it,” corroborated Roddy, trying to appear
self-confident while he bunched his ribbons together with decisive
gestures that eschewed ribbons from his life forever.

For the fraction of a second she appeared to believe it; then she
repeated, “Thirty-seven dollars,” and thrust the slip across the pile
at him.

He turned red.

“I say--we don’t want it,” he stammered.

She took this for a pleasantry, and held out her hand for the money.
At the same moment he felt a spur dig into his boot; the situation was
become exceedingly unpleasant to his fellow-missioners. What was the
girl up to, anyway? And what in thunder did she mean by locking them
in? Beany Johnson came to the rescue.

“I say, why, this here was--a--er--kinder _joke_,” he explained
sheepishly, and feeling dreadfully uncomfortable.

She looked at him, puzzled.

“I don’t see it,” she remarked. Literally she didn’t. “What is the

“Why--er--all this here--” He waved his hand over the pile of
ribbons--“this here pink ribbon hold-up--why, it was all a--er--kinder
joke, without meanin’ any offense,” he trailed off, blushing.

“But I don’t see it,” she repeated, still with her puzzled look.

“Well, it is, anyway,” he assured her, desperately. “It’s what it is
all right--a joke.”

For a moment after this brutal confession they thought comprehension
dawned in her eyes; then she murmured, looking critically at the
ribbon: “But I’m sure I measured it all right; I never make mistakes on
ribbons. Mrs. Ingersoll will tell you that. I was very particular as I
went along. And I know I counted it right--thirty-seven dollars, and
the remnant, five cents; but I threw that off; I didn’t charge it on
the slip.” She glanced at the slip to make sure on that point.

“Oh, you’re all right,” Hank chipped in courageously. “We ain’t
kickin’ on yer measurin’. An’ the thirty-seven--it’s all right, too;

“I gave you all-silk ribbon, no cotton-back,” she interrupted. “I
looked at every piece before I undid it. There’s some cotton-back
in the store for cheap trimmings and flower ties, but I was very
particular to give you the same as you started out with--that pink Mr.
McQueed took first.” She began rummaging the pile for the original

“Oh, that’s all right; we ain’t kickin’ on the quality,” Hank rumbled
on, despite the pucker on her brow feeling he was making progress--that
by a process of elimination of false scents he was gradually getting
her on the track of a true apprehension. He motioned with his hand to
include the others. “We ain’t kickin’ on that part of it, fer it’s all
right; but--”

“Then I don’t see what _isn’t_ all right,” she sighed helplessly,
glancing at the sale-slip to make sure the joke wasn’t there. “Yes,
thirty-seven.” With that a light dawned on her face, and she handed
the slip to him. “Oh, I see,” she cried, “I’ve been asking the wrong
gentleman to pay!”

Beany only shook his head and pushed the bill aside. He was beginning
to perspire, and the others, coming to his rescue in a chorus,

“But it was all a joke--this here. Don’t you see?” hoping she’d see and
make the best of it by opening the door and telling them to get out for
a mean lot of--, well, anything you like and can imagine as coming from
her chaste lips. Getting out was now all they were capable of thinking
of in the present predicament; they wouldn’t have cared what she called
them. Hank added firmly, and as a sort of inspiration, “You see, we
don’t want it now.”

She looked from one to the other of them, repeating, “Don’t want it
now, did you say?” Then with another of her comprehending smiles, “But
you ain’t the kind of gentlemen that orders things you don’t want,
and then don’t pay up for ’em, and you wouldn’t disappoint a church.
Besides--” Here she presented them with a smile apiece--“I know you
wouldn’t leave a lady to roll up ’most two hundred yards of ribbon
just for a matter of thirty-seven dollars.”

“It wouldn’t be kinder jes right,” Hank admitted, seeing a chance here
to slide out on excuses. “Sure it wouldn’t; but we didn’t none of us
fellas think o’ that--”

She broke in on him with a quick, “I see it now!” and they waited
breathless while she looked at the price-tags on several rolls. “You
think I made a mistake in the different prices, carrying the different
widths in my head, and you’re all too nice to tell me for fear you’ll
get me in trouble with Mrs. Ingersoll. Well, maybe I did. Nobody’s
perfect; no matter how careful you are, you’re liable to a slip-up once
in a while. But I’ll measure it again and count it over just to satisfy

She took a long ribbon in her hand. Inwardly they groaned, and Roddy
felt spurs digging at his legs and elbows at his ribs that said, “You
got us into this fix; now get us out, and be quick about it, too.”

But Roddy seemed to have been struck with paralysis. The truth is, Miss
Mittie had those young missioners cowed. They didn’t dare tell her to
her face how they’d planned and played a mean joke on her confiding
innocence when she’d never done anything to harm or annoy them in the
whole of her blameless life. To leave her to roll up that pile of
ribbon was, as Roddy afterward confessed when he told me the story,
“sich a dirty, ornery trick to play on a lady as only a coyote would
think of.” And, then, they didn’t dare to give Mrs. Ingersoll away.
Yet if they didn’t make a clean breast of it and show Miss Mittie just
how low-down cussed they’d been, how were they to get the key? They
couldn’t take it from her by force; at least things hadn’t reached
the point where they felt they could “do anything that was _reely_
ungentlemanly,” as Roddy said. And then this thought came to all of
them: suppose they did make her understand, and “she struck it hoppin’
mad an’ kep’ ’em there all night to pay ’em fer it an’ git even!” By
this time they felt her capable of anything through sheer lack of


  Drawn by Fletcher C. Ransom  Half-tone plate engraved by H. C. Merritt


“One--two--three--four--five--” She measured swiftly, counting aloud as
she went that they might be sure she was making no mistake. Under cover
of her voice Hank hissed in Roddy’s ear:

“It’s yer turn to play. Say something, can’t yer? An’ git us outa this
here hold-up.”

“Hold-up! I should say _yes_!” snorted Beany in Roddy’s other ear,
suddenly appreciating the real essence of the joke; and then snorted
again as he heard “Seventeen--eighteen--nineteen,” accompanied by the
rapid swish of silk along the counter.

But all Roddy, now very red of face, could contribute toward a graceful
retreat for himself and friends from the scene of disaster was, “We
don’t want it,” while pushing the ribbons weakly in her direction.

Before he could think of anything else, she raised her unsuspicious
eyes questioningly to his, acknowledging him the leader and his word
her law. That was the glance that shot him through the heart--that,
and the way she’d beaten them at their own game and never turned a
hair. Roddy was enough the man and the sport to appreciate the laugh on

“Fellas, the drinks are on us,” he informed them, grimly. “The little
girl gits the jackpot. It’s up to us to shell out an’ be P. D. Q. about
it, too.”

Miss Mittie stopped her measuring, since he was satisfied to take the
ribbon as it was, and put the slip into his hand with a smile that
said, “Now I’ll be ready to go with you to our entertainment.”

They made up the amount with difficulty,--it took every cent Roddy had
and most of the spare cash in the party,--and when he had given it to
her, he leaned over the counter, almost to kissing distance, and said:

“Little girl, y’ can buy _me_ fer a nickel.”

She drew a shabby purse and took out of it a shabby nickel.

“It’s all I have,” she told him, soberly, offering it.

All she had, and she was giving it to him _in earnest_! In one swift
flash it came to him why she hadn’t seen through the mean joke they
were playing on her: she had trusted him too much; or, as he more
picturesquely put it, “She knowed I was too much of a gentleman to do
a girl dirt.” Her lack of comprehension of the true inwardness of the
whole affair was precisely her measure of the high estimate she placed
on his chivalry; she saw him as his own deepest ideals painted him, and
he knew she saw him thus; and in the shine of the heavenly revelation
he saw her as lovely calm womanhood confiding in his nobility.
Something broke loose in him; his better nature, his affection, his
generosity, his instinct for fair play, rose to its occasion, and in
one instant he ceased to be a lawless young rapscallion--his heart
truly and in the scriptural sense turned from its wickedness and the
error of its ways.

“Little girl, if I take this here nickel offen ye, it’s a bargain
between us,” he told her, dizzily. “You an’ me’ll belong to each other
fer keeps. I mean it, honest.”

She hesitated, blushing from throat to forehead under the gaping stare
of the other young fellows; then she said bravely, “I mean it honest,
too,” and laid the nickel in his hand.

I fear I’ve told this so jocosely I’ve belittled their miracle, which
was very real. I met her on the street in Laramie last summer, five
years after the episode, and speaking of her marriage she confided to
me that she and Roddy had been “made for each other.”







[Illustration: Owned by Mr. P. A. Valentine






  Miss Rickert’s article, “The Fraternity Idea among College Women,” in
  the November number, developed the argument that women’s fraternities
  like men’s are aristocratic, in that they are self-perpetuating
  and destructive to freedom of intercourse; that they stand for the
  privilege of one as against the common rights of all; that the
  benefits that they claim to bestow upon members are exaggerated,
  even in the case of individuals, and do not counterbalance the two
  evils which are inherent in the system and cannot be done away with
  by regulation from without or reform from within; and that these
  evils are, as regards members, that the fraternities educate to type,
  and, as regards outsiders, that they harden social differences into
  caste.--~The Editor.~

Can we do anything? Should we try? Some of the women’s colleges are
taking action. Fraternities have recently been abolished at Rockford
as contrary to the democratic spirit of that institution; also at
Pembroke, on the ground that they had come to absorb too much of the
interest that should go into general college activities. At Elmira,
where they have been since 1856, they have recently disbanded of their
own accord, and they are to be discontinued at Mount Holyoke after 1913.

Among coëducational institutions, however, the fraternal spirit is
certainly growing. Although the entire number of fraternity women is
less than one fifth that of fraternity men, the active members--that
is, the undergraduates--are almost half as numerous as the men, and
the rate of initiation is nearly the same. Unless some check is put
upon them, the women will soon outnumber the men, as they are said to
surpass them in efficiency of organization.


Presidents and deans of colleges in which the Greek-letter societies
exist show little inclination to abolish them, but rather a distinct
recognition of the value of their coöperation in manipulating the
student body. On the other hand, officers of institutions where
only the local organizations are admitted, with no uncertain voice,
declare that they mean to keep the control in their own hands, while
the authorities of colleges where no fraternities have ever been
admitted[4] are equally emphatic in stating that, as a force hostile to
democracy, they shall never be allowed to enter.

There are the three faces of the problem. Which attitude is right?

The women’s fraternities, which first arose in small colleges that
were scarcely more than boarding-schools, were purely in imitation
of men’s organizations. But when women students were admitted to
the state universities and other big endowed institutions, which
were without provision for their students beyond lecture halls,
laboratories, and libraries, the situation changed. In so far as the
universities were concerned merely with intellectual training and
made no attempt to reach the social side, the women’s fraternities
took on a certain defensive quality--the banding together of the
minority, whose presence was more or less resented by the men. Their
practical value in providing safe and comfortable homes for students
was quickly recognized both by parents and by deans, upon whom came
the responsibility for student welfare. But now this question of
housing is a very minor aspect of the case, as even in institutions
where chapter houses exist, these provide for less than one third of
the women, usually much less; and in the majority of institutions the
fraternities have no chapter houses at all.

On the other hand, the immediate practical use of the fraternities
to-day is that by their organization and their training in organizing
power they can be trusted to put things through. One dean writes,
“Unconsciously one often chooses a fraternity girl to do a necessary
thing, knowing that she will see it through.” Several others, deans
and presidents, say that the fraternities do valuable service in two
ways: first, by making themselves responsible for the conduct of
individual members of their societies who give trouble to the faculty;
and, second, by taking the initiative, and standing solid in passing
measures for the welfare of the whole student body.


These two virtues seem to me to be on very different levels. In regard
to the first, I doubt whether any other agency could easily be found to
deal as successfully with a recalcitrant student as a self-appointed
committee of her intimate associates. It does not follow, however,
that this committee need have the social characteristics of the
fraternity. As for the second, it would seem that larger and more
weighty organizations, such as the Young Women’s Christian Association
and the Women’s League, not subject to the jealousies and rivalries of
the fraternities, could be of much greater service.


It is difficult to balance the good and the bad points of the local and
national organizations. The former are more democratic in that they
are usually larger, being less strictly limited. They are without the
element of permanent regulation that comes from the national union.
They lack the exchange of ideas which comes from the association of a
group of organizations, and their activities are entirely confined to
the undergraduate years. In that they are always subject to faculty
regulation, it is probable that loyalty to the society or club does
not, as is too often the case among the fraternities, usurp the place
of loyalty to alma mater.

As for the alleged democracy of the women’s colleges, it is, in many
cases, largely theoretical. These colleges provide for their students
both housing and social life. The latter is somewhat cloistral, to be
sure, but it is open to all. By the very conditions of their life,
they do not need the help of the fraternities for disciplinary or
legislative measures. Does this mean that the colleges are without
cliques, that every student is a sister to every other? Who that
has lived in a woman’s college does not know that every class is
run usually by one group of friends, with occasional more or less
successful attempts by other rival groups to grasp the power? The
“fraternity spirit” comes into play all over the world as soon as
three people meet, because one combination of two will always be more
congenial than the other, and one is always left out. The fraternity
spirit is simply the aristocratic impulse, the social instinct that
is ever working toward the formation of class. Then, as it cannot
be torn out of human nature, is it to be recognized and allowed to
develop freely as in the case of the national organizations, or is
it to be checked and controlled from without as in the case of the
local organizations, or is it to be ignored, hidden under a cloak of
theoretical democracy, as in the women’s colleges?


The furthest limit to which the national organizations will go
in the way of outside regulation is to allow a representation of
non-fraternity members of the faculty on their boards--a minority, I
judge. On the other hand, they freely admit the more obvious faults of
their system, and declare their earnest purpose of self-regulation.
They even admit that these measures are defensive; they feel that their
system is threatened. Let us look at the reforms they propose, and see
how far they will go to change its fundamental nature.

They propose to do away, first, with the practice of “rushing” and
the hysteria, expense, bitterness, and heartburn that accompany it,
and to insure a thorough acquaintance on both sides by postponing
pledge-day to the sophomore year. At the same time they mean to raise
the scholarship standard for admission, and to regulate the social life
of the chapter houses by insisting upon the observance of uniform and
reasonable house rules.

The first trouble is that their chance of success in these reforms is
very small. They may keep rushing, to all appearances, within bounds,
but the feelings that it engenders must arise wherever a few persons
are singled out by the arbitrary choice of several rival organizations.


When they postpone pledge-day, they cease to house the very
students--the beginners--who in our big, promiscuous universities
chiefly need care. Even if they provide for the freshmen by themselves
building dormitories, they have to face the problems how the wide
acquaintance of the first year is to pass into the segregation of
the later years without breaking up friendships formed at that time,
and whether, to avoid this thing, there will not be formed among the
freshmen defensive cliques which will be taken in as wholes when the
time comes. Under these conditions, which actually prevail in at least
one university where sophomore pledging has been adopted, the system
will remain unchanged.

The scholarship standard for admission, while it will improve the
tone and efficiency of the fraternities by keeping out the thoroughly
frivolous and incapable element, might conceivably, must inevitably
render them still more exclusive by adding pride of intellect to pride
of social standing. Even where a most beneficent result is confidently
urged, that is, when the fraternity acts as a stimulus to drag the poor
student up to the required grade, I am still in doubt. Is it worth
while to force scholarship by means of social reward? Would it not be
better to let these girls drop and find their place in another level
in which they are moved by real interest in the thing they are doing,
instead of by the goad of social ambition? This is at least a question
to be considered.


As for the uniform house rules, where is the machinery that can enforce
them in an aggregation of societies widely scattered and independent?

But suppose these reforms are carried out to the last degree, how will
they affect the system? Will they break down the barriers between Greek
and barbarian? Will they make the selection of the college aristocracy
any less artificial? Will they not, by still further elimination of
“mistakes,”--the incongruous element,--tend to make the fraternity
woman still more conventional? Will they not _ingrow_ more and more
in their limitation of types? Will they not be still more the circle
of girls looking inward and blowing up the little flame of their own
ideals and aspirations, instead of individual women mingling with the
great crowd of human beings, and turning their faces this way and that
according to the needs of the time?

But if outside regulation is impracticable where the national
organizations are already in control, and the proposed regulation from
within only intensifies the abnormal conditions of the system, what can
be done?

The fundamental problem for both the fraternities and the officers of
colleges where they exist, is, whether or not the number of societies
is to be restricted.

One dean says: “If I could, I would keep them out. As I cannot, I say
let us have as many as possible.”

Another dean stands for, “The rendering of fraternities inconspicuous
and unimportant as an element in college life.” She adds: “Often this
end may be in a measure accomplished by strengthening the organizations
to which all women students are eligible.”


There is the difference of theory. One view looks toward enough
fraternities to take in all the students who have any inclination to
be “clubable”; the other, toward preserving what is sometimes called
“the balance” between fraternity and non-fraternity women. The first
tendency is democratic by bringing the majority into the position held
by the minority to-day; the second is democratic by limiting the powers
of the present minority. The regulation from within, being urged by the
National Pan-Hellenic, is aristocratic in that it aims to increase the
efficiency and power of this minority.

Where the fraternities contain nearly the whole body of women students,
as happens in some small institutions, the few who are left out suffer
proportionately. Again, as the “barbs” need not be reckoned with,
jealousies between chapters are almost sure to arise.

On the other hand, in regard to the balance, one of the fraternity
journals says in effect: Why should there be this balance between the
fraternity and the non-fraternity element? If the system is ideal for
one girl, is it not for all? What ground can a college stand on in
putting a premium on the fraternity girls? Why increase the difference
which we would all gladly lose sight of? Our ideals are the same as
those of every true college woman, and the banding together into a
fraternity is a help toward these ideals. Why refuse any college woman
this help?

It is not merely a question of ideals and of the help of friends,
but of definite social values, such as, for example, more intimate
association with members of the faculty, more opportunities for meeting
distinguished guests, and so on. Why should the fraternities have the
monopoly of these social pleasures and assets?

The usual answer of the fraternity woman would be, I think: “Shall we
do away with colleges because fewer than two persons out of a thousand
go to college? Opportunities must necessarily be limited to the few.”

“Limited to the few?” Yes, necessarily to a few at a time; but not
always to the same few.

No, the fraternity woman does not wish to open up her fraternity to the
general public. She may go outside her walls and speak with the barbs
on terms of what she calls perfect equality and friendliness; but she
wishes to keep to herself the fastness of her fraternity, with its
idealistic ritual, its trivial secret, as a sanctuary secure from the
miscellaneous hordes of the world.

There is no getting over or around or away from this attitude of mind.
The insidiousness of it is that no amount of theory will save from it
the average human being who gets the chance. One may have heard of
the college professor who objected strongly when his sister was “bid”
because he did not wish her to become a snob. Later, as fate would have
it, he himself was called upon to organize a fraternity. Where was the
snob then? On the other side of the wall, to be sure! And that is just
where the difference comes in.


One conclusion which would be generally admitted is, that the colleges
and universities where the fraternities thrive have not done their
whole duty by their students. Suppose, then, that they realize this,
and wish to use the fraternal spirit to forward the welfare of the
general body of students, what can they do? As a result of many
suggestions, I seem to see that a somewhat definite line of action is

In the first place, they are even now facing the problem of housing
their students, and there arises the question of choice between the
dormitory and the cottage. The large dormitory is more economical, and
it was more manageable than a group of cottages in the old days before
student government; but from every other point of view it fails. The
small dormitory and the large cottage are rapidly approaching each
other in size, and the approximation is due to a compromise between the
desire of each college to put first the welfare of its students and the
money available to carry out its plans.

But suppose--a somewhat visionary hypothesis, I am afraid--that an
institution is free to build as many cottages as it needs, of the size
that should bring the best possible results of group development, so
that every girl student may be assured of a comfortable home with,
for example, nineteen or twenty-nine others. She would then be on
the proper basis for extending and receiving hospitality, and social
training would follow as a matter of course.


The fraternity girls put great stress on their power of developing one
another, the “house mother,” or chaperon, even when she is not the
cook, seeming to be usually more or less a figurehead. In this cottage
system, what would happen if the group were left to itself in the same
way? Naturally this would depend entirely upon the constitution of the
group. If all birds of a feather flocked together, no sparrows would
learn the song of the canary. If they were housed haphazard, in the
order, for example, of registration, there would be at first anarchy,
with the speedy assertion of the clique and government by the strongest
spirits who were attracted to one another by congeniality, much as
happens in the chapter houses now, while the weak and isolated spirits
would have much the position of extension members of fraternities,
taken in to help pay the coal bills. Clearly some sort of regulation
from without would be not only desirable, but essential, unless the
development of the individual girl is to be as much a matter of
chance as with the fraternities. The line of remedy would seem to be
by a proper distribution of upper-class girls and new students--poor
dean!--and by the appointment of some responsible older woman as “house


A great deal would depend upon the type of woman in charge. As one of
the fraternity members said, she ought to be an alumna. But however
important it is that a woman of fine ability, tact, social distinction,
and loving-kindness should be paid an excellent salary for developing
this side of life in every cottage or dormitory on the campus, there is
probably not an institution in the country that can afford to pay for
such service exclusively. A middle way, perhaps not so impracticable,
would be to choose from the graduating class of each year girls for
whom college has been rather a general training for life than a
specialized preparation for some one profession--girls who could afford
to give a year’s time and who would gladly do so in return for board
and lodging, special college privileges, such as graduate courses, and
so on, and the not invaluable experience that they would gain by acting
as these house mothers. They would be near enough in age to sympathize
with the undergraduate point of view, far enough away to counsel,
direct, and influence; and they, acting with house committees chosen
by the household of each cottage, could guide each little group in
such a way as to insure a flexible system which would permit both the
individual and the social virtues to flourish. One might even foresee
that a conference of these house mothers with the officers of the large
students’ organizations and a committee of the faculty might form a
board comparable to the local Pan-Hellenics of the fraternities for the
general guidance of student affairs.[5]

This might allow for social training and group development; but, the
objection may be urged, how would it react upon student friendships?
What assurance is there that in any cottage home there might not be as
many “mistakes” as occur in fraternity choosing? Deans are proverbially
not infallible, and the burden put upon them by such a plan would be

The answer is that congenial friendships are no more a matter of
accidental living together than of arbitrary imposition by upper
classmen, but of a free choice that in undergraduate years should range
over the campus and as far as possible out into the world. With these
the cottage system has little to do, except that by its flexibility it
saves a girl from being unhappy more than one year or perhaps even a
semester. Whether her most intimate friends are all in her own house or
scattered over the campus and through the town is a matter of special
temperament. No two--poor dean again!--should be treated alike. The
intense girl who tends to abnormality of the affections should have
scattered friends. The solitary, self-sufficient girl should have her
friends about her. With the eminently conventional, clubable girl it
will make little difference with whom she lives; those about her will
always be her friends, and by continued intimate association with them,
she will develop a certain attitude of permanence in her ties which
probably makes for character development.


IN this connection I cannot forbear pointing out another fallacy in
the fraternity theory. As most fraternity girls are naturally of the
clubable type, it is undoubtedly true that the four years of close
association lead them to permanent ties of friendship as no other
system could do; but, on the other hand, as these girls in their teens
must grow at different rates of development, the fraternity becomes an
actual clog on those who might otherwise develop more rapidly and more
freely; it tends to keep them all back to the pace of those who remain
most nearly what they were in college years.

It must be admitted, however, that the cottage system does not do
much to foster the kind of growth that comes, not from the clash of
different types of personality, but from congenial associations. But
is there not in every college adequate machinery for such expression
of tastes? With the students’ associations, the women’s leagues, the
Young Women’s Christian Association, literary associations, tennis
clubs, golf clubs, garden clubs, walking clubs, journal clubs,--the
multifarious club activities of almost any college, to which ability,
or at least interest, is the test for admission, there should be no
lack of opportunity for any student to encourage to the utmost any
taste whatsoever. Nor should there be any limitation as to the number
of clubs to which any student belongs, apart from the question of her
interests and the amount of energy that she diverts from her main
business as a student.

Because of the diversity of their activities and the overlapping of
their memberships, with such clubs as these there could be no question
of rivalry. Rivalries and jealousies between the different cottages
might spring up, but with a strong students’ association and with
partizanship weakened by the inevitable scattering of friends, this
could not grow into anything like the hostility between fraternities
and non-fraternities, between Greeks and Greeks, that exists in many
institutions to-day.


One thing not provided for in the scheme outlined is put forward by
the fraternities as one of the great advantages of their organization,
and that is the continued relationship between the alumna and her
alma mater. Without admitting the wisdom of allowing too much alumnæ
interference and control, one may see that some continuance of the tie
is a good thing. The fraternities foster this connection, where they
have chapter houses for the small proportion of students whom they
reach, by means of a permanent college home and an abiding interest in
the younger sisterhood. A similar result could be secured for the whole
student body by means of a club-house built by the alumnæ to put up
those who return for visits and to accommodate offices for the various
organizations of students.[6]

All this is visionary and impracticable, at present; and yet it is only
following out the various lines of suggestion, which are based upon
institutions already in existence.


IF the colleges and universities should develop in this direction, what
would become of the fraternities? The double system of cottages and
clubs would remove the practical reasons for their existence. There
is no work that they claim to do for the few that could not be done
for the whole either in a cottage organization of students or by a
club. They would be driven back upon the real ground of their growing
prosperity in our land of the Newly Made--social exclusiveness. On
that basis doubtless they will continue to exist. There will always
be some people who will wish to wear a badge possessed by the few,
who will wish to retire into an inner circle of common knowledge and
common acquaintance where they are safe in feeling superior to those
whom they keep outside as far as the choice lies with themselves. But
these cliques, whatever each thinks of itself, will be forced to yield
to the larger organizations of students both the control of affairs
and the right to set the fashion in character and in social customs.
They may become specialists in “cliquocracy”--the frat of the Vans and
the frat of the Vons and the frat of the Log-Cabin Ancestors, the frat
of the Ultra-Platonists, the frat of the Super-Bogies, and the frat
of the Number-Two Shoes. That is, if the element of good which the
fraternities give to their members is supplied to all college students
in other ways, the fraternities themselves are bound to dwindle and
shrivel until they become mere social excrescences, curiosities of
aristocratic affinities.


Probably it is too late to make a stand. The fraternities are strong
among the privileged classes, and tenacious of their privilege. They
see, as who does not, that in an age and a country where opportunities
are increasingly restricted to the few, this caste system of education
is the best possible preparation to enable the few to use the
opportunities that are theirs, in that it gives them all the social
powers and affiliations by which chiefly the few rule the many; and the
development of the individual is not the concern of a system that works
to make corporate bodies closed against individual striving.

When one remembers the movement against the high-school fraternities,
one is tempted for a moment to hope for a revision of popular opinion.
How should what is generally condemned for the years between twelve
and twenty be approved for the years between sixteen and twenty-four?
Is there so wide a difference between the fraternity idea as it finds
expression in the high-school girl of eighteen and the college girl
of eighteen? The very women who most earnestly advocate the system in
the colleges are bent upon driving it out of the high schools. Yet
the fact that neither the joint effort of parents and teachers and
state legislation has succeeded in this, argues ill for any successful
movement against it in the colleges.


What can we do? We need a new religion to teach the subordination of
personal good to communal welfare. We believe in it theoretically, we
are anxious that our neighbors should practise it; but when it cuts
home, we falter and fail. We see the evils of the fraternity system,
and the fraternity people are among our most desirable acquaintances.
We like them for friends and especially for our children’s friends. We
argue against the system and preach its abolition; but when Alice goes
to college and is rushed by Beta and Gamma and Kappa in eager rivalry,
we step down from the pulpit and rejoice with her and suffer with her
anxious little heart until she is safely housed within the chapter that
has the best standing.

And yet we do not call ourselves snobs. There must be a top layer. Why
should not we be in it? Democracy? Yes; but that we and our children
are to be on the same level with venders and hagglers and foreigners
and other impossible people--absurd! Let us hasten to put on the Alpha
Omega pin, which assures public recognition of our social superiority.

In other words, we still care more for individual distinction than
for the welfare of society. I have heard more than a few thoughtful
fraternity women sum up their position thus: “I hate the system; I
deplore it! But _as_ it’s here, I’ve got to be in it because I can’t
bear to be left outside!” Can we fight this spirit? Can we win? If we
do, the victory will mean that we have grown wise and sane and strong
enough for such a democracy as the world has never yet known.

  [4] As Vassar, Bryn Mawr, and Radcliffe; and, properly speaking,

  [5] It has also been pointed out to me that the system could be used
      even in a large dormitory by dividing up the building into floors
      or sections, and that this is now being done in the newest
      dormitories. The idea is not, of course, to secure boarding-school

  [6] Such club-houses are already in existence for men, and seem to
      fulfil their purpose admirably.



  Cease, cease, implacable desire,
  Cease, cease!
  The endless ways no longer, for I tire!
  I who went forth mantled with morning fire
  Pray now surcease
  And peace--peace!

  O Protean, pitiless, perilous, dread desire,
  Cease, cease!
  Blow not again
  Your trumpet tyrannous, nor sound your lyre:
  Once in their notes I heard a spirit choir;
  Now only pain.

  Whispers at my young soul, blood in the heart,
  Limbs of the leaping goat--aye, these I had,
  And spurned a myriad summits gained, to start
  Down through new vales to newer hills apart;
  And I was glad
  To be insatiably mad
  For more--more knowledge, wisdom, passion, art!

  But now release
  Your broken bondsman from his broken bond!
  What is beyond
  This, and the next horizon, and beyond
  The last horizon, could not give me peace.
  That I have learned at last, and therefore cease
  The bloody goad and the illusory wand--
  Cease, cease!

  Cease, cease!
  My life’s a burning arrow shot in the dark,
  Fearfully arching heaven to find no mark.
  Must it be always warfare, never peace?
  Nay, then I ground my arms! I will not hark
  The old command; so maybe you will cease.

  This is the end of all; I quench the fire.
  Calm of the hills, the rooted flowers and trees,
  Have some right to my love, and now to these
  I turn, because their service will not tire.
  My staff, my scrip, my cloak into the pyre!
  Yet--what high vision through the hot flame flees?



The present condition of England is a very curious one, and the only
obvious thing to say about it is that there is virtually nothing about
it in the English papers. When I heard long ago that Mr. Balfour never
read the papers, I thought it was because he was languid and frivolous;
by which you will see that I did read the papers. Now I am older,
I think it was more likely because he was practical and busy, and
preferred to deal direct with the real facts. If, like the English, you
run what is still at best an aristocracy with most of the forms of a
democracy, it is found virtually necessary that the journalists should
talk in public about anything or everything except what the politicians
are really doing in private.


You may therefore utterly disregard all the things printed in very
large letters in the “Daily Mail” or the “Daily Chronicle.” I have
heard that American journalism is in a manner more truthful, if it is
only by being more transparently untrue; but I will not presume to
guess about that, or to imagine what the headlines in American papers
mean. The headlines in English papers mean nothing. Mr. Bonar Law means
nothing. Sir Edward Carson means nothing. Belfast means nothing. There
is not one man of education and influence in England who cares a button
about Belfast; at least in the governing classes, who have long seen
that Home Rule is horse sense and nothing else; and least of all in the
Conservative party, where a general High-Church flavor can be varied
by Romanism, Atheism, Theosophy, Christian Science, or Devil-worship,
but where such a thing as a No Popery puritan simply could not live
for twenty minutes. Nor is there anything in Mr. Churchill’s supposed
frenzy for war, or the other Radicals’ frenzy for peace. There is no
more division among Englishmen about the need for national defense
than there would be among you Americans or among Frenchmen or any
other white men. And the mysterious ambitions and alterations of Mr.
Churchill (of which you will see a great deal in the papers) mean
nothing whatever but this: that the man is a cynic and an oligarch, but
not a traitor; and that he is behaving exactly as any Englishman in his
place would behave.

There was more in the comparatively slight stir about the tragedy of
the _Titanic_. For that was connected, though largely unconsciously,
with what is the deepest thing in modern England, a general suspicion
that the men and methods now on top everywhere are not the best even
from their own paternalist point of view; or, to use the foolish modern
phraseology, that the survival of the unfittest rather than the fittest
is the real result of our competitions or conspiracies. But here again
the very phrase reminds us that in the modern world the real issue is
carefully cloaked with a false issue.

There is much in the English papers just now, and I do not doubt in the
American papers also, about degeneration and eugenics and the appalling
sexual conduct and physical condition of the submerged. This also is
a mere plutocratic fad, and corresponds to no general public feeling.
Every sensible man in England knows that the poor must somehow or other
be given more money for food and rest; but every sensible man also
knows that in other respects they are as mixed and average as any other
class, and marry and are given in marriage, as people always have done
and always will do.

The suspicion really abroad in England is not a doubt about the people
below, but about the people above. Looking at those who emerge into the
first social rank, we are more inclined to be ashamed of our successes
than of our failures. It is the breed of the top dog rather than the
breed of the bottom dog that is becoming a mongrel breed. And there is
certainly something amusing in the picture of the rich and powerful
peering down into the abyss and dropping tears over the poor specimens
that make up the populace, while by far the greater part of the
populace is remarking more and more what uncommonly poor specimens are
looking down at them.

This doubt of the powers that be is vague but universal, and had a sort
of stifled explosion at the time of the _Titanic_ affair; a general
suspicion that governors cannot be trusted to govern or inspectors to
inspect or arbiters to arbitrate, that captains are not to be trusted
with ships, that lawyers are not to be trusted with laws. The kind of
man who comes to the top everywhere conquers nothing but his superiors,
gains nothing but his own gain. In modern England the successful man is
not a success.

Now this state of public feeling has produced one rather odd, but very
important, effect. While our attitude is growing more revolutionary,
it is growing less Socialistic. For Socialism proposes to give to
the state, and therefore to statesmen, fresh powers against social
abuses. And England in its modern mood is rather more suspicious of
the statesmen than of the bosses or middlemen whom they are supposed
to control. The simple Socialistic formula that government should own
the mines, for example--that simple formula begins to look a little
too simple when people are suspecting that the mine-owners own the
government. The mere proposal to set the politician to watch the
capitalist has been disturbed by the rather disconcerting discovery
that they are both the same man. We are past the point where being
a capitalist is the only way of becoming a politician, and we are
dangerously near the point where being a politician is much the
quickest way of becoming a capitalist. But while the European _haute
politique_ is hypocritical and diseased (much more so, I should
say, than the American), there is certainly less “graft” and corrupt
give-and-take in the mass of minor functionaries or moderate fortunes;
and this very comparative honesty in the less successful mass of Europe
increases their uneasiness touching the national leadership. The
English people, so far from being supine or decadent, are much more
vigorous and wide-awake than they have been for a long time. But they
have awakened in a cage. This cage produces a curious situation in
which we silently but suddenly find ourselves.

When your nation separated from our nation, to my present delight and
yours, it separated before most men had become commercial wage-earners.
Our ruler was called Farmer George; but yours might have been called
Farmer George also. Last week I went up the great Sussex road where
stands the village of Washington; and I remembered that your sword was
also beaten out of a plowshare. If we had separated later, he might
have been called General Brighton, or Heaven knows what.

Now the big difference made by that fact is this: that in America
industrialism may be quite as strong; but agriculture is not so weak.
A hazy horizon of free farms surrounds your most insane cities: but
with us all the eager and intelligent have become servants of the
capitalists; it is only the idle or idiotic that remain servants of the
landlords. It is undoubtedly tenable that the idle and idiotic were the
wiser of the two.

On us, thus situated, has come an insurrection against industrialism
itself. Our recent strikes have really been a revolt against the whole
system of wage-earning. But while your workers would have some cloudy
notion of an alternative in farming the larger country by freer men,
with us the agricultural alternative has slipped out of sight. The
workers know what they don’t want more than what they do; like _Miss
Arabella Allen_ in “Pickwick.” This state of mind is called by the
learned syndicalism. It is really something much more serious; it is

In the stress of these strikes two extraordinary things happened. The
capitalist became a Socialist. The proletarian became an individualist.
The employer wanted the community to intervene; and the employee didn’t
want it to intervene. It was the rich man who used the Socialist
argument; the comfort and convenience of the whole nation. It was the
poor man who used the individualist argument; the freedom of contract
and the private rights of man. It was the coal-owner who said, “_Salus
populi suprema lex_.” It was the coal-miner who said, “_Fiat justitia
ruat cœlum_.” He may not have expressed it precisely in those terms;
though he is often no more illiterate than the coal-owner. This, then,
is the extraordinary inversion that is the deepest dilemma of England
to-day. _Hamlet_ and _Laertes_ have really changed swords in the
scuffle: which is the poisoned sword I will not at this moment inquire.

The results of this extend and solidify every hour. For nearly a
century now Socialists and social reformers in England, as in the rest
of Europe and in America, have preached either greater philanthropy
among the rich or greater rebellion among the poor. In both cases
they have been suddenly taken at their word; but in such a manner as
to sweep away the very foundations of their social science and their
social scheme. The rich have become philanthropists; the rich have, in
a sense, become Socialists; but only on condition that they may also be
slave-owners. The poor have become rebels--but rebels against Socialism.

So far is this from being an exaggeration that every daily detail in
the present development illustrates this and nothing else. The railway
men, who led the revolt, were not, literally and legally, striking
against an employer at all. They were striking against the decisions
of State Arbitration Courts and Conciliation Boards such as State
Socialists would set up; and semi-socialistic publicists had set up.
The capitalists, wishing to strike back at the trade-unions, have not
struck back by cutthroat competition or irresponsible locking out. They
have struck back by a big act of Parliament, aimed at limiting the
trade-unions by the law of the land; and tying men to their masters by
a new and constructive social scheme. Here they have much the advantage
of their proletarian opponents; who have to fight mainly with the
remains of rather rhetorical Socialism and dreams, as yet somewhat dim,
of the old liberty of the medieval guilds and charters. Thus it may too
often seem that capitalists can combine and Socialists can only quarrel.

I do not myself think things can be cured except by a wider
equalization of strictly private property, especially in land. This is
not done or even demanded, not because it is impossible, but because
its tradition has been lost. Meanwhile the Insurance Act, by which the
rich contribute to the medical support of their servants, on condition
of obtaining a tighter hold on their service, is the first of many
legislative acts which will have for their object the ordering and
cleansing, but also the strengthening, of the wage-system. They will
attempt to forbid strikes. Thus we shall have the poor, with better
conditions perhaps and under some general social stipulations; but
bound irrevocably to particular and private masters.

The only thing I have to say about such a scheme concerns your country
more than mine. This system of fixed service for certain masters has
much to be said for it; and much was said by men dead and alive. In
the wilderness by Chancellorsville or down all the roads to Richmond,
there must be the dust of great gentlemen who came up out of the South
to fight for such a system; and I think our Liberal social reformers
owe them an apology. I think they ought to stand a moment and salute
the dead, who had the courage to die for this thing, and the courage to
call it by its name.


  © V. O.





  The Divine Comedy
  of Dante Alighieri

  Studies in Red Chalk
  by Violet Oakley, for
  the medallions of a painted glass
  window made for the house of
  Mr. Robert J. Collier






                        ... I SAW APPEAR







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  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SHE SAID: ...
  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MY SOARING EYE






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Author of “How the Other Half Lives,” etc.


The newsboys of New York were having their Christmas dinner, and I was
bidden to the feast. I stood at the door and saw them file in, seven
hundred strong, to take their places at the long tables. Last of all
came the little shavers, brimful of mischief waiting to break out. The
superintendent pulled my sleeve when he set eyes upon them.

“Watch out now,” he said; “they’ll be up to something.”

I saw them eye the lay-out as they went down the line, where turkey
and mincepie stood waiting, and make quick, stealthy passes with their
hands, but nothing happened until they had taken their seats. Then up
went eight grimy fists, and eight aggrieved voices piped out:

“Mister, I ain’t got no pie!”

The superintendent chuckled.

“How is that?” he said. “No pie? There was one; I put it there myself,
at every plate. Why, what is that?” And he patted each of the little
rascals in the region of the bread-basket, where something stuck out in
a lump inside the shirt.

“Me pie,” was the unabashed reply. “I was afeard it ’u’d get stole on
me.” There was just the ghost of a wink.

“Well,” laughed the superintendent, “we’ll forget it. It is Christmas.
Go ahead, boys, with your dinner.” And they fell to.

It was great. Talk about the charge of the Six Hundred. These were
seven hundred, and they used their knives, their forks, and their
tongues all at once and for all they were worth. The noise was
deafening. You could not have heard yourself think. One alone among
them all did no shouting. He devoured his dinner like a famished little
wolf, and all the while he never took his ferret eyes from my face. It
was in the days when New York had a militant police commissioner, who
set the town by the ears every other day with his unheard-of ways of
enforcing dead-letter laws, and rattled its dry bones. All of a sudden
the boy snatched his fist from his mouth and pointed it straight at me.

“I know you,” he piped in a shrill treble that cut through the Babel
of tongues like a knife. “I seen yer picter in de papers. Ye ’r’--ye
’r’--Teddy Roosevelt!”

Instantly there was the silence of the tomb in the big hall. Where just
before one would not have known that a dray went over the pavement
outside, one could all at once have heard a pin drop. Looking down the
table where the miscreants sat who had tried to get a double allowance
of pie, I saw something stirring, and the stolen pies appeared and
were swiftly and silently deposited on the table. The dreaded name had
brought them back even on a false alarm.

That was seventeen years ago. Chance carried me past the Newsboys’
Lodging-House the other day at the dinner-hour, and I went in to have a
look at things. There were no newsboys there. The little shavers with
their gimlet wits were gone. The boys who sat about the tables did not
hail from Newspaper Row. They were older, and evidently earning their
bread in shop and factory.

“Gone,” said the superintendent to my question where the little fellows
were. “Societies got them, and they don’t run in the street. The old
times went out a dozen years ago. Before that we had them at six, even
at five, and more and more of them up to fourteen. They overflowed from
the city’s tenements in homeless hordes. They don’t any more. The boys
we now have average seventeen or eighteen; they come mostly from out
of town. The lure of the city, the _Wanderlust_, gets them. Now and
then it is a stepfather. Here we sift them, get them work if we can. A
few sell papers, but not many. There are not half a dozen newsboys in
the house to-day, and its name might as well be changed. Less than one
third belong in New York. Last year when Christmas was coming on we had
a talk here, and the speaker touched the string of mother waiting at
home for her wandering boy.”


There was a tremendous demand for note-paper that week, and seventeen
runaways were returned to their homes.

“The newsboy of to-day is another kind of chap, who has a home and
folks. No, Santa Claus has not lost the way. We still have our
Christmas dinner. Come and see for yourself.”

What he said was true. The newsboy of old, who foraged for himself, who
crowded street and alley about the newspaper offices and mobbed the
pressmen, who curled up by the steam-pipes or on the manhole-covers in
the small hours of the morning for a “hot-pipe nap” till the clatter
of the great presses began below, and was rounded up there by the
“Cruelty man” in zero weather, is a rare bird nowadays.

In his place has come the commercial little chap who lives at home and
sells papers after school-hours, sometimes on his own account, but
oftener to eke out the family earnings with what may be the difference
between comparative comfort and abject poverty.

Shorn of his lawless privilege of sleeping out and of imperiling his
life a hundred times a day by jumping on moving cars in his hunt for
trade, he is still a feature of metropolitan life, even holds the key
to some of its striking phases; for, as the circulation manager will
tell you, he is the one who _makes_ the sales. The dealer at the stand
merely registers the purchaser’s desire for a paper; the boy prompts
it. He has surrendered some of his picturesqueness to become a cog in
the industrial wheel, small but indispensable.


Like all business in our day, he is being concentrated, capitalized.
From an atom he has become an asset, quite without his assistance.


It was neither the change from the jovial Irish to the sunny Italian,
nor from him to the sharp-witted Jew, that wrought the transformation.
It was something more potent than either or both. It was the Spanish
War, with the great boom of the sensational papers that set a new pace
in the press-rooms. Where there had been one afternoon edition, half
a dozen grew. It was clearly impossible for the boy to go down-town
every half-hour for his papers; he would be traveling all day if
he did. So he stayed where he was. The clamoring crowds about the
newspaper offices disappeared. Pony expresses and automobiles carried
the editions up-town, throwing them off at points where newsdealers and
boys were waiting. Year by year the routes were extended, and they are
growing yet. The old distribution centers under the equestrian statue
in Union Square, in Greeley Square, Times Square, Columbus Circle, and
at the Grand Central, have been multiplied many times. In this rush of
development the little fellow has been caught up as in a whirlwind, and
is being carried on with a speed that leaves him and, for that matter,
the rest of us little chance to think or ask where he is going.



Thus lassoed by the big business of the time, what sort of lad has the
little pirate of the past become? And what is he, with the training
of the street, in the way to become? It depends on the angle from
which he is seen, and angles he has in plenty. Let it be said at
once that the boy who weeps in the street at night, appealing to
the tender-hearted with an armful of unsold papers, whatever he was
once, is not now the typical newsboy. He can return his papers now,
if “stuck,” or at any rate a fair share of them. Nine chances to one
the tearful one is a preposterous little fraud. If he confronts you
with a plea for a quarter, “to make the dollar and a half he needs to
go to the camp,” the tenth chance is gone. He does not have to pay a
dollar and a half to go to camp. The Newsboys’ Home Club gives him
all its privileges, including the summer camp, through the whole year
for a quarter. He is the crafty little rascal upon whom the “Cruelty
man” keeps a wary eye, for he knows that he will encounter him in the
Children’s Court some day, or, rather, that he will take him there. It
is this lad who is responsible for the showing of the reformatories,
that more than half of the prisoners “sold newspapers” in their day.
Doubtless they did, and they made short change to begin with, and
picked pockets a little later on. But they are no more representative
of their class than the get-rich-quick swindlers, to whom the
post-office authorities forbid the mails, represent the honest business
of the land.

There is evil enough abroad in the streets. Its touch, with all that
is cheap and tawdry and vulgar, from the perennial cigarette to the
vile bar-room and worse that open upon it, sharpens the lad’s wits and
too often tends to dull his morals. Seen from that angle, he gives the
philanthropist concern with cause. Despite child-labor laws, he is
on the street at too early an age and too late an hour. The law now
forbids him to cry his extra after ten o’clock if he is under fourteen.
This winter an effort will be made to shorten his hours by two and send
him to bed at eight, while raising his age to sixteen. Even then there
will be mischief enough and to spare in his path. School licenses and
badges do not banish it. The lad does not always take them seriously.

“Where is your badge?” asked a man suddenly of a little fellow who
pushed a paper at him. He was dirty and out at elbows. The rent in his
trousers was mended with a bent nail.

“Left it home on the pianner,” he grinned, and dodged a vengeful grab.


Seen from the angle of his friend in the “club,” he is an honest little
fellow whose earnings out of school help make both ends meet at home.
The very independence that is arraigned as tending to defiance of
authority, to irregularity and loose habits, in his view helps make
a man of him early, “if it is in him.” He will point to the lad who
just left his desk after arranging to take his week in camp in Sunday
doses, and tell you the reason: he cannot get away from business. A
Jew has set up a stand on his corner, and it is up to him to meet the
competition, which he does by hiring another boy to waylay the customer
in the middle of the block while he forages at the crossing. That other
boy over there is going into a silk house on the first of the month,
and his younger brother will take over his route. That boy began, as
most of them do, by making six or ten cents a day. For a long while
now he has brought home five dollars a week to his father, who presses
clothes for a living, and weekly earns little more than that the year



From the point of view of the circulation manager, who, after all,
perhaps knows him best, it being to his interest, the lad is just a boy
who, if he goes crooked, goes fast and far, but who grows straight in
ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, and, whether the one or the other,
can take care of himself. The one needs no one to weep over him; the
other will “do” you while you are at it. It is the circulation manager
who has housed him in his own club, once the dignified home of the
Historical Society, at Eleventh Street and Second Avenue, sends him
to camp in summer, has culled the chaff from the wheat generally,
and given him a social footing because of the commercial one he has

Fresh from its humanizing influence, I corralled one of the species
on the avenue and catechized him, investing at intervals in his stock
to hold his attention. He was thirteen and had no badge. “My boss
has one,” he said. The boss proved to be an older boy who “had the
corner” and bought the papers at two for three; that is, for every
two one-cent papers he paid for, he received one free. That was his
profit. My boy was hired for the hours between half-past four and seven
on all school-days at a wage of sixty cents a week. Here then was the
capitalist at the beginning of things.

“Why don’t you get a corner yourself?” I asked.

“They’re all took.”

The boy was German, and it seemed safe to ask:

“He has no more right to the corner than you have; why don’t you fight
him for it?”

“He’s my boss,” was the dogged reply.

“But suppose some stronger fellow drove him away?”

The answer was prompt:

“I’d get other boys and get it back for him.”

Does that help you to understand the following of Big Tim Sullivan and
such leaders? Big Tim was a newsboy once, and he sticks up for them
always. I tried once more.

“Did you ever hear of any one taking a boy’s corner--just taking it?”

“I heared of it, but I never knowed it. It is _his_ corner.”

I felt for the tribal instinct on another tack. The boy had been to
camp. It is on the salt water.

“Can the fellows swim?” I asked.

“Most on ’em.”

“Is there any one to save those who can’t if they get in too deep?”


“Pinochle does--Pete’s his name. He pulled some out already.”

“If he shouldn’t be there, and a boy be drowning, would any of the
others go in to help him?”

“They’d all go.” It was plain that he was not boasting; he stated a
simple fact.

[Illustration: 9.30 A. M. “THE CENTURY” OFFICE NEWSBOY]

Some kingdoms have rested on no better claim than the boss’s corner.
There was one boss who took the title with the power, but neither
lasted long. Jack Sullivan, “the King of the Newsboys,” lies in the
Tombs at this writing, mired in the infamy that bred the Rosenthal
murder. His was the choice of the gutter that is always handy to the
street, but it was not typical. Neither is that of the newsboy, now
grown to man’s size, who owns the route on which I live and counts me
among his subjects. Knowing that I have become a farmer, he lingers
whenever he finds me at home, to hear the news of potatoes and crops.
He dreams of them, asleep and awake, and he has saved nearly enough
to buy his farm, beside raising a family of little children. When he
has it all, he will sell his route to another boy as young as he was
when he began and, let us hope, as honorably ambitious. He is not
typical because it is not often that the newsboy’s longing takes the
shape of a farm, though I know of at least one, a graduate of one of
the Children’s Aid Society’s lodging-houses, who did the same. He is
a settlement worker now when he is not farming. Another, who came out
of the same place, is superintendent of a boys’ club in a New Jersey
town. And there is one, a cripple, of whom some of the readers of this
article have doubtless bought papers, whose domain lies on the north
side of Forty-second Street and yields him a revenue of five dollars a
day, so they say in the Forty-fourth Street lodging-house in which he
used to live, and which he now supplies with papers.


Boys are no longer permitted to board the street cars.]

But the newsboy’s ambition is more apt to run to business or the
professions. There are clergymen, lawyers, and bankers in New York
who began their careers crying newspapers in the street. I know of a
distinguished physician on Madison Avenue who so paid his way through
college. At the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge one sells newspapers
to-day who is in his last year in the medical school. Another, around
in Fulton Street, will be graduated with the next class from the dental
college, and up at the Grand Central I brush against one who is taking
his second year’s course in the law school. All these are still at
their posts, making the money that pays for their education; but I pass
them all by, when bound up-town, and buy my paper or magazine of one
who stands at the corner of Twenty-third Street and Fourth Avenue. Let
me tell you his story.

From his window across the street one of the officers of the Gerry
Society saw a boy with a crutch and an armful of papers dive into the
hurrying crowd on the crossing and snatch a customer from under the
very nose of a big, bearded man, also a news-vender, who in revenge
struck him an angry blow that sent him sprawling in the dirt. The boy
picked himself up and limped back to his corner, where the officer
found him brushing off his coat and attending to business as though
nothing had happened.

“It is all right,” was Fred’s only comment; “I wasn’t hurt, and I
guess it was his sale, anyhow.”

The boy had just passed fourteen. He had no time to waste in fighting,
for his father was sick at home and the support of the mother and three
younger brothers was upon his frail shoulders. That was fifteen years
ago, and he still sticks to the corner that is his by right now. And
this is how he met his responsibility, for the father died without ever
earning another dollar: one brother is a capable engineer connected
with one of the great electric companies, another is in the employ
of an express company; the third is a stenographer. Fred’s earnings
brought them all up and gave them their start. One of the brothers
helped him sell papers when not in school. The family have left the
tenement where the father died, and live in a nice home. Fred, as I
said, sticks to his corner. It is the key-note of the man, as it was
of the boy--to stick it out. He has seen the tide of little Italians
succeeded by a flood of Jews, big and little, but through it all has
held his own serenely. Best of all, he no longer walks with a crutch,
though he still limps. Open air _plus_ his dogged grit has triumphed
also over this obstacle and made him whole.

A good many years ago word came to the office of the “Sun” that there
had been an accident in which a newsboy was hurt. I went out and asked
the old news-woman at the bridge entrance who it was. I remember, as
though it were yesterday, her answer:

“Little Maher it was.”

“Well, where does he live? Who looks after him?”

“Oh, no one but God; and I guess He is too busy with other folks’ boys
to mind him much.”

The little Mahers of that day are happily no more. Society has
taken over the duty of looking after them, and attends to it. Their
successors follow business principles, but that they have not lost
either their wit or their spirits in the change you will discover
before you have kept their company long. Last autumn I went to New
Haven to lecture and, stepping off the train at dusk, had a paper poked
at me by one of the tribe. On the front page was my picture.

“Who is that?” I asked the boy, pointing to it. He took one look at it
and at me.

“Oh,” he said, “some old duffer. There’s lots of ’em here.”

[Illustration: “WUXTRY!”]




The circumstances of the finding of the portrait, reproduced on
the opposite page (from the monograph by D. Alejandro Pidal y Mon,
published in Madrid, 1912, for the Spanish Royal Academy), are there
given as follows:

A Spanish silversmith in Seville of the name of Albiol, a great
collector of old things, had, in his shop, a painted board, which, from
age and dirt, showed only the bright parts of a face. On cleaning it he
found it to be a portrait of Cervantes, painted by Juan de Jauriguí. At
the top of the picture is the inscription: “Don Miguel de Cervantes
Saavedra,” at the bottom: “Juan de Jauriguí Pinx. 1600.” Señor Albiol
did not know that Cervantes in his preface, of his Novels, published in
1613, refers to “my portrait by the famous D. Juan de Jaureguí.”

This portrait has been sought for all over the world for three
centuries by admirers of Cervantes. The ones at the beginning of the
innumerable editions, in every known language, have been made up from
his description of himself:

  This whom you see here, with aquiline face, chestnut hair, smooth
  and open forehead, with gay eyes and curved nose, although well
  proportioned, the beard silvery which less than twenty years was
  golden, with large mustaches, small mouth, the teeth neither small
  nor numerous, because he has only six, and those so ill matched
  that they do not correspond one with another, the body between two
  extremes, neither large nor small, a bright color, rather fair than
  brunette, a little stooping of shoulders and not very quick of feet,
  this, I say, is the appearance of the author of “D. Quijote of La


Of course every artist has conceived the appearance of Cervantes in
accordance to his fancy, no two alike. The importance of a genuine
portrait of the author of “Don Quixote” can hardly be overestimated.

Señor Albiol, not being a scholar, consulted the librarian of his city,
the archæologist D. Narciso de Sentenach, an expert on Cervantes,
who as soon as he heard the name “Jauriguí” became greatly excited
and elated. He inspected the portrait and believed it to be that of
Cervantes by Jaureguí, and immediately communicated the matter to his
friend the Cervantist D. Francisco Rodriguez Marin, who agreed that it
was genuine and communicated the find to the Royal Academy at Madrid.

Some of the principal members of that illustrious body who were present
at the time Marin called resolved that, without summoning the members,
they would try to obtain the portrait, at whatever trouble or expense.
They delegated D. Alejandro Pidal y Mon to enter into negotiations with
Señor Albiol, who was induced to take it to Madrid. Señor Pidal frankly
told Señor Albiol that, in his opinion, the painting was genuine and
the only portrait of the great author, and, as such, of great value;
that it would be a national calamity if such a treasure should go
abroad, and that the Academy would make any possible sacrifice to buy

This proved unnecessary, for Señor Albiol gave it to the Royal Academy
without compensation, though he was offered a large sum of money.

Considering that Señor Albiol is a simple artisan and that the money
would have made him independent for life, I have no doubt that some
more thrifty persons will say that there are Don Quixotes yet in Spain.

  [The Editor is indebted to Mr. E. J. Molera of San Francisco for
  calling his attention to this portrait and for the material for the
  above note, based on the monograph above referred to.]


[Illustration: Drawn by Frank Wiles. Half-tone plate engraved by C. W.




Author of “The Beloved Vagabond,” “The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne,”
“Septimus,” “The Glory of Clementina,” etc.


Although Stella had been in London for a day or two, the morning
of the funeral was the first time that John had seen her since the
riotous June day when he had waved farewell to the train carrying her
back to Southcliff. He had gone to the front gate to meet her in his
ill-fitting, outgrown frock-coat, sticking-plaster still hiding the
wounds on his scalp, and his heavy face white and drawn. She, in her
black dress, looked a startling lily enveloped by night; her great
eyes had softened from diamond into starshine. Behind her came the old
people, attendant ghosts. John folded her hand in his.

“Stella dear, how good of you to come!”

She said in a low voice:

“It is to ask forgiveness from you and her.”

He bowed over her hand. She passed into the house where Miss Lindon
received her.

“My dear,” she said, holding Stella’s hand, “I think our poor darling
will go to her grave very happy. She was always talking of you, ever
since she came to live here, and if you wonder what has become of the
beautiful lilies you sent, it’s because I have put them inside with
her, knowing that there’s where she would wish them to be. And now
you’ve come yourself, and I’m sure she wouldn’t ask for more.”

The weak mouth, set in the full, foolish face crowned with white
hair, worked dolorously. Stella, with a sudden movement, threw her
arm round her neck and broke into uncontrollable sobbing. A soul pure
and beautiful beyond question spoke to Stellamaris in simple words
and in silly yet exquisite sentiment. She clung very close,--why, the
unsuspecting and innocent lady never guessed,--but it made her broad
bosom swell with an emotion hitherto unknown to have a girl lay her
head there and sob and seem to find comfort; and, as she clung, the
lingering poison of the evil woman melted forever from Stella’s heart,
and she knew that the place whereon she stood, where Unity and she had
talked, that gimcrack, tawdry, bamboo drawing-room, was holy ground.

She had come, poor child, full of her fierce and jealous maiden
pride--she was only twenty, and life had been revealed to her of late
as a tumultuous conflict of men with devils,--she had come highly
wrought for battles with the Apollyons that straddled across the path;
she had come with high hopes of bringing help to the faint-hearted,
solace to the afflicted, of proving to her tiny world that she was the
help-giver instead of the help-seeker; she had come on the wings of
conquest; and she fluttered down like a tired bird to the surrender
of herself on, the bosom of the simplest and, in the eyes of men, the
least important creature on God’s earth.

She drew gently away and dried her eyes, and while Miss Lindon spoke a
few words to Lady Blount, she went somewhat shyly up to John.

“You should have let me know Miss Lindon long ago,” she said.

“I should have done many things long ago,” he replied. “But I myself
have known my aunt only the last few days.”

She regarded him somewhat incredulously.

“Yes,” he said, “it’s true. The last few days have taught me all kinds
of things. I never knew what she was”--he made a vague gesture--“until
it was too late. I think, Stella dear, I have gone through life with my
heart shut.”

“Except to me,” said Stellamaris.

“That’s different,” he said, with a turn of his great shoulders.

He left her abruptly and joined the group of the three elders by the
window. She came to Herold, who had been standing with his back
against the empty fireplace.

“You must be very tired.”

He saw her brows knit in their familiar little fairy wrinkles as she
anxiously scanned his face. Indeed, he was very weary, and his eyes and
cheeks showed it.

“There has been a lot not only to do, but to feel of late,” he said.

She put out a timid hand and touched his sleeve.

“You mustn’t do and feel too much, or you’ll break down.”

“Why should I, if you haven’t?” he asked with a faint smile.

“I think it cowardly to break down when one ought to be strong,” she

“Are you afraid of my being a coward, Stella?”

She uttered a little cry, and her touch became a grasp.

“You! Oh, no! You? You’ve _been_ strong. There’s no need for you to
do any more. You’ve got to live your own life and not that of other

“The only life left to me,” he said in a low voice, “is that of those
dear to me.”

John lumbered up gloomily. “You must persuade him to take a rest,
Stella. He has been driving himself to death.” He laid a heavy hand on
his friend. “God knows what I should have done without him all this
time. Wait,” he said suddenly, with the other hand uplifted.

And all were silent when to a scuffle of feet succeeded a measured
tramp of steps descending the stairs. The bearers passed along the
passage by the door of the drawing-room. Unity was going forth on her
last journey through the familiar Kilburn streets.

They arrived at the cemetery. In the bare mortuary chapel Stella knelt
and heard for the first time in her life the beautiful words of the
service for the burial of the dead. And there in front of her, covered
with poor, vain flowers, was the coffin containing the clay of one
whom man with his opportunist laws against murder and self-slaughter
was powerless to judge. At the appointed time they went out into the
summer air and walked to the grave-side. The surpliced chaplain stood a
pace or two apart. The dismal men in black deposited the coffin by the
yellow, upturned earth. The group of six gathered close together. The
July sunshine streamed down, casting a queer projection of shadow from
the coffin-end.

“Man, that is born of a woman, hath but a short time to live, and is
full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth
as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.”

Stella heard the chaplain’s voice as in a dream. The rattle of the
earth on the coffin-lid--“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust
to dust”--roused her with a shock. Below, deep in the grave, lay
Unity--Unity, who had taken a human life, and had taken her own for the
sake of those she loved; Unity, who in the approach to her murderous
and suicidal end was all but unfathomable to her; Unity, whom she had
read and thought enough to know to be condemned by the general judgment
of mankind. She stood tense until the end. A great peace had fallen
upon her. “Blessed are those that die in the Lord.” The simple words
held a mystic significance. They reiterated themselves in her brain.
Young, emotional, inexperienced, overwhelmed by the shattering collapse
of the exquisite, cloud-capped towers of her faith, she found in them
an unquestioned truth. By that grave-side, in the sacred presence of
the dead, not only of “the dear sister here departed,” but of the
inhabitants of all the gleaming stone and marble tenements around,
there could be no lying; such was the unargued conviction of her candid
soul. A voice, coming not from the commonplace, white-robed man, but
from the blue vault of heaven, proclaimed that Unity had died in the
Lord and that she was blessed. The message was one of unutterable
consolation. Unity had died in the Lord. The comforting acceptance of
the message indicated the restoration of Stella’s faith in God.

The mind of the child-woman is a warp of innocence shot with the woof
of knowledge, and the resultant fabric is a thing no man born can seize
and put upon canvas, and, for the matter of that, no woman, when she
has ceased to be a child.

       *       *       *       *       *

Stella’s heart had softened toward John. Herold had told her how he had
nearly come by his death on the rocks below the Channel House. It had
moved her to the depths. And now she saw that he was bowed down with
grief for Unity. All resentment against him had died. She recovered her
faith, not perhaps in the wonder of the Great High Belovedest of the
past, but in the integrity of the suffering man. When they reached and
had reëntered the house, she took an opportunity of being alone with
him. The two elder ladies were up-stairs, and Walter and Sir Oliver had
gone out to smoke in the little front garden. Then she said with shy

“This must be very desolate for you, dear. Won’t Miss Lindon and you
come down with us to Southcliff? I have fallen in love with her. I
wonder whether I dare ask her. The sea air would do her good.”

“She would be delighted, I’m sure; but would you like me to come, too?”
he said, bending his heavy brows.

“Of course,” replied Stella. She flushed slightly and lowered her eyes.

“I’m afraid I’m not a very gay companion, Stella. In fact, I don’t
think I ever was one--except in the days when I used to tell you
fairy-tales about the palace--”

“Oh, don’t!” She could not restrain the quick little cry and gesture.
“We mustn’t talk about that any more. We’ve got the future to think of.
Reconstruction--isn’t that what they call it? We have got to look at
things as they are, and laugh sometimes.”

“I feel,” said he, “as though I could never laugh again.”

“Yet Unity meant to make you happy and not miserable,” said Stella.

“I know,” said he, “and that’s the devil of it.”

He paused for a moment, his hands thrust deep in his trousers’ pockets,
and his heel on the fender. At last he said: “It would be the best
thing in the world for the dear old lady. And God knows it will be good
for me. So if you’ll have us for a week or two, we’ll be glad to get
away from here.”

“I’ll ask Miss Lindon when she comes down.”

And Miss Lindon, coming down soon afterward with Lady Blount, received
and accepted the invitation. Sir Oliver, summoned from the garden,
expressed his approval.

“My boy,” said he, “we’ve been perfectly wretched without you. Make him
put in a long time with us, Miss Lindon. We three old folks will join

Stella slipped out by the front door and stood by Herold, who was
leaning over the gate. Of course he too must come to the Channel House.
He smiled rather wearily and shook his head.

“Not just now, dear,” said he. “I have a week’s business to do in
London, settling my autumn arrangements. I’m going into management, you
know, and then I must run away for a bit--abroad somewhere, a little
mild climbing in Switzerland, perhaps.”

Stella’s face fell. “Going abroad?” she echoed. “For how long?”

“A month or so, if I can manage it. I want a rest rather badly.”

“Of course you do; but I was hoping,” she faltered, “that you could
find rest at Southcliff.”

“It’s good of you, dear,” said he, “to think of me. For Heaven knows
how many years I’ve looked upon the Channel House as a second home;
you can never realize what it has meant to me. But I need a complete
change, a sort of medicine I must take, no matter how nasty it may be.
Besides,” he added with a smile, “you will have John now.”

“John is John, and you are you,” said Stella. There was a little pause.
Then after a glance at his tired face, she said in a low voice “You’re
right, Walter; you must go away and get strong again. I spoke very
selfishly. I’ve not been accustomed to think much of other people.”

“Stellamaris dear,” he said, “if I thought I could serve you by
staying, I would stay. But there’s nothing for me to do, is there?
The--the what shall I say--the veil between John and you has been cut
in twain, as it were, by a flaming sword, perhaps. Unity did it. But
there’s no veil now. The only thing that has to be done is to bring
back the sunshine into John’s life. That’s for you to do, not for me.”

She looked at him queerly. Her face was so white, her dress so black!
The only gleam about her was in her eyes.

“I know that,” she said. “But who is going to bring back the sunshine
into your life?”

He leaned against the wooden gate and gripped the top bar tight. What
did she mean? Was she a woman or, after all, only the old fancied
child of sea-foam and cloud?

“When I can eat like a pig and sleep like a dog,” he said lightly, “and
feel physically fit, I shall be all right.” He smiled, and took her
black-gloved hand. “And when I see the roses in your cheeks and hear
you laugh as you used to laugh--that fascinating little laugh like a
peal of low silver bells--then I’ll be the Princess Stellamaris’s court
jester again.”

She smiled wanly. “You were never court jester; you were Great High
Favorite.” She sighed. “How far off those childish days are!”

“They’ll return as soon as you’re happy.”

“Life is too full of pain for me to find happiness in superficial
things,” said Stella.

For all his wretchedness he could have laughed, with a man’s sweet
pity, at the tone of conviction in her philosophic but childish

“You must look for it and find it in the deep things,” said he.

She made no reply, but stood thoughtfully by his side, and drew with
her fingers little lines in the summer dust on the upper surface of the
bar of the gate.

“There’s something silly I want to say to you, Walter,” she murmured
at last, “and I don’t quite know how to say it. It’s about the sea.
I think you can understand. You always used to. Our long talks--you
remember? Since all this has happened, the sea seems to have no meaning
for me.”

“It will all come back, dear,” said Herold, “with your faith in God and
the essential beauty of the world.”

“But what is the essential beauty of the world?”

“My dear,” he laughed, “you mustn’t ask a poor man such conundrums and
expect an instantaneous answer. I should say roughly it was strength
and sacrifice and love.” He took a cigarette from his case and lit it.
“You’ll find the comfort of the sea again. I think it will have quite a
new meaning for you, a deeper meaning, when you sit by it with the man
whom you love and who loves you, as you know he loves you, and all the
past has become sacred, and there’s no longer a shadow between you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Quite sure. You see, Stellamaris dear,” he added after a second or
two, “you don’t need me any longer. Your happiness, as well as John’s
happiness, is in your own hands. I can go away with an easy mind. And
when I come back--”

“Yes? And when you come back?”

Pain started through his eyes. When he came back? What would be
left for him? His art, his ambitions? What were they? A child’s
vain toys cumbering his feet. His soul was set on the slip of pale
girlhood, startlingly black and white, with her mass of soft hair
beneath the plain, black hat, and her great pools of eyes, no longer
agates or diamonds, but aglow with remote flames, who, in poor common
earthliness, stood by his side, but in maddening reality was pinnacled
on inaccessible heights by the love between her and the man they both
loved. He felt that the pure had an unsuspected power of torture.

“When I come back? Well--” he broke off lamely. And they looked at each
other without speaking until they became aware of a human presence.
They turned and saw John, his huge bulk in the frame of the doorway,
watching them dully beneath his heavy brows.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the Channel House Stella’s health began to mend. The black shadows
disappeared from beneath her eyes, and her lips caught the lost trick
of a smile. She no longer wandered desolate about house and garden, but
sought the companionship of those about her. The old folks discussed
and wrangled over the change.

“One would have thought,” said Lady Blount, “that this terrible affair
would have crushed her altogether.”

“Any one who didn’t know her might have thought so,” replied Sir
Oliver; “but I’ve watched her. I sized her up long ago. It’s
astonishing how little you know of her, Julia. She has lots of
pluck--the right stuff in her. And now John’s free and he’s down here.
What more can she want?”

“Poor fellow! He doesn’t seem to be much the happier for it.”

“You don’t expect him to go about grinning as if nothing had happened,
do you?” said Sir Oliver. “Can’t you understand that the man has had a
devil of a shock? He’ll get over it one of these days.”

“I don’t want him to grin; but I’d like him to look a little more
cheerful,” said Lady Blount.

But cheerfulness and John Risca were strangers. Even when he and
Stellamaris were alone together, looking at the moonlit sea from the
terrace outside the drawing-room windows, or in the sunshine of the
sweet cliff garden, the cloud did not lift from his brow. Unless they
talked of Unity,--and it relieved his heart to do so, and Stellamaris
loved to listen to the brave little chronicles of her life,--long
silences marked their intercourse. To get back to the old plane was
impossible. They could find no new one on which to meet. She gave him
all her pity, for he was a man who had suffered greatly, and in a way
it was she herself who had brought the suffering on him. Her heart
ached to say or do something that would rekindle the old light in his
rugged face; but an unconquerable shyness held her back. If he had
thrown his great arm around her and held her tight and uttered broken
words of love, pity would have flamed passionate in surrender. If he
had pleaded for comfort, pity would have melted warm over his soul.
But he made no appeal. Both were burningly aware that Unity had died
so that they could be free, no barrier between them. Yet barrier there
seemed to be, invisible, inscrutable.

Once Sir Oliver, who had joined them in the garden, asked:

“What are your plans for the future, my boy?”

“Plans? I have none. Just the same old round of work.”

“I mean your domestic arrangements.”

“I’ll go on living with my old aunt. We’re a queer couple, I suppose,
but we understand each other.”

“Humph!” grunted Sir Oliver, and he went away to tie up a drooping rose.

They walked on in dead silence, which was broken at last by John, who
made a remark as to Constable’s growing infirmities.

So the visit came to an end without a word having been said, and John
went back to his desolate house, physically rested and able to take
up the routine of his working life. Herold in Switzerland wrote
letters about snows and glaciers and crystal air. The calm tenor of
existence was resumed at the Channel House. Incidentally Stella found
an occupation. Old Dr. Ransome, in casual talk, mentioned a case of
great poverty and sickness in the village. Stella, followed by Morris
bearing baskets of luxuries, presented herself at the poor house in the
character of Lady Bountiful. At the sight that met her eyes she wept
and went away sorrowful, and then it dawned upon her inexperienced soul
that gifts costing her nothing, although they had their use, might be
supplemented by something vastly more efficacious. She consulted the
hard-worked district nurse, and, visiting the house again, learned
how to tend the sick woman and wash the babies and bring cleanliness
and air and comfort into the miserable place. And having made in this
way the discovery that all through her life she had accepted service
from all and sundry and had never done a hand’s-turn for anybody, she
plunged with young shame and enthusiasm into the new work. Afraid
lest convalescence on the part of the patient would throw her back
into idleness, she ingenuously asked the nurse if there were other
poor people in Southcliff who needed help. The nurse smiled. Even at
Southcliff there was enough work among the poor and needy for every day
in the week the whole year round.

“I’m glad,” said Stellamaris. Then she checked herself. “No, I can’t
be. I’m dreadfully sorry.” The little lines of complexity knit
themselves on her brow. “It’s a confusing world, isn’t it?”

The state of mind of Stellamaris at this period may be best described
as one of suspended judgment. It was a confusing world. She could not
pronounce a more definite opinion. The Land of Illusion was a lost
Atlantis of which not a speck remained. On the other hand, the world
was no longer the mere abode of sin and ugliness and horror to which
she had gradually awakened. Unity had taught her that. What, then,
was this mysterious complication of life in which she found herself
involved? It no longer frightened her. It interested her curiously.

“Excellency dear,” she said one day, “are there any books about life?”

He stared at her, covering his non-comprehension with the usual
military twirl of his mustache.

“Millions. What kind of life?”

“Life itself. The meaning of it.”

“Religious books? I’m afraid they’re not in my line, my dear.”

“I don’t think it’s religious books I want,” said Stella.

“Philosophy, then. Kant, Schopenhauer,--um--er,”--he hooked a name from
the depths of his memory--“Bain, and all those fellows. I could never
make head or tail of them myself, so I don’t suppose you could, dear.”

“Did you say Kant? I think I’ve seen a book of his in the library.”

She pulled down a dusty volume of the “Critique of Pure Reason” from
a top shelf and puzzled her young brains over it. It seemed to be
dealing with vital questions, but, like Sir Oliver, she was hopelessly
befogged. She asked the old doctor. He had a glimmering of her meaning.
“The best book in the world, my dear,”--he waved a hand,--“is life

“But I can’t read it without a dictionary, Doctor,” she objected.

“Your heart, my child,” said he.

This was pretty, but not satisfactory. “Walter could tell me,” she said
to herself, and forthwith wrote him a long letter.

She lived in a state not only of suspended judgment, but also of
suspended emotion. The latter hung in the more delicate balance. Her
maidenhood realized it vaguely. She had half expected John to speak
of his love for her; at the same time she had dreaded the moment of
declaration; and, at the same time also, she had felt that beneath the
shadow of the wings of death it behoved mortal passion to lie still
and veiled. The anguish of the weeks preceding the tragedy had passed
away. She had no pain save that of yearning pity for an agonized world.
The old people in their dependence on her and in the pathos of their
limited vision once more became inexpressibly dear. The childish titles
were invested in a new beauty. Her pretty labors in sorrow-stricken
cottages, amateurish as they were, held a profound significance. Unlike
the thousands of sweet English girls up and down the land who are
bred in the practice of philanthropy and think no more of it than of
its concomitant tennis-parties and flirtations, she had come upon it
unawares, and it had all the thrill of a discovery. It was one little
piece fitted certainly into the baffling puzzle of life.

John came down again for the weekend. Stella found him gentle, less
gloomy, but oddly remote from her--remoter even than when he lay
crushed beneath the tragedy. Now and again she caught him looking at
her wistfully, whereupon she turned her eyes away in a distress which
she could not explain. Gradually she became aware that the Great High
Belovedest of the past had vanished into nothingness, with so many
other illusory things. The awakening kiss that he had given her as he
carried her in his arms faded into the far-off dreamland. On the Sunday
night they lingered in the drawing-room for a moment after the old
people had retired to bed.

“I must be going back by the early train in the morning, and sha’n’t
see you,” said he, “so I’ll say good-by now.”

“I’m sorry, dear.” She put out her hand. “I hope the little change has
done you good.”

For answer he bent down and touched her forehead with his lips. Then he
held the door open for her to pass out.

“God bless you, dear,” said he.

She went up-stairs, feeling in a half-scared way that something, she
knew not what, had happened, and she cried herself to sleep.


It was a sullen evening in mid-August, following a breathless day and
an angry sunset that had shed a copper-colored glow above a bank of
cloud. The great windows of the drawing-room of the Channel House were
flung open wide, and on the terrace beneath the starless heaven sat the
little group of intimates, which now included the placid lady of the
little Kilburn house. Walter Herold, who had returned from Switzerland
tanned and strong, told his adventures to Sir Oliver and Dr. Ransome,
while John and Stella, a little way apart, listened idly. Lady Blount
and Miss Lindon murmured irrelevances concerning the curates of long
ago and the present price of beef. They had many points at which the
curves of their natures touched, such as mathematicians, with unique
spasm of romance, call points of osculation.

But for the voices all was still. From below, at the base of the cliff,
came the lazy lapping of the sea against the rocks. Outside the glow of
light cast by the illuminated drawing-room the world was pitch black.
The air grew more and more oppressive.

“I think there’s going to be thunder,” said Lady Blount.

“I hope not,” said Miss Lindon. “I know John thinks it foolish, but I’m
terribly afraid of thunder.”

“So does Sir Oliver; but I don’t care. Whenever there’s a
thunder-storm, I go up to my room and put my head under the bedclothes
until it’s over.”

“Now isn’t that remarkable, my dear,” said Miss Lindon--“I do exactly
the same! I draw down the blinds, and hide scissors away in a drawer,
and throw a woolen shawl over the steel fender, and then I put my head
under the blankets. My Aunt Margery, I remember, invariably used to
go and sit in the coal-cellar. But she was a strong-minded woman, and
would put her foot on a black beetle as soon as look at it. I hope I’m
fond of most of God’s creatures, but a black beetle frightens me out of
my wits.”

“What do you think of thunder-storms, Stella?” John asked, knocking the
ashes out of his pipe.

“I’m rather frightened,” she confessed. “Not because I think they’ll
hurt me.” She paused and sighed. “I never could understand them.”

“What do you mean by understanding a thunder-storm?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” she answered. “You either understand things or you

Herold broke in to spare her further explanation. “There was
a splendid one the week before last in the mountains--a real
_Walpurgisnacht_. It seemed as though hell had broken loose.”

He described it in his vivid way. The elderly ladies looked at the
glimmer of white shirt-front and the glowing cigarette-end by which
alone he was revealed, and wondered at the heroical, or, as it seemed
in the unconfessed depths of their souls, the God-defying qualities of
male humanity. A few resounding splashes fell from the sky. The party
rose hurriedly.

“Gad! we’re in for it,” cried Sir Oliver. “Let us get indoors.”

A flash of lightning rent the southern sky, and a clap of thunder broke
over the channel, and the rain came down like a waterspout. In the
drawing-room Lady Blount put her hand before her eyes.

“You must all forgive me. I can’t stand it. I must go up-stairs.
Besides, it’s late, very near bed-time. My dear Miss Lindon, shall we

The two old ladies, after hasty good nights, retired to the protection
of their respective bedclothes. A great wind arose and swept through
the room, blowing over a vase of flowers on the piano. Dr. Ransome,
who happened to be standing near, mopped up the water with his
handkerchief. Herold sprang to the window and shut it. Stella was by
his side. Another flash sped through the blackness, and the thunder
followed. They drew near together and waited for the next.

Sir Oliver hospitably pushed John and the old doctor toward the
drawing-room door. “There are drinks in the library. It’ll be cozier
there, on the other side of the house, away from this confounded
racket. Come along, Walter. Stella darling, you had better go to bed.
It’s the best place for little girls in a thunder-storm.”

She turned, the breadth of the drawing-room separating Walter Herold
and herself from the others.

“I’ll stay up a little longer and look at it, dear Excellency,” she
said, with a smile. “I’ll come into the library later and tell you all
good night.”

At this announcement, and Stellamaris’s announcements had ever been
sovereign decrees, John and Dr. Ransome, standing by the open door,
obeyed the courteous wave of Sir Oliver’s hand. The old man waited for
Herold, who advanced a pace or two.

“I suppose you’re dying for whisky and soda,” said Stella, resignedly.

He stopped short. “Not in the least. I would far rather look at
this,”--he flung a hand toward the window,--“if you would let me.”

“Only for five minutes, Favorite dear; then I’ll send you away.”

Sir Oliver went out, shutting the door behind him. Herold and
Stellamaris were alone in the spacious room. There came another flash
and the thunder peal, and the rain spattered hard on the stone terrace.

“Why shouldn’t we sit down?” he asked, and drew a small settee to the

She stood, expectant of the lightning. It came and lit up a suddenly
tempestuous sea. With her eyes straining at the blackness, she said in
a low voice:

“Turn out the lights. This is all that matters.”

He went to the door, snapped the electric switches, and the darkness
was so absolute that he waited for the next flash to see his way across
the room. They sat down together side by side. A flash of vehement and
reiterated radiance revealed a God’s wrath of spindrift scattered from
mountainous waves that tossed in the middle distance the three-masted
skeleton of a ship, and blasted the chalk-cliffed promontory to the
west into a leprous tongue. They watched in silence for a long, long
time. Save for the lightning, pitch blackness enveloped them. The rain
swished heavily against the windows, and the surf roared on the rocks
below. After a livid revelation of elemental welter and the deafening
crash of cataclysm, she clutched his arm. When the peal had rolled away
into an angry rumble, he whispered:

“Are you frightened?”

“No,” she replied, also below her breath, “not frightened. It excites
me, it makes me feel, it makes me think. I seem to be understanding
things I never understood before. Don’t let us speak.”

To remove impression of rebuke, her hand slid down his arm, found his
hand, and held it. Neither spoke. After a while he scanned her face
by the lightning. It was set, as though she saw a vision, her eyes
gleaming, her lips parted. At the thunderclap her grasp involuntarily
tightened. Again and again her face was startlingly visible. Herold’s
mind went back down the years. He had seen that rapt expression times
without number when she lay by the window of her sea-chamber and looked
out into the mysteries of sea and sky; and times without number she
had held his hand while her spirit, as he had loved fantastically to
believe, went forth to dance with her sisters of the foam or to walk
secure through the gates of the sunset. And he had loved to believe,
too, that his own spirit, in some blind, attendant way, though lagging
far behind, followed hers over the borders of the Land That Never Was.
Sensitive to her moods, he felt now a strange excitement. She had
become once more the Stellamaris of the cloudless and mystical years.
The sea that had rejected her had again claimed her for its own, and
was delivering into her keeping mysteries such as it had withheld from
her even then; for she had found no message in the war of elements,
mysteries deep and magnificent. He returned her tense pressure, and
followed her spirit out into the vastness.

The storm grew fiercer. Every few moments spasms of livid daylight rent
the darkness and dazzlingly illuminated the eager faces of the pair,
the window-jambs and transoms, the terrace, the howling waste beyond,
the skeleton ship tossing grimly, the promontory, the pitch black of
the sky; and the thunder burst in awful detonations over their heads.
Unconsciously and instinctively Stellamaris had drawn nearer to him,
and her arm rested against his. After a long time, in the stillness of
the dark, he spoke like one in a dream:

“The terrible splendor of life, that is the secret--the terrible

She awoke almost with a shock, and, turning round, shook him by the
lapel of his coat.

“How did you know, Walter? How did you know?”

Her voice quavered; he felt that she was trembling. A flash showed
her straining her eyes into his face. They waited for the thunderclap
during a second of intensity.

“What?” he asked.

“Those words. Those very words had just come to me, the meaning of
everything. The terrible splendor of life. How did you know?”

“It was our souls that were going together through the storm.”

She released him, and withdrew a little.

“Did you know all that I was thinking?”

“Or all that the sea was telling you?”

“Did you feel that, too?” she asked breathlessly.

“I think so,” he replied.

“It was strange,” she said. “I hardly knew that I was here. I
seemed to be away in the midst of it all, but I don’t think I lost
consciousness. I had adventures--curious adventures.” She paused
abruptly, then she continued: “They seemed to be definite then, but
they are all a blur now. It was a kind of battle between man and evil
forces, and I think I felt a voice speaking through it, and saying that
the splendor of man would never be subdued; and the impression I’ve got
is, that I saw something, whether it was a shape or a scene I don’t
know, but something great and grand and fierce and heroic, and the
voice told me it was life. The only thing I have clear is the words,
‘the terrible splendor of life,’ the words you plucked out of me.”

“It is the great secret,” he said.


There was another silence. The storm began to pass gradually away. The
lightning became rarer, and the intervals longer between flash and

“It is beginning to be clear,” she said at last. “All that has troubled
me. All that you guessed I was feeling, and that I told you of only
when you compelled me. You have been right. Once--do you remember?--you
said that if I saw God through the beauty and the vanity of the world
all would be well.”

“I ought to have told you to see Him through the pain of the world,”
said Herold.

“You have told me that, in other words, ever since; and I was deaf.”

“Not I, dear,” said Herold.

“Yes, you. Now I understand.” She drew a deep breath. “Now I
understand. It’s like an open book. That woman--Unity--wait,” she
paused, and put her two hands to her head in the darkness. “I have a
glimmer of a memory--it’s so illusive. It seems that I saw Unity just
now. I understand all that she was, all that she meant.” A flash showed
the sea. “Yes, I was out there,” she cried excitedly, and pointed.
“Just out there.” Darkness engulfed them. “I forget,” she faltered, “I

“But the sea has taken you back at last, Stellamaris,” said Herold.

She seized his hand and held it during the peal. Then she cried in a
tone of sudden terror:



“What you said--your prophesy--the comfort of the sea--the deeper

He leaped to his feet.

“Don’t think anything more of it. They were just foolish words to
comfort you. You and I seem to have been on the Edge of Beyond and
looked over, and we’re not quite normal. We must get down now to
practical things. I’m just what I always was, dear, a fantastic person
who rode with you into fairy-land. I am still. Nothing more.”

“Are you quite sure?” suddenly asked a deep voice out of the blackness
of the room.

Stella with a little cry of fright sprang to Herold for protection.
For a second or two they were still. In their exaltation the question
seemed to come from some vast depth of the abysm of time. Their hearts
beat fast, and they clung together, listening, and there was not a
sound. Then the lightning played its dancing daylight about the room,
and they saw John Risca standing by the door. They sprang apart.

In another moment the room was flooded with electric light. The
drawing-room, for all its beauty, looked mean and unimportant. The
lights showed up glaringly an old Florentine tapestry over the
chimney-piece. It seemed to have singularly little relation to life. It
jarred impertinently.

“I came in to find Walter,” said John; “I didn’t think Stella was still
up. It’s late. You didn’t hear me. I’m sorry I inadvertently overheard.”

“There’s nothing, my dear John, that you could not have heard,” said

John came forward in his lumbering way.

“I know that, Walter.”

For a minute or two no one spoke. The three stood stock-still, their
hearts thumping. Outside, the rain fell pitilessly on the flags of the
terrace, and the waning storm flashed and growled. John’s burning eyes
looked at Herold beneath heavy, knitted brows. At last he said:

“You love Stella. You have loved her always. You never told me.”

“That is not so,” said Herold. “You have found us in a foolishly false
position. A thunder-storm is an emotional piece of business. My old
intimacy with Stella has its privileges. I’ll leave you. Stella will
speak for herself.”

John stretched out a detaining arm. “No, my friend; stay. We three must
have a talk together. It was bound to come sooner or later. Let it be

He spoke quietly, with dignity and authority.

“There is nothing for us to talk about,” said Herold,--Stellamaris
stood clutching the back of an arm-chair, and looking from one man to
the other,--“the words you overheard ought to tell you that. And in
answer to your question, I can say that I am quite sure.”

“You lie,” said John, quietly. “You lie out of the loyalty of your
heart--” he raised his great hand to check the other’s outburst--“God
Almighty in Heaven knows I’m not accusing you. If ever man had deep and
devoted and unselfish love from another, I’ve had it from you. And I
have it still. It’s a matter not of reproach, but of reparation.”

“Don’t you think,” said Herold, “we might continue this extraordinary
conversation in the library--by ourselves?”

“No,” said John in the obstinate tone that Herold had known for many
years. “You and I are two men, and Stella is a woman, and a hell-mess
just like that--” he pointed to the tempest--“has upset our lives. It’s
time to put them to rights again.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Herold. “It’s a pity you
have chosen to-night. Things are a bit abnormal. Let us go to bed and
talk to-morrow, if you like, in the light of common sense.”

John folded his arms. “I’m going to talk to-night. I want you calmly to
consider the position.”

“I do,” said Herold. “Stop,”--as John was about to interrupt,--“let me

“Yes,” said Stella, breaking silence for the first time; “let Walter

But she stood apart, fascinated by this strange duel, as her primitive
ancestress might have done when two males fought for her with
flint-headed axes.

“What I feel as regards Stella is neither here nor there. I’ve never
told her that I loved her. I’ve never told you. Both you and she
have told me that you loved each other. That was enough for me. I
joined with Unity in seeking to remove the obstacle in the path of
your happiness. If Unity had not forestalled me, I--well, God knows
what I should have done! I left you asleep that evening, and went,
half crazy, to the flat, and there I found what I found. But, anyhow,
Unity committed murder and suicide to set the two of you free. If you
want strong, blatant words, there you have them. A girl, one of God’s
chosen, has laid down her life for the two of you.” He stood between
them and threw up his hands. “Take each other. It is a sacrament.”

Stella, her arms still on the back of the chair, hung her head and
stared downward. John cast a quick glance at her and then, a thing
which he rarely did, drew his great frame up to its full height and
challenged his friend.

“If you don’t love her, she loves you. I know.”

Herold said:

“You two belong to each other.”

“Then Stella must decide,” said John.

She threw out a flutter of delicate fingers and covered her face. “No,
no!” she gasped.

The lightning flickered mildly in the well-lit room, and the eventual
thunder reverberated in distant anger.

John again came close to Herold. “This may be an extraordinary
conversation, but it has to be. If Stella loved me, do you think she
would stand like that?”

Stella dropped to her knees, her face and arms huddled against the

“My dear old man, I’ve learned many things of late. I can’t tell you
exactly. I’m not good at that sort of thing. But Unity has been too big
for me.”

Stella raised a white face.

“What do you mean? Say exactly what you mean.”

“I mean--oh, God knows what I mean.” He strode blindly across the
room, returned, and faced the two, still near together. “Can’t you
understand?” he cried, with a wide gesture. “I’m infinitesimal sand
beneath that child’s feet. I’m a blind mole in comparison with her
transcendent vision. I’m in the dust. Oh, God!” He turned away.

Stella rose, and, clasping hands to her bosom, went to him.

“Belovedest, for Heaven’s sake what is the end of all this?”

He halted and took her hands.

“Not shadows, not lies. Once I thought--indeed, I knew--you loved
me. That was when you were an ignorant child. You loved some one you
thought was me. Now your eyes are opened. You have passed through
flames. Knowledge has come to you. You see me as I am, and your love
has gone. I know, too, what I am. Unity has taught me. You can’t--you
don’t love me, Stella. That I know. I’ve known it ever since that day
when we put her into her grave.”

Herold came between them imploringly. “My dear man--my dear
fellow--what is the use of this wild talk? You two love each other.
Unity gave her life for the two of you. If you two don’t come together,
it’s all overwhelming, blasting irony. I couldn’t believe in God after
it. It would be hellishly cynical. Stella, in God’s name, tell him that
you are bound by Unity’s sacrifice--that you love him and will marry
him and make his life happy!”

Stella, very pale, looked at John. “If you want me, I will marry you,”
she said in a clear voice.

John waved her aside. “I will not take you, my dear,” said he.

Spurned sex winced involuntarily.

“If you have stopped caring for me--”

“I stopped caring? I? Merciful God, I’ve never loved you so much. But
you love a better man. What’s the good of saying the same things over
and over again? But I’ll tell you this, both of you, that if Unity had
not given her life, and if I had been free, I should have fought for
you and had you despite everything. That’s my accursed nature. But
Unity has not died in vain, and it’s because of that child’s death, the
beauty and heroism of it, that I’m able to stand here and tear my heart
out and throw it away. Don’t make any mistake,”--he turned fiercely on
Herold,--“it’s not I who am giving her up. It’s Unity.”

“Very well,” said Herold. “Let us put it at that. It’s your point of
view. You also force me to speak. It would be grotesque to keep silence
any longer. Yes, I do love her. She is the beginning and end of life
to me. If she had lain on her back all her days, I should never have
married another woman. There! You have it now.”

The two men’s eyes held each other for a space. Stellamaris looked
at the pair with a fearful admiration. They were men. Herold she had
divined and known long ago; this, on his part, was only the supreme
fulfilment of promise. But John Risca, who had passed through the
illusion and disillusion of her soul, stood before her in new strength,
a great and moving figure.

At last John drew a deep breath, turned to Stellamaris very gently, and

“And you?”

The smile sent swift pain through her heart. She made a step or two,
and fell sobbing on his breast.

“O Belovedest, I am sorry! You have guessed right. Forgive me!”

He caressed the bowed head tenderly for an instant, then releasing
himself, he clapped his hand on Herold’s shoulder and shook it with
rough affection.

“I’m going to bed,” said he. He moved to the door. There he paused to
nod a good night; but at sight of them both looking sadly at him he
walked back a couple of paces.

“Don’t worry about me. I’m at peace with myself for the first time for
years. There’s lots of happiness in the world left.” He smiled again.
“Enough for the three of us--and for Unity.”

He left them, and went to bed in the room which Stellamaris had
furnished for him long ago, and fell into the sleep of the man who
has found rest at last in the calm and certain knowledge of spiritual
things. Unity had not died in vain. And Stellamaris, sitting once more
by Herold’s side in the wide bay of the window, and talking with him in
a hushed voice of the wondrous things that had come to pass, knew that
John Risca had spoken a great truth. It had been God’s will that so
should the terrible splendor of the world be made manifest.

Herold asked for the million-billionth time in the history of mankind:

“When did you first find that you loved me?”

She replied, perhaps more truly than most maidens:

“There was never a time when I didn’t love you. I mean--I don’t
quite know what I mean,” she said confusedly. “You see, I’ve lived
a strange life, dear,” she went on. “You seem to have been a part
of me ever since I can remember what is worth remembering. You have
always understood things that went on inside me almost before I could
tell them to you. I always wanted you to explain foolishnesses that I
couldn’t speak of to any one else.”

“That’s very beautiful,” Herold interrupted, “but love is a different
matter. When did the real love come to you?”

“I think it was that morning in the garden when you almost whipped me,”
said Stella. She started an inch or two away from him. “And I’m sure
you knew it,” she said.

And he remembered, as he had often remembered in his great struggle,
her eyes, turning from agates to diamonds and her words, “Do you love
me like that?”

“Heaven knows, Stellamaris dear; I did not mean to betray myself.”

She laughed the enigmatic laugh of a woman’s contentment, and Herold
was too wise to ask why.

They spoke of deepest things. “There is something I must tell you,”
said he, “which up to now I have had to keep secret, and it is right
that you should know.”

And he told her the story of Unity and himself--the revolver, their
talk of the evil woman, their parting words, his crazed adventure
through the sunny streets.

She listened, her body leaning forward, her hands clasped on her knee.
When he had finished, she sat without change of attitude.

“You did that so that another man could marry the woman you loved.
Unity did that so that the man she loved could marry another woman.
John came in to-night to sacrifice himself and give us both happiness.
The three of you have done terrible and splendid things. I am the only
one of us four who has done nothing.”

Herold rose, took a nervous pace or two. What she said needed more than
a lover’s sophistical reassurance. He could speak a thousand words of
comfort; but he knew that her soul required a supreme answer, a clue to
the dark labyrinth through which she had worked. What could he say? He
looked through the window, and suddenly saw that which to him was an
inspiration. He threw the folding-doors wide. It had stopped raining
long ago, though neither had noticed.

“Come out on the terrace,” said he.

She followed him into the gusty air. The sea still roared resentfully
at the late disturbance of its quiet. The southwest wind that had
brought up the storm had driven the great rack of black cloud above the
horizon, and there below the rack was a band of dark but cloudless sky,
and in it one star hung serene. Herold pointed to it.

“What have you done, dear?” His voice broke in a catch of exultation,
and his usually nimble wit failed to grasp the lunatic falsity of the
analogy. “You have done what that has done--come through the storm pure
and steadfast.”

“Not I, dear,” she said, “but my faith in the God we breathe.”

“No; you yourself.” He put his arm around her, and all his love spoke.
“You. The living mystery of beauty that is you.” He whispered into her
lips. “You--Stellamaris--Star of the Sea.”






The chauffeur of the railroad-motor shook his head.

“The observation-platform’s been taken down, sir, and the track leading
to it torn up. That part of the bank’s ready to go out any minute. You
can get a good view of the cut, though, from the Y. M. C. A. Building.”

When, in 1906, Uncle Sam put up this building in Culebra, and
officially christened it an “I. C. C. Club-house,” because it was the
Government, and not the Y. M. C. A., that was paying the shot, he
placed it at some little distance from the cut. But in August, 1912,
the club-house was very near the cut,--nineteen inches nearer than
its own concrete foundation-piers,--and if it had not been lifted and
braced with heavy timbers, it would long ago have gone tobogganing down
the bank. As I walked through the reading-room, it moved and creaked
like a wicker basket with the shock of a heavy blast; but the other
men in the room did not raise their eyes from their magazines. From
the back porch I looked down into the Culebra Cut, a wider, deeper cut
that had completely swallowed up the one I knew well in 1910. Then the
fifty-odd giant steam-shovels had been scattered over the nine miles
from Bas Obispo to Pedro Miguel; now I saw them concentrated in and
about the deep gulch between Gold Hill and Contractor’s Hill for the
last battle of the long campaign. From here to where the dike at Bas
Obispo keeps out the rising waters of Gatun Lake they are taking up
the construction tracks, and the rank jungle-grass grows thick on the
bottom of the finished, empty canal.

Between Gold Hill, advance-guard of the Andes, and Contractor’s Hill,
southernmost point of the Rockies, lies the deepest part of the cut,
and the nearer the big steam-shovels dig down to grade, the harder it
is to haul away their spoil. Double-engined and coupled together, the
dirt trains climb the steep grade in pairs. First come two straining,
spouting Moguls, then a string of loaded “Lidgerwood flats,” like a
hill on wheels; then a third locomotive, a string of swaying, clanking
“Oliver dumps,” their side-chains jingling like artillery-harness;
and last a fourth locomotive, detached, which, with the air of an
enthusiastic small boy, comes running up behind to help push. The
marbled mass of steam and soft-coal smoke takes strange colors in the
tropic sunlight, then shreds away, revealing a patch of vividly blue
sky, a palm, and a lone steam-shovel eating away the top of a slide on
the edge of the opposite bank.

Whenever a fresh slide begins to break down the bank of the Panama
Canal, Colonel Goethals, like the Duchess in “Alice in Wonderland,”
cries, “Off with its head!” Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of
slides, both curable by decapitation. The first is a mass of soft
clay, resting on a sloping ledge of rock, made slippery by seeping
rain-water. When dug away at the bottom, the whole hillside begins to
slip down, usually with the deliberation of a glacier, but often with
the rush of an avalanche. The second kind of slide is caused by the
collapse of a stratum of rock under the weight resting upon it. Some
of the hard volcanic material in the cut, laboriously blasted out
with dynamite, crumbles into dust on exposure to the air. This failure
of the foundations causes a lateral pressure against the bottom of
the cut, sometimes heaving it up fifteen or twenty feet. In either
case, the remedy is to lighten the load on the top of the bank, often
aggravated by the presence of an old French dump-heap. Now that the
famous Cucaracha (Cockroach) Slide, that began to plague De Lesseps
in 1885, and increased until forty-seven acres were in motion, is
nearly, or quite, at rest, the two largest slides are the ones that
have at last swallowed up the Culebra club-house, and the even larger
landslide on the opposite bank. Between them, since 1907, they have
involved the movement of nearly seven million cubic yards of earth and
rock. A few days after my visit, a notice was posted at the door of the
club-house, warning all who entered the building that they did so at
their own risk, and workmen began to tear it down, and the bank where
the observation-platform used to stand, a few hundred yards away, “went
out” with a rush, to the tune of 900,000 cubic yards.

But Colonel Goethals is not worrying about the slides. He said to me:

“Altogether between nineteen and twenty million cubic yards will have
been brought into the canal prism by slides before the completion of
the work. About 5,915,000 cubic yards of this extra material was taken
out during the year ending July, 1912, or more than thirty-three per
cent. of the total excavation for that year. Less than 4,000,000 cubic
yards of slides remain to be accounted for.”

“Have these slides proved the impossibility of a sea-level canal here?”
I asked.

“Absolutely,” he replied.

“Will new slides continue to develop after the water has been turned
into the cut?”

“Two things will tend to minimize that tendency,” he replied. “First,
there will be no more shaking of the ground by blasting; second, the
forty-five feet of water in the channel will exert a pressure on the
banks of thirty-one tons per running foot of canal. Any earth brought
into the cut then could be easily taken out by dredges.

“The last steam-shovel should be taken out of the cut, and all
remaining rock broken up by blasting in the dry, by July 1, 1913. Then
the dike at Bas Obispo will be blown up, and the water from Gatun Lake
will flow into the cut and through Pedro Miguel Lock into Miraflores
Lake. The dredge _Corozal_, now working at sea-level at the Pacific end
of the canal, will then be brought up through the Miraflores and Pedro
Miguel locks, and put to work in the cut.”

Prominent among the few ornaments of Colonel Goethals’s bare,
barrack-like office is a framed photograph of the _Corozal_, the
largest ladder-dredge in the world. Each bucket of her endless chain
lifts two cubic yards at a time. She was built in Renfrew, Scotland,
in 1911, by a firm that thirty years ago made several smaller dredges
for the De Lesseps Company. After rusting for a quarter of a century in
tropical tidal-swamps, most of these, floated and cleaned, are still
doing good work. Their honest craftsmanship impelled the purchase of
the _Corozal_. Virtually like all the floating equipment at the Pacific
end of the canal, she was brought round South America under her own
steam. Her name is that of the first railroad station out of Panama
City, and, literally translated, means “Merry-go-round.”

“There will always remain a certain amount of dredging to be done in
the two entrances, at Balboa and in Limon Bay,” the colonel continued.

“And to keep Gatun Lake clear of silt and wreckage brought down by the
Chagres River?” I asked.

“No,” he replied. “There will be several miles of dead water at the
upper end of the lake above Bas Obispo, where it will settle before
reaching the channel.”

“The canal will be informally opened, Colonel, in September, 1913?” I

“I expect to put the first ship through then; and if one can go, any
number can. The range-lights, buoys, and other aids to navigation will
all be placed and in working order. Less than ten per cent. either of
the total excavation or of the concrete-laying in the locks remains
to be done. At the present rate of speed, both will be finished, and
all the gates and machinery for the east locks installed by September,

The locks of the Panama Canal are in two sets, side by side, like the
two tracks of a railroad, so that ships can cross in both directions
simultaneously. As at this point the Pacific lies almost due south of
the Atlantic,--which is why it was called by the Spaniards the South
Sea,--the east locks are those on the left, or South American, side of
one going from the Caribbean to the Gulf of Panama.

“When will everything be finished and ready for the formal opening?” I

“I cannot say for certain. If the steelwork and towing-locomotives are
delivered when promised, the west gates will be finished by the end
of 1914. To operate those on the Pacific side, a transmission-line
must be built from the spillway power-plant at Gatun to Miraflores. In
the meanwhile one set of gates can be operated by local power-houses.
Eventually the power generated by the surplus water running through
the spillway of the Gatun Dam will generate enough electricity to run
all the lock machinery, the Panama Railroad, and the machine-shops at
Balboa, besides illuminating the lighthouses, the employees’ quarters,
and the search-lights of the coast defenses.”

“Will the coast defenses be ready for use as soon as the canal?” I

“Yes, if Congress appropriates the money to bring down the guns. We’ll
have the emplacements built, and everything else ready for them. Of
course a strong garrison should be maintained here. The strength of
the details guarding the different locks is a matter to be determined
by the General Staff. There is no danger of a lock’s being disabled by
a solitary spy with a bomb. All the essential machinery is in duplicate
or triplicate.”

“Then the popular idea of the Gatun Dam’s being blown up by one man
with a suitcaseful of dynamite is--”

“Absurd. The only way that an enemy could let the water out of Gatun
Lake would be to blow up the gates of the spillway, and that would
require a large number of men, with plenty of time and explosives.”

“Now that the Canal Bill has passed, Colonel, you can begin to organize
the operating-force?”

“Yes,” he replied. “As only one thousand Americans will be needed,
and there are six times that many here now in the construction-force,
the permanent organization will be a picked body of experienced men.
There will also be about fifteen hundred West Indian Negroes to serve
as helpers in the machine-shops, pass hawsers, and clean up about the
locks. The bulk of the operating-force will be quartered at Balboa, and
the lock-tenders at Pedro Miguel and Gatun.”


This wheel was invented by Mr. Edward Schildhauer of the Isthmian Canal
Commission. The wheel revolves horizontally and thrusts out from the
side of each lock-wall a long steel arm that opens and closes one of
the huge lock-gates. These gates are of the “miter” pattern, so called
because, when closed, they make a blunt wedge pointing up-stream, like
the slope of a bishop’s miter. Observe the curved and hollowed recesses
in the lock-walls into which the open gates fold back, like the blades
of a knife into the handle. There are, of course, two “bull-wheels”:
one for each of the gates.]

“Have the lessons learned in building the canal brought about any more
useful inventions, like the well-known track-shifting machine?” I asked.

“H-m. One of the cranemen has patented a trip for emptying the bucket
of a steam-shovel by steam instead of by hand. We’re using it on all
the large shovels. Then there is the new lock-gate machinery; you will
find the inventor up-stairs in this building. Remember, if you write
anything about it, you must give him full credit.”

That is the colonel’s way, to insist on fair treatment for every man
under him. He is not only the boss, but the hero, the big brother, the
father confessor, of every man on the job. Stories innumerable are told
about him, and even rough sagas are sung in his praise.

  Have they canned you on the run?
    Tell the Colonel;
  Tell the tale of what they’ve done
    To the Colonel.

  Is the commissary bad?
    Tell the Colonel.
  If you tell him, he’ll be glad,
    Will the Colonel.

  Pass your sorrows and your woes
    To the Colonel;
  He will understand, he knows,
    Does the Colonel.[7]

Speak his name among a group of employees, and immediately each will
begin to tell of his experience with “Uncle George.”

“I was sittin’ in the cab, waitin’ to pull a string of dirt cars out of
the borrow-pit at Gatun, when who comes a-hikin’ along the track but
the Old Man. ‘Can you give me a drink of water?’ he says, and I draws
him one from the cooler on the engine. He takes a swallow and says,
‘This is pretty warm for ice-water.’

“‘Yes, sir,’ I says, ‘we’re supposed to have ten pounds a day to put in
it, but we’re not gettin’ more’n one.’ The colonel just hands back the
cup and walks away, but, say, next mornin’ I drew an iceberg.”

A second man broke in:

“Yes, and somebody else got stung for that little graft, you can
bet your pants. Remember that foreman at Peter Magill [Orthodox
pronunciation of Pedro Miguel] who made his gang of Gallegos come
across every pay-day? They picked one of the bunch who could handle the
English to go up to Culebra, for a hablar [talk] with Uncle George.
Zing! Mr. Foreman’s job dropped out from under him, and he dropped
through, and the job swung back, and he wasn’t on it. He’s out making
roads now with the rest of the chain-gang.”

“The day after I hit the isthmus in 1907,” put in a third man, “I got a
cablegram from home, saying my wife was dead. And they wouldn’t let me
go back to look after my babies; turned me down cold when I asked for a
passage north, and all I had was my job here, and pay-day a month away.
I heard there was a new chief engineer at Culebra, and I put it up to
him. The colonel he signed a paper, and said:

“‘I’ve had too many letters from wives in the States whose husbands are
down here neglecting their families. I’m glad to meet one of the other
kind. Show Mr. Smith this, and he’ll give you a passage. Bring your
family down with you, and I’ll give you a married-quarters.’”

Colonel Goethals is no longer the handsome, smooth-faced boy officer
in full-dress uniform, shown in the well-known photograph taken when
he was “the new chief engineer.” His latest portrait, here published
for the first time, shows how the heavy responsibilities of the last
five years have left their mark on him. His is a splendidly virile
face, strong, kindly, and vigorously intellectual. He is appropriately
shown in citizen’s clothes, for, except on the most formal occasions,
he never wears his uniform. It was with the greatest difficulty that he
was persuaded to sit for this picture, and he absolutely refuses to let
himself be photographed at work either in his office or in the field.

“No,” said “Old Bill” May, chief clerk and Cerberus of the outer
office, “the colonel isn’t one of those fellows who keep the
photographer waiting till they can have a lot of extra papers brought
in and dumped all over the desk, so folks can see how busy they are.
Nobody’s got a camera into his room yet, and I’d hate to be caught
trying it. Maybe you think you’re going to get a snap-shot of him
to-morrow when he takes you over the Gatun Dam; but you ain’t.”

[Illustration: From a photograph, copyright, by Pach


And Old Bill May was right. When the morning express from Panama City
stopped at Culebra, Colonel Goethals swung nimbly aboard and greeted
our party as follows:

“Good morning. I’m sorry, but I can’t go to Gatun with you to-day;
there’s a dock gone out at Balboa. Colonel Sibert will show you over
Gatun. Good morning, good morning!”

Through the car window we saw him spring into a trim little
railroad-motor, which slid clanging and whistling through the crowd at
the station, and was half a mile down the track to Balboa before our
train had started again for Gatun.

We traveled a curiously zigzag path, now on the old line of the Panama
Railroad, now on the new. Ever since the first canoe-load of Peruvian
gold was floated down from Cruces to the sea, nearly four hundred years
ago, the valley of the Chagres has been the pathway of the isthmus.
The Panama Railroad of the 1850’s, the days of lignum-vitæ ties,
wood-burning locomotives, and twenty per cent. dividends, followed the
banks and killed the river trade. To-day the rapidly rising waters
of Gatun Lake have driven the railroad to higher ground to the east
between Gatun and Bas Obispo. From that point the new permanent way
was to have been carried through the cut on a berm, or shelf, on the
east bank, ten feet above the water’s edge. It was a picturesque plan,
but was reluctantly abandoned because of the danger from slides. So
that part of the relocation has been built with great labor through
the hills to the east of the cut, and is now finished and in use for
freight. Not, however, for passengers, for the existing towns in the
central division are all on the wrong side of the cut. Our train
left Panama City on the old line, switched to the new at Corozal,
crossed the cut on a temporary trestle near Pedro Miguel, and ran
through Culebra and Empire, where in five years the macadamized and
electric-lighted streets will be covered with second-growth jungle,
to the busy railroad town of Gorgona, where the lake water will soon
be lapping over the floors of the machine-shops. Here a coal-burning
locomotive--oil-burners are the rule for passenger-traffic on the
Panama Railroad--was attached to the rear of the train, to the disgust
of the tourists on the observation-platform of the parlor-car. The
train then ran backward up the other arm of the Y, across the dike at
Bas Obispo to the new steel bridge across the Chagres at Gamboa, not
far below ancient Cruces.


The rest of the way to Gatun ran through country marked on the map as
part of Gatun Lake, but covered to-day with virgin jungle. Only in
the channel and the anchorage-basin above the locks has the bottom
been cleared of vegetation; elsewhere the finished “lake” will be one
tangle of deadwood. Now near at hand, now miles away in the valley,
the yellow line against the dark green shows where the rising water
is drowning out the jungle. In a remarkably short time the leaves and
small branches drop off, leaving the dead trunks gray and bare. The
cocoanut-palms hold out the longest. The railroad runs high above the
lake, on the solidest kind of stone embankments, containing millions of
cubic yards of rock from the Culebra Cut. Probably the best-built fifty
miles of road-bed in the Western Hemisphere is the relocated Panama

[Illustration: From a photograph by Marine, Panama



Neat little concrete lighthouses, rising incongruously out of the
forest, mark the approach to Gatun. Here is the key-point of the
canal. From the northwest corner of the veranda round Colonel Sibert’s
office, the whole scheme of things leaps to the eye. Four miles to the
north lies Limon Bay, with the Caribbean beyond, the long breakwater
stretching out from Toro Point on the left, to make the open roadstead
a safe harbor, and on the right the new docks of Cristobal, the
American-owned port of Colon. What looks like an over-fed dreadnought
guarding the entrance is the sea-going suction-dredge _Caribbean_ at
work on the four miles of canal that run under the bay to deep water.
The next four miles of all-but-finished sea-level canal, up which
ships will sail to Gatun; the profile of the three great locks that
will lift them eighty-five feet; the beginning of the broad lake, over
which they will sail at that level to Bas Obispo and through the cut,
and then down through Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks to sea-level
on the Pacific side, can here be seen and comprehended with a turn of
the head. From east and west the hills that inclose the valley of the
Chagres close in to the gap, little more than a mile wide, now filled
by the Gatun Dam.


Colonel Goethals’s office is in this building.]


From a photograph taken on July 4, 1912.]

You must not think of the Gatun Dam as an ordinary dam, a high, thin
wall holding back a body of water, but as an artificial continuation
of the gently sloping hills it joins together. In cross-section it
resembles the most obtuse of triangles. A cow could walk over it
anywhere, and find fairly good pasturage by the way; for coarse,
thick-stemmed grass springs up wherever the surface is left undisturbed
for a few days. By the time the canal is opened, so quickly is bare
earth overgrown in the tropics, those seeing the dam for the first time
from the deck of a steamer will have the greatest difficulty telling
where it begins and the hills end.

We rode in a railroad-motor along one of the several railroad tracks on
the broad crest of the dam; its sides sloped down to a quarter of a
mile away on each side. Halting the car about a hundred feet from the
edge of the spillway, Colonel Sibert pointed directly down at the mass
beneath our feet, and said:

“Eighty or so feet below us lies the site of old Gatun. Morgan and his
buccaneers spent their first night there on their way up the Chagres
to the sack of old Panama, and it was a famous stopping-place for
travelers in the days of the Forty-niners. When we began work here in
1907 there was an island in the river, with a village of fifty thatched
huts and a church on it. Now the village is over back of us, and big
enough to need three separate fire companies; and the island’s gone,
and the river’s gone, and there’s where the railroad used to run along
its bank.”

The colonel pointed to where the tops of a few old telegraph-poles made
a straight line across the surface of the lake.

“And the river, Colonel, where have you put that?” we asked.

“Here.” He led the way to the edge of the spillway, the concrete-lined
artificial channel, larger than the original river-bed and hewn through
a natural hill of living rock, that carries off the surplus water of
Gatun Lake. Last rainy season a certain photographer took a snap-shot
of the spillway from down-stream during a flood, and impudently sold
it to a magazine as a picture of the finished canal, “with the water
turned in!”

“Colonel, could a fish from the Caribbean swim up that mill-race and
cross over to the Pacific?”

“I think so, and so does Colonel Goethals. The only question is, Could
a saltwater fish live through the thirty-four miles of fresh water in
the lakes and the cut?

“As fast as we want the water to back up against the big dam, we keep
raising that semicircular concrete dam down there in the spillway.
Those openings you see are being fitted with steel gates, and no matter
how hard it may rain up in the hills, we’ll always have enough gates to
open and let the water through without any danger of its washing over
the crest. Now we’ll cross the bridge over the spillway to the other
end of the dam, and then run back and go over the locks.”

The elaborate concrete-laying plant at Gatun, which cost over a million
dollars to erect here in the wilderness, has nearly finished its mighty
task. The tall steel towers, which stand in pairs on each side of the
lock-pit and hold aloft the cableways along which traveling-cranes
carry the skips of freshly mixed concrete to the forms and return
them empty to the little electric cars that go hurrying back to the
mixing-house for more, have been moved down to the lower end of the
third and lowest lock. By the time this article appears in print they
will probably have been taken down and sold for scrap.



The entrance and intersection of the American and French canals.]

A concrete and timber bulkhead, the nearest approach to an
orthodox-looking dam a layman can find at Gatun, keeps the water of
the sea-level canal out of the lock-chambers. Directly in front of it
float three or four high-decked craft that look for all the world like
old-time Mississippi River packets. All they seem to lack are a few
roustabouts and a gilt trotting-horse between the tall smoke-stacks. As
a matter of fact, they are dredges, with living-quarters for the crews.
Across the channel behind them, shutting them off from the sea, is a
solid-looking clay dike.

“Colonel,” we asked, “how did you put those boats into that
mud-puddle,--fly them or jump them over?”

“The dipper-dredge cut the way in, and the suction-dredge closed it
behind them. That dike keeps them from being disturbed by the rise and
fall of the tide. A great part of the canal between here and Limon Bay
was excavated in the dry by steam-shovels working behind dikes forty
feet below sea-level; but that was in rock. The stuff these dredges are
pumping out is prehistoric sea-bottom--soft, black ooze that runs like
oil. A big slide of it started due north toward Limon Bay, swung round
to the east, and then due south, went three quarters round the compass,
and half-way up the lowest lock-pit. We had to force it out by building
the permanent lock-walls right into it, section by section--shoved it
out by sheer weight.”


“Is there anything like that under the Gatun Dam?” we asked.

“No, this mud is nearly three quarters of a mile north of it. The
entire dam rests on the solidest kind of clay, and the locks are built
on a ledge of sandstone, except the north approach wall. That will
have to be built on piers driven down through the mud to bed-rock. The
approach wall is the continuation of the dividing-wall between the two
sets of locks, which projects into what we call the forebay, where
ships must come to a stop and make fast to the electric locomotives
that will tow them through the locks.

“These towing-locomotives,” continued Colonel Sibert, leading us to the
top of the nearest lock-wall up a broad, well-proportioned stairway
cast in one piece with the rest of the structure, “will be equipped
with winches and slip-drums, so that they can tighten or slacken the
hawsers, a flexibility that is going to save breaking a lot of line.
Four locomotives will take charge of each large ship, two forward and
two aft. When they reach those archways carrying the tracks from one
level to another, one pair will take the weight of the ship, while the
others will climb up to the level above by this rack-rail.”

Between the two ordinary rails of the towing-track, neatly embedded
in the concrete top of the lock-wall, was a third rail, broad and
strong and indented for the teeth of a mighty cog-wheel. With isthmian
thoroughness, these depressions are made self-draining, lest rain-water
accumulate and breed fever-carrying mosquitos. There is a tragedy
connected with the third, or return-track, of the towing-railroad,
which runs down the middle of the center wall. It had to be there, and
so did the range-light that will guide ships across the lake into the
upper forebay of the locks. So they stuck that dignified lighthouse
up on four bandy legs, like a mangrove on its roots; and when the Art
Commission come down from Washington and see it, they will say unkind
things of the engineers.

They are building the control-house, the nerve center of all the
delicate, ponderous machinery at Gatun, at the lower end of the
uppermost lock, where half a dozen operators can oversee and control
everything. The control-board will be like a flat-topped table desk,
with a model of the locks in low relief, the gates, large valves, and
all important machinery shown in miniature, and moving in unison with
the main machines. The switches which control the different units will
be interlocked in such a manner that the operator cannot move the
wrong machine. This switch will stretch a chain across the path of a
runaway ship; that will open or close a valve in one of the three great
culverts (each as large as the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels under the
Hudson River), and so empty or fill a lock; a third will swing round
and drop into place the emergency dam that would hold the water in the
lake were every gate and guard-gate swept away. If the control-house
itself were destroyed, the machines could be operated in detail.


One man has succeeded in making a true picture of the gates of the
Gatun Locks--Mr. Pennell.[8] I shall only ask you to imagine the blind
walls of two six-story office-buildings swinging open on hinges,
like the front of a doll’s house. This miracle is accomplished by a
device called the “Bullwheel,” the invention of an employee of the
Isthmian Canal Commission, Mr. Edward Schildhauer. A ponderous wheel,
revolving horizontally, thrusts out through the side of the lock-wall
a long steel arm that opens and closes one of the massive gates as
easily as one could a bedroom door. These gates are of what is known
as the “mitering-pattern,” making, when closed, a blunt wedge pointing
up-stream, like a beaver dam. Mr. Schildhauer is also the inventor of a
“miter-locking machine,” which bears a strong family resemblance to the
large purple land-crab of the isthmus. One of these machines squats on
the top of every gate, and, grasping a pin on the opposite leaf, holds
both tightly together.

The fact that the three locks of the Atlantic division of the Panama
Canal are together in one place has attracted the attention of the
world to Gatun, to the disadvantage of the equally good work done at
Miraflores and Pedro Miguel, and the quiet, efficient civil engineer
under whom it has been done. Mr. S. B. Williamson, C.E. Of him they
tell a story, one of the few that deal with the pre-isthmian days of
Colonel Goethals.

Mr. Williamson was working under the colonel on some irrigation-project
in the southwest. One morning his chief discovered him shoveling away
a gravel-bank with his own hands among a gang of common laborers. The
colonel took his subordinate roundly to task. Mr. Williamson blushed,
stammered, and finally admitted:

“There was a bit of a slide, sir, and the men were afraid to go back
into the pit until I showed them there was no danger.”

The colonel apologized, and has kept Mr. Williamson by him ever since.
It is a good illustration of the spirit of Colonel Goethals and his
men--the men who have put through the big job.

  [7] “Panama Roughneck Ballads.”

  [8] See “Building the Panama Canal,”--a group of eight lithographs
      made by Mr. Pennell for this magazine,--in ~The Century~ for
      August, 1912.

[Illustration: Drawn by W. M. Berger




When his barograph marked twelve thousand feet, Reese pushed the
yoke of his warping-wheel forward a few inches, and gave a slight
inclination to the foot-bar of the rudder. The monoplane, which
had been climbing up into the wind so sharply as to remain almost
motionless as far as horizontal progress was concerned, settled to a
level keel and began to describe a wide circle, gracefully lifting its
outside and lowering its inside wing like a bird when it turns. From
behind the trailing edge of the lowered wing, its driver looked down on
the creeping expanse of earth two miles below.

The hangars and pylons and crowded stands of the aviation-field were
pressed together, made small, blurred, as though seen through the wrong
end of a misted telescope. The broad field itself seemed not larger
than a lady’s handkerchief; it was almost lost in the blur of villages,
boulevards, railroad-tracks, and tree-clumps of the level Long Island
country. To north and south, as the great bird swept steadily on its
arc, appeared expanses, smooth and polished like metal--the Atlantic
and the Sound. Shapes like beetles represented ships.

“It might be Lilliput,” said Reese, aloud, bending his helmeted head
over the inch-wide rim of aluminium that separated him from space.
The strangeness of sheer height and aloofness had written awe on his
face. He lifted his eyes from the Atlantic to the curved walls of sky,
dark blue with the thinness of the air, dazzling like steel with the
resplendence of untempered sunshine, which curved downward all around
him. He was as though suspended in the monstrous metal reflector of a
monstrous electric light; dizzying, blazing distance was all around
him. “God!” he muttered; “isn’t this--” There was a catch of awe and
rapture in his voice--“isn’t this tremendous! And lonely! A man on a
mountain-peak wouldn’t be half so much alone.”

Behind the glass of his goggles his wide, hazel-colored eyes shone
with a dull excitement, like that following the first exhilaration of
champagne. His rapid ascent, the thin, icy air, the powerful hum of the
muffled motor, the blazing sunshine, the voice and fingers of the wind,
the sweep of his winged machine obeying the circular blur that showed
the tractor’s power at its head, the invisible supporting strength that
thrilled along the steel nerves of the great bird into his hands--all
these new and strong forces registered themselves on the brain of
the man, doubled the time of his heart-beats, made him quiver more
with excitement than with the cold that suggested itself despite his
furs. There was no fear on his keen face; rather exultation, triumph,
delight in the presence of danger. A strong swimmer might have struck
out toward sirens on their rocks with such an expression of eager,
abandoned joy.

“‘They shall mount up with wings as eagles!’” he chanted somewhat
wildly, glad of the sound of his voice in the strange emptiness and
silence of the place. His eyes wandered along the dazzling, blue-black
horizon to a blazing mass of snow-like mist that was forming on the
seaward side. “I wish I could go to sleep--like a frigate-bird on the
wing,” he finished inconsequently.

He had got little sleep the night before, the nearness of his first
real flight, his first unattended trip toward the sun, had been too
poignant. From his first lesson in “grass-cutting,” with an instructor
in the seat behind him, he had dreamed of this; height and distance
allured him as by some affinity with his nature, with the very blood in
his veins. His privateer ancestors of 1812, his balloonist great-uncle,
his grandfather who had been a naval officer, had bequeathed him their
love of free spaces and adventure. The care of his father, a well-to-do
professor in a technical school, to bring the boy up to the teaching
profession had not survived young Reese’s first sight of an aëroplane.
The professor bowed to the inevitable; John Faraday Reese gave up
higher mathematics to adventure on the highways of the sky.

As the machine completed its three-mile circle and came once more up
into the wind, Reese straightened it out again, and pulled back a
little on the yoke that worked the big double elevator in the tail.
The great wings turned upward again, soaring. Playing the controls as
instinctively as though the machine had been a part of him, the driver
kept his eyes on the lethargic needle of the barograph. From beneath
drooping eyelids he watched it crawl upward over the lined paper strip.
Twelve thousand five hundred, twelve thousand seven hundred fifty,
thirteen thousand, thirteen thousand two hundred feet.

Despite the sharp angle at which the big bird poised, the ascent
was growing more gradual; the thinned air offered less grip for the
tractor, less support for the wings. To increase the power of the
motor, Reese cut out the muffler. The rapid musketry of the exhaust
broke out, strangely sharpened and clamorous in the attenuated air.
With something like a shudder, he threw over the lever that muffled the
engine. His nerves were on edge; the strange sound hurt. The barograph
marked thirteen thousand six hundred feet.

Still they climbed, enveloped in a blaze of sunshine that was to the
tempered sunlight of the earth’s surface as diamonds to glass. Despite
the zero air, Reese’s temples inside his padded leather helmet were
bathed in sweat. He was panting, and fine, red lines appeared on the
smarting surface of his eyeballs. Below the mask of his goggles his
face was drawn into deep, straining lines of exultant determination.

“Up we go!” he shouted. His voice seemed smothered in a vacuum, but he
disregarded the strangeness. “Sixteen thousand and a world’s record, or

He glanced again over the quivering rim of the car. A fine white mist,
a mist that gave back the blazing sunshine like cloth of spun-glass,
had shut out the earth. It was as though a cover had been put over
the mouth of the tremendous reflector inside of which he was buzzing
upward, smaller than a midge in the globe of an arclight. The very air
seemed to turn to flames and ice. A great wave of melancholy gathered,
rose, and broke over him; he was alone in an inhuman world that blazed
and swayed, that burned and froze, that had no stability, that allowed
him air only in searing little gasps.

“Nevertheless,” he muttered, biting at his hardened
nether-lip--“nevertheless, up we go!”

He closed his eyes for a moment to get rid of a slight vertigo caused
directly by the glare of the aluminium hood that covered the engine.
Colored blotches of light danced before his eyeballs, and the rushing
of the icy wind rang on his brain like faint voices. He could hear the
feverish whispering of the blood in the tympans of his ears, like a
magnified replica of the sound that sometimes comes just before sleep.
He felt sleepy.

“Sixteen thousand!” he muttered to himself, crushing down his dizziness
and languor. “Sixteen thousand! Sixteen thousand feet!”

“No, twenty thousand!” The voice was singularly musical, thin, and

“Yes, twenty thousand!” In the thrill of determination that the voice
gave him, he momentarily overlooked the queerness of its presence.
“Twenty thousand feet high!”

“Higher than even the condor dares!”

He opened his eyes in some faint distress and perplexity of mind, and
blinked through his goggles. In the forward seat, turned three quarters
toward him, was a woman, a girl. He could hardly make her out at first,
for the dazzle of the aluminium hood was just beyond her, and she was
dressed all in white--white, knitted wool and some close, white fur
that was almost as dazzling as the aluminium itself. A white, knitted
cap was pulled down over her head; a few strands of hair, blazing with
the sun’s own color, lay along the snow-white oval of her face.

“I didn’t know--I had the two-seater,” he remarked dazedly. His voice
was thin and whistling; he raised it to make himself heard above
the hum of the motor and screw. “I thought I took out the one-place
machine; I’m out for altitude, you know.”

Her eyes, blue-black and flashing like the sky, regarded him with a
little look of questioning; her mouth’s faint scarlet line turned down
a trifle at the ends, suggesting polite surprise.

“I don’t mean to intimate that I’m not delighted to have you along,”
he assured her warmly. “I merely forgot; it’s the first time I’ve been
anywhere near as high as this, and it makes me feel slightly dippy,
not bad enough to make me be afraid of losing control, of course, but
still--not just right.”

“You look--magnificent.” Her voice left a ringing echo in his ears.

“Oh, I feel all right, aside from the fact that I can’t remember
engaging a passenger for this trip.”

“That’s not worth worrying about now,” she assured him, smiling in a
dim, dangerous way into his eyes. “What does the barograph read?”

He had to bend down close to read the dial. “Fifteen thousand three
hundred,” he said with a stray air, and lifted his head to stare at
her. “I’ll not cut out the muffler until we stop rising; the exhaust
makes a ghastly clatter up here. It jabbers like the ghost of itself.”

“I love it; it sounds--high,” she said, and again he was thrilled
by the weird music of her voice. It allured, it inspired like a
bugle-note, and yet there was a chilling something in it. It reminded
him of the “ice-crackle,” that peculiar trilling reverberation from the
expanding of thin, new ice on the skating lakes of his boyhood. One
glided along over the thin, glass-clear surface, one saw the steel-blue
water just beneath, one heard the sudden silvery “_Kr-r-r-ring!_” of
the ice-crackle, and one put his whole soul into speed.

He stared at her, racking his benumbed wits to remember her place on
his passenger-list. Like most of the new pilots, he was accustomed to
earn an honest penny now and then by taking up persons with the desire
and the necessary fifty dollars. She frankly yielded herself to his
inspection; she turned farther around in her seat and smiled at him.

“You don’t remember me?”

“No; that’s astounding, but true.”

She was exquisite, perfect in every line, beautiful with the abstract
beauty of an idealist painter’s work. An artist might have called her
a “pure type”; there was no little trick of outline or coloring to
give personality, character, to the flawless symmetry of her face.
She seemed less a real woman than some ideal created to embody an
idea: she might have stood for “Purity,” or, perhaps better, “Danger.”
Her beauty lost nothing by its impersonality; to Reese’s sun-dazzled
eyes, at least it was all the more poignant. The faint scarlet of her
lips, the scintillating blue-black of her eyes, the flashing gold of
her hair, and the sheer radiant white of all the rest of her allured,
intoxicated, astounded. He breathed quickly for reasons other than the
thinness of the air. She was unhuman, almost superhuman, for sheer
perfection of line and color.

“Well, you have been staring at me for some time,” she said without the
slightest show of self-consciousness. “Do you like me?”

“Yes, wonderfully,” he declared, as calmly frank as she herself was.

“And you don’t remember ever meeting me before?”

He shook his head.

“If you’d recall the circumstances. The lessened atmospheric pressure
up here makes my head feel as big and empty as a balloon.”

“Oh, it makes no difference; acquaintances begin only when they get
interesting, anyway. How you stare! What are you thinking about me now?”

He had been casting about for words, a metaphor, to describe her; in
his youth he had made metaphors, boy’s way, to put into verses.

“I was thinking that you are like this height,” he cried, bending
toward her over the yoke of the warping-wheel. The great bird
lurched drunkenly, and he threw over the wheel to bring it back into
equilibrium. He laughed, made reckless by the answering light in her
eyes, and let it lurch in the other direction like a swooping eagle.
“Yes, you are like height. You are beautiful, you allure, you call to
all a man’s manhood and daring; and yet there is something in your look
that makes me tremble, as though you were a blade pointing at my heart.
Come, we’re three miles above conventions; you won’t mind if I worship
you a little? For you are wonderful and beautiful--beyond belief.”

“Why, and so are you. Or is it only this dizzy loneliness that makes us
think so?”

“Who are you?” he demanded. “I knew I’d engaged to take up several
women this week, but no one like you. Who are you? Give me a name to
call you by. Tell me who you are.”

“Why, only your poor feminine passenger,” she laughed, bending toward
him. One lithe arm and hand, gantleted nearly to the elbow in close,
white, glistening fur, lay along the aluminium edge of the car. “As for
my name, how do you like Alta?”

“Good! I remember just enough Latin to appreciate it. Alta--High!
Well--” He threw back his head recklessly--“I’m out for altitude!”

“Perhaps you’ll attain it. Only keep your elevator-flaps well lifted!”

He threw back the yoke with a laugh. In bending toward her he had
permitted the machine to gain the level once more. The great bird
slanted upward at an abrupt angle, and poised, quivering.

“You are brave!” she cried. Her level eyes dared him, her lips provoked
and promised. He closed his eyes for a moment, made giddy by her
radiance and by the blaze of the untempered sun on the aluminium hood
just beyond her. The reflection surrounded her with an aura like white

Instinctively he eased off the dangerous lift of the wings; he had no
need to look at the needle of the level-indicator to know that the
machine was threatening to slide backward into the abyss.

“Why do you shut your eyes, height-seeker?” she demanded. “Are you
afraid? What does the barograph read now?”

“Sixteen thousand three hundred,” he said shortly. “A record, I
believe; but what of it? No, I’m not afraid,” he added, stiffening his
neck and fixing his bloodshot gaze on her untroubled eyes and dangerous
lips; “I’m not even afraid of you. It’s you who’d better be afraid of
me. Do you know we were ready to drop backward a minute ago?”

“I felt it. It was superb. We must have gained two hundred feet in that
one tremendous lift. And yet I think--you were afraid.”

The blood rushed into his face; flames leaped up in his eyes.

“Perhaps I can prove I wasn’t by letting go the controls and coming
over there to you. We’d be together for as long as it took us to drop
three miles, anyway. Shall I?”

“Oh, brave words--and true! I believe you would. Now you are a demigod
by the look on your mouth and eyes; you are man no longer! So, Spirit,
send us upward once more till we poise over the abyss! Height and the
spirit of adventure! Throw back the yoke with a laugh, as you did

“Yes. And if I do?”

“What! A price?”


“It is right. Well--when the barograph marks twenty thousand feet, I
will come and sit at your knees!”

“It is what I had on the tip of my tongue to ask,” he shouted, wild
with exaltation. “Good; and block the rudder-bar! We will go down on
the warp alone--a proper finish. Down twenty thousand feet, with the
rudder blocked!”

“Yes. Is it a bargain?”

“A bargain!” he shouted, and turned his face up into the candent dome
of sky and laughed aloud. His arms jerked the yoke of the elevator back
until the wheel touched his breast; the machine leaped upward like a
diver, soared, poised trembling. He threw back the lever that cut out
the muffler. The exhaust broke out in a weird salvo like sharpened
rifle-shots. He eased off the precipitate angle until they had gained
way once more, and again threw the elevator up to its highest limit.
They bounded upward, swaying, clattering, whistling through the
knife-edged wind. And all the while she smiled into his face.

He no longer noticed the barograph; he saw only her untroubled gaze
of inspiration and allurement. A thin trickle of scarlet started from
both his nostrils; his blackened lips gaped for breath; his bulging,
bloodshot eyes left her only to glare over the powers at his command.
He was all resolve and eagerness; he was determination incarnate. He
shot one hand forward, ungloved, to adjust the carbureter, which was
beginning to fail for lack of air. He threw back and forth the lever
that put extra pressure on the gasolene tank. With demoniacal abandon
he worked the hand-pump that jetted oil on the flying bearings of the

“Do-er! Accomplisher!” He started at her voice. The reflection of his
own exaltation was on her; her face quivered, yearned toward him. With
a steady, sinuous movement she drew herself backward over the low
back-rest of her seat, and crept back under the curved yoke that held
the warping-wheel. She sat up, sidewise, near him, lifted her face
slowly until it curved backward like a flower on the fair, white stem
of her throat, and offered him the curved, scarlet miracle of her lips.

As he bent toward her the sky became black. As from the depths of a
dream he heard her voice chanting:

“The ages dreamed of this that you have done.”

Her voice was like a softened, hundred-toned ice-crackle. He trembled
in his coma, and then relaxed as for a long fall in sleep. The voice
went on:

“The Chaldeans sculptured wings on their man-gods and on their sacred

“The Greeks made their dream articulate in the myth of Dædalus and

“Leonardo da Vinci laid aside the brush that made the Mona Lisa to
grope for the realization of this dream that we have made real.

“To fly, to spread wings on the impalpable air, and soar, to follow the
way of an eagle in the air.

“To skim the invisible columns of the sky--are not men become as gods
now in very truth?

“You have dreamed true, Spirit--Spirit of Dreams and High Emprise; you
are all men who aspire.

“How beautiful you are in the torture of accomplishment! The very
chords on your throat are lute-strings to sing of victory.

“The blood from your nostrils is a libation to the jealous powers that
you have trampled underfoot.

“Beautiful, wonderful, holy--my lover, whom I love!”

He was suddenly aware of a great rush of wind and of the delirious,
gripping sensation of falling. Drunk with her voice and beauty, he
had forgotten warping-wheel, rudder-bar, elevator-yoke, everything.
The cutting air roused him; frantically he threw the elevator down,
drawing her head backward before the yoke to his breast. The great bird
shuddered, and swung dizzily to one side. He remembered that she was
blocking the rudder-bar; painfully, ineffectually, as in a dream, he
warped down the lower wing, biting his lips in an agony of helplessness.

“Why struggle further? You have attained--you have attained!” he heard
her siren’s voice chanting in his ears; her lithe arms sprang to meet
each other about his neck. “Kiss me--kiss me, Spirit!” she cried, with
her icy cheek pressed to his. “I am height!”

He threw her off.

“No,” he shouted, struggling to keep his eyes open and his hands on the
wheel, “you are mad--we are both mad! Don’t you understand? This is

“Kiss me!” she repeated in her voice of ice and silver. “How wonderful
is this death! Where are your arms, Spirit? Am I not beautiful? Look at

Her breath enveloped him, numbing him, filling him with a Lethean
languor; but still, with all the strength of his instinct and training,
he struggled to bring the machine back under his command. Despite her
presence, he managed to get his feet on the rudder-bar. They whirled
downward, listing so far that he felt the grip of the straps that bound
him to his seat. He worked the controls, holding her away from him with
elbows and knees. They dashed into a blinding mist, beginning to circle
at last, and he threw all his remaining power into a desperate attempt
to warp the wings back into equilibrium. At the same time he forced
the rudder-bar over to turn the machine in the direction away from the
lowered side.

The great bird righted, and began to swoop as lightly as a descending
gull. He cut out the engine. “There!” he bellowed, crazy with triumph
and with the sudden increase of oxygen in his starved lungs. “I’ve
saved you despite yourself! Your idea was all very romantic--” His head
whirled again as she lifted herself in his arms.

“You were afraid,” she whispered, catching his face to her
breast--“afraid! Your fear was greater than your love--of me!”

“You don’t understand; you don’t--this is how--I am afraid!” he
concluded in a sudden deathlike abandon; and lifted his arms from the
wheel to hold her to him. He felt the ineffable, keen sweetness of
her lips on his. Then consciousness went like a blown-out candle. The
perfectly balanced monoplane continued its slow, even swoop toward the

Some one shook him by the arm. He was sitting in the cockpit of the
machine, his hands dangling limp over the sides. A corn-field was
about him; his dazed eyes made out the low, green month-old stalks all
about. Several men were standing beside him, and others, a great crowd
it seemed, were hurrying toward him.

“Asleep! By the great horn spoon, he was asleep!” said a man at his
right hand. “Came down too fast, youngster. How high’d you get, anyway?”

Slowly he made out the features of one of the officials of the
aviation-field, one of the men who had verified his barograph before
he started out for altitude. The man raised himself up by the little
iron step on the side of the car, leaned over to look at the barograph,
and began to bellow wildly at the crowd. “Twenty thousand! It must
be wrong. But even if it’s a few hundred out, even if it’s a few
thousand--whoop-la! He’s done it! The kid’s done it! A record!”

“But where--where--” stammered Reese, stupidly. He sat and stared
before him like a man just awakened from a dream.

The aluminium hood came close up against the steering-yoke; there was
no forward seat, not even room enough for a cat: it _was_ the one-place





  Keats died--who knows?--in the wild bloom of youth,
  And learned all truth,
  That “Adonais” might be sadly sung;
  That through the halls of heaven, from Shelley’s tongue,
  That royal dirge
  Might thrill and surge
  Deathlessly young.
  Perhaps a poet passed
  That one might tell at last
  In this immortal song his beauty and glory,
  Chant his lament,
  For shining days soon spent,
  In a great glowing story.


  Does Love thus go
  (Whither we do not know),
  That one may sing the grandeur of Love’s name?
  That one who felt his fire and his flame
  May stand in adoration at his pall,
  And in a song supreme, majestical,
  Voice the eternal wonder of the dead?
  Ere Love has fled,
  Silent are we before his face divine;
  But when the lamps are wasted,
  And the last cup is tasted,
  And strong Death sets her crown upon his head,
  There is a singer who must sing Love’s praise,
  Record his dreams and days,
  And keep the light forever before his shrine.



Author of “The Green Flag of the Prophet,” etc.


They were changing the guard at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in
Jerusalem, the sacred place for which the Crusaders marched and fought,
the shrine toward which the feet of pious pilgrims have turned for
nearly twenty centuries. It was done quietly, and with no feature to
attract attention, or emphasize the shame that made a guard necessary.
In a moment the old guard of six soldiers and the young Turkish officer
had gone, and on a raised platform, just within the door, the new guard
were making themselves comfortable, lighting their cigarettes, and
chatting in low, soft voices.

I had asked the officer before the relief arrived if the guard was
actually needed. “Not often,” he replied. “But one can never tell. In
the last disturbance a monk was killed. I tell you true! I saw him
lying there at the foot of the steps.”

He flicked the ash from his cigarette, and shrugged a very square pair
of shoulders significantly.

“Killed!” I said, “why and how?”

“Monsieur wonders, but he does not know these people. Observe,
Monsieur, that the stair beyond the door has eighteen steps. All but
the lowest one belong to the Latins; the bottom one and the pavement
belong to the Greeks. Each morning the steps must be swept. The Latins
sweep down to the last one, and there they must leave the dirt, until
the Greeks sweep it off and bear it away. Generally the two come
together, and so the work is done. But on that fatal day, when the
Latin had swept the dirt upon the lowest step, no Greek was there.
So lest the dirt should blow back again where he had cleaned, he,
little thinking, swept it off, and was bearing it away. Then came the
Greek, and, seeing him, snatched both broom and basket from him, with
upbraiding words. Their loud voices soon reached their fellows, and
in a moment a score or more were pushing and wrestling across the
pavement. Nor were good solid blows lacking. Somehow in the tumult a
Greek monk was pushed over, and, falling against the edge of a stone
step, broke his neck, and so died, while they all knelt and prayed for
his soul. Since then there has been no actual trouble, but we keep a
constant guard posted here at the door. I am of Islam, effendi--the
faith of my fathers. We garrison the Tower of David.”

Multitudes of people were passing in and out of the venerable portal,
singly and in groups, sometimes in companies. They surely must have
come from the ends of the earth, young and old, rich and poor, pilgrim
and tourist, to stand or kneel beside the holiest tomb in Christendom.

Just within the entrance is the Stone of Anointing, the ancient one
covered by a more modern stone, worn smooth with the touch of countless
lips. Above it hangs a row of lamps, of various shapes and colors,
but always burning. These lamps offer a key to the strange conditions
within this ancient fane, for part of them belong to the Armenians,
part to the Latins, the rest to the Greeks and the Copts.

Wherever you go, you find the same confusing conflict over jealously
guarded rights, for every sect of Oriental Christendom is represented
and claims some part in the ownership of the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher. Not the church alone, but the whole city, and its environs,
including Bethlehem, Bethany, Gethsemane, and every real or fabled spot
of sanctity, are in the guardianship of one or the other of the many

Jerusalem is the “City of Peace,” but no city on earth has such a
tumult of devotion, such a confusion of worship. In many ways it is
essential that there should be all of the great substantial hospices,
capable of sheltering and caring for the multitude of pilgrims who
still, as in the ancient days, come from afar to worship in Jerusalem.
They come from every nation in Europe, mostly in comparative poverty,
making their toilsome way by personal exertion and sacrifice. The
roads leading from seaports are thronged with pilgrims, trudging their
dusty way, sleeping beside the highway or in rude shelters erected for
them, all with their faces set steadfastly toward Jerusalem. For these
there must be rest and shelter and food, for which reason in the Holy
City, and at neighboring shrines huge caravansaries are sustained by
the various national churches. More elaborate buildings, like modern
hotels, exist for those who come upon a pious pilgrimage with ample

Schools exist for the young, taught by monks and nuns. There are
communities of pious widows, whose wealth has erected for them pleasant
homes in the Holy City. There are colonies--Protestant, Jewish,
Catholic--actuated by some idea, often chimerical, sometimes simple and
tinged with pure devotion. The members live as a religious family, each
doing some share of labor, and enjoying some share of the result. There
are also modern churches, magnificent ones, built within a decade or
two, either as memorials, or for some missionary purpose. The Jewish
community is constantly increasing, many of them looking for the speedy
coming of their Messiah, and most of them brought hither by benevolent
schemes for the colonization of Palestine by its ancient people. Over
all this jumble of things ancient and modern floats the crescent flag;
and above, on the height of Mt. Moriah, stands the marvelous mosque,
where the Moslem, bows himself toward Mecca, and worships his God.

During my stay in Jerusalem it occurred to me that it would be
interesting to seek out the various heads of all these various creeds.
Fortune was kind, for sooner or later I found them all, and bore away
photographs showing the faces of a unique set of Lords Spiritual,
probably the most varied in belief and personality to be found in
the world. Together they stand for the Christian history of twenty
centuries; and in a city of probably sixty thousand souls, they all
have a following, and play a part in its life.

Eldest in occupancy, and claiming priority from the fact that they are
the descendants of those who listened to the teaching of the Apostles
themselves, are the Syrians, the ancient stock of Palestine. They are
few in number, but possess the ancient Convent of St. Mark, and the
tombs of Nicodemus and of Joseph of Arimathea. They are ruled by His
Beatitude Abighatios II, the Syrian Patriarch of Jerusalem.

The Greek Church rests its claim to authority upon the fact that
Constantine, the first Christian emperor, gave Rome the go-by when
his victory over Licinius made him master of the empire, and built
his capital on the Bosphorus, calling it Constantinople. The later
Greek (in which the New Testament was written) was the language of
the Eastern Empire. During the early centuries the language and the
learning of the Christian Church was Greek, and the great fathers and
teachers of the early centuries were theirs. St. Helena, Constantine’s
mother, discovered, so tradition says, the true cross, and the cavity
from which it was taken is reverently shown to-day, hard by the
sepulcher. Most of the sacred places owe their preservation and their
defense to the Greeks, who are far in advance of all other Christian
sects in their Holy Land possessions and influence.

The Greek Patriarch, His Beatitude Damianos, is a grave, dignified
man of great learning. Fourteen bishops are subject to him, and
they control twenty-one monasteries within and about Jerusalem. The
superior of the Holy Sepulcher, Monseigneur Optimus Patlafeki, ranks
next to the Patriarch. He is Lord Chancellor to the Greek Patriarch,
and administrator of the vast wealth (both that which daily comes
from gifts and fees, and the collection of rentals), invested in real
estate and buildings. A shrewd and careful diplomat, he stands close to
the powers that be in the rule of the Holy City. He and the venerable
Patriarch alone know what treasure the Greek Church possesses.

It is a peculiar fact that the Greeks form but a small part of the
Greek Church, or, more properly, of the Holy Orthodox Church. Counting
all the Slavonic peoples who belong to the orthodox, still a full four
fifths are Russian. The conversion of the mighty empire of the north
came as late as ~A.D.~ 989, when Vladimir married the sister of the
Emperor Basil, and chose the Greek in preference to the Roman form of
religion. The people were baptized almost as a nation, and no other
nation has remained more loyal to the faith. To-day more pilgrims come
to Jerusalem from the land of the Czar than from any other nation.
Literally by shiploads, in caravans of hundreds, they come to worship
at the holy places. There are many large and spacious establishments
where the pilgrims are sheltered, and their management and operations
require the oversight of a capable man. The Holy Synod therefore
maintains an Archimandrite, who, without interfering in the least with
the Patriarch, looks after the detail of things Russian, and a capable
man is His Excellency Monseigneur Leonidouff.


The Latins, whose Hospice is one of the most imposing, and who have
built churches, monasteries, convents, schools, and a magnificent
modern hospital, number about three thousand, and have for their
patriarch, His Excellency Monseigneur Philippe Camassei, one of the
most learned of all the throng of dignitaries. The Latins are the
natural opponents of the Greeks, and since the anathemas exchanged
in the year 1054, each sect has claimed independent authority and
priority. Nowhere else is the great schism between the East and the
West so evident as in Jerusalem.


The woes and persecutions of the Armenians at the hands of their Moslem
rulers have been makers of history for centuries. Armenia has great
prestige as a Christian nation. A little before Rome was converted to
the faith, Armenia, under the teaching of Gregory “the Illuminator,”
had become the first Christian kingdom. Next to the Greek Church, it
is to-day the most important in the East. In Jerusalem they have a
great church and monastery on Mt. Zion. Their permanent following is
not large--not more than eight hundred--but thousands of pilgrims come
yearly to tarry awhile in the sacred places.



Their patriarch is His Beatitude Izimerlian, and they keep the shrine
and tomb of St. James, whom Herod slew with the sword.

The Copts are an echo of far-away Egypt, where in the early centuries
they were the dominant Christian force. Alexandria was one of the
first great Christian capitals, and her patriarch and bishops were
potent forces in the early church councils. Chief among them was St.
Athanasius, who at the first General Council battled against the
“iota,” the single letter that made or unmade the definition of the
divinity of Christ. In Egypt to-day the Copts are looked upon as
by far the most intellectual and capable of the mixed and tangled
population. The Copts have no colony in Jerusalem, except for a few men
engaged in banking or other commercial pursuits. However, multitudes
of Copts come from Egypt at the times of the great festivals, and
shelter and oversight are necessary for their protection. They have
three monasteries, one being close beside the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher. Here lives their bishop, His Eminence Thimethos, and from
his household are furnished daily two priests whose high and singular
dignity it is to be shut up in the great church each night, to keep
watch beside the Holy Sepulcher.

Away to the south, beyond the cataracts of the Nile, preserved through
long ages by its desert sands, lies the remains of one of the oldest
relics of civilization, Abyssinia (wrongly associated with the ancient
Sheba, now known to have been located in southwest Arabia, and whose
queen came to Jerusalem to see King Solomon’s splendor and glory). In
~A.D.~ 338, St. Athanasius appointed a bishop for the Abyssinians, who
had received Christianity, so the legends say, from two sailors cast
upon their coasts. Through the march of fifteen centuries Christianity
has endured there, though in a debased form, contaminated by ancient
heresies, and absorbing much from Judaism. Their patriarch is always
a Coptic monk appointed and consecrated by the Patriarch of Egypt. In
Jerusalem they maintain a large monastery and convent, where devout men
and women spend their lives. They have recently built a new chapel,
which is the seat of their abbot, Monseigneur Mahsanto.




To the northward in Palestine, near the border of Turkey in Asia,
under the shadow of the mountains of Lebanon, from whose sides
Hiram, King of Tyre, cut cedar-trees to send to King Solomon for his
temple in Jerusalem, lives a religious and political community known
as Maronites. The name is merely a patronymic and perpetuates the
name of their founder, John Maron, who in the seventh century set
up a civil and spiritual rule. So sturdy and independent were these
mountain people that they withstood the victorious onslaughts of the
Mohammedans, and to this day never have been subject to them. When the
First Crusade had been fought and the Templar Kingdom was established
in Jerusalem, the Maronites joined themselves to Rome, which accepted
them as they were. To-day they are the only church in communion with
Rome not governed by Rome. They maintain a small convent in Jerusalem,
presided over by their superior, Monseigneur Jiryes Domat. They hold
their own synods, elect their own patriarch, and manage their own



For many years the Church of England has maintained an establishment
in Jerusalem. Originally it was a missionary enterprise, professedly
setting out to convert all men to anglicanism. Now, however, a
new philosophy is dominant. The Rt. Rev. Popham Blythe, Bishop in
Jerusalem, cares for the English folk who may be resident or transient,
and directs missionary effort, chiefly toward Mohammedans and Jews.

After all, Moslems and Israelites are the original stock, the
descendants of Jacob and Esau. They form by far the largest factor in
the population of highly diversified Jerusalem. Nor may the various
Christian sects imagine for a moment that they have a monopoly of
dignity and learning. Measuring certainly up to any standard, however
discriminating, are the leaders of these antagonistic faiths. Chief of
the Moslems is His Honor Musa Effendi Shabik, Grand Cadi of Jerusalem;
and at the head of the constantly increasing multitude of Jews is His
Eminence Zacharias Ben-Abbas, Grand Rabbin of the City of David.

So dwell in as much peace as possible, yet mixed with many mocking
words, and much biting of thumbs, the varied sects and sorts of the
population of this ancient and unique metropolis. Each sect, of course,
believes itself a trifle nearer the original pattern of faith and
practice than its neighbor. That this belief might at times take the
form of extremely vigorous missionary endeavor, is certain, were it not
firmly, but tactfully, restrained. To supply that tact and firmness
requires a peculiar personality, in which patience plays an important



Amid all this procession of titles, regalia, rank, pomp, and ceremony,
he whose position has most of care and least of comfort, is His
Excellency Djoudat Bey, Governor of Jerusalem. When returning from
beyond the Jordan, we found ourselves face to face with an outbreak
of cholera in Jaffa, the port of Jerusalem, and observed the quick
official action of this official in flinging a protecting barrier
of quarantine about the city, and providing the military and civil
espionage which was necessary to the crisis. Not a single case crossed
the barrier, or gained a footing in Jerusalem.

Despite all the confusion and jumble of faith and creeds, Jerusalem is
still a city to be desired. Much of its sanctity is merely legendary.
Many, indeed most, of its holy places are incapable of identification.
Still it is Jerusalem. Here are the ancient hilltops, where stood in
far-gone years the sacred shrines of earth’s most wondrous nation.
Here are still the hoary moss-grown stones, beside which there still
resound the wailings that are the minor strains of the Iliad of a
broken-hearted people. Here Abraham sacrificed, here David ruled, here
Solomon spoke the wisdom of the proverbs. And, holiest of all, here are
the rugged pathways trodden by the saintliest feet that ever pressed
our sorrowful earth. And above us, glowing in their splendor, arch the
soft and radiant skies that smiled on him.

City of tumult and confusion, to the heart of faith thou art still
Jerusalem, the City of Peace!






Author of “The Commercial Strength of Great Britain,” “Germany’s
Foreign Trade,” etc.

  If they knewe their strength, no man were able to make match with
  them: nor they that dwel neere them should have any rest of them.
  But I thinke it is not God’s will: For I may compare them to a young
  horse that knoweth not his strength, whome a little childe ruleth and
  guideth with a bridle, for all his great strength; for if hee did,
  neither childe nor man could rule him.--From “The Voyage of Richard
  Chancellor, Pilote Major, the First Discoverer by Sea of the Kingdome
  of Moscovia, Anno 1553.” (_Hakluyt’s “Voyages.”_)

The day of the awakening has come, and nearly four hundred years after
these Northern voyagers discovered “the Kingdome of Moscovia” the world
is witness to the greatest economic evolution in history. A nation
of 165,000,000 people, increasing in numbers at the rate of nearly
3,000,000 a year despite famines, wars, and the rigors of terrible
winters, occupying an area of 8,650,000 square miles, or two and a half
times that of the United States, and with a proportionate wealth of
natural resources, is finding itself.

The results are not problematical. The same laws of progress and
development now govern Russia as have governed other countries in
the past, and brought them to their present position of wealth and
continuing prosperity. In all times some one nation has led the rest
as the most powerful of all. It is equally true that no one nation
has held this position for more than the allotted time. In the past
the ascendancy of one people over another has been largely due to a
greater spirit of aggressiveness or warlike tendency. In the future
one nation will lead another through greater economic wealth and
sturdiness of national character. In a broad sense the world is
becoming commercialized, though in its best meaning this does not imply
that the trader is the leader and the exponent of the nation’s life;
he is merely the means to an end. Through him the world becomes more
of a kin; he opens the road to civilization with all its equalizing
and protective features, and, having served as the pioneer, is then
regulated through the influences which follow in the wake of his
adventures. Despoiling the weak is no longer the unrebuked spirit of
strong nations, and international neutralization is gradually spreading
its protecting influence over a large part of the earth’s surface. It
is from the point of national wealth and national character, therefore,
that the near future of every country must now be judged. The prophet
of to-day talks not of wars and plagues; he foresees the true value of
what lies in the ground and the strength or weakness of a people in
realizing wisely or wastefully upon their entail.

The most powerful country of the future will be Russia, and her
elements of greatness are writ fair across her thousands of miles of
territory and in the character of her sturdy, peaceful, industrious,
and phlegmatic people. The wealth of Russia lies in the ground, and
centuries of industry will not exhaust the possibilities of expansion.
From her 900,000,000 acres of forest, as compared with the 88,000,000
in the United States, will come the world’s supply of timber. There
are now 250,000,000 acres of land under the plow, whereas there is
nearly double that amount in the United States; but Russia can expand
her cultivated area twenty-fold and still leave virgin land for coming
generations. From this vast farm will come the grain demanded by
bread-hungry people in other lands. Oils, minerals, and fuel abound.
The advance in development and transportation achieved each year will
be the only measure of increasing national and individual wealth.
Within the empire itself tremendous and complicated problems face the

Political, social, and economic conditions are as in no other land. It
is only since 1861 that 22,000,000 peasants ceased to be slaves under
the law, and it was some years after that before the law came into
practical effect throughout any wide area. It was not until 1864, with
the establishment of the zemstvos, or district assemblies, that any
measure of local government fell to the lot of the people. It was not
until 1890 and the years following that appreciable effort was made in
the direction of general education. To-day twenty-seven per cent. of
the people above nine years of age can read and write, this being an
average for the whole empire, which includes the seventy per cent. of
illiterates in Poland and the ninety-five per cent. of illiterates in
central Asia. In 1912 the imperial budget provided for an expenditure
of $55,000,000 for educational purposes, and the local governments
contribute nearly as much more. This is an increase of fifteen per
cent. over 1911, and is over three per cent. of the total revenue of
the Government. There are now 90,000 primary schools, employing 155,000
teachers, attended by over 4,000,000 pupils.

The change that this one feature of national life will bring
about among the people of Russia in the next few years can be
appreciated only when the conditions of twenty years ago are fully
understood--conditions which gave rise to the stigma of “Darkest
Russia.” The light is being let in, and with it are coming perforce
changes in administrative methods and in political life which
are replete with promise of a new and better era. It requires no
effort of the imagination to picture the state of a great nation
buried in ignorance and at the mercy of an educated and more or
less unscrupulous bureaucracy, but it needs a heroic readjustment
of preconceived ideas, a sweeping away of prejudices, and a wide
comprehension, to grasp the potentialities of a land and a people like
these when latent natural wealth is made accessible and education and
comparative freedom of thought and action are given to all. The process
must be gradual; limitations upon material development are always
severe, and the pace a disappointment to the enthusiastic. Mental and
political development is even slower, for it is the new generation
and not the old which goes to school, learns to think, and then acts
upon the thought. Too rapid growth is dangerous, and unproductive
of permanently good results. Some of the greatest and wisest men of
Russia, men who have the interests of the country and its people
unselfishly at heart, are among those who have been denounced in other
countries as well as in their own as “reactionaries.” The closer this
really unknown land is studied, the more tremendous and overwhelming in
their complexities appear the problems with which its rulers and the
people are faced. They can be solved only through the coöperation of
all classes.

So far this is a long way from being achieved, but progress has
been made, and when all conditions and circumstances are taken into
consideration, this progress can be regarded as comparatively rapid;
for the work of modernizing Russia dates back no further than the birth
of the German Empire or that of modern Italy; in point of fact, less
than thirty years. In the last ten years the foreign trade of Russia
has doubled, exports and imports keeping pace one with the other in
their increasing volume and value. Ten years ago this trade amounted
to about $700,000,000; in 1912 it is about $1,400,000,000, of which
fifty-six per cent. is exports and forty-four per cent. imports. This
total foreign commerce, large as it appears, is considerably less than
half that of the United States, though it is worth noting that in no
ten-year period in its history did the foreign commerce of the United
States ever increase by one hundred per cent., as did that of Russia
in the last ten years, and there is every reason to believe that the
present rate of increase will continue, barring such hindrances as
great droughts or serious political or military disturbances.

The real growth and development of Russia are within. Her increasing
foreign trade is only a sign of what is taking place in a gigantic
and largely unexploited empire. Education is spreading slowly but
effectively among the people; millions of acres of virgin land
yield annually to the plow; railroads are steadily pushing into new
territory; population is being transferred from the densely settled
areas to the open spaces of Siberia at the rate of a quarter of a
million every year. The land and the forests are being held by Russia
for Russians, and settlement is a requisite of purchase. Manufacturing
plants are increasing apace, and factories of all descriptions, ranging
from the mills of Moscow, one of which, a cotton mill, employs nearly
20,000 people, to the smaller establishments of the eastern-frontier
cities, are all sharing in the benefits of the increasing purchasing
power of the Russian unit.

The needs of the Russian people are not greater than their country can
supply in time, but they are far beyond what is now being produced to
supply them, or will be for many years to come. Hence they are faring
abroad for markets for their raw materials, for raw materials to supply
deficiencies of home production, and for the vast supplies of machinery
and other manufactured goods needed to meet the demands of interior
expansion and modernization now in progress and as yet only in its

It is concerning this country and this people, and at such a time,
that the Congress of the United States has seen fit to denounce a
long-existent treaty of trade and friendship and create a situation
the outcome of which can only be to the serious detriment of the
American people in their political prestige abroad and to their loss
industrially, commercially, and financially. This action on the part
of the United States Government came as a complete surprise and no
little of a shock to the people of Russia, from the highest official
in the Government to the most modest Russian vendor or purchaser
of American wares. To the not inconsiderable group of adventurous
Americans who have entered Russia in the last few years and built
up great and profitable businesses in importing American goods or
representing American financial institutions it brought bewilderment
and consternation. The Russian Government, confident that it retains
the right to adjust its domestic laws and economies as may be deemed
best for the Russian people, or right or wrong, according to their
own judgment or wishes, looks for a reason for what is deemed in
St. Petersburg as unwarranted interference from without. It is
recalled that within a recent year fewer than a score of naturalized
Americans were refused permission to visit Russia, and these for
serious political or economic reasons, while hundreds of Russians were
refused admission to the United States on rulings from the immigration
authorities, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of Russian
subjects whom no steamship company would accept as passengers for
America, knowing that, by reason of discrimination against the Asiatic
races, they would be denied. The Russian Government’s official attitude
toward this action on the part of the United States Government is one
of contemptuous resentment; contemptuous because it is believed that
American politicians yielded to anti-Russian influences for purely
selfish reasons; resentment because they find from their point of view
no just cause for thus destroying in offhand manner the extremely
friendly and profitable relations between two great nations--relations
which have become a unique and historical example of long-continuing,
unbroken, and even undisturbed friendship. The diplomatic position in
St. Petersburg is simple. The Russian Government maintains in effect
that the United States has chosen to denounce the treaty, hence it
rests with the United States to ask for a new convention. In the
meantime the United States has been dismissed from the official mind
except that so far as governmental influence is concerned it is now
actively anti-American. No American bids to furnish steel for the
great Russian navy to be built will be considered--because they are
American. The present treaty expires December 31, 1912. After that
date, unless some new arrangement is made, all American imports will
be subjected to a heavy surtax or increase of customs dues. American
life insurance companies are carrying policies in Russia amounting to
nearly $100,000,000. To do this business they are compelled to maintain
a cash reserve in Russian banks amounting in the case of a single New
York company to about $20,000,000. After the thirty-first of December,
through the antagonism which would result from the absence of a treaty,
American financial institutions might be subjected to such restrictions
as would make business in Russia impossible. In 1911 the Russian
farmers bought $27,000,000 worth of imported agricultural machinery,
mostly American.

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


The prospect of a tariff discrimination against such an industry as
this is viewed with anything but equanimity by those who have spent
laborious years bringing it to its present stage of development.
American figures of exports to Russia are of small value as showing
the real state of trade between the two countries. According to the
figures compiled at Washington, the direct exports to Russia in 1909
amounted to about $30,000,000. In 1911 they were $52,000,000, a growth
of eighty per cent. The truth is that more than twice this value is the
real measure of American sales to Russia. Over one half of the trade
is indirect, American goods being shipped to England, Germany, France,
Denmark, Holland, and other countries, and credited as sales thereto,
whereas they are immediately reshipped to Russia, and in fact were
bought originally on the trade-account of that country. Estimates as to
the real amount of American sales to Russia vary from $90,000,000 to
$190,000,000, and the latter figure is probably nearer the mark.

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


There is reason to believe that American sales of one item alone--raw
cotton--exceed the total amount of $50,000,000 credited to the
Russian import account from the United States. The annual consumption
of raw cotton in Russia is approximately $125,000,000. Fifty million
of this is grown in central Asia: one fifth comes from Egypt, India,
and other places, leaving at least $50,000,000 to be bought from the
United States, as there is no other place from which it can come.
The American export statistics show that less than $7,000,000 of raw
cotton is sold to Russia direct. There is therefore over $40,000,000
worth the purchase of which is credited to other countries, but which
in fact goes to Russia and is paid for by the Russian cotton-spinners.
Purchases of raw material such as cotton by one country from another
are purchases of necessity, and no matter what the diplomatic relations
of those countries may be short of actual war, this business continues.
If the relations be unfriendly, however, efforts are made to supply
deficiencies elsewhere or to stimulate home production to its highest
possible point.

Dependence upon American cotton is a sore point throughout Europe,
and millions are being spent by various governments and combinations
of milling interests to create a cotton surplus elsewhere. Englishmen
and Germans are developing African cotton-fields, the Dutch are at work
elsewhere, and now Russia is spending enormous sums upon extensive
irrigation schemes in the near East to enlarge the not inconsiderable
cotton-producing area of the empire. In the case of manufactured goods,
however, a nation has the markets of the world to choose from, and the
American manufacturer meets the Englishman, the German, the Frenchman,
the Belgian, and others in the fiercest kind of competition when he
offers for sale the products of iron and steel, the textile mills,
machinery, large and small, and, in fact, anything which, given the raw
material, human ingenuity fashions to the hand of man.

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


It is in this field that diplomacy joins hands with commerce and
industry, for modern diplomacy is based upon equal trading rights and
trade extension. The foreign minister or secretary of state of to-day
is judged by his people upon the success or failure of his policy as
it affects the export trade of his country at the moment, or in its
guarantees for the future. There is still much high-flown talk about
national honor, the dignity of nations, and the cause of humanity,
but careful analysis fails to discover in any recent international
dispute or agreement a single instance where the maintenance of trade,
its extension, or trade jealousy or rivalry, is not the fundamental
question at issue. This is not to the discredit of diplomacy, nor does
it put it on a lower plane than in the days when territorial aggression
or offensive and defensive alliance was the purpose of pourparlers.
In fact, while it may lose some of its romance in the telling, the
extension of commercial spheres for the most advanced nations is an
extension of enlightenment, justice, and modernization which makes for
the permanent betterment of those coming under their sway. A most
effective and dangerous appeal to ignorance and prejudice was made not
long ago by a certain cartoon which found its way into many American
newspapers. It represented the hand of Uncle Sam grasping and waving
an American flag across which was written the legend “Passport.” An
impression which will not stand analysis exists in the United States
that a passport issued by the State Department is the same thing as the
flag of the nation in that it demands equal recognition and respect
abroad. This construction is an absurdity, for a passport is no more or
less than a certificate of citizenship. It contains no clause giving
the support of the issuing country to the holder should he do other
than observe the laws and regulations of any foreign countries in which
he may be traveling or residing. The same question which has caused
the present strained situation between the United States and Russia
was broached in the Parliament of Great Britain, for Russian laws and
police regulations apply to English citizens traveling in Russia, as
they do to the citizens of every other country, including the United
States. The English Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sir Edward
Grey, very promptly informed the House of Commons that a treaty
of commerce did not give the British Government a right to demand
exemption for British subjects which are contrary to the general laws
of a foreign country, and there the matter ended. Where it will end in
the case of the United States no one can say, but the outlook is not
promising, as Russia cannot by reason of interior conditions yield the
principal point at issue. There is no controversy, for it takes two to
make a quarrel, and so far the United States has been the aggressor.
Russia has accepted the situation, and her people have turned their
attention to other fields for coöperation in the material development
of the Russian Empire. In the language of the street, it is up to the
United States to find a place to “get off,” and at present there is no
sign of a comfortable landing-stage.

The American Government assumes the right, and with entirely good
reason, to regulate the use of the Panama Canal under an ordinary
interpretation of a favored nation clause; but by the action taken in
the matter of the use of American passports in Russia, it denies to
the latter country the right to regulate its actual domestic affairs
or enforce the laws standing upon the statute-books of the country.
Russia has long accepted cheerfully and without question American
discrimination against millions of her subjects, and in a matter as
vital to the Russian political and social system as the regulation of
travel and population naturally assumes some if not equal right to act
as her rulers deemed best for the safety of the individual and the
peace and welfare of the community as a whole.

The seriousness of the situation brought about by this action of
Congress cannot be overestimated either diplomatically or from an
industrial, commercial, or financial point of view. It is realized
by every American, official and other, living in Russia, or familiar
with conditions in that country, that the United States is in the
wrong; no one, not even those most closely concerned with the matter
diplomatically, can suggest a way out, and yet there is hope that
Russia will agree to a continuation of the treaty status, at least
so far as commerce is concerned, for a sufficient time to allow some
new adjustment to be reached, if such an outcome is possible. The
apparently insurmountable difficulty in the way of a new treaty is the
determined fact that Russia cannot give way on the one point which
influenced the Congress of the United States to denounce the convention.

Fortunately for the United States, that country has at the moment in
St. Petersburg as ambassador the Hon. Curtis Guild, formerly Governor
of Massachusetts, a man whose knowledge of Russia and whose personal
friendships among the Russian people render his services invaluable.
His position under present circumstances is not enviable, and if
at the expiration of the present treaty an open breach between the
two governments is even temporarily avoided, and the United States
continues to maintain an embassy in St. Petersburg, it will be due
to the patience, understanding, and untiring efforts of Mr. Guild to
bridge over a situation which in the interests of both countries he
deems most deplorable.

Recently a well-known English writer made the statement that Russia
afforded the most prolific field in the world for the novelist and the
sensation-monger, and that the English-reading public had been so fed
up with those forms of Russian literature that a writer who ventured
to treat of the country in a normal manner, to attempt to tell of its
wealth, its industry, and the real life of the people, would either
find a scanty audience or be accused of interested motives; and there
is much truth in this observation.

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


Russia is a country of tremendous contrasts and contradictions. The
new jostles the old. A government and a people emerging from feudal
conditions, absolutism, and superstition present a phase of national
life somewhat bewildering to the seeker after truth. Ancient rights
and privileges exist in close juxtaposition to new liberties and
initiative, the former not always in harmony with the latter. It is a
land which reaches south to north from the semi-tropics far into the
undefined boundaries of the eternally frozen North; and west to east
includes populous cities born of yesterday and others dating their
beginnings centuries ago; mountain-ranges giving of their long-hidden
precious metals under the persuasion of American machinery driven
by American engineers, and great stretches of hundreds of miles of
plain and shallow valley such as caused the American pioneers to
doubt the fact that the earth was round. On this land lives a people
as varied in their physique and in their tongue as are the physical
characteristics of their habitat. The big, slow-moving Russian peasant,
with his ox-like strength and simplicity of character; the Tatar, the
Mongol, and the Chinaman each have their place in the foreground as
the traveler covers the ten-day journey across the country by rail
from west to east. Far to the south the prayer to Allah is cried from
the turrets of the Russian mosque with a fervor equal to that of the
dweller in the land of the Turks, and over five per cent. of the
Russian people are of the Jewish faith.

To harmonize this population, successfully to maintain a centralized
government of all these races, so different in character, needs, and
actions, is a stupendous task. To see that every part of this great
land gets its fair share of all that the Imperial Government has to
give; to guard these far-reaching boundaries against continually
threatened invasion; to watch with jealous eye the constantly shifting
political boundary-lines of contiguous lands, that the people of no
part of Russia, west, south, or east may find themselves barred from
free access to foreign markets by land or by sea--all this is not the
work of an amateur or weakling administration. The Prime Minister of
Russia, administrative director of the governmental energies of this
great empire, affecting as they do the welfare of nearly two hundred
million people, has a responsibility lying upon him and a power in
the world for good or evil such as no ruler of to-day or so-called
world-conqueror of yesterday even dreamed of falling within his grasp.
A wise expediency, a conservative progression, mark such a government,
if it is to live. To compromise between the old and the new, the
perfect theory and the actual possibility, is the task of rulers so
placed, and the world must judge by permanent results in decades rather
than in years, such judgment even then tempered by a real knowledge of
the conditions to be met.

In this light it is evident that Russia is making progress toward that
high destiny which is written across the face of things as they are
within her imperial boundaries to-day. The great natural resources of
the country are being conserved as well as developed. Method marks
the cutting of timber, even with the countless miles of forest yet to
draw upon, and forestration is even now a feature of treeless areas.
Restrictions upon the acquisition of land are all in the interests of
actual settlers. The Russianizing of the whole empire is proceeding
with marked rapidity. The surplus population of the West is being moved
into the sparsely inhabited East at an amazing rate. Several years ago
it was decided to move a million people every year from west to east.
In 1907, the first year of this governmental assisted exodus, 800,000
Russians, men, women, and children, entered Siberia with the intention
of making it their permanent home. This was found to be more than could
be handled and assisted effectually. In 1908 over 400,000 were sent
eastward, but the following year and since that date an average of
250,000 have been annually successfully transplanted to the open lands
of Siberia, and the movement will continue indefinitely at about that

Every family is allowed about $100 in cash, and for every male in the
family is given about forty acres of land. Supplies are sold at long
credits, the local banks assist financially in some cases, and it is
interesting to note that the American harvesting-machine manufacturers
have done a great deal toward opening up the grain areas by selling
machinery on long time, taking their pay when the farmer has realized
upon his crop. The losses which have accrued to American companies
through giving these credits to the farmers have been less than one
per cent. annually, a good record for any country and any people.

These American companies have also shown the Russian people that it
is not only possible, but more profitable in the end, to do away with
any system of commissions, bribery, or “squeeze,” as it is known to
the Chinese, in the sale of goods. This was an innovation in Asia,
but from the beginning this rule has been adhered to in sales of
American machinery, and is now recognized as an admirable peculiarity
of American methods. Such losses as have come to American firms doing
business in eastern Russia have occurred through the failure or
dishonesty of middlemen, or local agents. The Russian peasant or farmer
is honest, and will pay if he can. The local agent, or middleman,
ostensibly at least of better social business and intellectual status
than the farmer, has not proved as scrupulous.

It is in the development and building up of new communities that the
so-called zemstvos are proving their usefulness. These organizations
may be compared to the boards of county commissioners which exist
in the United States, but the powers of the Russian organizations
are almost unlimited. They have complete local authority, subject
only to the governors of the provinces. They have from fifteen to
sixty-two members, representation being based upon population, and
are elected by the people. The voters are those who pay taxes on at
least $7500 worth of property. In addition to exercising the usual
functions of local government, such as taxation, road-building, school
supervision, etc., they conduct agricultural credit banks, provide fire
and crop insurance, maintain a medical department, give agricultural
instruction, and conduct stores much on a coöperative plan.

Some indication of their activities is shown in the one item of
agricultural machinery, for about thirty-two per cent. of all the sales
made in Siberia in 1908 were made through these government agencies,
and the agricultural loan made through the zemstvos banks amount to
many millions annually. As far east as Vladivostok the emigrant trains
arrive daily, crowded with settlers, laborers, and soldiers. Farther
to the west this emigrant movement becomes at times an actual blockade
of traffic, and the most notable feature of it all is the amazing
number of children ranging from babes in arms to half-grown boys and
girls. They are a big, strong people, these Russian peasants, and their
children give equal promise of sturdy physique. The men are given
work in town and country, and the tremendous task of double-tracking
the Trans-Siberian and of building the many feeder-lines now under
construction, give employment to many thousands.

It is Russia for the Russians now in the East, and all foreign Chinamen
have been given notice to go home. They are being ousted from Russian
towns, and no longer outnumber the Russians in the construction work in
progress everywhere. Thousands of Russian soldiers line the railroad
from Europe to the Sea of Japan, and in northern Manchuria, ostensibly
a Chinese possession, fifty thousand Russian troops guard the right of
way and the small towns or groups of houses which cluster about every
railway station. These soldiers are in reality only the pioneers of the
home-builders who are en route.

From the inception of the enterprise the locomotives of the Siberian
railroads have burned wood, but the wood-burner is now doomed. The
great strata of coal which underlies the extreme eastern part of
Siberia is soon to be extensively worked, and with the expiration of
the present fuel contracts on the railroads coal will be substituted.
Westward from Vladivostok for hundreds of miles there is as yet
virtually no human settlement, though the country is as promising, as
fertile, and as inviting to the plow as were the millions of acres of
the Dakotas prior to their settlement.

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


The word “Siberia” has always called to the mind great stretches of
bleak or snow-covered landscape, intense cold, and human suffering
and privation. It has figured in truth, in art, and in fiction as
the scene of heart-breaking cruelties to chained gangs of prisoners,
criminals, and exiles. Packs of ravening wolves sought out the lonely
traveler, and to be sent to Siberia was to leave the world behind.
There is still enough reality in these tales to serve as a foundation
of truth in the telling, but this is not the Siberia of the Russian
emigrant, farmer, and trader. It is the five thousand miles which lie
east and west between latitudes 40° and 60° north toward which his
ambitions lead. A new United States lies within these boundaries. The
fertile plain, the broad valley, the virgin forest, and the massive
mountain-range of this region all lie within the temperate zone. Cold
in winter, warm in summer, the seasons regular and normal the year
round, this is the Siberia traversed by the Russian Trans-Continental
Railroad, and which is destined as time goes on to play a part,
constantly increasing in importance and seriousness, in the economics
of the world. The productive power of this region is limited only by
the degree of development attained, and its absorptive power will be
of equally heroic measure. Cities and towns of no inconsiderable size
are rapidly appearing at the most central points of the new settlement,
and in many ways their life and appearance is reminiscent of the boom
days of Western America. Novonikolaesevsk in ten years has achieved
a population of over 50,000. Omsk, Petropavlovsk, Irkutsk, Tomsk,
Nikolaievsk, Vladivostok, and others are as modern, as bustling, as
prosperous, and are growing as rapidly as if they were situated west of
the Missouri.

Nearly all of these prosperous towns are built on the banks of
magnificent rivers, the names of which in some cases are familiar only
to students of geography. These great and numerous streams constitute
a system of natural waterways invaluable in the development of the
country. In summer they are navigable for steamers of considerable
size, and in winter they are highways of travel for vehicles. Their
sources lie in the hearts of the great forests to the north, and their
quick-flowing currents bear upon them rafts of timber of great size.
The inland trade of Siberia has grown in ten years from $30,000,000 to
$75,000,000, and in one province alone, that of Akmolinsk, there are
held 105 yearly fairs, at which over $50,000,000 worth of merchandise
changes hands.

Government revenues increase only gradually, and with great and varied
areas to be served in national utilities make progress seemingly slow.
In the matter of posts and telegraphs an unusual state exists, for
on the operations of this branch of the Government in 1911 a profit
of $17,000,000, or fifty-one per cent., was recorded. In 1912 the
profit was reduced to thirty-one per cent., showing that the service
was extended and improved. It would be better that the entire profit
were wiped out through extensions of facilities, for now there is
only one post-office for every ten thousand people, and in the Moscow
province, with a population of over 4,000,000, there are only eleven
sub-post-offices. As shown by an annual decrease in the surplus, it
is probable that the Russian post-office budget will in time balance
itself or show a deficit, as is the rule in other countries. Labor
legislation is coming in Russia much along the same lines that now
prevail in Germany.

The status of the Russian laborer is not very different from that
of his brother in other European countries. His wages are somewhat
lower in many occupations, but in the large industrial centers of
European Russia conditions are much the same as elsewhere. Of all the
labor-strikes recorded of 1911, twenty-five per cent. were determined
favorably to the strikers, and forty per cent. were compromised as
between employer and employed. Nearly $500,000,000 is now on deposit in
the Russian savings-banks, and if the population of outlying territory,
where there are no banks, be deducted, the showing per capita is on
all fours with that of many other countries where consideration for
the interests of the wage-workers is much older in its application to
national affairs. As it is, there are nearly eight million depositors,
or more than in any other country excepting the United States, England,
or Germany. In 1911 the foreign trade of Russia across the Black
Sea and Finnish borders, together with the trade across the eastern
boundaries by land and sea, amounted to over $1,400,000,000. During
the five years 1901 to 1905 the total foreign trade amounted to about
$350,000,000 annually. In the five years 1906-10 the annual average was
$980,000,000, and in 1911 it was, as stated, over $1,400,000,000. The
following figures illustrate the growth of the foreign commerce account
in the last ten years expressed in millions of dollars:


  1902     275       425       700          150
  1904     300       500       800          200
  1906     322       514       836          192
  1908     390       484       874           94
  1910     490       713      1203          223
  1911     600       800      1400          200

The exports for 1911 are thirty-two per cent. larger than the average
of the five preceding years, and the imports show a gain of thirty-four
per cent. The revenue from the customs for 1911, which amounted to
$173,000,000, shows a gain of twenty per cent. over the average for
the preceding five years. The customs dues of Russia amount to about
twenty-nine per cent. of the value of the imports. Nearly half of the
export trade of Russia is of grain, the entire export being roughly
divided into food-stuffs, sixty-five per cent.; raw material and partly
manufactured goods, thirty per cent.; animals, two and one half per
cent.; and manufactured goods, two and one half per cent. The export
wheat of Russia, amounting to nearly four and a half millions of tons,
goes principally to Holland, England, Italy, France, Germany, and
Belgium, in the order named. The barley goes to Germany, the oats to
Holland and England, the corn to England, and the bran to Germany. The
principal manufactures exported are rubber goods, textiles, crockery,
glass, and metal goods. The exports of manufactured goods have not
increased to a great extent in the last ten years, and probably will
not for some time to come, as Russia is developing so rapidly within
that the home market absorbs more of everything than can be produced
with present facilities. The import trade of Russia for the last six
years, expressed in millions of dollars, was as follows:

  1906      55          174        .500        93         322
  1907      61          194        .550       106         361
  1908      65          212        .762       114         392
  1909      60          212        .800       132         405
  1910      63          266       1.580       161         492
  1911      69          266       1.780       190         527

As compared with the average of the preceding five years, the figures
of 1911 show an increase in the imports of food products of fourteen
per cent.; in raw material and partly manufactured goods of twenty-six
per cent.; in live stock of one hundred and twelve per cent.; and in
manufactured goods of fifty-six and a half per cent. The increase in
food-stuff importations was due to the increased consumption of fish,
this increase amounting to over $26,000,000. Other increases noted
consisted largely of fertilizers, building materials, machinery,
and the thousand and one manufactured articles long in use in other

The five-year average of manufactured goods imported into Russia
annually tells the story of the growing importance of this trade to the
manufacturers of the world. From 1897-1901 it was $92,751,000. From
1902-06 (the period of the war with Japan) it was $84,048,000. From
1907-11 it was $140,440,000. The larger part of the export trade of
Russia goes to Germany, England, Holland, Austria-Hungary, France, and
Italy in the order named, Germany being by far the largest buyer of
Russian goods. According to the figures of direct trade, Russia buys
nearly all of her supplies from Germany, England, the United States,
France, and Austria-Hungary in the order named; but if the indirect
trade be taken into consideration, the United States comes second. Even
then Germany, with her Russian sales amounting as they did in 1911 to
$250,000,000, is by far the most important trader. The position of
Germany in Russia in trade, finance, and diplomacy is very strong. To
Germany goes more of Russian produce than to any other three countries,
and from Germany are purchased at least half of all the imports of
the Russian people. Much of this is indirect business, it is true,
the Germans acting as brokers for other nations; but a considerable
profit on the transaction remains in Germany, and the mere fact of
the enormously strong trade relation constitutes a powerful factor in
holding the two peoples in close friendship and in giving to all German
enterprise in Russia a predominating prestige.

The beginnings of this Russo-German trade date back many years, for
geographic and racial reasons, but it has been encouraged at all
points by the Germans themselves, or it would not have maintained
its phenomenal lead over that of other countries. The effect of this
trade is apparent everywhere. German is the most useful language in
Russia to those who do not speak Russian. A stroll along any one of
the principal business streets of Moscow or St. Petersburg will reveal
the names of scores of German firms with large Russian connections,
or, in fact, the names of many German firms whose sole business is in
Russia. The Germans come, stay, and conquer in foreign trade matters
here as elsewhere, because they do not deal through foreign agencies
or commission houses, but through their own people on the ground, to
sell direct to the consumer. Another point in foreign trading which
forces itself upon the attention everywhere is the banking facilities
furnished to German traders by German banks or branches of German banks
established in foreign cities. The bank and the trader arrive at the
same time, and coöperate most successfully in their joint campaign for
business. German railroads at home give low through rates on goods to
any part of the world; German ships are waiting at the docks to carry
the goods; German firms are at the other end of the journey to receive
the goods and distribute them; and German banks advance the money to
facilitate purchase, shipment, and sale until such time as the money is
available from the consumer. Long credits are the rule in Russia, as
in many other countries, and financial coöperation is a requisite of
successful trading in a majority of cases.

English banks do little or no industrial or commercial business. Years
ago there were private banks in England that worked in harmony with
the English foreign traders, and it was partly due to the liberality
and activity of these banks that the foreign commerce of England
gained such headway as it did in far-away places. For one cause or
another, these private or trading banks have disappeared in England,
and in the financial districts money is now a commodity, as it is in
the United States, handled without imagination and with no sympathy or
understanding of the needs of foreign business. An English or American
bank of to-day is nothing more or less than a glorified pawnbroker,
who will cheerfully lend ninety-five per cent. on a gold dollar as
security, but will lock his moneybags when a man with orders for
goods to be sold on long time in foreign countries comes asking for
intelligent coöperation in the production and vending thereof. Able
financial experts devote pages of good white paper and pounds of ink
in England and America to criticism of the German industrial banking
system, but whatever may be its faults at home, it is beyond cavil
almost entirely responsible for the tremendous gains made in German and
foreign commerce in recent years.

Nowhere is this illustrated more forcibly than in Russia, and here
as elsewhere the class of goods sold by the Germans contains larger
elements of labor and profit than the foreign trade of most nations.
To export raw materials, food-stuffs, steel rails, and other staples
at infinitesimal margins of profit when the home markets are slack may
bring export figures up into the hundreds of millions, but it does not
leave in the country of origin the paid wage-roll or the manufacturing
or middleman profit recorded of intricate machinery, novelties,
chemicals, and other high-priced products of hand, loom, or other
ingenious machines inspired by mechanical and inventive genius.

The United States buys from Russia about seven million dollars’ worth
of goods, eighty per cent. of which are included in alcoholic product,
glycerin, furs, hides, and skins. Among other important items of
Russian export to America are flax, fusil-oil, and wool. In 1911,
Russia sent nothing to the island possessions of the United States.
There is no branch of manufacturing in which Russia competes seriously
with America. Three years ago the Russian steel mills on the Black
Sea underbid the American steel mills in the efforts of the latter to
secure a large order from the Argentine Government, but since that time
the Russian producers have joined the international steel conference,
and serious underbidding is no longer feared from that direction. The
United States sells to Russia about fifty million dollars’ worth of
raw cotton, eleven million dollars in agricultural machinery, five
million dollars in leather, three million dollars in general machinery,
a million and a half dollars in flour, a million in raw rubber, and
the balance of her sales comprise a variety of manufactured products.
In this latter classification it is encouraging to note half a million
dollars in type-writers, and the same amount in automobiles. Indirect
trade in these items adds largely to these figures, but is difficult of
exact determination.

A number of great American industries have organized Russian companies
and built factories in Moscow and elsewhere. Notable among these is
the sewing-machine industry, which employs 4000 people in its Moscow
factory, and is said to have 20,000 selling agents in the Russian
Empire. The American harvesting-machinery interests manufacture in
Russia such implements as fall under import duties in the Russian
tariff, and import duty free those which are under the existing
treaty of commerce. Should no new treaty be negotiated between Russia
and the United States, it is evident that new extensions of the
Russian-American factories must result, and importations from the
United States must decline.

The result of this serious threat of discrimination against American
goods is already felt throughout Russia. Experiments are now being made
with German, Belgian, and other competitive machinery in the effort to
substitute them for American products, and while the American machines
have at present a tremendous lead in public favor, this is no guaranty
that other countries will not ultimately derive advantage from the
situation. It is true that American inventions may still dominate the
Russian market, but the machines themselves will be manufactured in
Belgium, Germany, France, or elsewhere to avoid any discrimination
that might be imposed upon an American manufactured product. This is
not such a difficult result to achieve as might be supposed, for the
foundations are already laid, and one great American industry which
has recently fallen under the displeasure of the American Government
will within a short time be able to supply its entire foreign trade
from plants erected in other countries than the United States, and thus
restrict the output of American mills to the supplying of the home

Nearly one half of the export trade of Russia leaves the port of Riga
on the north, but the goods originate in Moscow and other inland
cities. St. Petersburg, Libau, and other north-coast points share
in the great shipping industry of the Baltic. To the south, Odessa,
Batum, and other ports on the Black Sea are the outlets for southern
Russia, and serve the near Eastern trade. In the far East, Vladivostok
is destined to become an important commercial stronghold, and the
entrepôt by sea of Oriental products, serving at the same time as the
shipping-point for grain and other food products to Japanese, Chinese,
and South Sea communities.

The great causes of trade increase or decrease in Russia are the
fullness or poverty of the harvest and the peace or disturbance of
political conditions in Europe and the near East. War in Persia,
Turkey, or elsewhere in that part of the world has a directly
unfavorable effect upon the total of Russian commerce. This is
strikingly illustrated in the loss which has come to Russian trade by
the closing of the Dardanelles for even a short time. Bad crops mean
famine in large areas, and considering the vastness of the territory
involved, it is not surprising that hardly a year passes that some part
is not demanding relief for a stricken people. This feature of national
life is so well recognized as a probable annual occurrence that the
Government deals with the same almost as a regular business, and the
whole plan of relief has been systematized to the best advantage of
all concerned. Business organization is not yet very strong in Russia,
but is improving. Chambers of commerce are being formed, and in course
of time the shipper of goods to Russia or the seeker after commercial
information will find the same conditions there as elsewhere so far as
the machinery of trade is concerned.

There is now a strong movement in England for political as well as
commercial reasons to take advantage of the present development of
Russia. In 1911 there were organized in Russia forty foreign companies
for the purpose of doing Russian business. Out of this number, thirty
were English, four were French, two Belgian, two German, and not one
American. Out of the $40,000,000 capital of these forty companies
nearly $35,000,000 were English money. In that same year there were 222
Russian concerns organized to do business in Russia, and one of them
was an American harvesting company, with a large manufacturing plant
in Moscow. As a nation, England is showing more interest in Russian
industrial affairs than any other country except Germany. This interest
comes a little late in the day for full advantage to be reaped, but
the interest now shown in England is far more general and practical
than has shown itself in the United States, with the exception of that
manifested by a few powerful American manufacturing concerns that are
able financially to perform all the functions of buyer, manufacturer,
seller, and banker from their own resources and within their own
company organizations.

It is difficult to bring the mind to a full comprehension of the
vastness of the Russian Empire and its interests. It is not a scattered
domain of far-flung possessions, held at the cost of sleepless
vigilancy, and constant treaty-making, but a great, compact possession;
and yet while Russian diplomacy is demanding the neutralization of the
far-Eastern border state of Mongolia, a quarter of a million men, or
more than the entire standing army of Great Britain, are lying under
arms five thousand miles distant from Mongolia, but still in Russia,
to protect that country’s interests in case the long-deferred but
long-expected explosion takes place in the near East.

One nation’s honor or dignity cannot be compromised for the sake of
continuing favorable commercial relations with another; but it is
a serious matter for one government, at the dictation of whatever
interest it may be, or whatever may be the result to be gained
at home, to destroy the long-existing friendship and profitable
commercial exchanges of two peoples without a full understanding of
the consequences of such action. The United States cannot impose its
views upon Russia, for the good and sufficient reason that such views
do not coincide with the necessities of Russian interior government.
The United States has no power to punish her old friend for not
agreeing with her; in fact, quite the reverse, hence an _impasse_.
Those upon whom the burden of this action falls diplomatically and
financially are now trying to find a basis for honorable compromise.
That they will fail, is feared; that they will succeed, is the earnest
hope of every understanding friend of the two nations.

[Illustration: TOPICS OF THE TIME]



Macaulay, who did not believe in universal suffrage, had a fine
sneer at the folly of supposing that the great policies of a modern
nation could be determined by the ballot-box. But this will do to put
alongside his famous prediction that “spoliation” of the rich by the
poor would begin in the United States in the twentieth century. That
century is here and spoliation has not begun, while the ballot-box
has gone on, in England as well as in America, from one conquest to
another; until now, in either country, it is regarded, if not as the
final arbiter of national destinies, at least as the power which sets
up one party or administration and puts another down. Yet during the
very years when voting by the mass of the citizens has been marching
on to political supremacy, there has been coming in a new set of
doubts, or anxieties, concerning the whole process. This concern may
be only one way of recognizing the sovereignty of the ballot. If it
is sovereign, care must be taken that it functions safely. Granted
that its decisions are conclusive, the more reason for seeing to it
that they are freely and clearly pronounced. If we are to listen for
the voice of the people in their votes, nothing must be permitted to
obstruct or confuse that utterance.

It was doubtless this feeling that lay behind the movement to reform
and simplify the ballot and to guard elections against corruption. That
is a long and familiar story. One device after another, one safeguard
following another, has been urged and adopted, and each has in its turn
done something to purify our electoral methods. It would be impossible
for the nation to lurch back now to the loose and hugger-mugger system
under which both State and national elections were held fifty or sixty
years ago. The “repeater” has been largely eliminated; the way of the
venal voter has been made hard; official ballots have replaced the
tricky things that party-workers used to “hand out”; corrupt-practice
acts and registration laws have weeded out a great deal of the bribery
and fraud that were formerly common. Yet despite all these and the
other advances, a distinctly new uneasiness about the whole process
of voting has recently been making itself manifest. Many thoughtful
citizens have been troubled by doubts not whether elections are honest,
but whether they can be made fully representative of the popular will;
not whether the citizen can freely cast a pure ballot, but whether he
cares enough about it to cast any ballot at all.

What disturbs many in this connection is the evidence seeming to
show that the number of voters is not increasing as fast as the
population. Figures both of registered voters and of actual ballots
cast are scrutinized, with the result of appearing to prove a growing
disinclination to make full exercise of the right of suffrage. From
one Presidential campaign to another during the last dozen years, the
total poll has not risen as it should. Some statistics of the vote
in Wisconsin were recently published which seemed startling in their
implications. That State, though having a marked growth in population,
has been casting a vote fewer by many thousands than were polled ten
years ago. Partial explanations suggest themselves. Wisconsin elections
have been one-sided and foregone conclusions; so that the inducement to
make efforts to bring out a full vote has often been lacking. Moreover,
the very reforms in the State’s election laws may have had the effect
of cutting off what was before a purchasable or fraudulent vote. This
was the kind of vote which in the old days Tammany used to ask for
money in order to “get out.” One rich man replied to a solicitor of
funds that he would not give five thousand dollars to get that vote
“out,” but would gladly subscribe ten thousand to keep it “in.” It is
possible that the keeping “in” of corrupt votes, by means of reform
legislation vigorously enforced, has had something to do with the
apparent check in the normal increase of the voters.

After every fair allowance has been made, however, the fact is
notorious that many citizens entitled to vote do not go to the polls.
The registration figures often fall far below what they should be, and
the ballots finally cast and counted reveal a surprisingly large number
of indifferents or stay-at-homes. Hence the demand, which seems to be
a rising demand, that the citizen be compelled by law to do his duty
as an elector, if he will not do it unforced. Compulsory voting has
been advocated of late by the Attorney-General of the United States.
No one would class Mr. Wickersham among the impetuous faddists. He has
studied European practice and precedents in the matter of inflicting
penalties upon citizens who fail to exercise the franchise, and favors
the adoption of some modified form of such legislation in this country.
The argument for it will certainly be greatly reinforced if we are
widely to enter upon the experiment of law-making by initiative and
referendum. The people are sovereign, but if only a portion of them
speak, how are we to know the real voice of authority? There have been
elections, some of them passing on statutes referred to the electorate,
some on important constitutional changes, in which the votes of only a
majority of a minority were effective. If that should become common,
the case for compulsory voting would obviously be stronger. Objections
to it at present lie mainly against details. It is urged, for example,
that no compulsion should be laid upon the voter to choose between two
candidates neither of whom could he conscientiously support. But in
that event he could cast a blank or a “scratched” ballot. He is within
his right in refusing to express a preference between two equally
offensive nominees; but it may be held that he has no right to remain
away from the polls. Mr. Chesterton has argued that all who fail to
vote should be “counted in the negative,” but that is to put a premium
upon sloth. An active negative by ballot is much more significant than
mere abstention. We know too well what “apathy” means in elections;
but we should be much better off if, instead of their apathy at home,
we had all our citizens expressing their honest zeal or their burning
indignation at the polls.

The whole subject is not yet ripe for positive remedies embodied
in law, but the deep interest taken in it is both suggestive and
encouraging. It helps one to believe that the democratic experiment
will continue to keep level with its problems as they successively
present themselves. Whatever the exact method of reform that may be
adopted, it must not omit to tie up intelligence with duty. Voting,
whether it should be made compulsory or not, cannot safely be severed
from education. The two must always go together, as they did in
Emerson’s vision of the ideal commonwealth, where, before

  Each honest man shall have his vote,
  Each child shall have his school.



The old saying that “Books make the best presents” must be in the minds
of many in the pre-Christmas season, and many a parent is puzzling
over the problem of selection. The classics of their childhood they
know--some of these the classics of three generations; in fact, ever
since children began to be considered as worth writing for. But here
is the year’s new “bumper” crop of books, in fine array of type and
picture and gay cover--what is to be done with them? Who is to sift
and choose between the good and the bad? And all that are not good
must be considered bad, for nothing is so bad as a poor book. May
the publishers’ imprint be implicitly relied upon? May the authors’
reputation, name, or vogue be blindly accepted? May the reviewers’
judgment be made the standard? Obviously it is impossible, if only
for economic reasons, to buy and sample, not to say read, a tithe
of the books presented for choice. Either parents must renounce the
responsibility, restrict the range to a few volumes, or get some
efficient aid from others.

We venture a suggestion. This issue of ~The Century~ will appear just
a month before Christmas. In nearly every town of 2500 inhabitants
there is a literary club or a woman’s club which through a committee
of its members might set on foot an advisory censorship of children’s
reading, which another year would become more effective. To be helpful,
it should start with a standard of what are the desiderata in books
for the young. Negatively, one must aim to exclude immoral, priggish,
namby-pamby, artificial, cynical, and unsympathetic writing. To these
must be added the seventh deadly sin of dullness.

  No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en,

and unless a book is interesting, it would better never have been
conceived. On the positive side the aim should be wholesomeness,
vitality, inspiration, humanness, and, most of all, an appeal to the
imagination. A child needs not so much books of knowledge of the “how”
type, which satisfy craving for facts, as those that set forth the
wonders of the world so suggestively as to stimulate his search for
the “why.” Those of two generations ago who were steeped in copy-book
morality know what an effort it was to displace it with the natural
religion of human sympathy. And it is because, in the reading and
training of boys, there is danger of neglecting the robust--what we
may call the wholesomely perilous--that it is important that every
such committee as we have suggested should have the counsel of men.
When its list shall have been made, the committee should be subjected
to cross-examination, in order that the principles of selection should
become fixed not only in the minds of its members, but in those of
the entire club. Whatever the result might be upon children, it would
be salutary upon parents, arousing them to the importance, and to the
qualities, of mental pure food. It is not to be expected that the
committee’s recommendations would be impeccable or that they would
always be followed. Indeed, the same experiment might be tried with
more advantage in a circle of a dozen families of friends related by a
similarity of tastes and standards.

Even more in need of supervision is the periodical pabulum. There are
two or three American magazines for children the tone and traditions
of which are so firmly established and so well known as to place them
beyond the need of censorship. Their editors are alive to the exclusion
of the objectionable, but are chiefly occupied with the search for
valuable and delightful articles. The editorship of a child’s magazine,
by reason of its many limitations, is one of the most difficult tasks
in the educational world. The bearing of every article, poem, and
picture has to be considered in its formative influence upon character.
The editor has to think for the child, the parent, and the teacher,
and at the same time he must never lose sight of the noble function of
delight, which it is his privilege to exercise. We know of one such, to
whom, through his rare sympathy with children, these responsibilities
have become insight. Joyous himself, he knows how to communicate joy to
a world of children.

When it comes to the juvenile page of the newspaper, the need of
censorship is acute. Some of the daily journals, which are properly
proud of their own ethical standards and of the influence of their
editorial columns, have no moral compunction in leaving to a syndicate
the preparation of the children’s page or the colored supplements.
Otherwise careful and conscientious parents will turn over to their
children, without examination, sheets of vulgar, grotesque, badly
drawn, and badly colored pictures on unworthy themes, the chief
influence of which is to glorify sheer mischief and bad manners. Many
protests have been made against these by public associations and
in some quarters there has been improvement, but the censorship of
thoughtful and mature minds would still find much to condemn.

In what is selected for the children let us make a plea for the
best poetry. A world is all before us where to choose, and if the
interpretation of masterpieces of verse be not pedagogic, but
sympathetic, the resources of pleasure thus available are rich and
enduring. The parsing and analysis of Pope’s “Essay on Man” may so
spoil one’s taste for that writer as to obscure the sublimity of his
“Universal Prayer.” America more than any other country cultivates, and
needs to cultivate, the love of poetry. Here we are confronted with
materialism as a daily spectacle.

  Things are in the saddle,
  And ride mankind.

We need every stimulus to the imagination, every spur to spirituality,
every rhythm of harmony. We need not only music itself but the music
that is in poetry. The arts are, so to speak, fighting for their
lives, and a brave fight it is. We need them to uplift and crown and
glorify democracy, and we shall produce greater poetry as there is a
deeper love and appreciation of the great poetry that exists. It is,
therefore, no small service to the future of America to instil in our
young people a respect and love for poetry. We find these suggestive
lines in the autobiography of Charles Darwin:

  If I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some
  poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps
  the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active
  through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and
  may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the
  moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.


THE year 1912, by its manifestations of internal violence, its external
wars, and by its hardly less disquieting rumors of wars, has afforded
from time to time the pretext for much cynical satire at the expense of
the advocates of peace and arbitration. A strange sort of beginning of
the millennium this, it is said, which has witnessed Italy’s year-long
war with Turkey; the old Balkan wounds reopened, with the religious
issue involved; China aflame with bloody revolt against her Manchu
dynasty; Mexico in the throes of a rebellion little less than civil
war; turbulent Cuba barely escaping American intervention, actually
exercised in Nicaragua; Morocco the bone of contention of two snarling
powers; and withal Great Britain and Germany like open powder-magazines
exposed to the peril of a careless smoker--a year, moreover, that has
seen strikes of unusual acerbity in England and in Massachusetts, and
the unearthing of such vast conspiracies against life and property
as the one executed by the McNamaras and their associates and the
other avowed by the Industrial Workers of the World. The threat of
the latter to raze the Salem jail is matched by the intention of
McNamara, recently revealed, to blow up the Panama Canal. As a climax
of horror comes the attempt of a disordered mind to assassinate Colonel
Roosevelt. Surely, at first glance one might think that the wild beast
in man has lately come to the surface to a surprising and disheartening

It would be futile to claim that this sinister impression is
entirely offset by the fact that some of these events have aspects
of self-restraint and progress; that China, through her overturn, is
making the way toward freedom and self-government; that Cuba has again
shown that she is learning the same lessons; that the responsible
conservative forces of England, France, and Germany have refused to
follow the hotheads who talk lightly of war. There remain in human
nature, modern or barbarian, primal impulses of hatred, violence, and

It is one of the most important functions of education, government,
and religion to subdue these impulses, and this can be done, in part,
by turning their force into new channels. Through Tesla’s discovery
and invention the natural turbulence of the mountain stream, even that
of Niagara itself, is electrically utilized to do the work of the
world at a great distance. It is the aim of the inventive resources of
philanthropy to do something similar with the wild and waste forces
of humanity itself. Wise benevolence is increasingly occupied with
imposing not only upon others, but upon ourselves, restraints without
which we should revert to the brute. Sometimes this is done by solemn
formalities like the Constitution of the United States; sometimes the
compact is the tacit one of civilization involved in the establishment
and observance of law. This it is now sought to extend to nations,
by the agreement to enlarge the limits of judicial arbitration which
already exist in every modern country, and thus through men and peoples
of advanced ideas of justice to affect those more backward. Because
of this great opportunity to uplift the world, those in authority
are under obligation--a sort of _noblesse oblige_--to hold their own
country to its highest standards of conduct, internal or international.

Whatever the croakers may say, there is no relapse from the sentiment
in favor of arbitration and peace. There have been righteous
rebellions, and probably there will be others, but there are many wars
based on territorial aggression or trivial or fancied wrongs which may
be prevented by an appeal to an international court. Compulsory this
appeal must be, by our consent in the cool air of wisdom: but along
with humanity at large we shall be the gainer. Arbitration is a shorter
cut to justice than war has ever been.

At this time of the recurrence of the festival of the Prince of Peace,
it is becoming to the Christian world to renew its faith in the power
of love to cast out hatred, of good-will to accomplish the uplifting of
humanity through sympathy and opportunity. Such a vast work demands the
ultimate release of the forces now held in readiness for international
wars. Prevent by arbitration the causes of such wars, and you divert
colossal waste forces--including the constant anxieties of the
people--to the real and crying need of the times.



ON the twenty-fifth of November there is to be a hearing before the
Secretary of the Interior to receive and consider the report of a
board of army engineers to determine whether or not there is any
other adequate source of water-supply for San Francisco than the
beautiful Hetch-Hetchy Valley, which the city desires to submerge for
a reservoir. This valley, as our readers know, is a part of the great
Yosemite National Park, and lies eighteen miles north of the Yosemite
Valley, just over the divide, so to speak. The representatives of the
city have already acknowledged before the Public Lands Committee of the
Senate that they could find an adequate supply of pure water “anywhere
along the Sierra,” to the north of the valley--“if,” as they said, “we
would pay for it!” The mainspring of the assault upon the people’s
National Park--and, if it shall succeed, it will be but the first of
many similar assaults on other parks--is the desire to get something
for nothing. The public interest in resisting the attempt is to save
from destruction one of the most wonderful of the Sierra gorges, which
a good wagon road would make an integral part of the Yosemite trip. It
remains to be seen whether any amount of speciousness, any elaborate
and misleading volume of argument will be able to obscure the main
issue--the wanton invasion of the people’s greatest park.

We believe that the Roosevelt administration had no more legal or
moral right to divert a part of this National Park from the purposes
for which it was created, as was done by the Garfield grant, than it
would have had to give away the nation’s coal-fields in Alaska. The
Sierra Club, contending with the unlimited financial resources of San
Francisco, has yet presented a “brief” which riddles the arguments of
the city’s case.

That fable teaches that the time to save the rest of our great scenery
is before it is largely visited, for then it will become to the
advantage of some “interest” to divert it from the use of posterity.


  The Editor of ~The Century~ invites the offer of contributions to the
  departments of “Open Letters” and “Lighter Vein.”

  In “Open Letters” the aim should be a light and lively treatment
  of social, political, domestic, artistic, or other topics in an
  easy, natural, epistolary style, having the give-and-take of
  correspondence, and witty or humorous treatment, mellow, without
  didacticism; articles should have a novel and piquant motive; and,
  in order to save them from dilettantism, they should have useful and
  substantial suggestions. A convenient length is fifteen hundred words.

  For the “Lighter Vein” Department contributions are invited of
  brief narratives from real life, of a humorous character, and of
  such entertaining interest as will entitle them to rank as good
  “after-dinner stories.” What is desired is not so much a short
  anecdote as a narrative of about a thousand words, having a certain
  natural plot. It is desired to avoid stock stories which, told in
  past generations, are located in the present. While in general the
  stories should be humorous, once in a while that quality might be
  varied by something unusually dramatic, quaint, or curious. The
  Editor must be assured that the articles have not before been in

  All contributions found available will be paid for at the magazine’s
  customary rates.

[Illustration: OPEN LETTERS]


  ... “Magic casements, opening on the foam
  Of perilous seas, in faery-lands forlorn.”

  --~Keats~, “_Ode to a Nightingale_.”

_From a Seeker after the Ideal House, Recommending the Latest Thing in


  _Margaret Dear_:

Enjoy our new home? Indeed I do, as much as you enjoy “Parva sed Apta.”
Yet I confess to a little restlessness at times, such as Browning’s
_Juan_ in “Fifine” felt over his “honest civic house.” I want to cut
away, and to wander foot-loose and free. And if it weren’t for the
magic casement--don’t you want to hear about the magic casement?

The architect’s assistant proposed it, a young fellow with irregular
eyebrows and a nice smile. You would like him. We had been talking
windows, and he asked me all of a sudden:

“Since you like the type, sha’n’t I put a magic casement in your study?
We sometimes find it a very acceptable little addition in suburban

I gasped, and seized on a familiar phrase. “Will it add materially to
the cost?” I inquired.

“No, not materially,” he answered. “And it would harmonize capitally
with the study.”

For many a day after we moved I forgot all about the conversation and
the casement. You know what it is to get settled. The dining-room
flue wouldn’t draw, and our invaluable but expansive Maggie grumbled
because she had to turn sidewise to get up the narrow back stairs, and
to arrange family and furniture absorbed my energies. But a day came
finally when I shut myself in the study for a bout of work. A set of
examination blue-books had come in from my college classes, and my mood
was grim. I learned that the “Shepheard’s Calendar” consisted of twelve
pastoral decalogues, and that Ariel’s song was intended to “guide
Hamlet to his shipwrecked father,” or, as another student suggested,
“to lead Minerva on.” Most of the papers were equally stupid and less
funny. My muscles were aching, for the furniture had been heavy. As for
my heart, here I was starting life afresh and receiving felicitations
in a pretty new house, but life seemed over. Well, dear, never mind
that; but you will understand. You know what narrow house guarded by
two tall cypresses is always before my eyes.

Suddenly I noticed the casement. I never had tried the patent spring.

It opened at a touch. I had expected to look out on Mr. Baker’s
hen-yard; but I didn’t. There was instead a wide stretch of tumbling
seas--splendid, perilous seas, gray and fierce, with glints of silver
at the horizon, and great waves racing inland and breaking in sheets of
foam below! As I leaned out and drew deep breaths of salty, foamy air,
I saw a dim sweep of coast through the spray.

  The moving waters at their priest-like task
  Of pure ablution

were plain enough; but were those “human shores” or the forlorn coasts
of faery-land?

“Please, Miss, the butcher,” called Maggie’s voice behind me, and I
shut the window and ran down-stairs as though I had never heard of
tired muscles or heart. When I got back to blue-books, it was amazing
how brilliantly the students were writing.

When I next opened the casement the sea was moony-calm, and a
nightingale was singing outside in balm-laden air. Mr. Baker’s
hen-yard, viewed from the next window, never varied, but let me tell
you that out of a magic casement one does not see the same sight twice.
I did not let myself open it often. When I was leaning from it I forgot
the passage of time, and you can’t imagine how “jobs” crowded last
winter. But if, while I worked, I left a crack ajar, and this grew to
be rather a habit, the air that came in kept me fresh and fit, so that
I have never carried my work so easily.

One day--inside, I remember, it was bleak winter twilight--there
was an island rising from the sea. The tremulous waters were tinged
with the first promise of dawn. A planet on the horizon glowed red.
Though the heavens elsewhere were clear, the summit of the mountain
isle was veiled in drifting mists, like tears; yet behind the mists
the sun seemed to be shining on level reaches of springlike verdure,
which caught the longing of the heart, yet stilled all longing with an
exceeding peace. As the dawn brightened, I could discern two figures
on the low sands at the base of the hill, and presently, speeding
across the waters faster than flight of bird, appeared a spark, glowing
as though the planet had left the sky. Faint shining grew at sides
and center, till I could see the vesture and the two wings, serving
as sails, of an angel whose face was as the morning star. If you had
only been there! Of the blessed folk who filled the ship, some looked
affrighted, some exceeding glad; and though I could not clearly hear
the chant they sang, one voice sweet above the rest, I knew it to be
a song of deliverance. Do you remember our Dante readings under the
pines? All that day there was absolution in the air.

But there was none on that other day when sky and sea blazed blue fire,
thunder-caps lay pearled in the west, and a high-pooped ship dropped
anchor beneath my window. Sea-weary serving-folk in medieval garb,
went ashore by ones and twos, while a knight in green array and a most
fair lady lay talking on the deck. Now and again he touched a harp,
with skill, I thought, seeking languidly to please her; but she looked
on him in distaste. Then a page brought them liquid from a crystal
flask of curious fashioning, and the two drank thirstily, for it was
hot. Then they gazed startled on each other with changed eyes. The
thunder-caps rolled up, and I heard them speak in troubled, riddling
words of “aimer” and “la mer,” and I shut the window lest I prove
indiscreet. Besides, the air was stifling.

It was not always sea that greeted me. You can imagine the pleasure of
opening in harsh March weather on the cool depths of a summer forest,
where the angel face of a sleeping girl in white nun’s habit made a
sunshine in the shade! My worries rolled away as I watched joyous
wood-folk--fauns, satyrs, and fair hamadryads--caper and dance through
the forest, and saw them, awestruck at her sweet holiness, bend their
knees before her, grinning gently, and crown her with garlands. In that
same wood, when the moon was risen, I saw star-crossed lovers misled
by faery pranks, and the queen of faery herself beguiled. But the next
evening my window gave on a blasted, treeless heath, where weird women
lay in wait for two doomed soldiers.

One of the best things I got from the window was a glimpse of
Utopia. Several of us had spent the day trying to organize relief
in a mill town where a three-cornered strike was going on, and the
regular unions, the employers, and the I. W. W. were involved in a
hideous wrangle-tangle. It was worse than any of our old settlement
experiences. I came back sick at heart and touched the casement spring,
afraid that I couldn’t see out for the smart in my eyes. But there lay
Utopia before me. Yes, dear, Utopia.

Did it? I dared not be sure. Past the rear gardens of the pleasant
houses a clear river ran sweetly, just as Sir Thomas More had said, and
through the wide street passed comely, alert citizens, full of grave,
friendly cheer. But might there not be slums and strikers round the
corner? The power of faith was blurred in me that night.

Just then a man who carried a kit of carpenters’ tools, whistling as
he walked, looked up and waved his cap. It was young Stanton of our
economics department. He was always tinkering at his house, but it
looked odd to see him carry a kit on the public way.

“Good morning. Isn’t Utopia the greatest ever?” he cried. “My lectures
are over; I’m off to help with those new houses around the bend.”

“Is this real Utopia?” I asked eagerly.

He nodded.

“I perceive, however, that the inhabitants have not changed their
nature,” he laughed. “You have your old skeptical mind.”

“If it’s Utopia,” I retorted, “why in the name of common sense are you
still lecturing on economics?”

“The wonder is how I lectured on it in the old days,” he replied. “I
was like a professor of harmony, with nothing to expound but discords.
Now we have a symphonic whole to study and even fuller harmonies to
evolve. The department is the largest in the college.”

“Have pity on my skeptical mind,” I pleaded. “Give me a sign that
Utopia is here.”

He motioned to the passing people.

“Why, look!” he said.

And I was satisfied: for never could there have been that serenity
of eye had one factory been left exploiting the labor of children,
one sweat-shop, or one malcontent. Yet even while I watched, a woman,
dressed in black, passed, sobbing bitterly. Tears? In Utopia?

“We are still on the earth, you know,” said Stanton, gently; “we are
not exempt from tears.”

       *       *       *       *       *

~Not~ long after I met the architect’s assistant. I had been worrying
somewhat. I was troubled about the price of the magic casement, even
though he had said that it would not add materially to the cost of the
house. He caught the same train as I to town by a flying jump at the
last minute. He was scurrying by, but I pulled his coat and made him
sit down.

“I hope the house is satisfactory?” he asked.

“Very, on the whole,” I replied. “The door-panels warp, but no house is
perfect. I want to ask you about the price of the magic casement. It
was not included in the specifications, and I am anxious to settle for

He wriggled, looking annoyed.

“If you like it, you ought not to haggle about the price,” he said.

“I shall not haggle,” I replied with spirit; “but if the window is
as expensive as I fear, perhaps you wouldn’t mind being paid on the
instalment plan.”

“If I had not supposed you perfectly solvent, I should never have put
that casement in,” he returned.

“You had strict instructions to avoid all luxuries,” I said with
indignation, for I was frightened. “You knew that I was living on a
salary and that I had to mortgage in order to build. However, I am
not complaining. I am willing to pay heavily for the casement, for it
certainly is a shipshape affair.”

“That’s better talk,” said the assistant. “Now, as a matter of fact,
you’ve paid already. The contract for magic casements is to the effect
that the article is paid for by use. It runs, ‘For so much value
received in vision, equivalent price in use, thus and so.’ I knew you
could pay cash for that window.”

To pay by using! Now, Margaret, did you ever hear of anything like
that! “How uncommon,” I protested. “How absurd!”

“Nobody would suppose that you had a look into Utopia lately,” he

“We’re not in Utopia,” I argued.

“Are you so sure?” he asked; and looking at him, I found I wasn’t.

“People are dull,” he complained ruefully. “Of course they are in
Utopia the minute they believe themselves there.” As he talked, I was
noticing that ruffled hair of his and those queer, triangular, merry

“Does your firm approve your way of doing business?” I asked.

“They have nothing to do with magic casements. Those are a little
specialty of my own which I put in now and then for a suitable client
like yourself.”

“Who are you, anyway?” I cried; and with a flourish he handed me a card
engraved in the latest style. Mr. Robert Goodfellow was the name it
bore. The wind from the train window blew the hair from his ears.

“Robin!” I shouted.

“At your service,” he laughed. “You see, I adapt myself to the times.
There’s no use playing helter-skelter pranks on systematic Americans.
They get their cream by a separator, so they never put out bowls of
milk for me; the chores are done by machinery; and if I prowl about the
kitchen by night, I get nervous prostration for fear some one will turn
on the electricity. So I went in for scientific efficiency, and studied
for the professions. I have lots of fun. But you people who live in
steam heat are so afraid of drafts that hardly anybody will let me put
in a magic casement. I was really grateful to you for giving me the
chance. Hello! Here we are at Back Bay! Good-by!”

There’s my story. Now, may I not send Robin to give you a magic
casement in “Parva sed Apta”? I am sure he would not mind the journey.
But I suspect you may have one already; Robin and you were always on
good terms.

  Lovingly yours,
  _Vida D. Scudder_.


[Illustration: IN LIGHTER VEIN]




Many visitors to Rome will remember the German book-store on the Piazza
di Spagna, kept by Herr S----, of whom a story is told which throws a
backward light upon the apparently troublesome activities, as a boy, of
a distinguished American novelist. Herr S----, who had been established
in Rome as a bookseller almost a lifetime, once met in his store
another elderly gentleman, who said:

“Isn’t it fine, Mr. S----, about Frank Crawford?”

“Fine about Frank Crawford? Vot you mean?”

“Why, about his book--a great success. Haven’t you heard? Haven’t you
read it?”

“Read his pook? No. Frank Crawford ride a pook? Imbossible!”

“Oh, yes; no doubt of it. Giuseppe,”--calling a salesman,--“let me have
a copy of ‘Mr. Isaacs,’ please.”

When the volume was brought to the incredulous bookseller, he held it
at arm’s-length, looking at it curiously as he turned it from side to
side and from end to end; then he cautiously examined the title-page,
with its “--th edition,” which he greeted with a guttural “Huh!” Next
he turned to the last page, and read the concluding sentence with
another grunt of astonishment. Then he dipped into the volume in two or
three places, and finally, satisfied that he was not being deceived,
handed back the book to Giuseppe without looking at him, and said:

“Vell, vell! dot brooves dot you must neffer trown a poy.”



  ’Tis Christmas eve. The very air
    Seems charged to-night, seems subtly thrilled
  By glad previsions of a rare,
    Strange happiness, yet unfulfilled.
  I sense this thing, and still my heart
    Is numb, lethargic, dead. I hold
  Myself from all the world apart.
    The Christmas spirit leaves me cold.

  Below me, in the frosty street,
    I hear the city’s muffled song
  Of carnival--the tramp of feet,
    The voices of the passing throng.
  I watch them as they hurry by
    In kind confusion, faces bright
  With Christmas comradeship; but I--
    I am not one of them to-night.

  Each hastens, in that host below,
    To choose the gifts that shall delight
  Another on the morrow. No,
    I am not one of them to-night.
  The laughing crowd, the siren call
    Of blazing shops that beckon; nay,
  Untouched, unmoved, I hear it all:
    I did _my_ shopping yesterday!



Mawnin’, Miss Johnson. Is yer out doin’ yer Chris’mas shoppin’? You
sure is de forehandestest pusson I eber did see. Here ’t is five whole
days ’fore Chris’mas, an’ you ’most frough gettin’ ready.

What’s we goin’ ter do? Why, jes as usu’l, an’ dat’s good ’nough fer
we. You see, we spends Chris’mas day sorter foragin’ roun’ ’mongst
de white folks, an’ c’llectin’ things tergether, an’ ketchin’ ’em
Chris’mas gif’; den de nex’ day we all has _our_ Chris’mas.

What? We ain’t got it on de right date? What’s dat got to do wid de
’joyment ob it, I’d like to know? An’, anyhow, no one doan’ know fer
sure what is de right date nohow, ’ca’se dere ain’t no one erlivin’ now
what was erlive when Chris’mas started in on us, an’ if dere was, I
wouldn’ b’lieve him nohow, ’ca’se he’d be too ole ter trus’ his mem’ry.
So one day’s as good as anudder, an’ maybe better. Dis here way suits
_me_, an’ it saves er lot ob trouble an’ hard wuk, not ter speak ob de

Dis is de way we wuks it, an’ ’scusin’ de walkin’ roun’ an’ totin de
load home, it ain’t no trouble ’t all.

We ’vides de city up into pahts. I takes de av’nues, ’Lindy teks de
lengthways streets, li’le Polly Ann an’ John Andrew de cross streets,
an’ Jeemes William--my ole man--de gen’lemen’s clubs. We all has our
own way ob doin’ it, but we all gits de things.

Jeemes William he jes stan’s near de do’ ob de club-houses wid his
hat in his han’, an’ as de gen’men goes in, he says ter all ob de
sassy-lookin’ ones, “Chris’mas gif’, Gen’al,” an’ p’ints ter de
army-button what he foun’ in de White Lot, an’ what he puts in his
buttonhole on dese ’casions. Den as de South’rn gen’men goes in, he
hol’s dat li’le ’Federate flag ober de button an’ says, “Chris’mas
gif’, Massa.” An’ I’ve knowed him ter come home wid as much as twelve
dollars in his pocket jes f’om his good manners; dey is so skase
nowerdays, wid all dis passle ob young niggers growin’ up roun’ here,
dat de white folks is willin’ ter pay high fer ’em when dey do come
’cross ’em.

’Lindy she puts on dat black alpacky frock of hern an’ er white collar
an’ a starched white ap’on, an’ she takes de rich-lookin’ houses an’
rings de bells, an’ asks kin she hope out wid de extra wuk jes fur er
tas’e oh de Chris’mas-time, an’ dat fetches some one ’fore she’s made
more ’n five or six tries, an’ den she jes lays herse’f out ter please
de white folks, an’ ebery endurin’ one ob dem gibs her sumpen ’nudder
what dey doan’ want an’ what somebody else done gib _dem_, an as ’Lindy
mos’ in gen’al picks out de big famblies, dere ain’t no mean showin’
f’om her.

Polly Ann an’ John Andrew dey sings “I’s er-rovin’ li’le darky all de
way f’om Alabam’” an’ some yudder sech chunes un’er de winders, an’
folks t’rows dem pennies an’ nickels, an’ lots ob ’em gibs ’em cakes
an’ or’nges an’ candy an’ de like er dat.

Me? How do I git my share? Now yer’ll laugh! Jeemes William say’,
“No one wouldn’t thunk er sech er thing ’cep’in’ you, Emmy Jane,”
but I ain’t nuss nine li’le white chillun, ’sides thirteen ob my own
piccaninnies, countin’ de halves an’ de dade ones, an’ not learn
nothin’ ter hope me ’long in dis world.

I jes puts on er clean purple caliker frock an’ er stiff white
ap’on wid er white handkuchief roun’ my neck, an’ I ties er colored
handkuchief ober my h’ad ter make our kind er white folks ’member
de days when we all uster be jes like one fambly, an’ laugh an’ cry
togeder, an’ dat’s how come it dat I done foun’ out so many ob de

What I do ’sides dress up like ole times? Well, all de endurin’ year I
saves up all de putty fedders f’om de tu’keys an’ chickens an’ geese
an’ sech, an’ I gets me er ball ob red cord fer five cents, an’ I ties
de fedders up in li’le bunches an’ puts ’em in er basket.

Chris’mas I teks dat basket on my arm, an I s’lec’s de houses where dey
is babies, an’ dere is plenty ob ’em on de av’nues, too, ’spite ob Mr.
Roosterfelt er-sayin’ rich chillun is fallin’ off in comin’ ter our big
cities. He oughter hab my job one year an’ see fer hisse’f.

Well, I rings de bell an’ asks kin I gib de baby er Chris’mas gif’,
an’ ’most ebery fambly say “Yes,” an’ brings de baby out, an’ acts
pleased-like. Den I hol’s out my arms to de li’le chile an’ says, “Come
ter Mammy, Honey!” an’ most in gen’al dey jumps right to me, an’ dat
settles de mas an’ pas.

Den I s’lec’s er bunch ob fedders an’ gibs dem to de baby. All chillun,
white or black, loves ter play wid fedders. Reckon it’s ’ca’se dey
ain’t so long lef’ dem off in de wing-country what dey come f’om, an’ I
tell you dat basket is er heap sight heavier on de home trip dan on de
goin’ out.

Next day we all brings out our pickin’s an’ we builds er fire in de
bes’ room, an’ _den’s_ our Chris’mas.

Doan’ we _give_ no presen’s? Co’se we does. We s’lec’s all de things
what we doan’ want, same as de white folks does, an’ we makes er pile
ob ’em, den we makes a lis’ ob de names ob de people what we wants ter
gib to,--’Lindy she does dat paht, ’ca’se she’s had schoolin’ an’ kin
write grand,--den we blin’fol’s li’le John Andrew, an’ ’Lindy she calls
out er name, an’ John Andrew grabs er gif’. Dat’s how come you ter git
er pair of gallusses, an’ Daddy Bundy er long gingham ap’on las’ year.

I hopes de givin’ dis year will turn ter tu’key an’ cramberry, jes fer
de sake ob ole times down home. I sure does get lonesome fer de ole
place roun’ ’bout Chris’mas.




  Dem inkybator chickens dat’s hatched by de clock
  Wid a lamp for love, is lonesome stock;
  Dey feeds in droves but dey envies de others
  Dat scratches for grubs wid any ol’ mothers.
    An’ dey ain’t by deyselves, po’ orphans, in dat--
    No, dey ain’t by deyselves in dat!


  When de cabbage got ambitiom, in a uppish hour,
  He lost ’is head an’ bu’st into flower
  Wid ’is brains outside, an’ addled, at dat--
  Den he sot ’isself up for a ’ristocrat.
    An’ he ain’t by ’isself in dat, in dat--
    An’ he ain’t by ’isself in dat!





  Said a cow, “It has long been my dream,
  A sort of utopian scheme,
        To leave, when I die,
        Enough milk to supply
  A home for poor kittens--with cream.”



  Quoth a cat to me once: “Pray relieve
  My suspense. What does eight from nine leave?”
        Poor puss looked so cold
        And so thin and so old,
  I replied, “_Quite a few, I believe_.”





This delicious tropical fruit is grown, sliced and packed by Libby,
M^cNeill & Libby on their Hawaiian Plantations, the home of the world’s
best pineapple.

Libby’s is the kind of Pineapple that has the sun-ripened natural
flavor, and is good for everybody.

The sanitary can is full of tender, generous slices with a syrup of
pure granulated sugar and luscious pineapple juice.

Serve just as it is for a dessert--as a salad, or fruit course.

  _Always buy Libby’s_

  Libby, M^cNeill
  & Libby


[Illustration: “_Libby’s_ is always the best”]





  Absolutely pure, delicious, healthful; made from high-grade cocoa
  beans, scientifically blended and by a perfect mechanical process (no

  Estab. 1780     =WALTER BAKER & CO., Ltd.=     Dorchester, Mass.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. LXXXV: New Series Vol. LXIII, November 1912 to April 1913" ***

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