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HANDBOUND 
AT THE 



UNIVERSITY OF 




THE 



ATLANTIC MONTHLY 



A MAGAZINE OF 



^ &rt, ann 



VOLUME LYIII. 




BOSTON AND NEW YOEK 
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 
^re#^, Cambridge 

1886 



COPYRIGHT, 1886. 
BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY. 




RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: 

ELECTROTYPES AND PRINTED BY 
H. 0. HOCGHTOX AND COMPANY. 



CONTENTS. 



r 



PXGE 

Bacon's Dictionary of Boston 659 

Barlow, Joel 275 

Blindman's World, The Edward Bellamy 693 

Church of England Novel, The Harriet Waters Preston 783 

Confessions of a Bird's-Nest Hunter Bradford Torrey 336 

Domestic Economy in the Confederacy David Dodge 229 

Dream of Russia, The Cyrus Hamlin 771 

Epic Russia 704 

failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War .... John Fiske 77 

Fortuny and Decamps 566 

France under Mazarin 708 

French and English Philip Gilbert Hamerton ... 17, 318, 619 

From the Garden of a Friend Mary Agnes Tincker 502 

Furness's Othello 270 

Germs of National Sovereignty in the United States John Fiske 648 

Golden Justice, The William Henry Bishop 27, 145, 289, 474, 628, 

721 

Grant's Memoirs : Second Volume 419 

Hutchinson's Diary : Second Volume 561 

In the Clouds Charles Egbert Craddock 113, 243, 386, 519, 

666, 829 

Indian Question in Arizona, The Robert K, Evans 167 

Individual Continuity Andrew Hedbrooke 263 

Intellectual Mission of the Saracens, The Edward Hungerford . 817 

Korean Coup d'Etat, A Percival Lowell 599 

Labor Question, The George Frederic Parsons 97 

Law's Partiality to Married Women, The Frank Gaylord Cook 311 

Lincoln, Abraham 556 

Literary Athlete, A Edward F. Hayward 456 

Mad Monarch, A E. P. Evans 449 

Mademoiselle Joan Rebecca Harding Davis 328 

Mazzini Maria Louise Henry 803 

My Real Estate Bradford Torrey 496 

Needlework in Art 136 

New Portfolio, The ' . . . . Oliver Wendell Holmes 1 

Object of a University, The Elisha Mulford 747 

On the Benefits of Superstition Agnes Repplier 177 

Ouida Harriet Waters Preston 47 

Paper Money Craze of 1786, The, and the Shays Rebellion . . . John Fiske 376 

Peckster Professorship, The J. P. Quincy 577 

Princess Casamassima, The Henry James 58, 209, 349, 433 

Race Prejudices N. S. Shaler 510 

Recent Light Literature 267 

Richardson, Henry Hobson, Architect Henry Van Brunt 685 

Rise of Arabian Learning, The Edward Hungerford 539 

Saloon in Politics, The George Frederic Parsons 404 

Schuyler's American Diplomacy 414 

Sibyl the Savage L. W. Champney 89 

Six Visions of St. Augustine Octave Thanet 187 

Strange Story of Pragtjna, The . . . . Harvard B. Rooke 761 

Two American Novels 131 

Two Browns, The Sarah Orne Jewett 196 

Up the Neva to Schllisselburg Edmund Noble 762 

Whipple, Edwin Percy Thomas Wentworth Higginson ... 345 

Witches of Venice, The Elizabeth Robins Pennell 463 

Wood-Fears Sophia Kirk 644 



IV 



Contents. 



At the Grave of a Suicide, S. M. B. Piatt . . . 

At Variance, Cara W. Branson 

Baptism of Fire, Julia C. R. Dorr 

Boutonniere, A, Charles Henry Lliders .... 
Dante, A Volume of, Caroline Wilder Fettowes 

Endymion, Samuel V. Cole 

Jackson, Helen Hunt, To the Memory of, Edith 

M. Thomas 

Links of Chance, The, Andrew Hedbrooke . . . 
Love's Solitude and Society, Edith M. Thomas . 



POETRY. 

76 Madonna Pia, Helen Gray Cone ....... 745 

16 Memory of Theocritus, A, James B. Kenyan . . 598 
782 Shell and the World, The, Rose Hawthorne La- 

462 throp 317 

228 Sleep, Louise Imogen Guiney 791 

186 Studies for Pictures, Margaret Deland .... 627 

To a Maid Demure, Andrew Hedbrooke .... 634 

195 To Q. H. F., Charles Gayley 262 

375 Wood-Thrush, The, Lucy Larcom 647 

555 



BOOK REVIEWS. 



Alford's Needlework in Art 

Bacon's 'Dictionary of Boston 

Battle of Gettysburg, The 

Bunner's Midge 

Clement's Decamps 

Furness's New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare 

Othello . 

Grant's Memoirs : Second Volume 

Hapgood's Epic Songs of Russia 

Hardy's Wind of Destiny 



135 Hutchinson's Diary of Thomas Hutchinson . . 561 

559 Oldest School in America, The . 561 

852 Perkins's France under Mazarin 708 

267 Putnam's Old Salem 269 

668 Rice's Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln . . . 557 
Schuyler's American Diplomacy and the Further- 

270 ance of Commerce 414 

419 Stockton's Late Mrs. Null 133 

704 Todd's Life and Letters of Joel Barlow .... 275 

131 Yriarte's Fortuny . 55$ 



CONTRIBUTORS' CLUB. 

Amulets in Words, 573 ; Bright Side of Human Ignorance, The, 139 ; Can Tunes be Inherited ? 284 ; Certain Com- 
fortable Reflections, 574 ; Choosing a Class of People for Extermination, 712; Clang-Tint of Words, The, 424 ; 
Dames of Labor, 712 ; Ethics of the Plank at Sea, The, 575 ; Favorable View of Self-Conceit, A, 428 ; Free- 
Will of the Bonfire, The, 279 ; Human Nature in Chickens, 282 ; Management of the Mind while hearing 
Music, The, 137 , Mind as a Bad Portrait-Painter, The, 569 ; Most Pathetic Figure in Story, The, 716 ; Mother 
Goose Element in the Best of Poets, 858 ; Nouveau Cultive, The, 571 ; Nuts and Kernels, 715 ; Of Flowers, 
428 ; Old Campaigner, An, 570 ; Old Fugue Tune, The, 715 ; On being ignorantly Praised, 857 ; Psychology 
of Interruptions, The, 283; Romantic Dispositions, 426 ; Slipperiness of Certain Words, The, 281 ; " Things 
we meant to Say, The," 142 ; Threshold Flower, A, 284; Two Objections to Spelling Reform, 141. 

BOOKS OF THE MONTH . 143, 286, 430, 576, 718, 860 



THE 



ATLANTIC MONTHLY: 
of Iiterature 3 ^cience 3 %xt, ana 

VOL. L VIII. JUL Y, 1886. No. CCOXL V. 



THE NEW PORTFOLIO. 



A PROSPECTIVE VISIT. 



AFTER an interval of more than fifty 
years I propose taking a second look at 
some parts of Europe. This will give 
my readers of The Atlantic, as well as 
the writer, a vacation to which we both 
seem entitled. It is a Rip Van Winkle 
experiment which I am promising my- 
self. The changes wrought by half a 
century in the countries I visited amount 
almost to a transformation. I left the 
England of William the Fourth, of the 
Duke of Wellington, of Sir Robert Peel ; 
the France of Louis Philippe, of Mar- 
shal Soult, of Thiers, of Guizot. I went 
from Manchester to Liverpool by the 
new railroad, the only one I saw in 
Europe. I looked upon England from 
the box of a stage-coach, upon France 
from the coupe of a diligence, upon 
Italy from the chariot of a vetturino. 
The broken windows of Apsley House 
were still boarded up when I was in 
London. The asphalt pavement was 
not laid in Paris. The Obelisk of Lux- 
or was lying in its great boat in the 
Seine, as I remember it. I did not see 
it erected ; it must have been a sensa- 
tion to have looked on, the engineer 
standing underneath, so as to be crushed 
by it if it disgraced him by falling in 
the process. As for the dynasties which 
have overlaid each other like Dr. Schlie- 
mann's Trojan cities, there is no need of 



moralizing over a history which instead 
of Finis is constantly ending with What 
next? 

With regard to the changes in the 
general conditions of society and the ad- 
vance in human knowledge, think for 
one moment what fifty years have done. 
I have often imagined myself escorting 
some wise man of the past to our Satur- 
day Club, where we often have distin- 
guished strangers as our guests. Sup- 
pose there sat by me I will not say 
Sir Isaac Newton, for he has been too 
long away from us, but that other great 
man, whom Professor Tyndall names 
as next to him in intellectual stature, 
as he passes along the line of master 
minds of his country from the days 
of Newton to our own Dr. Thomas 
Young, who died in 1829. Would he 
or I be the listener, if we were side by 
side ? However humble I might feel in 
such a presence, I should be so clad in 
the grandeur of the new discoveries, 
inventions, ideas, I had to impart to him 
that I should seem to myself like the 
ambassador of an Emperor. I should 
tell him of the ocean steamers, the rail- 
roads that spread themselves like cob- 
webs over the civilized and half-civil- 
ized portions of the earth, the telegraph 
and the telephone, the photograph and 
the spectroscope. I should hand him a 



Copyright, 1886, by HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co. 



The New Portfolio. 



[July, 



paper with the morning news from Lon- 
don to read by the electric light, I should 
startle him with a friction match, I 
should amaze him with the incredible 
truths about anaesthesia, I should aston- 
ish him with the later conclusions of ge- 
ology, I should electrify him by the fully 
developed doctrine of the correlation of 
forces, I should delight him with the 
cell-doctrine, I should confound him with 
the revolutionary apocalypse of Darwin- 
ism. All this change in the aspects, 
position, beliefs, of humanity since the 
time of Dr. Young's death, the date of 
my own graduation from college ! 

I ought to consider myself highly 
favored to have lived through such a 
half century. But it seems to me that 
in walking the streets of London and 
Paris I shall revert to my student days, 
and appear to myself like a relic of a 
former generation. Those who have 
been born into the inheritance of the 
new civilization feel very differently 
about it from those who have lived 
their way into it. To the young and 
those approaching middle age all these 
innovations in life and thought are as 
natural, as much a matter of course, as 
the air they breathe ; they form a part 
of the frame-work of their intelligence, 
of the skeleton about which their men- 
tal life is organized. To men and wo- 
men of more than threescore they are 
external accretions, like the shell of a 
mollusk, the jointed plates of an artic- 
ulate. 

This must be remembered in reading 
anything written by those who knew 
the century in its teens ; it is not like 
to be forgotten, for the fact betrays 
itself in all the writer's thoughts and 
expressions. The reader of this paper 
of mine must recollect that I did not 
visit Europe to bring home stories for 
his amusement or instruction. My time 
was chiefly given up to the study of my 
profession. I lived largely in hospitals, 
I listened to medical and surgical lec- 
tures, I walked in the train of learned 



professors, I talked with medical stu- 
dents, I belonged to a medical society, 
and I took sides in medical contests 
which agitated the little world around 
the Ecole de Medecine. In a word, I 
lived the life of the Quartier Latin, 
the students' quarter. Not rarely, how- 
ever, I crossed the river by the Pont 
Neuf or the Pont des Arts, bought a 
little bouquet of violets or other modest 
blossoms of a humble flower-dealer at 
the further end of the bridge, and with 
that in my button-hole aired myself in 
the sunny splendors of the Palais Royal 
and the Boulevard des Italiens. My 
time was not wholly idle on these excur- 
sions, for, to say nothing of the thea- 
tres and the opera, I studied with in- 
finite delight the pictures and statues 
in the Gallery of the Louvre, and gave 
due attention to that branch of physiol- 
ogy of which Brillat-Savarin was the 
illustrious teacher, by the aid of prac- 
tical lessons in the famous restaurants 
of the day. 

The reader may naturally suppose 
that I can have very little to tell him 
which can be of special interest. I saw 
a great deal of which he does not wish 
to hear. He does not care to follow me 
into the wards of La Pitie, or St. Louis, 
or Hotel Dieu, unless he is so far de- 
praved in his taste by the grossness 
which calls itself realism as to delight 
in what is repulsive to healthy natures. 

I did not see the men and women 
whom to have met would have been a 
priceless memory. I thought of myself 
only as a medical student, preparing for 
a laborious calling by which I expected 
to live. I had not opened my sealed 
orders. What is there in such a young 
person to excite a moment's interest 
other than that which human brother- 
hood entitles us all to look for in our 
fellow - creatures ? Very little, I am 
afraid. But I was not yet twenty-four 
years old, and so youthful in aspect that 
they did not like to let me in at Fra- 
scati's, where I went once only, to look 



1886.] 



The New Portfolio. 



on, not to gamble. My senses were 
acute, my intellect was hungry, my love 
of art and taste for it strong enough to 
be a continual source of excitement, and 
though I had written a few poems, some 
of which have lived their half century, 
I had not wasted my youthful sensibili- 
ties in those floods of verse which wash 
away the emotions that are the life of 
life in profuse and debilitating expres- 
sion. 

Who does not remember the change 
of feeling, when, in his boyhood, as he 
was following a company of " trainers " 
marching to the lean duet of the drum 
and fife, all at once the full band broke 
into its rich tumult of harmonies ? Such 
was my feeling, transplanted from my 
city of sixty thousand inhabitants into 
the great world-centres where millions 
were congregated. 

I must have told in print somewhere 
much of what I have to say in these 
pages. But if I do not remember when 
or where I have told it, it is not very 
probable that my reader does, or that 
he remembers anything about it. At 
any rate, I put my recollections in more 
exact order than ever before. They are 
many of them, perhaps most of them, 
trivial, personal reminiscences, pecu- 
liar to the narrator in many cases, not 
such as his reader would be likely to 
meet with elsewhere. They are, in 
, point of fact, the flotsam of memory, 
the lighter things that have come to the 
surface in virtue of their buoyancy. 

I left New York in April, 1833, in 
the ship Philadelphia, Captain Champlin, 
and returned in the autumn of 1835 in 
the ship Utica, Captain Depeyster. I 
began a journal on the first day of the 
voyage, and closed it on the third. One 
of my fellow-passengers, Mr. Thomas 
Gold Appleton, was more persevering, 
and I learn from his diary, printed in 
Miss Susan Hale's " Life and Recollec- 
tions," that it was on Monday, the 1st of 



April, we sailed. I refer to his record 
for a few facts. 

The list of passengers included, also, 
Dr. Jacob Bigelow, Dr. R. W. Hooper, 
and Mr. Thomas B. Curtis. There was, 
of course, much pleasant talk. " Tom 
Appletoii " made fun of everything ; the 
icebergs which scared us became the ice- 
bugs in his vocabulary, and between 
him and the three I have mentioned it 
was an ill word that did not furnish a 
pun, good or bad, for one or the other 
of them. Of the sights Appleton de- 
scribes I cannot say so much as he does. 
I remember the little tug Hercules, 
which towed us out of the harbor, and 
watched for her name many a year in 
the marine records. I recollect the man 
overboard, and the " helm cover " if 
that was the name of it which was 
thrown over to him. How many drown- 
ing flies I have rescued in the memory 
of that struggling mariner ! I can re- 
call, or think I can, the whales, but I 
am sorry to say I missed the following 
interesting object : 

"While gazing over the railing at 
the seething caldron about the ship, I 
had a fair sight at that most poetical of 
ocean rovers, the nautilus. It was spin- 
ning round in the foam, in shape like a 
sculpin, with a many-colored and semi- 
transparent body, and two beautiful 
azure, gauze-like wings or sails. I saw 
no oars. It was whirled instantly out 
of sight." 

I did hear some of the passengers 
speak of seeing what the captain called 
a " Portuguese man-of-war," but I did 
not see the creature myself, nor did I 
ever see this description until more than 
fifty years after it was written. The 
creature is not a nautilus, and the ac- 
count seems to me a little fanciful, but 
not more so than a poem of my own, 
The Chambered Nautilus, which speaks 
about " its wings of living gauze," and 
again of its " purpled wings," expres- 
sions which look as if they had been 
borrowed from Mr. Appleton's Diary. 



The New Portfolio. 



[July, 



" Tom " was in the poetical mood, and 
wrote a sonnet, making a little fun of 
himself for doing it. He says that he 
and I " talked sentiment." I do not 
doubt it ; he was full enough of it to 
make verses, and I was too full of it to 
be jingling syllables, for poems spring 
up after the floods have subsided. 

I happen to remember the name of 
the vessel he mentions our falling in 
with ; it was the brig Economist, from 
Sierra Leone for Leith. This meeting 
made me feel as if I were reading a 
story out of a picture-book. 

It blew pretty freshly as we neared 
the land, and a topsail exploded like a 
torpedo, and hung in rags about the 
spars. By and by the land grew from 
a suspicion to a reality, from a mass to 
a varied surface, and very soon the spire 
of a church showed itself. The Amer- 
ican of English descent is a poor crea- 
ture if such a sight does not awaken 
some feeling deeper than mere curios- 
ity or pleasure in its picturesqueness. 
When the church-bells of England vi- 
brate, the dust of his ancestors of scores 
of generations, 

" Each in his narrow cell forever laid," 
thrills with the trembling earth that 
covers it. There is a magnetism in the 
soil from which our lives were remotely 
drawn which not even the infinite hu- 
mor of our countryman's reflections at 
the grave of the father of the human 
race can laugh us out of. If Mr. Ap- 
pleton and I did not "talk sentiment" 
when we first caught sight of that stee- 
ple, I am ashamed for both of us, but 
perhaps our feelings were too deep for 
any words. 

Our first reception in England was 
cordial, if not hospitable, cordial, for 
the best of reasons. The vessel did not 
put us ashore, but a boat took us on 
board and had to be paid for. The boat 
did not put us on shore, but a plank 
was laid for us to walk over, and this 
too had to be paid for. We landed at 
Portsmouth on the 25th day of April. 



The Quebec Hotel, to which we went, 
was a small affair, but we found -it com- 
fortable and homelike. What struck 
me most was the neatness of all out- 
doors and its conveniences. The roads 
were so hard and smooth it seemed like 
maltreatment to drive over them. I 
could hardly believe my eyes when I 
saw a stagecoach ; it looked like a toy, 
the body so small, and such contrivances 
for the " outsides." We drove in the 
environs of Portsmouth, and the variety 
and beauty of the cottages astonished us. 
We stood on the deck of the Victory, 
and saw where Nelson fell. While at 
the navy yard we saw some soldiers, ma- 
rines, perhaps, under arms. What lit- 
tle fellows they are ! we said. They 
looked like boys. The same remark 
was often made afterwards in looking at 
French troops of the line. 

We crossed over to the Isle of Wight. 
How lovely and garden-like! Is the 
island kept under glass in winter ? At 
Carisbrook Castle we were shown round 
by a most respectable-looking old gentle- 
man, who appeared more like one of my 
brother members of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society than a cicerone whose 
business was to show a place to stran- 
gers. Wo could not insult such a gen- 
tleman by offering him a shilling or 
half a crown, and we did not, unless 
some one who knew the ways of British 
local historians did it quietly. A simi- 
lar experience we had with the distin- 
guished-looking personage who showed 
us the royal yacht in which George the 
Fourth used to take his sea airings. 

The feelings of an educated Amer- 
ican on first reaching the home of his 
ancestors have been so fully expressed 
by Irving in the Sketch-Book that it 
would be superfluous to enlarge upon 
them here. Only eighteen years had 
passed since he sailed for Europe. We 
cannot help smiling as we read of the 
effect produced upon him by the first 
sight of a man of distinction in the 
world of letters : 



1886.] 



The New Portfolio. 



" There was something in his whole 
appearance that indicated a being of a 
different order from the bustling race 
around him. I inquired his name, and 
was informed that it was Roscoe. I 
drew back with an involuntary feeling 
of veneration. This, then, was an au- 
thor of celebrity ; this was one of those 
men whose voices have gone forth to the 
ends of the earth, with whose minds I 
have communed even in the solitude of 
America." 

An American is in little danger of 
going into hysterics at the sight of a 
European celebrity in these days. Wash- 
ington Irving's emotions enlarged the 
object of his contemplation, as the young 
Plymouth pilgrim's imagination saw " a 
great sea " in what proved to be a pond 
or small lake, which has immortalized 
his blunder by taking the name of 
" Billington Sea." The American of to- 
day is far more likely to express him- 
self, after meeting " an author of celeb- 
rity," in the spirit of the question of 
the princess in Landor's " Gebir : " 

"Is this the mighty ocean, is this all ? " 
Since Mark Twain introduced the Mis- 
sissippi to the Jordan, the American has 
been in danger of losing that " venera- 
tion" which the amiable author of the 
Sketch-Book yielded so freely to the 
first well-known writer he met with. 

One sensation I had, overpowering, 
memorable ever after, the sight of my 
first cathedral, that of Salisbury. Oth- 
ers that I have since seen are richer in 
ornament, their spires rise higher and 
their windows blaze in brighter colors, 
but the page of memory on which Salis- 
bury Cathedral stamped itself was a 
fresh one, almost virgin of impressions. 
Our village meeting-house was visible 
upon it, and the Old South, and our 
dear little Saint Peter's which calls it- 
self the State House, its dome not yet 
gilded; but that mighty pile, with its 
shaft climbing up as high above its lofty 
roof as Park Street steeple from the 
ground on which it rests, with its peace- 



ful cloisters, its venerable monuments, its 
memories of six hundred years, has never 
faded from my mental picture-gallery. 
My second pilgrimage in England would 
naturally carry me first to that precious 
shrine, that I might look upon it once 
more through the eyes that saw it when 
their light was yet undimmed. How 
that spire seemed to follow me wherever 
I wandered within the circle of miles 
around it! Looking down as it does 
from a height of four hundred feet and 
more, it was hard to escape its presence. 
One turned his eyes upward, and over 
walls and housetops and tall trees ; there 
it was, its vane among the clouds by 
day and a companion of the stars by 
night. 

Salisbury Plain would have been of 
little note to me if I had not so well re- 
membered Miss Hannah More's Shep- 
herd. What lessons of content have I 
not got from that story ! The little 
daughter who pities the poor people that 
have no salt to their potatoes, "and 
see, father, our dish is quite full." Dear 
Miss Hannah ! I got my most palata- 
ble Sunday reading out of her stories 
in the Cheap Repository Tracts, and I 
would make one of my first calls upon 
her ; but she has not seen company, 
such as I am, for a long time. 

Stonehenge, Big Dominos, there 
must have been giants in those days. 
I knew little more about them then, 
geologically, historically, ethnologically, 
than the sheep that nibbled the grass 
around them. During my first visit to 
England, of a week only, I visited the 
places mentioned and others of interest : 
Southampton and Netley Abbey, Wil- 
ton House, home of the Sidneys and 
the Herberts, and Longford Castle, seat 
of the Earl of Radnor. To look upon 
real Claudes, like the famous ones at 
Longford Castle ; to make the acquaint- 
ance of Vandyke and other great paint- 
ers in the originals, not in pallid copies ; 
to walk among genuine ancient marbles 
and bronzes, the accumulations of gen- 



6 



The New Portfolio. 



[July, 



erations, as at Wilton House, was a new 
and most agreeable feeling, but it made 
the " Athenaeum Gallery " a little less 
imposing than it had seemed when we 
were admiring its treasures in the early 
days of the exhibitions, and writing pert 
little verses about some of them. 

After this taste of Hampshire and 
Wiltshire, remembering that we had 
other objects, we crossed the Channel, 
and found ourselves at Havre. On our 
way to Paris we were joined by a very 
social and companionable young man, 
who was bound to the same place. He 
knew Boston well, so he said ; had been 
there, and boarded with " Betsy *****," 
a favorite with the best class of board- 
ers. He had been disappointed, it came 
out before long, in regard to his remit- 
tances. This is a not uncommon afflic- 
tion, and is apt to bring a train of mourn- 
ers with it and leave them after it. I 
did not become a fellow-sufferer with 
him by playing the part of a substitute 
for his banker, but others, I believe, did. 

At Rouen the sensation was in the 
narrow streets, with the tall houses and 
the merest ribbon of blue sky between 
them, a wholly new effect to me. I 
could only think of being at the bottom 
of a deep crack in a mountain of rock 
or hardened lava. 

And so we found ourselves in Paris. 
What current drifted us to the Hotel 
des Quinze Vingts I do not remember. 
There is a well-known asylum for the 
blind which is called Hospice des Quinze 
Vingts, Infirmary of the Three Hun- 
dred ; but we could hardly have mistaken 
that for an inn, and the people of the 
establishment could not have taken three 
staring medical students for blind per- 
sons. 

In the morning we sallied forth for 
breakfast, and soon found ourselves in a 
cafe in the Place de la Bourse. It was 
a bright, sunny day, and Paris revealed 
herself to us in all that irresistible charm 
which bewitches every one about whom 
she casts her spangled net. It was a 



delight to be alive, to see new faces, 
to hear a new language, to find' every- 
thing gay, everything unlike what we 
had left. But we had come for work, 
not play. We were soon in the quar- 
ters we had selected, on the other side 
of the river. If the reader would like 
to know where I passed my two years, 
I will give him my address as my Eng- 
lish friend Thompson (whose peut-etre 
was undistinguishable from the English 
of pomme de terre) would have ren- 
dered it. He would have said that 
Monshur H. lived at noomero sankont 
sank Roo Monshur ler Pranse. I should 
have written it 55 Rue M. le Prince. 
M. Bertrand was my landlord ; his wife 
and her mother were the ladies of the 
establishment. Both of them died sud- 
denly, not very long after I took my 
room in the house, and I was prie to 
assister at the interment. A lady, not 
youthful, took the place at the head of 
the household, and after a decorous in- 
terval I was prie to assister at the cer- 
emony which made the widower and 
Mademoiselle Susanne a happy couple. 
I was au troisieme on the third floor 
the first year, au second in the sec- 
ond year. 

The mode of life was, for myself and 
other American students, to take a cup 
of coffee early in the morning, to walk 
to the hospital, follow the visit of the 
physician or surgeon, attend any autop- 
sy there might be, and then go to break- 
fast. 

The favorite resort of myself and my 
friends was the Cafe Procope. This 
cafe had a remarkable history. It got 
its name from its founder, who estab- 
lished it in the Rue des Fosses St. Ger- 
main, now the Rue de 1'Ancienne Come'- 
die, in the year 1689. It is still in ex- 
istence, and will soon reach its two 
hundredth anniversary. Here many 
famous men have been accustomed to 
repair for their refection, Voltaire, 
Piron (qui nefut rien ; pas meme Aca- 
demicien), J. B. Rousseau, Marmontel, 



1886.] 



The New Portfolio. 



Saurin, and, in a later generation, Gam- 
betta. There was no show about the 
place, but Madame at the Comptoir was 
pleasant to look upon, and Honore, our 
favorite gargon, would project a stream 
of coffee into the middle of a little group 
about a table with a dash that was au- 
dacious and an accuracy that inspired 
triumphant confidence. The rest of the 
day was partly- taken up in lectures, vis- 
its to different hospitals, private instruc- 
tion, visits to galleries, excursions, and 
by the time five o'clock arrived we were 
ready for dinner. For a month I was 
en pension, at a boarding-house, or at 
least took my dinner there. All was 
neat and proper, there was the due suc- 
cession of courses, but Madame's " Un 
peu de cela ? " meant si peu that I was 
fain to seek quarters where frugality 
was a less distinguishing feature. I 
therefore joined some young Genevese 
students, who formed a sort of club and 
dined together. The house in which we 
dined was noted from having been the 
one where Marat was stabbed in his 
bath by Charlotte Corday. We used 
every day to pass the room that wit- 
nessed this event. There were some 
pleasant things connected with this Bo- 
hemian arrangement. The Genevese 
students seemed to me like a kind of 
transplanted Bostonians ; indeed, the 
students from Geneva #nd from Boston 
were drawn together naturally. Whether 
it was because both were citizens of a 
republic, or whether the fact that both 
came from snug little buttoned-up cities 
where Calvinism long found its head- 
quarters accounted for it, Theodore 
Maunoir and James Jackson, Jean Bizot 
and myself, were as much at home with 
each other as if all had been fellow- 
townsmen. Some of the ways of one 
or two of my fellow-boarders at table 
were not exactly such as a fastidious 
young person, with our New England 
habits, would be pleased with, and I left 
the house where the spirit of Charlotte 
Corday seemed ever present, and the 



table where my appetite was sometimes 
discouraged. 

In those days one of the most noted, 
though by no means the most showy or 
fashionable, restaurants was the Trois 
Freres Provenc.aux. That was a favor- 
ite resort of my companions and myself. 
Five or six francs apiece gave us a mod- 
est but respectable dinner, with a half 
bottle of Macon or Beaune. On great 
occasions the wine would be Chamber- 
tin or Clos-Vougeot. We rarely called 
for Champagne, not because we were 
too economical, but it was very much 
less the favorite than in these days. In 
Boston we drank Madeira, in Paris Bur- 
gundy. Of course we tried various fa- 
mous restaurants : Very and Vefour, 
one or both ; the Cafe Anglais, famous 
in those days for its turbot ; the Cafe de 
Paris ; Grignon ; and the noted resort 
of epicures, long since extinct, I have 
heard, the Rocher de Cancale, a kind of 
intramural " Taft's," where the products 
of the sea, shell-fish, and the like were 
to be had in their best condition. 

The Latin Quarter, the left side of 
the Seine, looking down the river, 
compared with the right side, was what 
a woolen lining is to a silken mantle. 
There were cafes and restaurants, 
enough of them, but there was a great 
difference in the service and in the 
guests. I wonder whether the " Petit 
Rocher" has withstood the floods of 
half a century. I wonder whether " Ris- 
bec" still offers his bill of fare as he 
did in 1833, and whether some grandson 
of the waiter of that time would ask 
me, as did his grandsire, " Voule&vous 
des pommes de terre avec ? " That ter- 
minal abrupt avec used as the Eng- 
lish use " with " and " without " (^warm 
with, cold without, sugar, being un- 
derstood) happened to fix itself in my 
memory, which has forgotten so many 
dynasties and revolutions. I feel half 
ashamed as I tell such a triviality. 

The whole generation of professors 
and teachers of my student days has 



8 



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[July, 



passed away, with but two exceptions, 
so far as I know. Philippe Ricord, 
" ittustre chirurgien" born in Baltimore 
in the year 1800, is, I think, still living. 
Few men have had a larger experience 
of the infirmities of human nature than 
this celebrated practitioner. If Vol- 
taire had practiced medicine, his clinical 
lectures would have been not unlike 
those of Ricord. It is remarkable that 
America should furnish two such distin- 
guished men, remarkable also for lon- 
gevity, as George Bancroft and Philippe 
Ricord, born in the same year and with- 
in two months of each other. 

A more extraordinary instance of old 
age with retention of intellectual and 
bodily strength is that of Michel-Eugene 
Chevreul, the great chemist and well- 
known professor. Born on the 31st 
of August, 1786, his hundredth birth- 
day is close at hand. His portrait and 
a notice of his life and labors may be 
found in a recent number of the Pop- 
ular Science Monthly (August, 1885). 
Last January the students of Paris made 
a manifestation of respect to " the great 
savant by whom France is honored, and 
who, reaching his hundredth year, still 
remains robust and valiant, and pre- 
serves all the force of his genius and 
his old energy in work." I regret to 
say that I never saw him. 

But cases like these of Ricord and 
Chevreul are eminently exceptional. 
The generation I knew in Paris is ex- 
tinct. Even of their immediate succes- 
sors in the professorial chairs, in the 
prominent positions as practitioners, com- 
paratively few are still living and active. 
Many Americans still remember Louis, 
often spoken of erroneously as Baron 
Louis, the title belonging to a states- 
man of that name who died in 1837. 
He was the special object of admira- 
tion, the guide and friend, of Ameri- 
can, and more peculiarly of Boston, stu- 
dents. We all followed him at his visits 
and his lectures, believed in his teach- 
ings, swore by his words. It seems like 



profanation to sit in judgment on the 
teachers one has looked up to -in his 
earlier years. Louis can bear such a 
retrospect well. His rectilinear intelli- 
gence supplied the best possible correc- 
tive to minds disposed to whirl in vor- 
tices, to roll in cycles and epicycles, to 
shoot up in parabolas and off in tan- 
gents. I, for one, owe him much. A 
healthy suspicion of tho a pen pres ill 
matters of science, a willingness to look 
facts in the face and give them fair play 
against preconceived notions and preju- 
dices, these are what he taught, and 
what I partly learned ; others, I doubt 
not, learned them better. 

How strange is the process of disillu- 
sion about our early instructors ! Wo 
judge them from the lofty height of 
twenty, or thirty, or forty years of hu- 
man progress, and it dwarfs their labors 
as we look down upon them. Louis 
was an admirable man and in certain 
respects an excellent teacher, a great 
pathologist for that day ; but what was 
pathology before the reign of the micro- 
scope? We all loved him and honored 
him. His character had a bonhomie 
and simplicity almost Arcadian, in- 
deed, I suspect his early training was 
distinctly provincial. He had some ex- 
pressions which struck me as curious, 
I will write them phonetically. When 
he came to the empty bed of a patient 
who had died, he said something that 
sounded like fweet, the Latin fuit, per- 
haps, orfuite, flight. He always called 
number eleven numero honze, and he 
used to say asswoiez-vous for asseyez- 
vous, as many of the less educated are 
in the habit of doing. I am struck with 
the fact that many of my instructors 
lived to be very old. I think professor- 
ships tend to produce longevity. Quar- 
terly payments of a fixed stipend are 
tranquillizing prescriptions ; and if ono 
loves teaching and has a fair salary, 
with moderate views of life, he is al- 
most as sure of tiring out the young 
man who is waiting for his place as an 



1886.] 



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9 



annuitant of outliving his " expectation 
of life " and the anticipations of the 
office which is reckoning on his demise 
within a reasonable period. 

My recollections of the French Thea- 
tre are but meagre. I was never much 
given to theatre-going, but I could not 
help seeing some of the celebrities of the 
day. Of these, Mademoiselle Mars was 
the most distinguished. She was about 
fifty-five years of age when I saw her in 
the part of Valerie, the young blind girl. 
She was not youthful, certainly, but 
there is a secret compact between time 
and a French actress which falsifies the 
baptismal record and the almanac. Her 
voice retained its wonderful charm, and 
there was an inundation of tears at the 
moving point of the drama. The most 
noted tragedian I saw was Ligier, a 
favorite pupil of Talma. He acted the 
part of Gloucester, in Casimir de la 
Vigne's play, " Les Enfans d'Edouard." 
I well remember his cavernous voice, as 
the Frenchmen called it, and his pro- 
nunciation of Buckingham, Bew-kang- 
gam, in three pieces, as if he were fit- 
ting the fragments of a broken word 
together. The play was not a great 
success, but Ligier's formidable person- 
ality and voice were very effective. I 
must have seen him in another part, for 
among the words which still vibrate in 
my memory are, O le conseil des dix ! in 
tones so awful that they can have been 
none other than his. I find few per- 
sons remember Ligier. But Frederic 
Lemaitre as Robert Macaire, and Ma- 
demoiselle Dejazet at the theatre of the 
Palais Royal, everybody who ever saw 
them must remember. Dejazet was still 
playing forty years after I saw her, she 
being then nearly forty years old. Tag- 
lioni was dancing at the Royal Opera ; 
Rubiui, Tamburini, and Lablache were 
singing at the Italian. Auriol, the fa- 
mous clown, was contorting himself at 
Franconi's. 

One of the last exhibitions I saw in 
Paris was a Diorama, as I think it was 



called, of Switzerland, got up and ex- 
hibited by a certain Monsieur Daguerre ; 
a name afterwards to become familiar 
to all civilization, and enduring as his- 
tory. I was, during my stay in Paris, 
a peaceable subject of le Roi Citoyen, 
his Majesty Louis Philippe. Once 
only I looked upon his august and ex- 
pansive countenance. A barouche full 
of royalty and its kindred rolled by me, 
and I saw the Orleans family, or a good 
part of it. Louis Philippe had a pair of 
bulging cheeks, with great whiskers, 
and a comparatively narrow forehead, 
with a twisted stem of hair surmounting 
it. The caricaturists found a resem- 
blance in all this to the shape of a pear, 
and the blank walls were abundantly or- 
namented with the outlines of a pear, 
marks being added for eyes, nose, and 
mouth. This quasi-portrait was to be 
seen everywhere in its rudimentary form, 
and more elaborately presented in the 
illustrated satirical papers. These pa- 
pers were often very amusing with their 
political squibs. General Lobau had 
broken up a mob by turning the stream 
of a fire-engine upon it. He figured 
with a squirt in his hand. M. Thiers 
had laid himself open to ridicule, and 
the circumstances of the time furnished 
an excellent handle for the satirist. The 
column of the Place Vendome had just 
been surmounted by a statue of Napo- 
leon in the little cocked hat and redin- 
gote. So M. Thiers was represented at 
the top of the column with this inscrip- 
tion : " M. Thiers, ainsi nomme par- 
cequ'il n'est pas le tiers d'un grand 
homme" The citizen king himself fig- 
ured in various aspects, not generally 
imposing. He offers his old rifflard 
baggy umbrella to France, crowned 
with her towers. She turns scornfully 
towards him with " Vous me crottez, 
monsieur." In those days Monsieur 
Mayeux, the little swearing, bullying 
hunchback, descendant of the Roman 
Maccus, own cousin to the modern Punch, 
was the favorite vehicle, so to speak, of 



10 



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[July, 



satire. His reign lasted a year or two, 
after which he disappeared from the 
throne of caricature. 

There were several emeutes during 
my residence in Paris, one, especially, in 
which the " massacre de la Rue Trans- 
nonain " took place. The soldiers were 
fired upon from one or more of the 
houses in this street. The next morn- 
ing's record said, in words deeply im- 
printed on my memory, "Tout ce qui se 
trouvait dans la maison fut passe au fil 
de I'epee" All that were found in the 
house were put to the edge of the 
sword. It was a fearful thought that 
such Old Testament proceedings were 
going on in the streets of a Christian 
city where one was living, but noomero 
sankonl sank Roo Monshur ler Pranse 
and the Cafe Procope were not dis- 
turbed by the rising, which was made 
short work of. I visited the Morgue 
the next day, and saw the bodies of nu- 
merous victims of the outbreak. 

I was in Switzerland at the time of 
Fieschi's murderous exploit. News 
travelled slowly in those days. There 
were telegraphs in France, it is true, but 
they consisted of a simple mechanism 
like a letter T, with movable limbs, 
placed on some high building. I was 
living near the great Church of St. Sul- 
pice, and used often to see one of these 
machines in operation, posturing like a 
slowly moving jumping-jack. The citi- 
zen king was thought to use it for his 
private ends, as was insinuated in para- 
graphs like this : "A heavy fog pre- 
vented telegraphic communications yes- 
terday. Certain great personages are 
said to have made large profits by a sud- 
den rise in the funds." Before I re- 
turned to Paris the Fieschi murders 
were an old story, and his trial and exe- 
cution did not take place until Febru- 
ary, 1836, after I had returned to Amer- 
ica. So I missed that great Parisian 
event, except in the newspapers I fell 
in with while travelling. 

I cannot help remembering the oc- 



currences which took place at home 
while I was in Europe. A few months 
after the massacre of the Rue Transno- 
nain, in which, in one house at least, 
Number 12, no human being, old per- 
son or infant, well or languishing in 
bed, was spared, only a few months 
after this horror occurred the barbarous 
burning of the Charlestown convent. A 
few months after the terrible Fieschi 
murders, Boston was disgraced by the 
Garrison mob. I did not feel the ex- 
citement of those who witnessed these 
outrages ; they reached me deadened in 
some measure by distance, coming in 
broken and sometimes contradictory re- 
ports, at intervals and at a time when 
my thoughts were engrossed by labori- 
ous duties. I have always regretted 
that I was not at home to share the holy 
indignation which these atrocities called 
forth, as I hope I should have done. 

Among the scraps which my memory 
has preserved by its own selective ac- 
tion are phrases and verses that have 
nothing, perhaps, in 'themselves, but 
which saw fit to fasten themselves to 
my recollection as the stray tufts of wool 
hold to the bramble. The name of 
Frangois Berton, the musical composer, 
is, I fear, well-nigh forgotten. He died 
of cholera the year before I reached 
Paris, and there was a benefit, or some- 
thing of that nature, for the relief of 
those he left after him. Why I should 
be able to recall the opening lines of a 
poem recited on the occasion, I, who 
cannot remember my own verses, I 
am unable to explain, but this is the way 
it began (errors excepted, of course) : 

" Unfleau d' off reuse memoir e 

Naguere epouvantait Paris; 
Vertu, talens, beaute, gloire, 
Rien neput leflechir, ilfut sourd a nos cris. 

Frangois Berton, tenant sa lyre, 
Tomba aneanti sous ses coups ; 
Ses dernier s chants, enfans de son delire, 

L'infortune les modulait pour vous." 

This was the beginning of a poem writ- 
ten to be heard once and read the next 
morning. Very probably no one living, 



1886.] 



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11 



but myself, has the least recollection 
of it. 

This I happened to retain, but how 
much else I have forgotten ! What had 
I to do with literature ? trudging to 
and from hospitals; tramping with a 
crowd of students, of various nationali- 
ties, through long halls, from bedside to 
bedside ; standing on the cold stone 
floors of the apartment where the se- 
crets of fatal disease were laid open to 
the eyes of science ; living in an atmos- 
phere scented by the iufragrant flora 
of the pharmacopoeia. I might have 
seen and talked with Chateaubriand and 
Lamartine, with Beranger, with Balzac, 
with Victor Hugo, with George Sand, 
with Alfred de Musset; I might have 
heard Berryer speak from the tribune, 
and seen Delacroix paint in his studio. 
If I could live those two years of Paris 
over again, I should have a very differ- 
ent record from this ; but I did my 
work, such as it was. 

If I was not a great theatre-goer, 
there were two attractions I always 
yielded to. The first was the quays, 
where I could mouse for old books, and 
where I now and then picked up an 
Aldus or an Elzevir, or some curious 
work on medicine or alchemy. Hunt- 
ing for these was a very pleasant and 
even exciting occupation. It is a blood- 
less kind of sport ; the element of un- 
certainty makes it fascinating. I am 
almost afraid to say it, but sometimes 
when, looking from my window, I have 
seen a chiffonnier, with his lamp, his 
basket, and his hook, attacking a virgin 
heap of refuse, the sagacious implement 
transfixing its destined object as the fal- 
con's beak strikes its quarry, I have 
thought that he might have as much 
happiness with his crochet as many a 
sportsman finds in his rod or his gun. 

My other favorite haunt was the gal- 
lery of the Louvre. One might spend a 
lifetime there, and wish it could be longer. 
I do not know that there would be any 
great advantage in mentioning the pic- 



tures and statues which have lasted 
longest in the memory of an untrained 
lover of art. The process of natural 
selection has made up my little ideal 
gallery. It was not always the merit 
of the picture which fixed it. I doubt, 
for instance, if among the more mod- 
ern pictures that melodramatic one of 
the Deluge of course I am not think- 
ing of Poussin's picture would take 
a very high rank, but my recollection 
of it is singularly vivid. It would be 
more interesting to me than to my read- 
er to see what changes my taste has un- 
dergone in half a century, and I hope 
I may have a chance to test it in the 
long gallery of the Louvre. One thing 
I am sure of: my allegiance to the 
Venus of Milo, which had been but a 
few years in the Museum when I saw 
it, has not changed, and can be no more 
ardent now than it was in those early 
times when I had heard very little about 
it. 

Among the churches of Paris, my 
peculiar favorite was Saint Etienne du 
Mont. It was in the way of my morn- 
ing walk to and from the Hospital of 
La Pitie, and I was fond of stepping in- 
side, especially on my return from the 
morning's visit, and looking around the 
beautiful interior; admiring the pulpit 
and the figures about the organ, and 
reading the inscriptions on the walls. 
But with what different eyes I should 
look upon the tablet which bears the 
name of Blaise Pascal ! I am afraid I 
never read the Lettres Provinc,iales or 
the Pensees until Agassiz, not long after 
the publication of a book of mine, told 
me that he thought I should enjoy Pas- 
cal, and I soon became well acquainted 
with his writings. I have such perfect 
photographs of the interior of Saint 
Etienne that I know it almost as well 
as my own library. Can it be that the 
slender tapers have been burning round 
that dark sarcophagus all these long 
years since I stood by its railing ? 

Once more to stray into the vast soli- 



12 



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[July, 



tildes of Saint Eustache at the twilight 
hour, and hear its mighty organ roll out 
its sounding billows beneath the lofty 
arches ! Once more to read the an- 
cient legends on the monuments of Saint 
Germain des Pres ; to face the square 
towers and pass under the sculptured 
portal of Notre Dame ; to look up at 
the soaring roof of the Sainte Cha- 
pelle ; to stand beneath the mighty dome 
of the Pantheon, made doubly famous 
since the time when I last looked upon it 
by the sublime experiment of Foucault ! 

Among the striking events which oc- 
curred during my residence in Paris 
was the fatal duel between General 
Bugeaud, a deputy, and his colleague, 
Dulong. Words spoken in the Chamber 
were taken up by the press, and made 
so much of that the general thought 
himself obliged to call out the civilian. 
They were to stand at forty paces and 
advance towards each other, firing when 
they chose. The general fired almost 
immediately, and his ball struck his 
adversary in the forehead. Single com- 
bats affect the imagination more power- 
fully than the conflict of masses ; Achil- 
les and Hector, David and Qoliath, the 
Constitution and the Guerriere, the 
Chesapeake and the Shannon, the Moni- 
tor and the Merrimack, the story of 
these combats is never out of our mem- 
ories. 

The Gazette des Tribunaux was on 
our table at the cafe, and was full of 
stories which one could hardly help 
reading, and sometimes remembering. 
Among these was the trial of a lieu- 
tenant in the army, M. de La Ronciere. 
I read this, as everybody did, but with- 
out dreaming that I should ever write a 
romance and use one of its incidents, 
as I did in Elsie Venner. 

I was one day walking with a French 
fellow-student in the Palais Royal, when 
my attention was drawn to a singular 
figure. I had noticed this personage 
before, and it was hardly possible to 
pass him without taking a second look, 



and wondering who and what he could 
be. " Who is that man ? " I asked my 
companion. 

" Gelui la f Vous ne savez pas ? C'est 
CHODRUC DUCLOS ! " Chodruc Duclos, 
that did not teach me a great deal, 
but the name remained with me. A tall 
man he was ; ancien militaire, to judge 
by his appearance ; in the last stage of 
proud and shabby decadence, buttoned 
tight up to the throat in a frock coat, 
long worn and shiny, a calyx of old 
broadcloth without a petal of linen visi- 
ble ; solitary, silent, haughty, recogniz- 
ing neither man nor woman, recognized 
by none. Every day saw him pacing 
the gallery of the Palais Royal, and all 
strangers asked, as I did, Who is that 
tall, beggarly, king-like vagabond in the 
shocking hat and pauper clothing, walk- 
ing back and forth as if he owned the 
royal demesnes ? 

And this is all I knew about him un- 
til within the last year or two. I looked 
in all the biographies, and could not 
find his name. Once I saw it mentioned 
in one of Victor Hugo's novels, but only 
incidentally. I never lost my curiosity 
about him, but I had almost given him 
up when I unearthed him in the great 
Dictionary of Larousse. There must 
have been romances written about him, 
one would think. The reader may know 
some tale founded upon his life, noth- 
ing was ever more inviting. Here is an 
outline of the career of the gaunt, pover- 
ty-stricken spectre of the Palais Royal : 

The " modern Diogenes," as the writer 
of the sketch of his life calls him, was 
born at Bordeaux, nobody knows when, 
and nobody would have liked to ask him. 
A royalist, anti-republican, anti-Bona- 
partist, he became a soldier, was taken 
prisoner, escaped, and returned to Bor- 
deaux, where his bravery and his per- 
sonal beauty gained him the name of 
Duclos THE SUPERB. Plots, imprison- 
ment, escapes, adventures of all kinds, 
followed in rapid succession. He killed 
a prison officer who had been rude to 



1886.] 



The New Portfolio. 



13 



him by breaking a pitcher on his head. 
Armed with cool audacity and a couple 
of pistols, he walked up to the captain 
of gendarmes, who had been sent to 
arrest him. The officer all at once re- 
membered something which he had for- 
gotten, and turned back to go after it. 
He had the misfortune to kill the young 
Marquis de Larochejaquelein in a duel, 
and incurred the hostility of the power- 
ful family to which the young nobleman 
belonged. Louis Eighteenth said, when 
applied to by them, " Duclos has been 
too useful to me that I should harm 
him, but I will never bestow any favor 
upon him." 

Returning to Paris, he met with disap- 
pointment and humiliation. He wanted 
to be a Marshal of France, and was of- 
fered a captaincy, which he rejected with 
scorn. After this he became the Timon 
which he was at the time I saw him. 
For sixteen years he paced the gallery 
of the Palais Royal, regularly every 
day, from four in the afternoon to ten 
in winter, from two o'clock until mid- 
night in summer. He dressed like a 
pauper, as a reproach to the ingratitude 
of his superiors. He carried his per- 
sonal negligence so far at one time as 
to outrage propriety, and was put in 
jail for a fortnight to teach him decency. 
Poor as he was, he had enough to keep 
body and soul together, and after his 
daily promenade he used to retire to a 
little kennel in the Rue Pierre Lescot, 
throw down a franc on the table, take 
his candle, and stretch himself on his 
pallet for the night. 

Such was the career of Chodruc Du- 
clos, the Superb, who in his earlier days 
had been " the bugbear and the terror of 
husbands in virtue of his extraordinary 
strength and skill with his weapon, and 
the darling of women for his brilliant 
address and the proportions and beauty 
of his Antiuous-like figure." On the 
llth of October, 1842, he was missed at 
the Palais Royal. He lay dead on his 
pallet, in his obscure hiding-place. 



These are some of the fragments 
tossed to the surface in the whirlpool of 
memory. They have been drawn ashore 
to these pages almost without selection. 
Most of them came from the shallower 
portions of the current, as the reader 
notices. That is apt to be the way with 
memory : it lets the ponderous events of 
life sink far into its depths, and brings 
to light the lesser incidents, the pictur- 
esque trivialities, which seem hardly 
worth the labor of the vortex. 

After all, it was the new life of Paris, 
following that of Cambridge, Andover, 
Boston, which was the enchantment, the 
intoxication. Her streets were not of 
gold, her gates were not of pearl, and 
her boulevards were not trodden by 
white-winged angels. But she blended 
old relics, reeking with historical mem- 
ories and modern splendors such as no 
other city could show the sun in his 
daily visit of inspection. I was met 
everywhere by the unexpected : Di- 
manche was so different from a New 
England " Sahbuth ; " the Seine was so 
much fuller of strange sights than the 
Charles ; the Pont Neuf was so much 
more lively than West Boston bridge; 
the extremes of life were so much more 
vivid to look upon than a compara- 
tively level mass of mediocrity; the 
grandiose was so refreshing after the 
snug and comfortable ; and perhaps 
I ought to say the change from the 
dreary abodes of disease and death, 
where I passed many hours of my day, 
to the palaces and gardens and galleries 
of the other side of the river, all this, 
and so much more, and three and 
twenty, can you not understand and 
pardon the levity of my witty friend and 
companion, who said that " good Bosto- 
nians, when they die, go to Paris " ? 

My work in Paris was relieved by 
two vacations. In each of these I took 
journeys with pleasant friends as my 
Companions. 

If I were writing my autobiography, 
each of these visits might claim a some- 



14 



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[July, 



what extended notice. But at this time 
I will only refer to a few experiences 
and impressions. The awful remem- 
brance of climbing the spire of the Ca- 
thedral of Strasburg is one of the most 
memorable. I felt sure it was swaying 
in the wind like a reed, and said so at 
the time. Long afterwards I found that 
the fact had been recognized, and made 
the subject of a memoir in a French 
periodical. As I looked down on the 
roof, with its flying buttresses like the 
ribs of some pre-mastodon, to whom the 
mammoth was as a mouse, my heart 
sank within me, like the Queen of She- 
ba's. All this was first built in the 
brain of a frail being, human like my- 
self. All this immensity and grandeur 
reaches my consciousness through these 
two little rings no bigger than the capi- 
tal O ! which expresses my wonder. 

Down the Rhine to Rotterdam. Many 
marvellous paintings I saw in Holland, 
but one held me so that I could not get 
away from it, Van der Heist's great 
portrait-picture of the municipal guard. 
I have some Batavian blood in my veins, 
and it may be that I have a relative 
or two among these hearty and ruddy 
burghers. The portraits of the old pro- 
fessors at Leyden interested me. I, too, 
was an old professor, in embryo, but I 
did not know it. I never knew much 
about them until, in after years, I picked 
up a copy of the Athenae Batavse, of 
Meursius, where I found many of their 
portraits reproduced, with memoirs. 
Countless windmills, endless meadows, 
party-colored cows grazing on them, 
make up three quarters of the hasty 
traveller's Holland. One strange thing 
I saw there, which I learn has disap- 
peared from the streets of the cities, 
namely, sleds, as we should call them, 
each with a cask of water dribbling 
upon the stones of the pavement before 
the runners, so that they might slip eas- 
ily over them. And so good-by to the 
land of William the Silent, of Barne- 
veldt, of Grotius, of Erasmus, of Van 



Tromp and De Ruyter, and of Vondel, 
the Dutch Shakespeare, whose - name 
makes me think he may have been of 
the same race as myself, unless philol- 
ogy or criticism shall prove me an off- 
shoot of the Vandals. 

A visit to Holland before going over 
to England is like a lunch before a din- 
ner. A small steamer took us from 
Rotterdam across the Channel, and we 
found ourselves in the capital of Eng- 
land and of the world. 

The great sight in London is Lon- 
don. No man understands himself as 
an infinitesimal until he has been a drop 
in that ocean, a grain of sand on that 
sea-margin, a mote in its sunbeam, or 
the fog or smoke which stands for it ; in 
plainer phrase, a unit among its millions. 

I had two letters to persons in Eng- 
land: one to kind and worthy Mr. 
Petty Vaughan, who asked me to din- 
ner ; one to pleasant Mr. William Clift, 
conservator of the Hunterian Museum, 
who asked me to tea. These were my 
chief social relations with England dur- 
ing this visit. 

To Westminster Abbey. What a pity 
it could not borrow from Paris the tow- 
ers of Notre Dame ! But the glory of 
its interior made up for this shortcom- 
ing. Among the monuments, one to my 
namesake, Rear Admiral C. H., a hand- 
some young man, standing by a cannon. 
He accompanied Wolfe in his expedition 
which resulted in the capture of Que- 
bec. Dryden has immortalized him, in 
the Annus Mirabilis, as 

"the Achates of the general's fight." 
My relative, I will take it for granted, 
as I find him in Westminster Abbey. 
Camden tells us how we got our name : 
" Holme, plaine grassie ground upon 
water sides or in the water. S is ioyned 
to most now, as Manors, Knoles 
Gates Thornes, Holmes," etc. Blood 
is thicker than water, and warmer 
than marble, I said to myself, as I laid 
my hand on the cold stone image of my 
once famous namesake. 



1886.] 



The New Portfolio. 



15 



To the Tower, to see the lions, 
of all sorts. There I found a " poor re- 
lation," who made my acquaintance with- 
out introduction. A large baboon, or 
ape, some creature of that family, 
was sitting at the open door of his cage, 
when I gave him offence by approach- 
ing too near and inspecting him too nar- 
rowly. He made a spring at me, and 
if the keeper had not pulled me back 
would have treated me unhandsomely, 
like a quadrumanous rough, as he was. 
He succeeded in stripping my waistcoat 
of its buttons, as one would strip a pea- 
pod of its peas. 

To Vauxhall Gardens. All Ameri- 
cans went there in those days as they go 
to Madame Tussaud's in these times. 
There were fireworks and an exhibition 
of polar scenery. "Mr. Collins, the English 
PAGANINI," treated us to music on 
his violin. A comic singer gave us a 
song, of which I remember the line, 

" You '11 find it is in the agon}' bill." 
This referred to a bill proposed by Sir 
Andrew Agnew, a noted Scotch Sabba- 
tarian agitator. 

To the Opera to hear Grisi. The 
king, William the Fourth, was in his 
box ; also the Princess Victoria, with the 
Duchess of Kent. The king tapped 
with his white-gloved hand on the ledge 
of the box when he was pleased with 
the singing. To a morning concert 
and heard the real Paganini. To one 
of the lesser theatres and heard a mon- 
ologue by the elder Mathews, who died 
a year or two after this time. To an- 
other theatre, where I saw Listen in 
Paul Pry. Is it not a relief that I am 
abstaining from description of what 
everybody has heard described ? 

To Windsor. Woman forgot to 
give me change for a shilling, in buying 
some of her strawberries. England 
owes me sixpence. How one remem- 
bers what people owe him ! Machinery 
to the left of the road. Recognized it 
instantly, by recollection of the plate in 
Rees's Cyclopaedia, as Herschel's great 



telescope. Oxford. Saw only its out- 
side. I knew no one there, and no one 
knew me. Blenheim, the Titians. 

The great Derby day of the Epsom 
races. Went to the race with a coach- 
load of friends and acquaintances. 
Plenipotentiary, the winner, " rode by 
P. Connelly." So says Herring's pic- 
ture of him, now before me. Sorrel, a 
great " bullock " of a horse, who easily 
beat the twenty-two that started. Every 
New England deacon ought to see one 
Derby day to learn what sort of a world 
this is he lives in. Man is a sporting 
as well as a praying animal. 

Stratford on Avon. Emotions, but no 
scribbling of name on wall. Warwick. 
The castle. A village festival, " The 
Opening of the Meadows," a true exhi- 
bition of the semi-barbarism which had 
come down from Saxon times. York- 
shire. " The Hangman's Stone." Story 
told in my book called The Autocrat, 
etc. York Cathedral. Northumber- 
land. Alnwick Castle. The figures on 
the walls which so frightened my man 
John when he ran away from Scotland 
in his boyhood. 

Berwick on Tweed. A regatta going 
on ; a very pretty show. Scotland. 
Most to be remembered the incompara- 
ble loveliness of Edinburgh. Stirling. 
The view of the Links of Forth from 
the castle. The whole country full of 
the romance of history and poetry. 
Made one acquaintance in Scotland, 
Dr. Robert Knox, who asked my com- 
panion and myself to breakfast. That 
makes four entertainments to which I 
was treated in Great Britain : break- 
fast with Dr. Knox; lunch with Mrs. 
Macadam, the dear old lady gave me 
bread, and not a stone ; dinner with Mr. 
Vaughan ; tea with Mr. Clift, for all 
which attentions I was then and am still 
grateful, for they were more than I had 
any claim to expect. Fascinated with 
Edinburgh. Strolls by Salisbury Crag ; 
to the top of Arthur's Seat ; delight of 
looking up at the grand old castle, of 



16 



At Variance. 



[July, 



looking down on Holyrood Palace, of 
watching the groups on Calton Hill, 
wandering in the quaint old streets and 
sauntering on the sidewalks of the no- 
ble avenues, even at that time add- 
ing beauty to the new city. The weeks 
I spent in Edinburgh are among the 
most memorable of my European expe- 
riences. 

To the Highlands, to the Lakes, in 
short excursions ; to Glasgow, seen to 
disadvantage under gray skies and with 
slippery pavements. Through England 
rapidly to Dover and to Calais, where I 
found the name of M. Dessein still be- 
longing to the hotel I sought, and where 
I read Sterne's " Preface written in a 
desobligeante," sitting in the vehicle 
most like one that I could find in the 
stable. Through Calais back to Paris, 
where I began working again. 

In my next summer's excursion, in 
1835, three days and nights in the dili- 
gence carried us to Geneva. The sight 
of the mountains and the lakes was a 
new education to the senses and a new 
world to the soul. It always seemed to 
me to have stretched the horizon of 
thought so that it never came back to 
its original dimensions. Wordsworth 



and, after him, Byron have illustrated 
the incompetence of words to describe 
Alpine scenery : 

"High mountains 
Were to me as a feeling." 

They intrude themselves into the mind, 
and become, as it were, a part of it for 
all coming time. 

If Switzerland touched the deepest 
chord in my consciousness, a solemn 
bass note which Nature had never be- 
fore set in vibration, Italy reached a 
string which returned a keener and high- 
er note than any to which my inward 
sense had before responded. Italy, more 
especially Rome, leaves after it an infi- 
nite longing which haunts the soul for- 
ever. 

" Aimable Italie, 

Sagesse ou folie 
Jamais, jamais ne t'oublie 

Qui t'a vue un jour! " 

If I should visit Switzerland and 
Italy again, I may revive my early im 
pressions as a foil for more recent ones. 
But this somewhat gossiping, if not gar- 
rulous, paper has been spun out long 
enough, and I will leave my patient, or 
perhaps impatient, reader to follow out 
my reference to these two enchanted re- 
gions by the aid of his guide-books. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes. 



AT VARIANCE. 

THROUGH the frost, and the cold, and the passion 

Of winter's despair ; 
With the Earth buried deep in her shroud, and the raving 

Of storms in the air; 
Unheeding the gloom, or the shock of the tempest, 

Or any wild thing, 
I sang, and was glad and triumphant ; 

In my heart it was spring. 

But now in a white world of blossoms, 

Wing-haunted and sweet ; 
A wind blowing light o'er the orchard, and waving 

The grass at my feet; 



1886.] 



French and English. 



17 



The song of a bird overhead, I listen, 

And look, and am dumb; 
For lo ! in iny heart of unreason 

The winter has come. 

Gara W. Bronson. 



FRENCH AND ENGLISH. 



FIRST PAPER. 



INTRODUCTORY. 

IT may be taken as typical of the 
present writer's intentions in these pa- 
pers that he has felt uncertain which of 
the two nationalities he would put first 
in the title, and that the question has 
been settled by a mere consideration of 
euphony. If the reader cares to try 
the experiment of saying " English and 
French," and then "French and Eng- 
lish " afterwards, he will find that the 
latter -glides the more glibly from the 
tongue. There is a tonic accent at 
the beginning of the word " English " 
and a dying away at the end of it which 
are very convenient in the last word of 
a title. " French," on the other hand, 
comes to a dead stop, in a manner too 
abrupt to be agreeable. 

The supercilious critic will say that I 
am making over-much of a small matter, 
but he may allow me to explain why I 
put the Frenchmen first, lest I be ac- 
cused of a lack of patriotism. These 
chapters are not, however, to be written 
from what is usually considered a patri- 
otic point of view ; they are not to be 
simply an exposition of the follies and 
sins of another nation for the compara- 
tive glorification of my own; nor are 
they to be examples of what Herbert 
Spencer has aptly called " anti-patriot- 
ism," which is the systematic setting- 
down of one's own countrymen by a 
comparison with the superior qualities 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 2 



of the foreigner. I should like to write 
with complete impartiality, if it were 
possible. It is at least possible to write 
with the desire to be impartial. 

Not even the most impartial writer 
can ever succeed in seeing all things 
quite from a cosmopolitan point of view. 
We cannot divest ourselves of our per- 
sonality, and impersonality includes the 
hereditary national instincts and feelings. 
It would not be desirable, if it were pos- 
sible, to divest ourselves of these. Every 
Englishman who writes with any force 
is sure to write not only English words, 
but English opinions also. 

Still, there is an inevitable difference 
between the Englishman who has al- 
ways been surrounded by English things 
and the Englishman who has been sur- 
rounded for a long time by foreign 
things. The first is apt to fall into the 
common delusion of supposing that all 
around him is not only right according 
to English custom, but absolutely right, 
so that it could not rightly be other- 
wise ; the second has at least had a 
chance of disengaging, in English cus- 
toms, what is national from what is uni- 
versally and inevitably human. 

To know two nations intimately is a 
valuable experience, because it supplies 
a term of comparison for everything. 
Whatever the English do is either left 
undone by the French, or done different- 
ly by them. If it is left undone, we may 
observe the consequences of the omis- 
sion, and so ascertain whether the thing 



18 



French and English. 



[July, 



has only a national or a more general 
utility. If the thing is done differently 
in France, then we have a valuable op- 
portunity for comparing two ways of 
doing it when we knew of only one be- 
fore. 

These opportunities are especially fre- 
quent in England and France, because 
the two countries are so extremely un- 
like each other. Except in some minor 
matters, English usage has not been de- 
rived from France, nor French usage 
from England. Each nation has formed 
its own customs by a national growth 
and development, determined for it by 
its own character and circumstances. 

This independence in the formation 
of usage has probably been one of the 
strongest reasons for the intense and 
jealous hatred with which the two na- 
tions regarded each other in times past, 
as we all know that there is nothing that 
human beings (especially when in a low 
state of culture) are so little disposed to 
tolerate as divergences of custom. 

In the present day, the English and 
French can scarcely be said to hate 
each other, with the exception of some 
old-fashioned people on both sides the 
Channel, who understand patriotism in 
the old way, as an injunction to hate 
your neighbor and never to forgive his 
trespasses; but although hatred of the 
fiercer sort has died away, there remains 
a fund of quiet malevolence and much 
jealousy which unscrupulous rulers might 
easily provoke into hostility. 

Every attempt, however humble, to 
make different nations understand each 
other better is, in its degree, an imped- 
iment to future war ; and so perhaps 
these pages may have a feeble influence 
in preserving, at any rate, the sort of ill- 
natured peace which at present subsists 
between the two great Western powers. 
A more cordial peace might be desira- 
ble, were it not that anything like warm 
friendship between nations is a condition 
of things that makes each of them so 
ready to take offense that a cooler state 



is the less dangerous of the two. By a 
most extraordinary persistence of good 
luck, the peace between France and 
England has been unbroken for more 
than seventy years, and the preservation 
of it has been certainly due to the influ- 
ence of a small class of people, who 
know both nations well enough to coun- 
teract in some degree the malevolence 
natural to rivals. 

The reader will observe that I use 
the pronoun " they " equally for both 
nations, that I do not say " we " for 
the English and " they " for the French, 
as most English writers would do. This 
is in consequence of a decision deliber- 
ately arrived at. The use of the same 
pronoun in both cases is a great help to 
impartiality ; and as I happen to be ad- 
dressing an American audience, there is 
this additional reason, that my reader 
will think of the English as "they," 
though they are nearer to him by blood 
and language than the French. 



II. 



THAT TRUE PATRIOTISM DOES NOT CON- 
SIST IN BEING UNJUST TO OTHER 
NATIONS. 

I have been lectured sometimes on 
my lack of patriotism, and fully expect 
that the accusation will be repeated with 
reference to these papers. There is a 
kind of patriotism which appears to me 
only suitable to the most crude and ig- 
norant minds, the patriotism which ac- 
cepts with credulous avidity whatever 
can be discovered or invented to the dis- 
paragement of the rival state. This 
patriotism is the delight of the ignorant, 
and it keeps them permanently in the 
condition of ignorance which they pre- 
fer. To me it seems entirely unsatisfy- 
ing, for if I have not ascertained to my 
own satisfaction the truth of the accusa- 
tion against the foreigner, it must be a 
hollow semblance of satisfaction at the 
best. But beyond this, if it were really 



1886.] 



French and English. 



19 



proved that the foreigner were abomi- 
nable, how and in what should I be the 
better for it ? It would be a saddening 
fact, if it were a fact, that English peo- 
ple were the only decent people on the 
planet. My patriotism feels hurt when 
English people fall below a certain 
standard, but there is nothing to hurt it 
when I learn that a foreign state is ad- 
vancing in civilization. 

To prevent misunderstanding, let me 
declare frankly that there is a kind of 
patriotism which no Englishman can 
possess to a greater degree than I claim 
to do, the patriotism which desires the 
real good of our country as distinguished 
from the hollow gratification of her van- 
ity. It is not really a good thing to 
domineer over subject races. The com- 
mon Englishman can get little good out 
of the consciousness that, in his name, 
somebody is lording it over ten Hindoos, 
or slaying a Soudan Arab, or burning a 
Zulu's hut ; but it would be much for the 
common Englishman to feel that he was 
living in a country where his chances of 
decent existence were as good, at least, 
as they could be anywhere else. My 
patriotism desires that for him, and the 
desire includes of necessity a position 
of such military and naval strength as 
to insure the most complete security and 
independence. This for the common 
Englishman ; but there are also many 
rich Englishmen, and for these some- 
thing more than simply decent existence 
may reasonably be desired. For them 
shall we ask more horses, more servants, 
more extensive shootings ? Nay, they 
have enough of these and to spare, so let 
us wish them " neither riches for them- 
selves nor the life of their enemies," but 
" understanding to discern judgment," 
that they may meet the difficulties of the 
future. 

It is with nations as with individuals. 
The best of gifts, the best thing we can 
desire for them, is wisdom, provided 
only that they have power enough, lib- 
erty enough, to carry their wisdom into 



practice. But I began by wishing for 
England complete security, with suffi- 
cient wealth for the well-being of her 
population. Wisdom and well-being, 
then, are the two blessings I desire for 
my country, and to desire these for her is 
the beginning and end of my patriotism. 

After that comes a sentiment of a 
larger patriotism, felt already by a few, 
and which is destined to take year by 
year a larger place in the feelings of ed- 
ucated men. 

Looking beyond our own frontiers, we 
may come to desire sincerely, by human 
'sympathy only, that other nations should 
enjoy prosperity and happiness. In this 
way it was a satisfaction to the English 
that Italy was able to constitute herself. 
This sympathetic feeling has now be- 
come very general with regard to those 
foreign countries that we are not jeal- 
ous of ; but when jealousy interferes, the 
kindly desire for the prosperity of oth- 
ers is not yet strong enough to overcome 
it. There is, however, a reasonable and 
an unreasonable jealousy. For example, 
it is a reasonable wish on the part of the 
French that England should never be- 
come a great military power ; and it 
is, I think, a reasonable jealousy that 
makes some Englishmen displeased at 
the increasing strength of the French 
navy. The two nations may be reason- 
ably jealous of each other's power, but 
such jealousy would never lead rational 
men in either country to accept untrue, 
depreciatory statements with regard to 
the army or navy of the other. Unrea- 
sonable jealousy, on the other hand, 
does not simply take the form of desir- 
ing that a rival power should remain in 
a condition of military inferiority ; it en- 
ters into a thousand details of ordinary 
civil existence, and incessantly depreci- 
ates what the people in the other coun- 
try do in the common affairs of life. 
More than this, it receives and circulates 
with eagerness innumerable falsehoods 
concerning the rival people and their 
ways of life. Or it does what is even 



20 



French and English. 



[July, 



worse than receiving a falsehood that 
can be simply and easily refuted : it gets 
hold of some evil thing which is partly 
true of the rival nation, and affects to 
believe that it is generally applicable. 
In this way every Englishwoman drinks, 
and every married Frenchwoman is an 
adulteress. 

Now, in my view, this kind of feeling 
is not necessary to true patriotism, but 
there are numbers of people in England 
and France who are convinced that 
there is a staunch patriotic virtue in be- 
lieving all evil of one's neighbor. In 
this way the most uncharitable senti- 
ments are kept up, and ideas which are as 
destitute of truth as they are of charity 
take root and flourish in both countries. 



III. 

HOW TO WRITE BRILLIANTLY ABOUT 
A FOREIGN COUNTRY. 

The art consists simply in flattering 
the patriotic jealousy of your readers 
by a remorseless satire on the foreigner. 
As there is always much that is ridic- 
ulous in every country, and a fearful 
amount of most real and undeniable evil 
besides, you have only to show up one 
or the other in the pitiless glare of day. 
A fine contrast may be produced by 
hiding your own faults and exhibiting 
those of your neighbor. 

The foreigner may be effectively dealt 
with in two ways. He may be made to 
appear either ridiculous or wicked. The 
satire may be humorous, or it may be 
bitter and severe. The French, with 
their lighter temperament, take pleas- 
ure in making the Englishman absurd. 
The English, on their part, though by 
no means refusing themselves the satis- 
faction of laughing at their neighbors, 
are not disinclined to assume a loftier 
tone. It is not so much what is obvi- 
ously ridiculous in French people that 
repels as that which cannot be described 
without a graver reprobation. 



A writer cannot acquire experience in 
his profession without discovering that 
the spirit of justice is the greatest of all 
hindrances to effect. Just writing does 
not amuse, but malevolence can easily 
be made entertaining. What is less ob- 
vious is that Justice often puts her veto 
on those fine effects of simulated in- 
dignation which the literary advocate 
knows to be of such great professional 
utility. It is a fine thing to have an 
opportunity for condemning a whole na- 
tion in one terribly comprehensive sen- 
tence. The literary moralist puts on 
his most dignified manner when he can 
deplore the wickedness of thirty million 
human beings. It is ennobling to feel 
yourself better and greater than thirty 
millions, and the reader too has a fine 
senso of superiority in being encouraged 
to look down upon such a multitude. 
Justice comes in and says, " But there 
are exceptions, and they are too numer- 
ous to be passed over." " That may 
be," replies the Genius of Brilliant Lit- 
erature, " but if I stop to consider these 
I shall lose all breadth of effect. Lights 
will creep into my black shadows, and I 
shall no longer appall with gloom. I 
want the most telling oppositions. The 
interests of art take precedence over 
commonplace veracity." 

And there is such tempting safety in 
effective untruth about foreigners ! A 
clever Frenchman who sets to work to 
compose a caustic, superficial book about 
the English or the Germans is well 
aware that his readers will never study 
any answer to his statements. He 
knows that the secret of success is to 
make the foreigner either odious or ridic- 
ulous. It is not long since a French- 
man wrote two silly little books about 
the English, treating them in that lively 
style which is always sure of popularity. 
Nearly at the same time, another French- 
man, more careful and more serious, pub- 
lished a volume on the same subject, 
which, though it contained a few uninten- 
tional errors, was on the whole likely to 



1886.] 



French and English. 



21 



be instructive and useful to his country- 
men. The flippant little books had an 
enormous sale ; the instructive book had 
but a moderate circulation. The rule 
holds good for a paragraph or a sen- 
tence as well as for a volume. An un- 
just brief paragraph, with a sting in it, 
has a far better chance of being remem- 
bered than a duller but more accurate 
statement of the truth. 

And yet, delightful as may be the 
pleasures of malice and uncharitable- 
ness, there is a far deeper and more deli- 
cate satisfaction in knowing the exact 
truth. The pleasures of uncharitable- 
ness must always be alloyed by the se- 
cret misgiving that the foreigner may 
possibly, in reality, not be quite so 
faulty as we describe him and as we 
wish him to be. But the pleasure of 
knowing the truth for its own sake is 
a satisfaction, without any other alloy 
than the feeling of regret that the 
truth should often be no better than 
it is. This regret has its compensa- 
tions. The truth sometimes turns out 
to be an enjoyable surprise. 



IV. 

MUTUAL FEELING BETWEEN FRENCH 
AND ENGLISH. 

It has already been observed that 
there is a reasonable and an unreason- 
able international jealousy. That which 
exists between France and England is 
both reasonable and unreasonable, ac- 
cording to the natures of the people 
who entertain it. In all cases it is very 
strong. 

I cannot think it unreasonable in 
either country to look with some frank 
and honest jealousy on the general great- 
ness of the other. Here we see two 
great nations, two nations which before 
the rise of Russia and the United States 
were unquestionably the greatest in the 
world, so near to each other that on a 
clear day their shores are visible at the 



same time; and even now, after cen- 
turies of rivalry, they are so nearly 
matched in strength that it would take 
a long war to determine the superiority 
of either. Try to imagine a French 
general surrounding London with his 
troops : the idea is inconceivable ; one 
cannot see how he is to get them there. 
And now try to imagine an English 
army, without Continental allies, sur- 
rounding Paris with a ring of iron, as 
the Germans did : the idea is as incon- 
ceivable as the other ; one cannot see 
how the English army is to reach Paris. 
Could it laud ? And if it landed, could 
it get as far as Amiens ? 

In the arts of peace and in the wealth 
that sustains them, the two countries 
are comparable to each other in this 
way that the superiority on one side 
in some specialty is generally compen- 
sated by an equivalent superiority on 
the other side in some different specialty. 
Reasonable jealousy on each side is ex- 
tremely anxious to prevent the other 
nation from taking the lead, but unrea- 
sonable jealousy utterly denies that the 
rival has any rank whatever in those 
arts where her superiority is not so man- 
ifest as to be absolutely unassailable. 

As an example I may mention the 
way in which the jealousy of vulgar 
French patriotism treats English en- 
deavor in the fine arts. The vulgar 
Frenchman confounds artists of the 
most opposite kinds, attributes to them 
principles which they do not themselves 
either profess or act upon, and then 
condemns them without mercy as igno- 
rant sciolists in art. " The English," 
he says, " have no painters." He can 
say this, because English greatness in 
art is not recognized on the Continent, 
like her commercial and manufactur- 
ing greatness, and because the French 
school has for some time been the most 
influential of the modern schools. The 
French also say that the English have 
no musical composers, because English 
composers do not enjoy the world-wide 



22 



French and English. 



[July, 



fame of Beethoven and Mozart. There 
is a difficulty about denying the rank of 
England in literature, and it is not at- 
tempted. 

The English, on their side, cannot 
deny that the French have a living 
school of painters and a living theatre, 
but they can say, " There is no univer- 
sity in France," and "There are no 
scholars in France," there being no such 
institution as a French Oxford. 

In these and a hundred ways, the in- 
ternational jealousy is continually be- 
traying itself. It is not serious enough 
in the present day to produce war, but 
it permeates the entire thinking of each 
nation concerning the other. 

I have never been able to determine 
in which nation the feeling of jealousy 
is the stronger. It varies in intensity 
from time to time, as circumstances hap- 
pen to excite it. Possibly it may be 
more on the surface in France and deep- 
er in England. French jealousy is ready 
to express itself on trifling as well as 
important occasions. English jealousy 
is more taciturn, but unceasingly watch- 
ful. 

The jealousy aroused in France by 
the occupation of Egypt was at one time 
of considerable force, and has dimin- 
ished only since a pleasing consolation 
came in the shape of the English disap- 
pointment in the Soudan. The English, 
on their part, betrayed deep feeling about 
Tonquin and Madagascar, but their sense 
of pious horror at French rapacity was 
soothed by exercising a little British ra- 
pacity in Bur m ah. 

Enough has been said about jealousy 
for the present, especially as we may 
have to recur to the subject. Let us 
now turn to another question. Do the 
French and the English respect each 
other? 

There are two qualities in the Eng- 
lish that intelligent Frenchmen respect 
most heartily and desire to see acclima- 
tized in France. The first is the art of 
adapting the system of government to 



the changing needs of the nation without 
convulsive disturbance; and the second 
is the skill of English statesmen in the 
management of their foreign affairs, 
a skill which on the whole has had these 
results, that either England has meddled 
in Continental matters in such a way as 
to obtain the results she desired, or else, 
when she could not compass them, she 
has been prudent enough to abstain from 
meddling. Therefore, on the whole, 
England's foreign policy has been either 
successful or safe, whereas that of 
France has on various critical occasions 
been first a perilous adventure, and 
then a disastrous failure. Intelligent 
Frenchmen respect England for this su- 
periority, and endeavor to imitate it by 
having a constitution that can be modi- 
fied and by following a prudent policy 
abroad. I do not perceive that French 
people respect the English for those em- 
inent virtues to which the English lay 
claim, or that they greatly believe in 
the validity of the claim. 

The English, on the other hand, often 
admire the cleverness of the French, 
but they do not respect them, except in 
special cases. The exceptions generally 
belong to the arts and sciences. An 
Englishman who is a good judge of 
work in some specialty will respect a 
Frenchman who shows great skill in 
that direction. English painters, for ex- 
ample, sometimes express hearty re- 
spect for the discipline to which French 
painters subject themselves ; or an Eng- 
lish writer may respect the brightness 
and vigor of a Frenchman's prose, or 
the perfection of his dramatic skill. 
The same regard is felt by Englishmen 
eminent in science for Frenchmen who 
have done good scientific service. But in 
these cases it is more the quality of the 
work that is respected than the charac- 
ter of the nation. 

The difficulty with which the English 
can be brought to respect the French 
may be partly explicable by their diffi- 
culty in respecting foreigners in general, 



1886.] 



French and English. 



23 






unless they have been dead for a long 
time, like Homer and Virgil, or are in- 
vested with a sacred character, like 
Moses and Isaiah. 

It may be farther elucidated by the 
peculiar condition of the English mind 
with regard to respect and contempt 
generally. This is a subject of consid- 
erable intricacy, which cannot be prop- 
erly treated in a few words ; but I may 
observe here that although the English 
are said to be a deferential people, and 
have, no doubt, the habit of deference 
for certain distinctions, they are at the 
same time an eminently contemptuous 
people, a people remarkably in the habit 
of despising, even within the limits of 
their own island. Their habit of con- 
tempt is tranquil, but it is almost con- 
stant, and they dwell with difficulty in 
that middle or neutral state which nei- 
ther reverences nor despises. Conse- 
quently, when there is not some very 
special reason for feeling deference to- 
wards a foreigner, the Englishman is 
likely to despise him. 

The French, on the other hand, are 
generally less disposed both to the feelings 
of respect and of contempt. They look 
upon the world with an easier indiffer- 
ence, not much respecting anybody or 
anything, but ready enough to acknowl- 
edge the merits and qualities of people 
and things that are not the best. The 
French are severe critics only where 
there is great pretension ; they regard 
ordinary, unpretending people and things 
with a good-humored indulgence. When 
there is much pretension, their level- 
ing instinct makes them ready to debel- 
lare superbos. It is a remarkable proof 
of the substantial strength of Victor 
Hugo's reputation that a man of such 
immense vanity, such boundless preten- 
sion, should have been able to get him- 
self taken at his own estimate in France, 
Napoleon III., although he had at his 

1 The Irish talk and write as if they considered 
themselves foreigners with regard to England. 
Like most other Englishmen, I should be glad to 
see them as fraternal as our brethren the Scotch, 



disposal the theatrical machinery of im- 
perial state, was never able to win any 
real deference. 



V. 



ON SOME EFFECTS OF GEOGRAPHICAL 
SITUATION. 

England and France have the two 
most favorable situations in Europe, 
except that they cannot easily increase 
their European territory. 

The confinement of England to one 
narrow island, with a smaller island close 
to it which is inhabited by a hostile and 
alien race, 1 has driven the English peo- 
ple to that peculiar form of expansion 
which has formed the subject of Pro- 
fessor Seeley's very interesting and in- 
structive lectures. But, after reading 
them with the care that they deserve, 
a troublesome doubt came over me. Is 
it really expansion, after all ? Is it not 
rather propagation ? In physics a body 
is said to expand when it increases in 
volume, and Littre tells us that the 
primitive sense of " propagation " is 
planting afresh, whence planting by slips. 
Therefore I should say, with all due 
deference to a much superior authority 
on the subject, that England has become 
great by propagation, just because her 
narrow and fixed geographical boundary 
made expansion impossible for her. In 
connection with this subject I remember 
vaguely an interesting speech by Mr. 
Gladstone, delivered some time ago, in 
which he recognized, as the distinction 
between England and Russia, that an- 
nexation by the extension of frontier, 
which was possible for Russia, was quite 
different from annexation by crossing 
the sea, which was all that an insular 
nation could do. And travelers tell us 
that the territories absorbed by Russia 
become with remarkable rapidity a part 
of Russia, whereas nobody says that 
but it is useless to deny the plain fact that the 
Irish are hostile and alien, whatever they may be- 
come in the future. 



French and English. 



[July, 



India is a part of England ; and we are 
only hoping that Australia and New 
Zealand may be parts, not of the moth- 
er country, but of a great confedera- 
tion. 

Another excellent example is the case 
of the United States, where the exten- 
sion of the frontier has increased the 
mother country in such a manner that 
nobody talks of America's colonies, they 
have so rapidly become part of herself. 
We all see that if the Western colonies 
had been separated by an ocean from 
the Eastern colonizing States, they 
would have remained colonial, and 
simply attached to a mother country. 

Therefore, notwithstanding the won- 
derful propagation of the English race, 
we see that the real Britain is confined 
by the sea, and confined within narrow 
limits. France is not confined by the 
same physical boundary, but there are 
ethnological limits almost equally re- 
stricting. France has not, like the East- 
ern American States, a great unoccupied 
territory to expand in. If she would 
expand her frontiers, it can only be by 
subjugating populations which would 
offer strenuous resistance, and on her 
eastern frontier, at least, the resistance 
could not be overcome. 

France and England are therefore 
in much the same condition with regard 
to the possibility of expansion. 1 The 
only case of real expansion in recent 
French history has been the annexation 
of Savoy. That increase of territory 
was a genuine national growth, for 
Savoy very quickly became an integral 
part of France. 

In all European countries the military 
situation is of enormous importance to 
the happiness of both rich and poor in- 
habitants. At first sight that of Eng- 
land appears incomparably superior to 
that of France, as England is a natural 
fortress surrounded by its ditch ; but on 

1 For the sake of brevity, I leave out of consid- 
eration at present the empire of Napoleon I., which 
was a temporary creation, owing its existence to 
a military genius of the most exceptional order. 



further examination this superiority is 
seen to be connected with a cause of 
inferiority to France. A fortress is 
tenable only so long as its provisions 
hold out, and the soil of England can- 
not maintain the population. The peo- 
ple in the fortress maintain themselves 
partly by what they cultivate, but also 
in great part 'by what they purchase 
outside with the results of their indus- 
try. The condition of France is more 
favorable in this respect. If France 
were cut off from all communication 
with the rest of the world, she would 
still be able to exist on the produce of 
her soil, missing only luxuries, and not 
many even of these. The useful things 
which she most lacks, such as coal and 
iron, she still possesses in quantity suffi- 
cient for all the emergencies of war. 

Nevertheless, in spite of these and 
other compensations, the great differ- 
ence remains that the English live in a 
degree of security which is not enjoyed 
by any nation of Continental Europe. 
The strongest military state on the Con- 
tinent is not sure of untroubled existence 
for a year. But England feels secure ; 
England feels herself safely outside of 
that armed and watchful and anxious 
Continental life, which she looks upon 
as Cedric the Saxon looked upon the 
Tournament at Ashby. This security 
places the English in a safe and pleasant 
position for the exercise of the critical 
function, and so they have taken upon 
themselves the office, the thankless office, 
of critics to the continent of Europe. 
Now the feeling of Frenchmen, or of 
any other Continental people, on reading 
English criticisms, is something of this 
kind. They believe that in many cases, 
probably in most cases, the English 
would act precisely as they themselves 
act, if they were placed in the same sit- 
uation. For example, with regard to 
expansion. A continental nation desires 
The preservation of one empire, with so many un- 
willing and heterogeneous provinces, would have 
been impossible with republican institutions. 



1886.] 



French and English. 



25 



to expand ; all continental nations have 
this instinctive desire, which is the uni- 
versal national instinct. England, be- 
ing an island, cannot expand ; she can 
only propagate beyond the sea. But if 
the English had been placed on the soil 
of France, their naturally enterprising 
disposition would have led them to en- 
large their borders at 'the expense of 
their Continental neighbors, as the other 
nations (when they are not so weak that 
such an enterprise would be utterly hope- 
less) are always endeavoring to do. No 
Frenchman doubts the desire of Eng- 
land to absorb and assimilate Ireland if 
she could ; no Frenchman believes that 
the English would desire to do other- 
wise than the Russians if they had equal 
opportunities. 

VI. 

THE TWO NATIONAL ESTATES. 

A thorough and minute comparison 
of France and Great Britain, as vast 
properties possessed by the French and 
English races, would be valuable and 
interesting, but it lies outside of my 
manner of writing. It would require 
extensive statistics, a great array of fig- 
ures, and that purely scientific style 
which properly belongs to the writings 
of economists. 

My way is only to point to a few 
facts or considerations that the ordinary 
reader is likely to care about and re- 
member. Thus, to begin with, I should 
say that there is a misleading habit, 
both in England and France, of con- 
sidering the two nations as nearly equal 
to each other geographically, because 

1 The reader may like to have the figures on 
which the above comparison is founded. I take 
them, in square kilometres, from the most recent 
authority, the Armuaire du Bureau des Longitudes 
for 1886. 

The area of France is given as 528,400 by the 
Bureau des Longitudes. The Statisque de la 
France gives it as 528,572, on account of a di- 
vergence in the measurement of one department 
(Alpes-MarStimes). The Russian measurement of 
France, published in 1882 by General Strelbitsky, 



they are nearly equal in wealth and 
population. Very few people in either 
of the two countries realize how much 
greater is the area of France. The 
effect of contrast may make France 
small for an American or a Russian, 
but an Englishman who really knows 
its area looks upon it as a large country 
in comparison with his own. France is 
not exactly twice as large as Great 
Britain and Ireland together, but a very 
near approximation may be made by 
taking the British archipelago first, in- 
cluding the Hebrides and the Channel 
Islands, and then adding a second Scot- 
land, a second Ireland, a second Wales, 
and Belgium. Then you have nearly, 
yet still not quite completely, the area 
of France. Nobody would believe this 
on simply glancing at the map of Eu- 
rope, because the British Islands are 
long and straggling, and have outlines 
much cut into by the sea, whilst France 
is a remarkably square and compact coun- 
try. 1 Few English people travel in 
France to see the country and tho pro- 
vincial towns ; they generally confine 
themselves to Paris in the north, glan- 
cing at Rouen anjl Amiens, or at Nice 
and Cannes, in tho south, glancing at 
Avignon, Aries, and Marseilles. There 
are, however, a very few English peo- 
ple who really try to explore France, 
and these come gradually to be im- 
pressed with a sense of extent and gen- 
eral inexhaustibleness, which, instead of 
diminishing, curiously increases with 
their experience. An English lady, who 
knows the country better than anybody 
of my acquaintance, said to me last year, 
" I despair of ever knowing France as I 

gives a total of 534,479. I have therefore stated 
the smallest authoritative measurement. 

Areas. 
Great Britain and Ireland .... 314,493 

A Second Scotland 78,777 

A Second Ireland 84,252 

A Second Wales (including Mon- 

mouth, etc.) 20,613 

Belgium 29,455 



Total 527,590 



French and English. 



[July, 



desire ; it seems to get bigger and bigger, 
and the objects of interest in it that I 
have not seen appear to become more 
and more numerous." Another, who 
knew nothing of the country, was sur- 
prised to find that towns which she im- 
agined as near together were in fact 
separated by long railway journeys. 
Her first impression had been based on 
the idea that France was nearly the 
size of England, all distances being re- 
duced accordingly. 

From the agriculturist's point of view, 
France is an incomparably better estate 
than Great Britain, as well as a far larger 
one, but the insular power has two great 
compensations in her rich mines and her 
many excellent harbors. 

As France produces some luxuries, 
especially wines and silks, and has a 
great reputation in the fine arts, and is 
supposed (erroneously enough) to be a 
land of pleasure, her advantages in mat- 
ters of common utility are very frequent- 
ly forgotten. The real superiority of 
France is, however, in being a great 
food-producing country, not only in lux- 
urious food, but in that which is used by 
the poor as well as the rich. To this 
natural advantage may be added the 
tendency in the genius of the French 
people to make the best use of food 
material and to appreciate variety, so 
that none of the bounties of Nature are 
neglected or despised. 

The situation of France, with one 
shore on the Mediterranean and another 
on the Atlantic, is ideally convenient, and 
her little India in North Africa is so ac- 
cessible that it is felt to be a sort of ex- 
tension or annexe of the mother coun- 
try. France herself has the advantage 
of the best European latitudes. I have 
found it practically convenient to re- 
member, in thinking about the geograph- 
ical situation of France, that the small 
triangle to the north of Amiens is in 
English latitudes, and all the great region 
south of Lyons is in north Italian lati- 
tudes, the space between being in those 



of Switzerland and Bavaria. It is the 
best position in Europe, equally free 
from the cold, wet rigor of Scotland and 
the dry, hot region of Spain, at least in 
their excess, though there is something 
both of Scotch and Spanish weather in 
the great variety of the French climates. 

This variety needs to be remembered 
both for France and Great Britain, as 
there is really no single British or French 
climate to be praised or blamed. All 
that can be said in a general way is that 
the summers are hotter in France, and 
that the eastern and central departments 
have a more continental climate than 
that of any counties in England; but 
even in Saone-et-Loire the west wind is 
still the rain wind, as it is in Scotland, 
and the east wind has just the same 
characteristics that make it both dis- 
agreeable and dangerous at Edinburgh. 

The French are fortunate enough to 
be profoundly contented with their cli- 
mates, in this sense : that every French- 
man, at least so far as I have been able 
to observe, is well satisfied with the 
climate of his own department, though 
he criticises that of another region. 
There are even people in the south who 
prefer the infliction of the mistral, with 
its blinding dust, to the refreshment of a 
little rain. But all who live outside the 
region of the mistral have feelings of 
commiseration for those who are sub- 
jected to it. The rainy district on the 
west coast seems to the inhabitants of the 
dryer departments as trying as Argyll- 
shire might seem to an inhabitant of 
Norfolk. Nevertheless, each Frenchman 
is profoundly satisfied with his own cli- 
mate, and when it becomes unpleasant 
he always says that it has borrowed its 
unpleasantness from some other country, 
its fogs from England, its cold from 
Siberia, and its heat from Senegal. There 
are two things in which the Frenchman's 
faith is imperturbable, the climate and 
the decimal system ; if he had only as 
much faith in the government and the 
clergy, it is certain that France would be 



1886.] 



The G-olden Justice. 



27 



the most contented country in the world. 
Even as things are, he believes that 
France is preeminently favored by Na- 
ture or by Providence, and sometimes, 
with a little qualm of conscience, will 
humorously admit that the land is a 
richer gift than the population deserves ; 
or he will put the same idea into an- 
other form, and regret that such appar- 
ent care for the arrangement of so per- 
fect a land was not extended to the in- 
vention of reasonable inhabitants. No 
Englishman would say that of the race 
he belongs to, even between jest and 
earnest. The English believe that if 



their country does not grow grapes and 
olives, it grows men and women in un- 
approachable perfection. This quiet be- 
lief in the excellence of the race makes 
the English indifferent to any remarks 
that the foreigner may make upon their 
climate or the smallness of their island ; 
for as little Greece bore the greatest 
race of antiquity, so little England has 
brought forth the best and noblest of 
the modern races. This is the English 
belief. It is not precisely humble or 
modest, but it has at least the merit of 
the most absolute conviction and sin- 
cerity. 

Philip Gilbert Hamerton. 



THE GOLDEN JUSTICE. 



V. 



A NEW PARTNER AT BARCLAY'S ISLAND. 

WHEN Paul Barclay went to keep 
his appointment to go to the State Fair, 
he found a young girl, of the hum- 
bler sort, just taking her leave of Mrs. 
Varemberg, in the porch of the house. 
The girl wore a long, dark cloth coat, 
of a kind in vogue with the shopwomen 
of the day, fitting closely to a trim fig- 
ure. From beneath a round hat project- 
ed, in front, a fluff of strongly growing, 
dark hair, and she had a smooth, olive 
complexion and a pair of hazel eyes, 
demurely bright. 

" I thank you so very much, Mrs. 
Varemberg," Barclay heard her say, in 
a voice marked by a trace of foreign 
accent. 

" This is our little friend Stanislava 
Zelinsky, from the Polish settlement," 
said the lady, presenting the visitor. 

Barclay touched his hat to her. He 
had seen something of her country and 
its people at home, and certain recollec- 
tions drawn from his travels would have 



enlisted his interest, even had not the 
fact of her being Mrs. Varemberg's pro- 
tegee and her own rather pretty face, as 
she made a timid response to his bow, 
been sufficient. 

" Stanislava has many accomplish- 
ments," continued her patroness ; " she 
is never idle. Besides doing all kinds 
of house-work, she can embroider, paint 
flowers, play the church organ, and has 
a most excellent handwriting. Have 
you not a beautiful handwriting, Stanis- 
lava?" 

" Well, I don't know. They get me 
to write the books of the Polish Benev- 
olent Society, though, what keeps the 
names of all the families in the church," 
replied the girl, half disclaiming yet ac- 
cepting the eulogy. 

" And how do they get on now at the 
church ? It seems to me they are not 
always as amiable, down there, as they 
ought to be." 

She referred, no doubt, to a late dis- 
turbance, in which the schoolmaster, 
leading trader, pastor, and militia organ- 
ization known as the Sobieski Guards 
had all been mixed up in a confused 



28 



The Golden Justice. 



combat that had not been straightened 
out even at the police court itself, to 
which it had come in last resort. 

" Oh, that was mostly the Warsaw 
men and the Cracow men," said Stanis- 
lava, referring to some ancient feud of 
locality, like that of Cork and Kerry 
among the Irish. 

" Pronounce your pretty name for 
us," said Mrs. Varemberg. 

The girl did so, in a very soft and 
pleasing way. Being urged, she fol- 
lowed with a few further expressions in 
the speech of her fatherland. 

" How charming ! You must give us 
lessons in the Polish language," said 
Barclay, playfully. 

" No American person wants to know 
the Polander language ; " and she showed 
her fine white teeth in a smile at the ex- 
quisite absurdity of his idea. 

When she had gone and they were in 
the carriage awaiting them, Mrs. Var- 
emberg explained : " She is the child 
of the bridge-tender who was killed at 
the same time my father received his 
own injuries. He has had a fancy to 
look after her ever since." 

A decidedly new touch of interest 
was added by this to what Barclay had 
already shown. He wondered, as he 
had often wondered before, and was on 
the point of saying aloud : 

" Why was not this motive a source 
of equal consideration, on David Lane's 
part, for me ? " 

" She has just come to me on a rath- 
er singular errand. She has arrived at 
her eighteenth birthday, and for the first 
time has begun to be troubled with com- 
punctions about the money she receives. 
She inquires what it is for. She thinks 
she ought not to accept it any longer 
without doing some service in return." 

" A commendable spirit, surely." 

"I urged her to save it against her 
wedding-day. She did not seem satis- 
fied, and I promised to see my father 
about it on his return, and find her 
something to do, if possible." 



[July, 

From the Fair ground, as they drew 
Dear, they heard issuing forth a strident 
music of barrel-organs and the orchestras 
of side-shows, and they could see, above 
the far-stretching, high white palisade 
that encompassed it, a series of the crests 
of pavilions, booths, and tents, decked 
with gayly floating banners. Within 
were parked the dusty vehicles of coun- 
try folk, who looked upon the occasion 
as a wonderful festival, and the equi- 
pages of wealthy city people, who, like 
our friends, had made it the terminus of 
an afternoon's drive. The praises of 
the Learned Pig mingled with those of 
the Wild Australian Children, the low- 
ing of animals with the shuffle and clat- 
ter of agricultural apparatus, and the 
steaming and whir and thud of falling 
stamps in Machinery Hall. A knot of 
committee-men trudged, with important 
air, among the stalls arranged around 
the outer circuit of the iuclosure, dis- 
tributing medals and ribbons to favored 
live stock. Something could be seen of 
a sham battle in progress on an elevat- 
ed green common without ; and from 
time to time a man with a red sash 
and stentorian voice announced trials of 
speed on the trotting track. 

Ives Wilson was there, in a kiosk spe- 
cially erected for the Daily Index. He 
seemed even unusually full of business. 
With profuse enthusiasm he handed 
out to our friends a copy of his spe- 
cial State Fair Edition. Thousands of 
copies of it were being distributed gratis, 
containing excellently-paid-for puffs of 
the Eureka farm pump, the Little Giant 
harvester, the Pearl Feather windmill, 
and the like. He broke away to confer 
with two notables known as the " Hop 
King" and the "Cranberry King," and 
to receive subscriptions from small coun- 
try politicians, who made it a point to 
come and pay in person, at this time, 
to keep the eye of the Index favora- 
bly fixed upon them during the ensuing 
year. He hurried back, and threw into 
the lap of Mrs. Varemberg, till it resem- 



1886.] 



The Grolden Justice. 



29 



bled the lap of Abundance, specimens 
of mammoth fruits, which had been 
donated him as an editor, and hence the 
most fitting recipient of all that was 
curious. 

*' What an energy ! what a zeal ! " 
said Barclay. 

" I should not wonder if he even went 
to sleep with a greater energy than oth- 
er people," responded his companion. 
" I have an idea he shuts his eyes with 
an actual snap, and proposes to show 
the world one of the most vigorous ex- 
amples of sleeping on record." 

The Art Pavilion, to which they were 
bound, was found to be a rather rudely 
finished structure of pine boards, octago- 
nal in shape. On one side was arranged, 
by itself, the little collection sent by 
Mrs. Varemberg, consisting chiefly of 
some choice textile stuffs and bright for- 
eign pictures of the modern schools, 
from her own home, together with some 
few other specimens of merit, loaned by 
their owners with reluctance, and only 
upon the personal representations of one 
so influential as herself. The contribu- 
tion next in importance to her own was 
that of a certain refined Radbrook fam- 
ily, of whom she spoke incidentally with 
warm admiration. 

" They have almost everything," she 
said : " money enough for every refined 
taste, without splendor, health, good 
looks, charming children, and fondness 
for each other. It is a most enviable 
household. The chief pleasure of the 
master of it is music. It is not for dis- 
play or applause, in a too common way ; 
on the contrary, he prefers to be alone ; 
and there is something poetic and gentle 
in the way he sits, by the hour, in his 
music-room, fingering over to himself his 
difficult compositions. His wife pro- 
tects this taste, but does not share it. 
They are amiable and gay in the world, 
but pay no weak deference to it, and do 
not let it invade their genuine, self-cen- 
tred happiness." 

There were indications of her own 



ideals of domestic life to be gathered 
from this. 

Another class of pictures, very smooth- 
ly varnished copies after the old mas- 
ters, in very brightly gilded frames, com- 
placently displayed by one of the latest 
of the class of new rich, perhaps met 
with the leading favor of connoisseurs. 
The former were spoken of as ' too 
gaudy," and doubts entertained of their 
being in good taste. Ingenuous school- 
girls and the like sought the latter with 
eagerness. They had read of the orig- 
inals in text books, and felt that here 
they were reveling with proper senti- 
ment over the grandest creations of art. 

Then followed dull portraits and lead- 
en landscapes by practitioners who eked 
out a bare subsistence in the place by 
the aid of teaching ; woodeny prize 
cattle, painted broadside on, to please 
their owners ; a figure-piece by a one- 
armed veteran of the Soldiers' Home ; 
a smudged crayon drawing " by a boy of 
thirteen," who spent the greater part of 
his time before it in rapt admiration ; 
and chromos, lithographed circulars and 
bill-heads, and a mammoth St. George 
and the Dragon, executed in Spence- 
rian penmanship. 

A number of people they knew were 
met with in passing through. Miss Jus- 
tine DeBow, accompanied by Lieuten- 
ant Gregg, of the revenue cutter, gave 
Barclay a gracious nod, among others. 
Mrs. Varemberg sank down on a bench 
with fatigue. 

" You see the cause of art has not yet 
made very enormous strides in Keeway- 
din," she said, summing up. 

" Yes, I suppose that is a safe state- 
ment to agree to." 

" But it is advancing, it is coming 
this way ; it is, really. I myself am old 
enough to have seen wonderful changes 
in my time." 

" Let it come by itself, then. Let its 
tottering steps be supported on some 
more vigorous shoulder than yours." 
He had noted an unusually pallid and 



30 



The G-olden Justice. 



[July, 



worn look overspread her face. " Good 
heavens, why have I let you so overtax 
your strength ? How can I have been 
so stupid ? " 

" It is nothing. It is not my proceed- 
ings to-day that tire me ; the bare exer- 
tion of getting these few things together 
had already done it." 

" Then why did you have anything to 
do with it ? " he asked, in energetic re- 
proof. 

" I suppose I was weak, and let my- 
self be persuaded. They told me I 
ought to share my superior advantages 
with others less fortunate. They said 
I was a leader ; and when one is a lead- 
er one ought to lead, you know." 

" But in all these ways you dissipate 
vital force you can ill spare. You ought 
to lead the calmest, most untroubled 
life possible." 

" l Calm ' and ' untroubled ' are good. 
Well, there is sometimes a certain need 
of distraction. And was it not you who 
were only lately counseling me athletic 
sports ? " 

" This is not athletic sport, and now 
I counsel you rest," he said, looking into 
her eyes with deep earnestness. " Come ! 
we must get you well." 

" There will be all eternity to rest 
in." 

But this sincere concern in her well- 
being had evidently awakened her grati- 
tude. As if with compunction for her 
conduct of yesterday, she returned, of 
her own accord, to the point at which 
they had then left off. 

" I repulsed your interest in my af- 
fairs yesterday. I fear I was very rude 
to you," she said, with much gentleness. 
Now I would like to tell you all you 
may care to know." 

" No, no ; it was unpardonable in me 
to trench upon the subject at all. Pray 
try to forgive and forget it." 

" But I want to tell you," she insist- 
ed, with a gentle imperiousness. 

Upon this they resumed their carriage 
and drove homeward. Restive Castor 



and Pollux had been fuming under the 
unwonted sounds and phantasmagoria 
of the Fair, and did not recover their 
customary gait till the inclosure was 
left well behind them. The drill of the 
local militia was still in progress. The 
American Light Guard, the Irish Em- 
met Guard, the German Jagers, and the 
Polish Sobieskis marched and counter- 
marched before one another in gallant 
style. When the bayonets of the cater- 
pillar-like squads twinkled finally at a 
distance, and the smoke of their volleys 
floated on the air like puffs of thistle- 
down, Mrs. Varemberg began her story. 

" Under Varemberg's gay and frank 
demeanor," said she, " a superficial 
veneer adopted only for society, he cov- 
ered a morose and barbarous nature. 
He developed, in particular, a phenome- 
nal cruelty of disposition which in recol- 
lection seems incredible." 

"Who would have credited it ? " 

" Something strange seemed to come 
between us from the very outset. There 
was no companionship, not a feeling nor 
thought in common. It was too hide- 
ous. At first I used to persuade my- 
self it was my fault, and try to dispel 
it. The more I humiliated myself, the 
harder and more brutal he became." 

" There are natures like that Alpine 
rose, the type of ingratitude, which, 
comparatively tame in its pastures, 
bristles with thorns the more it is cul- 
tivated," said Barclay. 

" His native trait of cruelty was ex- 
ercised on horses, dogs, inferiors, and all 
around. I was a daily witness to un- 
merited suffering. It was an outbreak 
of this kind that first alienated me from 
him, even before it had been wreaked 
on myself." 

" And we esteem ourselves judges of 
character ! " said Barclay. 

" A poor soldier who had been guilty 
of some offense, which though certainly 
a breach of military discipline was not 
a crime, had been condemned to death, 
by court-martial. The circumstances 



1886.] 



The Golden Justice. 



31 






were so peculiar that they had attracted 
much attention. The soldier was from 
our own village, where his detachment 
was stationed at the time. A strong 
feeling of sympathy was aroused for 
him among his friends, neighbors, and 
comrades. He was led out the first 
time to be shot, and the platoon would 
not fire. The villagers rushed between, 
and bared their breasts, crying, 'You 
shall not harm him ; you shall kill us 
first ! ' He was led back to his prison, 
and they came to me, among others, to 
invoke my intercession with my hus- 
band. ' If he can but obtain a reprieve, 
and the case be carried to the higher 
authorities,' they pleaded, * he will sure- 
ly have justice done him, and be saved.'" 

"You had identified yourself well 
with your village, then ? " 

" Yes, one would naturally do so. A 
woman's country, you know, is that 
where she loves." (Her companion 
winced.) " Though that motive endured 
but so short a time, I had early found 
a sort of distraction in the place. My 
husband was connected, in some retired 
or supernumerary way, with the army, 
yet was one of those, though not the 
principal one, who had to do with the 
execution of the sentence. When I 
spoke to him, he repulsed my inter- 
ference with insulting sarcasms. No 
reprieve was obtained. The man was 
once more led out to die." 

She paused a moment, and covered 
her eyes with her hand, as if to shut 
out a terrible recollection. Barclay 
waited in respectful silence for her to 
go on. 

" I found myself by accident near 
the open parade-ground, that morning, 
quite ignorant of what was to take place. 
The peasants again ran to me, with 
streaming eyes, as a melancholy pro- 
cession came down the village street. 
I took a few steps, in a confused way, 
towards it. I was close to both my 
husband and the prisoner. Hardly 
knowing what I did, I reached forth 



and laid a hand on Varemberg's arm. 
It seemed to inspire in him a rage like 
actual madness. He seized a revolver 
from his holster, and ran and placed it 
against the head of the prisoner. ' A 
million devils,' he cried, ' can we never 
get this vermin shot ! ' and he fired. 

" I was so near that the blood of the 
poor victim scattered over me, and his 
pleading eyes directed into mine their 
last glance on earth." 

Barclay's breath came thick and fast, 
as he listened with horror to this recital. 

" After such an event, what more 
could there ever be between us ? He ter- 
rified me inexpressibly. I did not know 
at what moment I might meet a simi- 
lar fate. His appearance, which I had 
once thought so gallant and handsome, 
seemed sinister to the last degree, and 
his smile froze me. He saw my aver- 
sion, and was pleased at first to make 
some small efforts to overcome it, and 
be like his former self. But if this 
shocking deed were not by itself suffi- 
cient, others of a like nature followed. 
Then I began to learn of glaring infi- 
delities. He twice demanded of my 
father large sums in addition to what 
had been paid as my wedding portion. 
He had been a bankrupt, himself, from 
the very start ; and finally his transac- 
tions in money were such that he had 
to leave the country. In the midst of 
it, my child, too, had died. Ah, if I 
had had but that solace, I think I might 
have endured all the rest. How lonely 
I was in the great foreign house, far 
from all I had ever known ! My father 
came there and took me home." 

"It puzzles me beyond measure, his 
pretext for turning to such courses ; 
his motive in throwing away such a 
happiness as was his." 

" He must have followed a natural 
bias that had been hidden from us. It 
could not have been the beginning of 
it we witnessed. Much of his conduct 
seemed without motive, his cruelty pure 
wantonness ; perhaps it would be most 



32 



The Gf-olden Justice. 



[July, 



merciful to suppose it insanity. There 
are such characters, we know, in his- 
tory, who delighted in torture for its 
own sake. His seemed one of those 
natures that at a certain point had to 
go wholly and irremediably to the bad." 

" But how, but why did such a dread- 
ful mistake ever arise ? " exclaimed Bar- 
clay excitedly. 

" I suppose I chose with a young 
girl's want of reflection. I must have 
been very thoughtless, even for my age. 
Truly, I had formed but a dim concep- 
tion of what it was to be married, and 
of the need of a true affection. Varem- 
berg interested and dazzled me. He 
told me, too, that no one could ever love 
me as much as he, and I think I al- 
lowed myself to believe it." 

" And yet it ought not to have been 
so difficult to love you, in those times," 
broke in Barclay, with a sad sort of bit- 
terness. " I sometimes used to wonder 
that everybody who knew you did not 
do it." 

He had yielded momentarily to an 
emotion against which he vainly strug- 
gled. Surely it was evident now that 
her father had never told her of his 
proposal, and she had never known the 
true state of his feelings. Such naivete 
of statement, as unconscious as her for- 
mer flippancy, would otherwise have 
been impossible. 

She turned towards him a look of 
genuine surprise. 

" Truly," she said, " you have come 
back an accomplished flatterer. Once, 
praise from you was praise from Sir 
Hubert, to be esteemed indeed." 

" Whatever I have come back, it is 
no flatterer." 

" Then it only remains to set you 
down as misguided. I was far from cer- 
tain in my own mind about this mar- 
riage," she went on presently, " but my 
father reassured me, and laid my scru- 
ples at rest." 

"Your father?" 

" Yes, alas ! he too was deceived." 



Paul Barclay's surmise, to which so 
many indications had pointed, was con- 
firmed. Her father had been the au- 
thor of the match, she only a consent- 
ing party. He groaned in spirit, but 
too late, to think that all his agony had 
passed even unnoted, and to recall his 
own words of consuming passion un- 
spoken, when it appeared how easily the 
glib sophistries of the foreigner had pre- 
vailed with her. 

" Bear with me," ho resumed, after 
some one of those casual interruptions 
from the sights and scenes around them 
that occur in such out-of-doors jaunts. 
" And after all this, they tell me, you 
will not avail yourself even of the poor 
remedy of the law." 

" Oh no, not that ; never ! " she ejac- 
ulated, in a sort of horror. 

"And why?" 

" There is but one thing for a woman 
to do in a situation like mine, and that 
is to accept the consequences of her 
folly gracefully, and conceal them from 
the public eye as far as possible. No 
new trials, no further experiments for 
me!" 

" But even apart from further exper- 
iments," he reasoned with her, grieved 
at the terms, " is it not irksome to drag 
a ball and chain, as it were, some five 
or ten thousand miles long ? " 

"There are international aspects to 
the case, and it is not certain that re- 
lease could be obtained, valid in both 
countries, did I desire it never so much. 
And where is the great harm in a ball 
and chain, if one does not wish to 
dance ? " with a melancholy smile. 

" I have not heard it was dancers 
only to whom those appendages were 
hateful. One would always like to walk 
unimpeded, even at the slowest pace." 

"No, I have firm convictions against 
what you suggest," she persisted. 

"And so have I had till now. Or 
rather, I fear my attention has never 
been closely turned to it. But surely 
the step was never better justified." 



1886.] 



The G -olden Justice. 



33 



" Whom God hath joined together, 
ho only can put asunder. That is 
what I have alw.ays been taught to be- 
lieve. That is what my father believes, 
with me. Alas! in many things I no 
longer know what my convictions are. 
Varemberg shook my faith, in our early 
days, with his brilliant, hateful skepti- 
cism ; that harm he did me with the rest. 
But, in all my uncertainties, on this point 
I have never wavered." 

Barclay abandoned the argument 
with a sigh. He afterwards felt greatly 
his temerity in entering on it. He sighed 
over his companion in many ways. 

"Ah, that such a fate," he said, 
" should have been hers, so made as she 
was for sunshine, for distinction ! Ah, 
that yonder wretch should have been al- 
lowed to throw away this treasure of 
affection and loveliness, when I I 
would have given my heart's blood to 
save her from an instant's pain ! " 

A week after this, the statement was 
current that a new partner had gone 
into the management of the Stamped- 
Ware Works with Maxwell. The news 
was brought into the Johannisberg 
House, which stood at no great distance 
from Barclay's Island, on the main 
land, by the South Side letter-carrier, 
Peter Stransky. 

It was a quiet afternoon at that re- 
spectable caravansary. There were vis- 
ible a collection of shells and a full- 
rigged ship, behind the bar of the long, 
neatly sanded room. A little platform 
crossed one end of this room, on which 
a quartette of Tyroleans with zither ac- 
companiment, sometimes sang the na- 
tional yodel. The wall behind it was 
painted with a mammoth Alpine scene, 
with a door in the centre ; so that the 
performers, on taking leave, seemed to 
disappear into the heart of the moun- 
tain, like a species of kobolds. Christian 
Idak, grown older and confirmed in that 
important air of the small landlord who 
is better off than most of his guests, still 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 3 



moved about in his shirt-sleeves. Frau 
Idak sat knitting in a corner, and a 
child by her side was doing sums on 
its slate. The same marine gossips, or 
their like, were at their posts, recount- 
ing hair-breadth escapes and curious hap- 
penings, which are even more common, 
perhaps, in the lake navigation than 
that of the salt ocean. 

One had told of cruising amid float- 
ing ice-fields, twenty feet thick, in Lake 
Superior, in June. Another had told 
that, once, when wrecked, he had seen 
the ghost of a former captain swimming 
by him in the water. The mysterious 
questions of a tide and subterranean 
outlets for the lakes had been touched 
upon. 

" What I know is," said a tug-man, 
on this latter subject, " that a precious 
sight more water goes down that Saint 
Lawrence River than ever gets out o' 
the lakes fair and above-board." 

" Most anywhere out Waukesha way, 
where I hail from," added a skip- 
per, corroborating him, " if you bore 
down into the solid rock you get water 
comin' up, with live fish in it. And 
' cisco,' which is a Lake Superior fish, 
and nothin' else, appears in Genevy 
Lake a few days every year, and then 
disappears again, so you can't find one 
for love nor money. Now what does 
all that mean if it ain't that there 's un- 
derground channels ? " 

The "hard times," supposed to be 
existing, next came in for their fair 
share of attention. 

An engineer of the Owl Line com- 
plained that they did not get one trip 
now where they formerly got a dozen. 

" It is the same way with us," added 
a rival of the Diamond Jim Line : "the 
big craft is eatin' up all the small ones, 
in the carryiu' trade. And even they 
don't make no very heavy pile out of 
it." 

" The bloated money kings and mo- 
nopolist sharks is at the bottom of it," 
cried a vigorous exponent of the " green- 



34 



The G-olden Justice. 



[July, 



back " school of doctrines. " This coun- 
try '11 never see a well day again till it 
gets a poor man's currency, and makes 
it ekil to the wants o' trade." 

It was about this time that the South 
Side letter-carrier came in, from his 
swift rounds, with his leather satchel 
slung over his shoulder. 

" The Stamped- Ware Works is one 
place where they don't show much signs 
o' hard times," said he, pausing a mo- 
ment, in his thirst imbibing a glass of 
Keewaydin's excellent beer. " I 've just 
been there. They Ve got in a new 
partner ; they 're puttin' on a new lot 
of hands, and everything 's boomin'." 

" Who ? " " What ? " How ? " greeted 
the announcement, from all sides, with 
a lively interest. " Who 's the new 
partner ? " 

" Name 's Barclay, a New York 
feller, with loads o' money ; same one 
what his father used to own the island 
afore him." And he was off again, on 
his route, down to the remote precincts 
of Windlake Avenue and Muckwonago 
Road. 

The little notary public, Kroeger, who 
spent much of his time here, having lit- 
tle to detain him at his own office, and 
who obtained a repute for wisdom and 
insight by a policy of cynical smiling and 
disparagement, commented sagely : 

" I guess Maxwell he got bigger 
ideas as what he know how to do busi- 
ness." 

Akins, the foreman of the Works, 
came in presently, with a hard-pressed 
air, and confirmed the intelligence, with 
additions. 

" Of course the concern was solid," 
said he, " and no need o' changin', but 
a little more money don't never do no 
harm. Mr. Barclay, he was lookin' 
round for a job, and bein* as we suited 
him, and the island was his, any way, 
what more natural than that we should 
strike up a bargain ? " 

Mrs. Varemberg derived her first au- 
thentic information from Barclay him- 



self. Some rumor of it had already 
reached her. She received it with an 
open enthusiasm. 

"You are going to stay?" she ex- 
claimed. 

" Yes, I am going to stay." 

" It seems one of those things really 
too good to be true." 

" It appears that the too-good-to-be- 
true sometimes happens," he replied, 
smiling. 

He surprised himself in a certain 
tremor, at her pleasant excitement, but 
quickly dismissed it. She had had real- 
ly nothing to do with his staying, he as- 
sured himself. She was in the place, 
it is true, and was weak and suffering, 
and he might be of some small solace 
and assistance to her, as he should be 
glad to be to any friend in like situation 
in whom he felt an interest, but that 
was all. 

" Maxwell put the matter in such a 
light that I could not decline his offer," 
he explained. " If I were in earnest in 
my ideas, and I assure you I was, 
here was an opening just suited to my 
peculiar case, and, strangely enough, 
ready to my hand. Why should I 
search further ? " 

And so indeed he thought. He had 
yielded to that subtile warping by in- 
clination and sympathy which some- 
times has its way even with the clear- 
est of consciences. He had not the 
faintest notion in the world of being 
that equivocal figure, the masculine con- 
soler of an unhappy wife. He was en- 
dowed with an excellent Anglo-Saxon 
common sense, and he felt himself to be, 
now, with his ample experience, a per- 
son of a sturdy temperament, upon whiclj 
the imagination could play but few of 
its tricks. Was he not heart-whole? 
And have we not seen lovers meeting 
in after years, and even exchanging con- 
gratulations on their fortunate escape 
from each other? It was his general 
purpose in life to set his face resolutely 
against all those courses of conduct re- 



1886.] 



The G-olden Justice. 



35 



quiring extenuation or apology, and he 
had no intention of departing from it in 
this instance. 

When David Lane returned, after the 
absence we have noted, he found Paul 
Barclay fairly settled in Keewaydin. 

" What does this mean ? " he demand- 
ed of his daughter, with a face of omi- 
nous and rigid severity, of which she by 
no means comprehended the occasion. 

" What could it mean, papa ? I do 
not understand you," she responded, in 
strong astonishment. 

" This young man must needs follow 
us about the world, and now he comes 
hither, and even makes a pretext of en- 
gaging in business." 

" And why should he not go into a 
business here? I do not understand 
you, papa. As to his following us 
about the world, surely you remember 
that it is a good four years since we 
have seen him, and it was but by the 
merest accident he knew I was here." 

David Lane, in his first access of 
consternation, bad made a very false 
step. He hastened to repair its conse- 
quences as best he could. 

" I was only thinking, dearest," he 
began, in a confused way, " if it should 
be said that a former admirer had 
followed you here, at this particular 
time " 

" But he is not my < former admirer,' " 
she interrupted, impatiently. " He was 
a very staunch friend, whom I should 
like to keep. At the worst, we hardly 
have the right to turn out of Keewaydin 
all those who have been my admirers, 
if we can suppose any so misguided. 
I do not understand you at all. Was 
not Paul Barclay, at Paris, one of our 
most esteemed acquaintances ? " 

"I I have nothing against him," 
stammered the wretched man. " Only, 
your position, just at this time, requires 
a great deal of circumspection." 

Under the influence of her brother, 
Mrs. Clinton, in her turn, offered a fee- 
ble counsel, on the same subject. 



" He is a most gentlemanly man, and 
all that could be desired in every way, 
I am sure," she said, deprecatiugly ; 
" but, since he is now going to remain 
here, it seems to me I would not see 
quite so much not too much of him, 
Florence, dear." 

" You know my views and practice 
on all those matters; you have even 
urged me to modify them, make them 
less severe. Why do you now become 
more loyal than the queen ? " 

" Your situation is one requiring a 
great deal of circumspection," said the 
aunt, repeating her brother's words. 

"My situation is one requiring a 
good cup of tea and a night's rest," re- 
turned the object of these expostulations, 
and she retired to her own chamber. 



"TAUGHT BY 



VI. 

MISFORTUNE, 
UNHAPPY." 



I PITY THE 



At an early day after taking the im- 
portant step described, Barclay went to 
New York to settle up certain of his 
affairs awaiting him there, and finally 
conclude, by a brief visit to his family, 
his long tour round the world. 

He found himself glad, on reaching 
New York again, to have chosen Kee- 
waydin as his field of action. The great 
metropolis would have been too vast, its 
influence too discouraging for his simple 
experiment. An individual like him- 
self would have been swallowed up in 
its Babel of conflicting interests, and 
could not have hoped to make the faint- 
est impression. 

The city had changed much, even dur- 
ing the few years of his absence. The 
great apartment-houses, for one thing, 
had then begun to tower up newly 
above the level of ordinary life, some 
even surpassing the tops of the churches. 
His own family, meantime, had moved 
far up town, near Central Park, choos- 
ing their new abode in a quarter that 



36 



The Golden Justice. 



[July, 



had been in his day but a waste of des- 
ert lots, and abandoning the old one on 
Fifth Avenue before the encroachments 
of trade. His sisters came in, one day, 
and told mournfully how they had made 
purchases over the counter in the cham- 
bers sacred to the most intimate memo- 
ries of their childhood. 

Old acquaintances, whom he met at 
some clubs, where he still kept his mem- 
bership, and elsewhere, were inclined 
to joke him about the remote precinct 
where, they understood, he had taken 
up his new habitat; but they were re- 
spectful about it, too, identifying it 
more or less with the cattle ranches of 
Dakota and Montana, to which vari- 
ous friends, " swell " young Englishmen 
and the like, had taken lately, and they 
asked him questions about stock-raising, 
and begged him to bear them in mind if 
he should meet with opportunities for 
money-making he himself might not be 
able to use. 

Paul Barclay returned to Keewaydin, 
and took up his quarters in the spacious 
residence of his kinsfolk, the Thorn- 
brooks, a pleasant old couple, quite free 
from the crabbedness of age, who insist- 
ed upon it with a pressing hospitality. 
They had their own primitive ideas 
and habits, they said, but these should in 
no way be allowed to interfere with his 
convenience. They promised him an 
exaggerated liberty. They insisted that 
there was room enough, and to spare, 
for all ; and so indeed it seemed, when 
Barclay came to inspect the large, com- 
fortable chambers placed at his disposal. 
The Thornbrooks proceeded forthwith to 
give a large entertainment, with the view 
of introducing him to the society of the 
place, and nearly everybody of note as- 
sembled to do him honor. There came, 
among the rest, his traveling-compan- 
ions, Jim DeBow, who rose once more 
on his heel, and Miss Justine DeBow, 
who this time asked him to come and 
see her at her home. 

But he began his labors immediately 



in active earnest. Establishing a reg- 
ular routine, he rose and breakfasted 
early ; then drove, in a buggy he had 
set up, or sometimes walked, for the 
benefit of the more active exercise, 
down to the Works, where he spent a 
long, busy day. He crossed the Chip- 
pewa Street Bridge, where Ludwig Trap- 
schuh soon came to add him to the large 
list of acquaintance he claimed " by 
sight." It was the purpose of Barclay 
to post himself thoroughly in all parts 
of his enterprise before he should set 
out upon any novel schemes. Accord- 
ingly, he studied the great books of ac- 
count, the systems of sales and credit, 
the character and source of supply of 
the raw materials, then the processes of 
manufacture, and finally the shipment 
of the completed product to many and 
distant markets. 

His " office " was a small wooden 
house, with platform-scales beside it. 
It had worn cocoa matting on the floor ; 
it contained a great iron safe, a low 
desk and another high one; to sit be- 
side this latter it was necessary to mount 
on a high stool. On the wall was a ca- 
pacious frame filled with specimens of 
the smaller wares turned out by the fac- 
tory, with their price-list attached. The 
hum of a distant planing-mill rose un- 
ceasingly on the ear, like some homely 
song forever celebrating the plodding in- 
dustries of the quarter. 

The main buildings were partly of 
brick and partly of wood; their roofs 
were covered with a preparation of as- 
phalt, which, with the tan-bark, from a 
not far distant tannery, laid on the road 
of approach, gave out distinctive odors 
when heated by the sun. Over the 
principal doorway was the legend : " No 
Admission Except on Business." All 
around was a litter of piece-moulds, old 
castings, and general debris, and against 
the walls leaned some mammoth gear- 
wheels, still so long from their swift 
revolutions that the slow rust and cob- 
webs had overtaken them. 



1886.] 



The Crolden Justice. 



37 



The dry, unsentimental nature of his 
surroundings by no means chilled the 
early ardor of Barclay ; if anything, it 
even increased it. 

"The mine itself does not shine," 
said he ; " it is only the product that 
comes from its gloomy depths." 

There was even a certain romance in 
their utter commonplaceness. It was 
a reaction, no doubt, a form of the tes- 
timony of respect that the studious, 
scholarly temperament pays to the more 
rugged sort that makes the money and 
carries on the practical affairs of the 
world. Barclay felt that he had been 
too long a mere loiterer and looker-on, 
and he now took a manly delight in 
knowing himself, at last, a part of the 
great, stirring, useful, workaday world 
of affairs. 

He had conceived, as we have seen, 
an ideal of duty towards his men far be- 
yond that of the mere payment of wages. 
If he were to be the autocrat of their 
destinies, he meant to be at least an au- 
tocrat of the beneficent type. So he 
was fond of watching them, when he 
thought them unaware of it, at their 
work. He found a kind of grotesque 
pathos, as well as humor, in their 
smudged faces, their flannel shirts of 
red and blue, stained with oil, all the 
vagaries of their grimy costume. He 
wondered to himself how he would have 
stood such a life as theirs, had it been 
forced upon him. The flowers that 
bloomed for them were the flames and 
molten metal from the furnaces; the 
stars that shone for them were the scin- 
tillations of the forging ; the birds that 
sang for them were the clink of the ham- 
mers; and the grass that grew under 
their feet was the waste of slag and cin- 
ders. 

If the men observed him at this study, 
they thought it only the sharp eye of 
the task-master bent upon them, to see 
that they neglected no duty touching 
his pocket. There was range enough 
of character. He had timid spirits and 



bold, the gay and the morose, the faith- 
ful at their tasks and the chronic shirk- 
ers, sycophants who would have curried 
favor with him by spying upon the rest, 
and the surly independent who seemed 
even to go out of their way to seek oc- 
casions for offense. 

Instead of some episode of the hu- 
manitarian sort, to which he aspired, cu- 
riously enough one of the first experi- 
ences he had was to deal with a frac- 
tious and rebellious hand. This man, a 
dangerous character as well as inefficient 
workman, after having been discharged, 
returned again, under the influence of 
drink, and, in the long main shop, fired 
twice at Barclay with a revolver, almost 
at point-blank range. 

" You 'd 'a' thought the boss kind o' 
liked it," said belligerent young Johnny 
Maguire, of the packing-room, comment- 
ing on the occurrence. " He kep' as 
cool as a cucumber all the time. Oh, 
he 's got plenty of sand in his gizzard, 
and don't you forget it." 

This proceeding, so questionable, per- 
haps, as philanthropy, stood Barclay in 
good stead in other respects. His cool- 
ness under fire and indifference to dan- 
ger won him the respect of the rude 
class with which he had to deal as the 
manifestation of no other kind of qual- 
ities at first would have done. In the 
long run it lightened his management in 
many ways, and gave his labors and in- 
fluence the more telling efficacy. 

The news of it came to Mrs. Varem- 
berg, as that of the steamer accident had 
done, only from outsiders and after a 
considerable time. She was alarmed, 
and said to him, 

" Is it not dangerous for you to mix 
with such rough characters, and go 
among them as freely as you do ? They 
may knock you on the head some day 
for revenge, or robbery ; who knows ? " 

" The only fear is that none of them 
will be so obliging," he replied, smil- 
ing enigmatically, in a way that much 
puzzled her. 



38 



The G-olden Justice. 



[July, 



Barclay aimed also, with an all-em- 
bracing ambition, to acquaint himself 
thoroughly with his new abode, Kee- 
waydin. He studied its map, its topog- 
raphy, its past and present. He de- 
signed to grasp all the elements of its 
population ; its social life, the sources 
and prospects of its trade, the method 
of its government, policing, lighting, 
heating, water supply, protection from 
fire; its courts, schools, churches, and 
cemeteries. There was a definite satis- 
faction to him in the compactness, the 
moderate compass, of the city, large, 
important, and flourishing though it was. 
He found it agreeable to have become 
part of a place in which it would be 
easily possible to rise to the top, and 
even, should he so desire, to be one of 
its controlling spirits. 

" The leaven is working," he said to 
Mrs. Varemberg. "I feel within me 
the makings of a bitter East or West 
or South Sider." 

He went on 'Change. He wondered 
if the same wrinkles of shrewdness did 
not begin to appear about his own eyes 
as about those of the business people 
he met with there. 

Jim DeBow welcomed him cordially, 
and discoursed as before on the present 
and prospective greatness of Kee way- 
din. Ives Wilson, who was extending 
the range of his infallibility at the mo- 
ment to the domain of grain and pork, 
touched up Jim DeBow a little on the 
subject of a certain recent large opera- 
tion of the latter's in winter wheat, a 
" corner," in fact, of such extent as to 
have caused Chicago to claim with pride 
to be the birthplace of its manipulator. 
Both leaned nonchalantly back against 
one of the long tables, and munched 
grains of wheat as they talked. 

" Speaking of winter wheat," said the 
editor parenthetically, " you '11 see win- 
ters out here that'll make your hair 
curl. Why, back in the country where 
this comes from," and he tossed a few 
more grains into his mouth, " when the 



thermometer 's only at zero, the people 
put their summer clothes on." 

On 'Change seemed a sort of com- 
mercial club. Vessel-men, agents of 
freight lines and insurance companies, 
attorneys, builders, and money-lenders 
resorted thither, to look for business 
from its regular constituency and carry 
on transactions with these and one an- 
other. Telegraphic instruments clicked, 
messengers ran hither and thither, and 
from time to time the secretary mounted 
to an upper gallery, and, like a muezzin 
summoning to prayers, gave out the 
latest quotations of foreign markets, 
the shouting circle around a small plat- 
form in the centre pausing briefly in 
their turmoil to listen. 

There Barclay met also with David 
Lane. In his guise of capitalist, the 
ex-governor stood about on the outer 
edge of the circle, supporting his digni- 
fied, stocky figure on a cane, and speak- 
ing an occasional word with one of the 
more active members. He was rheu- 
matic now, and at times could walk only 
with exceeding difficulty. 

Ives Wilson came up, and, half pre- 
senting Barclay to Lane, in his offhand 
fashion, said of him, 

" He has become one of us, I 'm 
glad you know each other. I tell you, 
little by little Keewaydin is going to 
gather in all the brains, capital, and in- 
dustry of the country. By the way," 
to Barclay, " I 'm thinking of sending a 
man down to write up your place. I 
think I '11 have Goff, our Assistant Lo- 
cal, do it ; he 's particularly good at 
those things." 

" To write up my place ? " 

" Yes, a column article, you know, 
under the head of Keewaydin's Indus- 
tries. We give you a hundred copies, 
free, to distribute round among your 
friends, and you let us have a hundred- 
dollar advertisement, see ? " 

David Lane's manner to the young 
manufacturer was cold and repellent, 
the manner he so well remembered in 



1886.] 



The Golden Justice. 



39 



the old times. It added to his sense of 
a confirmed hostility, a feeling vividly 
aroused by the revelation of Mrs. Var- 
emberg. In the difficulty of forming, at 
present, any more general programme, 
and while awaiting the development of 
events, David Lane had taken refuge in 
moroseness. The young man should at 
least have no countenance from him; 
he would not invite him to his house, 
nor show any willingness to receive him ; 
he would not encourage, if he could not 
put an end to, this most ominous inva- 
sion. 

" It shall never be, it shall never 
be ! " he muttered. But even those 
who saw him glance fiercely after the 
retiring figure of Barclay could have 
had little idea of all the tragic thoughts 
passing in his mind. 

His most imminent danger had come 
back, the danger, too, he had once 
thought forever averted, by the most 
cautious of planning, the most doleful 
of sacrifices. Was it to have been im- 
agined that his punishment would fol- 
low him in this of all other forms fol- 
low him through his daughter ? Noth- 
ing was more probable than that some 
violent end of Varemberg would be 
heard of at any moment. And here 
was this honorable lover, to whom his 
daughter had never been indifferent, re- 
turned and ready to renew his suit. 

" Heaven knows it is no malice of 
mine, but his own interest. I must and 
will always oppose him ! " he cried de- 
spairingly. " Have I not done him harm 
enough ? He shall never marry her." 

Some others, perhaps, might think it 
the best of all reparations that the son 
of the man who was slain should be 
allowed to wed his heart's desire, the 
daughter of the slayer, a noble and lov- 
able creature in herself, and the dear- 
est thing in life to her father. Self-pro- 
tection, too, would have dictated this 
policy to David Lane, but he had never 
inclined to it. There was an element 
of the exalted and unpractical in his 



course ; he was not seeking his personal 
safety. He would have no marriage 
with such a prospective Nemesis on its 
track ! Barclay ought not to be allowed 
to unite himself with them. He would 
awake some day to the discovery that 
his wife had been used as a bait and a 
snare to tie his hands against the just 
retribution he would have demanded, 
awake perhaps to loathe as much as he 
had once fancied he loved her. 

This feeling, misguided perhaps, and 
fraught already with the bitter conse- 
quence of the baneful foreign marriage, 
had been the ruling force and motive 
of the destiny of David Lane for years, 
and he still grimly adhered to it. It 
was his bias of mind, his whim, his hal- 
lucination or mania, perhaps ; but so he 
was constituted, so he had begun, and 
he could not change. It was to be 
counted with as an inevitable part of 
the situation. 

He went to his home by way of the 
City Hall Square, and, as he hobbled 
along the promenade at one side of it, 
he turned his eyes upward to the Gold- 
en Justice. There had been times, dur- 
ing his stay abroad, when he had all 
but forgotten its existence, with both 
his crime and his eccentric reparation. 
It would be recalled to him, perchance, 
by some accident of travel, some faint 
resemblance to this in a foreign build- 
ing, or some gilded saint gleaming afar, 
as from the basilicas on the plain of 
Lombardy. Even at home it had often 
lapsed into a certain vagueness. But 
now, since the arrival of this young 
man, his memory was jogged indeed ; 
his sense of what the image conveyed 
to him was renewed in all its vividness. 

" I gave my pledge to Justice to re- 
spond whenever she should call me. Is 
the fulfillment of the pledge about to 
be exacted ? " he speculated mournfully. 

Often, too, had he wished the fate- 
ful paper down again and safe in his 
own possession, and now, as he gazed, 
this feeling intensely revived. His burn- 



40 



The G-olden Justice. 



[July, 



ing glance seemed as if it would go 
straight to the heart of the receptacle, 
ignite the confession, and consume it 
where it lay. 

" Dry rot has perhaps destroyed it 
by this time," he speculated ; " or the 
moisture penetrated to it, through some 
crevice, and caused it to fester away in 
mildew and mould." 

Then he returned to his house, and 
sat by his window, as was so often his 
wont, and gazed wistfully still at the 
Golden Justice, above the top of a for- 
est composed of the shade trees inter- 
spersed among the dwellings. 

Paul Barclay looked up one day from 
his writing, and inspected a card hand- 
ed him by a very light-complexioned 
young man, of energetic aspect, wear- 
ing a slouch hat and cloak. The card 
bore the inscription, " Welby B. Goff, 
Local Ed. Keewaydin Index." This 
visitor spoke first of the general state of 
the country, of the approaching close 
of navigation, the quantity of wheat in 
store, and the heavy condition of the 
country roads, that rendered collections 
difficult, then finally came down to the 
business he had in hand. 

" The Index is getting up a series of 
articles on the * Industries of Keeway- 
din,' " said he, " and your place will 
naturally figure among the most prom- 
inent. We make it a point always to 
send to headquarters for our informa- 
tion. The Index, as you know, has 
a circulation larger than all its contem- 
poraries combined, and it aims to be 
strictly accurate." 

Barclay recollected the hint he had 
already got from the editor-in-chief, and 
good humoredly acceded to the scheme, 
partly because the Index was Ives Wil- 
son's paper, and partly because he was 
not really averse to having his new en- 
terprise described in print in a form 
which he might send to some of his 
friends at a distance. He therefore ac- 
companied the reporter about the factory 



in person, and took great pains to sup- 
ply him with the proper information. 
He was also led to consider having an 
advertisement of much larger size than 
the one first proposed; and when an 
ingenuous new proprietor once begins 
to " figure " with a wily agent in this 
kind of wares, he is extremely likely to 
do very much more than he may have 
expected to in the beginning. 

" It draws blood," said Welby Goff, 
as he put up his pencil, after booking 
a highly profitable contract, " but I 've 
done it, and I '11 stick to it. Only I '11 
ask you as a special favor not to men- 
tion it to any one else, as it would do us 
harm." 

In due time the article appeared. It 
proved a tissue of exaggerations from 
beginning to end ; every figure was at 
least doubled, and hardly an adjective 
was used under the superlative degree. 
The stamped-ware factory was called 
"one of the marvels of the age," and 
the new partner, " Paul Barclay, Esq.," 
was said to have " prepared himself ex- 
pressly for his present duties by a long 
and exhaustive course of travel, study, 
and scientific research among similar es- 
tablishments." 

Barclay hurried round to the Index, 
in a rage, and found Ives Wilson im- 
mersed to the eyes in scissored "ex- 
changes," in a stuffy little office. The 
editor at first thought he had come to 
make a complaint of the totally oppo- 
site character. 

" My own idea of an article of this 
kind, to tell you the truth," said he, 
when undeceived, "is that the person 
it is written about should be almost 
ashamed to read it himself. I told Goff 
to do the handsome thing by you, and 
I suppose he has put it fairly strong." 

" But it is absurd ; we are made ridic- 
ulous," protested Barclay. " We have n't 
half that number of men at the factory ; 
they do not work ' night and day ; ' the 
total product turned out is not " 

" Readers want statements of a bold, 



1886.] 



The G-olden Justice. 



41 



impressive, well-rounded sort ; they have 
no real taste for little, every-day mat- 
ters, but want to hear about things on a 
great scale. We give them what they 
ask for, and they are quite capable of 
making their own discounts." 

This was all the satisfaction to be ob- 
tained, and Barclay was fain to content 
himself with suppressing his part of the 
edition, and resolving to see to it that 
any future literature of the kind, of 
which he might have need, should be 
conceived after a less highly florid taste. 
While at the office of the Index, on this 
visit, he met with one further instance 
of what readers might " expect " that 
tended to amuse and to distract him from 
his own annoyance. A small English- 
looking man, of a shabby aspect, wear- 
ing a hat many seasons out of the mode, 
came rushing in angrily, and extended 
a copy of the paper at full length with 
one hand, while he tapped a certain arti- 
cle in it with the other. The article 
bore the flaming head-lines, " A Much- 
Married Impostor of the South Side. A 
Bogus Doctor Skips the Town." It re- 
ferred to him, it appeared ; it had met 
his eye as far away as Kansas City, and 
he had come back, he said, to deny the 
unwarranted aspersion, and spend, if need 
be, his last dollar in the prosecution of 
its author. Ives Wilson, in a diplomatic 
way, begged the visitor to sit down, 
which he indignantly refused to do. 
The editor then whistled up the speak- 
ing-tube to the composing-room for Wel- 
by Goff to ascertain the responsibility 
for and true status of the offending arti- 
cle. Welby Goff, coming down, wrin- 
kled his brows, as in reflection. 

"I seem to recollect something of 
this," said he, " and yet, again I don't 
know. Surely there must be some 
means of tracing it. I know we can. 
Would you kindly step in again in a 
few days ? " 

" Days ? " cried the complainant, with 
a fierce glare. 

"Or a week, then," blandly. "If it 



should prove that the Index has done 
you injustice, if this article has been 
contributed by an outsider, if we have 
been imposed upon by any personal 
enemy of yours, of course the the 
Index will see you righted. Do you 
know," confidentially, " the abuses that 
sometimes creep into the press in these 
matters are simply infamous. In your 
case, my dear sir, I should probably feel 
exactly as you do." 

The visitor, who was really a person 
of questionable standing, no doubt with 
certain shady features in his record, was 
little by little mollified by treatment of 
this sort, and left the office, agreeing to 
wait till justice was done him. 

"I wrote it myself," said Welby 
Goff, gleefully, to Barclay, as soon as 
the man's back was turned. " It 's the 
gospel truth, too, at least, I think it 
is. Any way, there 's a certain amount 
of truth in it. Of course I had to put 
him off a little at first, being tackled all 
at once, that way. I '11 keep it up for 
a while, till I can look up some more 
information of the same sort to lay him 
out with. I 'm pretty sure I can, and 
then we '11 give him a worse deal than 
before." 

Barclay saw comparatively little of 
Mrs. Varemberg in these earliest days. 
His new status as a resident of the place 
did not seem to warrant a continuance 
of the close intimacy of the brief pre- 
liminary visit. The coolness of his re- 
lations with her father, his real devotion 
to his new undertaking ; together with 
the natural considerations of propriety 
and good judgment that would occur to 
Mrs. Varemberg as well, all contributed 
to this result. 

The window of his chamber gave upon 
the quiet City Hall Park, where he could 
descry her likeness, in the guise of the 
Golden Justice. He now got out his 
field-glass an exceptionally good one 
that had served him well in his travels, 
had looked at macrocosms and micro- 
cosms, at a famous beauty in her opera- 



42 



The G-olden Justice. 



[July, 



box, and down into the seething heart 
of a volcano and added to the many 
sights, both fair and wondrous, it had 
taken in, a close study of this statue. 
He would take up the glass sometimes 
when at his books, and direct at it a long 
and earnest gaze. It was a distrac- 
tion, in the brief period of daylight 
he could pass at this window, from a 
heavy course of reading he had begun ; 
he was reviewing and extending his 
acquaintance with socialistic works of 
every kind, his quick good sense detect- 
ing their fallacies, while his imagination 
often sighed over the Utopias of human 
happiness they embodied. The Golden 
Justice was his exalted companion. His 
thoughts would shoot off, arrow-like, to 
that shining mark, and glancing thence, 
as it were, fall to Mrs. Varemberg, on 
the other side, often crossing, no doubt, 
with those of David Lane, similarly 
occupied. 

Barclay said to himself that he was 
glad she was there, glad she should 
be thus raised aloft above the city, as 
its emblem of right and justice. There 
was something grand in the apotheosis ; 
it was in keeping with his worship of 
her, his enchantment of other days, and 
it added dignity to that far-off love. He 
distinguished with his glass the proud 
and noble poise of the head, under its 
golden helmet, the subtle, reassuring 
smile that wreathed the features. They 
were the features of her blooming, un- 
troubled girlhood, showing a character 
far less deep and serious, less tempered 
by experience, than that she possessed 
at the present time ; but she was for 
that reason only the more goddess-like, 
since a traditional property of the gods 
is untroubled calm. Nor was it needed 
that the model who had so well served 
the artist as his inspiration should have 
herself possessed all the grave and tragic 
qualities he would depict ; were it so, 
the plastic arts must soon come to a 
stand-still. She had been a point of de- 
parture such as is rarely met with, and 



the imagination of the spectator was to 
do the rest. 

With the passing of the seasons, with 
the varying days and times of day, and 
perhaps even the personal moods of the 
looker-on, the Golden Justice seemed to 
take many different aspects. Now she 
half melted into the delicious skies of 
autumn, now showed through light mists, 
like flame burning behind a screen of 
gauze. She was harsh and coppery in 
the cold bleakness of November; she 
seemed yellow, burnished gold against 
the background of some opaque blue fir- 
mament of winter ; she glared lurid and 
threatening as an angel of wrath in the 
red sunsets ; and, again, would twinkle 
as with genuine merriment, under the 
shifting lights and shadows of the glo- 
rious cloud-masses of the spring-time. 
Even on obscure nights, as has been said, 
some wandering star-beam, some vestige 
of the radiance that is never wholly ex- 
tinguished from the universe, would 
seek her out and indicate her position. 
Barclay noted the peculiar feature that 
she was to be most distinctly seen on 
dark days ; every lineament and fold of 
her drapery then came out against the 
more favoring ground of leaden gray, 
while in clear sunshine she was apt to 
be obliterated in a general dazzle. 

"That is as it should be," said he. 
" Justice should show the most clearly 
in time of adversity and trial ; if she 
conceal her face at all, let it be when 
all goes well." 

He little knew, as yet, the stake she 
held for him, and what it really might 
have been, even apart from the fea- 
tures of his lost love, that led him to 
the close study of this figure and the 
discovery of all these fine distinctions. 

If he did not see Mrs. Varemberg 
often, as has been said, their friendship 
and a wholesome feeling of good-com- 
radeship between them were certainly 
renewed. Mrs. Varemberg seemed to 
find an unusual content in this element 
that had come into her life, and an un- 



1886.] 

wonted animation arising out of it per- 
haps accounted, on some of her " well 
days," for an ephemeral recovery of her 
looks, an aspect almost of health, that 
was to be noted in her. She still ap- 
peared to Barclay, in truth, a beautiful, 
lovable woman. Her type, marked by 
its perpetual pensiveness or sadness, re- 
minded him of those sweet, candid, and 
noble figures of Raphael, of the earlier 
period. By some inspiration of natural 
grace, she seemed to him to fall always 
into the precise attitudes most becoming 
to her. She did everything with a cer- 
tain refined deliberation, an absence of 
excitability, growing partly out of her 
invalidism, and partly out of an innate 
dignity, that gave all her movements 
an indescribable, fascinating quality of 
rhythm. 

She bantered him about his enthusi- 
asms and his project, called him Watt 
Tyler and Caius Gracchus, pretended 
that he was an alarmingly incendiary 
person, about to upheave the foundations 
of society. But she was secretly pleased, 
notwithstanding, with all he told her; 
for, after living so long in darkness, 
apathy, distrust, and skepticism, she was 
disposed to be pleased with anything that 
was believing, strong, positive, and hope- 
ful. 

" Yours is not the indulgent ear into 
which a reformer could pour all his pet 
follies," Barclay had objected, to her 
interest, at first. 

" Try me," she answered gayly ; " you 
do not half know how indulgent I can 
be." 

She soon became, in fact, the trusted 
confidante of most of his doings. By 
her own wish, she one day, accompanied 
by her aunt, paid a visit to the Works. 
To Barclay she seemed to consecrate 
the dry, rude place, and ever after he 
thought better of his office, since she had 
blessed it with the charm of her pres- 
ence, since she had sat upon the high 
stool and toyed with the heavy ruler. 

" You speak as one having authority. 



The Crolden Justice. 



43 



You say l go,' and he goeth ; and * come,' 
and he cometh," she said to him in rail- 
lery, noting the many subordinates who 
came to make reports and receive orders 
from him, and the 'profound deference 
with which he was treated on all hands. 
" I declare I don't know whether it is 
quite safe to trust you with such arbi- 
trary powers ; I am not sure you do not 
begin to have an odiously overbearing 
way with you already." 

" There is no pressing danger of the 
rise of any unnecessary conceit." And 
he proceeded to describe to her some of 
his difficulties, traditions arising out 
of the association with trades-unions, 
and the like, which the most despotic of 
authority could not overcome. 

" I warn you to expect plenty of in- 
gratitude in all this," his young visitor 
cautioned him, in a mentor-like way. 

" Ingratitude is a part of the disease ; 
they are probably too much absorbed in 
their own troubles, as yet, to have much 
time for anything else. I look neither 
for gratitude nor ingratitude ; I take the 
people as I find them." 

" It would sometimes be much better 
to leave them as you found them. You 
may have to come to that. But I re- 
fuse to quarrel with you. Are you not 
going to show me your favorite pro- 
teges ? " 

So Barclay took the ladies about, and 
indicated to them a few persons upon 
whom he had already cast an eye with a 
view to the improvement of their condi- 
tion. In the first place, there was one 
Martin Krieg, a small apprentice lad, 
black as a powder-monkey, who con- 
cealed a real shyness under a quaint 
imitation of the surly manner affected 
by some of the older workmen. Bar- 
clay had Martin Krieg show a speci- 
men of drawing he had made quite with- 
out instruction, and said he thought of 
giving the boy advantages for cultivating 
the decided bent he seemed to show in 
that direction. Next was McClary, a 
hollow-chested, round-shouldered young 



44 



The Golden Justice. 



[July, 



man, with a sickly face, who stood in 
a stooping position, engaged in filing 
brass work. 

" He is a good workman and an hon- 
est fellow," said Barclay ; " he is tem- 
perate, economical, industrious with an 
assiduity that spares himself least of all, 
but look at him. He files away, like 
that, day in and day out; takes night 
work, too, whenever he can get it ; and 
even asks for more to take home over 
holidays." 

" He is killing himself by inches." 

" Almost by feet." 

" Why will he do it ? " 

" It is a misguided ambition. It is a 
good enough motive at bottom ; I quite 
appreciate it. He aspires to a shop and 
house of his own, and says there is no 
other way to get them. He married a 
trim, nice-looking girl, who worked in 
a paper-box factory. With their two 
small children they live in two poor 
rooms in a tenement-house, and his wife 
ekes out their scanty subsistence by tak- 
ing a couple of mechanic boarders. But 
you are not interested in these petty de- 
tails ? " 

" Oh, yes, I find them very interest- 
ing." 

" I hear of a touch of jealousy, too, 
arising out of one of these boarders. 
The wife, fast losing her good looks, 
and becoming a mere drudge, was driven 
to seek a bit of relaxation in some quar- 
ter, I suppose, and let this man take her 
to the theatre a few times. Her hus- 
band was wild about it." 

" That is one of the dangers of such 
a situation, I suppose ? " 

" Under the pressure of his fierce 
ambition, McClary is probably as pe- 
nurious with her as with himself, and, 
with his poor health added, cannot be 
the most agreeable companion in the 
world. And this McClary, I want you 
to observe, is one of the better class of 
workmen." 

" Why don't you talk to him?" 

" I have talked to him." 



" Well, what are you going to do ? " 

" What would you do ? What do you 
advise ? " he asked, trying her. 

" Raise his pay ? " she suggested, 
doubtfully. " But dear me ! don't ask 
me anything; I haven't a particle of 
imagination." 

" We have stretched a point in that 
direction ; but to pay a man more than 
he is really worth can be no permanent 
resource. Oh, this monster of political 
economy, how inexorable it is ! Ab- 
solute right of every workman to sell 
his labor for all he can get, absolute 
right of every employer to buy his labor 
for as little as he can pay, nobody to 
blame, and yet what a slaughter of hap- 
piness and lives ! " 

" The improvement of his health 
would seem to be the first thing to at- 
tend to ; then, his family arrangements." 

" Good ! so it seemed to me, also. 
He is to be drafted into the packing- 
room at easier work, and I have ar- 
ranged to move them out of their tene- 
ment-house into a cottage, which they 
can have at even lower rent, and where 
they can get rid of the boarders." 

These may be received as fair ordi- 
nary examples of the way the young 
proprietor aimed to lend a helping hand 
to those who helped themselves, to ex- 
tend it at the proper time, and to keep 
his proteges out of the gutter instead of 
waiting till they were fairly in it to raise 
them. If his partner, Maxwell, was 
disposed to criticise any of this as un- 
businesslike, he gladly paid the extra 
cost from his own pocket ; and he de- 
fended it on the ground that, by render- 
ing the hands thoroughly contented, he 
would bring them up to a greatly im- 
proved standard of efficiency, and get 
more work out of them than had ever 
been known before. 

There are usually " characters " of 
one sort and another in an establishment 
of the kind. Under this head of a 
" character," one Fahnenstock was pre- 
sented to the guests. He was a slow- 



1886.] 



The Golden Justice. 



45 



speaking, rusty old fellow, the veteran of 
the shops. In long years of service he 
had never become a thoroughly skilled 
workman, nor indeed risen but a few 
steps above the point at which he 
started. 

" Some of 'em can't," said the fore- 
man, Akins, in explanation. " It 's like 
playin' a good .game o' billiards, or any- 
thing o' that kind ; it takes knack ; some 
has got it in 'em, and some has n't, and 
you can't put it there. Most of 'em 
that I deal with get just about so fur, 
and there they stick, and forty yoke of 
oxen could n't drag 'em an inch ahead." 

Akins had all the confidence of a 
rudely successful man, and showed but 
little patience with his less efficient and 
less fortunate brethren. 

" It 's no trick at all to get a livin'," 
said he. " It 's never been so to me ; 
I 've always found it easy enough. 
There 's parties round here, with a crazy 
German paper, that tells the men it is n't, 
and they ought to strike, and make folks 
that 's got more than they have divide 
up with 'em. My idee is that that style 
o' papers ought to be shut up. I s'pose, 
though, it 's a good deal like blowin' off 
powder in an open lot ; it can't hurt no. 
body. Hoolan, over there," indicating 
a saturnine-looking man at a work-bench, 
" is one o' them red-flag fellers." 

Foreman Akins went on to say, fur- 
thermore, that, in his belief, things were 
better for the workingman when times 
were rather hard and wages compara- 
tively low. " He knows he can't get a 
place most anywheres, then," said he, 
" and he sticks to the one he has. You 
can depend onto him more ; he 'tends 
steadier to his work; and if he don't 
make quite so much money, he don't 
drink up so much o' what he has got as 
when times is flush." 

Old Fahnenstock, being induced to 
talk, aired, among other things, some 
peculiar religious views of his own. His 
cardinal doctrine was the speedy de- 
struction of the world. He would ar- 



gue this topic by the hour, expounding 
from the law and the prophets and chief- 
ly the prophet Daniel. The beast with 
the ten horns, the one with teeth and 
claws of iron, the little horn that sprung 
out from the greater, the ram that 
pushed against the west, Alexander, 
Caesar, Napoleon, the Pope, the Sul- 
tan, and the Czar, all had their place in 
his system, together with contemporary 
portents of all kinds, great and small. 

" I don't see how we can last longer 
than this year or next any way," he 
said. " The Rooshian is going to drive 
the Turk out o' Europe. Ain't he doin' 
it now ? And ain't it as clear as crystil 
that that 's the last warnin' sign ? " 

His comrades reported that he had 
more than once already fixed the date, 
and gone up on the roof of his board- 
ing-house and flapped his arms in imita- 
tion of wings, endeavoring to fly, but 
part of this may have been only their 
waggish invention. 

In curious contrast with his dismal 
prognostics for the universe was his 
desire to possess a certain small house 
and bit of land at White-Fish Bay. It 
was an aspiration for which he had long 
hoarded his savings ; he meant to fish, 
to cultivate vegetables there, and make 
the spot the retreat of his old age, when 
he should retire from the factory. This 
small property, sometimes in the mar- 
ket, and then withdrawn again, had ad- 
vanced in value at an unequal pace with 
his accumulations, so that it kept al- 
ways about a thousand dollars ahead of 
him. 

" I should like to ha' married, too, if 
it was so 's I could. I can't say I 've 
ever had what I should ha' considered 
the best in this world," he went on, with 
a kind of patient smile that Mrs. Varem- 
berg considered pathetic. " They call 
them improvident that plunges into it 
whether or no, but sometimes I've 
thought may be 1 'd better ben improv- 
ident, too ; there 's just about so much 
trouble to live through, no matter which 



46 



The Grolden Justice. 



[July, 



way you fix it. But all that 's too late 
now, for an old party like me." 

" Oh, I 'm sure, Mr. Fahnenstock, you 
're still a very young-looking, hand- 
some man," protested Mrs. Varemberg. 

" Well, marm," said the veteran, much 
pleased, at least, if not convinced, " I 'm 
glad there 's them as thinks so. I sup- 
pose it wouldn't do for us to have 
things just as we wanted 'em in this 
mundane spear, or we would n't want 
to leave it. But I tell you that 's got 
to be done pretty quick now, and in 
short order, too." 

The talk was rather more sober when 
they went over next to Hoolan, de- 
scribed as one of the " red-flag fellers." 
He was a small, spare man, with high 
cheek-bones, and a skin yellowed as by 
jaundice. He was distrustful and dis- 
posed, at first, to waive all discussion. 
He thought it idle, so far as the conver- 
sion was concerned of persons with such 
fixed and supercilious opinions as these 
must necessarily have, and also person- 
ally dangerous for one in his situation. 
He was lured into it by pleasant arts 
and small controversial traps slyly set 
for him by Mrs. Varemberg. When 
asked as to the condition and prospec- 
tive future of the laboring man, he had 
but a gloomy picture to draw. 

" The mechanic don't live out half 
his days," he said. " He 's old before 
his time, good for nothing to work, and 
ready to be planted away, just about 
the time when others is gettin' ready to 
live. Look at Fahnenstock. He ain't 
fifty yet, but you 'd take him for sev- 
enty." 

" And how is old age provided for ? " 
Mrs. Varemberg inquired. 

" It ain't provided for. If he has had 
a family to bring up, he has n't had no 
chance to save anything; and, by that 
time, his children have all they can do 
to take care of themselves, without him. 
So when he is too old to work, he's 



turned out to starve. May be he gets a 
light place somewhere as night-watch- 
man for a while, but more like he goes 
to the poorhouse." 

" What means had you thought of by 
which things could be made better ? " 

" Congress ought to pass a law." 

He was evidently unwilling to let out 
any of the more violent socialistic theo- 
ries he was said to entertain. 

" What kind of a law ? " 

" A law to give every man a fair day's 
wages for a fair day's work." 

" Would that not be a rather difficult 
matter for Congress to determine ? " 

" Yes, made up of money kings, as it 
is now : but the workin' classes has got 
to get control of legislation themselves. 
Labor has got to be unified and stand 
together." 

Hoolan went on to complain of 
" piece-work " as an agency particularly 
hard on the men, and largely responsible 
for their crippled condition. It over- 
stimulated effort, he said, drove them up 
to an impossible standard of perform- 
ance. The employers would try it long 
enough to find out what they could do, 
and then, returning to the old plan, 
tried to make this the rule for an ordi- 
nary day's work ; and so the pressure 
was increasing to an intolerable degree, 
while wages as constantly declined. 

" I had often wondered what became 
of the older mechanics," said Mrs. Var- 
emberg ; " you so rarely see any of 
them about." 

"No, you don't hardly ever see no 
old mechanics," responded the saturnine 
Hoolan ; " all you see is young ones, 
preciofis young and frisky." 

" I 'm sure I don't half see what it 's 
all about," said Mrs. Clinton, wearily, 
as they went away ; but Mrs. Varem- 
berg carried with her a keen interest in 
these men, and a new appreciation of the 
problem, that made her a much more 
valuable assistant to Barclay. 

William Henry Bishop. 



1886.] 



Ouida. 



47 



OUIDA. 



IT is no light thing to be a popular 
writer ; and when one has been a pop- 
ular writer for twenty-five years, more 
or less, and, under whatever variety and 
severity of protest, is quite as much 
read as ever at the end of that time, the 
phenomenon is undoubtedly worthy of 
attention. So much I take to be strict- 
ly true of the indefatigable novelist 
who calls herself by the curious name 
of Ouida. Everybody reads her twenty 
or thirty books. The critic reads with 
a shrug, and the moralist with a sigh ; 
the grave student with an apology, and 
the railway traveler with an ostenta- 
tious yawn ; the school-girl (I mean, 
of course, the modern, unfettered school- 
girl) with bated breath and shining 
eyes, and the bank clerk and the lady 
help with nameless thrills of envious 
rapture. The professional translators 
must watch, one would think, every 
stroke of this industrious lady's pen, 
and quarrel, among themselves, for the 
privilege of extending to the remote 
barbarian the boon to which the Eng- 
lish-speaking races alone are born. And 
still there are no symptoms of failure 
in the abundant fountain (it would be 
more correct, perhaps, to say soda-foun- 
tain) from which these highly colored 
and sharply effervescent waters are 
drawn. Crowds always come to quaff 
the sparkling beverage, asking no ques- 
tions, for conscience' sake, about the 
chemistry by which it is produced. The 
old sip for a wonder, and the young for 
a sign. Let us try and discover why 
and for what end. 

I will premise that this inquiry is go- 
ing to be, primarily and chiefly, a search 
for merits, rather than a citation of de- 
fects. There is very much reason to 
believe that this is in all cases the true 
method of criticism : to get inside of a 
subject, and then work outward ; to fath- 



om the character of the mind, if one 
can, before endeavoring to judge the pro- 
duction. It may not be altogether easy 
for a plain mortal, with no finer imple- 
ment than a steel pen, to put herself in 
Ouida's place, but it ought, by all means, 
to be attempted. 

And first it may be remarked that in 
the general type of her tales she is real- 
ly the heir, and the legitimate heir, of 
very high traditions. She is by nature 
a flagrant romanticist ; but so was Scott 
a romanticist, and Dumas pere and De 
la Motte Fouque, and Lord Lytton and 
Lord Beacon sfield, and George Sand 
and Victor Hugo, and Jane Porter and 
the authoress of Thomas Thyrnau, and 
eke G. P. R. James. To be classifiable 
with such names, even to be at the 
foot of such a class, is to be a member 
of no mean school. Walter Scott is of 
course the master, as he was, in time, 
the precursor, and he must ever remain, 
by virtue of his historic divination, his 
glorious humor, and his healthful and 
virile moral sense, far and away the no- 
blest Roman of them all. But there 
are traces of his method and reflections 
of his spirit in every one of the writers 
I have named, and in a good many oth- 
ers, less than the least of these, who 
have, nevertheless, been able, for a mo- 
ment each, to catch the popular ear. 
They are all free, and profess to make 
their readers free, of a world of ardent 
love and furious war ; of vast riches and 
dazzling pomp ; of heroic virtues and 
brutal crimes ; of consummate personal 
beauty, flower-like, fairy-like, god-like, 
as the case may be ; of tremendous ad- 
ventures, enormous windfalls, crushing 
catastrophes, and miraculous escapes. 
High color, strong contrasts, loud music, 
and thrilling sensations (" I can do the 
big bow-wow style myself with any now 
going," says Scott, in his gallant and 



48 



Ouida. 



[July, 



charming tribute to Jane Austen) are 
the common properties of them all, and 
there can be no question that the aver- 
age human reader has a natural relish 
for such things, which is bound to grat- 
ify itself even when, as happens at the 
present moment, they are decidedly 
out of the literary fashion. We smile 
at the perfumed baths and jeweled hair- 
brushes of Ouida's young guardsmen ; at 
the cataracts of diamonds which descend 
from the shoulders of her heroines when 
they go to the ball, and the curtains of 
rose-colored Genoa velvet, edged with 
old Venice point, which the valet or the 
maid will draw noiselessly aside, in or- 
der to let the noontide sun steal in upon 
her jaded revelers on the morning after 
a festivity. But Chandos himself is 
not more expensive in his habits than 
Lothair, and the ecstatic sibilation, like 
that of a child over a stick of candy, 
with which Ouida dilates on the luxu- 
ries which surround her favorites is par- 
alleled, to say the least, by the solemn 
rapture of the great statesman before 
the stock-in-trade of a fashionable jew- 
eler. The worship of wealth is vulgar 
and demoralizing, yet it is not absolute- 
ly and entirely vulgar. It is a possible 
root of all evil, but it is not the one, 
sole root, and even the apostle never 
meant to say that it was. It marches, 
as we used to say of the boundaries of 
a country, with very noble things, the 
supreme splendors of art, the possibili- 
ties of a vast beneficence. The trans- 
ference of wealth from one person to 
another is apt to be dizzying to him who 
gains no less than acutely uncomforta- 
ble to him who loses, but it is a natural, 
healthful, inevitable process. The abso- 
lute annihilation of wealth in fire, flood, 
or siege is a universal calamity. Riches 
mere giddy, golden riches, such as 
Ouida and the romanticists generally 
so constitutionally dote upon have al- 
ways played a great part in the moral 
development of mankind, and were prob- 
ably intended, from the beginning, so 



to do. They are for the possession of 
the few and the edification of the many ; 
and whoever succeeds, whether by ar- 
gument or parable, in reconciling the 
minds of men to the fact that wealth 
must be where civilization is, but cannot 
be for all ; whoever helps the many, in 
their need, to acquiesce in the abun- 
dance of the few, will have done more 
for his kind than all the socialists. The 
conception of Ouida as a moralist of 
this magnanimous type is doubtless a 
humorous one, and any good she may 
do in this direction will probably be in- 
direct and involuntary. The great, un- 
interesting middle class comes in for 
very little of her consideration ; but of 
the lot of the extremely poor the pos- 
itively or possibly suffering poor she 
is not ignorant nor forgetful, as I shall 
have occasion to show, by and by. 

Meanwhile, it may be observed in her 
favor that at least she shows herself a 
better political economist than the far 
greater writer with whom we have just 
compared her. She does set some limit 
to the wealth even of her most opulent 
hero. After having handsomely en- 
dowed him with " home estates as noble 
as any in England, a house in Park 
Lane, a hotel on the Champs-Elysees, a 
toy villa at Richmond, and a summer 
palace on the Bosphorus," beside a 
yacht, "kept always in sailing order, 
and servants accustomed to travel into 
Mexico or Asia Minor at a moment's 
notice," she does, nevertheless, own him 
subject to the law which entails pecu- 
niary ruin upon the man whose expen- 
diture is exactly four times as great as 
his income ; and he starves, when the 
time comes, with as much distinction 
as he had previously squandered. For 
Lothair, as for Monte Christo, no ruin 
is possible. Their investments are in 
the infinite. But then Disraeli and 
Dumas were not romanticists, merely, 
but idealists, while Ouida's imagination, 
vigorous though it be, and prolific, sel- 
dom rises to really poetic heights. 



1886.] 



Ouida. 



49 



It is genuine imagination, however, 
and takes one well away from the "stuf- 
finess " of the mere society column, 
which is all the small-fry of the later 
school seem to aspire to. Let us take 
as a fair illustration of her earlier man- 
ner of the period when she was wholly 
untrammeled by probability, and un- 
vexed, apparently, by more than the very 
slightest experience of life, or a super- 
ficial knowledge of books Idalia. In 
the first place, we have for a hero the 
penniless Scotch lord, in his mouldering 
tower : a man of kingly stature and fal- 
con eye, of indomitable pride and im- 
measurable descent, and of unparalleled 
prowess in the pursuit and slaughter 
whether of beasts or men. A coarse 
variation upon Ravenswood, indeed, but 
infinitely better than that daft creature 
Macleod of Dare, in that he lives and 
breathes, has wits and uses them. It 
was a rather happy thought, also, to 
name him Ercildoune, after the Rhymer; 
and though we are half tempted to 
abandon him in disgust, when we meet 
him in a Paris cafe, " wringing the am- 
ber Moselle from his long mustaches," 
yet we are willing to believe, what is in 
itself a tribute to her creative power, 
that the vulgarity is the author's rather 
than her hero's, and we decide, upon 
the whole, that we would like to know 
more about him. And we are sincerely 
glad that we have done so, when it 
comes to following the gallant Scot in 
his wild night ride, as bearer of dis- 
patches down the lonely Roumanian 
pass, and in that Homeric fight of his 
with the men who lay in ambush for him 
behind the fallen pine. The whole thing 
is magnificently described, and carries 
the reader along with something like 
the breathless credulity of his most 
tender years, up to the point where the 
queen's messenger flings his precious 
papers into the foaming stream, and 
bares his bosom to the bullets of six 
thoroughly armed foes. How could he 
have escaped death, since they all fired, 
VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 4 



a bout portant 9 But escape he did, of 
course, though left for finished by his 
cowardly assailants ; for are we not still 
in the first half of the first of the three 
mystic volumes ? The dazzling crea- 
ture, robed in Eastern silks and blazing 
with Golconda gems, who found him, and 
had him conveyed for treatment to the 
skillful sisters of the white convent upon 
the mountain side, was no Valkyria, 
come to unlock the warrior's paradise, 
but a living woman, very handsome, nat- 
urally, and altogether most interesting 
and extraordinary. I must confess to a 
weakness for Idalia. As the ubiquitous 
genius of the Revolution in Europe a 
generation ago, the airy and beautiful 
head-centre of countless republican plots, 
with millions at the beck of her fairy 
fingers, luring peoples to revolt, and 
nerving individuals to the most enthu- 
siastic self-sacrifice, she seems to me far 
more boldly and successfully conceived 
than the renowned Mary Ann of the 
author of Lothair. Just what manner 
of woman Idalia was, personally, the 
author has been at such elaborate pains 
to tell us that it is somewhat difficult 
to determine. Here are a few of her 
" precious indications : " 

" The reverse of Eugenie de Gue*rin, 
who was always hoping to live and nev- 
er lived, she had lived only too much 
and too vividly. She had had pleasure 
in it, power in it, triumph in it; but 
now the perfume and the effervescence 
of the wine had evaporated. There was 
bitterness in the cup, and a canker in 
the roses that crowned its brim, for she 
was not free. Like the Palmy rean queen, 
she felt her fetters underneath the roses. 
... At last she rose ; she knew how 
many would visit her during the day, 
and she was, besides, no lover of idle 
dreams and futile regret. Brilliant as 
Aspasia and classically cultured as He- 
lo'ise, she was not one to let her days 
drift on in inaction. . . . No days were 
long for her, even now that she rebelled 
against the tenor and purport of her life." 



50 



Ouida. 



[July, 



The riddle of the Sphinx can have 
been nothing to that of a lady who is 
comparable, in the same breath, to Eu- 
genie de Guerin, Zenobia, Aspasia, and 
He'loise. Yet, somehow, as in the case 
of Ercildoune, with whom she is fairly 
and, in the end, happily matched, the 
creature is so instinct with life and emo- 
tion that we believe in her, in spite of 
this pompous and foolish description. 
The suggestion, for instance, that she 
was " not free " is proved, by the event 
of the story, to do her gross injustice. 
It is a particularly vile suggestion, in 
this case, and may serve as text for a 
few disagreeable remarks which must 
inevitably be made, sooner or later, by 
any one attempting a fair appreciation 
of Ouida. Her ideal of vice is as fan- 
tastic and exaggerated as all her other 
ideals. She appears to have the same 
sort of diseased fancy for it which some 
people have for strong and foul odors. 
She would seem early to have adopted 
into her theory of life the following 
principle, which she enunciates clearly 
enough somewhere in Chandos, and 
which contains just the grain of truth 
calculated to make it thoroughly perni- 
cious : 

" The age rants too much against the 
passions. From them spring things that 
are vile, but without them life were stag- 
nant and heroic action dead. Storms 
destroy, but storms purify." 

Starting from this premise, and ac- 
companied erelong, it must be confessed, 
by a goodly number of those who claim 
to constitute " the age," she proceeds to 
a sort of glorification of sensuality. She 
has the honor of having, to some ex- 
tent, anticipated Zola. She is eager to 
inform us that all her very noblest 
heroes, even one who, like Chandos, is 
made capable of sparing and forgiving 
a most malignant foe, have been at one 
time or another " steeped " in degrading 
indulgence. Nor is ordinary sensuality 
sufficient for her. Adultery is often 
too pale, and she must needs hint at 



something worse. She makes Idalia 
consent to pass for the mistress of her 
own father, and alarms Chandos with 
the ghastly idea that he may have been 
making love to a daughter of his. Doubt- 
less her vaulting ambition to portray 
these ecstasies of crime o'erleaps itself, 
and suggests the idea that she may 
really be as ignorant of the world of 
men as she must be of that of letters, 
when she talks of poems " half Lucre- 
tian and half Catullan," and is reminded 
how Dante walked the streets of Flor- 
ence " five hundred centuries ago." The 
apologists of Lord Byron have some- 
times made a similar claim for him, 
namely, that his worst passages, his 
most utterly infamous intimations, were 
rather the freaks of a diseased fancy 
than the record of disgusting facts ; but 
far distant be the time when it shall not 
seem specially monstrous for a woman 
to call for this kind of defense. 

Let Idalia stand as the type of the 
half dozen voluminous tales which be- 
long to the period when Ouida was a 
romanticist pure et simple. It is the 
ablest, upon the whole, although there 
may be those who prefer the buoyant 
and beaming naughtiness of Under Two 
Flags to the rather reckless display of 
lofty sentiments and grand heroics which 
marks the earlier volume. Taken al- 
together, these books reveal a truly re- 
markable wealth of invention and no 
mean constructive power; an ability, 
which may well challenge our admira- 
tion, to conceive an almost endless va- 
riety of striking figures and picturesque 
situations, combined with an indepen- 
dence of conventionalities, whether mor- 
al or literary, which moves one to some- 
thing like awe. These books have, 
moreover, beside their intrinsic qualities, 
a certain interest in the history of fiction, 
as constituting, along with Lothair and 
perhaps My Novel and What Will He 
Do With It ? as well as the earlier 
efforts of Ouida's direct imitators, Miss 
Braddon, Mrs. Wood, etc., the very last 



1886.] 



Ouida. 



51 



of the strictly romantic novels which 
can have been written in entire good 
faith upon the author's part. The times 
were changing rapidly in the years 
when these tales appeared, and it was 
inevitable that a mind as active and im- 
pressionable as Ouida's should change 
its tune and method in them. She was 
born, like all the restless and imagina- 
tive souls of our day who remember the 
"forties," to the ardent and confident 
belief in a cause : and that was the 
cause of civil freedom, the propagation 
of the American idea, the emancipation 
of " Europe's oppressed peoples " from 
the supposed tyranny of their effete 
kings, the cause of which Kossuth and 
Mazzini were the prophets, Lamartine 
the poet - laureate, and Garibaldi the 
doughty champion. That cause was by 
no means lost, still less was it admitted 
by its adherents to be lost, at the time 
when Ouida began to write. The 
" clouds of glory *' which the century 
had " trailed " from its tumultuous in- 
fancy were still faintly rosy, but they 
were destined to be pretty thoroughly 
dissolved in the " light of common day " 
during its sixth and seventh decades. 
France kissed the rod of the unprinci- 
pled oppressor, and settled down, un- 
der her handsome new chains, to a sea- 
son of material prosperity and physical 
comfort which she has secretly regretted 
ever since it came to its inevitable end. 
Hungary, the haughty and intractable, 
also seized her opportunity to sign, on 
advantageous terms, a compact with her 
mortal foe. Italy alone had apparently 
remained true to her vivid colors, had 
broken her yoke and ousted her foreign 
invader, and set up for a free and united 
nation, vowed to modern ideas. Inci- 
dents of the war of Italian independence 
are very effectively worked in with the 
denoument of several of Ouida's earlier 
and more exuberant romances, Idalia 
among them. The authoress had, by 
this time, elected to make Italy her 
home, and in some sort of very sincere 



fashion, albeit with much music and 
parade, had formally given her heart 
and plighted her troth to that endearing 
country. I believe the love which this 
queer genius bears to Italy to be an en- 
tirely genuine and disinterested senti- 
ment, as much so, perhaps, as any of 
which she is capable. Those books of 
hers which, like Pascarel, Signa, and 
In Maremma, may be classed under the 
head of Italian idyls do really teem with 
something resembling the large, lawless, 
unkempt, and yet impassioned beauty 
of the land itself, while the chronic and 
patiently borne misery of a large pro- 
portion of the Italian population fires 
her with a sort of wrathful pity, which 
in its turn moves her reader to honest 
sympathy with herself. Moreover, she 
feels the picturesque of Italy in every 
fibre ; and if she is open to the charge 
of always writing more or less bad Rus- 
kinese when she essays to depict it, 
which of us who were brought up on 
the Modern Painters can cast the first 
stone ? There are real artistic verity 
and poetic feeling in such pictures as 
this of the Blue Grotto at Capri : 

" Perfect stillness, perfect peace, filled 
only with the low and murmuring sound 
of many waters ; a beauty not of land 
nor of sea, sublime and spiritual as that 
marvelous azure light that seemed to 
still and change all pulse and hue of life 
itself ; a sepulchre and yet a Paradise, 
where the world was dead, but the spirit 
of God moved on the face of the wa- 
ters." 

And this, of the olive : 

" For the olive is always mournful. 
It is, amid trees, like the opal amid jew-, 
els. Its foliage, its flowers, its fruits, 
are all colorless. It shivers softly, as 
though it were cold, even on those sun- 
bathed hills. It seems forever to say, 
' Peace, peace/ where there is no peace, 
and to be weary because that whereof 
it is the emblem has been banished from 
the earth, because men delight in 
war." 



52 



Ouida. 



[July, 



And this, on the never -to -be -hack- 
neyed subject of Rome : 

" Rome is terrible in her old age. It 
is the old age of a mighty murderess of 
men. About her there is ever the scent 
of death, the abomination of desolation. 
She was, in the days of her power and 
sorcery, a living lie. She called herself 
the mother of free men, and she con- 
ceived only slaves. The shame of her 
and the sin cling to her still, and the 
blood which she has shed makes heavy 
the air which she respires. Her head 
is crowned with ashes, and her lips, as 
they mutter of dead days, breathe pes- 
tilence." 

And this, of the region round Signa, 
and the stern aspect of winter upon the 
Tuscan hills : 

" There is wild weather in winter at 
Signa. The mountain streams brim 
over, and the great historic river sweeps 
out in full flood, and the bitter Alpine 
wind tears, like a living thing, over the 
hills and across the plain. Not seldom 
the low-lying fields become sheets of 
dull, tawny water, and the little hamlets 
among them are all flooded ; and from 
the clock-towers the tolling bells cry 
aloud for succor, while the low, white 
houses seem to float like boats. In 
these winters, if the harvest before have 
been bad, the people suffer much. They 
have little or no bread, and they eat 
the raw grass, even, sometimes. The 
country looks like a lake when the floods 
are on ; only for ships there are churches, 
and the light-houses are the trees, and, 
like rocky islands, in all directions, the 
village roofs and the villa walls gleam 
red and shine gray, in the rain. It is 
only a short winter, and the people know 
that when the floods rise and spread 
they will find compensation, later on, for 
them in the doubled richness of grass 
and measure of corn. Still, it is hard 
to see the finest steer of the herd dashed 
a lifeless, dun-colored mass against the 
foaming piles of the bridge ; it is hard to 
see the young trees and the stacks of hay 



whirled together against each other ; it 
is hard to watch the broken crucifix and 
the cottage bed hurled like dead leaves 
on the waste of waters ; it is hardest of 
all to see the little curly head of a dead 
child drift with the boughs, and the sheep, 
and the empty hen-coop, and the torn 
house-door, down the furious course of 
the river. . . . There are beautiful hills 
in this country, steep and bold, and 
formed chiefly of limestone and sand- 
stone, covered all over with gum-cystus 
and thyme and wild roses and myrtle, 
with low-growing laurels, and tall cy- 
presses, and boulders of stone, and old 
thorn-trees, and flocks of nightingales al- 
ways, and the little sad-voiced owl that 
was beloved of Shelley. Bruno's farm- 
stead was on one of these hills ; half the 
hill was cultivated and the other half 
was wild, and on its height was an old, 
gray, mighty place, once the palace of a 
cardinal, and where there now dwelt the 
steward of the soil on which Bruno had 
been born. His cottage was a large, 
low, white building, with a red roof and 
a great arched door, and a sun-dial on 
the wall, and a group of cypresses be- 
hind and a big walnut-tree before it. 
There was an old well, with some broken 
sculpture ; some fowls scratching under 
the fig-boughs ; a pig hunting for roots 
in the bare, black earth. Behind it 
stretched the wild hillside, and in front 
a great slope of fields and vineyards ; 
and far below them, in the distance, the 
valley, and the river, and the bridge, 
with the high crest of upper Signa and 
the low-lying wall-towers of the Lastra 
on either side of the angry waters. . . . 
When, now and then, a traveler or 
painter strayed thither, and said that it 
was beautiful, Bruno smiled, glad be- 
cause it was his own country, that 
was all." 

But Italy was destined to do more for 
Ouida, as an artist, in the larger sense 
of the word, than to satisfy her ideal of 
the beautiful in landscape. An experi- 
ence was reserved for her there, or, more 



1886.] Ouida. 

probably, a series of experiences, which 
vastly enlarged her knowledge of living 
men and women, and corrected, rudely 
perhaps, but effectually, her notions of 
civilized human society in the nineteenth 
century. Whatever one may think of 
the spirit in which it is conceived, there 
can be no doubt that the book which 
goes by the sarcastic name of Friend- 
ship marks a distinct intellectual ad- 
vance on the part of the author. In it 
she clears at one leap the bounds which 
divide the romantic from the realistic 
school, and comes down on her old Peg- 
asus, indeed, and with plumes all flying, 
among the grim observers of our disillu- 
sioned latter day. Friendship is indu- 
bitably coarse and crude in parts, but 
there is no part of it which is not pre- 
eminently readable, and this is more 
than can be said of some of the in- 
nocuous " idyls." As for the identifica- 
tions with real people, over which all 
tongues were busy, for a time, in the 
city where the scene of Friendship is 
supposed to be laid, the critic has ab- 
solutely nothing to do with them. He 
who will may see a bit of enraptured 
self-portraiture in the superfine figure of 
the peerless Etoile. Strictly speaking, 
the reader is concerned only with the 
fact that, though the painting is some- 
what overcharged, the figure is really 
one of extraordinary grace ; while there 
is a certain penetration and subtlety in 
the analysis of Etoile's nature to which, 
for whatever reason, the author had not 
previously come near attaining. How 
profoundly and unsparingly studied, how 
consummately, if maliciously, painted, 
are the figures of Lady Joan Challoner 
and Prince loris ! Each is almost a 
new type for the jaded devotee of fic- 
tion, and each leaves behind a singularly 
vivid memory. The intimate mixture 
of love and scorn with which Ouida 
seems to regard the entire Italian peo- 
ple is raised to the power of a con- 
suming passion in her portraiture of 
loris : the gentlest and most helpless of 



53 



aristocrats ; the tenderest, falsest, and 
most worthless of lovers; the refined, 
sorrowful, indolent clairvoyant, ap- 
pealing and exasperating, fascinating and 
contemptible, representative of a thor- 
oughly exhausted patrician stock. The 
picture drawn in Friendship of the for- 
eign colony in a Continental city, its fri- 
volity and irresponsibility, its meanness, 
moral and pecuniary, its prostrate sub- 
serviency to rank, and its pest of para- 
sitic toadies and busybodies, is without 
doubt an ugly one : but it does resem- 
ble the real thing, alas ! and is not very 
grossly caricatured ; and if it have power 
to dissuade one individual, with strong 
home ties and affections and an appre- 
ciable stake in life, one who is not driven 
away by the positive compulsion of cir- 
cumstances, from deciding to expatriate 
himself, it will not have been dashed off 
in vain. 

The note of sound reality, which 
Ouida touches almost for the first time 
in Friendship, continues to vibrate more 
or less perceptibly through all her sub- 
sequent productions ; checking their ex- 
travagance, reducing their feverish tem- 
perature, regulating by the laws, at least, 
of remote probability their often insane 
and occasionally indecent action, impart- 
ing form and unity to her facile and 
rapid compositions. Enamored of gold 
and purple she still is, and always will 
be, but she has evidently learned some- 
thing of the beauty of nuances and the 
value of alloy. She has by no means 
ceased to dote upon princes and dukes, 
but she acknowledges them to be human. 
She fixes her eyes unwinkingly upon 
their glories, and dares even to analyze 
and to judge them. Her Othmars, her 
Wandas, her Princess Napraxines, en- 
dure the limitations and pay the debts 
of our common humanity. Often en- 
tangled in the snares of fine writing, 
still she succeeds in freeing herself 
wholly from them at times, and shows 
herself mistress, for pages in succession, 
of a clear, nervous, telling style. Om- 



64 

niscience is not quite as much her " foi- 
ble " as formerly. Her mania for allu- 
sive and universal quotation has plainly, 
subsided ; and her teeming ideas, wheth- 
er caught from the reviews of books 
or the hearsay of learned conversation, 
have become so far clarified and classi- 
fied that it would no longer be possible 
for her to write, 

" His eyes dwelt on Trevenna with a 
strange wistfulness, a look which mute- 
ly said, Is it thee, Brutus ? ' " 

Or,- 

" He glanced at his butterflies as he 
chattered, and saw that the pin was en- 
tering their souls like iron." 

Or,- 

"In physics he did not believe; he 
never touched them. Air and sea-water 
were his sole physicians." 

Or,- 

" When a name is on the public 
mouth, the public nostril likes to smell 
a foulness in it." (!) 

Yet more notably, however, does this 
really shrewd and many-sided writer 
show the corrective touch of an enlarged 
experience, the worth of serious obser- 
vation and reflection upon palpable facts, 
in the development of what may be 
called her civic instinct ; her power of 
appreciating the economic and political 
conditions which actually come under 
her eyes, and of estimating the probable 
results of their natural evolution. Al- 
ready, in the flowery epopee of Idalia, 
amid the hymns and the fanfares, the 
alarums and excursions, and the gener- 
ally light, scenic, and, so to speak, dec- 
orative treatment of a vast and blind 
popular upheaval, there had occurred 
the following bit of acute criticism on 
one of the time-honored traditions of in- 
ternational policy in Europe. It is when 
there is a question of pecuniary recom- 
pense to the sublime Ercildoune, for 
having all but lost his own life through 
saving the Queen's secret, in that fine 
scene in the Roumanian pass, to which 
allusion has already been made : 



Ouida. [July, 

" ' If you '11 pardon my saying so, I 
don't admire that system of indemnifi- 
cation,' pursued Ercildoune. * A single 
scoundrel, or a gang of scoundrels, com- 
mits an insult, as in this case, on Eng- 
land, or some other great power, through 
the person of her representative, or per- 
haps merely through the person of one 
of her people. The state to which the 
rascals belong is heavily mulcted, by 
way of penalty. Who suffers? Not 
the guilty, but the unhappy multitude, 
peasants, traders, farmers, citizens, gen- 
tlemen, all innocent, who pay the 
taxes and the imposts. Of an outrage 
on a great power, if accidentally com- 
mitted on a traveler by a horde of 
thieves, you take no notice whatever. 
If one were obviously done as a polit- 
ical insult, you would declare war. But 
when the thing happens in a small state, 
she is punished by an enormous fine, 
which half ruins her, for a crime which 
she could no more prevent than you 
could help, in Downing Street, the last 
wrecker's murder which took place in 
Cornwall. Pardon me again, but I fail 
to see the justice or the dignity of the 
system ; and, for myself, when my own 
conviction is that the assassins who 
stopped me were not Moldavians at all, 
what compensation could it be to me to 
have the money wrung from a million 
or two of guiltless people, whose country 
the cowards chose to select as their field ? 
If you want to avenge me, track these das- 
tards, and give them into my power.' " 

This is only a bit of reflex action, to 
be sure, the gleam of an uncommonly 
lucid interval, an involuntary cry of 
common sense ; but it foreshadows the 
powers of sharp insight and independent 
judgment which Ouida was destined to 
develop, after her revolutionary revels 
were ended, and she had settled down 
to the face-to-face observance of the first 
results of political emancipation in her 
beloved Italy. She had expected to as- 
sist at an apotheosis ; had dreamed of 
the brilliant exit from its dusty chrysalis 



1886.] Ouida. 

of a regenerated and rejuvenated nation ; 
of the triumph, self-decreed, of an en- 
tire people ; of a procession as long as 
Italy ; and of a laurel crown for her own 
flowing locks, very likely, upon the Cap- 
itol. She found herself partaker in a 
sordid and dismal disappointment. Lov- 
ing the Italian lower class, especially in 
Tuscany, as who can help loving who 
has ever lived among or been served by 
them ? loving them with all their faults, 
and the better, almost, for the childlike 
character of a good many of their faults, 
she could not fail soon to perceive that 
they, at least, were no great gainers by 
the change which had transferred them 
from the mild, hap-hazard surveillance 
of the amiable last Grand Dukes to the 
hands of the fussy and rapacious bu- 
reaucracy which meddles with all their 
humble affairs in the name of United 
Italy. There were indications, both in 
Pascarel and in Signa, that her sym- 
pathy with these helpless and obscure 
victims of modern progress might, some 
day, get the better of her self-conscious- 
ness, and sharpen her busy pen to a more 
stinging point than that, even, which 
had recorded the treachery of loris and 
the despair of Etoile. Finally, in the 
Village Commune, she brings her formal 
indictment against the present Italian 
government, and a tremendous indict- 
ment it is. The sad and simple intrigue 
of the book, the story of the poor, in- 
significant folk, whose minute means of 
subsistence were destroyed, their hopes 
crushed, and their lives quite ruined, be- 
cause their lot happened to lie in the path- 
way of the big, new governmental ma- 
chine, is told with great terseness and sim- 
plicity, for Ouida. It merely illustrates 
and is quite subordinate to the political 
purpose of the Village Commune, which 
is, to say the truth, rather a pamphlet 
than a novel. Let the reader listen for 
a little to the erewhile flowery and lan- 
guishing romanticist, in this new vein of 
hers. It will at least give him a re- 
spectful notion of her versatility. 



55 



"Tyranny is a safe amusement, in 
this liberated country. Italian law is 
based on the Code Napoleon, and the 
Code Napoleon is, perhaps, the most in- 
genious mechanism for human torture 
that the human mind ever constructed. 
In the cities, its use for torment is not 
quite so easy, because where there are 
crowds there is always fear of riot ; and 
besides, there are horrid things called 
newspapers, and citizens wicked and 
daring enough to write in them. But 
away in the country, the embellished 
and filtered Code Napoleon can work 
like a steam-plough ; there is nobody to 
appeal, and nobody to appeal to ; the 
people are timid and perplexed; they 
are as defenseless as sheep in the hands 
of the shearer ; they are frightened at 
the sight of the printed papers and the 
carabinier's sword ; there is nobody to 
tell them that they have any rights, and, 
besides, rights are very expensive lux- 
uries anywhere, and cost as much to take 
care of as a carriage-horse." 

" The public creates the bureaucracy, 
and is eaten up by it : it is the old story 
of Saturn and his sons. Messer Gas- 
pardo was a very insignificant item of 
the European bureaucracy, it is true, 
but he was big enough to swallow the 
commune of Vezzaja and Ghiralda. 
. . . Government, according to Messer 
Nellemane, and many greater public 
men have thought the same before him, 
was a delicate and elaborate machin- 
ery for getting everything out of the 
public that could be got. The public 
was a kid to be skinned, a grape to be 
squeezed, a sheep to be shorn ; the pub- 
lic was to be managed, cajoled, bullied, 
put in the press, made wine of, in a 
word, wine for the drinking of Messer 
Nellemane. He was only a clerk, in- 
deed, with a slender salary, but he had 
the soul of a statesman. When a don- 
key kicks, beat it; when it dies, skin 
it : so only will it profit you. That was 
his opinion, and the public was the don- 
key of Messer Nellemane." 



56 



Ouida. 



[July, 



" Messer Gaspardo Nellemane 
stopped, espying, as I have said, that 
thing whose sight was beatitude and yet 
exasperation to him, a contravention. 
He had made a code of little by-laws, 
all brand new and of his own invention. 
He thought administration should be 
persecution. If it did not perpetually 
assert itself, who would respect it ? He 
had made everything punishable that 
could possibly be distorted into requir- 
ing punishment. Every commune has 
the right to make its own by-laws, and 
Messer Gaspardo had framed about 
three hundred and ninety ; and the 
Giunta, sleepily and indifferently, had 
assented to them, and the worshipful 
Syndic Cavaliere Durellazzo had looked 
them over and said, ' Va bene ; va 
benissimo ! ' And so, in Santa Rosalia, 
all the secretary's regulations had been 
adopted and had become law. Quite 
recently, he had incorporated into these 
regulations the law that nobody should 
cut reeds in the Rosa without permis- 
sion of and payment to the commune. 
L'etat, c'est moi, and its pocket is mine, 
too, was always in the thoughts of 
Messer Nellemane." 

" So the fountain became a thing of 
the past, and the labor for its destruc- 
tion was entered, for a considerable sum, 
in the communal expenses, under the 
head of i Works for the salubrity and 
decoration of Santa Rosalia.' An ugly 
waste ground, filled with nettles and 
rubbish, was all the people got in its 
place ; and as for the old stones, some 
people did say they were reerected in 
a rich Russian's villa, fifty miles away, 
Messer Gaspardo knowing the rekson 
why. A gardener of the neighborhood 
swore to his neighbors that he had seen 
them there, and that he had heard they 
were the carved work of a great ancient 
sculptor. But Messer Nellemane said 
they had all been broken up to mend 
the roads, and had been of no value for 
aught else whatever. And so the sub- 
ject had dropped, as most inquiries into 



public wrongs or the expenditure of pub- 
lic money do drop ; and though iSanta 
Rosalia mourned for its lost fountain, 
it mourned altogether in vain, and the 
Giunta unanimously considered that the 
piazza looked very much better bare. 
Both trees and fountain begat humidity, 
they thought, and why should they not 
do in Rosalia just what was doing in 
Rome?" 

" The law should be a majesty, sol- 
emn, awful, unerring, just, as man hopes 
that God is just ; and, from its throne, 
it should stretch out a mighty hand to 
seize and grasp the guilty, and the 
guilty only. But when the law is only 
a petty, meddlesome, cruel, greedy spy, 
mingling in every household act and 
peering in at every window-pane, then 
the poor, who are guiltless, would be 
justified if they spat in its face, and 
called it by its right name, a foul ex- 
tortion. . . . The Inquisitors are dead, 
but their souls live again in the Impie- 
gati." 

This is a one-sided statement of the 
case, doubtless, but there is no denying 
that it is a remarkably able one. It is 
said to have had the result of adding a 
decided element of romantic insecurity 
to the audacious lady's own residence in 
Signa, and to have so exasperated the 
powers that be as to make them look 
back, with unavailing regret, to the 
summary way, with its assailants, of the 
regime which theirs has displaced. Oth- 
er liberal-minded foreigners, long resi- 
dent in Italy, not so sensational and 
impassioned as Ouida, and better in- 
structed, perhaps, in the countless diffi- 
culties of practical administration, will 
admit that there is too much truth in 
the Village Commune, even while they 
smile at its extravagance, and point to 
the fact that if the Tuscan peasant was 
happy and contented in his poverty un- 
der the Grand ftukes, it was because 
his pet peccadilloes were all blandly over- 
looked, and none but political offenses 
were punished at all ; while he lent his 



1886.] 



Ouida. 



57 



foolish voice as loudly as any to the 
plebiscite which decreed their expulsion. 
My own impression is that in the more 
guarded and temperate re-affirmations of 
Ouida's appendix to the book in ques- 
tion, we come as near as may be to the 
real gist of the matter : 

" It is irritating to see the foreign 
press, which knows nothing, actually, of 
the condition of things, laying down the 
law on Italian affairs. The English 
press attributes all the official evils of 
New Italy to the transmitted vices of 
the old regimes. Now I did not live 
during the old regimes, and cannot judge 
of them, but this I do know, that the 
bulk of the people regret passionately 
the personal peace and simple plenty 
that were had under them. The vices 
of the present time are those of a grasp- 
ing, swarming bureaucracy everywhere, 
and of the selfishness which is the 
worst note of the Italian character. 
... It is strange that, with the pres- 
ent state of Ireland before their eyes, 
the whole of the public men of Italy 
should be as indifferent as they are to 
the perpetual irritation of the industri- 
ous classes at the hands of the munici- 
palities and their organization of spies 
and penalties. But indifferent they are. 
Whether Bismarck approve their Greek 
policy, or Gambetta do not oppose their 
doings at Tunis, is all they think about. 
The suffering of a few million of their 
own people is too small a thing to 
catch their attention. They think, like 
Moliere's doctor, ' Un homme mort n'est 
qu'un homme mort, et il ne fait point 
de consequence, mais une formalite* 
negligee porte un notable prejudice a 
tout le corps de medicins.' " 

" No one can accuse me of any polit- 
ical prejudices. My writings have al- 
ternately been accused of a reactionary 
conservatism and a dangerous socialism, 
so that I may, without presumption, 
claim to be impartial. I love conser- 
vatism when it means the preservation 
of beautiful things, I love revolution 



when it means the destruction of vile 
ones. What I despise in the pseudo- 
liberalism of the age is that it has be- 
come only the tyranny of narrow minds, 
vested under high-sounding phrases, and 
the deification of a policeman." 

Impressed, at all events, by the deep 
feeling and evident candor of the wri- 
ter, and the almost total absence, in pas- 
sages like these, of her wonted vanity 
and parade, we may cordially admit 
that there is matter here fit to atone 
for many literary and social sins, and 
to give this erratic and often reckless 
story-teller a plausible claim on the 
immunities promised to him " who con- 
sidereth the poor." 

I have, I think, fulfilled my engage- 
ment to say all that can fairly be said in 
favor of one whose books are in many 
hands and whose name is on many lips, 
while it is wholly impossible to disso- 
ciate either books or name from a cer- 
tain persistent odium. Power and va- 
riety are two very distinguished quali- 
ties in a writer, and these are possessed 
by Ouida in so large a degree that very 
few indeed of the female writers now 
living can rival her. Let it not be sup- 
posed, however, that fiction such as hers, 
even at its best, is claimed to represent 
the highest type. When I said that 
the romantic style, though illustrated 
by great and memorable names, was no 
longer the literary mode, I was far in- 
deed from intending any disrespect to 
the school which has succeeded it. If 
we weary, sometimes, of the incessant 
occupation of the realist with every-day 
types of character, of the monotonous 
march of the action of his piece over 
the vast and melancholy levels of aver- 
age human experience, we must needs 
revere his universal sympathies, his in- 
difference to outside show and vulgar 
celebrity, his patient study of the springs 
of action and unflagging researches into 
the dim secrets of the human soul. Not 
every realist can be as George Eliot, 
or Daudet at his best, or the colossal 



58 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[July, 



Russians ; or even as those refined rep- 
resentatives of the new school, who 
have done so much to enhance, with the 
reading world, the reputation of Ameri- 
can letters. But each, in his degree, 
may claim to have accepted the ideal, 
may appropriate something of the spirit 
of the greatest and weightiest of them 
all in his latest may we not yet for 
a long time have to say the last of 
his published utterances : 

" J'ai dit tout ce que je voulais dire, 
pour cette fois du moms : mais un doute 
penible m'accable. II aurait peut-etre 
mieux valu se taire, car peut-etre ce 
que j'ai dit est du nombre de ces veri- 
tes pernicieuses, obscurement eufouies 
dans 1'ame de chacun, et qui, pour res- 
ter inoffensives ne doivent pas etre 
exprimees ; de meme qu'il ne faut pas 
remuer un vieux vin, de crainte que le 



depot ne remonte, et ne trouble la 
liqueur. Oil done, dans ce recit, voyons 
nous le mal qu'il faut eviter, et le bien 
vers lequel il faut tendre ? Ou est le 
traitre ? Oil, le heros ? Tous sont 
bons et tous sont mauvais. Ce n'est 
pas Kalouguine, avec son brilliant cou- 
rage, sa bravoure de gentilhomme, et sa 
vanite, principal moteur de toutes ses 
actions. Ce n'est pas Praskoukine, nul 
et inoffensif, bien qu'il soit tombe sur le 
champ de bataille, pour la foi, le trone, 
et la patrie ; ni Mikha'ilof, si timide, ni 
Pesth cet enfant sans conviction et sans 
regie morale, qui pouvaient passer pour 
des traitres ou des heros. 

" Non, le heros de mon recit, celui 
que j'aime de toutes les forces de mon 
ame, celui que j'ai tache de reproduire 
dans toute sa beaute, celui qui a e*te*, est 
et sera toujours beau, c'est le Vrai." * 
Harriet Waters Preston. 



THE PRINCESS CASAMASSIMA. 



BOOK FOURTH. 



XXXVII. 

HALF an hour after Paul Muniment's 
departure the Princess heard another 
rat-tat-tat at her door ; but this was a 
briefer, discreeter peal, and was accom- 
panied by a faint tintinnabulation. The 
person who had produced it was present- 
ly ushered in, without, however, caus- 
ing Madame Grandoui to look round, 
or rather to look up, from an arm- 
chair as low as a sitz-bath, and of very 
much the shape of such a receptacle, 
in which, near the fire, she had been 
immersed. She left this care to the 
Princess, who rose on hearing the name 
of the visitor pronounced, inadequately, 
by her maid. " Mr. Fetch," Assunta 
called it; but the Princess recognized 
without difficulty the little fat, rusty 



fiddler of whom Hyacinth had talked 
to her, who, as Pinnie's most intimate 
friend, had been so mixed up with his 
existence, and whom she herself had al- 
ways had a curiosity to see. Hyacinth 
had not told her he was coming, and the 
unexpectedness of the apparition added 
to its interest. Much as she liked see- 
ing queer types and exploring out-of- 
the-way social corners, she never en- 
gaged in a fresh encounter, nor formed 
a new relation of this kind, without a fit 
of nervousness, a fear that she might be 
awkward and fail to hit the right tone. 
She perceived in a moment, however, 
that Mr. Vetch would take her as she 
was, and require no special adjustments ; 

1 Cte. Le"on Tolstoi. Scenes du Stege de Se- 
bastopol. Revue des Deux Mondes, December 1, 
1885. 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



59 



he was a gentleman and a man of expe- 
rience, and she would only have to leave 
the tone to him. He stood there with 
his large, polished hat in his two hands, 
a hat of the fashion of ten years before, 
with a rusty sheen and an undulating 
brim stood there without a saluta- 
tion or a speech, but with a little fixed, 
acute, tentative smile, which seemed half 
to inquire and half to explain. What 
he explained was that he was clever 
enough to be trusted, and that if he had 
come to see her that way, abruptly, with- 
out an invitation, he had a reason which 
she would be sure to think good enough 
when she should hear it. There was 
even a certain jauntiness in this confi- 
dence an insinuation that he knew 
how to present himself to a lady ; and 
though it quickly appeared that he real- 
ly did, that was the only thing about 
him that was inferior it suggested a 
long experience of actresses at rehearsal, 
with whom he had formed habits of ad- 
vice and compliment. 

" I know, who you are I know 
who you are," said the Princess, though 
she could easily see that he knew she 
did. 

" I wonder whether you also know 
why I have come to see you," Mr. Vetch 
replied, presenting the top of his hat to 
her as if it were a looking-glass. 

" No, but it does n't matter. I am 
very glad ; you might even have come 
before." Then the Princess added, with 
her characteristic honesty, " Don't you 
know of the great interest I have taken 
in your nephew ? " 

" In my nephew ? Yes, my young 
friend Robinson. It is in regard to him 
that I have ventured to intrude upon 
you." 

The Princess had been on the point 
of pushing a chair toward him, but she 
stopped in the act, staring, with a smile. 
" Ah, I hope you have n't come to ask 
me to give him up ! " 

"On the contrary on the contra- 
ry ! " the old man rejoined, lifting his 



hand expressively, and with his head on 
one side, as if he were holding his violin. 

'* How do you mean, on the contrary ? " 
the Princess demanded, after he had 
seated himself and she had sunk into her 
former place. As if that might sound 
contradictious, she went on : " Surely he 
has n't any fear that I shall cease to be 
a good friend to him ? " 

" I don't know what he fears ; I 
don't know what he hopes," said Mr. 
Vetch, looking at her now with a face 
in which she could see there was some- 
thing more tonic than old-fashioned po- 
liteness. "It will be difficult to tell 
you, but at least I must try. Properly 
speaking, I suppose, it 's no business of 
mine, as I am not a blood relation to the 
boy ; but I have known him since he 
was an urchin, and I can't help saying 
that I thank you for your great kind- 
ness to him." 

" All the same, I don't think you like 
it," the Princess remarked. " To me it 
ought n't to be difficult to say anything." 

" He has told me very little about 
you ; he does n't know I have taken this 
step," the fiddler said, turning his eyes 
about the room, and letting them rest 
on Madame Grandoni. 

*' Why do you call it a ' step ' ? " the 
Princess asked. " That 's what people 
say when they have to do something 
disagreeable." 

" I call very seldom on ladies. It 's 
a long time since I have been in the 
house of a person like the Princess 
Casamassima. I remember the last 
time," said the old man. " It was to 
get some money from a lady at whose 
party I had been playing for a 
dance." 

" You must bring your fiddle some 
time, and play to us. Of course I don't 
mean for money," the Princess rejoined. 

" I will do it with pleasure, or any 
thing else that will gratify you. But 
my ability is very small. I only know 
vulgar music things that are played 
at theatres." 



60 



The Princess Casamassima. 



" I don't believe that ; there must be 
things you play for yourself, in your 
room, alone." 

For a moment the old man made no 
reply ; then he said, " Now that I see 
you, that I hear you, it helps me to 
understand." 

" I don't think you do see me ! " cried 
the Princess, kindly, laughing; while 
the fiddler went on to ask whether there 
were any danger of Hyacinth's coming 
in while he was there. The Princess re- 
plied that he never came, unless by pre- 
arrangement, but in the evening, and 
Mr. Vetch made a request that she 
would not let their young friend know 
that he himself had been with her. " It 
does n't matter ; he will guess it, he will 
know it by instinct, as soon as he comes 
in. He is terribly subtle," said the 
Princess; and she added that she had 
never been able to hide anything from 
him. Perhaps it served her right, for 
attempting to make a mystery of things 
that were not worth it. 

" How well you know him ! " Mr. 
Vetch murmured, with his eyes wander- 
ing again to Madame Grandoni, who 
paid no attention to him as she sat star- 
ing at the fire. He delayed, visibly, to 
say what he had come for, and his hesi- 
tation could only be connected with the 
presence of the old lady. He said to 
himself that the Princess might have 
divined this from his manner ; he had 
an idea that he could trust himself to 
convey such an intimation with clear- 
ness and yet with delicacy. But the 
most she appeared to apprehend was 
that he desired to be presented to her 
companion. 

"You must know the most delight- 
ful of women. She also takes a par- 
ticular interest in Mr. Robinson: of a 
different kind from mine much more 
sentimental," and then she explained to 
the old lady, who seemed absorbed in 
other ideas, that Mr. Vetch was a dis- 
tinguished musician, a person whom she, 
who had known so many in her day, 



[July, 

and was so fond of that kind of thing, 
would like to talk with. The Princess 
spoke of " that kind of thing " quite as 
if she herself had given it up, though 
Madame Grandoni heard her by the 
hour together improvising on the piano 
revolutionary battle-songs and pasans. 

" I think you are laughing at me," 
Mr. Vetch said to the Princess, while 
Madame Grandoni twisted herself slow- 
ly round in her chair, and considered 
him. She looked at him leisurely, up 
and down, and then she observed, with 
a sigh 

" Strange people strange people ! " 

"It is indeed a strange world, ma- 
dame," the fiddler replied ; and he then 
inquired of the Princess whether he 
might have a little conversation with 
her in private. 

She looked about her, embarrassed 
and smiling. " My dear sir, I have only 
this one room to receive in. We live 
in a very small way." 

"Yes, your ladyship is laughing at 
me. Your ideas are very large, too 
However, I would gladly come at any 
other time that might suit you." 

" You impute to me higher spirits than 
I possess. Why should I be so gay ? " 
the Princess asked. " I should be de- 
lighted to see you again. I am extreme- 
ly curious as to what you may have to 
say to me. I would even meet you any- 
where in Kensington Gardens or the 
British Museum." 

The fiddler looked at her a moment 
before replying ; then, with his white 
old face flushing a little, he exclaimed, 
" Poor dear little Hyacinth ! " 

Madame Grandoni made an effort to 
rise from her chair, but she had sunk so 
low that at first it was not successful. 
Mr. Vetch gave her his hand, to help 
her, and she slowly erected herself, 
keeping hold of him for a moment after 
she stood there. "What did she tell 
me ? That you are a great musician ? 
Is n't that enough for any man ? You 
ought to be content, my dear gentleman. 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



61 



It has sufficed for people whom I don't 
believe you surpass." 

" I don't surpass any one," said poor 
Mr. Vetch. " I don't know what you 
take me for." 

"You are not a conspirator, then? 
You are not an assassin ? It surprises 
me, but so much the better. In this 
house one can never know. It is not a 
good house, and if you are a respecta- 
ble person it is a pity you should come 
here. Yes, she is very gay, and I am 
very sad. I don't know how it will 
end. After me, I hope. The world is 
not good, certainly ; but God alone can 
make it better." And as the fiddler ex- 
pressed the hope that he was not the 
cause of her leaving the room, she went 
on, " Dock, dock, you are the cause ; 
but why not you as well as another ? 
I am always leaving it for some one or 
for some thing, and I would sooner do 
so for an honest man, if you are one 
but, as I say, who can tell ? than 
for a destroyer. I wander about. I 
have no rest. I have, however, a very 
nice room, the best in the house. Me, 
at least, she does not treat ill. It looks 
to-day like the end of all things. If 
you would turn your climate the other 
side up, the rest would do well enough. 
Good-night to you, whoever you are." 

The old lady shuffled away, in spite 
of Mr. Vetch's renewed apologies, and 
the Princess stood before the fire, watch- 
ing her companions, while he opened the 
door. " She goes away, she comes 
back ; it does n't matter. She thinks 
it 's a bad house, but she knows it 
would be worse without her. I remem- 
ber now," the Princess added. " Mr. 
Robinson told me that you had been 
a great democrat in old days, but that 
now you had ceased to care for the peo- 
ple." 

" The people the people ? That is 
a vague term. Whom do you mean ? " 

The Princess hesitated. " Those you 
used to care for, to plead for ; those 
who are underneath every one, every 



thing, and have the whole social mass 
trampling on them." 

" I see you think I 'm a renegade. 
The way certain classes arrogate to 
themselves the title of the people has 
never pleased me. Why are some hu- 
man beings the people, and the people 
only, and others not ? I am of the peo- 
ple myself, I have worked all my days 
like a knife-grinder, and I have really 
never changed." 

"You must not let me make you 
angry," said the Princess, laughing, and 
sitting down again. " I am sometimes 
very provoking, but you must stop me 
off. You wouldn't think it, perhaps, 
but no one takes a snub better than I." 

Mr. Vetch dropped his eyes a min- 
ute ; he appeared to wish to show that 
he regarded such a speech as that as 
one of the Princess's characteristic hu- 
mors, and knew that he should be want- 
ing in respect to her if he took it serious- 
ly or made a personal application of it. 
" What I want is this," he began, after 
a moment : " that you will that you 
will " But he stopped before he had 
got further. She was watching him, 
listening to him, and she waited while 
he paused. It was a long pause, and 
she said nothing. "Princess," the old 
man broke out at last, " I would give 
my own life many times for that 
boy's ! " 

" I always told him you must have 
been fond of him ! " she cried, with 
bright exultation. 

" Fond of him ? Pray, who can doubt 
it ? I made him, I invented him ! " 

" He knows it, moreover," said the 
Princess, smiling. " It is an exquisite 
organization." And as the old man 
gazed at her, not knowing, apparently, 
what to make of her tone, she continued : 
" It is a very interesting opportunity for 
me to learn certain things. Speak to 
me of his early years. How was he as 
a child? When I like people I want to 
know everything about them." 

" I should n't have supposed there 



62 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[July, 



was much left for you to learn about 
our young friend. You have taken 
possession of his life," the fiddler added, 
gravely. 

" Yes, but as I understand you, you 
don't complain of it ? Sometimes one 
does so much more than one has in- 
tended. One must use one's influence 
for good," said the Princess, with the 
noble, gentle air of accessibility to rea- 
son that sometimes lighted up her face. 
And then she went on, irrelevantly: 
" I know the terrible story of his mother. 
He told it me himself, when he was 
staying with me ; and in the course of 
my life I think I have never been more 
touched." 

"That was my fault, that he ever 
learned it. I suppose he also told you 
that." 

" Yes, but I think he understood your 
idea. If you had the question to deter- 
mine again, would you judge different- 
ly?" 

" I thought it would do him good," 
said the old man, simply and rather 
wearily. 

" Well, I dare say it has," the Prin- 
cess rejoined, with the manner of wish- 
ing to encourage him. 

" I don't know what was in my head. 
I wanted him to quarrel with society. 
Now I want him to be reconciled to it," 
Mr. Vetch remarked, earnestly. He 
appeared to wish the Princess to un- 
derstand that he made a great point of 
this. 

"Ah, but he is!" she immediately 
returned. " We often talk about that ; 
he is not like me, who see all kinds of 
abominations. He 's a tremendous aris- 
tocrat. What more would you have ? " 

" Those are not the opinions that he 
expresses to me," said Mr. Vetch, shak- 
ing his head sadly. " I am greatly dis- 
tressed, and I don't understand. I have 
not come here with the presumptuous 
wish to cross-examine you, but I should 
like very much to know if I am wrong 
in believing that he has gone about with 



you in the bad quarters in St. Giles's 
and Whitechapel." 

" We have certainly inquired and ex- 
plored together," the Princess admitted, 
" and in the depths of this huge, luxuri- 
ous, wanton, wasteful city we have seen 
sights of unspeakable misery and hor- 
ror. But we have been not only in 
the slums ; we have been to a music 
hall and a penny-reading." 

The fiddler received this information 
at first in silence, so that his hostess 
went on to mention some of the phases 
of life they had observed; describing 
with great vividness, but at the same 
time with a kind of argumentative mod- 
eration, several scenes which did lit- 
tle honor to " our boasted civilization." 
" What wonder is it, then, that he should 
tell me that things cannot go on any 
longer as they are ? " he asked, when 
she had finished. " He said only the 
other day that he should regard him- 
self as one of the most contemptible of 
human beings if he should do nothing 
to alter them, to better them." 

" What wonder, indeed ? But if he 
said that, he was in one of his bad days. 
He changes constantly, and his impres- 
sions change. The misery of the peo- 
ple is by no means always weighing on 
his heart. You tell me what he has 
told you ; well, he has told me that the 
people may perish over and over, rather 
than the conquests of civilization shall 
be sacrificed to them. He declares, at 
such moments, that they will be sacri- 
ficed sacrificed utterly if the igno- 
rant masses get the upper hand." 

" He need n't be afraid ! That will 
never happen." 

"I don't know. We can at least 
try!" 

" Try what you like, madam, but, for 
God's sake, get the boy out of his 
mess ! " 

The Princess had suddenly grown ex- 
cited, in speaking of the cause she be- 
lieved in, and she gave, for the moment, 
no heed to this appeal, which broke 



1886.] 

from Mr. Vetch's lips with a sudden 
passion of anxiety. Her beautiful head 
raised itself higher, and the deep ex- 
pression that was always in her eyes be- 
came an extraordinary radiance. " Do 
you know what I say to Mr. Robinson 
when he makes such remarks as that to 
me ? I ask him what he means by civil- 
ization. Let civilization come a little, 
first, and then we will talk about it. 
For the present, face to face with those 
horrors, I scorn it, I deny it ! " And 
the Princess laughed ineffable things, 
like some splendid siren of the Revo- 
lution. 

" The world is very sad and very 
hideous, and I am happy to say that I 
soon shall have done with it. But be- 
fore I go I want to save Hyacinth. If 
he 's a little aristocrat, as you say, there 
is so much the less fitness in his being 
compromised, entangled. If he does n't 
even believe in what he pretends to do, 
that 's a pretty situation ! What is he 
in for, madam ? What devilish folly has 
he undertaken ? " 

" He is a strange mixture of contra- 
dictory impulses," said the Princess, 
musingly. Then, as if calling herself 
back to the old man's question, she con- 
tinued : " How can I enter into his 
affairs with you ? How can I tell you 
his secrets ? In the first place, I don't 
know them, and if I did fancy me ! " 

The fiddler gave a long, low sigh, al- 
most a moan, of discouragement and 
perplexity. He had told the Princess 
that now he saw her he understood how 
Hyacinth should have become her slave, 
but he would not have been able to tell 
her that he understood her own mo- 
tives and mysteries, that he embraced 
the immense anomaly of her behavior. 
It came over him that she was incon- 
gruous and perverse, a more complicated 
form of the feminine character than any 
he had hitherto dealt with, and he felt 
helpless and baffled, foredoomed to fail- 
ure. He had come prepared to flatter 
her without scruple, thinking that would 



The Princess Casamassima. 



63 



be the clever, the efficacious, method 
of dealing with her; but he now had 
a sense that this primitive device had, 
though it was strange, no application 
to such a nature, while his embarrass- 
ment was increased rather than dimin- 
ished by the fact that the lady at least 
made the effort to be accommodating. 
He had put down his hat on the floor 
beside him, and his two hands were 
clasped on the knob of an umbrella 
which had long since renounced pre- 
tensions to compactness ; he collapsed a 
little, and his chin rested on his folded 
hands. " Why do you take such a line ? 
Why do you believe such things ? " he 
asked ; and he was conscious that his 
tone was weak and his inquiry beside 
the question. 

" My dear sir, how do you know what 
I believe? However, I have my rea- 
sons, which it would take too long to 
tell you, and which, after all, would not 
particularly interest you. One must see 
life as one can ; it comes, no doubt, to 
each of us in different ways. You think 
me affected, of course, and my behavior 
a fearful pose ; but I am only trying to 
be natural. Are you not yourself a lit- 
tle inconsequent ? " the Princess went 
on, with the bright mildness which had 
the effect of making Mr. Vetch feel that 
he should not extract any pledge of as- 
sistance from her. "You don't want 
our young friend to pry into the wretch- 
edness of London, because it excites his 
sense of justice. It is a strange thing 
to wish, for a person of whom one is 
fond and whom one esteems, that his 
sense of justice shall not be excited." 

" I don't care a fig for his sense of 
justice I don't care a fig for the 
wretchedness of London ; and if I were 
young, and beautiful, and clever, and 
brilliant, and of a noble position, like 
you, I should care still less. In that 
case I should have very little to say to 
a poor mechanic a youngster who 
earns his living with a glue-pot and 
scraps of old leather." 



64 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[July, 



" Don't misrepresent him ; don't make 
him out what you know he 's not ! " the 
Princess retorted, with her baffling smile. 
" You know he 's one of the most civil- 
ized people possible." 

The fiddler sat breathing unhappily. 
" I only want to keep him to get him 
free." Then he added, " I don't under- 
stand you very well. If you like him 
because he 's one of the lower orders, 
how can you like him because he's a 
swell?" 

The Princess turned her eyes on the 
fire a moment, as if this little problem 
might be worth considering, and pres- 
ently she answered, " Dear Mr. Vetch, 
I am very sure you don't mean to be 
impertinent, but some things you say 
have that effect. Nothing is more an- 
noying than when one's sincerity is 
doubted. I am not bound to explain 
myself to you. I ask of my friends to 
trust me, and of the others to leave me 
alone. Moreover, anything not very 
nice you may have said to me, out of 
awkwardness, is nothing to the insults 
I am perfectly prepared to see showered 
upon me before long. I shall do things 
which will produce a fine crop of them 
oh, I shall do things, my dear sir ! 
But I am determined not to mind them. 
Come, therefore, pull yourself together. 
We both take such an interest in young 
Robinson that I can't see why in the 
world we should quarrel about him." 

" My dear lady," the old man plead- 
ed, " I have indeed not the least inten- 
tion of failing in respect or courtesy, 
and you must excuse me if I don't look 
after my manners. How can I when I 
am so worried, so haunted ? God knows 
I don't want to quarrel. As I tell you, 
I only want to get Hyacinth free.'* 

"Free from what?" the Princess 
asked. 

" From some abominable brotherhood 
or international league that he belongs 
to, the thought of which keeps me awake 
at night. He 's just the sort of little 
fellow to be made a cat's-paw." 



" Your fears seem very vague." 

" I hoped you would give me chapter 
and verse." 

" On what do your suspicions rest ? 
What grounds have you ? " the Prin- 
cess inquired. 

" Well, a great many ; none of them 
very definite, but all contributing some- 
thing his appearance, his manner, the 
way he strikes me. Dear madam, one 
feels those things, one guesses. Do you 
know that poor, infatuated phrasemon- 
ger, Eustace Poupin, who works at the 
same place as Hyacinth ? He 's a very 
old friend of mine, and he 's an honest 
man, considering everything. But he 
is always conspiring, and corresponding, 
and pulling strings that lead away into 
God knows what. He has nothing in 
life to complain of, and he drives a roar- 
ing trade. But he wants folks to be 
equal, heaven help him ; and when he 
has made them so, I suppose he 's going 
to start a society for making the stars 
in the sky all of the same size. He is n't 
serious, though he thinks that he 's the 
only human being who never trifles ; and 
his machinations, which I believe are 
for the most part very innocent, are a 
matter of habit and tradition with him, 
like his theory that Christopher Colum- 
bus, who discovered America, was a 
Frenchman, and his hot foot-bath on 
Saturday nights. He has not confessed 
to me that Hyacinth has taken some 
secret engagement to do something for 
the cause which may have nasty con- 
sequences, but the way he turns off the 
idea makes me almost as uncomfortable 
as if he had. He and his wife are very 
sweet on Hyacinth, but they can't make 
up their minds to interfere ; perhaps for 
them, indeed, as for me, there is no way 
in which interference can be effective. 
Only / did n't put him up to those devil's 
tricks or, rather, I did, originally ! 
The finer the work, I suppose, the high- 
er the privilege of doing it ; yet the Pou- 
pins heave socialistic sighs over the boy, 
and their peace of mind evidently is n't 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



65 



all that it ought to be, if they have given 
him a noble opportunity. I have ap- 
pealed to them, to a lively tune, and 
they have assured me that every hair of 
his head is as precious to them as if he 
were their own child. That does n't 
comfort me much, however, for the sim- 
ple reason that I believe the old woman 
(whose grandmother, in Paris, in the 
Revolution, must certainly have carried 
bloody heads on a pike) would be quite 
capable of chopping up her own child, if 
it would do any harm to proprietors. 
Besides, they say, what influence have 
they on Hyacinth any more ? He is a 
deplorable little backslider ; he worships 
false gods. In short, they will give me 
no information, and I dare say they them- 
selves are tied up by some unholy vow. 
They may be afraid of a vengeance if 
they tell tales. It 's all sad rubbish, but 
rubbish may be a strong motive." 

The Princess listened attentively, fol- 
lowing her visitor with patience. " Don't 
speak to me of the French ; I have never 
liked them." 

" That 's awkward, if you 're a social- 
ist. You are likely to meet them." 

" Why do you call me a socialist ? I 
hate labels and tickets," she declared. 
Then she added, " What is it you sup- 
pose on Mr. Robinson's part ? for you 
must suppose something." 

" Well, that he may have drawn some 
accursed lot, to do some idiotic thing 
something in which even he himself 
does n't believe." 

"I have n't an idea of what sort of 
thing you mean. But, if he does n't be- 
lieve in it, he can easily let it alone." 

" Do you think he 's a customer who 
will back out of an engagement ? " the 
fiddler asked. 

The Princess hesitated a moment. 
" One can never judge of people, in 
that way, until they are tested." The 
next thing, she inquired, " Have n't 
you even taken the trouble to question 
him?" 

" What would be the use ? He would 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 5 



tell me nothing. It would be like a 
man giving notice when he is going to 
fight a duel." 

The Princess sat for some moments 
in thought ; then she looked up at Mr. 
Vetch with a pitying, indulgent smile. 
" I am sure you are worrying about a 
mere shadow ; but that never prevents, 
does it ? I still don't see exactly how I 
can help you." 

" Do you want him to commit some 
atrocity, some crime?" the old man 
murmured. 

" My dear sir, I don't want him to 
do anything in all the wide world. I 
have not had the smallest connection 
with any arrangement of any kind, that 
he may have entered into. Do me the 
honor to trust me," the Princess went 
on, with a certain dryness of tone. " I 
don't know what I have done to deprive 
myself of your confidence. Trust the 
young man a little, too. He is a gen- 
tleman, and he will behave like a gen- 
tleman." 

The fiddler rose from his chair, 
smoothing his hat, silently, with the cuff 
of his coat. Then he stood there, 
whimsical and piteous, as if the sense 
that he had still something to urge min- 
gled with that of his having received 
his dismissal, and both of them were 
tinged with the oddity of another idea. 
" That 's exactly what I am afraid of ! " 
he exclaimed. Then he added, contin- 
uing to look at her, " But he must be 
very fond of life." 

The Princess took no notice of the 
insinuation contained in these words, 
and indeed it was of a sufficiently im- 
palpable character. " Leave him to me 
leave him to me. I am sorry for 
your anxiety, but it was very good of 
you to come to see me. That has been 
interesting, because you have been one 
of our friend's influences." 

" Unfortunately, yes ! If it had not 
been for me, he would not have known 
Poupin ; and if he had n't known Pou- 
pin, he would n't have known his chem- 



66 



The Princess Casamassima. 



ical friend what's his name? Muni- 
ment." 

" And has that done him harm, do 
you think ? " the Princess asked. She 
had got up. 

" Surely : that fellow has been the 
main source of his infection." 

" I lose patience with you," said the 
Princess, turning away. 

And indeed her visitor's persistence 
was irritating. He went on, lingering, 
with his head thrust forward and his 
short arms out at his sides, terminating 
In his hat and umbrella, which he held 
grotesquely, as if they were intended for 
emphasis or illustration. " I have sup- 
posed for a long time that it was either 
Muniment or you that had got him into 
Ms scrape. It was you I suspected most 
much the most ; but if it is n't you, 
it must be he." 

" You had better go to him, then ! " 

" Of course I will go to him. I 
scarcely know him I have seen him 
but once but I will speak my mind." 

The Princess rang for her maid to 
usher the fiddler out, but at the moment 
he laid his hand on the door of the room 
she checked him with a quick gesture. 
" Now that I think of it, don't go to Mr. 
Muniment. It will be better to leave 
him quiet. Leave him to me," she add- 
ed, smiling. 

"Why not, why not?" he pleaded. 
And as she could not tell him on the in- 
stant why not, he asked, " Does n't he 
know ? " 

" No, he does n't know ; he has noth- 
ing to do with it." She suddenly found 
herself desiring to protect Paul Mu- 
niment from ttie imputation that was in 
Mr. Vetch's mind the imputation of 
an ugly responsibility ; and though she 
was not a person who took the trou- 
ble to tell fibs, this repudiation, on his 
behalf, issued from her lips before she 
could check it. It was a result of the 
same desire, though it was also an in- 
consequence, that she added, " Don't do 
that you '11 spoil everything ! " She 



[July, 

went to him, suddenly eager, and her- 
self opened the door for him. " Leave 
him to me leave him to me," she con- 
tinued, persuasively, while the fiddler, 
gazing at her, dazzled and submissive, 
allowed himself to be wafted away. A 
thought that excited her had come to 
her with a bound, and after she had 
heard the house-door close behind Mr. 
Vetch she walked up and down the 
room half an hour, restlessly, under the 
possession of it. 



XXXVIII. 

Hyacinth found, this winter, consid- 
erable occupation for his odd hours, his 
evenings and holidays, and scraps of 
leisure, in putting in hand the books 
which he had promised himself, at Med- 
ley, to inclose in covers worthy of the 
high station and splendor of the lady of 
his life (these brilliant attributes had not 
then been shuffled out of sight), and of 
the confidence and generosity she showed 
him. He had determined she should re- 
ceive from him something of value, and 
took pleasure in thinking that after he 
was gone they would be passed from 
hand to hand as specimens of rare work, 
while connoisseurs bent their heads over 
them, smiling and murmuring, handling 
them delicately. His invention stirred 
itself, and he had a hundred admirable 
ideas, many of which he sat up late at 
night to execute. He used all his skill, 
and by this time his skill was of a very 
high order. Old Crookenden recognized 
it by raising the rates at which he was 
paid ; and though it was not among the 
traditions of the proprietor of the estab- 
lishment in Soho, who to the end wore 
the apron with his workmen, to scatter 
sweet speeches, Hyacinth learned, acci- 
dentally, that several books that he had 
given him to do had been carried off 
and placed on a shelf of treasures at the 
villa, where they were exhibited to the 
members of the Crookenden circle who 



1886.] 

came to tea on Sundays. Hyacinth him- 
self, indeed, was included in this com- 
pany on a great occasion invited to a 
musical party, where he made the ac- 
quaintance of half a dozen Miss Crook- 
endens, an acquaintance which consisted 
in his standing in a corner behind sev- 
eral broad-backed old ladies, and watch- 
ing the rotation, at the piano and the 
harp, of three or four of his master's 
thick-fingered daughters. "You know 
it 's a tremendously musical house," said 
one of the old ladies to another (she 
called it " 'ouse ") ; but the principal 
impression made upon him by the per- 
formance of the Miss Crookendens was 
that it was wonderfully different from 
the Princess's playing. 

He knew that he was the only young 
man from the shop who had been in- 
vited, not counting the foreman, who 
was sixty years old, and wore a wig so 
curly that it was in itself a qualification 
for festive scenes, besides being accom- 
panied by a little frightened, furtive 
wife, who closed her eyes, as if in the 
presence of a blinding splendor, when 
Mrs. Crookenden spoke to her. The 
Poupins were not there which, how- 
ever, was not a surprise to Hyacinth, 
who knew that (even if they had been 
asked, which they were not) they had 
objections of principle to putting their 
feet chez les bourgeois. They were not 
asked, because, in spite of the place 
Eustace had made for himself in the 
prosperity of the business, it had come 
to be known that his wife was somehow 
not his wife (though she was certainly 
no one's else) ; and the evidence of this 
irregularity was conceived to reside, 
vaguely, in the fact that she had never 
been seen save in a camisole. There 
had doubtless been an apprehension 
that if she had come to the villa she 
would not have come with the proper 
number of hooks and eyes, though Hya- 
cinth, on two or three occasions, notably 
the night he took the pair to Mr. Vetch's 
theatre, had been witness of the pro- 



The Princess Casamassima. 



67 



portions to which she could reduce her 
figure when she wished to give the im- 
pression of a lawful tie. 

It was not clear to him how the dis- 
tinction conferred upon him became 
known in Soho, where, however, it ex- 
cited no sharpness of jealousy Gru- 
gan, Roker, and Hotchkin being hardly 
more likely to envy a person condemned 
to spend a genteel evening than they 
were to envy a monkey performing an- 
tics on a barrel organ : both forms of 
effort indicated an urbanity painfully ac- 
quired. But Roker took his young 
comrade's breath half away with his el- 
bow, and remarked that he supposed he 
saw the old man had spotted him for 
one of the darlings at home ; inquir- 
ing, furthermore, what would become, in 
that case, of the little thing he took to 
France, the one to whom he had stood 
champagne and lobster. This was the 
first allusion Hyacinth had heard made 
to the idea that he might some day mar- 
ry his master's daughter, like the vir- 
tuous apprentice of tradition ; but the 
suggestion, somehow, was not inspiring, 
even when he had thought of an inci- 
dent or two which gave color to it. 
None of the Miss Crookendens spoke 
to him they all had large faces, and 
short legs, and a comical resemblance 
to that stertorous elderly male, their 
father, and, unlike the Miss Marchants, 
at Medley, they knew who he was 
but their mother, who had on her head 
the plumage of a cockatoo, mingled with 
a structure of glass beads, looked at him 
with an almost awful fixedness, and 
asked him three distinct times if he 
would have a glass of negus. 

He had much difficulty in getting his 
books from the Princess ; for when he 
reminded her of the promise she had 
given him at Medley to make over to 
him as many volumes as he should re- 
quire, she answered that everything was 
changed since then, that she was com- 
pletely depouillee, that she had now no 
pretension to have a library, and that, 



68 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[July, 



in fine, he had much better leave the 
matter alone. He was welcome to any 
books that were in the house, but, as he 
could see for himself, these were cheap 
editions, on which it would be foolish to 
expend such work as his. He asked 
Madame Grandoni to help him to tell 
him, at least, whether there were not 
some good volumes among the things 
the Princess had sent to be warehoused; 
it being known to him, through casual 
admissions of her own, that she had 
allowed her maid to save certain articles 
from the wreck, and pack them away at 
the Pantechnicon. This had all been 
Assunta's work, the woman had begged 
so hard for a few reservations a loaf 
of bread for their old days ; but the 
Princess herself had washed her hands 
of the business. " Chi, chi, there are 
boxes, I am sure, in that place, with a 
little of everything," said the old lady, 
in answer to his inquiry ; and Hyacinth 
conferred with Assunta, who took a 
sympathetic, talkative, Italian interest 
in his undertaking, and promised to fish 
out for him whatever worthy volumes 
should remain. She came to his lodg- 
ing, one evening, in a cab, with an arm- 
ful of pretty books, and when he asked 
her where they had come from waved 
her forefinger in front of her nose, in a 
manner both mysterious and expressive. 
He brought each volume to the Princess, 
as it was finished ; but her manner of 
receiving it was to shake her head over 
it with a kind, sad smile. " It 's beauti- 
ful, I am sure, but I have lost my sense 
for such things. Besides, you must al- 
ways remember what you once told me, 
that a woman, even the most cultivated, 
is incapable of feeling the difference be- 
tween a bad binding and a good. I re- 
member your once saying that fine ladies 
had brought shoemaker's bindings to 
your shop, and wished them imitated. 
Certainly, those are not the differences 
I most feel. My dear fellow, such things 
have ceased to speak to me ; they are 
doubtless charming, but they leave me 



cold. What will you have ? One can't 
serve God and mammon." Her thoughts 
were fixed on far other matters than the 
delight of dainty covers, and she evi- 
dently considered that in caring so much 
for them Hyacinth resembled the mad 
emperor who fiddled in the flames of 
Rome. European society, to her mind, 
was in flames, and no frivolous occupa- 
tion could give the measure of the emo- 
tion with which she watched them. It 
produced occasionally demonstrations of 
hilarity, of joy and hope, but these al- 
ways took some form connected with 
the life of the people. It was the peo- 
ple she had gone to see, when she ac- 
companied Hyacinth to a music hall in 
the Edgeware Road ; and all her excur- 
sions and pastimes, this winter, were 
prompted by her interest in the classes 
on whose behalf the revolution was to 
be wrought. 

To ask himself whether she were in 
earnest was now an old story to him, 
and, indeed, the conviction he might ar- 
rive at on this head had ceased to have 
any practical relevancy. It was just as 
she was, superficial or profound, that 
she held him, and she was, at any rate, 
sufficiently animated by a purpose for 
her actions to have consequences, actual 
and possible. Some of these might be 
serious, even if she herself were not, 
and there were times when Hyacinth 
was much visited by the apprehension . 
of them. On the Sundays that she had 
gone with him into the darkest places, 
the most fetid holes, in London, she had " 
always taken money with her, in consid- 
erable quantities, and always left it be- " 
hind. She said, very naturally, that one 
could n't go and stare at people, for an 
impression, without paying them, and 
she gave alms right and left, indiscrimi- 
nately, without inquiry or judgment, as 
simply as the abbess of some beggar- 
haunted convent, or a Lady Bountiful 
of the superstitious, unscientific ages 
who should have hoped to be assisted 
to heaven by her doles. Hyacinth never 






1886.] 



The Princess Oasamassima. 



69 



said to her, though he sometimes thought 
it, that since she was so full of the mod- 
ern spirit, her charity should be admin- 
istered according to the modern lights, 
the principles of economical science ; 
partly because she was not a woman to 
be directed and regulated, she could take 
other people's ideas, but she could never 
take their way. Besides, what did it 
matter ? To himself, what did it mat- 
ter to-day whether he were drawn into 
right methods or into wrong ones, his 
time being too short for regret or for 
cheer ? The Princess was an embodied 
passion she was not a system; and her 
behavior, after all, was more addressed 
to relieving herself than to relieving 
others. And then misery was sown so 
thick in her path that wherever her 
money was dropped it fell into some 
trembling palm. He wondered that she 
should still have so much cash to dis- 
pose of, until she explained to him that 
she came by it through putting her per- 
sonal expenditure on a rigid footing. 
What she gave away was her savings, 
the margin she had succeeded in creat- 
ing ; and now that she had tasted of the 
satisfaction of making little hoards for 
such a purpose, she regarded her other 
years, with their idleness and waste, their 
merely personal motives, as a long, stu- 
pid sleep of the conscience. To do 
something for others was not only so 
much more human, but so much more 
amusing ! 

She made strange acquaintances, un- 
der Hyacinth's conduct ; she listened to 
extraordinary stories, and formed theo- 
ries about them, and about the persons 
who narrated them to her, which were 
often still more extraordinary. She 
took romantic fancies to vagabonds of 
either sex, attempted to establish social 
relations with them, and was the cause 
of infinite agitation to the gentleman 
who lived near her in the Crescent, who 
was always smoking at the window, and 
who reminded Hyacinth of Mr. Micaw- 
ber. She received visits that were a 



scandal to the Crescent, and Hyacinth 
neglected his affairs, whatever they were, 
to see what tatterdemalion would next 
turn up at her door. This intercourse, 
it is true, took a more fruitful form as her 
intimacy with Lady Aurora deepened ; 
her ladyship practiced discriminations 
which she brought the Princess to rec- 
ognize, and before the winter was over 
Hyacinth's services in the slums were 
found unnecessary. He gave way with 
relief, with delight, to Lady Aurora, for 
he had not in the least understood his 
behavior for the previous four months, 
nor taken himself seriously as a cicerone. 
He had plunged into a sea of barba- 
rism without having any civilizing ener- 
gy to put forth. He was conscious that 
the people were miserable more con- 
scious, it often seemed to him, than they 
themselves were ; so frequently was he 
struck with their brutal insensibility, a 
grossness impervious to the taste of bet- 
ter things or to any desire for them. 
He knew it so well that the repetition 
of contact could add no vividness to the 
conviction ; it rather smothered and be- 
fogged his impression, peopled it with 
contradictions and difficulties, a violence 
of reaction, a sense of the inevitable and 
insurmountable. In these hours the 
poverty and ignorance of the multitude 
seemed so vast and preponderant, and 
so much the law of life, that those who 
had managed to escape from the black 
gulf were only the happy few, people of 
resource as well as children of luck ; 
they inspired in some degree the inter- 
est and sympathy that one should feel 
for survivors and victors, those who 
have come safely out of a shipwreck or 
a battle. What was most in Hyacinth's 
mind was the idea, of which every pul- 
sation of the general life of his time was 
a syllable, that the flood of democracy 
was rising over the world ; that it would 
sweep all the traditions of the past be- 
fore it ; that, whatever it might fail to 
bring, it would at least carry in its bosom 
a magnificent energy ; and that it might 



70 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[July, 



be trusted to look after its own. When 
democracy should have its way every- 
where, it would be its fault (whose else ?) 
if want and suffering and crime should 
continue to be ingredients of the human 
lot. With his mixed, divided nature, 
his conflicting sympathies, his eternal 
habit of swinging from one view to an- 
other, Hyacinth regarded this prospect 
in different moods, with different kinds 
of emotion. In spite of the example 
Eustache Poupin gave him of the rec- 
oncilement of disparities, he was afraid 
the democracy wouldn't care for per- 
fect bindings or for the finest sort of 
conversation. The Princess gave up 
these things in proportion as she ad- 
vanced in the direction she had so au- 
daciously chosen ; and if the Princess 
could give them up, it would take very 
extraordinary natures to stick to them. 
At the same time there was joy, exul- 
tation, in the thought of surrendering 
one's self to the wave of revolt ; of float- 
ing in the tremendous tide, of feeling 
one's self lifted and tossed, carried high- 
er on the sun-touched crests of billows 
than one could ever be by a dry, lonely 
effort of one's own. That vision could 
deepen to a kind of ecstasy; make it 
indifferent whether one's ultimate fate, 
in such a heaving sea, were not al- 
most certainly to be submerged in bot- 
tomless depths or dashed to pieces on re- 
sisting cliffs. Hyacinth felt that, wheth- 
er his personal sympathy should rest 
finally with the victors or the vanquished, 
the victorious force was colossal, and 
would require no testimony from the 
irresolute. 

The reader will doubtless smile at his 
mental debates and oscillations, and not 
understand why a little bastard book- 
binder should attach importance to his 
conclusions. They were not important 
for either cause, but they were impor- 
tant for himself, if only because they 
would rescue him from the torment of 
his present life, the perpetual laceration 
of the rebound. There was no peace 



for him between the two currents that 
flowed in his nature, the blood of his 
passionate, plebeian mother and that of 
his long-descended, supercivilized sire. 
They continued to toss him from one 
side to the other ; they arrayed him in in- 
tolerable defiances and revenges against 
himself. He had a high ambition: he 
wanted neither more nor less than to 
get hold of the truth and wear it in his 
heart. He believed, with the candor of 
youth, that it was brilliant and clear- 
cut, like a royal diamond ; but in what- 
ever direction he turned in the effort to 
find it, he seemed to know that behind 
him, bent on him in reproach, was a 
tragic, wounded face. The thought of 
his mother had filled him, originally, 
with the vague, clumsy fermentation of 
his first impulses toward social criticism ; 
but since the problem had become more 
complex by the fact that many things in 
the world as it was constituted grew in- 
tensely dear to him, he had tried more 
and more to construct some conceivable 
and human countenance for his father 
some expression of honor, of tenderness 
and recognition, of unmerited suffering, 
or at least of adequate expiation. To 
desert one of these presences for the 
other that idea had a kind of shame 
in it, as an act of treachery would 
have had ; for he could almost hear the 
voice of his father ask him if it were 
the conduct of a gentleman to take up 
the opinions and emulate the crudities 
of fanatics and cads. He had got over 
thinking that it would not have become 
his father to talk of what was proper 
to gentlemen, and making the mental 
reflection that from him, at least, the 
biggest cad in London could not have 
deserved less consideration. He had 
worked himself round to allowances, to 
interpretations, to such hypotheses as 
the evidence in the Times, read in the 
British Museum on that never-to-be- 
forgotten afternoon, did not exclude; 
though they had been frequent enough, 
and too frequent, his hours of hot re- 



The Princess Casamassima. 



1886.] 

sentment against the man who had at- 
tached to him the stigma he was to 
carry forever, he threw himself, in other 
conditions, and with a certain success, 
into the effort to find condonations, ex- 
cuses, for him. It was comparatively 
easy for him to accept himself as the 
son of a terribly light Frenchwoman ; 
there seemed a deeper obloquy even than 
that in his having for his other parent a 
nobleman altogether wanting in noble- 
ness. He was too poor to afford it. 
Sometimes, in his imagination, he sac- 
rificed one to the other, throwing over 
Lord Frederick much the oftener ; some- 
times, when the theory failed that his 
father would have done great things for 
him if he had lived, or the assumption 
broke down that he had been Florentine 
Vivier's only lover, he cursed and dis- 
owned them alike ; sometimes he arrived 
at conceptions which presented them 
side by side, looking at him with eyes 
infinitely sad, but quite unashamed 
eyes which seemed to tell him that they 
had been hideously unfortunate, but had 
not been base. Of course his worst 
moments now, as they had always been 
the worst, were those in which his 
grounds for thinking that Lord Freder- 
ick had really been his father perverse- 
ly, cynically, fell away from him. It 
must be added that they always passed, 
for the mixture that he felt himself, so 
tormentingly, so insolubly, to be could 
be accounted for in no other manner. 

I allude to these divagations not be- 
cause they belong in an especial degree to 
the history of our young man during the 
winter of the Princess's residence in Ma- 
deira Crescent, but because they were a 
constant element in his moral life, and 
need to be remembered in any view of 
him at a given time. There were nights 
of November and December, as he trod 
the greasy pavements that lay between 
Westminster and Paddington, groping 
his way through the baffled lamplight 
and tasting the smoke - seasoned fog, 
when there was more happiness in his 



71 



heart than he had ever known. The 
influence of his permeating London had 
closed over him again ; Paris and Milan 
and Venice had shimmered away into 
picture and reminiscence ; and as the 
great city which was most his own lay 
round him under her pall, like an im- 
measurable breathing monster, he felt, 
with a vague excitement, as he had felt 
before, only now with more knowledge, 
that it was the richest expression of the 
life of man. His horizon had been im- 
mensely widened, but it was filled, again, 
by the expanse that sent dim night- 
gleams and strange blurred reflections 
and emanations into a sky without stars. 
He suspended, as it were, his small sen- 
sibility in the midst of it, and it quiv- 
ered there with joy and hope and ambi- 
tion, as well as with the eifort of renun- 
ciation. The Princess's quiet fireside 
glowed with deeper assurances, with as- 
sociations of intimacy, through the dusk 
and the immensity ; the thought of it 
was with him always, and his relations 
with the mistress of it were more organ- 
ized than they had been in his first vis- 
ion of her. Whether or no it was bet- 
ter for the cause she cherished that she 
should have been reduced to her pres- 
ent simplicity, it was better, at least, for 
Hyacinth. It made her more near and 
him more free ; and if there had been a 
danger of her nature seeming really to 
take the tone of the vulgar things about 
her, he would only have had to remem- 
ber her as she was at Medley to restore 
the perspective. In truth, her beauty 
always appeared to have the setting that 
best became it; her fairness made the 
element in which she lived, and, among 
the meanest accessories, constituted a 
kind of splendor. Nature had multi- 
plied the difficulties in the way of her 
successfully representing herself as hav- 
ing properties in common with the hor- 
rible populace of London. Hyacinth 
used to smile at this pretension in his 
night-walks to Paddington, or home- 
ward ; the populace of London were 



72 



The Princess Casamassima. 



scattered upon his path, and he asked 
himself by what wizardry they could 
ever be raised to high participations. 
There were nights when every one he 
met appeared to reek with gin and filth, 
and he found himself elbowed by figures 
as foul as lepers. Some of the women 
and girls, in particular, were appalling 
saturated with alcohol and vice, brutal, 
bedraggled, obscene. " What remedy 
but another deluge, what alchemy but 
annihilation ? " he asked himself, as he 
went his way ; and he wondered what 
fate there could be, in the great scheme 
of things, for a planet overgrown with 
such vermin, what fate but to be hurled 
against a ball of consuming fire. If it 
was the fault of the rich, as Paul Mu- 
niment held, the selfish, congested rich, 
who allowed such abominations to flour- 
ish, that made no difference, and only 
shifted the shame ; for the terrestrial 
globe, a visible failure, produced the 
cause as well as the effect. 

It did not occur to Hyacinth that the 
Princess had withdrawn her confidence 
from him because, for the work of inves- 
tigating still further the condition of the 
poor, she placed herself in the hands of 
Lady Aurora. He could have no jeal- 
ousy of the noble spinster ; he had too 
much respect for her philanthropy, the 
thoroughness of her knowledge, and her 
capacity to answer any question it could 
come into the Princess's extemporizing 
head to ask, and too acute a conscious- 
ness of his own desultory and superficial 
attitude toward the great question. It 
was enough for him that the little par- 
lor in Madeira Crescent was a spot 
round which his thoughts could revolve, 
and toward which his steps could direct 
themselves, with an unalloyed sense of 
security and privilege. The picture of 
it hung before him half the time, in col- 
ors to which the feeling of the place gave 
a rarity that doubtless did not literally 
characteristic the scene. His relations 
with the Princess had long since ceased 
to appear to him to belong to the world 



[July, 

of fable ; they were as natural as any- 
thing else (everything in life was queer 
enough) ; he had by this time assimi- 
lated them, as it were, and they were an 
indispensable part of the happiness of 
each. " Of each " Hyacinth risked 
that, for there was no particular vanity 
now involved in his perceiving that the 
most remarkable woman in Europe was, 
simply, very fond of him. The quiet, 
familiar, fraternal welcome he found 
on the nasty winter nights was proof 
enough of that. They sat together like 
very old friends, whom long pauses, dur- 
ing which they simply looked at each 
other with kind, acquainted eyes, could 
not make uncomfortable. Not that the 
element of silence was the principal part 
of their conversation, for it interposed 
only when they had talked a great deal. 
Hyacinth, on the opposite side of the 
fire, felt at times almost as if he were 
married to his hostess, so many things 
were taken for granted between them. 
For intercourse of that sort, intimate, 
easy, humorous, circumscribed by drawn 
curtains and shaded lamp-light, and inter- 
fused with domestic embarrassments and 
confidences, all turning to the jocular, 
the Princess was incomparable. It was 
her theory of her present existence that 
she was picnicking ; but all the accidents 
of the business were happy accidents. 
There was a household quietude in her 
steps and gestures, in the way she sat, 
in the way she listened, in the way she 
played with the cat, or looked after the 
fire, or folded Madame Grandoni's ubiq- 
uitous shawl ; above all, in the inveter- 
acy with which she spent her evenings 
at home, never dining out nor going to 
parties, ignorant of the dissipations of 
the town. There was something in the 
isolation of the room, when the kettle 
was on the hob, and he had given his 
wet umbrella to the maid, and the Prin- 
cess made him sit in a certain place near 
the fire, the better to dry his shoes 
there was something that evoked the 
idea of the vie de province, as he had 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



73 



read about it in French works. The 
French term came to him. because it 
represented more the especial note of 
the Princess's company, the cultivation, 
the facility of talk. She expressed her- 
self often in the French tongue itself ; 
she could borrow that convenience, for 
certain shades of meaning, though she 
had told Hyacinth that she did n't like 
the people to whom it was native. Cer- 
tainly, the quality of her conversation 
was not provincial ; it was singularly 
free and unrestricted ; there was noth- 
ing one might n't say to her, or that she 
was not liable to say herself. She had 
cast off prejudices, and gave no heed to 
conventional danger-posts. Hyacinth ad- 
mired the movement his eyes seemed 
to see it with which in any direction, 
intellectually, she could fling open her 
windows. There was an extraordinary 
charm in this mixture of liberty and 
humility in seeing a creature capa- 
ble, socially, of immeasurable flights sit 
dove-like, with folded wings. 

The young man met Lady Aurora 
several times in Madeira Crescent (her 
days, like his own, were filled with work, 
and she came in the evening), and he 
knew that her friendship with the Prin- 
cess had arrived at a rich maturity. The 
two ladies were a source of almost rap- 
turous interest to each other, and each 
rejoiced that the other was not a bit dif- 
ferent. The Princess prophesied freely 
that her visitor would give her up all 
nice people did, very soon ; but to Hya- 
cinth the end of her ladyship's almost 
breathless enthusiasm was not yet in 
view. She was bewildered, but she was 
fascinated ; and she thought the Prin- 
cess not only the most distinguished, the 
most startling, the most edifying, and the 
most original person in the world, but 
the most amusing and the most delight- 
ful to have tea with. As for the Prin- 
cess, her sentiment about Lady Aurora 
was the same that Hyacinth's had been : 
she thought her a saint, the first she had 
ever seen, and the purest specimen con- 



ceivable ; as good in her way as St. Fran- 
cis of Assisi, as tender and naive and 
transparent, of a spirit of charity as 
sublime. She held that when one met 
a human flower as fresh as that in the 
dusty ways of the world, one should 
pluck it and wear it ; and she was always 
inhaling Lady Aurora's fragrance, al- 
ways kissing her and holding her hand. 
The spinster was frightened at her gen- 
erosity, at the way her imagination em- 
broidered ; she wanted to convince her 
(as the Princess did on her own side) 
that such exaggerations destroyed their 
unfortunate subject. The Princess de- 
lighted in her clothes, in the way she 
put them on and wore them, in the 
economies she practiced in order to have 
money for charity and the ingenuity 
with which these slender resources were 
made to go far, in the very manner in 
which she spoke, a kind of startled sim- 
plicity. She wished to emulate her in all 
these particulars ; to learn how to econ- 
omize still more cunningly, to get her 
bonnets at the same shop, to care as lit- 
tle for the fit of her gloves ; to ask, in 
the same tone, " Is n't it a bore Susan 
Crotty's husband has got a ticket of 
leave ? " t She said Lady Aurora made 
her feel like a French milliner, and that 
if there was anything in the world she 
loathed it was a French milliner. Each 
of these persons was powerfully affected 
by the other's idiosyncrasies, and each 
wanted the other to remain as she was, 
while she herself should be transformed 
into the image of her friend. 

One evening, going to Madeira Cres- 
cent a little later than usual, Hyacinth 
met Lady Aurora on the doorstep, leav- 
ing the house. She had a different air 
from any he had seen in her before ; ap- 
peared flushed and even a little agitated, 
as if she had been learning a piece of 
bad news. She said, " Oh, how do you 
do ? " with her customary quick, vague 
laugh; but she went her way, without 
stopping to talk. 

Hyacinth, on going in, mentioned to 



The Princess Oasamassima. 



[July, 



the Princess that he had encountered 
her, and this lady replied, " It 's a pity 
you did n't come a little sooner. You 
would have assisted at a scene." 

" At a scene ? " Hyacinth repeated, 
not understanding what violence could 
have taken place between mutual ador- 
ers. 

" She made me a scene of tears, of 
most earnest remonstrance perfectly 
well meant, I need n't tell you. She 
thinks I am going too far:" 

" I imagine you tell her things that 
you don't tell me," said Hyacinth. 

"Oh, you, my dear fellow!" the 
Princess murmured. She spoke absent- 
mindedly, as if she were thinking of 
what had passed with Lady Aurora, and 
as if the futility of telling things to 
Hyacinth had become a commonplace. 

There was no annoyance for him in 
this, his pretension to keep pace with 
her " views " being quite extinct. The 
tone they now, for the most part, took 
with each other was one of mutual de- 
rision, of shrugging commiseration for 
insanity on the one hand and benighted- 
ness on the other. In discussing with 
her, he exaggerated deliberately, went 
to fantastic lengths in the way of reac- 
tion ; and it was their habit and their 
entertainment to hurl all manner of de- 
nunciation at each other's head. They 
had given up serious discussion alto- 
gether, and when they were not engaged 
in bandying, in the spirit of burlesque, 
the amenities I have mentioned, they 
talked of matters as to which it could 
not occur to them to differ. There were 
evenings when the Princess did nothing 
but relate her life and all that she had 
seen of humanity, from her earliest 
years, in a variety of countries. If the 
evil side of it appeared mainly to have 
been presented to her view, this did not 
diminish the interest and vividness of 
her reminiscences, nor her power, the 
greatest Hyacinth had ever encountered, 
of sketchy, fresh evocation and portrait- 
ure. She was irreverent and invidious, 



but she made him hang on her lips ; and 
when she regaled him with anecdotes 
of foreign courts (he delighted to know 
how sovereigns lived and conversed), 
there was often, for hours together, 
nothing to indicate that she would have 
liked to get into a conspiracy, and that 
he would have liked to get out of one. 
Nevertheless, his mind was by no means 
exempt from wonder as to what she was 
really doing in the dark, and in what 
queer consequences she might find her- 
self landed. When he questioned her 
she wished to know by what title, with 
his sentiments, he pretended to inquire. 
He did so but little, not being himself 
altogether convinced of the validity of 
his warrant ; but on one occasion, when 
she challenged him, he replied, smiling 
and hesitating, " Well, I must say, it 
seems to me that, from what I have 
told you, it ought to strike you that I 
have a title." 

" You mean your engagement, your 
promise ? Oh, that will never come to 
anything." 

" Why won't it come to anything ? " 

" It 's too absurd, it 's too vague. 
It 's like some silly humbug in a novel." 

" Vous me rendez la vie," said Hya- 
cinth theatrically. 

" You won't have to do it," the Prin- 
cess went on. 

"I think you mean I won't do it. 
I have offered, at least; is n't that a 
title?" 

"Well, then, you won't do it," said 
the Princess ; and they looked at each 
other a couple of minutes in silence. 

" You will, I think, at the pace you 
are going," the young man resumed. 

" What do you know about the pace ? 
You are not worthy to know," the Prin- 
cess rejoined. 

He did know, however; that is, he 
knew that she was in communication with 
foreign socialists, and had, or believed 
that she had, irons on the fire, that 
she held in her hand some of the strings 
that are pulled in great movements. 



1886.] 

She received letters that made Madame 
Grandoni watch her askance, of which, 
though she knew nothing of their con- 
tents, and had only her general sus- 
picions and her scent for disaster, now 
become constant, the old woman had 
spoken more than once to Hyacinth. 
Madame Grandoni had begun to have 
sombre visions of the interference of 
the police : she was haunted with the 
idea of a search for compromising pa- 
pers ; of being dragged, herself, as an ac- 
complice in direful plots, into a court of 
justice, and possibly into a prison. " If 
she would only burn if she would 
only burn! But she keeps I know 
she keeps ! " she groaned to Hyacinth, 
in her helpless gloom. Hyacinth could 
only guess what it might be that she 
kept ; asking himself whether she were 
seriously entangled, were being exploited 
by revolutionary Bohemians, predatory 
adventurers who counted on her getting 
frightened at a given moment, and offer- 
ing hush-money to be allowed to slip 
out (out of a complicity which they, of 
course, would never have taken serious- 
ly) ; or were merely coquetting with pa- 
per schemes, giving herself cheap sen- 
sations, discussing preliminaries which, 
for her, could have no second stage. 
It would have been easy for Hyacinth to 
smile at the Princess's impression that 
she was in it, and to conclude that even 
the cleverest women do not know when 
they are superficial, had not the vibra- 
tion remained which had been imparted 
to his nerves two years before, of which 
he had spoken to his hostess at Medley 
the sense, vividly kindled and never 
quenched, that the forces secretly arrayed 
against the present social order were 
pervasive and universal, in the air one 
breathed, in the ground one trod, in the 
hand of an acquaintance that one might 
touch, or the eye of a stranger that might 
rest a moment upon one's own. They 
were above, below, within, without, in 
every contact and combination of life ; 
and it was no disproof of them to say 



The Princess Casamassima. 



75 



it was too odd that they should lurk in 
a particular improbable form. To lurk 
in improbable forms was precisely their 
strength, and they would doubtless ex- 
hibit much stranger incidents than this 
of the Princess's being a genuine par- 
ticipant even when she flattered herself 
that she was. 

" You do go too far," Hyacinth said 
to her, the evening Lady Aurora had 
passed him at the door. 

To which she answered, " Of course 
I do that 's exactly what I mean. 
How else does one know one has gone 
far enough ? That poor, dear woman ! 
She 's an angel, but she is n't in the least 
in it," she added, in a moment. She 
would give him no further satisfaction 
on the subject; when he pressed her 
she inquired whether he had brought 
the copy of Browning that he had prom- 
ised the last time. If he had, he was to 
sit down and read it to her. In such 
a case as this Hyacinth had no disposi- 
tion to insist ; he was glad enough not 
to talk about the everlasting nightmare. 
He took Men and Women from his 
pocket, and read aloud for half an hour ; 
but on his making some remark on one 
of the poems, at the end of this time, 
he perceived the Princess had been pay- 
ing no attention. When he charged 
her with this levity, she only replied, 
looking at him musingly, " How can 
one, after all, go too far ? That 's a 
word of cowards." 

" Do you mean her ladyship is a cow- 
ard?" 

" Yes, in not having the courage of 
her opinions, of her conclusions. The 
way the English can go half-way to a 
thing, and then stick in the middle ! " 
the Princess exclaimed, impatiently. 

" That 's not your fault, certainly ! " 
said Hyacinth. " But it seems to me 
that Lady Aurora, for herself, goes 
pretty far." 

" We are all afraid of some things, 
and brave about others," the Princess 
went on. 



76 



At the Grave of a Suicide. 



[July, 



" The thing Lady Aurora is most 
afraid of is the Princess Casamassima," 
Hyacinth remarked. 

His companion looked at him, but 
she did not take this up. " There is 
one particular in which she would be 
very brave. She would marry her 
friend your friend Mr. Muniment." 

" Marry him, do you think ? " 

"What else, pray?" the Princess 
asked. " She adores the ground he 
walks on." 

" And what would Belgrave Square, 
and Inglefield, and all the rest of it, 
say ? " 

" What do they say already, and how 
much does it make her swerve? She 
would do it in a moment ; and it would 
be fine to see it, it would be magnifi- 
cent," said the Princess, kindling, as she 
was apt to kindle, at the idea of any 
great freedom of action. 

" That certainly would n't be a case 
of what you call sticking in the middle," 
Hyacinth rejoined. 

"Ah, it wouldn't be a matter of 
logic ; it would be a matter of passion. 
When it 's a question of that, the Eng- 
lish, to do them justice, don't stick." 

This speculation of the Princess's was 
by no means new to Hyacinth, and he 
had not thought it heroic, after all, that 
their high-strung friend should feel her- 



self capable of sacrificing her family, 
her name, and the few habits of gentil- 
ity that survived in her life, of making 
herself a scandal, a fable, and a nine 
days' wonder, for Muniment's sake ; the 
young chemist's assistant being, to his 
mind, as we know, exactly the type of 
man who produced convulsions, made 
ruptures and renunciations easy. But 
it was less clear to him what ideas 
Muniment might have on the subject 
of a union with a young woman who 
should have come out of her class for 
him. He would marry some day, evi- 
dently, because he would do all the nat- 
ural, human, productive things ; but for 
the present he had business on hand 
which would be likely to pass first. Be- 
sides Hyacinth had seen him give 
evidence of this he did n't think peo- 
ple could really come out of their class ; 
he held that the stamp of one's origin 
is ineffaceable, and that the best thing 
one could do was to wear it and fight 
for it. Hyacinth could easily imagine 
how it would put him out to be mixed 
up, closely, with a person who, like 
Lady Aurora, was fighting on the wrong 
side. " She can't marry him unless he 
asks her, I suppose and perhaps he 
won't," he reflected. 

"Yes, perhaps he won't," said the 
Princess, thoughtfully. 

Henry James. 



AT THE GRAVE OF A SUICIDE. 

You sat in judgment on him, you, whose feet 
Were set in pleasant places ; you, who found 

The Bitter Cup he dared to break still sweet, 
And shut him from your consecrated ground. 

Come, if you think the dead man sleeps a whit 
Less soundly in his grave, come, look, I pray: 

A violet has consecrated it. 

Henceforth you need not fear to walk this way. 

S. M. B. Piatt. 



1886.] Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. 77 



FAILURE OF AMERICAN CREDIT AFTER THE REVOLUTIONARY 

WAR. 



AT the close of the eighteenth cen- 
tury the barbarous superstitions of the 
Middle Ages concerning trade between 
nations still flourished with scarcely di- 
minished vitality. The epoch-making 
work of Adam Smith had been pub- 
lished in the same year in which the 
United States declared their indepen- 
dence. The one was the great scien- 
tific event, as the other was the great 
political event, of the age ; but of nei- 
ther the one nor the other were the 
scope and purport fathomed at the time. 
Among the foremost statesmen, those 
who, like Shelburne and Gallatin, un- 
derstood the principles of the Wealth 
of Nations were few indeed. The 
simple principle that when two parties 
trade both must be gainers, or one would 
soon stop trading, was generally lost 
sight of; and most commercial legisla- 
tion proceeded upon the theory that in 
trade, as in gambling or betting, what 
the one party gains the other must lose. 
Hence towns, districts, and nations sur- 
rounded themselves with walls of legis- 
lative restrictions intended to keep out 
the monster trade, or to admit him only 
on strictest proof that he could do no 
harm. On this barbarous theory, the 
use of a colony consisted in its being 
a customer which you could compel to 
trade with yourself, while you could pre- 
vent it from trading with anybody else ; 
and having secured this point, you could 
cunningly arrange things by legislation 
so as to throw all the loss upon this en- 
forced customer, and keep all the gain 
to yourself. In the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries all the commercial 
legislation of the great colonizing states 
was based upon this theory of the use of 
a colony. For effectiveness, it shared to 
some extent the characteristic features 
of legislation for making water run up- 



hill. It retarded commercial develop- 
ment all over the world, fostered monop- 
olies, made the rich richer and the poor 
poorer, hindered the interchange of ideas 
and the refinement of manners, and sac- 
rificed millions of human lives in misdi- 
rected warfare ; but what it was intend- 
ed to do it did not do. The sturdy race 
of smugglers those despised pioneers 
of a higher civilization thrived in de- 
fiance of kings and parliaments ; and 
as it was impossible to carry out such 
legislation thoroughly without stopping 
trade altogether, colonies and mother 
countries contrived to increase their 
wealth in spite of it. The colonies, 
however, understood the animus of the 
theory in so far as it was directed against 
them, and the revolutionary sentiment 
in America had gained much of its 
strength from the protest against this 
one-sided justice. In one of its most 
important aspects, the Revolution was a 
deadly blow aimed at the old system of 
trade restrictions. It was to a certain 
extent a step in realization of the noble 
doctrines of Adam Smith. But where 
the scientific thinker grasped the whole 
principle involved in the matter, the 
practical statesmen saw only the special 
application which seemed to concern 
them for the moment. They all under- 
stood that the Revolution had set them 
free to trade with other countries than 
England, but very few of them under- 
stood that, whatever countries trade to- 
gether, the one cannot hope to benefit by 
impoverishing the other. 

This point is much better understood 
in England to-day than in the United 
States ; but a century ago there was 
little to choose between the two coun- 
tries in ignorance of political economy. 
England had gained great wealth and 
power through trade with her rapidly 



78 Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. [July, 



growing American colonies. One of 
her chief fears, in the event of Amer- 
ican independence, had been the possi- 
ble loss of that trade. English mer- 
chants feared that American commerce, 
when no longer confined to its old paths 
by legislation, would somehow find its 
way to France and Holland and Spain 
and other countries, until nothing would 
be left for England. The Revolution 
worked no such change, however. The 
principal trade of the United States was 
with England, as before, because Eng- 
land could best supply the goods that 
Americans wanted ; and it is such con- 
siderations, and not acts of Parliament, 
that determine trade in its natural and 
proper channels. In 1783 Pitt intro- 
duced into Parliament a bill which 
would have secured mutual uncondition- 
al free trade between the two countries ; 
and this was what such men as Frank- 
lin, Jefferson, and Madison desired. 
Could this bill have passed, the hard 
feelings occasioned by the war would 
soon have died out, the commercial 
progress of both countries would have 
been promoted, and the stupid measures 
which led to a second war within thirty 
years might have been prevented. But 
the wisdom of Pitt found less favor in 
Parliament than the dense stupidity of 
Lord Sheffield, who thought that to ad- 
mit Americans to the carrying trade 
would undermine the naval power of 
Great Britain. Pitt's measure was de- 
feated, and the regulation of commerce 
with America was left to the king in 
council. Orders were passed as if upon 
the theory that America poor would be 
a better customer than America rich. 
The carrying trade to the West Indies 
had been one of the most important 
branches of American industry. The 
men of New England were famous for 
seamanship, and better and cheaper 
ships could be built in the seaports of 
Massachusetts than anywhere in Great 
Britain. An oak vessel could be built 
at Gloucester or Salem for twenty-four 



dollars per ton ; a ship of live-oak or 
American cedar cost not more than thir- 
ty-eight dollars per ton. On the other 
hand, fir vessels built on the Baltic cost 
thirty-five dollars per ton, and nowhere 
in England, France, or Holland could a 
ship be made of oak for less than fifty 
dollars per ton. Often the cost was as 
high as sixty dollars. It was not strange, 
therefore, that before the war more than 
one third of the tonnage afloat under 
the British flag was launched from 
American dock-yards. The war had 
violently deprived England of this enor- 
mous advantage, and now she sought to 
make the privation perpetual, in the de- 
lusive hope of confining British trade to 
British keels, and in the belie'f that it 
was the height of wisdom to impoverish 
the nation which she regarded as her 
best customer. In July, 1783, an order 
in council proclaimed that henceforth 
all trade between the United States and 
the British West Indies must be carried 
on in British-built ships^ owned and nav- 
igated by British subjects. A serious 
blow was thus dealt not only at Ameri- 
can shipping, but also at the interchange 
of commodities between the States and 
the islands, which was greatly hampered 
by this restriction. During the whole 
of the eighteenth century the West In- 
dia sugar trade with the North Amer- 
ican colonies and with Great Britain 
had been of immense value to all par- 
ties, and all had been seriously damaged 
by the curtailment of it due to the war. 
Now that the artificial state of things 
created by the war was to be perpet- 
uated by legislation, the prospect of re- 
pairing.the loss seemed indefinitely post- 
poned. Moreover, even in trading di- 
rectly with Great Britain, American 
ships were only allowed to bring in arti- 
cles produced in the particular States of 
which their owners were citizens, an 
enactment which seemed to add insult 
to in jury, inasmuch as it directed especial 
attention to the want of union among 
the thirteen States. Great indignation 



1886.] Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. 79 



was aroused in America, and reprisals 
were talked of, but efforts were first 
made to obtain a commercial treaty. 
In 1785 Franklin returned from France, 
and Jefferson was sent as minister in his 
stead, while John Adams became the 
first representative of the United States 
at the British court. Adams was very 
courteously received by George III., 
and presently set to work to convince 
Lord Carmarthen, the foreign secretary, 
of the desirableness of unrestricted in- 
tercourse between the two countries. 
But popular opinion in England was ob- 
stinately set against him. But for the 
Navigation Act and the orders in coun- 
cil, it was said, all ships would by and 
by come to be built in America, and 
every time a frigate was wanted for the 
navy the Lords of Admiralty would have 
to send over to Boston or Philadelphia 
and order one. Rather than do such a 
thing as this, it was thought that the 
British navy should content itself with 
vessels of inferior workmanship and 
higher cost, built in British dock-yards. 
Thirty years after, England gathered an 
unexpected fruit of this narrow policy, 
when, to her intense bewilderment, she 
saw frigate after frigate outsailed and 
defeated in single combat with Amer- 
ican antagonists. Owing to her exclu- 
sive measures, the rapid improvement 
in American ship-building had gone on 
quite beyond her ken, until she was thus 
rudely awakened to it. With similar 
short-sighted jealousy, it was argued 
that the American share in the whale- 
fishery and in the Newfoundland fishery 
should be curtailed as much as possible. 
Spermaceti oil was much needed in Eng- 
land: complaints were rife of robbery 
and murder in the dimly lighted streets 
of London and other great cities. But 
it was thought that if American ships 
could carry oil to England and salt fish 
to Jamaica, the supply of seamen for 
the British navy would be diminished ; 
and accordingly such privileges must 
not be granted the Americans unless 



valuable privileges could be granted in 
return. But the government of the 
United States could grant no privileges 
because it could impose no restrictions. 
British manufactured goods were need- 
ed in America, and Congress, which 
could levy no duties, had no power to 
keep them out. British merchants and 
manufacturers, it was argued, already 
enjoyed all needful privileges in Amer- 
ican ports, and accordingly they asked 
no favors and granted none. 

Such were the arguments to which 
Adams was obliged to listen. The pop- 
ular feeling was so strong that Pitt 
could not have stemmed it if he would. 
It was in vain that Adams threatened 
reprisals, and urged that the British 
measures would defeat their own pur- 
pose. " The end of the Navigation 
Act," said he, " as expressed in its own 
preamble, is to confine the commerce of 
the colonies to the mother country ; but 
now we are become independent States, 
instead of confining our trade to Great 
Britain, it will drive it to other coun- 
tries : " and he suggested that the Amer- 
icans might make a navigation act in 
their turn, admitting to American ports 
none but American-built ships, owned 
and commanded by Americans. But 
under the articles of confederation such 
a threat was idle, and the British gov- 
ernment knew it to be so. Thirteen 
separate state governments could never 
be made to adopt any such measure in 
concert. The weakness of Congress 
had been fatally revealed in its inability 
to protect the loyalists or to enforce the 
payment of debts, and in its failure to 
raise a revenue for meeting its current 
expenses. A government thus slighted 
at home was naturally despised abroad. 
England neglected to send a minister to 
Philadelphia, and while Adams was 
treated politely, his arguments were un- 
heeded. Whether in this behavior Pitt's 
government was influenced or not by 
political as well as economical reasons, 
it was certain that a political purpose 



80 Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. [July, 



was entertained by the king and ap- 
proved by many people. There was an 
intention of humiliating the Americans, 
and it was commonly said that under a 
sufficient weight of commercial distress 
the States would break up their feeble 
union, and come straggling back, one 
after another, to their old allegiance. 
The fiery spirit of Adams could ill brook 
this contemptuous treatment of the na- 
tion which he represented. Though 
he favored very liberal commercial re- 
lations with the whole world, he could 
see no escape from the present difficul- 
ties save in systematic retaliation. " I 
should be sorry," he said, " to adopt a 
monopoly, but, driven to the necessity 
of it, I would not do things by halves. 
... If monopolies and exclusions are 
the only arms of defense against mo- 
nopolies and exclusions, I would ven- 
ture upon them without fear of offend- 
ing Dean Tucker or the ghost of Dr. 
Quesnay." That is to say, certain 
commercial privileges must be with- 
held from Great Britain, in order to be 
offered to her in return for reciprocal 
privileges. It was a miserable policy 
to be forced to adopt, for such restric- 
tions upon trade inevitably cut both 
ways. Like the non-importation agree- 
ment of 1768 and the embargo of 1808, 
such a policy was open to the objections 
familiarly urged against biting off one's 
own nose. It was injuring one's self in 
the hope of injuring somebody else. It 
was perpetuating in time of peace the 
obstacles to commerce generated by a 
state of war. In a certain sense, it was 
keeping up warfare by commercial in- 
stead of military methods, and there 
was danger that it might lead to a re- 
newal of armed conflict. Nevertheless, 
the conduct of the British government 
seemed to Adams to leave no other 
course open. But such " means of pre- 
serving ourselves," he said, " can never 
be secured until Congress shall be made 
supreme in foreign commerce." 

It was obvious enough that the sep- 



arate action of the States upon such a 
question was only adding to the gener- 
al uncertainty and confusion. In 1785 
New York laid a double duty on all 
goods whatever imported in British 
ships. In the same year Pennsylvania 
passed the first of the long series of 

A O 

American tariff acts, designed to tax the 
whole community for the alleged benefit 
of a few greedy manufacturers. Massa- 
chusetts sought to establish committees 
of correspondence for the purpose of 
entering into a new non - importation 
agreement, and its legislature resolved 
that " the present powers of the Con- 
gress of the United States, as contained 
in the articles of confederation, are not 
fully adequate to the great purposes 
they were originally designed to effect." 
The Massachusetts delegates in Congress 
Gerry, Holten, and King were in- 
structed to recommend a general conven- 
tion of the States for the purpose of re- 
vising and amending the articles of con- 
federation ; but the delegates refused to 
comply with their instructions, and set 
forth their reasons in a paper which was 
approved by Samuel Adams, and caused 
the legislature to reconsider its action. 
It was feared that a call for a conven- 
tion might seem too much like an open 
expression of a want of confidence in 
Congress, and might thereby weaken it 
still further without accomplishing any 
good result. For the present, as a tem- 
porary expedient, Massachusetts took 
counsel with New Hampshire, and the 
two States passed navigation acts, pro- 
hibiting British ships from carrying 
goods out of their harbors, and imposing 
a fourfold duty upon all such goods as 
they should bring in. A discriminating 
tonnage duty was also laid upon all 
foreign vessels. Rhode Island soon 
after adopted similar measures. In Con- 
gress a scheme for a uniform naviga- 
tion act, to be concurred in and passed 
by all the thirteen States, was suggested 
by one of the Maryland delegates ; but 
it was opposed by Richard Henry Lee 



1886.] Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. 81 



and most of the delegates from the far 
South. The Southern States, having no 
ships or seamen of their own, feared 
that the exclusion of British competi- 
tion might enable Northern ship-owners 
to charge exorbitant rates for carrying 
their rice and tobacco, thus subjecting 
them to a ruinous monopoly ; but the 
gallant Moultrie, then governor of South 
Carolina, taking a broader view of the 
case, wrote to Bowdoin, governor of 
Massachusetts, asserting the paramount 
need of harmonious and united action. 
In the Virginia assembly, a hot-headed 
member, named Thurston, declared him- 
self in doubt " whether it would not be 
better to encourage the British rather 
than the eastern marine ; " but the re- 
mark was greeted with hisses and groans, 
and the speaker was speedily put down. 
Amid such mutual jealousies and mis- 
givings, during the year 1785 acts were 
passed by ten States granting to Con- 
gress the power of regulating commerce 
for the ensuing thirteen years. The 
three States which refrained from act- 
ing were Georgia, South Carolina, and 
Delaware. The acts of the other ten 
were, as might have been expected, a 
jumble of incongruities. North Caro- 
lina granted all the power that was 
asked, but stipulated that when all the 
States should have done likewise their 
acts should be summed up in a new 
article of confederation. Connecticut, 
Pennsylvania, and Maryland had fixed 
the date at which the grant was to take 
effect, while Rhode Island provided that 
it should not expire until after the lapse 
of twenty-five years. The grant by 
New Hampshire allowed the power to 
be used only in one specified way, by 
restricting the duties imposable by the 
several States. The grants of Massa- 
chusetts, New York, New Jersey, and 
Virginia were not to take effect until all 
the others should go into operation. The 
only thing which Congress could do 
with these acts was to refer them back 
to the several legislatures, with a polite 
VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 6 



request to try to reduce them to some- 
thing like uniformity. 

Meanwhile, the different States, with 
their different tariff and tonnage acts, 
began to make commercial war upon 
one another. No sooner had the other 
three New England States virtually 
closed their ports to British shipping 
than Connecticut threw hers wide open, 
an act which she followed up by laying 
duties upon imports from Massachusetts. 
Pennsylvania discriminated against Del- 
aware, and New Jersey, pillaged at once 
by both her greater neighbors, was com- 
pared to a cask tapped at both ends. 
The conduct of New York became es- 
pecially selfish and blameworthy. That 
rapid growth which was so soon to carry 
the city and the State to a position of 
primacy in the Union had already be- 
gun. After the departure of the Brit- 
ish the revival of business went on with 
leaps and bounds. The feeling of local 
patriotism waxed strong, and in no one 
was it more completely manifested than 
in George Clinton, the Revolutionary 
general, whom the people elected gov- 
ernor for nine successive terms. From 
a humble origin, by dint of shrewdness 
and untiring push, Clinton had come to 
be for the moment the most powerful 
man in the State of New York. He had 
immense influence with the mass of the 
people, and he has left behind him a 
reputation far beyond his real merit. 
So far as New York was concerned, he 
was a public - spirited man. He had 
come to look upon the State almost as if 
it were his own private manor, and his 
life was devoted to furthering its inter- 
ests as he understood them. It was his 
first article of faith that New York must 
be the greatest State in the Union. But 
his conceptions of statesmanship were 
extremely narrow. In his mind, the 
welfare of New York meant the pulling 
down and thrusting aside of all her 
neighbors and rivals. He was the vig- 
orous and steadfast advocate of every 
illiberal and exclusive measure, and the 



82 Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. [July, 



most uncompromising enemy to a closer 
union of the States. His great popular 
strength and the commercial importance 
of the community in which he held sway 
made him at this time the most danger- 
ous man in America. The political 
victories presently to be won by Ham- 
ilton, Schuyler, and Livingston, with- 
out which our grand and pacific federal 
union could not have been brought into 
being, were victories won by most des- 
perate fighting against the dogged oppo- 
sition of Clinton. Under his guidance, 
the history of New York, during the 
five years following the peace of 1783, 
was a shameful story of greedy monop- 
oly and sectional hate. Of all the 
thirteen States, none behaved worse ex- 
cept Rhode Island. A single instance, 
which occurred early in 1787, may serve 
as an illustration. The city of New 
York, with its population of 30,000 
souls, had long been supplied with fire- 
wood from Connecticut, and with butter 
and cheese, chickens and garden vege- 
tables, from the thrifty farms of New 
Jersey. This trade, it was observed, 
carried thousands of dollars out of the 
city and into the pockets of detested 
Yankees and despised Jerseymen. It 
was ruinous to domestic industry, said 
the men of New York. It must be 
stopped by those effective remedies of 
the Sangrado school of economic doc- 
tors, a navigation act and a protective 
tariff. Acts were accordingly passed, 
obliging every Yankee sloop which came 
down through Hell Gate, and every Jer- 
sey market boat which was rowed across 
from Paulus Hook to Cortlandt Street, 
to pay entrance fees and obtain clear- 
ances at the custom-house, just as was 
done by ships from London or Ham- 
burg ; and not a cart-load of Connecti- 
cut firewood could be delivered at the 
back-door of a country-house in Beek- 
man Street until it should have paid a 
heavy duty. Great and just was the 
wrath of the farmers and lumbermen. 
The New Jersey legislature made up its 



mind to retaliate. The city of New 
York had lately bought a small patch of 
ground on Sandy Hook, and had built 
a light-house there. This light-house 
was the one weak spot in the heel of 
Achilleus where a hostile arrow could 
strike, and New Jersey gave vent to 
her indignation by laying a tax of 
$1800 a year on it. Connecticut was 
equally prompt. At a great meeting of 
business men, held at New London, it 
was unanimously agreed to suspend all 
commercial intercourse with New York. 
Every merchant signed an agreement, 
under penalty of $250 for the first of- 
fense, not to send any goods whatever 
into the hated State for a period of 
twelve months. By such retaliatory 
measures, it was hoped that New York 
might be compelled to rescind her odi- 
ous enactment. But such meetings and 
such resolves bore an ominous likeness 
to the meetings and resolves which in 
the years before 1775 had heralded a 
state of war ; and but for the good 
work done by the federal convention 
another five years would scarcely have 
elapsed before shots would have been 
fired and seeds of perennial hatred sown 
on the shores that look toward Manhat- 
tan Island. 

To these commercial disputes there 
were added disputes about territory. 
The chronic quarrel between Connecti- 
cut and Pennsylvania over the valley 
of Wyoming was decided in the autumn 
of 1782 by a special federal court, ap- 
pointed in accordance with the articles 
of confederation. The prize was ad- 
judged to Pennsylvania, and the gov- 
ernment of Connecticut submitted as 
gracefully as possible. But new troubles 
were in store for the inhabitants of that 
beautiful region. The traces of the 
massacre of 1778 had disappeared, the 
houses had been rebuilt, new settlers 
had come in, and the pretty villages had 
taken on their old look of contentment 
and thrift, when in the spring of 1784 
there came an accumulation of disasters. 



1886.] Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. 83 



During a very cold winter great quanti- 
ties of snow had fallen, and lay piled in 
huge masses on the mountain sides, until 
in March a sudden thaw set in. The 
Susquehanna rose, and overflowed the 
valley, and great blocks of ice drifted 
here and there, carrying death and de- 
struction with them. Houses, barns, 
and fences were swept away, the cattle 
were drowned, the fruit trees broken 
down, the stores of food destroyed, and 
over the whole valley there lay a stratum 
of gravel and pebbles. The people were 
starving with cold and hunger, and Pres- 
ident Dickinson urged the legislature 
to send prompt relief to the sufferers. 
But the hearts of the members were as 
flint, and their talk was incredibly wicked. 
Not a penny would they give to help 
the accursed Yankees. It served them 
right. If they had stayed in Connecticut, 
where they belonged, they would have 
kept out of harm's way. And with a 
blasphemy thinly veiled in phrases of 
pious unction, the desolation of the val- 
ley was said to have been contrived by 
the Deity with the express object of 
punishing these trespassers. But the 
cruelty of the Pennsylvania legislature 
was not confined to words. A scheme 
was devised for driving out the settlers 
and partitioning their lands among a 
company of speculators. A force of 
militia was sent to Wyoming, command- 
ed by a truculent creature named Pat- 
terson. The ostensible purpose was to 
assist in restoring order in the valley, 
but the behavior of the soldiers was 
such as would have disgraced a horde 
of barbarians. They stole what they 
could find, dealt out blows to the men 
and insults to the women, until their 
violence was met with violence in re- 
turn. Then Patterson sent a letter to 
President Dickinson, accusing the farm- 
ers of sedition, and hinting that extreme 
measures were necessary. Having thus, 
as he thought, prepared the way, he at- 
tacked the settlement, turned some five 
hundred people out-of-doors, and burned 



their houses to the ground. The wretch- 
ed victims, many of them tender women, 
or infirm old men, or little children, 
were driven into the wilderness at the 
point of the bayonet, and told to find 
their way to Connecticut without fur- 
ther delay. Heart-rending scenes en- 
sued. Many died of exhaustion, or 
furnished food for wolves. But this 
was more than the Pennsylvania legis- 
lature had intended. Patterson's zeal 
had carried him too far. He was re- 
called, and the sheriff of Northumber- 
land County was sent, with a posse of 
men, to protect the settlers. Patterson 
disobeyed, however, and, withdrawing 
his men to a fortified lair in the moun- 
tains, kept up a guerrilla warfare. All 
the Connecticut men in the neighboring 
country flew to arms. Men were killed 
on both sides, and presently Patterson 
was besieged. A regiment of soldiers 
was then sent from Philadelphia, under 
Colonel Armstrong, who had formerly 
been on Gates's staff, the author of the 
infamous Newburgh addresses. On ar- 
riving in the valley, Armstrong held a 
parley with the Connecticut men, and 
persuaded them to lay down their arms ; 
assuring them on his honor that they 
should meet with no ill treatment, and 
that their enemy, Patterson, should be 
disarmed also. Having thus got them 
into his clutches, the knave forthwith 
treated them as prisoners. Seventy- 
six of them were handcuffed and sent 
under guard, some to Easton and some 
to Northumberland, where they were 
thrown into jail. 

Great was the indignation in New 
England when these deeds were heard 
of. The matter had become very seri- 
ous. A war between Connecticut and 
Pennsylvania might easily grow out of 
it. But the danger was averted through 
a very singular feature in the Pennsyl- 
vania constitution. In order to hold its 
legislature in check, Pennsylvania had 
a council of censors, which was assem- 
bled once in seven years in order to in- 






84 Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. [July, 



quire whether the State had been prop- 
erly governed during the interval. Soon 
after the troubles in Wyoming the regu- 
lar meeting of the censors was held, and 
the conduct of Armstrong and Patter- 
son was unreservedly condemned. A 
hot controversy ensued between the leg- 
islature and the censors, and as the peo- 
ple set great store by the latter peculiar 
institution, public sympathy was gradu- 
ally awakened for the sufferers. The 
wickedness of the affair began to dawn 
upon people's minds, and they were 
ashamed of what had been done. Pat- 
terson and Armstrong were frowned 
down, the legislature disavowed their 
acts, and it was ordered that full repara- 
tion should be made to the persecuted 
settlers of Wyoming. 1 

In the Green Mountains and on the up- 
per waters of the Connecticut there had 
been trouble for many years. In the 
course of the Revolutionary War, the 
fierce dispute between New York and 
New Hampshire for the possession of the 
Green Mountains came in from time 
to time to influence most curiously the 
course of events. It was closely connect- 
ed with the intrigues against General 
Schuyler, and more remotely with the 
Conway cabal and the treason of Arnold. 
About the time of Burgoyne's invasion 
the association of Green Mountain Boys 
endeavored to cut the Gordian knot by 
declaring Vermont an independent State, 
and applying to the Continental Congress 
for admission into the Union. The New 
York delegates in Congress succeeded 
in defeating this scheme, but the Ver- 
mont people went on and framed their 
constitution. Thomas Chittenden, a man 
of rough manners but very considerable 
ability, a farmer and innkeeper, like Is- 
rael Putnam, was chosen governor, and 
held that position for many years. New 
Hampshire thus far had not actively op- 
posed these measures, but fresh grounds 
of quarrel were soon at hand. Several 

i A very interesting account of these troubles 
may be found in the first volume of Professor 



towns on the east bank of the Connec- 
ticut River wished to escape from the 
jurisdiction of New Hampshire. They 
preferred to belong to Vermont, because 
it was not within the Union, and ac- 
cordingly not liable to requisitions of 
taxes from the Continental Congress. 
It was conveniently remembered that 
by the original grant, in the reign of 
Charles II., New Hampshire extended 
only sixty miles from the coast. Ver- 
mont was at first inclined to assent, but 
finding the scheme unpopular in Con- 
gress, and not wishing to offend that 
body, she changed her mind. The 
towns on both banks of the river then 
tried to organize themselves into a mid- 
dle State, a sort of Lotharingia on 
the banks of this New World Rhine, 
to be called New Connecticut. By this 
time New Hampshire was aroused, and 
she called attention to the fact that she 
still believed herself entitled to domin- 
ion over the whole of Vermont. Massa- 
chusetts now began to suspect that the 
upshot of the matter would be the parti- 
tion of the whole disputed territory be- 
tween New Hampshire and New York, 
and, ransacking her ancient grants and 
charters, she decided to set up a claim 
on her own part to the southernmost 
towns in Vermont. Thus goaded on all 
sides, Vermont adopted an aggressive 
policy. She not only annexed the 
towns east of the Connecticut River, but 
also asserted sovereignty over the towns 
in New York as far as the Hudson. 
New York sent troops to the threatened 
frontier, New Hampshire prepared to 
do likewise, and for a moment war 
seemed inevitable. But here, as in so 
many other instances, Washington ap- 
peared as peacemaker, and prevailed 
upon Governor Chittenden to use his 
influence in getting the dangerous claims 
withdrawn. After the spring of 1784 
the outlook was less stormy in the Green 
Mountains. The conflicting claims were 

McMaster's History of the People of the United 
States. 



1886.] Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. 85 



allowed to lie dormant, but the possi- 
bilities of mischief remained, and the 
Vermont question was not finally settled 
until after the adoption of the Federal 
Constitution. Meanwhile, on the de- 
batable frontier between Vermont and 
New York the embers of hatred smoul- 
dered. Barns and houses were set on 
fire, and belated wayfarers were found 
mysteriously murdered in the depths of 
the forest. 

Incidents like these of Wyoming and 
Vermont seem trivial, perhaps, when 
contrasted with the lurid tales of border 
warfare in older times between half-civ- 
ilized peoples of mediaeval Europe, as 
we read them in the pages of Froissart 
and Sir Walter Scott. But their his- 
toric lesson is none the less clear. 
Though they lift the curtain but a little 
way, they show us a glimpse of the un- 
told dangers and horrors from which the 
adoption of our Federal Constitution 
has so thoroughly freed us that we can 
only with some effort realize how nar- 
rowly we have escaped them. It is fit 
that they should be borne in mind, that 
we may duly appreciate the significance 
of the reign of law and order which 
has been established on this continent 
during the greater part of a century. 
When reported in Europe, such inci- 
dents were held to confirm the opinion 
that the American confederacy was go- 
ing to pieces. With quarrels about 
trade and quarrels about boundaries, we 
seemed to be treading the old-fashioned 
paths of anarchy, even as they had been 
trodden in other ages and other parts of 
the world. It was natural that people 
in Europe should think so, because there 
was no historic precedent to help them 
in forming a different opinion. No one 
could possibly foresee that within five 
years a number of gentlemen at Phila- 
delphia, containing among themselves a 
greater amount of political sagacity than 
had ever before been brought together 
within the walls of a single room, would 
amicably discuss the situation and agree 



upon a new system of government where- 
by the dangers might be once for all 
averted. Still less could any one fore- 
see that these gentlemen would not only 
agree upon a scheme among themselves, 
but would actually succeed, without seri- 
ous civil dissension, in making the peo- 
ple of thirteen States adopt, defend, and 
cherish it. History afforded no exam- 
ple of such a gigantic act of construc- 
tive statesmanship. It was, moreover, a 
strange and apparently fortuitous com- 
bination of circumstances that were now 
preparing the way for it and making its 
accomplishment possible. No one could 
forecast the future. When our minis- 
ters and agents in Europe raised the 
question as to making commercial trea- 
ties, they were disdainfully asked wheth- 
er European powers were expected to 
deal with thirteen governments or with 
one. If it was answered that the United 
States constituted a single government 
so far as their relations with foreign 
powers were concerned, then we were 
forthwith twitted with our failure to keep 
our engagements with England with re- 
gard to the loyalists and the collec- 
tion of private debts. Yes, we see, said 
the European diplomats ; the United 
States are one nation to-day and thirteen 
to-morrow, according as may seem to 
subserve their selfish interests. Jeffer- 
son, at Paris, was told again and again 
that it was useless for the French gov- 
ernment to enter into any agreement 
with the United States, as there was no 
certainty that it would be fulfilled on 
our part ; and the same things were said 
all over Europe. Toward the close of 
the war most of the European nations 
had seemed ready to enter into com- 
mercial arrangements with the United 
States, but all save Holland speedily lost 
interest in the subject. John Adams 
had succeeded in making a treaty with 
Holland in 1782. Frederick the Great 
treated us more civilly than other sov- 
ereigns. One of the last acts of his 
life was to conclude a treaty for ten 



86 Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. [July, 



years with the United States ; asserting 
the principle that free ships make free 
goods, taking arms and military stores 
out of the class of contraband, agreeing 
to refrain from privateering even in case 
of war between the two countries, and 
in other respects showing a liberal and 
enlightened spirit. This treaty was 
concluded in 1786. It scarcely touched 
the subject of international trade in time 
of peace, but it was valuable as regard- 
ed the matters it covered, and in the 
midst of the general failure of Ameri- 
can diplomacy in Europe it fell pleas- 
antly upon our ears. Our diplomacy 
had failed because our weakness had 
been proclaimed to the world. We 
were bullied by England, insulted by 
France and Spain, and looked askance 
at in Holland. The humiliating posi- 
tion in which our ministers were placed 
by the beggarly poverty of Congress 
was something almost beyond credence. 
It was by no means unusual for the su- 
perintendent of finance, when hard 
pushed for money, to draw upon our 
foreign ministers, and then sell the drafts 
for cash. This was not only not un- 
usual ; it was an established custom. It 
was done again and again, when there 
was not the smallest ground for sup- 
posing that the minister upon whom the 
draft was made would have any funds 
wherewith to meet it. He must go and 
beg the money. That was part of his 
duty as envoy, to solicit loans without 
security for a government that could not 
raise enough money by taxation to de- 
fray its current expenses. It was sick- 
ening work. Just before John Adams 
had been appointed minister to England, 
and while he was visiting in London, he 
suddenly learned that drafts upon him 
had been presented to his bankers in 
Amsterdam to the amount of more than 
a million florins. Less than half a mil- 
lion florins were on hand to meet these 
demands, and unless something were 
done at once the greater part of this pa- 
per would go back to America protested. 



Adams lost not a moment in starting for 
Holland. In these modern days of pre- 
cision in travel, when we can translate 
space into time, the distance between 
London and Amsterdam is eleven hours. 
It was accomplished by Adams, after 
innumerable delays and vexations and 
no little danger, in fifty-four days. The 
bankers had contrived, by ingenious ex- 
cuses, to keep the drafts from going to 
protest until the minister's arrival, but 
the gazettes were full of the troubles 
of Congress and the bickerings of the 
States, and everybody was suspicious. 
Adams applied in vain to the regency of 
Amsterdam. The promise of the Amer- 
ican government was not regarded as 
valid security for a sum equivalent to 
about three hundred thousand dollars. 
The members of the regency were polite, 
but inexorable. They could not make 
a loan on such terms ; it was unbusiness- 
like and contrary to precedent. Find- 
ing them immovable, Adams was forced 
to apply to professional usurers and Jew 
brokers, from whom, after three weeks 
of perplexity and humiliation, he ob- 
tained a loan at exorbitant interest, and 
succeeded in meeting the drafts. It was 
only too plain, as he mournfully con- 
fessed, that American credit was dead. 
Such were the trials of our American 
minister in Europe in the dark days of 
the League of Friendship. It was not 
a solitary, but a typical, instance. John 
Jay's experience at the unfriendly court 
of Spain was perhaps even more trying. 
European governments might treat 
us with cold disdain, and European 
bankers might pronounce our securities 
worthless, but there was one quarter of 
the world from which even worse meas- 
ure was meted out to us. Of all the 
barbarous communities with which the 
civilized world has had to deal in mod- 
ern times, perhaps none have made so 
much trouble as the Mussulman states 
on the southern shore of the Mediterra- 
nean. After the breaking up of the 
great Moorish kingdoms of the Middle 



1886.] Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. 87 



Ages, this region had fallen under the 
nominal control of the Turkish sultans 
as lords paramount of the orthodox Mo- 
hammedan world. Its miserable pop- 
ulations became the prey of banditti. 
Swarms of half-savage chieftains settled 
down upon the land like locusts, and 
out of such a pandemonium of robbery 
and murder as has scarcely been equaled 
in historic times the pirate states of 
Morocco and Algiers, Tunis and Trip- 
oli, gradually emerged. Of these com- 
munities history has not one good word 
to say. In these fair lands, once illus- 
trious for the genius and virtues of a 
Hannibal and the profound philosophy of 
St. Augustine, there grew up the most 
terrible despotisms ever known to the 
world. The things done daily by the 
robber sovereigns were such as to make 
a civilized imagination recoil with hor- 
ror. One of these cheerful creatures, 
who reigned in the middle of the eight- 
eenth century, and was called Muley 
Abdallah, especially prided himself on 
his peculiar skill in mounting a horse. 
Resting his left hand upon the horse's 
neck, as he sprang into the saddle he 
simultaneously swung the sharp scimi- 
ter in his right hand so deftly as to cut 
off the head of the groom who held 
the bridle. From his behavior in these 
sportive moods one may judge what he 
was capable of on serious occasions. He 
was a fair sample of the Barbary mon- 
archs. The foreign policy of these 
wretches was summed up in piracy and 
blackmail. Their corsairs swept the 
Mediterranean and ventured far out 
upon the ocean, capturing merchant ves- 
sels, and murdering or enslaving their 
crews. Of the rich booty, a fixed pro- 
portion was paid over to the robber sov- 
ereign, and the rest was divided among 
the gang. So lucrative was this busi- 
ness that it attracted hardy ruffians from 
all parts of Europe, and the misery they 
inflicted upon mankind during four cen- 
turies was beyond calculation. One of 
their favorite practices was the kidnap- 



ping of eminent or wealthy persons, in 
the hope of extorting ransom. Cer- 
vantes and Vincent de Paul were among 
the celebrated men who thus tasted the 
horrors of Moorish slavery ; but it was 
a calamity that might fall to the lot of 
any man or woman, and it was but rare- 
ly that the victims ever regained their 
freedom. Against these pirates the gov- 
ernments of Europe contended in vain. 
Swift cruisers frequently captured their 
ships, and from the days of Joan of Arc 
down to the days of Napoleon their 
skeletons swung from long rows of gib- 
bets on all the coasts of Europe, as a 
terror and a warning. But their losses 
were easily repaired, and sometimes they 
cruised in fleets of seventy or eighty 
sail, defying the navies of England and 
France. It was not until after Eng- 
land, in Nelson's time, had acquired su- 
premacy in the Mediterranean that this 
dreadful scourge was destroyed. Amer- 
icans, however, have just ground for 
pride in recollecting that their govern- 
ment was foremost in chastising these 
pirates in their own harbors. The ex- 
ploits of our little navy in the Mediter- 
ranean at the beginning of the present 
century form an interesting episode in 
American history, but in the weak days 
of the confederation our commerce was 
plundered with impunity, and American 
citizens were seized and sold into slav- 
ery in the markets of Algiers and Trip- 
oli. One reason for the long survival 
of this villainy was the low state of hu- 
manity among European nations. An 
Englishman's sympathy was but feebly 
aroused by the plunder of Frenchmen, 
and the bigoted Spaniard looked on with 
approval so long as it was Protestants 
that were kidnapped and bastinadoed. 
In 1783 Lord Sheffield published a pam- 
phlet on the commerce of the United 
States, in which he shamelessly declared 
that the Barbary pirates were really 
useful to the great maritime powers, be- 
cause they tended to keep the weaker 
nations out of their share in the carry- 



88 



Failure of American Credit after the Revolutionary War. [July, 



ing trade. This, he thought, was a val- 
uable offset to the Empress Catherine's 
device of the armed neutrality, where- 
by small nations were protected ; and 
on this wicked theory, as Franklin tells 
us, London merchants had been heard 
to say that " if there were no Algiers, 
it would be worth England's while to 
build one." It was largely because of 
such feelings that the great states of 
Europe so long persisted in the craven 
policy of paying blackmail to the robbers, 
instead of joining in a crusade and de- 
stroying them. In 1786 Congress felt it 
necessary to take measures for protect- 
ing the lives and liberties of American 
citizens. The person who called him- 
self " Emperor " of Morocco at that time 
was different from most of his kind. He 
had a taste for reading, and had thus 
caught a glimmering of the enlightened 
liberalism which French philosophers 
were preaching. He wished to be 
thought a benevolent despot, and with 
Morocco, accordingly, Congress succeed- 
ed in making a treaty. But nothing 
could be done with the other pirate 
states without paying blackmail. Few 
scenes in our history are more amusing, 
or more irritating, than the interview of 
John Adams with an envoy from Trip- 
oli in London. The oily-tongued bar- 
barian, with his soft voice and his bland 
smile, asseverating that his only interest 
in life was to do good and make other 
people happy, stands out in fine contrast 
with the blunt, straightforward, and 
truthful New Englander ; and their con- 
versation reminds one of the old story 
of Cceur-de-Lion with his curtal-axe and 
Saladin with the blade that cut the silken 
cushion. Adams felt sure that the fellow 
was either saint or devil, but could not 
quite tell which. The envoy's love for 
mankind was so great that he could not 
bear the thought of hostility between the 
Americans and the Barbary States, and 
he suggested that everything might be 
happily arranged for a million dollars or 
so. Adams thought it better to fight than 



to pay tribute. It would be cheaper in 
the end, as well as more manly. At the 
same time, it was better economy to pay 
a million dollars at once than waste 
many times that sum in war risks and 
loss of trade. But Congress could do 
neither one thing nor the other. It was 
too poor to build a navy, and too poor to 
buy off the pirates ; and so for several 
years to come American ships were 
burned and American sailors enslaved 
with utter impunity. With the memory 
of such wrongs deeply graven in his 
heart, it was natural that John Adams, 
on becoming President of the United 
States, should bend all his energies to 
founding a strong American navy. 

A government touches the lowest 
point of ignominy when it confesses its 
inability to protect the lives and prop- 
erty of its citizens. A government 
which has come to this has failed in dis- 
charging the primary function of gov- 
ernment, and forthwith ceases to have 
any reason for existing. In March, 
1786, Gray son wrote to Madison that 
several members of Congress thought 
seriously of recommending a general 
convention for remodeling the govern- 
ment. " I have not made up my mind," 
says Grayson, " whether it would not 
be better to bear the ills we have than 
fly to those we know not of. I am, how- 
ever, in no doubt about the weakness of 
the federal government. If it remains 
much longer in its present state of im- 
becility, we shall be one of the most 
contemptible nations on the face of the 
earth." " It is clear to me as A, B, C," 
said Washington, " that an extension of 
federal powers would make us one of 
the most happy, wealthy, respectable, 
and powerful nations that ever in- 
habited the terrestrial globe. Without 
them we shall soon be everything which 
is the direct reverse. I predict the 
worst consequences from a half-starved, 
limping government, always moving 
upon crutches and tottering at every 
step." 

John Fiske. 



1886.] 



Sibyl the Savage. 



SIBYL THE SAVAGE. 



THE little village of Deepgrove, in 
Western Massachusetts, has a tragical 
colonial history. Legends cluster around 
the ancient mansions of Queen Anne's 
War, of the surprise by the French and 
Indians and the long march to Canada 
through the winter snows. The Deep- 
grove people are tenacious of these 
memories, and have founded an antiqua- 
rian society for the preservation of ob- 
jects of historical interest. Prominent 
in their museum is the Memorial Hall, 
devoted to mural tablets bearing the 
names of the captives. One of these 
stones bears the curt inscription, 

SIBYL FORRESTER. 

SHE MARRIED A SAVAGE AND BECAME ONE. 

This brief legend stimulated my curi- 
osity. What could have induced a gen- 
tle Puritan maiden to marry an Indian ? 
I searched through all the records and 
papers belonging to the society for some 
clue, but could find no other relic of the 
girl than a bit of lace, finely wrought 
by Sibyl at the age of fourteen, and 
given to a member of the family at Had- 
ley before the burning of the village ; 
and a miniature, poorly painted, depict- 
ing a child with a high forehead and 
thoughtful eyes. The miniature and 
lace had been contributed to the mu- 
seum by descendants of their first own- 
ers. The more I studied the pathetic 
face of this unknown girl, the greater 
became my interest in her. Other of 
the Deepgrove captives had married and 
settled among the Indians, but none 
were so held up to scorn as my poor 
Sibyl. I longed to find some excuse 
for her, and to defend her from the re- 
proach of becoming " a savage." Later, 
her own defense fell into my hands in 
a somewhat remarkable manner. 

I was spending the summer in Can- 
ada, and, always interested in what con- 



cerned the history of the Deepgrove 
captives, I paid a visit to the Indian vil- 
lage of Caughnawaga, the home of the 
descendants of the very tribe which as- 
sisted the French in their raid on West- 
ern Massachusetts. I chatted with the 
kindly priest, with the taciturn chief, 
and the courteous surveyors. I wan- 
dered over the La Crosse grounds, 
watched the launching of canoes, bought 
bright bead-work, and asked every one 
for legends and stories and old writings. 
I was most unexpectedly rewarded by a 
rich discovery. The store-keeper had a 
quantity of paper, which I was welcome 
to examine. It had belonged to a for- 
mer cure, but after his death, when his 
desk had been reviewed by the new in- 
cumbent, a bushel or so of trash had 
been turned out to the store-keeper as 
wrapping-paper. It had been slowly 
used all these years, brown paper being 
greatly preferred, as this was closely 
written over on both sides, and was not 
considered quite nice enough for lard 
and cheese. Prowling in the barrel 
brought from under the counter, I found 
several imperfect MSS. that greatly in- 
terested me. One of these was a neat 
little roll, closely written in English, and 
entitled The Story of Sibyl Coeur de 
Femme. Across it a manly goose-quill 
had scrawled in French and in red ink, 
" The said Sibyl Coeur de Femme left 
this paper with me at her death, praying 
that it be sent to her relatives in New 
England ; but as we know not who or 
where they may be, I have seen fit to 
preserve it among my papers until called 

for. [Signed] , Cure." 

At last " Sibyl's Story " was called for. 

I know not [she wrote] whether any 
may miss me at home, for my father 
and mother were killed at the first on- 
slaught, and my little brothers, who 



90 



Sibyl the Savage. 



[July, 



were redeemed and returned, were of 
too tender an age to care greatly for 
me ; and yet would I fain hear news of 
my old playmates, and since that may 
not be would have them know how I 
fare. And first I must go back to a day 
in summer before the taking of the town, 
when there came to my father's house 
two strangers appareled as Dutchmen, 
traveling, as they said, from Rensselaers- 
wyck on the Hudson to Boston, and de- 
manding shelter over night from the ap- 
proaching storm. When we marveled 
that they should have undertaken such 
a journey on foot, they replied that their 
horses had escaped from them at their 
last camping place. Of the two men, 
one was young and handsome, in despite 
of his tanned face and one hand sadly 
scarred as by fire and torture of the bar- 
barous savages. He held himself silent, 
but courteous, eating little and talking 
still less, and that in such outlandish 
English that none could understand. 
Supper had, the parson, coming in to see 
us, essayed some conversation, asking 
with which of the citizens of Albany 
they had acquaintance, upon which we 
understood the names of Schuyler and 
Van Rensselaer ; and as it chanced that 
Parson Williams had some knowledge 
of John Schuyler, he was the better 
pleased, though disappointed to find 
they bore no letters. After the going 
of the parson the younger man did di- 
vert the children by imitating the cry 
and song of divers wild birds and little 
beasties. He also drew for us with a 
coal upon the hearth, so that we could 
scarce tear ourselves from him, and there 
was much clamor at our putting to bed. 
Rising the next morning by candle, 
as our custom was, and having laid the 
trenchers for breakfast, my mother sent 
me to the cellar for provisions ; where I 
found all in confusion and much good 
victuals carried away, namely, a ham, 
a jug of cider, two neat's tongues, with 
a baking of bread, a hog's harslet, and 
three dressed geese. When I made re- 



port of this to my mother there was 
much dole and pother. My little broth- 
er, also, being sent to rouse our guests, 
made us to be still more consternated 
by the news that they were clean gone, 
having departed the house with our prov- 
ender during the night. Nor was my 
mother greatly mollified when she found 
in one of her pans a paper addressed 
unto herself, containing a pass for one 
person on the Dutch ship Rhyneland, 
from New York to Rotterdam, signed 
by Johannes Schuyler. "For," quoth 
she, " though the reparation be greater 
than the damage, yet am I not likely 
soon to avail myself of this safe conduct, 
and we will find it but scanty eating in 
this large family." 

After this, search being made along 
the bank of the river, a small boat or 
skiff which had been moored thereabouts 
was discovered to have been stolen ; and 
parties following down the stream found 
the boat bottom upward on a rock, as 
though wrecked by the storm and the 
violence of the current. But the men, 
or their bodies, did they not find, so that 
it was never certainly known whether 
they were that night drowned, or wheth- 
er they escaped safe to Canada ; for it 
was now certainly believed that they 
were French spies. 

This belief was confirmed later on in 
this fashion. Mr. Williams wrote to 
his friend, Mr. Schuyler, of Albany, to 
know if he had knowledge of these 
men. And he replied that the friendly 
Indians of the Five Nations, or Iroquois, 
had brought into Shinectady two pris- 
oners, which they had taken on the 
shores of the great lakes ; which pris- 
oners had been in their power upwards 
of a twelvemonth, and had been very 
cruelly treated by them. One of these 
was a Jesuit priest, of note in Canada 
for his zeal for the conversion of the In- 
dians and for his astonishing journeys. 
The other was a coureur de bois, as the 
French call the lawless traders who, 
without license from their governor, do 



1886.] 



Sibyl the Savage. 



91 



traffic with the savages for peltries, sell- 
ing the same to smugglers. When Mr. 
and Mistress Williams had read thus far 
they were scandalized to think to what 
excess of villainy we had given harbor- 
age. Mr. Williams read on, how Mr. 
Schuyler had offered to buy these cap- 
tives, and that the Iroquois were well 
pleased to barter the priest for a keg of 
rum, two Dutch cheeses, and a clock ; 
for, said* they, he is so great an eater, 
we had better charge ourselves with the 
famine or the pestilence. But the 
young trader was the property of a 
chiefs widow, whose husband had been 
slain by the French. She at the torture 
of the prisoners had it in her power to 
say whether one of them should die or 
be given her as a slave. And she, see- 
ing this man, by name Jacques Belceil, 
patiently endure all the malice of these 
wretches (nay, when she had herself 
suggested new tortures of more fran- 
tic cruelty, and had burned off two of 
his fingers in a heated calumet), was 
filled with so ardent an admiration for 
his heroism that she chose him, not as 
her slave, but as her husband ; claiming 
that he should be adopted into the tribe 
to fill the place of the dead chief. But 
Jacques Belceil did steadfastly refuse to 
become her husband, declaring that he 
would die first, and calling upon the In- 
dians to put him to death. But the wo- 
man would not suffer this, saying that if 
he would not be her husband, then should 
he be her slave, and in the bitterness of 
her resentment reserving him to the 
daily experience of every degradation 
and cruelty which her malice could in- 
vent. But when he fell sick, either 
from pity or the fear that he might by 
death escape her persecutions, she had 
him brought to the habitations of the 
Dutch, seeking physic and a chirurgeon 
to recover him of his illness. Mr. 
Schuyler said, moreover, that he did his 
endeavor to purchase Jacques Belceil 
from this woman, being greatly tendered 
in mind by his sad case ; but she would 



in no wise part with him, and the tribe 
set out for their country, carrying him 
with them. But in the middle of the 
night he was awakened by a tapping 
upon his window, and there found the 
young man demanding succor and hid- 
ing, having escaped his foes. Where- 
upon he in mercy secreted him, and 
when the Indians returned on the mor- 
row stoutly denied his presence. The 
rage of the chieftainess, thus defrauded 
of her victim, was, he wrote, frightful 
to behold, she swearing that she would 
follow him to the confines of the oth- 
er world, yea, and into the hunting- 
grounds of the dead, to wreak her re- 
venge upon him. When the tribe final- 
ly departed, bearing this half -crazed 
woman with them, Mr. Schuyler related 
that he brought these escaped captives 
to Albany, and there, supplying both 
with clothes and money, did secure pas- 
sage for them on a vessel bound for 
Rotterdam. This he did for that he 
counted it not safe for two unprotected 
men to journey through the wilderness 
to Canada, and for that these same In- 
dians had brought tidings of unfriendly 
intentions on the part of the French, 
and a design of the late Count Fronte- 
nac, like to be carried out by his succes- 
sor the present governor, the Chevalier 
Vaudreuil, of descending upon the un- 
protected frontier settlements of the 
English. 

Scarce was the wonder of this event 
forgotten when Mr. Schuyler's fear was 
realized, the French overflowing us as 
a flood ; burning, pillaging, and slaying. 
Separated from my kindred, I became 
the captive of a young brave, Woman's 
Heart : so called for his gentleness, and 
that he delighted not in cruelty and 
torture. The other Indians derided him 
also for his kindness to me ; for, finding 
that my feet were half frozen, he dragged 
me on a sledge the whole of the toil- 
some way. Nevertheless, for all this, 
I gave him scant thanks, for my heart 
was full of bitterness. While on the 



92 



Sibyl the Savage. 



[July, 



march I marked one of the French 
soldiers, whom methought I had seen 
elsewhere, so that I stared at him, until 
he was out of countenance, and, falling 
behind the others, he came to me and 
took my hand, and I saw that it was 
Jacques Belo3il, whom we had harbored 
the summer before, and who repaid 
our confidence with such villainy. Not- 
withstanding, when he spoke me fair 
and kindly, I was in such a despair of 
misery that meseemed I had encountered 
a true friend, and I besought him with 
tears to rid me out of the power of my 
Indian master, which he promised to do ; 
making me to understand that when we 
were come to Canada, where he could 
attain to his money, he would ransom 
me from the Indian, and see me safe 
returned to my people. After this he 
walked the whole of the way by my 
sledge, and I could see that he had 
learned more English words than for- 
merly, for we made shift to understand 
each other passing well. He parted also 
his rations with me, and sang French 
chansons, and sometimes with his gun 
brought down a bird, which he would 
lay in my lap. Moreover, at night he 
stood guard before the wigwam of 
boughs which Woman's Heart built for 
my shelter; and though the Indian 
liked these attentions indifferently well, 
yet he suffered him, and they warmed 
themselves and cooked their food at the 
same camp-fire. And once Jacques 
Beloeil spake of the victuals which he 
stole from our cellar, saying that he 
had never eat so good, and he was sorry 
that we had not served ourselves of the 
passage on the Dutch ship to escape 
these sorrows, for that this sortie was 
not of his liking, for he had himself 
been captivated, and liked it not. Then 
I told him what we had heard concerning 
him from Mr. Schuyler. At the men- 
tion of the chieftainess he crossed him- 
self and looked behind, as though he 
felt her following. And verily at that 
time a strange Indian was walking si- 



lently behind him, and this savage did 
not belong to the tribe of Mahogs Mo- 
hawks], who were the allies of the 
French, but had come with them from 
whence none knew. He was an ill- 
favored man, deeply pitted in the visage 
of the small-pox, and no one companied 
with him. At times Jacques Beloeil 
flung him a bone or a morsel of moose 
meat, and it was for this reason, me- 
thought, that he followed him like a 
shadow. 

At last we came to a place where the 
commander, the Sieur Hertel de Rou- 
ville, divided the band, taking the sol- 
diers with him to Canada by one way, 
and sending the Indians and captives 
another. At which parting it was made 
known to me that perchance I cared 
more for this French soldier than be- 
seemed mine own comfort. He too 
seemed loath to go, and promised me 
that he would make all speed to find me 
again. When the dividance was made 
the strange Indian feigned not to under- 
stand, and went with the army ; but he 
was presently sent back, and joined us 
again, and so we all came to the dwell- 
ings of the Indians, called the village of 
Cagnawaga, on the right bank of the 
St. Lawrence, near to the city of Mount 
Royal. Here is a mission and a Jesuit 
priest, wherefore these Indians are called 
" praying Indians " by their neighbors. 
Here also, with the spray of the rapids 
blown in their faces, they pitch their 
lodges, and shoot the falls in their birch- 
en boats. And surely I found kind- 
ness here, where I expected misery : 
for Woman's Heart gave me to his 
mother, an aged squaw, whom I served 
as slave; but she was old and bed-rid, 
and could not beat me, so that what I 
did I did of my own free will, and see- 
ing that I shirked not my tasks and strove 
to pleasure her, she treated me more 
daughter-wise. Woman Y Heart too was 
brother-like, and gave me none occasion 
to bewail. But now something hap- 
pened which caused me great uneasi- 



1886.] 



Sibyl the Savage. 



ness ; not for myself, indeed, but for one 
for whom I cherished as great concern, 
namely, the young soldier, Jacques Bel- 
oeil. The strange pock-marked Indian 
came often to, our lodge, and with him 
others like him, who, Woman's Heart 
told me, were Iroquois, come from a far 
country as ambassadors, to treat with 
the French concerning certain captives 
which they wished returned to them ; 
and they had brought with them also 
their princess, a great woman in their 
country. This woman came to us one 
day, and my heart froze at the behold- 
ing of her, for never in my life had I 
seen so bloodthirsty a face, or one so 
devoid of all charitableness. I knew 
when I saw her that this was she who had 
so cruelly tortured Jacques Belceil, and 
I knew also by the famished look in her 
eyes that insomuch as she was capable 
of loving, if an insensate, tigerish pas- 
sion be love, she loved that man. They 
talked some time in the Iroquois lan- 
guage, and Woman's Heart asked me 
if I knew where Jacques Belosil dwelt, 
and I was glad to tell him that I knew 
not. Then he spake still more with 
her, and I comprehended that he coun- 
seled her to wait patiently, for where I 
was Jacques Belceil would surely come, 
for he had promised it. Then was I in 
great fear, for meseemed to be the bait 
to draw my friend into this deadly trap 
and gin. 

Woman's Heart bade me place meat 
before his guests, and I did so ; but the 
chief tain ess discovered a long and sharp 
knife, hid in the folds of her robe and 
fastened about her neck by a cord, and 
she told us that as she hungered the 
knife hungered, and that she had vowed 
not to satisfy herself with flesh until 
this knife had eaten of Jacques Belceil's 
heart. 

After they had left us I reproached 
Woman's Heart for aiding her murder- 
ous designs, when he said that he would 
fain have the Frenchman dead, seeing, 
if this were so, I might think kindly on 



him. Then I understood for the first 
time that Woman's Heart cared for me, 
and was eaten with jealousy ; and I 
feared him, though he was gentle and 
gave me none affront by word or act. 

And now spring was come, and the 
bateaux began to go up the river, laden 
with fur-traders, coureurs de bois, and 
adventurers ; and something said within 
my heart that he would soon come. One 
day, when the Iroquois Indians were 
hunting in the forest, and I had gone 
with some of the Indians to Mount 
Royal to barter goods, he did come. 

When I returned that evening I found 
the Iroquois pulling to pieces their 
lodge and preparing to depart hastily. 
And when I asked Woman's Heart the 
meaning of this, he told me that while 
we were all away there arrived a ba- 
teaux of coureurs de bois, and that 
Jacques Belosil was with them ; that he 
sought the cure, and talked with him 
much, as also with Woman's Heart, and 
was in a great chafe that he could not 
find me ; but that his companions would 
not stay, and carried him presently 
away with them. The Iroquois were 
angry, when they returned, to have 
missed him, and their princess had given 
orders to follow by the first light. Then 
I fell on my knees before Woman's 
Heart, and caught his hand, and begged 
him to follow after, and if possible out- 
strip the Iroquois, and warn Jacques 
Belceil, and save him. But he made an- 
swer moodily, " Wherefore ? That you 
may be his squaw ? " Then my fear and 
despair were so great that I promised 
Woman's Heart that if he saved my 
friend from his enemies, for my sake, 
then would I renounce all white people 
and civilized life, and willingly become 
his wife. 

With that he rose up quickly, quitted 
the lodge, and returned presently with 
two young braves, his friends, and an 
Indian wench, who, he said, should care 
for his mother during our absence ; for 
that I should go with them, to see the 



94 



Sibyl the Savage. 



[July, 



business well done. At these tidings 
my heart leapt for joy, and I said, " We 
will save him, we will yet save him ! " 

Now Jacques Beloeil and his compan- 
ions, being bound for Lake Nipissing, 
had gone by the way of Saint Anne's 
up the river Ottawa, and it was over 
this route that the Iroquois proposed to 
track them ; but Woman's Heart was of 
the opinion that, being strangers to the 
country, they could never come up with 
the more experienced voyagers, by rea- 
son of the numerous portages, the dense 
forests and swamps, and the crookedness 
and blindness of the way. His counsel, 
therefore, was that we should not at- 
tempt to follow, when we should un- 
doubtedly fall in with the Iroquois and 
excite their suspicions, but should rather 
go before, taking the longer but easier 
way up the St. Lawrence and the great 
lakes, the Lac Frontenac [Ontario], the 
Lac du Dauphin [Erie], and the Lac 
d'Orleans [Huron], and so come against 
him before he could be made subject to 
any villainy. 

There was another reason why this 
decision of Woman's Heart was good 
and sensible : for that all along our route 
at convenient distances we found settle- 
ments, either of the French or Indians, 
where we put in to provision ourselves ; 
whereas the Ottawa throughout its en- 
tire course is a houseless wilderness. 
Our first stopping was at Fort de la Ga- 
lette, where was the former mission of 
the Abbe Piquet ; thence past thousands 
of islands to the well-garrisoned Fort 
Frontenac ; and so by ways and villages 
whose names I do not now recollect, 
I paddling often to aid the others, or fish- 
ing in the clear water to the portage of 
Toronto, and thence by a long portage 
past the great cataract of Niagara. And 
surely in all my life I have seen noth- 
ing so awful as these falls, coming straight 
down out of the hand of God, and filling 
the soul with amazement. 

Then came we to the abandoned fort 
of Niagara, and here found we all in 



good condition as left by the Chevalier 
de la Motthe; the great cross in, the 
square, and the cabins empty, but not 
fallen in pieces. We entered into the 
bake-house, and I did bake bread in an 
oven the first time since my captivity, 
and it tasted exceeding good. It irked 
me also to leave these civilized habita- 
tions thus empty to the winds. 

So journeyed we on to the detroit of 
the lake, where were fifty men who had 
made a trading post for beaver and oth- 
er peltries, which they say they smug- 
gle to the English, and that they create 
great havoc among the Indians by sup- 
plying them with Dutch rum and French 
brandy in exchange for their commodi- 
ties ; and indeed I liked not the manner 
of life of these men, for they were many 
of them drunken, and they quarreled 
loudly among themselves, and we got 
away with all speed. Thus by stages, 
which it would be tedious to describe, 
we came in June to the settlement of 
Indians, of the Squirrel tribe, on Lake 
Nipissing, where we had counted on 
lighting on Jacques Beloeil. We heard, 
indeed, that he and his companions had 
been there, but not finding the beaver as 
abundant as they had hoped, they had 
departed only four days before us for 
Michilimakinac. The chieftainess, or 
her people, none had seen ; it was there- 
fore to be surmised that they were still 
upon the way. Glad at heart that we 
had at least outstripped them, we pre- 
pared to ascend the Lac d'Orleans, bound 
for Michilimakinac, which is a strait 
communicating between the Lac d'Orle- 
ans and the Lac des Illinois [Michigan]. 
But here a fresh disappointment awaited 
us, for we found that those we sought 
had descended the Lac des Illinois, with 
the intention of pushing across the coun- 
try to the great river Colbert, or Missis- 
sippi. We therefore redoubled our ex- 
ertions, striving most frantically to come 
up with them ; for should they once at- 
tain the Mississippi, we feared lest they 
might pursue it to its very mouth, such 



1886.] 



Sibyl the Savage. 



95 



being the enticing stories brought back 
by the Chevalier La Salle and others, 
how it waters the English settlements 
of Virginia and Carolina, and empties 
into the Bay of Mexico. 

By hard rowing and good fortune in 
travel we came up to the party before 
they had reached the great river. But 
here, also, a grievous disappointment be- 
fell us, for Jacques Belosil was not with 
them, having parted from them with 
one other at Michilimakinac, to go up 
the Lake Royal, or Superior, in search 
of ores of copper, which were said to 
abound at the head of this lake. 

So had we all our journey across the 
Lac des Illinois for nothing, and as we 
then thought worse than nothing ; for it 
was very possible that the Iroquois, ar- 
riving at Michilimakinac later than we, 
had obtained surer guidance, and were 
now far in advance of us. But it did 
not so chance ; for as we returned we 
met them, bound, as we had been, for the 
country of the Illinois. When they saw 
us they challenged, and would know 
what we did in those waters ; and Wo- 
man's Heart spoke them fair, but they 
were not satisfied. The chieftainess, 
also, when she saw me was the more 
suspicious, and would know if we had 
seen Jacques Beloeil, and whither we 
were bound. To these questionings we 
replied with lies : that Jacques Belosil 
was gone down the Mississippi, and that 
we were on our way home. With that 
they pressed on out of our sight ; but the 
next morning we perceived that they 
had altered their course, and were re- 
turning, whether because they had given 
up the chase, or were suspicious of our 
movements, we could not rightly guess. 
When we reached Michilimakinac again 
the summer was past, and the young 
braves who had come with us would go 
no further, but left us, and, with our 
boat, returned home. But though the 
water was stormy, by reason of the au- 
tumn gales, we procured another canoe 
and pressed on. When we turned into 



the Sault Ste. Marie we perceived that 
there was a boat following us, nor had 
we gone far before it came alongside, 
and we saw the Iroquois. They spake 
not to us, as they easily outstripped us, 
and we made sure they had received 
some fresh information; and it turned 
out that so they had, and from our own 
men. Now were we in greater trouble 
than ever, for our enemies were in ad- 
vance, and for lack of paddlers we could 
not keep pace with them. But the 
very winds favored us, for they pres- 
ently encountered a storm, and were 
wrecked under the painted cliffs, where 
the Indians resort for pipe-stones and 
for colored earths for their war-paint. 
So that again we passed them, and came, 
just as winter was setting in, to a little 
settlement of the Sieur Du Luth, where 
was a Jesuit priest, ten Frenchmen, and 
a tribe of friendly Indians. These re- 
ceived us kindly, and told us that Jacques 
Beloeil and his companion were gone 
into the hills with an Indian guide, in 
search of copper, but counseled us not 
to follow, as they would soon be back, 
for that now the ice was forming, and 
the snow would soon be upon us. It 
was plain that we must bide here the 
winter, but first I could not rest till we 
had found Jacques Belceil, and we set 
out the next day with Indians of that 
village upon his trail. And now the 
cold was very bitter, so that at night 
we had our noses frost-bit, and often I 
thought to have perished, suffering as 
much as ever I did on the march from 
Deepgrove to Canada. At times we 
found his camp-fires, or the hollows 
where they had been, and this cheered 
us to press on ; but when we had nearly 
reached him the blinding snow came 
down, and we were compelled to wait. 
And while we waited, who should come 
up with us but the Iroquois ! The chief 
tainess was very angry, for she saw 
plainly now that we were at cross-pur- 
poses ; but there were so many of the 
friendly Indians with us that she dared 



96 



Sibyl the Savage. 



[July, 



not give the word to her men to attack 
us. And there were we together, wait- 
ing the ceasing of the storm to go fur- 
ther. Right sure was I that none of us 
would sleep until it was over, but the 
snowing lasted four days, and we were 
fain to take rest by turns. At the last 
the Iroquois did get two hours' start, 
and were off on snow-shoes through the 
forest, and we after so fast that we soon 
came where we could hear the crackling 
of the branches which they broke in 
their march. Suddenly through all the 
forest there rang a yell so very hideous 
that I knew they had attained to the 
object they sought. 

"It is their war-cry!" I said, my 
knees knocking together under me. 

" Nay," replied Woman's Heart, " lis- 
ten again : it is not the shout of braves, 
but the yell of one squaw ; " and twice 
more that dreadful cry sounded, each 
time more distinct and frightful as we 
neared it. 

And when we were come to a little 
cleared space we found the last camp of 
Jacques Belceil and his companions, 
under a shelving rock, where, having 
lost their means of making a fire, they 
had cowered together, and had all 
frozen to death in the storm. The Iro- 
quois had brought out the bodies and 
stretched them upon blankets, and their 
chieftainess, standing over Jacques-Bel- 
oeil, was brandishing her knife in the 
air and singing. When she, saw me she 
made at me, but Woman's Heart stood 
between, receiving a cut upon the arm ; 
and she went back again, singing that 
we two had followed Jacques Beloeil 
for hate and love many a league, but 
that hate was strongest, for whereas I 
must now pause, she would still follow 
through the hunting-grounds of the here- 
after, there to find him and to do him 
deadly mischief. With that she stabbed 
herself with the knife, and sank down 
upon the body of Jacques Beloeil, her 
men running forward to sustain her. 

After that litters were made for the 



four corpses, and we returned sorrow- 
fully to the settlement. For though I 
had greatly feared, and even hated, this 
woman, yet her death made me to pity 
her; and was also a great wonder to 
me, I having heard of many who died 
for love, but never of one who destroyed 
herself for hate, and that her victim 
might not escape her. And surely I 
like not to think of that unhappy ghost 
still following where the spirit of Jacques 
Beloeil may be ; though the priest tells 
me that he being a good Christian, and 
she an unbaptized heathen, she can 
never reach him. So were they buried 
all by the lake shore at the settlement, 
with one cross to mark their graves ; 
and meseemed that my heart was buried 
with Jacques Beloeil, and the death of 
the chieftainess shamed me as though 
she had done somewhat for hate that I 
would not have done for love, though 
I knew that could my death have saved 
him I would have died gladly. 

Woman's Heart and I were forced to 
bide at that place until the breaking up 
of the ice ; and I served as laundress to 
the Frenchmen, and he made arrows 
and waited patiently the healing of his 
wound. And though he had not ful- 
filled his part of the bargain in saving 
Jacques Belo3il from death, yet seeing 
that it was from no fault of his, and con- 
sidering the many perils, dangers, and 
adventures which he had passed through 
for my sake, yea, and his great pa- 
tience, which claimed nothing, my 
heart relented toward him, arid when the 
spring came the priest united us in mar- 
riage, and we returned joyfully to our 
own home. There we found that his 
mother had died, and he made me sit on 
her mat as mistress of the lodge. And 
surely he has been a most kind and gen- 
tle husband, and our boys are bold and 
brave, but gentle-hearted also; and I 
would not have my life otherwise, for I 
am happy, save when I wake scared 
from my dreams, and think on the chief- 
tainess and Jacques Beloeil. 

L. W. Champney. 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



97 



THE LABOR QUESTION. 



THE claims put forward by the 
Knights of Labor, and the means em- 
ployed to enforce them, have roused and 
alarmed the American people, who have 
been at once perplexed and angered by 
the apparent organized determination to 
overthrow settled principles of business 
and industry, and to deny rights justly 
regarded as among the most fundamen- 
tal and necessary to the existence of 
ordered society. That American citi- 
zens should ignore the elementary prin- 
ciples of the democratic system, and, 
apparently without suspecting the scope 
and meaning of their action, undertake 
to establish a tyranny subversive of their 
own laws and institutions, is perhaps 
what most surprises the public. But, 
happily for the country, the effect of 
the democratic spirit is to induce among 
thinking men a temperate and reasona- 
ble disposition ; and the incongruity of 
the recent labor demonstrations with 
the social state which underlies them, 
instead of moving the American ob- 
server to sudden impatience and the de- 
sire to restore normal conditions forci- 
bly, impels him to study the situation 
calmly, to the end that he may obtain 
a clear understanding of the causes of 
whatever is wrong or dangerous in it. 

In the first place, it is to be remarked 
that the organization of labor for its own 
protection had proceeded so far, before 
the Knights of Labor appeared, as to 
embrace most skilled industry in nearly 
all occupations. It is also to be observed 
that all such organization involves and 
presupposes the establishment of a mo- 
nopoly. The first appeal to a working- 
man to join a trades-union is put on the 
ground that he will thereby obtain some 
special privileges. At the beginning, 
the tendency of all these movements is 
to abuse the power which union gives. 
During half a century of trades-union- 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 7 



ism this has been the general experience. 
In proportion to the ignorance and back- 
wardness of the men the disposition to 
violence and tyranny has been exhibited. 
Self-interest being always one of the 
strongest influences in human society, 
and training of a special kind being re- 
quired to develop perception of the re- 
action upon the agents of wrong done 
to others, the tendency to maintain one's 
own rights, or what seem to be such, re- 
gardless of the rights of others, is neces- 
sarily strongest when the reflective fac- 
ulty is weakest. So in the infancy of 
labor organization strikes with violence 
were common. The non-union man was 
treated as an outcast. In England, 
more than in the United States, intoler- 
ance was displayed by trades-unions, and 
at Sheffield and Birmingham shocking 
barbarities were for a time practiced, in 
the attempt to maintain the power and 
monopoly of the organizations. 

Serious injury has been inflicted upon 
trade and manufactures by these out- 
breaks, but labor itself has suffered most 
from them. First, because all strikes 
with violence are effectively strikes 
against labor quite as much as against 
capital ; second, because, owing to impru- 
dent management, most strikes have been 
made on a falling market, and so have 
put the employers in a position where it 
was less costly to suspend production 
than to yield. Gradually, workingmen 
have learned some useful lessons, though 
it will no doubt be long before they gen- 
erally accept and abide by that princi- 
ple of arbitration which offers the most 
hopeful solution, or accommodation, of 
the labor problem. It is, however, in 
skilled labor principally that an advance 
has been made; that is to say, among 
the most intelligent workingmen. If 
to-day there seems to be a revival of 
lawlessness in labor circles, it is partly 



98 



The Labor Question. 



[July, 



because for the first time an extensive 
organization of unskilled labor has en- 
tered the field. The apparent arrogance 
and unreasonableness of the Knights of 
Labor are in reality no new manifesta- 
tions. They but follow the common 
law of development. All trades-unions 
began in the same way. Even the doc- 
trine that employees may dictate to em- 
ployers not alone the rate of wages, but 
the personality of the wage-earners, and 
may exclude from the enjoyment of the 
universal right to labor all who are not 
members of the union, is a compara- 
tively old one, and is still enforced when- 
ever and wherever the conditions are 
favorable. 

The pretensions of the Knights of 
Labor have been given special promi- 
nence by the nature of their connection 
with the transportation system, and by 
the introduction, in aid of the strikes, of 
the boycott. For years we have been 
accustomed to hear of industrial strikes 
in which violence was employed. They 
have been so common in the Pennsyl- 
vania mining region as to excite little 
comment outside of the State where 
they occurred. But while these strikes 
have sometimes caused changes in the 
price of coal and other products, costing 
the public large amounts in the aggre- 
gate, they have not been so much in 
evidence as the recent disturbances. 
When a great railroad system is blocked 
by a lawless strike for weeks, the effects 
are serious and far-reaching. The South- 
western railroad strike, for example, 
has compelled the suspension of manu- 
factories, thus depriving thousands of 
workingmen of subsistence. It has 
caused food famines in several country 
towns, thus increasing the cost of living 
to other thousands. It has disturbed 
trade, both wholesale and retail, by the 
blockade of goods in transit. In other 
ways it has reacted widely, and there- 
fore has attracted public attention in an 
unusual degree. When such a reckless 
attack upon the business of the country 



is made for apparently no better reason 
than to display the power of the labor 
organization behind it, or, as has been 
said, to compel " recognition " of that 
organization by the railroad corpora- 
tions, it is inevitable that the public 
should be interested, and natural that it 
should be somewhat alarmed. The use 
of the boycott has also tended to aggra- 
vate the feeling of uneasiness, and, viewed 
in connection with the demands of the 
Knights of Labor to exercise control 
over property they do not own, has 
created an impression that the situation 
is very serious. The boycott is un- 
doubtedly an odious and despicable prac- 
tice, and it has been so employed in 
this country as to emphasize its worst 
qualities. It is cowardly and cruel in 
principle : involving the combination of 
many against one ; lending itself readily 
to purposes of private revenge and black- 
mail; and not merely un-American in 
spirit, but distinctly in violation of the 
laws of the country. Clearly, such an 
institution cannot be tolerated in the 
United States, and as clearly it never 
could have been invented or introduced 
by men possessing any comprehension 
of free institutions. Not the least dis- 
quieting feature of the labor case, in- 
deed, is the obvious ignorance of a great 
many workingmen concerning the na- 
ture of the government of this coun- 
try. But if this fact is not reassuring, 
it is at least a perfectly natural and in- 
evitable result of the national policy. 
We have agreed to open the door wide 
to all the world, and all the world has 
accepted our invitation. We have re- 
lied confidently upon the tendency of 
our institutions, and above all upon our 
educational system, to counteract the 
disturbing effect of a continual influx of 
foreign ignorance. We have refused 
to adopt any precautions in the natu- 
ralization of foreigners, assuming that 
a brief residence in the country must 
bring full knowledge of the Constitution 
and laws. Under the circumstances, we 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



99 



ought not to be surprised that the pub- 
lic schools fail to keep pace with the 
immigration ; that we acquire every 
year many thousands of citizens who 
cannot speak English, and who have 
not the faintest apprehension of Ameri- 
can institutions and governmental theo- 
ries ; that, in effect, the country is being 
colonized from Europe with people who 
bring here complete theories of life, 
many of which are utterly opposed to 
our form, or to any form, of civiliza- 
tion. 

If the social and industrial conditions 
in the United States were to-day any- 
thing like those which existed when this 
national policy was adopted, perhaps 
there would be no reason to fear the 
results. But those conditions have un- 
dergone radical change. Little by lit- 
tle, as the country has filled up, as its 
resources have been developed, as its ma- 
terial wealth has increased, as its popula- 
tion has become denser, as its industrial 
centres have attracted larger numbers of 
operatives, as luxury has grown, the in- 
equalities, grievances, jealousies, which 
stimulate socialism in the Old World, 
have come to the front here. The law 
of free development, which has done such 
mighty things for us, has also wrought 
us not a little mischief. With the ex- 
pansion of our opportunities for the ac- 
quisition of wealth there has gone an 
abandonment to greed which has pro- 
duced much evil. In the race of specu- 
lation, honor, integrity, equity, all ster- 
ling principles, have been often sacri- 
ficed. Fortune, got no matter how, has 
been the goal of the majority. The 
laws, framed to prevent the more obvi- 
ous and common offenses, have proved 
powerless to punish audacious and fla- 
grant crimes. Great corporations, in no 
way specially vicious, but prone, like all 
men, to abuse their power, have absorbed 
the public domain, obtained possession 
of enormous tracts, divided millions, and 
then sought to evade their responsibili- 
ties. Capital employed in the industries 



has shown a greater stupidity than that 
of ignorant labor. It has acted with 
short-sighted rapacity and selfishness, 
has followed the principle of buying in 
the cheapest market to its most odious 
conclusions, has extinguished all sympa- 
thy between itself and the wage-earners. 
It is true that the condition of labor 
is generally better than it ever was be- 
fore. The assertion that the poor are 
growing poorer is emphatically untrue, 
and nowhere is it so destitute of founda- 
tion as in the United States. But it is 
equally true that the extension of luxury 
has been so great of late years as to 
heighten the contrast between wealth 
and decent poverty ; so that, in com- 
parison with the modern millionaire, a 
man whose condition fifty years ago 
would have been thought enviable ap- 
pears little better than a pauper. These 
sharp contrasts sink into men's minds, and 
produce different impressions. When 
millionaires whose wealth has been ob- 
tained by sharp practice, by chicanery, 
by circumventing the laws, by monopo- 
lizing the national heritage, by gambling 
on the stock exchange, by making u cor- 
ners" in food products, by wrecking 
railways, by watering stocks, flaunt their 
money in the faces of the poor, these 
latter may become either resentful or 
emulous. If they feel that they them- 
selves have no vocation towards the en- 
terprises which have produced this afflu- 
ence ; if they belong to the large class 
which lacks capacity to utilize opportu- 
nity ; if they are at once intelligent and 
honest enough to perceive and revolt 
from the means employed, they will 
regard these evidences of prosperous au- 
dacity and knavery with indignation, 
and they will have a diminished respect 
for the system under which such tri- 
umphs can be obtained. If, on the other 
hand, the observers belong to the class 
from which so many modern rich men 
spring, they will carefully follow the 
careers of these pioneers, and will seek 
to catch the secret of their success, fully 



100 



The Labor Question. 



[July, 



prepared to employ it on their own be- 
half at the earliest opportunity. 

When, however, the foreign immi- 
grant, imbued with Old World socialism, 
lands here, he sees no new or unfamiliar 
conditions. He finds society ranging 
between the mansion and the tenement- 
house. He finds superfluous wealth at 
one extreme, and squalid destitution at 
the other. In the arrangement of the 
social machinery he sees less ceremony 
and form than in Europe, and marks an 
absence of nominal rank. But he soon 
perceives that rank is really present, if 
it is conventionally put in the back- 
ground, and that at bottom American 
society is modeled upon that of Europe. 
Remember that the foreigner brings with 
him strong opinions, generally, upon the 
wrongs of his class ; and remember that 
there is at present no class in existence 
which possesses anything like the solidi- 
ty and catholic unity of the workingmen. 
Socialism has brought this about, and it 
is idle to imagine that socialism has noth- 
ing to do with the United States. Be- 
cause the extremists, the reds and anar- 
chists, appear to command little sympa- 
thy, it must not be inferred that social- 
ism has obtained no footing in the ranks 
of American labor. The programme of 
the Knights of Labor to-day is almost 
identical with that which the French 
collectivists adopted in 1880, and there 
is more than a coincidence in the fact. 
The truth is that, in proportion as the 
workingmen feel the impassability of the 
gulf that separates them from the rich 
class, they tend to become discontented 
and disaffected ; and as the struggle for 
existence grows harder in our centres 
of population with the increase of im- 
migration and the fierceness of commer- 
cial and industrial competition, the 
chances of the average poor man to ac- 
quire wealth become smaller, thus put- 
ting him among the protestants against 
the existing situation, and, by conse- 
quence, among the prospective agitators 
and advocates of socialist theories. 



The influence of socialism upon the 
present labor troubles must be recog- 
nized. It is less a direct than a reflex 
influence. The American workingmen 
certainly entertain no revolutionary pur- 
pose wittingly, but it is none the less 
evident that they have been affected by 
the sentiments which are in the air. 
We are apt to count confidently upon 
the latent patriotism of the citizen. 
Hitherto that trust has certainly been 
justified. But the student of his own 
times cannot afford to ignore the pecul- 
iar tendency of modern socialism to 
break down the love of country, and 
substitute for it a class feeling as broad 
as humanity. A very careful observer, 
M. de Laveleye, says, "It [socialism] 
has become a kind of cosmopolitan re- 
ligion. It oversteps frontiers, it oblit- 
erates race antipathies, and, above all, it 
eradicates patriotism, and tries to efface 
the very idea of it. Fellow-countrymen 
are enemies if they are employers ; for- 
eigners are brothers if they live by 
wages." Of course this is intended to 
apply especially to the workingmen of 
Europe, but as the ranks of American 
labor are being continually recruited 
thence, the facts are not without signifi- 
cance for us. It is one among many 
tendencies having their influence upon 
the attitude of the labor unions just now 
so prominently before the public, and 
all these tendencies must be taken into 
account if a just comprehension of what 
is going on in the minds of the masses 
is to be obtained. 

Socialist ideas, moreover, are propa- 
gated through a special literature, much 
of which is overlooked by men of busi- 
ness and politicians, but which has a 
considerable circulation. The theories 
advanced by those who quarrel with the 
existing condition of things are various 
and contradictory. Land nationaliza- 
tion appears, to the disciples of Henry 
George, the panacea for all evils. Oth- 
ers deny that the author of Progress 
and Poverty has found the true solution 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



101 



of the problem. Paternal government, 
collectivism, communism, are in turn 
advocated. But all the revolutionary 
projects agree in these particulars ; name- 
ly, that the poor are victims of injustice, 
and that poverty ought to be made im- 
possible by legislation. That any form 
of socialism should be entertained in 
this country may seem strange to those 
who continue to believe in the popular 
ability to obtain, through the ballot, 
whatever is worth having. But such a 
belief has ceased to be general. Labor 
has tried politics, and is not satisfied 
with the results. It has found the poli- 
ticians always eager to profess whatever 
is required, but when they had attained 
their ends it has not found them willing 
to fulfill their promises. In truth, the 
workingmen have often been the dupes 
of demagogues, who, by undertaking to 
frame and carry out impossible or mis- 
chievous measures, have at once stimu- 
lated unreasonable demands, and pre- 
pared a decline of faith in the practica- 
bility of relief through the suffrage. It 
has been one of the misfortunes of 
American labor that its political power 
has deprived it of candid advisers. It 
has been flattered by all parties, and no 
party has had the courage to tell it un- 
palatable truths. The possession of this 
political power has caused it to be court- 
ed with a sycophancy which has had any- 
thing but wholesome effects, and the 
general tendency of politics upon labor 
has consequently been to disillusionize 
the intelligent workingmen, and to en- 
courage the unenlightened in extrava- 
gant pretensions and unworkable theo- 
ries. 

If labor is now unreasonable and dis- 
posed to tyrannize, it is only following 
in the footsteps of other classes. Not 
many years have elapsed since the farm- 
ers of the West made a similar experi- 
ment with the ballot. They had griev- 
ances against the railroads. The trans- 
portation problem presents some para- 
doxes which, to those who have not 



studied it, are apt to look like inequities. 
They so appeared to the " Grangers," 
who forthwith went out to do battle for 
what they thought their rights. With 
political power in their hands, they con- 
trolled the law-making machinery. They 
hurried through measures intended to 
regulate the railroad business in the 
popular interest. They honestly be- 
lieved that their unquestionable com- 
mand of the political forces of the state 
enabled them to solve all problems. As 
they did not understand transportation, 
the laws made by them proved imprac- 
ticable, and when put in operation injured 
the public, and had to be repealed. 
Before this stage of evolution had been 
passed, however, popular sentiment re- 
acted upon the judicial machinery, and 
was reflected in some decisions which do 
not probably count for nothing in the 
growth of the tendency to ignore settled 
doctrines of property rights which alarm 
the public to-day. 

It is worth while to examine this case 
with some care, for it may have a de- 
cided bearing upon current events. In 
the " Granger " agitation, the protest 
of the threatened corporations against 
regulative legislation was largely ground- 
ed upon the venerable axiom that own- 
ership and control go together, and that 
they cannot be separated without a fatal 
invasion of property rights. Through 
a series of judicial decisions, culminating 
in those by the United States Supreme 
Court in the so-called Elevator Cases, 
this defense was wrenched away from 
the corporations. The doctrine was laid 
down that the legislature had a right to 
regulate the profits and general manage- 
ment of any business in the operation of 
which a " public use " could be shown. 
It was pointed out at the time by a dis- 
senting member of the court that this 
doctrine might be extended so as to in- 
clude almost any and every occupation 
in which men could engage ; and that 
consequently it subjected not only cor- 
porate but private business to the lia- 



102 



The Labor Question. 



[July, 



bility of a legislative interference easily 
pushed, by ignorance or malice, to the 
point of confiscation. Actual experi- 
ment soon proved that the transporta- 
tion question could not be satisfactorily 
settled by measures not based on care- 
ful and intelligent study, and subse- 
quently it was discovered that complete 
publicity was a more effective reform 
agency than iron-clad statutes. But the 
new doctrine of legislative interference 
with property remained, and it cannot 
be doubted that it has exercised the in- 
fluence upon public opinion to be ex- 
pected from the utterances of so august 
a tribunal. 

It is interesting to observe that the 
question of the ownership and control 
of property underlies the dispute be- 
tween the Knights of Labor and their 
employers, just as it did the earlier quar- 
rel between the Grangers and the rail- 
road corporations. As the latter figure 
largely in the new disturbance, it may 
be thought that it is only a fresh phase 
of the old trouble ; and in one sense this 
is true. It is not a long journey from 
the theory of legislative regulation of 
corporate property to the theory of pub- 
lic (say trades-union) regulation of both 
corporate and private property. If the 
legislature, which is merely the agent of 
the people, can regulate, why may not 
the people, if they choose, proceed, with- 
out the intervention of an agent, to en- 
force their will ? Such an argument 
might appear both reasonable and forci- 
ble to an ignorant man, and it must be 
admitted that the way has been pre- 
pared for the development of some such 
idea by antecedent events. The Knights 
of Labor claim the right to settle the 
wages they are to receive, and they deny 
to their employers the right to deter- 
mine whom they shall employ. This is 
to separate control from ownership, and 
in effect to transfer the latter by a meth- 
od of disguised confiscation. The prop- 
osition, when put nakedly, is revolting 
and alarming. Business men every- 



where appear to think that it involves 
so vicious a doctrine that to admit it 
would be to paralyze industry and com- 
merce, and to arrest progress complete- 
ly. Yet it is a fact that the doctrine, 
in a slightly different form, has been the 
watchword, the war-cry, of many States 
in the Union, and that even in its pres- 
ent shape it has been repeatedly accept- 
ed at the hands of labor organizations. 

The exigencies of commerce, the pres- 
sure of competition, have compelled or 
induced many employers to submit to 
terms which they considered unjust and 
principles which they believed revolu- 
tionary. The selfish engrossment of 
the majority in their own affairs, rein- 
forced by the feelings of jealousy and 
dislike which corporate prosperity and 
corporate abuses had aroused, caused 
the invasion of property rights conse- 
quent upon the Granger agitation to be 
viewed with indifference. Now, when 
propositions of the same kind are ad- 
vanced in a broader field and a more 
conspicuous manner, the effect is star- 
tling, and it might be thought, from much 
of the comment, that the whole question 
was brand-new, and had never before 
been pressed upon public attention. 
There is, no doubt, a decided difference 
between the earlier and the later meth- 
ods of presentation. The Grangers in- 
voked the law. They acted through 
the recognized constitutional machinery. 
They obtained the sanction of the court 
of last resort to their demands. They 
were not amenable to the charge of vio- 
lence and lawlessness. In many of the 
recent strikes the defiance of law has 
been conspicuous. The men have acted 
apparently upon the theory that they 
had a right to enter upon and seize the 
property of their employers, and to for- 
cibly prevent non-union laborers from 
taking their places. But the Grangers 
were for the most part Americans. 
They understood the system of govern- 
ment under which they lived. They 
were familiar with the Constitution. 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



103 



They knew that, possessing the ballot, 
they could control legislation. The 
Knights of Labor, on the other hand, 
are men of whom a large percentage are 
foreign born ; who, representing un- 
skilled labor, necessarily hold in their 
assemblies a considerable element of ig- 
norance and deficient intelligence ; who, 
like all ignorant bodies on first discover- 
ing the power of organization, are dis- 
posed to abuse that power ; and who, 
therefore, naturally tend to seek by force 
that which better instructed people aim 
at through forms of law. 

Nor is this the only distinction be- 
tween the Knights of Labor and the 
Grangers. The former have compelled 
attention to the important fact that 
they are not warranted in assuming to 
represent American labor ; that, in- 
deed, they constitute but a very small 
portion of that labor ; that they are a 
minority, half a million as against 
eighteen millions of non-union workers ; 
and that their contest is really far more 
against their own order than against 
capital. It is curious that they should 
inveigh against monopoly while they are 
endeavoring to set up the most odious 
and intolerable species of it, but there 
can be no doubt of the fact. The po- 
sition they have taken is that no man 
who does not belong to their order has 
a right to work for his living, and that 
they are entitled to dictate to every 
American workingman for whom he 
shall labor and at what wages. It is 
only necessary to state these claims to 
perceive that they involve a despotism 
more intolerable than the most spiritless 
and abject people known to history ever 
endured ; and, like all organized despot- 
isms, the successful operation of this 
one demands the most servile submis- 
sion on the part of the members. A 
typical illustration is the case of the 
Patterson silk-mill, all the hands in 
which were made to go on strike by a 
" walking delegate " who merely wished 
to show his authority. There was no 



grievance against the employers. The 
hands were satisfied with their condi- 
tion. But when the walking delegate 
(who was a cigar-maker, and knew noth- 
ing about the silk business) demanded 
the adoption of some absurd changes in 
the mode of work, and was refused, he 
" snapped his fingers " as he passed 
through the mill, on his way out, and all 
the hands, without asking a question, 
dropped their work and walked into the 
street. Afterwards that walking dele- 
gate was punished by his order, for he 
had no authority for his action. But 
the servility demanded by the Knights 
of Labor is shown most strikingly in 
the unhesitating obedience paid to this 
man's command by those who knew per- 
fectly well that they had no cause of 
complaint, and that consequently a strike 
could not be justified. 

So then it appears that while an 
outsider has no rights as against the 
Knights of Labor, a member of the or- 
der possesses no rights as against its offi- 
cers and leaders. Its tyranny towards 
non-union men is not greater than its 
tyranny towards its own members. 
What an American citizen obtains by 
joining the order is, apparently, the sus- 
pension of almost every important right 
and immunity secured to him by the 
Constitution of the United States. He 
enters it a free man. He yields up his 
freedom thenceforth. He becomes a 
mere blind instrument in the hands of 
others, of others whose ignorance and 
stupidity he might convince himself of 
by the slightest examination, yet whom 
he permits to control his destiny, and in 
whose incompetent hands he places his 
independence. Strange that men should 
bow their necks to so heavy a yoke in 
the search for greater liberty. Strange 
that it should be thought possible to se- 
cure broader liberties by abandoning 
those already enjoyed. The Knights 
of Labor, however, are ambitious. They 
aim at combining in their own persons the 
characteristics and functions at once of 



104 



The Labor Question. 



[July, 



tyrants and slaves. For the sake of de- 
priving their neighbors of freedom they 
voluntarily relinquish their own, and 
that they may the better play the part 
of masters they reduce themselves to 
the condition of serfs. 

What the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence terms the " unalienable right " to 
" life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi- 
ness " is not recognized at all by these 
men. They practically assert that no- 
body who is not a Knight of Labor has 
any such right, and yet there are eight- 
een million workers in the country who 
do not belong to that order. The au- 
dacity, the irrationality, the subversive 
character, of the claims of this compar- 
atively small number of law-breakers 
and revolutionists would perhaps jus- 
tify amusement rather than alarm but 
for the manner in which their extraordi- 
nary attacks upon the structure of society 
have been received. Fora considerable 
period it looked as though the trouble 
would be settled by general submission 
to their outrageous demands. When 
the impossibility of such a course be- 
came apparent, it was extremely doubt- 
ful for a time whether the local author- 
ities would summon courage to do their 
duty. The instrumentalities for vindi- 
cating the law and keeping order were 
at hand, but those charged with setting 
them in motion were politicians, and 
they were manifestly afraid of offending 
the law-breakers. Only the steadily 
growing pressure of a public opinion 
the trend of which could not be mis- 
taken at last compelled the adoption of 
decided and effective measures for the 
general protection. 

Meantime the spectacle presented was 
humiliating. Governors of States were 
seen, not administering the laws with 
energy and firmness, but shutting their 
eyes to the rampant lawlessness that 
surrounded them, and talking about the 
desirability of "arbitration" between 
corporations whose property was being 
destroyed and the criminals who were de- 



stroying it. It is perhaps the first time 
that a proposition of the kind has been 
made, and it will be well for the coun- 
try if it is the last. The effect of this 
cowardice and unfaithfulness to duty 
was of course to confirm the strikers in 
the belief that they were within their 
rights in blocking traffic, " killing " en- 
gines, intimidating non-union men, and 
generally taking possession of the prop- 
erty of other people. The extent to 
which confusion of thought may be car- 
ried was further shown in the appear- 
ance of a disposition to regard the kind 
of lawlessness existing as different from 
the kinds already provided against by 
the law, and to speak as if some new 
legislation were required to deal with it. 
Of course the truth is that every unlaw- 
ful act committed by the strikers and 
boycotters has long been fully met by 
statutory provisions, and that nothing 
was needed but the proper enforcement 
of existing law. 

Perhaps the gradual growth of trades- 
unionism and the silent advance of 
its claims and pretensions may have 
contributed to this confusion, but the 
bold and sudden movement of the 
Knights of Labpr has compelled the 
American people to realize that the ten- 
dency of modern labor organization is 
to create an imperium in imperioj a 
government established on lines which 
at many points traverse those on which 
the republic stands, and which, if it suc- 
ceeds in its avowed aims, must revolu- 
tionize the Union. What success by 
the Knights of Labor, as at present led 
and organized, would mean for the pub- 
lic generally may perhaps be conjec- 
tured pretty accurately from current 
events. In Lynn, Massachusetts, for 
example, the Knights undertook to com- 
pel a whole class of tradesmen to close 
their stores at six o'clock in the even- 
ing. The majority to their discredit 
be it said abjectly submitted to this 
impudent command. They had their 
reward. The Knights naturally pro- 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



105 



ceeded further. They demanded next 
that the tradesmen submit their tariffs of 
retail prices, to the end that their profits 
should be regulated. Fortunately, one 
man in Lynn, George Tarbox, was an 
old-fashioned American citizen. He 
knew his rights, " and, knowing, dared 
maintain." He refused to obey the 
early-closing orders of the Knights of 
Labor. They threatened him with the 
boycott. He appealed to the public. 
The latter promptly responded, and the 
feeble folk who had bowed their necks 
to the yoke of the new tyrants gathered 
courage to rebel against the demand for 
the regulation of their price-lists. The 
lesson of this episode is important. 

The organization of labor is inevita- 
ble and necessary. But the American 
people have a right to demand that 
when labor organizes it shall do so un- 
der and with due regard to the laws of 
the land, and that it shall not proceed 
as if society were in a chaotic state, and 
every man was at liberty to regulate 
his actions according to his individual 
fancies. What the public have most 
to complain of is that labor organiza- 
tions ignore the laws, undertake to im- 
port principles antagonistic to them, em- 
ploy their power in illegitimate ways, 
and do this . with an air of complete 
innocence and as a matter of course. 
Even the older trades - unions, which 
have learned something by hard ex- 
perience, by no means obtain from 
their organization the best possible re- 
sults. They are not so prone to strikes 
as formerly, and they endeavor to 
avoid violence when they do strike. 
But they are not above resorting to the 
boycott, and they seek to maintain a 
monopoly which is a wrong to labor in 
the aggregate. There is another defect 
in their working. They put too much 
stress on rights and too little upon du- 
ties. The modern trades-unionist is a 
man very sure to know what is due to 
himself from his employer. He is not 
so sure to recognize what is due to his 



employer from himself. Trades-union- 
ism certainly has not done much to pro- 
mote conscientiousness and excellence 
in the performance of work. Rather it 
has tended to put all workingmen upon 
a dead level of perfunctory mediocrity. 
A system which aims at repressing indi- 
vidual superiorities in the avowed inter- 
est of the inferior workmen can have 
no other effect. A system which discour- 
ages enthusiasm in the employee, lest it 
should lead the employer to put his stand- 
ard too high and expect too much, is dis- 
tinctly debasing in its influence. It may 
secure work for a larger number, but it 
can do so only by the sacrifice of excel- 
lence, faithfulness, ambition, and individ- 
ual ism. 

This is what most schemes of social- 
ism demand and necessitate, indeed. 
They are, with scarcely an exception, 
framed in direct opposition to natural 
law. The doctrine of the survival of 
the fittest finds no acceptance with mod- 
ern socialists. They seek to reverse all 
the processes of evolution in order to 
find equal subsistence for the undeserv- 
ing and the deserving, for the incapable 
and the capable, for the lazy and the in- 
dustrious, for the stupid and the bright, 
for the vicious and the virtuous. At 
every step in the application of such 
doctrines, however, fresh difficulties are 
encountered ; and as self-interest almost 
invariably determines the course finally 
taken, many odd contradictions and 
anomalies are involved. In the social 
republic there is to be no monopoly at 
all. In trades-unionism monopoly is 
the chief object, and to maintain it not 
only is all outside labor discriminated 
against, but the prospects of the coming 
generation are deliberately injured by 
the strict limitation of apprenticeship. 
Founded on principles which seem to 
apply to all labor, these organizations 
inevitably resolve themselves into close 
corporations. Initiated for the legiti- 
mate purpose of resisting the selfishness 
and greed of capital, they have devel- 



106 



The Labor Question. 



oped a rapacity of their own which is 
interfering seriously with production 
and industry generally, and which must 
be checked and brought within bounds 
before they can be what their founders 
hoped. 

The organization of labor has hither- 
to been in the hands of unfit men, with 
too few exceptions. The leaders have 
been selfish, narrow-minded, or ignorant. 
The true way to utilize the strength of 
united labor is to develop the individual 
power of the members. By no other 
means have great nations ever been 
formed. An association, the effective 
strength of which depends upon the sur- 
render of the rights and liberties of its 
members, may be a dangerous instrument 
for the use of adventurers and dema- 
gogues, but it cannot advance the inter- 
ests of the men themselves. The most 
urgent want of labor to-day is self-con- 
trol. In this free country no man en- 
dowed with average abilities need re- 
main all his life poor. If he has thrift, 
self-restraint, perseverance, he will pass 
from the ranks of labor to the ranks of 
capital. It is the saving man who be- 
comes the capitalist, the man who has 
force to deny himself indulgences. What 
a lesson lies in the drink-bill of the 
American workingmen. for instance ! 
At a moderate estimate, it amounts to 
between four and five hundred million 
dollars a year. While labor is throw- 
ing away that enormous sum annually, 
with what show of consistency can it 
lament its condition ? One year's re- 
mission of that destructive self-indul- 
gence would solve every labor problem 
extant ; would provide a fund for the 
establishment of cooperative works, for 
the sustenance of the sick and aged, for 
the maintenance and education of or- 
phans, for libraries and scientific schools, 
for all manner of helps. 

At present the workingman can hard- 
ly make both ends meet. Is it not be- 
cause he insists on creating capitalists 
out of the saloon-keepers, and, not con- 



tent with that, on submitting all his 
rights of citizenship to the same objects 
of worship? The saloon in politics is 
the most hideous abuse of the day, but 
where would it be if the workingmen 
withdrew their support from it ? It 
keeps them poor. It keeps our politics 
corrupt. It supplies a constant stream 
of base adventurers, who disgrace the 
American name at home and abroad. It 
makes the terms "public office" and 
" public plunder " synonymous. It sti- 
fles progress, fosters pauperism, brutal- 
izes husbands and fathers, breaks wo- 
men's hearts, puts rags on the working- 
man's back, disease in his body, and 
shame and despair in his heart. Yet 
when labor is most disturbed, when the 
demand for advanced wages is loudest, 
when strikes are most frequent, when 
hunger and misery are most rife in the 
homes of the poor, the saloon flourishes 
still. There may be no bread at home, 
but there is always beer and whiskey at 
the bar, and the men who consider them- 
selves the victims of circumstances or 
the " thralls " of capital squander their 
earnings, spend their savings, in these 
dens. Can there be a serious labor 
question while this state of things con- 
tinues ? Can workingmen talk gravely 
of their wrongs while it is plain to all 
the world that if they only saved the 
capital they earn they would be com- 
fortable ? 

This aspect of the case has not been 
sufficiently examined, and for reasons 
which will probably occur readily to the 
reader. But it is really the key to the 
situation. When we see on the one 
side a yearly waste of between four and 
five hundred millions of dollars, and on 
the other side a body of men, the squan- 
derers of this vast fund, complaining that 
they have not sufficient opportunities, 
we cannot long be at a loss to compre- 
hend the true nature of the existing dis- 
satisfaction. It is clear that labor has 
been incited to seek from without the 
relief which ought to be sought from 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



107 



within. The socialist theory of a pater- 
nal state system which provides every- 
body with work and wages is a mis- 
chievous fallacy. It simply encourages 
indolence and dependence. The first 
duty of labor is to demonstrate its ca- 
pacity for self-government. At this mo- 
ment its drink-bill is an impeachment of 
that capacity. No man who spends half 
his earnings at a saloon can get on in 
the world, or has the least right to ex- 
pect to get on. Nor can any body of 
men follow the same course with better 
results. Prosperity is the reward of per- 
severing, temperate, ungrudging work. 
In these days there is, however, a great 
wind of new doctrine. We are asked 
to believe that it is possible to succeed 
in very different ways : that the less a 
man works, for example, the more he 
ought to receive ; that national prosper- 
ity can be advanced by diminishing pro- 
duction ; and many other equally hard 
sayings. But it may be confidently af- 
firmed that these new theories are des- 
tined to be short-lived, and that the 
world will have to be managed event- 
ually upon pretty much the old lines. 

Labor has got upon the wrong track. 
That is the truth. It has been misled 
by incompetent advisers. It has, no 
doubt, great opportunities before it. 
Organization under better management 
may lead it to a successful solution of 
the cooperative problem, will certainly 
give it adequate protection, and is ca- 
pable of developing the best that its 
capacities can offer. But it is not by 
pursuing chimeras that the question can 
be settled satisfactorily, nor by ignoring 
duties and insisting upon rights. Thrift 
and temperance and reasonableness are 
three indispensable requisites to a for- 
ward movement. There can, however, 
be no thrift or temperance so long as a 
handful of ignorant men are permitted 
to throw scores of thousands of work- 
ingmen out of employment ; so long as 
the saloon rules labor and handles it in 
politics ; so long as the money that 



would carry comfort and decency to 
every laboring man's home in the land 
is diverted to enrich brewers and whis- 
key distillers and the keepers of their 
retail places. There can be no reasona- 
bleness so long as labor takes its argu- 
ments from the mouths of its worst en- 
emies, and starves itself to feed fat a 
crowd of chattering demagogues, who 
have only their own mean and sordid 
interests at heart, and neither under- 
stand nor care to understand the things 
which really concern their clients. It 
is necessary to dwell strongly upon 
these considerations. The man who 
cannot govern his own appetites must 
fail in the battle of life. The man who 
cannot deny himself must remain poor. 
No outside conditions can compensate 
for want of force of character. No reg- 
ulation of the hours of labor, no increase 
in wages, no monopoly of work, no 
trades-union rules, however cunningly 
contrived, can change the laws of nature. 
While the world lasts there will be fit 
and unfit men, and the former will pros- 
per and the latter will fail, will fail 
because they are not adapted to their 
environment. It may be possible to 
conceive of a world in which the present 
incapable should succeed ; in which sloth 
and intemperance and defective intelli- 
gence should lead to fortune. But it 
would have to be a world radically dif- 
ferent from this, and therefore it is that 
the unfit ones whom we have with us 
must continue to fail to the end. The 
workingmen do not seem to have con- 
sidered these primary matters much as 
yet, but they are in greater present need 
of self-discipline than of anything else ; 
and until they perceive this, and under- 
take to educate themselves, using their 
organization as a means to self-help 
rather than as an offensive weapon 
wherewith to attack trade and industry, 
they are likely to do themselves and the 
country more harm than good. 

Unfortunately, the steady progress of 
such an educational process in the United 



108 



The Labor Question. 



[July, 



States is seriously interfered with by 
the constant addition of an ignorant el- 
ement to the labor population. Since 
this influx has for many years consisted 
largely of foreigners from the continent 
of Europe, who do not speak English, 
moreover, and who bring to us ideas of 
social growth often wholly antagonistic 
to American views, the difficulty has in- 
creased. It is not merely total igno- 
rance of our laws and governmental 
system that we have to contend with, 
but independent beliefs about govern- 
ment and the state which are opposed 
to our own altogether. One result of 
this is the conversion of labor organiza- 
tions into socialist propaganda, and the 
gradual introduction to labor agitation 
of socialist ideas and propositions. The 
extension of secret societies, ostensibly 
organized for mutual protection and help, 
thus involves a pressure upon the polit- 
ical machinery liable to become more 
dangerous and subversive as the numer- 
ical strength of the societies grows. 
This, however, is but one of the embar- 
rassing consequences of the national 
hospitality. A country possessing a ho- 
mogeneous population, and depending for 
the increase of that population upon nat- 
ural multiplication, may have to pass 
through many trials before it attains the 
stability of settled civilization ; yet it 
will, as a rule, proceed steadily from one 
experiment to another, and will profit 
by its various lessons. But if a country 
is continually adding to its population 
from without ; if it is compelled to edu- 
cate a large percentage of its adult citi- 
zens, as well as its children ; if at every 
critical juncture it has to deal with a 
formidable element which has no past 
experiences to guide it, the result must 
be that the same hard lessons will have 
to be learned again and again, and that 
much friction and loss of time will have 
to be endured. 

It may be that eventually we shall 
conquer these difficulties ; that complete 
assimilation will take place at last. But 



before that can happen we shall be, for 
an indefinite period, so far as can now 
be seen, subjected to periodical disturb- 
ance and disquietude from this cause, 
and the national progress will be checked 
while we are laboriously and painfully 
recommencing the instruction which, 
under normal conditions, might have 
been necessary only once. The time is 
also approaching when our saturation 
point will have been reached, and when 
the pressure of population upon the 
means of subsistence will constitute as 
grave a problem as it has long been in 
Europe. If foreign immigration is to 
continue unchecked, not many years more 
of indifference to the implications will 
be permitted to our politicians, and from 
present indications it seems anything 
but certain that they will be prepared 
to meet the problem intelligently and 
successfully. But in the absence of any 
pronounced or organized public opinion 
on the subject of immigration, the only 
course open is to consider the existing 
conditions as settled, and to make the 
best of them. It is indeed curious that 
no protest has yet been heard from 
American labor on this head, if we ex- 
cept that from the Pacific coast against 
the Chinese ; for, logically considered, 
the spirit of trades-unionism ought to 
be strongly opposed to any further in- 
crease of the labor element, and experi- 
ence has shown that in such cases for- 
eigners are generally the first to mani- 
fest hostility to new-comers. 

Importing ignorance arid socialism free- 
ly as we do, however, we cannot reason- 
ably complain of the results. If of late 
they have been more disagreeable than 
usual, we must remember that the whole 
world is agitated by the labor question. 
It seems possible that we could have es- 
caped dangerous agitation of the prob- 
lem by pursuing a more conservative 
policy ; by insisting more, for instance, 
upon America for Americans. Perhaps 
we have not sufficiently realized that 
even the largest continent must be filled 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



109 



in time. But we must lie upon the 
bed as we have made it, and since we 
are already face to face with revolu- 
tionary theories of the social system 
and the relations between capital and 
labor, we must endeavor to secure the 
ultimate preponderance of American 
over exotic doctrines ; unless, indeed, 
we are prepared to indorse the superi- 
ority of the latter. 

As to that, no doubt, probably, need 
be entertained. The largest liberty com- 
patible with the maintenance of equal 
rights has been the national maxim since 
the foundation of the republic, and it 
has worked well, on the whole. A sys- 
tem which carefully provides for the 
free development of individuality is nec- 
essarily open to abuses. Where the re- 
spect for individual liberty coexists with 
a feverish pursuit of wealth, excessive 
greed will occasionally be evolved, and 
mischievous and demoralizing aggrega- 
tions of capital will occur. But these 
are the exceptions, not the rule. In the 
aggregate the democratic system has 
been vindicated. The advance of na- 
tional prosperity, in despite of many 
and grave drawbacks, has been so great 
as to excite the wonder of all other 
nations. The increase in the popular 
standard of comfort has been, if not so 
rapid as it might have been, certainly 
quicker and greater than in any other 
country. If we have produced a small 
number of millionaires, we have created 
millions of well-to-do citizens. The re- 
ports of our savings-banks show a sub- 
stantial condition of society in the mid- 
dle and lower grades. Notwithstanding 
their waste of capital in self-indulgence, 
the poor are better off than at any for- 
mer time, or in any other part of the 
world. Thanks to our liberal institu- 
tions, there is no barrier between our 
workingmen and capitalists. Any la- 
borer with health and pluck and judg- 
ment may become rich, and thousands 
do. It is not, then, to be expected that 
Americans will give up the advantages 



which they believe inhere in their sys- 
tem of government, to adopt methods 
which demand the extinction of indi- 
viduality, the surrender of freedom of 
action, and the conversion of the great 
republic into a sort of compromise be- 
tween a military despotism and a scheme 
of national pauperism. 

All such notions are idle fantasies. 
This country will proceed on the lines 
hitherto pursued and approved by suf- 
ficient experience. But it does not fol- 
low that there is not ample room for 
improvement in many things, and, among 
others, in the relations between capital 
and labor. Of late much has been said 
on behalf of arbitration. No doubt ar- 
bitration is a good thing, and courts of 
conciliation are good ; in fact, anything 
is good which puts reason before main 
strength and passion, and which compels 
both parties to a dispute to discuss it 
coolly before an impartial and mutually 
friendly council. But before arbitration 
is adopted it is necessary to determine 
just where the opportunity for it begins, 
and recent events have shown the exist- 
ence of a good deal of confusion on this 
point. It may be laid down as an es- 
sential preliminary that arbitration is 
only in order when both parties are 
within their rights. If a body of work- 
men have struck, and are resting quiet- 
ly, refraining from all interference with 
the property of their employers, the 
case is one for arbitration. But if the 
strike has been followed by violence and 
lawlessness, arbitration is out of place. 
The case is then one for the police to 
deal with, and, if necessary, the militia. 
No doubt as to this can be permitted. 
Arbitration presupposes mutual fair play 
and forbearance. Of course the ques- 
tion involved goes to the very bottom 
of that of the rights of strikers. Those 
rights begin and end with the right to 
refuse to work for a given wage. If, 
after so refusing to work, the striker un- 
dertakes to prevent any one else from 
working in his place, he puts himself in 



110 



The Labor Question. 



[July, 



the wrong, and he must recede from that 
false position before arbitration can be 
applicable. Whenever this is fully real- 
ized by the workingmen the strike will 
be abandoned ; and this is a change to 
be hoped for, inasmuch as it is fatally 
defective as an aid to labor. It can 
only succeed when it is impossible to re- 
place the striking element. As such oc- 
casions are comparatively rare in a coun- 
try where the organized labor forms so 
small a percentage of the whole, it fol- 
lows that a lawful strike, can seldom 
succeed ; once undertaken, however, the 
temptation to proceed to violence is 
great, so great that when the strikers 
are unskilled laborers it is found almost 
impossible to withstand it. In effect, 
when a lawful strike has any prospect 
of success arbitration would be better. 
When it has no prospect of success it is 
very liable to degenerate into crime. 
In any case, it is clumsy, uncertain, and 
dangerous. 

Whatever constitutes a motive for a 
strike is cause for arbitration. But ar- 
bitration, to be respected, must be re- 
spectable. President Cleveland's mes- 
sage on the subject, and the law framed 
in Congress to carry his suggestion into 
effect, do not appear to meet the require- 
ments of the case. It is extremely 
doubtful whether anything can be ex- 
pected from professional arbitrators po- 
litically appointed. Every dispute be- 
tween labor and capital involves spe- 
cial points, understood, as a rule, only by 
the men concerned on both sides, or by 
other men engaged in the same kind of 
business or manufacture. These are natu- 
ral arbitrators, and their decisions carry 
weight, but no such respect is likely to 
be paid the judgments of politicians. As 
to compulsory arbitration, it is a con- 
tradiction in terms, and the very idea 
involves the most revolutionary tenden- 
cies. To propose that the decision of 
an arbitrator shall be binding, without 
any regard to its reasonableness or even 
its legality, is to propose to change the 



relations between men so radically that 
the Constitution and the laws would 
thenceforth be practically little better 
than dead letters. If capital and labor 
are both disposed to be reasonable, they 
can and will find common standing- 
ground. The older trades-unions are 
already regarding the strike with dis- 
trust. The policy recently outlined by 
Mr. Arthur, the head of the Brother- 
hood of Locomotive Engineers, repre- 
sents the most advanced views on this 
subject. Mr. Arthur does not believe 
in strikes, and keeps his order out of 
them as much as possible. One result 
is that his organization is powerful and 
respected, and that when it has griev- 
ances little difficulty is experienced in 
getting them removed. 

Labor, of course, often has just cause 
of complaint. Capital is greedy and 
hard in too many instances, and tries to 
get the most possible service for the 
least possible pay. Employers who 
look on their employees merely as ma- 
chines cannot expect to be regarded 
with affection. Great corporations that 
screw their men down to the lowest 
notch in wages will never enlist the 
sympathy of the public. Selfishness and 
rapacity when manifested by rich men 
are even more odious than when the 
poor exhibit those evil qualities. If, 
when violence has been offered corpo- 
rate property, the expression of public 
indignation has been less than the cir-^ 
cumstances seemed to demand, the pre- 
vailing lukewarmness was undoubtedly 
attributable to want of sympathy with 
employers believed to be heartless and 
ungenerous to their servants. Sometimes 
these beliefs are ill-founded. There are 
corporations that treat their employees 
kindly and considerately. But it is to 
be regretted that there are very few of 
them, and that in the majority of cases 
the relations are those of mutual distrust 
or indifference. 

It is questionable whether, in the ab- 
sence of esteem or liking of any kind, 



1886.] 



The Labor Question. 



Ill 



better relations can be established. Cer- 
tainly the tendencies of labor organiza- 
tion are away from closer connection be- 
tween employer and employed at pres- 
ent. The movement toward stronger 
demands for labor menaces whatever 
entente exists, and if the policy of the 
unions continues to be grasping and 
one-sided the effect upon capital must 
be serious. Most serious, however, 
for labor; for capital can always wait 
and can always subsist, while labor can 
do neither. Precisely because capital is 
realized labor it is stronger than labor. 
It represents the extent to which its 
possessors have advanced, in accumulat- 
ing savings, beyond those who have to 
work for their daily bread. Capital, 
moreover, can always move, while labor 
is not free to go where it pleases. In a 
contest of strength between the two 
forces, labor must always succumb, and 
this no matter what numerical strength 
the latter possesses. The more exten- 
sive and the fiercer the conflict, the soon- 
er must it end, for its extension can only 
involve rapid exhaustion of the mate- 
rial resources of labor. 

But all the friends and advisers of the 
workingman should warn him against 
entrance into such a strife. It is not that 
he is altogether wrong, or that he is not 
entitled to demand certain improvements 
in his condition. It is that, no matter 
what his equities, he cannot obtain them 
by unreasonable methods. A strike upon 
a falling market may appear just as to its 
surface propositions, but it is doomed to 
failure. A demand for increased wages 
or reduced working hours, or both, dur- 
ing a period of industrial depression is 
hopeless. As to the proposal for a 
shorter working-day, it is impossible to 
believe that those who make it at all 
understand what they are doing, for 
their success would be a calamity to 
them. This, however, is a graft from the 
tree of socialism, and as incongruous as 
most of the theories with which those 
wrong-headed people have filled the air, 



in these days of audacious and lawless 
speculation. Perhaps it is necessary that 
actual experiment should be had, to con- 
vince those whose reasoning powers are 
slight that if production generally is di- 
minished, the production of the wage-fund 
also must be reduced ; and that if the 
same amount of work is to be performed, 
but by an increased number of hands, 
the average payments to labor will be 
smaller. When the impossibility of 
obviating either of these results is com- 
prehended, there will probably be less 
disposition among workingmen to be- 
lieve that problems of wages and hours 
of labor can be determined by jto. 

There is a question connected with 
the labor issue which insists upon prompt 
determination, and which cannot be al- 
lowed to drift. It is the question, re- 
cently brought home to the country in 
startling ways, of anarchism. The gen- 
eral demand is naturally for stern re- 
pressive measures, and, the situation 
being what it is, they are necessary. 
But when the anarchists of to-day have 
been put down, how are we going to 
protect ourselves against the anarchists 
of to-morrow ? It is a very grave con- 
sideration. These men form precisely 
the element from which modern civili- 
zation has most to apprehend. They 
are at odds with society from the foun- 
dations upward. They deny the justice 
and the desirability of any existing in- 
stitutions. They are proletarians, hav- 
ing no property stake anywhere. They 
believe in destruction, and not in con- 
servation. They are wholly unapproach- 
able by reason. In short, they live in 
society only for the purpose of injuring, 
and if possible overthrowing, civiliza- 
tion. Such men, insane with the in- 
sanity produced by unbalanced specula- 
tion upon defective intelligence, upon 
those anaemic brains which the deadly 
vices of great capitals curse the world 
with, such men must, be it admitted, 
suffer the full penalty of declaring open 
war upon the existing order of things, 



112 



The Labor Question. 



[July, 



when they are taken flagrante delicto. 
But does it follow that this is the only 
or the best way of protecting society 
against them ? Has the nation no re- 
sponsibility that admits, without ques- 
tion, these perverted creatures ; that al- 
lows them to establish their propaganda ; 
that looks on indifferently while they 
are educating their dupes to lust after 
riot and massacre and anarchy; that 
leaves them free to do mischief until 
they have advanced from incendiary 
words to incendiary acts ? 

Such a policy renders rigorous sup- 
pression ultimately unavoidable. But 
where is the boasted freedom of speech 
and action, when it can only be enjoyed 
on such conditions ? Perhaps it is time 
to acknowledge that freedom of speech 
is never more than relative, and that if 
we are to avoid the necessity of putting 
down anarchist riots we must see to it 
that the dissemination of anarchist doc- 
trine is prevented. We have here a 
new problem. The anarchists are not 
to be regarded as fair material for citi- 
zenship. They hate American democ- 
racy as cordially as European absolut- 
ism. As one of them frankly declared 
at Chicago recently, they are against all 
laws and all governments, against the 
whole social and political system, against 
organized labor as much as capital. 
They have no sentimental associations 
with this republic. They come from 
the Old World's revolutionary muck- 
heap, and all their instincts and tenden- 
cies are aggressive, subversive, and de- 
structive. From their first appearance 
here they form an element of danger, a 
rally ing-point for all the foes of society 
to gather around. All the influence ex- 
ercised by them is sinister. They cor- 
rupt those workingmen who speak their 
language. They encourage and play 
into the hands of the criminal class. To 
permit all this, however, is deliberately 
to prepare the way for the forcible re- 
pression which such a course always 
compels, and this is to vitiate our sys- 



tem of government radically. Being 
what it is, anarchism should be pre- 
vented from germinating, instead of 
being permitted to grow, and then cut 
down with pain and difficulty when it is 
ripe. It has no more justification for 
free play among us than a cult of piracy 
would have, or such an academy of lar- 
ceny as Fagiii the Jew kept. The safety 
of the state, which is not less a supreme 
law than in the days of Roman domin- 
ion, demands that every propaganda of 
iniquity be extirpated. There cannot be 
two opinions among sane men as to the 
character of anarchist doctrine, and the 
danger of permitting such doctrine to be 
taught ignorant foreigners, who havo no 
saving familiarity with American prin- 
ciples, has been too plainly manifested 
already for any doubt to be entertained 
on that point. Anarchism, therefore, 
ought to be taken at the beginning, not 
at the end. Humanity, policy, alike 
justify this view. If we permit these 
people to sow, we cannot complain at the 
character of the crop left to us to reap. 
We can prevent the sowing, and that is 
our plain duty in the future, both to 
ourselves and to the anarchists. 

The labor question will slowly work 
itself into a more hopeful condition, if 
not too much interfered with. The ex- 
periments lately undertaken in the line 
of transferring the ownership of prop- 
erty by forcible confiscation have result- 
ed so discouragingly for the experiment- 
ers that they have probably learned 
some fundamental truths in connection 
with the actual power of labor organ- 
ization. 

Unfortunately for human progress, 
it usually requires some such painful 
demonstration to convince the masses 
that there is a wide distinction between 
the possession of force and the power to 
compass economic ends. If the Knights 
of Labor have learned some useful les- 
sons, however, the employers of labor 
have perhaps received some instruction 
also. The generality of labor organ i- 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



113 



zation at present tends to quicken the 
equitable tendencies of capital. The 
employer reflects more deeply upon the 
rights of labor when he realizes its abili- 
ty to check or stop production. There is 
room for concession on both sides, and if 
only time is given, capital and labor may 
come closer together. The chief danger 
lies in the hot-headedness of the least 
educated labor elements. Thus far they 
have been unable to control themselves 
at difficult junctures, and have shown a 
disposition to resort to illegitimate weap- 
ons, which they will have to abandon. 



In the end reason and equity must rule, 
and we may be sure that, under the sys- 
tem of free development which the re- 
public of the United States offers to all 
its citizens, the workingmen will obtain 
and enjoy every right and advantage 
which it is proper and lawful for them 
to possess : and while this does not im- 
ply that they are entitled to one right 
other or more than their fellow-citizens 
can claim, it does imply that they have 
more to hope from temperate and ra- 
tional action than they can possibly se- 
cure in any other way. 

George Frederic Parsons. 



IN THE CLOUDS. 



XVII. 



ALETHEA stood motionless for some 
little time, still leaning on the fence. 
A stalk of golden-rod, brown and with- 
ered, its glory departed, touched the 
rails now and then. Its slight, infre- 
quent swaying was the only intimation 
of wind, except that the encompassing 
smoke, filling the vast spaces between 
heaven and earth, shifted occasionally, 
the dense convolutions silently merg- 
ing into new combinations of ill-defined 
shapes, colorless phantasmagoria, dim- 
ly looming. It might have seemed as 
if all the world had faded out, leaving 
only these blurred suggestions of unrec- 
ognized forms, like the vestiges of for- 
gotten aeons. 

Even the harvesters did not maintain 
always a human aspect. Through the 
haze they were grotesque, distorted, gi- 
gantic ; their hands vaguely visible, now 
lifted, now falling, in their deliberate but 
ceaseless work. They looked like va- 
grants from that eccentric populace of 
dreams, given over to abnormal, incon- 
sequent gestures, to shifting similitudes, 
to preposterous conditions and facile 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 8 



metamorphoses of identity. Alethea 
felt a strange doubt, in recognizing Sam 
Marvin, whether it were indeed the 
moonshiner whom she saw. 

An insistent silence possessed the air, 
broken only by the rustle of the crisp 
husks as the three dim figures pulled the 
corn. Suddenly there sounded a mad, 
scuttling rush, shrill canine yelps, and a 
series of nimble shadows vaulted over the 
fence. The coon ran up a tree, while 
the moonshiner's dogs ranged themselves 
beneath it, with upturned heads askew, 
and gloating, baffled eyes, and moans of 
melancholy frustration, punctuated ever 
and anon with yaps of more poignant 
realization of the coon's inaccessibility. 
Tige, irresolute, showed fight at first to 
the strangers ; then he too sat down, and 
with quivering fore-paws and wagging 
tail wheezed and yelped at his fireside 
companion, as if he had had no personal 
acquaintance with the raccoon, had held 
with him no relations of enforced amity, 
and could not wait one moment to 
crunch his bones. 

The half-grown girl, desisting from 
her work, turned her head in the direc- 
tion of the noise, and caught a glimpse 



114 



In the Clouds. 



[July, 



of Alethea. She had an excited eye, 
high cheek-bones, and a thin, prominent 
nose. Her face looked peculiarly sharp 
inside her flabby sun-bonnet. She was 
at the " growing age," and her frock was 
consequently very short for the bare, 
sun-embrowned legs which protruded 
from it. Her bare feet were long and 
bony. She seemed to be growing length- 
wise only, for her shoulders were nar- 
row, her arms slim. She had a callow, 
half-fledged look, not unlike a Shanghai 
pullet. Her manner was abrupt and 
fluttered, and her voice high and shrill. 

" Laws - a - massy !" she exclaimed, 
jumping precipitately backward on her 
long, attenuated legs, " yander 's Lethe 
Sayles ! " 

Both the man and the woman started 
violently, not because of the matter 
of the disclosure, but of its manner, as 
was manifested in his rebuke. 

" By Gosh, Sereny ! ef ye ain't mighty 
nigh skeered me ter death ! " he cried 
angrily. " S'pose it air Lethe Sayles ! " 
He bowed his body grotesquely amidst 
the smoke, as he emphasized his reproof. 
" Air she ennything so powerful oncom- 
mon ez ye hev ter jump ez sprightly 
ez ef ye hed stepped on a rattlesnake, 
an* squeech out that-a-way? Howdy, 
Lethe," he added, with an odd contrast 
of a calm voice and a smooth manner, 
as if Alethea were deaf to these ameni- 
ties. " Thrivin', I s'pose ? " 

Alethea faltered that she was well, 
and said no more. The imperative con- 
sciousness of all that she had done 
against him, of all for which she feared 
him, prevailed for a time. She knew 
that it would have been wiser to venture 
some commonplace civility, and then go. 
But that insistent conscience, strong 
within her, forbade this. She was all 
unprepared now for the disclosure of 
her testimony in the court-room, but the 
fact that she had ever intended to warn 
him made it seem as if this were due. 
She felt as if she had missed a certain 
fortification of her courage in that she 



had not had the privilege of trembling 
over the prospect, of familiarizing her- 
self with it, of approaching it slowly, 
but none the less surely, by lessening 
degrees of trepidation. She wondered 
that he did not look at her with more of 
the indignation which she knew he must 
feel toward her. Bitterness, however, 
was acridly manifested in the woman's 
manner, her averted head, her sedulous 
silence. She continued industriously 
pulling the corn, as if no word had been 
spoken, no creature stood by. The gal- 
linaceous girl, silent too, returned to her 
work, but often looked askance at Ale- 
thea over her shoulder. 

The man spoke presently. His face 
and figure were blurred now in the 
smoke. It was as if a shadow had 
purloined a sarcastic voice. Alethea's 
nerves were unstrung by the surprise of 
the meeting, and the fact that she could 
see only this elusive suggestion of his 
presence harassed and discomposed her. 

" Waal, Lethe, I dunno ez I be s'prised 
ter see ye. I hev seen ye sech a many 
times whenst I never expected ye, 
startin' up yander at Boke's barn ez sud- 
dint ez ef ye hed yer headquarters in 
the yearth or the sky. An' jes' at this 
junctry, whenst we air a- try in' ter steal 
our own corn away from hyar, ye kem 
a-boundin' out'n the smoke, like ye hed 
no abidin' place more 'n a witch or that 
thar Herder on Thunderhead, or sech 
harnts. I never see yer beat ez a med- 
dler. Satan ain't no busier with other 
folkses' souls." 

She made no reply. The shifting va- 
por hid the tree where the bright-eyed 
coon hung fast by his claws, and the 
wheezing yapping of the foiled dogs be- 
sieging his stronghold seemed strangely 
loud and near since they were invisible. 

The shucks rustled sibilantly. The 
ears of maize fell with a monotonous 
sound upon the heaps in the turn row. 

" What did the revenuers do when 
they kem up the mounting ? " Marvin 
asked suddenly. His tone was all alert 



1886.] In the Clouds. 

now with curiosity. He could reserve 
his rebukes till his craving for gossip 
should be satisfied. Conversation, a fine 
art elsewhere, assumes the dignity of a 
privilege in these sparsely settled wilds, 
where its opportunities are scant. 

" They ain't never kem, ez I knows 
on," said Alethea tremulously. They 
might come yet, and here he was still 
unwarned and at the mercy of accident. 
She had climbed the fence, springing 
lightly down on the other side, and had 
mechanically begun to assist them in 
their work, the usual courtesy of a 
guest in the mountains who finds the 
host employed. 

" Slip-shuck it, Lethe," he remarked, 
calling her attention to the fact that the 
outer husks were left upon the stalks, 
and the ear, enveloped merely in its in- 
ner integuments, was thrown upon the 
heap. " I hates powerful ter be obleeged 
ter leave all this hyar good roughness ; " 
he indicated the long rows of shucks 
upon the stalks. " My cattle would be 
mighty thankful ter hev sech fedded ter 
'em. But the corn itself air about ez 
much ez I kin haul so fur " 

"Don't ye tell her wharabouts we- 
uns lives nowadays," broke out the wo- 
man. 

She was standing near Alethea, and 
she turned and looked at her. The girl's 
fresh and beautiful countenance was only 
more delicate, more sensitive, with that 
half-affrighted perturbation on it, that 
piteous deprecation. The elder woman's 
face was furrowed and yellow in con- 
trast; her large, prominent eyes, of a 
light hazel color, were full of tears, and 
had a look as if tears were no unfamil- 
iar visitants. She wiped them away 
with the curtain of her pink sun-bonnet, 
and went on pulling the corn. 

" I dunno whar Sam Marvin lives, 
myself," the moonshiner declared, with 
reckless bravado. " I don't go by that 
name no mo'." 

He straightened up and set his arms 
akimbo, as he laughed. 



115 

" Ye need n't send no mo' o' yer spies, 
Lethe, arter me," he declared. "My 
neighbors 'way over yander dunno no 
sech man ez Sam Marvin." 

Alethea's lifted hand paused upon the 
shuck on the sere stalk. As she turned 
half round he saw her face in the 
smoke ; her golden hair and fresh cheek, 
and the saffron kerchief tied beneath 
the round chin. He was not struck by 
her beauty; it always seemed a thing 
apart from her, the slightest incident of 
her personality, so much more forceful 
were the impressions of her character, 
so much more intimately her coercive 
opinions concerned those with whom 
she came in contact. But in her clear 
eyes he detected a surprise which he 
hardly understood at the moment. And 
he paused to look at her, wondering if it 
were only simulated. 

Her heart throbbed with a dull and 
heavy pain. So angry were they be- 
cause she would not promise to keep 
their secret. She shrank from their 
rage when she should tell that she had 
voluntarily disclosed it. 

" Ye '11 be purtendin' ez 't war some- 
body else ez sent the spy ter make sure 
o' the place whar we kep' our still. I 
know ye!" He wagged his head in 
more active assertion that her machina- 
tions could not avail against his discern- 
ment. 

" I never sent no spy," faltered Ale- 
thea. 

" Thar, now ! What did I tell ye ! " 
he broke out, laughing disdainfully ; the 
woman added a high, shrill, unmirthful 
refrain ; even Serena the pullet, stepping 
about in the smoke on her long, yellow 
feet and in her abbreviated garments, 
cackled scornfully. 

" Ye may thank yer blessed stars," 
cried the woman scathingly, she could 
hold silence no longer, " ez ye done 
nuthin' agin we-uns. An' the revenuers 
never raided our still, nor got nare drap 
o' our liquor, nor tuk nuthin' o' ourn. 
Yer bones would be a-bleachin' on the 



116 



In the Clouds. 



[July, 



hillside ef they hed ! Jes' afore yer 
spy kem them white-livered men Sam, 
thar, an' the t'other distillers war 
a-talkin' 'bout how they could make ye 
hesh up yer mouth, ez ye would n't keep 
it shet yerse'f. They 'lowed it never 
seemed right handy ter them ter shoot 
a woman same ez a man, an' I jes' up-ed 
an* tole 'em ez ye desarved no bet- 
ter 'n a bullet through that yaller head 
o' yourn, an' they could git a shot at 
ye enny evenin' whenst ye war a-drivin' 
up the cow. An' I 'lowed ez whenst 
a woman went a-meddlin' an' informin' 
like a man, let her take what a man hev 
ter take. Naw, sir ! but they mus' run 
away, 'count o' a meddlin* hussy like 
you-uns, an' go live somwhar else ! An' 
I hed ter leave my home, an' the three 
graves o' my dead chill'n, yauder on the 
rise, ez lonesome an' ez meagre-lookin' 
ez ef they war three pertater hills." 

She burst into a tumult of tears. The 
smoke wafted down, obscuring her, 
there was commotion in its midst, for the 
wind was astir, and her sobs sounded 
from out the invisibility that had usurped 
the earth as if some spirit of grief were 
abroad in it. 

"Shet up, M'ria! Ye talk like ye 
hed no mo' sense 'n a sheep. The chill'n 
ain't in them graves," Marvin said, with 
the consolations of a sturdy orthodoxy. 

" Thar leetle bones is," said the spirit 
of grief from the densities of the clouds. 

And he could not gainsay this. 

She wept on persistently for the little 
deserted bones. He could not feel as 
she did, yet he could understand her 
feeling. His under jaw dropped a lit- 
tle ; some stress of melancholy and so- 
lemnity was on his face, as if a saddened 
retrospection were evoked for him, too. 
But it was a recollection which his in- 
stinct was to throw off, rather than to 
cherish as a precious sorrow, jealously 
exacting for it the extremest tribute of 
sighs and tears. 

" Lethe," he said suddenly, with a 
cheerful note, " bein' ez they never cotch 



us, did they pay ye ennything ez inform- 
er? I ain't right sure how the law 
stands on that p'int. The law 'pears 
ter me ter be a mighty onstiddy, contra- 
riwise contrivance, an' the bes' way ter 
find ennything sartain sure 'bout'n it 
air ter 'sperience it. Did they pay ye 
ennything ? " 

" I never informed the revenuers," 
declared Alethea, once more. 

He turned upon her a look of scorn. 

" I knowed ye war a powerful fool, 
a-talkin' 'bout ' what 's right,' an' preach- 
in' same ez the rider, an' faultin' yer 
elders. But I never knowed ye war a 
liar an' a scandalous hypocrite. The 
Bible say, * Woe ter ye, hypocrites ! ' I 
wonder ye ain't hearn that afore ; either 
a-wrastlin' with yer own soul, or med- 
dlin' with other folkses' salvation." It 
occurred to him that he preached very 
well himself, and he was minded, in the 
sudden vanity of the discovery, to reiter- 
ate, " Woe unto ye, hypocrite ! " 

" What makes ye 'low ez I gin the 
word ter the revenuers ? " demanded 
Alethea. 

" Kase the spy kem up thar with yer 
name on his lips. * Lethe Sayles,' he 
sez, < Lethe Sayles.' " 

The girl stared wide-eyed and amazed 
at him. 

Marvin's wife noted the expression. 
" Oh, g'long, Lethe Sayles ! " she cried, 
impatiently ; " ye air so deceivin' ! " 

" The spy ! " faltered Alethea. " Who 
war the spy ? I never tole nobody 'bout 
seein' ye at Boke's barn, nor whenst I 
war milkin' the cow, nuther, till a few 
weeks ago. Ye hed lef hyar fur months 
afore then." 

The woman, listening, with an ear of 
corn in her motionless hand, turned and 
cast it upon the heap with a significant 
gesture of rejection, as if she thus dis- 
carded the claims of what she had heard. 
She sneered, and laughed derisively and 
shrill. The pullet, too, broke into mock- 
ing mirth, and then both fell to pulling 
corn with a sort of flouting energy. 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



117 



" Oh, shucks ! " exclaimed Marvin, 
with a feint of sharing their incredulity. 
But he held his straggling beard in one 
hand, and looked at Alethea seriously. 
To him her manner constrained belief 
in what she had said. " Why, Lethe," 
he broke out, abruptly, "'twar n't a 
week arter that evenin' whenst I seen 
ye a-milkin' the cow when the spy kem. 
We-uns war a-settin' roun' the still, 
we kep' it in the shed-room, me an' my 
partners, an* we war a-talkin' 'bout 
you-uns, an' how ye acted ; an' M'ria, 
she war thar, an' she went agin ye, an* 
'lowed ez we hed better make ye shet 
yer mouth ; an* some o' the boys were 
argufy in' ez ye war jes* say in' sech ez 
ye done ter hear yerse'f talk, an' feel 
sot up in yer own 'pinion. They 'lowed 
ye 'd be feared ter tell, sure enough, but 
ye hankered ter be begged ter shet up. 
'Twar a powerful stormy night. I 
never hear a wusser wind ez war a-ca- 
vortin' round the house. An' the light- 
nin' an' thunder hed been right up an' 
down sniptious. A lightnin' ball mus' 
hev bust up on Piomingo Bald, kase 
nex' day I see the ground tore up round 
the herder's cabin, though Ben Doaks 
war n't thar, hed gone down ter the 
cove, I reckon. Waal, sir, it quit storm- 
in' arter a while, but everything war 
mighty damp an' wet; the draps kep' 
a-fallin' off'n the eaves. We could hear 
the hogs in the pen a-squashin' about 
in the mud. An' all of a suddenty they 
tuk ter squealin' an' gruntin', skeered 
mighty nigh ter death. An' my oldest 
son, Mose, he 'lowed it war a varmint 
arter 'em ; an' he snatched his gun an' 
runned out ter the hog-pen. An' thar 
they war, all jammed up tergether, grunt- 
in' an* snortin' ; an' Mose say he war 
afeard ter shoot 'mongst 'em, fur fear o' 
hittin' some o' them stiddier the var- 
mint. An' whilst he war lookin' right 
keerf ul, the moon hed kem out by 
then, he seen, stiddier a wolf, suthin' 
a-bowin' down off'n the fence. An' the 
thing cotch up a crust o' bread, or a rind 



o' water-million, or suthin', out o' the 
trough fur the hogs, an' then sot up ez 
white-faced on the fence, a-munchin' it 
an a-lookin' at him. An' Mose 'lowed 
he war so plumb s'prised he los' his 
senses. He lowed 'twar a harnt, it 
looked so onexpected. He jes' flung 
his rifle on the groun' an' run. It's 
mighty seldom sech tracks hev been 
made on the Big Smoky ez Mose tuk. 
We-uns ain't medjured 'em yit, but 
Mose hev got the name 'mongst the 
gang o' bein' able ter step fourteen feet 
at a stride." 

He showed his long, tobacco-stained 
teeth in the midst of his straggling 
beard, and as he talked on he gnawed 
at a plug of tobacco, as if, being no im- 
pediment to thought, it could be none to 
its expression. 

" Mose lept inter the house, declarin* 
thar war a harnt a-settin' on the fence. 
Ye know Jeb Peake ? hongry Jeb, 
they useter call him." Marvin broke off 
suddenly, having forgotten the signifi- 
cance and purpose of the recital in the 
rare pleasure of recounting. Even his 
wife's face bore only retrospective ab- 
sorption, and Serena had lifted her head, 
and fixed an excited, steadfast eye upon 
him. u Waal, hongry Jeb war a-settin' 
thar in the corner, an' bein' toler'ble 
sleepy-headed he hed drapped off, his 
head agin the chimbley. An* when 
Mose kem a-rampagin' in thar, with his 
eyes poppin* out, declarin' thar war a 
harnt settin' on the fence, eatin', 
< Eatin' what ? ' sez hongry Jeb, a-start- 
in' up. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

" Jeb ain't never forgot the bottom o' 
the pot yit," chimed in the wife. 

" I ain't a-grudgin' him ter eat, 
though," stipulated the moonshiner, 
" nor the harnt, nuther. I jes' 'lowed 
ez that thar white-faced critter a-settin' 
on the fence, a-thievin' from the hog, 
mought take up a fancy ter Mose's rifle, 
lef onpertected on the ground. So I 
goes out. Nuthin' war n't settin' on the 
fence, 'ceptin' the moonlight an' that 



118 



In the Clouds. 



[July, 



thar onregenerate young tur-rkey ez 
nuthin' could bender from roostin' on 
the rails o' the hog-pen, stiddier on a 
limb o' a tree, 'longside o' the t'other 
tur-rkeys." 

" An' thar a fox cotch her afore day- 
break," interpolated Mrs. Marvin, sup. 
plying biographical deficiencies. 

"I always did b'lieve 'twar them 
thar greedy old hogs," said Serena. 

Marvin went on, disregarding the in- 
terruption : 

" I picked up Mose's gun, an' in I 
kem. I barred up the door, an' then I 
sot down an' lighted my pipe. An* 
Jeb, he tuk ter tellin' tales 'bout all the 
folks ez he ever knowed ter be skeered 
haffen ter death " 

" Nare one of 'em war Jeb," remarked 
the observant Mrs. Marvin, seizing the 
salient trait of the romancer. " In all 
Jeb's tales he comes out'n the big e-end 
o' the hawn." 

"An' ez I sot thar, jes' wallin' my 
eyes round the room, I seen suthin' that, 
ef the t'others bed said they seen, I 'd 
hev tole 'em they war lyin'. 'T war a 
couple o' eyes an' a white face peekin' 
through the holes in the chinkin' o' the 
walls, whar the daubin' bed fell out. 
'Twar right close ter me at fust, 
that war how I kem ter see it so plain. 
I 'lowed ter jes' stick my knife right 
quick inter one o' them eyes. I 'lowed 
'twar a raider. 'Fore I could move 't 
war gone! Then all of a suddenty I 
seen the face an' eyes peekin' in close 
ter the door. I jes' flew at it that time, 
war n't goin' ter let nuthin' hen- 
der " 

" I war 'twixt him an' the door, an' 
he jes' run over me," interpolated the 
pullet. " Knocked me plumb over, 
head fust, inter a tub o' beer. Hed ter 
set in the sun all nex' day fur my hair 
ter dry out, an' I smelt like a toper." 

Sam Marvin not ungenially permit- 
ted his family thus to share in telling 
his story. He resumed with unabated 
ardor : 



" An' I jumped through the door so 
quick that the spy jes' did see' me, 
an' war steppin' out ter run when I 
cotch him by the collar. I don't reckon 
thar ever war a better beatin' 'n I gin 
him. I bed drapped my knife a-runnin', 
an' I hed no dependence 'ceptin' my 
fists. His face war so bloody I did n't 
know him a-fust, when I dragged him 
in the house, with his head under my 
arm. An' when I seen him I knowed 
he never kem of hisself, but somebody 
had sent him. An' I say, * What did ye 
kem hyar fur ? ' An' he say, ' Lethe 
Sayles.' An' I say, 'Who sent ye?' 
An' he say, < Lethe Sayles.' " 

" Now, Lethe, see what a liar ye hev 
been fund out ter be ! " said the woman, 
scornfully. " Lord knows I never 'lowed 
ye would kem ter sech. I knowed ye 
whenst ye war a baby. A fatter one I 
never see. Nobody would hev b'lieved 
ye 'd grow up sour, an' preachified, an* 
faultin' yer elders, an' bide a single wo- 
man, ez ef nobody would make ch'ice 
o' ye." 

Alethea looked vaguely from one to 
the other. Denial seemed futile. She 
asked mechanically, rather than from 
any definite motive, " Did ye hear o' 
enny revenuers arter that ? " 

" Did n't wait ter," said Marvin. " We 
hed hearn enough, knowin' ez ye hed 
tole, an' the word hed got round the 
kentry, so ez the spy hed been sent up 
ter make sure o' the place. We-uns 
war too busy a-movin' the still an' a-hus- 
tlin' off. Ef thar hed been time enough 
fur ennything, I reckon some o' them 
boys would hev put a bullet through 
that thar sandy head o' yourn. But the 
raiders never kem up with we-uns, nor 
got our still an' liquor, we-uns war 
miles an' miles away from hyar the night 
arter Tad kem a-spyin'." 

Alethea stood staring, speechless. 
" Tad ! " she gasped at last. " Tad! " 

They all stopped and looked at her 
through the wreathing smoke, as if they 
hardly understood her. 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



119 



" Lethe, ye air too pretensified ter be 
healthy!" Mrs. Marvin exclaimed at 
last. 

" O' course ye knowed, bein' ez ye 
tole him," said the moonshiner. He did 
not resume his work, but stood gazing 
at her. They were all at a loss, amazed 
at her perturbation. 

Her breath came fast ; her lips were 
parted. One lifted hand clung to the 
heavily enswathed ear of corn upon the 
tall, sere stalk ; the other clutched the 
kerchief about her throat, as if she were 
suffocating. Her face was pale ; her 
eyes were distended. 

" I would n't look so pop-eyed fur 
nuthin'," remarked the pullet, in callow 
pertness ; she might not have been sus- 
pected of laying so much stress on ap- 
pearances. 

" I 'm tryin' ter think," said Alethea, 
dazed, " ef that war afore Tad war 
drownded or arterward." 

Marvin turned, and leered significant- 
ly at his family. 

" Mus' hev been afore he war drownd- 
ed, I reckon," he said satirically. 

" Lethe Sayles," observed Serena 
reprehensively, " ye air teched in the 
head." 

She tossed her own head with a con- 
viction that, if not strictly ornamental, 
it was level. Then, like the sane fowl 
that she was, she went stepping about 
on her long, yellow feet with a demure, 
grown-up air. 

" Oh," said Alethea, fixing the dates 
in her mind, "it mus' hev been after- 
wards " 

" Likely," interrupted Sam Marvin. 

" kase that very evenin' arter I 
seen ye at the cow-pen Elviry Crosby 
kem an' tole ez how Reuben Lorey hed 
bust down old man Griff's mill, an' his 
nevy Tad war in it, an' war drownded in 
the river." 

" Laws-a-me ! " exclaimed Mrs. Mar- 
vin, clutching her sun-bonnet with both 
hands, and thrusting it backward from 
her head, as if it intercepted the news. 



" Waal, sir ! " cried the moonshiner, 
amazed. 

"Oh," cried Alethea, clasping both 
her hands, " ef I hed called ye back that 
evenin', an' promised not ter tell, like 
I war minded ter do " 

" Ye lowed 't war n't right," suggested 
the moonshiner. 

" ye would hev knowed ez Tad 
war n't no spy, but war jes' vagabondin' 
round the kentry, a runaway, houseless 
an' hongry ; an' ye would hev tuk him 
back ter old man Griff, an' Reuben 
wouldn't hev been tried fur killin' 
him ! " 

" Shucks, Mink war n't tried fur sech 
sure enough," said Marvin, uneasily. 
His face had changed. His wife was 
turning the corner of her apron nervous- 
ly between her fingers, and looking at 
him in evident trepidation. 

" He hev been in jail fur months 
an' months," said Alethea. " An' when 
he war tried, I told on the witness stand 
''bout glimpsin' Tad one night whenst I 
kem from camp, mus' hev been the 
same night whenst he went up the 
mounting ter yer house, kase thar war 
a awful storm. An' when I seen him 
suddint I screamed, bein' s'prised; an* 
I reckon that war the reason he said 
1 Lethe Sayles.' An' at the trial they 
'lowed I hed seen nuthin' but Tad's 
harnt, an* the jury disagreed." 

" An' an' an' air Mink in jail 
yit ? " demanded the moonshiner, his 
jaw falling in dismay. 

"The rescuers tuk him out," said 
Alethea. 

" Waal, sir," he exclaimed, with a long 
breath. " Ye see," he seemed to feel 
that he must account for his excitement 
and interest, " bein' hid out, I hain't 
hearn no news, sca'cely, sence we-uns 
lef." 

" Whar be Tad now ? " Alethea asked 
suddenly, realizing that here was the 
man who had seen him last. 

He glanced quickly at her, then in 
perplexed dubitation at his wife. Like 



120 



In the Clouds. 



[July, 



many women, she was willing enough to 
steer when it was all plain sailing, but 
among the breakers she left him with 
an undivided responsibility. She fell to 
pulling corn with an air of complete ab- 
sorption in her work. 

He made a clumsy effort at diver- 
sion. " By Gosh," he declared, waving 
his hand about his head, " ef this hyar 
smoke don't clar away, we-uns '11 all 
be sifflicated in it." 

But the smoke was not now so dense. 
High up, its sober, dun-colored folds 
were suffused with a lurid flush admitted 
from the wintry sunset. The black, dead 
trees within the inclosure stood out dis- 
tinctly athwart the blank neutrality of 
the gray, nebulous background. The 
little house on the rise was dimly sug- 
gested beyond the corn-field, across which 
skulked protean shapes of smoke, 
monstrous forms, full of motion and 
strange consistency and slowly realized 
symmetry, as if some gigantic prehis- 
toric beasts were trembling upon the 
verge of materialization and visibility. 
The wind gave them chase, for it was 
rising. It had lifted its voice in the 
silences. Like a clarion it rang down 
the narrow ravine below. But Sam 
Marvin, expanding his lungs to the 
freshened air, declared that he felt 
" plumb sifflicated." 

" Whar be Tad now ? " persisted Ale- 
thea. 

He spat meditatively upon the ground. 
" Waal, Lethe," he said at last, "that's 
more 'n I know. I dunno whar Tad be 
now." 

She detected consciousness in the 
manner of the woman and the girl. 
She broke out in a tumult of fear : 

" Ye did n't harm Tad, did ye ? " with 
wild, terrified eyes fixed upon him. 
"Ye didn't kill Tad fur a spy? kase 
he war n't." 

" Shet up, ye blatant hussy ! " ex- 
claimed Mrs. Marvin, "layin' sech ez 
that at we-uns's door." 

" An' shet up yerse'f, M'ria. Least 



said, soonest mended," Marvin inter- 
posed. " Look-a-hyar, Lethe Sayfes, ye 
hev done harm enough ; it may be kase 
it war right. Take sech satisfaction ez 
ye kin in yer notion. It never turned 
out right, turned out mighty wrong. 
I ain't goin' ter answer ye nare nuther 
word. I hev got a question ter ax you- 
uns right now. Who war it ye tole 
'bout findin' out 't war me a-moonshin- 
in' ? " 

She detailed tremulously the scene in 
the court-room, and the impression it 
produced was altogether at variance 
with her expectations. Perhaps, how- 
ever, it was only natural that Sam Mar- 
vin should feel less interest in the be- 
lated disclosure, which he had thought 
was made months previous, than in the 
circumstances of the trial, Peter Rood's 
death, the imprisonment of the jury, and 
the riot of the rescuing mob. As to 
his wife, she was chiefly shocked by the 
publicity attaching to testimony in open 
court. 

"An* ye jes' stood up thar, Lethe 
Sayles, ez bold-faced ez a biscuit block, 
an' lifted up yer outdacious voice afore 
all them men ? Waal, sir ! Waal ! I 
dunno what the wimmin air a-comin' 
ter ! " 

"I war obligated ter tell sech ez I 
knowed," Alethea contended against this 
assumption of superior delicacy. " I nev- 
er felt no more bold-faced than in tellin' 
'speriunce 'fore the brethren at camp." 

"Oh, child!" cried Mrs. Marvin. 
" It 's the spirit o' grace movin' at camp, 
but at court it 's the nimbleness o' the 
devil." 

Alethea argued no further, for con- 
versation was impeded by the succeed- 
ing operations of gathering the crop. 
Marvin was leading the team of the 
great wagon from one to another of the 
heaps of corn. The huge creaking 
wheels crushed the ranks of stalks that 
fell in confusion on either side ; the 
white canvas cover had been removed 
from the hoops, in order to facilitate the 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



121 






throwing of the corn into the wagon. 
Through the wreaths of smoke appeared 
the long ears of a pair of mules. Sam 
Marvin had apparently found his new 
home in a thirstier locality than his old, 
for he was evidently thriving. The pair 
of mules might have been considered a 
sorry team in point of appearance : their 
sides were rubbed bare with the friction 
of the trace-chains ; they were both un- 
kempt, and one was very tall and the 
other small, but they were stalwart and 
sure-footed and fleet, and a wonderful 
acquisition in lieu of the yoke of slow 
oxen she remembered. The continuous 
thud, as the ears of corn were thrown 
into the wagon, enabled Marvin to affect 
not to hear Alethea's reiteration as to 
Tad's fate. 

" I wisht ye 'd tell me suthin' bout'n 
Tad," she said piteously. "I wisht I 
knew ye hed n't hurt him, nor nor " 

She paused in the work, looking dreari- 
ly about her. The wind tossed her gar- 
ments ; she was fain at times to catch 
her bonnet by the curtain, to hold it. 
The smoke had taken flight; dragons, 
winged horses, griffins, forgotten myths, 
all scurrying away before the strong 
blast. And still they came and went, 
and rose once more, for the wind that 
lifted the smoke fanned the fire. The 
flames were in sight along the base of 
Big Injun Mounting, writhing now like 
fiery serpents, and now rising like some 
strange growth in quivering blades ; wav- 
ing and bowing, appearing and disap- 
pearing, and always extending further 
and further. They seemed so alive, so 
endowed with the spirit of destruction, 
so wantonly alert, so merciless to the 
fettered mountain that tossed its forests 
in wild commotion, with many a gesture 
of abject despair, and spite of all could 
not flee. Their strong, vivid color con- 
trasted with the dull garnet of the myr- 
iads of bare boughs and the deep, sombre 
green of the solemn pines. The smoke 
carried from the fire a lurid reflection, 
fading presently in the progress across 



the landscape of the long, dun-colored 
flights. The wintry sunset was at hand. 
The sky was red and amber ; the plains 
of the far west lay vaguely purple 
beneath. On Walden's Ridge, rising 
against the horizon, rested the sun, from 
which somehow the dazzling fire seemed 
withdrawn, leaving a sphere of vivid 
scarlet, indescribably pure and intense, 
upon which the eye could nevertheless 
gaze undaunted. 

Pensive intimations there were in its 
reduced splendors ; in the deep purple 
of Chilhowee, in the brown tints of the 
nearer ranges. Something was gone 
from the earth, a day, and the earth 
was sad, though it had known so many. 
And the night impended and the unim- 
agined morrow. And thus the averted 
Future turns by slow degrees the face 
that all flesh dreads to see. The voice 
of lowing cattle came up from the cove. 
The fires in the solitudes burned apace. 

" I hev axed ye time an' agin, Sam 
Marvin, whar Tad be. Ef ye don't tell, 
I '11 be bound ter b'lieve ye moonshiners 
hev done suthin' awful ter him." 

They were about to depart on their 
journey. Already Serena was on her 
uneasy bed of corn in the ear. But 
the pullet's life had been made up chief- 
ly of rough jouncing, and never having 
heard of a wagon with springs, she was 
in a measure incapable of appreciating 
her deprivation. She had wrapped a 
quilt of many colors about her shoulders, 
for the evening air was chill, and she 
looked out of the opening in the back of 
the canvas-covered wagon in grotesque 
variegation. Mrs. Marvin was climbing 
upon the wheel to her seat on the board 
in front. The moonshiner stood by the 
head of one of the mules, busy arrang- 
ing the simple tackling. He looked 
with a sneer at Alethea over the beast's 
neck. 

" An' I hev tole ye, Lethe Sayles, ez 
I dunno whar Tad be now. I'm a 
mighty smart man, sure enough, but 
't would take a smarter one 'n me ter 



122 



In the Clouds. 



[July, 



say whar Tad be DOW, an' what he be 
a-doin'." 

He looked at his wife with a grin. 
She laughed aloud in tuneless scorn. 
The girl, gazing out of the back of the 
wagon as it jolted off, echoed the de- 
rision in a shrill key. And as the clumsy 
vehicle went creaking down the pre- 
cipitous slope, beyond the crest of which 
could be seen only the flaming base of 
the opposite mountain, all luridly aflare 
in the windy dusk, they seemed to Ale- 
thea as if they were descending into 
Tophet itself. 

XVIII. 

For a long time that night Alethea 
sat on the cabin porch in Wild-Cat Hol- 
low, absently watching the limited land- 
scape seen through the narrow gap of 
the minor ridges superimposed upon the 
great mountain. The sky was dark but 
for the light that came from the earth. 
The flames were out of sight behind the 
intervening ranges. Weird fluctuating 
gleams, however, trembled over the cove 
below, and summoned from the darkness 
that stately file of peaks stretching 
away along the sole vista vouchsafed to 
the Hollow. Sometimes the illumina- 
tion was a dull red suffusion, merging 
in the distance into melancholy grada- 
tions of tawny yellow and indeterminate 
brown, and so to densest gloom. Again 
it was golden, vivid, fibrous, divergent, 
like the segment of a halo about some 
miraculous presence, whose gracious 
splendor was only thus suggested to the 
debarred in Wild -Cat Hollow. The 
legions of the smoke were loosed : down 
in the cove always passing in endless 
ranks what way the wind might will ; 
along the mountain side marshaled in 
fantasies reflecting from the fires subtle 
intimations of color, of blue and red 
and purple; deploying upward, inter- 
posing between the constellations, that 
seemed themselves upon the march. 
There were clouds in the sky ; the night 



was chill. Alethea gathered her shawl 
over her head. Now and then 'Tige, 
who sat beside her, wheezed and glanced 
over his shoulder at the door ajar, as 
if to urge her to go in. Sometimes he 
ran thither himself, looking backward 
to see if she would follow him. Then, 
as she continued motionless, he would 
come and sit beside her, with a plaintive 
whine of resignation. Tige was pensive 
and humble to-night, and was making 
an edifying show of repentance. On 
the homeward walk he had been dis- 
posed to follow the example of the 
moonshiner's dogs and harass the coon, 
thereby becoming acquainted with the 
teeth of the smiling creature, and in- 
curring Alethea's rebukes and displeas- 
ure. 

It was a cheerful scene within, 
glimpsed through the half-open door, 
contrasting with the wild, dark world 
without, and its strange glares and fluc- 
tuating glooms and far-off stars and vast 
admeasurements of loneliness. The old 
woman knitted and nodded in her rock- 
ing-chair ; Jessup and Mr. Sayles smoked 
their pipes, and ever and anon the old 
man began anew to detail the pipe- 
stem between his teeth the legends 
that his grandfather had learned from 
the Indians of the hidden silver mines 
in these mountains, found long ago, and 
visited stealthily, the secret of the lo- 
cality dying with its discoverer, who 
thus carried out of the world more than 
he brought with him. Their eyes gloat- 
ed on the fire as they talked, seeing 
more than the leaping yellow flames or 
the white heats of the coals below. It 
might seem as if the craving for pre- 
cious metal were a natural appetite, 
since these men that knew naught of 
the world, of the influence of wealth, 
of its powers, of its infinite divergences, 
should be a-hungered for it in their 
primitive fastnesses, and dream of it by 
night. 

"On the top of the Big Smoky 
Mountings, on a spot whar ye kin see 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



123 



the Tennessee River in three places at 
once," said the old man, repeating the 
formula of the tradition. 

Jessup puffed his pipe a moment in 
silence, watching the wreathing smoke. 
"I know twenty sech spots," he said 
presently. 

The old man sighed and shifted his 
position. " Me too," he admitted. " But 
thar it be," he observed, " fur the man 
ez air a-comin'." 

They fell silent, perhaps both project- 
ing a mental ideal of the man of the 
future, and the subservient circumstance 
that should lead him to stand one day 
on these stupendous heights, with sun- 
shine and clouds about him and the 
world at his feet, and to look upon the 
mystic curves of the river, trebly visi- 
ble, strike his heel upon the ground, and 
triumphantly proclaim, " It is here ! " 

The dogs lay about the hearth ; one, 
a hound, in the shadow, with his muz- 
zle stretched flat on the floor between 
his paws, had saurian suggestions, 
he was like an alligator. Leonidas and 
Lucinda had gone to bed, but the baby 
was still up and afoot. The fiat of nurs- 
ery ethics that gentry of his age should 
be early asleep had been complied with 
only so far as getting him into his night- 
gown, which encased his increasing 
plumpness like a cylinder. He wore a 
queer night-cap, that made him look in- 
congruously ancient and feminine. He 
plodded about the puncheon floor, in the 
joy of his newly acquired powers of lo- 
comotion, with reckless enthusiasm. His 
shadow accompanied him, magnified, 
elongated, his similitude as he might 
be in years to come ; he seemed in some 
sort attended by the presentiment of 
his future. The energy, however, with 
which he had started on his long jour- 
ney through life would presently be 
abated. In good sooth, he would be 
glad to sit down often and be still, and 
would find solace in perching on fences 
and whittling, and would know that 
hustling through this world is not what 



one might hope. He had fallen under 
the delusion that he could talk as well 
as walk, and was inarticulately loqua- 
cious. 

Alethea's errand outside was to gath- 
er chips from the wood-pile hard by, 
to kindle the morning's fires. It had 
been long since rain had fallen, but the 
routine of spreading them upon the 
hearth, to dry during the night, was as 
diligently observed as if the reason that 
gave rise to the habit now existed. The 
splint baskets, filled and redolent of the 
hickory bark, stood at her feet, yet she 
did not move. 

She was solitary in her isolated life, 
with her exalted moral ideal that could 
compromise with nothing less than the 
right. She had known no human be- 
ing dominated by a supreme idea. The 
reformers, the martyrs, all who have 
looked upward, sacrificed in vain for her 
not even as a tradition, an exemplar 
might they uphold when she failed. Re- 
ligion was vague, distorted, uncompre- 
hended, in the primitive expoundings to 
which she was accustomed. Her in- 
herent conscience prevailed within her 
like some fine, ecstatic frenzy. It was 
of an essence so indomitably militant 
that in her ignorant musings it seemed 
that it must be this which marshals the 
human forces, and fights the battle of 
life, and is unconquered in death, and 
which the stumbling human tongue calls 
the soul. And yet so strange it was 
she thought that she could not always 
recognize the right, that she must 
sedulously weigh and canvass what she 
had done and what she might have 
done, and what had resulted. 

She dwelt long on the moonshiner's 
story. She was heart-sore for the hun- 
gry idiot, filching from the hogs, and 
what forlorn fate had he found at last ! 
She drew her shawl closer about her 
head, and shivered more with her fears 
than with the wind. She was very tired ; 
not in body, for she was strong and well, 
but in mind and heart and life. Some- 



124 

how, she felt as if she were near the end, 
surely there was not enough vitality 
of hope to sustain her further, the 
frequent illusion of sturdy youth, with 
the long stretches of weary years ahead. 
There was even a certain relaxation 
of Mink's tyrannous hold upon her 
thoughts. It was not that she cared 
for him less, but she had pondered so 
long upon him that her imagination was 
numb ; she had beggared her invention. 
She could no more project scenes 
where he walked with all those gentler 
attributes with which her affection, de- 
spite the persistent contradictions of her 
subtler discernment, had invested him. 
She could no longer harass herself with 
doubts of his state of mind, with devis- 
ing troublous reasons why he had avoid- 
ed her, with fears of harm and grief 
menacing him. She had revolted at last 
from the thrall of these arid unrealities. 
She felt, in a sort of grief for herself, 
that they were but poor delusions that 
occupied her. He must come, and come 
soon, her heart insistently said. And yet 
so tired was her heart that she felt in a 
sort of dismay that were he here to- 
night there would be no wild thrill of 
ecstasy in her pulses, no trembling joys. 
All that she had suffered despair, and 
frantic hope that was hardly less poig- 
nant, and keen anxieties, and a stress of 
care had made apathy, quiet, rest, nul- 
lity, the grave, seem dearer than aught 
the earth could promise. 

" He oughter hev kem afore," she 
said to herself, in weary deprecation. 

And then she thought that perhaps 
now, since he was at liberty again, he 
was happy with Elvira, and she experi- 
enced another pang to know that she 
was not jealous. 

The clouds had obscured the few 
stars. The wind was flagging ; the 
smoke grew denser ; the forest flames 
emitted only a dull red glow ; the file of 
peaks that they had conjured from the 
blackness of night was lost again in 
densest gloom. 



In the Clouds. [July, 

She was roused suddenly to the fact 
that it was intensely quiet in -'doors. 
She could even hear the sound of the 
fire in the deep chimney-place ; it was 
" treadin' snow," the noise being very 
similar to the crunch of a footfall on a 
frozen crust. She rose, looking upward 
and holding her hand to the skies ; the 
glow from within fell upon her fair 
face, half hooded in the shawl, and upon 
her wide, pensive eyes. Flakes were 
falling; now, no more; and again she 
felt the faint touch in her palm. 

Her first thought was of Mrs. Jessup, 
and the impediment that a snow-storm 
might prove to her return ; and thus she 
was reminded that the pedestrian within 
was still, for she no longer heard the 
thud of his bare feet on the floor. He 
had fallen asleep in a corner of the 
hearth, with a gourd in one hand, and in 
the other a doll made, after the rural 
fashion, of a forked twig arrayed in a 
bit of homespun. Tige watched him as 
he was borne off to his bed with an 
envy that was positively human. 

It was for the baby's sake that Mrs. 
Jessup returned the next day, despite the 
deep snow that covered the ground. She 
had had a dream about him, she declared, 

a dreadful dream, which she could 
not remember. It had roused all the 
maternal sentiment of which she was 
capable. She had endured some serious 
hardship in coming to assure herself of 
his well-being, for she was obliged to 
walk much of the way up the mountain, 

the snow and ice making the road 
almost impracticable, and rendering it 
essential that there should be as little 
weight as possible in the wagon ; to a 
woman of her sedentary habit this was 
an undertaking of magnitude. After 
her wild-eyed inquiry, " Air Ebenezer 
well ez common ? " she seemed to hold 
him responsible for the deceit of her 
dream, as if he were in conspiracy with 
her sleeping thoughts, and to be disap- 
pointed that the trouble which she had 
given herself was altogether unnecessary. 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



125 



" Ye fat gopher ! " she remarked, con- 
temptuously, eying his puffy red cheeks. 
" Don't lean on me. I 'm fit ter drap. 
Lean on yer own dinner. I '11 be bound 
Lethe stuffed ye ez full ez a sassidge." 

She addressed herself to bewailing 
that she had curtailed her visit, having 
enjoyed it beyond the limits which the 
lugubrious occasion of the funeral might 
seem to warrant. 

"Mis' Pur vine war mighty perlite 
an' sa-aft spoken. I never see a house 
so fixed up ez hern air, though I don't 
b'lieve that woman hev more'n two or 
three hogs ter slarter fur meat this 
year, ef that. I slep' in the bedroom ; 
't war mighty nice, though colder 'n 't war 
in the reg'lar house, through hevin' no 
fire. I reckon that's what sot me off 
ter dreamin' a pack o' lies 'bout that 
thar great hearty catamount, fairly bust- 
in' with fatness. I wisht I hed bided 
in the cove ! Mis' Purvine begged me 
ter bide. We-uns went ter the fun'el 
tergether, an' the buryin', an' we went 
round an* seen my old neighbors, an' 
traded ter the sto'. An' I spun some 
fur Mis' Purvine." 

" Mighty little, I '11 bet," declared her 
husband inopportunely, " ef what ye do 
hyar be enny sign." 

Whereupon Mrs. Jessup retorted that 
she wished she had made an excuse of 
the snow to have remained with Mrs. 
Purvine until the thaw, and retaliated 
amply by refusing to tell what hymns 
were sung at the funeral, and to recite 
any portion of the sermon. 

This resolution punished the unof- 
fending members of the family as se- 
verely as Jessup himself; but it is a 
common result that the innocent many 
must suffer for the guilty unit, justice 
generally dealing in the gross. The 
old man's lower jaw fell, dismayed at 
the deprivation. He had relinquished 
sorting his " lumber," and roused him- 
self to listen and note. The details 
would long serve him for meditation, 
and would gradually combine in his rec- 



ollection in dull mental pictures to dwell 
on hereafter, and to solace much lonely 
vacant time. Mrs. Sayles was irritated. 
Alethea had looked to hear something 
from Mink, and Jessup was unexpect- 
edly balked. 

Nothing could be more complete than 
Mrs. Jessup's triumph, as she held her 
tongue, having her reason. Her opaque 
blue eyes were bright with a surface 
gleam, as it were ; there was a good deal 
of fresh color in her face. She was 
neater than usual, having been smart- 
ened up to meet the folks in the cove. 
Her snuff-brush, however, was very 
much at home in the corner of an ex- 
ceedingly pretty mouth. As they all 
sat before the fire, she took off the socks 
which aunt Dely had lent her, and which 
she had worn up the mountain over her 
shoes, because of the snow; and she 
could not altogether refrain from re- 
mark. 

"Ef these hyar socks hed n't been 
loant ter me," she said, holding one of 
them aloft, "I couldn't holp noticin* 
how Mis' Purvine turned them heels, 
knittin' 'em. I do declar, ef these hyar 
socks fits Jerry Price, he hev got a foot 
shaped like Buck's, an' no mistake." 

It jumped with her idle humor to 
keep them all waiting, uncertain whether 
or not she would relent and disclose the 
meagre gossip they pined to hear. 
Nothing was developed till Jacob Jessup, 
retaliating in turn, flatly refused to go 
and feed Buck, still harnessed in the 
wagon. 

Alethea rose indignantly. 

" I don't lay off ter do yer work gin- 
erally, but I ain't goin' ter let the steer 
go hongry," she said, " kase ye air idle 
an' onfeelin'." 

" Don't ye let him go hongry, then," 
said Jessup, provokingly. 

It had ceased to snow. When Ale- 
thea opened the door many of the traits 
of Wild-Cat Hollow were so changed 
amidst the deep drifts that one who had 
seen it only in its summer garb might 



126 



In the Clouds. 



[July, 



hardly recognize it. Austere and bleak 
as it was, it had yet a symmetry that the 
foliage and bloom, and even the stubble 
and fallen leaves of autumn, served only 
to conceal. The splendid bare slope 
down the mountain, the precipitous as- 
cent on either side of the deep ravine, 
showed how much the idea of majesty 
may be conveyed in mere lines, in the 
gigantic arc of a circle. The boles of 
the trees were deeply imbedded in drifts. 
On the mountain above, the pines and 
the firs supported great masses lodged 
amongst the needles. Sometimes a sharp 
crack told that a branch had broken, over- 
burdened. The silence was intense ; 
the poultry had hardly ventured off their 
roosts to-day ; the gourds that hung upon 
a pole as martin-house were whitened, 
and glittered pendulous. Once, as Ale- 
thea stood motionless, a little black-feath- 
ered head was thrust out and quickly 
withdrawn. Down in the cove the snow 
lay deep, and the forests seemed all less 
dense, lined about as they were with 
white, which served in some sort as an 
effacement. Through the narrow gap 
of the ridges was revealed the long 
mountain vista, with the snowy peaks 
against the gray sky. Very distinct it 
all was, sharply drawn, notwithstanding 
that it lacked but an hour, perhaps, of 
the early nightfall. For a moment she 
had forgotten her errand ; the next she 
turned back in surprise. " Whar 's 
Buck an' the wagin ? " 

" Oh," said Mrs. Jessup, still serenely 
casual, " he 's a-kemin' up the mounting 
along o' Ben Doaks. I met Ben, an* I 
'lowed ez I did n't know how I 'd make 
out ter drive sech a obstinate old steer 
up the mounting in all this snow. Buck 
hev fairly tuk ter argufy in' 'bout the 
road ter go, till ye dunno whether ye 
air drivin' the steer or the steer air 
drivin' you-uns. I mos' pulled off his 
hawns sence I been gone. So Ben, he 
'lowed he 'd like ter kem an' spen' a 
few days along o' we-uns, ennyhow." 

"Why n't ye tell that afore?" de- 



manded her mother-in-law angrily. " Ye 
want him ter 'low ez we air a-grudgin* 
him victuals. Lethe, put in some mo* 
o' them sweet taters in the ashes ter 
roast, an' ye hed better set about sup- 
per right now." 

For Mrs. Sayles had been accounted 
in her best days a good housekeeper, for 
the mountains, and she cherished the 
memory of so fair a record. Perhaps 
her reputation owed something to the 
fact that she entertained a unique theory 
of hospitality, and made particularly 
elaborate preparations when the guests 
were men. " Wimmen don't keer spe- 
cial 'bout eatin'. Show 'em all the 
quilts ye hev pieced, an' yer spun truck, 
an' yer gyardin, an' they '11 hev so much 
ter study 'bout an' be jealous 'bout ez 
they won't want nuthin' much ter eat." 

Now she proceeded to " put the big 
pot into the little pot," to use a rural 
expression, singularly descriptive of the 
ambitious impossibilities achieved. She 
did it chiefly by proxy, directing from 
her seat in the chimney corner Alethea's 
movements, but wearing the absorbed, 
anxious countenance of strategy and re- 
source. The glory of the victory is due 
rather to the head that devised than to 
the hands that executed ; as in greater 
battles the pluck of the soldiery is held 
subordinate to the science of the com- 
mander. 

It was no mean result that smoked 
upon the table when the sound of Buck's 
slow hoofs was heard on the snow with- 
out, and a warm welcome was in read- 
iness besides. A cheerful transition it 
was from the bleak solitudes : the fire 
flared up the chimney ; the peppers and 
the peltry hanging from the rafters 
might sway in draughts that naught 
else could feel; the snow without was 
manifested only by the drifts against 
the batten shutters, visible in thin white 
lines through the cracks, and in that in- 
tense silence of the muffled earth which 
appeals to the senses with hardly less in- 
sistence than sound. 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



127 



Ben's aspect was scarcely so negative, 
so colorless, as usual, despite his pecul- 
iarly pale brown hair and beard. The 
sharp sting of the cold air had brought 
a flush to his face ; his honest, candid 
gray eyes were bright and eager. His 
manner was very demure and propitia- 
tory, especially to Mrs. Sayles, who, in 
her turn, conducted herself with an 
ideally motherly air, which was imbued 
with many suggestions of approval, even 
of respect. 

" Howdy, Ben, howdy. We-uns air 
mighty glad ter see ye, Ben." 

" Don't ye git too proud, Ben," said 
Mrs. Jessup, roused from her inertia 
by the unwonted excitements of her 
journey to the cove, and, since she was 
not too lazy to exercise her perversity, 
thoroughly relishing it. " They 'd be 
jes' ez glad ter see ennybody, it air so 
beset an' lonesome up hyar. They fair- 
ly tore me ter pieces with thar ques- 
tions whenst I kem." 

And this reminded old manySayles 
that the details of the funeral could be 
elicited from Ben Doaks. Upon request 
the young man lugubriously rehearsed 
such portions of the sermon as he could 
remember, prompted now and then by 
Mrs. Jessup, who did not disdain to re- 
fresh his recollection when it flagged ; 
he even lifted his voice in a dolorous 
refrain to show how a certain " hyme 
chune" went. But his attention wan- 
dered when supper was over, and he ob- 
served Alethea, with a bowl of scraps in 
her hand and a shawl over her head, 
starting toward the door. 

The dogs ran after her, with voracious 
delight in the prospect of supper, and 
bounded up against the door so tumul- 
tuously that she had difficulty in open- 
ing it. 

" Goin' ter feed the dogs, Lethe ? " 
said Ben Doaks, seizing the opportunity, 
" I '11 keep 'em back till ye kin git out." 

He held the door against the dogs, 
and when he shut it he too was on the 
outer side. It was not yet quite dark ; 



the whiteness of the snow contended 
with the night. The evening star showed 
through the rifts in the clouds, and then 
was obscured. The dogs were very dis- 
tinct as they ran hither and thither on 
the snow at Alethea's feet, while she 
leaned against the post of the porch and 
threw to them scraps from the bowl. 

Ben knew that his time was short. 
" Lethe," he said, with a truly mascu- 
line tact, " I hearn ez how ye hev done 
gin up waitin' fur Mink." 

Her lustrous eyes seemed all un- 
dimmed by the shadows. The sheen 
of her hair was suggested beneath the 
faded shawl, drawn half over her head. 
What light the west could yet bestow, 
a pearly, subdued glimmer, was on her 
face. She said nothing. 

He lifted his hand to the low, shelving 
roof of the porch, for he was very 
tall, and the motion dislodged a few 
flakes that fell upon her head. He did 
not notice them. 

" I hearn Mis' Purvine 'low ye air all 
plumb outdone with Mink, an' would n't 
hev him ef he war ter ax ye, an' I 
reckon ye won't see him no mo'. 'T ain't 
likely, ye know. An' Mis' Purvine 
'lowed ye hed been mightily streck with 
a man in Shaftesville, a town cuss " 
(with acrimony), " ez war mighty nigh 
demented 'bout yer good looks an* sech. 
Now, Lethe, ye dunno nuthin' 'bout'n 
them town folks, an' the name they hev 
got at home, 'mongst thar neighbors." 

She looked steadily at him, never 
moving a muscle save to cast more scraps 
to the dogs, who, when their tidbits be- 
came infrequent, or were accidentally 
buried in the snow by inopportune move- 
ments of their paws, gamboled about to 
attract her attention ; rising upon their 
hind legs, and almost dancing, in a man- 
ner exceedingly creditable to untrained 
mountain dogs. 

" An* I 'lowed I war a tremenjious 
fool ter hev kep out'n the way 'count o* 
Mink, jes' kase ye seemed ter set so 
much store by him. T'other f ol ks mought 



128 



In the Clouds. 



kem in whilst I war a-holdin' back. No- 
body ain't never goin' ter keer fur ye 
like I do, Lethe. Mink don't, never 
did. An' my house air ready fur ye 
enny day ye '11 walk in. I got ye a 
rockin'-cheer the t'other day, an' a spin- 
nin'- wheel. It looks like home, sure 
enough, down thar, Lethe. I jes' gazed 
at that thar rockin'-cheer afore the fire 
till I could fairly see ye settin' in it. 
But shucks, I kin hear ye callin' chick- 
ens roun' thar, ' Coo-chee, Coo-chee ! ' 
enny time I listens right hard." He 
laughed in embarrassment because of 
his sentimentality. "I reckon I mus' 
be gittin* teched in the head." 

It was snowing again. From those 
stupendous heights above the Great 
Smoky Mountains down into the depths 
of Piomingo Cove the flakes steadily 
fell. Myriads of serried white atoms 
interposed a veil, impalpable but opaque, 
between Wild-Cat Hollow and the rest 
of the world. Doaks looked about him 
a little, and resumed suddenly : 

" I ain't purtendin' I 'm better 'n oth- 
er men. I never could git religion. I 
ain't nigh good enough fur ye, only I 
think mo' of ye. I 'm mean 'bout some 
things. I could n't holp but think, 
whenst I hearn 'bout Mink, ez now ye 'd 
gin him up. I war n't bodaciously glad, 
but I could n't holp thinkin' 't war bet- 
ter fur ye an' me. Ye 'd be happier 
married ter me, Lethe, than ter him, 
enny time." 

" I ain't never goin' to marry you-uns, 
Ben," she said drearily. " An' now ye 
hev bed yer say, an' thar 's no use a-jaw- 
in' no mo' 'bout'n it." 

She turned to go in. Tige was already 
scratching at the door, as eager for the 
fire as he had been for his supper. She 
glanced at Ben over her shoulder, with 
some appreciation of his constancy, some 
commiseration for his disappointment. 

"Ye hed better go make a ch'ice 
'mongst some o' them gals in the cove," 
she suggested. 

He cast a glance of deep reproach 



upon her, and followed her silently into 
the house. Their return was the occa- 
sion of some slight flutter in the circle, 
in which had prevailed the opinion that 
the young folks out in the cold " war 
a-courtin'." 

All relics of the supper were cleared 
away; the fire leaped joyously up the 
chimney. L'onidas and Lucindy were 
asleep. The baby in his night-gown, 
all unaware that he cut an unpresenta- 
ble figure before company, pounded up 
and down the floor, unmolested. The 
pipes were lighted. As Ben Doaks 
leaned down to scoop up a coal from the 
fire, his face was distinct in the flare, 
and Mrs. Jessup noted the disappoint- 
ment and trouble upon it. Mrs. Sayles 
too deduced a sage conclusion. A glance 
was exchanged between the two women. 
Then Mrs. Jessup, with a view to right- 
ing matters between these young people, 
whom fate seemed to decree should be 
lovers and only human perversity pre- 
vented.^ asked, " Did ye tell Lethe the 
news 'bout Mink ? " 

"Naw," he responded, somewhat 
shortly. " I 'lowed she knowed it long 
ago." 

" Naw, she don't," said Mrs. Jessup ; 
" none o' we-uns hyar on the mounting 
knowed it." 

She paused to listen to the wind, 
for it was astir without. A hollow, icy 
cry was lifted in the dark stillness, 
now shrill and sibilant, now hoarsely 
roaring and dying away in the distance, 
to be renewed close at hand. The 
boughs of trees beat together. The 
pines were voiced with a dirge. The 
porch trembled, and the door shook. 

" Why, Lethe," resumed Mrs. Jessup, 
turning toward the girl, as she sat in a 
low chair in the full radiance of the fire- 
light, " Mink ain't out'n jail. The res- 
cuers never tuk him out." 

The color left Alethea's face. Her 
doubting eyes were dilated. Mrs. Jes- 
sup replied to the expression in them. 

" Mis' Purvine, she 'lowed ez she an' 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



129 



you-uns hearn everybody sayin' the res- 
cuers tuk him out afore ye lef ' town that 
mornin'. That war town talk. But 
't war n't true. The jailer an' the sher'ff 
tied an' gagged him, an* tuk him out 
tharse'fs in the midst o' the dark, whenst 
nobody could see 'em. Makes me laff 
ter think how they fooled them boys ! 
They jes' busted up the jail so ez 
't war n't safe ter try ter keep him thar 
no mo', an' the nex' day the dep'ty an' 
two gyards tuk him down ter the jail at 
Glaston, an' thar he 's safe enough." 

Alethea was thinking, with vague, 
causeless self-reproach, that she had let 
Sam Marvin, who had seen Tad since 
the disaster at the mill, go in the belief 
that Mink had been released. But how 
could she have detained him? And 
would he, a moonshiner, suffer himself 
to be subpoenaed as a witness, and thus 
insure his own arrest ? 

Her lips moved without a sound, as if 
she were suddenly bereft of the power 
to articulate. 

"Glaston, that's a fac'," reiterated 
Mrs. Jessup, noticing the demonstration, 
" kase I see 'Lijah Miles, ez war one o' 
the gyards. He kern up ter the cove 
ter the fun'el, bein' ez his wife war kin 
ter the corpse. She war one o' the 
Grinnells afore she war married, not 
the Jer'miah fambly, bu Abadiah's dar- 
ter ; an' Abadiah's gran'mother war own 
cousin ter the corpse's mother " 

"I dunno 'bout'n that," said Mrs. 
Sayles, following this genealogical detail 
with a knitted brow and a painstaking 
attention. 

" Corpse war 'bleeged ter hev hed a 
mother wunst, ef ever he war alive," 
said Mrs. Jessup recklessly. 

" I reckon I know that" retorted Mrs. 
Sayles. " But 'Lijah Miles's wife's fa- 
ther's grandmother war the aunt o* the 
corpse, stiddier his mother's cousin," r 
she tossed her head with a cheerful sense 
of accuracy, " sure ez ye air a born 
sinner." 

Mrs. Jessup paused in her recital, 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 345. 9 



leaned her elbows on her knees, and 
fixed her eyes on the fire, as if following 
some abstruse calculation. In the silence 
the wind outside swept about the house 
and whistled down the chimney, till even 
Tige roused himself, and lifted his head 
to listen and to growl. 

" Waal, hev it so," said the young 
woman, unable to contradict. " How- 
beit he war kin ter the corpse, he kem 
ter the fun'el, an' arterward, ez he war 
goin' back ter Shaf tesville, he stopped at 
Mis' Purvine's an' stayed all night. An' 
he tole us 'bout'n takin' Mink ter jail 
in Glaston. An' 'twar the fust Mis' 
Purvine knowed ez Mink war n't out. 
But she 'lowed she 'd miss him less in 
jail 'n out." 

" I reckon everybody feels that-a-way 
'bout Mink," interpolated Mrs. Sayles. 
" Folks never knowed what could hap- 
pen onexpected an' upsettin' till Mink's 
capers 1'arned 'em." 

" Waal, none o' his capers ever war 
like this las' one o' his'n," said Mrs. Jes- 
sup, nodding seriously. " They tuk him 
ter Glaston, an' 'Lijah Miles war one o' 
the gyards. They tuk him on the steam- 
kyars." 

"I'll be bound Mink war fairly 
skeered by them steam - kyars ! " ex- 
claimed Mrs. Sayles, with all the as- 
sumption of superior experience, al- 
though she herself had never had a 
glimpse of them. 

" Waal, I reckon not, from the way 
he kerried on 'cordin' ter 'Lijah," said 
Mrs. Jessup, clasping one knee as she 
talked, eying the fire. " 'Lijah 'lowed 
he never seen sech a fool. Mink got 
ter talkin' ter the gyards an' dep'ty 
'bout this hyar Jedge Gwinnan " 

" Need n't tell me nuthin' 'bout Jedge 
Gwinnan. < Jeemes ' air what they call 
him over yander in Kildeer County. 
An' ' Jim,' too. I knowed a woman ez 
knowed that man's mother whenst he 
war a baby." 

" Waal, he 's changed some sence 
then. He ain't a baby now. Mink 



130 



In the Clouds. 



[July, 



kep' a-talkin' ter his gyards *bout Gwin- 
nan, an' swearin' Gwinnan had spited 
him in the trial, put Pete Rood on the 
jury an* sent 'em ter jail, an' tole the 
sher'ff ter look arter his prisoner or 
he 'd escape the night Pete Rood fell 
dead, an' tole 'em how ter keep the 
crowd from rescuin' him, an' all sech ez 
that. An* what d' ye reckon Mink 
'lowed Gwinnan hed done it fur ? Kase 
Gwinnan hed tuk a notion hisself ter 
Lethe Sayles, an' 'lowed Mink war n't 
good enough fur her." 

The incongruity of the idea impressed 
none of them. They all looked silent- 
ly expectant as Mrs. Jessup went on : 

" Waal, Mink swore ez some day 
he 'd git his chance, an' he 'd kill Gwin- 
nan, sure. An' 'Lijah, he seen ze Mink 
war a-lookin' at Jedge Gwinnan, the 
jedge, he war a-goin' down on the train 
ter Glaston, an' then out ter wharever 
he war a-goin' ter hold court, an' he war 
a-smokin' in the * smokin'-kyar,' 'Lijah 
say they call it, whar they hed Mink. 
An' 'Lijah say Mink looked at Gwinnan 
with his mouth sorter open, an' his jaw 
sorter drapped, an' his eyes ez set ez ef 
he war a wild beastis." 

Once more the wind, tumultuous, per- 
vasive, with all the vast solitudes given 
over to it, swept down the mountain 
with shrill acclaim. 

" Goin' ter hev some weather arter 
this, ye mind my words," said Mrs. 
Sayles, listening a moment. 

" Waal, 'Lijah never thunk nuthin' 
mo', an' Mink kep' his eyes ter hisself 
the rest o' the way. When they got 
ter Glaston the gyards sorter waited fur 
the t'other folks ter git out fust, an' then 
they started. Waal, 'Lijah say the dep'- 
ty, he jumped off'n the platform fust, an' 
tole Mink ter kem on. An' the dep'ty, 
'Lijah say the dep'ty set a heap o' 
store by Mink, he war a-tellin' Mink 
ter look how many tracks an' locomo- 
tives an' sech thar war in the depot, 
an' not noticin' Mink much. An' 'Lijah 
say he seen Mink dart ter one side ; 



he 'lowed Mink war makin* a bust ter 
git away. Naw, sir ! Gwinnan hed 
stopped by the side o' the kyar ter speak 
ter a man. 'Lijah say he felt like he war 
a-dreamin' when he seen Mink lift up 
both his handcuffed hands an' bring the 
irons down on the j edge's head, jes' 
like he done the dep'ty when he war ar- 
rested. 'Lijah say him an' the dep'ty 
an' the t'other gyard hed thar pistols out 
in a second. But they war feared ter 
shoot, fur the jedge, stiddier drappin' 
on the groun', whurled roun' an' grabbed 
the man ez hit him. He got Mink by 
the throat, an' held on ter him same ez 
a painter or sech. He nearly strangled 
Mink ter death, though the jedge war 
fairly blinded with his own blood. Mink 
writhed an' wriggled so they could n't tell 
one man from t'other. The gyards war 
feared ter shoot at Mink, kase they 
mought kill the jedge. They tore Mink 
loose at last. They 'lowed his face war 
black ez ef he hed been hung. He 
won't tackle Gwinnan agin in a hurry. 
Ye 'lowed Gwinnan war a feeble infant, 
mother; he ain't very feeble now. 
Though he did faint arterward, an' war 
hauled up ter the tavern in a kerridge. 
They hed ter hev some perlice thar ter 
holp keep the crowd off Mink, takin' 
him ter jail. Waal, 'Lijah say they 
dunno whether the jedge will live or no, 
suthin' the matter with his head. But 
even ef he do live, 'Lijah say we ain't 
likely ter see Mink in these parts no mo' 
fur a right smart while, kase he hearn 
thar ez assault with intent ter c'mit 
murder air from three ter twenty-one 
year in the pen'tiary. An' I reckon enny 
jury would gin Mink twenty " 

"Yes, sir, he needs a good medjure ! " 
exclaimed the negative Mr. Sayles, with 
unwonted hearty concurrence. 

" Mink will be an old man by the 
time he do git back," computed Mrs. 
Sayles. 

" Now, Lethe," argued Mrs. Jessup, 
" ain't ye got sense enough ter see ez 
Mink ain't nobody ter set sech store on, 



1886.] 



Two American Novels. 



131 



an' ef ye like him it's kase ye air a 
fool?" 

The girl sat as if stunned, looking into 
the fire with vague, distended eyes. She 
lifted them once and gazed at Mrs. Jes- 
sup, as if she hardly understood. 

" Look-a-hyar, Lethe, what sorter face 
air that ye hev got onter ye?" cried 
Mrs. Sayles. " Ye better not set yer 
features that-a-way. I hev hearn folks 
call sech looks ' the dead-face,' an' when 
ye wear the ' dead-face ' it air a sign ye 
air boun' fur the grave." 

" Waal, that 's whar we all air 
boun' fur," moralized old man Sayles. 

" Quit it ! " his wife admonished the 
girl, who passed her hand over her face 



as if seeking to obliterate the noxious 
expression. " Ye go right up-steers ter 
bed. I '"m goin' ter gin ye some yerb tea." 

She took down a small bag, turning 
from it some dried leaves in her hand, 
and looked at them mysteriously, as if 
she were about to conjure with them. 

The girl rose obediently, and went up 
the rude, uncovered stairs to the roof- 
room. After an interval Mrs. Jessup 
observed the jowering baby pointing 
upward. Among the shadows half-way 
up the stairs Alethea was sitting on a 
step, looking down vacantly at them. 
But upon their sudden outcry she 
seemed to rouse herself, rose, and disap- 
peared above. 

Charles Egbert Craddock. 



TWO AMERICAN NOVELS. 






THE failure of a piece of fiction which 
attempts much is another word, some- 
times, for success. Mr. Hardy hangs 
out a sign from Spinoza over the door 
to his house of entertainment, 1 which 
reads : " They who believe that* they 
can speak, or keep silence, in a word, 
act, in virtue of a free decision of the 
soul, dream with their eyes open." It 
is from this text that he preaches his 
romance, and the application is in the 
words of his hero, at the end of the 
book : 

" All we think and feel is but this 
world of movement, of mass and atom 
unable to control their own motions, 
and steeped in a sea so tremulously re- 
sponsive that your faintest breath breaks 
on infinite shores. You do not dare to 
move ? . . . Yon cannot help it ! Noth- 
ing moves of itself since the dance be- 
gan ; nothing swerves but by collision. 
Others thou shalt drive, and they thee ; 

1 The Wind of Destiny. By ARTHUR SHER- 
BURNE HARDY, author of But Yet a Woman. 
Boston : Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1886. 



but thyself never. I, myself, capable 
for an instant of unifying the past and 
the present, am but one of these atoms, 
swept on by its own inertia, and dis- 
appearing as it came, a portent and a 
wonder. Do you know what effect all 
this produces upon me ? To create a 
faith so necessary in a Being so tran- 
scendent, that the inventions of men be- 
come puerilities." 

If we seem to place the philosophy of 
this romance in the foreground, it is be- 
cause the author himself, by his method, 
incites one to question his meaning. 
There are, so to speak, eight principal 
persons in the book, arranged in five 
pairs : these are the atoms that move 
in the dance ; it is upon them that the 
wind of destiny blows ; and the author, 
while he invites his readers to follow 
the movements of his characters, is a 
chorus that finds expression through 
pantomime. In other words, the author 
is so impressed by the profound mean- 
ing which underlies his story that, with- 
out direct intimation, he conveys to the 



132 



Two American ffovels. 



[July, 



reader something of the same impres- 
sion, and keeps him in a questioning 
mood. At first one asks, What is the 
story ? But at last it dawns upon him 
that there is no story, properly speak- 
ing, and he finds himself asking, What 
is the meaning of the book ? He is 
present at a drama of souls, and the 
dress in which they act their parts, the 
scenery with which the play is set, all 
the paraphernalia of the stage, are of 
little consequence. It is the indestruc- 
tible personality, under the countless in- 
fluences of life, that one must follow; 
and when the author of the drama is 
called for, one discovers that it is no 
less a person than God himself. 

Now the value of any romance un- 
doubtedly depends upon the psychologi- 
cal truth which is at the base, and the 
more the writer is penetrated by this 
truth, the more confidently will he guide 
the movements of its exponents ; he 
must see the end from the beginning, 
he must look into the depths. But given 
this profound perception, this strong 
conception, there yet remains the neces- 
sity for a constructive art which shall 
reproduce the truth in characters and 
action that seein free and spontaneous. 
Mr. Hardy has undertaken to inter- 
pret, through the means of a romance, 
one of the deepest riddles of life, but 
unfortunately all his characters are con- 
scious of this riddle. He has not suc- 
ceeded in showing us people whose ac- 
tion upon each other is apparently self- 
determined, but really governed by Des- 
tiny ; he has disclosed those moments 
in the lives of his characters when they 
are themselves aware of the uncontrol- 
lable forces. The consequence is that 
the reader feels oppressed by the atmos- 
phere of the book ; it is charged too 
highly with impending elements, and 
the simplest action or word has a sort 
of undeveloped dynamic potency. 

It is possible that if Mr. Hardy had 
essayed to write a novel, that is, if he 
had resolved to use the ordinary events 



of a workaday world for the machinery 
of his philosophic thought, the necessity 
of sharply defined incident, action, and 
dialogue might have imposed healthful 
restrictions upon his tendency to sub- 
tlety. As it is, there is little ballast of 
realism. The dialogue is helpful to the 
spiritual plot, but it is not often in the 
language of the people ; it is allusive, 
superintelligent, epigrammatic. The 
history of the persons engaged in the 
story is learned indirectly and by pa- 
renthesis. The action is of the kind 
which makes little account of time : the 
lovers meet, and their fate is instan- 
taneously settled ; a row on the river, a 
walk in the woods, and all is done. 

These characteristics belong to the 
romance, and not to the novel ; they 
serve the purpose of a writer who is in- 
tent upon the spiritual commerce of his 
personages, and is not disturbed by any 
difficulty which his readers may find 
in the geographical distribution of the 
scenes ; Dinant does well enough for a 
localization of the foreign scenes, but 
when the persons remove their domicile, 
the change may be to England as much 
as to America, so far as any identifica- 
tion of places goes. It is interesting 
thus to see how much better the earlier 
portion of the book is than the latter. 
The background of foreign life serves 
an admirable pictorial purpose ; and the 
romantic scenes projected from it have 
thereby a greater solidity and value. 
The background of native life, on the 
other hand is only a faint landscape ; 
there are no striking subordinate fig- 
ures, there is no suggestion of common 
life, and, as a consequence, the scenes 
projected from this background have a 
certain unreality fatal to the highest 
romantic effects. The most significant 
romances are those which rise out of a 
familiar, common experience, and have 
their spiritual force heightened by the 
contrast. 

It is clearly as a romance that Mr. 
Hardy's book will be judged. It will be 



1886.] 

read with great pleasure simply as an 
artistic relief from the somewhat igno- 
ble realism which prevails in fiction. It 
will be read also, in spite of the struc- 
tural faults which we have noted, for the 
peculiarly noble air which pervades it, 
the extreme beauty of many of its pas- 
sages, the revelation of life flashed oc- 
casionally as from a diamond of light, 
and perhaps more than all for the very 
subtle charm which hangs over the 
whole movement of the story. The 
early pages are exquisite with this grace, 
and one never wholly loses the sense of 
what we can almost call the perfume of 
the book. But distillation of high po- 
tencies of life is a delicate business, and 
therefore, with all our admiration for 
what Mr. Hardy intended to do, we are 
still obliged to confess his book a noble 
failure as a piece of art. 

There could hardly be a greater con- 
trast in fictitious writing than that sug- 
gested by a comparison of Mr. Hardy's 
book with Mr. Stockton's first novel. 1 
The Wind of Destiny is a serious work, 
and deals with great problems of human 
life ; the form of fiction is used because 
it gives the author wider scope and freer 
power than biography, for instance, or 
history, would permit. The Late Mrs. 
Null is also fiction, but unadulterated by 
any serious purpose whatsoever. It is 
too much to say that the book marks a 
new departure in fictitious literature, al- 
though Mr. Stockton's peculiar style is 
already finding imitators, but it has an 
individuality which separates it in kind 
from current novels. It is not easy to 
say in a word in what this individual- 
ity consists, but any one who has read 
Mr. Stockton's ingenious short stories 
will understand us when we speak of 
his novel as a many-jointed short story. 
There is the same caprice, the same un- 
expected turn, the same drollery of sit- 
uation rather than of language, and the 
same absence of sentiment and moral 

i The Late Mrs. Null By FRANK R. STOCK- 
TON. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1886. 



Two American Novels. 



133 



purpose. The book is delightfully un- 
moral. The characters go their several 
ways, undetermined by any noble ends 
or high designs ; they behave like ordi- 
nary mortals in a world which is not 
troubled by the strainings of conscience ; 
there are dilemmas, but they are not the 
dilemmas of a moral universe ; there is 
a logic, but it is the logic of circum- 
stance, and rewards and punishments are 
served out by a justice so blind as not 
to know her left hand from her right. 

The gravity and matter-of-fact air 
with which Mr. Stockton relates his tale 
heighten the effect of the whim that 
governs in the conduct of his characters. 
He introduces a negro girl, whom, with 
the slightest irony in the world, he dubs 
good little Peggy ; and this inimitable 
creature has a way of inventing facts 
with incredible agility, and reporting 
them with entire seriousness. She plays 
an insignificant part in the story, though 
she is a sort of Ariel done in charcoal, 
but she stands really as a type of Mr. 
Stockton's genius. Good little Peggy 
manufactures a situation out of the 
slightest possible material, uses it for 
her own purposes as if it were one of 
the commonplaces of life, and goes her 
way with a clear consciousness of vir- 
tue. Everybody believes her for the 
time, because her manner carries con- 
viction. So we follow the ins and outs 
of the late Mrs. Null and her fellow- 
characters with scarcely any incredulity 
or sense of the absurdity of their rela- 
tion to each other, chiefly because Mr. 
Stockton, with his innocent air, never 
seems to be aware of any incongruity in 
their conduct. 

The drollery, as we have said, is a 
structural drollery, and not often one 
of language. Yet the quaintness which 
runs through all of this writer's work 
begins to show itself very soon when he 
sets about any mere piece of descrip- 
tion, and the particularity of any enu- 
meration of details is pretty sure to end 
in a quip and quirk. It is, however, 



134 



Two American Novels. 



[July, 



when dealing with negro life that Mr. 
Stockton shows himself at his best. He 
fairly revels in this side-show of the 
world's circus, and takes an almost child- 
ish delight in the exhibition of negro 
character and life. "We suspect that the 
figure in the book which will linger 
longest in the reader's mind is that of 
Aunt Patsy, and the description of the 
Jerusalem Jump, with Aunt Patsy's exit 
from the world upon the occasion, is one 
of the most carefully written, as it is 
one of the most effective, passages in the 
book. It is not strange that Mr. Stock- 
ton should feel at home with the ne- 
groes. They offer him precisely that 
happy-go-lucky type of character which 
suits the world of his imagination. They 
save him the necessity of invention, and 
he can abandon with them that extreme 
gravity of demeanor which he is obliged 
to assume in order to give an air of rea- 
sonableness to his white characters. 

We are disposed to think that the 
book will suffer at the hands of many 
by being read as novels are apt to be 
read, at one or two sittings. It should 
have appeared as a serial, since the 
amusement which one extracts from it 
is largely due to the turns which the 
story takes, and not to any continuity 
of narrative. The improbability of sit- 
uations and persons cannot be covered 
for any length of time by any mere rea- 
sonableness of manner, and one who 
sees through the thin disguise of Mrs. 
Null's marriage long before the revela- 
tion comes is apt to get a little impa- 
tient at mere ingenuity, and not to be 
quite appeased by the indefinite prom- 
ise of further complications. In other 
words, the book is so ineffective as a nov- 
el that the hardened novel-reader might 
easily undervalue its wit and casual 
quaintness, whereas, if he helped him- 
self to a little at a time, he would be 
likely to enjoy the queer bits as if he 
were reading so many short stories. So 
habituated is the author to this form of 
fiction that he sets about a new story 



within a dozen pages of the end of the 
book, and, instead of producing a climax 
to his story, furnishes a sort of annex. 

We recall only one other instance in 
literature where genuine humor is so 
entirely wanting in its obverse, pathos. 
The extremely slight expression of this 
quality in the account of Aunt Patsy's 
death, and the hurried manner in which 
the somewhat pivotal scene of the find- 
ing of the shoes is passed over, serve to 
render the absence of it elsewhere more 
noticeable. Every one feels that the 
author's instinct is right, and that there 
would be an incongruity in the display 
of much feeling. But it is not pathos 
alone that is wanting ; all sentiment is 
left out. Lawrence Croft, the principal 
lover, is laid up with a sprained ankle, 
and has recourse to some novels sent in 
to him by Mrs. Null. "These books 
Lawrence looked over with indifferent 
interest, hoping to find one among them 
that was not a love story, but he was 
disappointed. They were all based upon, 
and most of them permeated with, the 
tender passion, and Lawrence was not in 
the mood for reading about that sort of 
thing. A person afflicted with a disease 
is not apt to find agreeable occupation 
in reading hospital reports upon his par- 
ticular ailment." So when the author 
of The Late Mrs. Null finds himself 
under the necessity of bringing his two 
lovers to a final understanding, he does 
it in a gingerly fashion, and with a cer- 
tain reluctant air that seems to be al- 
most a protest against the indecorum 
into which he is forced. Mark Twain is 
equally wanting in pathos, if we except 
his True Story, but Mr. Stockton's hu- 
mor has a reserve and a quality of in- 
genuousness which are his own. It is 
idle business trying to analyze the pe- 
culiar nature of this writer's charm, and 
one may be needlessly acute, but we sus- 
pect that in this case, as in many others, 
we owe something to the deficiencies of 
Mr. Stockton's intellectual make-up, and 
that one reason why we enjoy his novel 



1886.] 



Needlework in Art. 



135 



is that he is not a novelist. Humor 
which lurks so slyly in incident even 
more than in phrase can dispense with 
many of the conventionalities of the 



novelist's art, and we are too glad to 
get what Mr. Stockton alone has, to 
quarrel with him for not giving what 
plenty of other writers can produce. 



NEEDLEWORK IN ART. 



THERE is a singular fascination in 
the history of the tools of men. In a 
certain sense they are the starting-point 
in which our knowledge of the past be- 
gins ; and as one looks at some great 
museum that earth-mounds and shell- 
heaps have given up to the spade of the 
archaeologist, such a one, for instance, 
as that in the cabinets of Bologna, the 
imagination is touched almost patheti- 
cally by those relics of the infancy of 
the race, that bear sometimes so humor- 
ous a resemblance to the instruments of 
war and industry that our jackknives 
used to fashion. To follow the develop- 
ment of the plough or the loom, the 
arrow or the ship, is to read the great 
book of civilization in the simplest and 
perhaps the most useful way ; for these 
and the other real elements of universal 
life are its true alphabet. They outlive 
the nations they establish and bind to- 
gether, and the advance in their adapta- 
tion and application is a better gauge 
of progress than the rise and fall of em- 
pires. They are very like the forces of 
nature in moulding the destiny of man- 
kind, and more powerful than human 
laws ; they have determined, one might 
say, the physique of castes in India, and, 
if modern speculation is to be believed, 
they may be thought to have affected, 
through inheritance, the arrangement 
of the brain-cells in the skilled artisans 
of Italy and Flanders. The history of 
a, tool, in fact, if told in full, involves 
the successive stages of politics, art, and 
culture; to know it is to know what 
man has done. 



Such reflections may seem to be too 
vast in range to stand, like the innum- 
berable angels of the scholastic doctor, 
on the point of a needle ; but the lady 
who has written this richly made vol- 
ume l would not think so. The needle 
is one of the oldest of tools, and from 
the time when it was shaped from a bone, 
and used to fasten the skins of beasts 
with sinews, down to the present age of 
the Kensington school, it has much to 
tell of its deeds. Of its mere utilitarian 
value, the great industry of clothing the 
race, little is said by the author ; she 
considers the needle only in its works 
of art. One wonders whether its early 
use for ornamentation may not have 
been due to its being preeminently the 
woman's tool. Certain it is that seams 
hardly began to be before they were 
adorned. From the moment when the 
sense of beauty was first pleased with 
the needle's work, however rude, it be- 
came the minister of art, and through 
all the ages it continued in an alliance 
with the ideal part of man's nature. It 
has been thought and no one can say 
nay to the theory that the needle was 
in reality the source of art ; that paint- 
ings on the brick of Nineveh and Baby- 
lon and in Egypt, that bas-reliefs on 
the temples of Greece, and all artistic 
work in wood, or clay, or stone, or metal, 
were in the first instance nothing more 
than imitations, in more durable mate- 
rials, of the woven and wrought hang- 

1 Needle- Work as Art. By LADY M. ALFORD. 
London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Riv- 
ington. 1886. 



136 



Needlework in Art. 



[July, 



ings of the most ancient temples, such 
as were used in the tabernacles of the 
Orientals. To the latest times of pa- 
ganism these precious stuffs, of which 
the peplos of Athene is the highest type, 
were retained in worship of the gods, 
and also in the festivals of monarchs, as 
at Alexander's marriage feast in the mar- 
velous tent of his Asian spoils ; and do 
they not at the present hour robe the 
altars and priesthood of the larger part 
of Christendom, though secular fetes 
have lost such splendid shows of tapes- 
tries in our age of cotton prints and 
broadcloth ? 

But whether or not needlework may 
justly claim to have been the parent of 
the arts, it has been of the family, and 
in its long course it has reflected the 
spirit of man in many phases and pic- 
tured his life, as the other prouder arts 
have done. It is astonishing, there- 
fore, only to one who does not reflect, 
to find the author of this volume some- 
what embarrassed by the richness of 
the materials, the variety and historic 
sweep of her subject ; and amid it all 
it is interesting to observe how simple 
and universal are the laws of art, so 
that, as truly as all of gravitation was 
said to be in the fall of the apple, all 
of art seems to be in the management 
of the stitch. Just as in books of phi- 
losophy nowadays we come upon the 
eternal formulas of Spencer, on homo- 
geneity, differentiation, and heteroge- 
neity, and the rest, so in this work we 
find the sententice of Ruskin, that the 
material must determine the design, and 
the like. The result is that the volume 
gives a curiously mixed impression of 
orderliness when theory is under dis- 
cussion, and of bewilderment when facts 
are being registered. In dealing with 
the laws of the art the author is entirely 
at home, and her decisions clear and co- 
gent ; perhaps in the field of history a 
limitation of the view, particularly in 
the department of archaeology, might 
have given a definiteness and compact- 



ness of which the unlearned reader may 
possibly feel the lack. 

The multitude of things referred to, 
however, is one of the charms of the 
book, and suggests, as nothing else could, 
the infinite number of ways in which 
the simple tools of man's craft have 
affected his civilized life, to which we 
have already alluded. One reason for 
the breadth of subject is that nearly all 
works of the needle in ancient times 
have perished ; a few examples on leath- 
er or linen have survived in a more or 
less dilapidated state, but for the most 
part the handiwork of antiquity in this 
art must be studied from the monuments, 
from sculptured or painted representa- 
tions, or from those literary descriptions, 
such as Homer's, which are the best 
record we possess of the character of 
the embroidered stuffs which filled the 
wardrobes and palaces of Asiatic cities, 
and were borne to other lands by the 
commerce of the Phoenicians. One 
must go to archaeology for the history 
of the ancient art, perforce ; and if one 
pushes the research farther, and asks 
what was the origin and meaning of the 
old patterns, such as the wave or wicker- 
work, and traces backward the conven- 
tional forms to the symbolism of the 
lotus of Egypt, the daisy of Assyria, 
and the immemorial tree of life with 
the yoked animals, and furthermore 
must include a type so distant from 
these as is the serpentine of the Lindis- 
farne Gospels, it is easy to see what an 
omnium gatherum of doubtful and pre- 
historic facts must result. The subject 
of crosses alone, from the schwastika, or 
crossed sticks of the worship of fire 
(if that be its derivation), to the mean- 
dering combinations of mediaeval times, 
is large enough to require a volume to 
itself. The division of these patterns, 
not many in number, into their classes 
opens another wide field, and in their 
passage from naturalism into symbol- 
ism, and thence into conventionalized 
forms, one may stop to study one of 



1886.] 



The Contributors' Club. 



137 



the movements common to all art from 
birth to extinction ; while at the end 
the mathematical patterns with the Sar- 
acenic arabesque still remain to be 
treated. The way in which all these 
were transmitted from country to coun- 
try and from age to age, the great high- 
ways of commerce by which they passed, 
the market-points at which they met, 
such as Sicily in the mediaeval times, 
must also be considered. The mere 
materials used, wool, flax, silk, and cot- 
ton, to mention no others, have each 
an interesting history, which cannot be 
wholly disregarded ; and the schools of 
design which the needlework of each 
period reflected, from the Egyptian to 
the Italian, are to be touched on in a 
way that shall recall the motives, char- 
acteristics, and temper of the whole 
history of art. Thus, before one gets 
to so important a department as lace- 
work, his eye begins to get wearied 
with the survey in which so many mat- 
ters have called for attention, and he 
may be excused if a sigh for system, a 
more rigid system, at times escapes him. 
That portion of the volume in which 
the examples are described with some 
detail, and in many cases are profuse- 
ly illustrated, does not lie open to any 
similar objection. The mind rests on 
these, and lets go of the general his- 
tory of the centuries and the problems of 
archaeology. These examples natural- 
ly are mainly mediaeval or Renaissance, 
and the greater portion are ecclesiasti- 
cal. They are beautiful to look at and 
delightful to read about. The chapter 



upon the school of English embroidery 
is an excellent study of a special sub- 
ject, and stands by itself, like a book 
within a book. The author has here a 
thorough knowledge of the period and 
the work, and is not hampered by the 
necessity of leaning on the monographs 
of learned scholars, as in the more gen- 
eral parts of her narrative. She is mis- 
tress of this particular branch of the 
English art, and of the theory of how 
it should now be practiced under the con- 
ditions of its modern revival. Her ac- 
count of the Kensington school, though 
brief, is interesting, and her advice to 
her fellow- workers in the attempt to 
bring needlework back to the artistic 
purpose it served before the days of sew- 
ing-machines is of the best. To have 
written such a book on one of the minor 
arts is to have filled an empty place in 
the great English library with practical 
effect. The illustrations, by their num- 
ber, excellence, and range, make it ad- 
mirable for reference, and justify its 
title ; for it is not the history of the art 
of needlework which is written, but 
rather the great works of the needle are 
viewed with reference to the general 
artistic expression of the race. The 
efforts of Lady Marian Alford and her 
coadjutors, both in England and this 
country, to restore to the needle its 
office in domestic and church decoration 
have the sympathy of those who respect 
beauty and the adornment of the com- 
mon life ; and all such will give her vol- 
ume a very difficult work to write 
their good wishes. 



THE CONTRIBUTORS' CLUB. 



WHAT is the best thing to do with 
the mind when listening to music ? tl Do 
nothing with it," some one may reply ; 
"let it take care of itself." But this 



implies a mistaken idea as to its ways. 
It seldom does, in point of fact, take 
care of itself. It is bound to follow the 
successive suggestions either of certain 



138 



The Contributors' dub. 



[July, 



outside impressions, or of certain inner 
impressions which also had originally 
an external source. One may as well 
choose a little among these. Surely 
we might better direct the mental pano- 
rama by some voluntary choice than to 
have it directed by the accidental sight 
of a grotesque face in the audience, or 
the odd bowing of some one of the sec- 
ond violins. Does it make the sailing 
of a summer sea any the less idly lux- 
urious to touch the helm lightly from 
time to time ? 

Now there are several ways open to 
choice in the management of the mind's 
delicate steering apparatus, on such an 
occasion as the hearing of fine music. 
The worst way, no doubt, is to gaze 
fixedly at the performers, and so let the 
eye cheat the ear out of half its enjoy- 
ment. This is the besetting tempta- 
tion of the " distinguished amateur," who 
is inclined to give his whole attention 
to the visible handling of whatever in- 
strument he himself may happen to play. 
At a recent concert I noticed that my 
neighbor riveted his interest, during a 
whole splendid movement of the sym- 
phony, on the agile gymnastics of one 
of the double-basses. But this is not so 
ill-advised as the trick some people have 
of staring at a singer, and even with an 
opera-glass, during a whole song. What 
can they carry away in the memory but 
a visual image of a wonderful openness 
of countenance, a kind of labio-dental 
display ? 

I have always liked to close my eyes 
during any passage of orchestral music 
to which I wished to lend special atten- 
tion. It is surprising what sensitiveness 
and grasp this instantly gives to the au- 
ditory power. Sometimes, in a dark cor- 
ner under the gallery, one may indulge 
himself in the luxury. But on Kant's 
immortal doctrine that one should do 
only those things which all may do, this 
closing of the eyes at a concert hardly 
seems proper in the body of the house. 
Would it not look queer if we all sat 



that way ? (" Look queer to whom, if 
everybody's eyes were shut ? " Well, to 
the gentlemanly ushers ; and the report- 
ers, whose eyes are always open ; and 
the cornet and the bassoon, in their lucid 
intervals.) It is not necessary, how- 
ever, actually to close the outward eye. 
We may select some peg on which to 
hang it, so to speak, where no distract- 
ing image will interrupt our reverie. 
The middle of the back of some quiet 
person in front of us will generally do. 
Or we may happen to have that conven- 
ient faculty, possessed by so many, of 
fixing the bodily eye on a given point, 
while the mind's eye is gradually with- 
drawn leagues and leagues behind it. 

There are two opposite ways, in par- 
ticular, open to the mind for its ex- 
cursions during music. It may either 
let itself become engaged in dreams of 
one's own personal destiny, memories of 
the past, fantastically intermingled, or 
dreams of " what hath never been, and 
what can never be ; " or it may go out 
of itself into the life-dramas of others. 
Which is the better way ? For exam- 
ple, in listening to one of those orches- 
tral duets of Rubinstein's, one may 
either disregard the composer's indica- 
tion in the title, weaving his own per- 
sonal episodes at will from the changes 
of the chords; or he may occupy his 
imagination with the relations of the 
suggested Toreador and Andalouse ; 
or he may hear only the far-off voices 
of well-known mortals and their per- 
plexing fates ; or, finally, the music may 
but breathe an ethereal essence of hu- 
man life universal, too elusive for any 
individual incarnation. The question is 
like that which confronts the poet : Shall 
he sing his own joys and woes, or shall 
he create exterior dramatic idyls? Shall 
he follow the method of Byron, or of 
Browning ? 

" I am never merry," said Jessica, 
" when I hear sweet music ; " and her 
Lorenzo was no philosopher, and could 
give but the shallowest explanation of 



1886.] 



The Contributors' Club. 



139 



the fact. Rossetti's Monochord, if she 
could have waited so long for it, might 
have helped her to a better one : 

" Is it the moved air or the moving sound 
That is Life's self and draws my life from me, 

That 'mid the tide of all emergency 

Now notes my separate wave, and to what sea 

Its difficult eddies labor in the ground ? 

" Oh I what is this that knows the road I came, 
The flame turned cloud, the cloud returned to 

flame, 
The lifted shifted steeps and all the way ? " 

No doubt it is the first instinct, with all 
of us, to let the " eternal passion, eter- 
nal pain," of great orchestral music in- 
terweave themselves with the past, the 
possible, or, more often, the dear impos- 
sible, of our personal life-story. We are, 
for the time being, subjects of what 
Rossetti has noted, in his own private 
copy of the poem from which I have 
just quoted, as "that sublimated mood 
of the soul in which a separate essence 
of itself seems, as it were, to oversoar 
and survey it." But would it not be 
nobler in the soul if its survey were 
wider ? Would it not be better for the 
will, in its renunciation and vows of ser- 
vice, that these inchoate worlds of mu- 
sical harmony, these swaying tides of 
mysteriously organizing sound, an audi- 
ble chaos of multitudinous emotions over 
which a creative breath is hovering and 
calling life, with all its tragedies and 
comedies, into being, should be identi- 
fied to the imagination with the fates of 
other men than ourselves ? 

There are persons, I am beginning to 
discover, who have but a very imperfect 
power of visual imagination. An inti- 
mate friend writes me, after only three 
years of separation, " I have completely 
forgotten you. Or, rather, I remem- 
ber nothing but you, and not at all your 
outward aspect. Face, form, manner, 
have altogether faded, and cannot by 
any effort of will be recalled." But I 
can shut my eyes and see ' this friend 
form, features, color, a hundred particu- 
lar ways of gesture and manner more 



distinctly than any photograph could 
possibly present him. I could draw 
his profile on this paper ; not composing 
it, but simply tracing it from my men- 
tal image, as if it were a silhouette laid 
down and followed mechanically with 
the pencil. 

Those of us who possess this common 
enough power might at least always 
give some fitting mise en scene to a sym- 
phony, removing it from its incongru- 
ous situation in an ugly hall packed with 
monotonous rows of frivolous bonnets 
and sand-papered heads. We do not 
need Wagner's aid to obliterate the mu- 
sicians and fill the stage with impressive 
scenery. In a moment, at will, we are 
reclining in a stately pine forest on a 
solitary mountain-side. Behind us tower 
great crags with fluted columnar front, 
like nature's organ-pipes. Below and to 
the left hollows a piny gorge, blue with 
misty depth, up whose slope, from round 
the mountain's enormous flank, swells 
the sound of falling torrents. Beyond 
the granite ridge to the right goes down 
a broken foot-path to a hidden valley, 
where some momentous human passion- 
play begins now to be enacted. 

Or we are drifting on the ocean, and 
a storm is subsiding. All night we 
have driven before the tempest, and 
now at the first glimmer of dawn we 
strain our sight into the darkness, and 
listen for the roar of breakers. Sudden- 
ly the sound of all sweet and powerful 
instruments rises and mingles, as if from 
the very depths of the rolling sea. Have 
the forces of nature become audible in 
their battling together ? Or have we 
drifted into the midst of a strife of mor- 
tal destinies, and is this the prelude to 
a mighty drama of the nations on the 
shores of some new world ? 

Some competent person should 
write an essay on the bright side of hu- 
man ignorance. That ignorance has its 
bright side might perhaps be established 
on a priori grounds, since it would 
seem a kind of blasphemy to suppose 



140 



The Contributors' Club. 



[July, 



that anything so natural and universal 
could be altogether a curse. A condi- 
tion into which we are all born, and out 
of which the best of us can never es- 
cape, must somehow be advantageous ; 
unless, indeed, this world does really 
belong to the devil, an hypothesis 
which I, for my own part, steadfastly 
refuse to entertain, in spite of the theo- 
ries of some of my brethren and the 
practices of others. 

But without going into such profundi- 
ties (leaving questions of this sort for 
the competent essayist aforesaid), it is 
open to the least discerning of us to see 
that much of the interest of human life, 
no matter how commonplace, is depen- 
dent upon the element of uncertainty. 
It may fairly be accounted one of the 
few compensations of extreme poverty 
that the most trivial and prosaic details 
the question of to-morrow's dinner, 
even must often be attended with 
something of that peculiar relish which 
nothing but the feeling of suspense can 
produce, and which more fortunate per- 
sons are fain to seek in trials of skill or 
in games of chance. To take a very 
different illustration, what would village 
or club gossip be worth if we knew the 
exact truth about our neighbors ; if we 
could no longer surmise, put this and 
that together, and draw our own infer- 
ences ? inferences not highly valuable 
for their truth, it may be, but interesting 
for their diversity and originality. What 
we all crave is a problem on which to 
exercise our ingenuity. We inherit a 
passion for riddles, and spend our days 
in solving them. Indeed, throughout 
the course of our intellectual develop- 
ment we are simply handed on, as we 
may say, from one class of enigmas to 
another, while others and still others 
stretch away before us in endless pro- 
gression. 

Amid the numerous attempts which 
have been made to define concisely the 
distinction between ourselves and our 
four-footed relatives, it seems strange 



that no one has ever hit upon this : 
Man is the only animal that loves a 
puzzle. 

It is this liking for a doubt, this appe- 
tite for the mysterious, which makes, in 
great part at least, the fascination of 
novels. What are four or five hundred 
pages of moderately good print when a 
plot is to be unraveled ? How nimbly 
do we turn the leaves as curiosity pricks 
us on, chapter after chapter, till a sound 
of marriage bells announces the long- 
desired consummation ! Herein, also, is 
to be found the peculiar attractiveness 
of new stories, as compared with older 
and possibly better ones. We are al- 
ready in the secret of Henry Esmond ; 
the book is a guessed conundrum, as it 
were (I speak as a novel - reader) ; 
now for the latest " Henry " or " Lucy," 
the narrative of whose love affairs is 
just off the press. 

It is abundantly affirmed, I am aware, 
that the new fiction is intrinsically supe- 
rior to the old ; but on that point I must 
confess to a measure of skepticism. 
Perhaps I am not an unprejudiced judge ; 
at my time of life it may be expedient 
to make some allowance for early pre- 
possessions. At all events, the claim of 
the moderns has before now put me in 
mind of one of Charles Lamb's whim- 
sicalities. Somebody had boasted rath- 
er loudly of being a matter-of-fact per- 
son (realistic, as the present word is), 
when Lamb gave a sudden twist to the 
conversation by remarking, no doubt 
in a perfectly matter-of-fact tone, 
" Now, I value myself on being a mat- 
ter-of-lie man." 

Probably most of us have some time 
or other tried to imagine how it would 
seem to know everything. For one, 
however, I am bound to admit that I 
have never been able to gain any very 
clear conception of such a state. It is 
impossible for me to conjecture what it 
would be like to know all about myself, 
even, letting alone the remainder of the 
world. Yet why do I speak with this 



1886.] 



The Contributors' Club. 



141 



meaningless limitation? For of course 
I could not understand all about myself 
without possessing the same comprehen- 
sive acquaintance with everything else. 
Perfect knowledge of myself must of 
necessity include perfect knowledge of 
all with which I am in any sort of re- 
lation. In other words, and to make 
the statement general, it is only om- 
niscience that knows everything about 
anything. 

And if I really did know everything ! 
Should I not forthwith begin to bewail 
the loss of my former estate ? With no 
longer anything before which I could 
stand in awe ; with nothing to pique the 
curiosity, nothing to be studied ! Would 
not such a condition be like reading the 
same old novel over and over, yea, 
like downright stagnation and death, 
to a creature who had once tasted the 
delights of growth and acquisition ? 

And yet, could one know everything 
without knowing the feeling of igno- 
rance and the pleasures of research ? 
Here we are getting lost, as we always 
must when we seek to compass the infi- 
nite. Speculations like these are vain ; 
some will perhaps call them sacrilegious. 
Let us keep within bounds, and, mean- 
while, await the coming of the better 
equipped author whose good offices in 
this matter we bespoke at the outset. 

There are two insuperable objec- 
tions, in my private and heretical opin- 
ion, to the so-called " reformed " spell- 
ing. One is that it would increase the 
already too great similarity in words. 
Syllables that are at present identical 
only to the ear would then become alike 
to the eye also. Now the true theory 
of a visible and audible language de- 
mands that the symbols of ideas should 
differ as much as the ideas. Rite, right, 
and write are three wholly distinct ideas, 
and their symbols ought to be corre- 
spondingly distinct. In the natural and 
undisturbed development of a language 
they would differ both to ear and to 
eye ; but our present tongue is the re- 



sult of confusing influences, and the 
sounds of our speech have been allowed 
in many instances to lose their differ- 
entiation. The eye, however, being a 
more intellectual organ than the ear, 
has refused to permit the visible sym- 
bols to break down into this indistin- 
guishable similarity. If we cannot have 
every idea represented by a different 
symbol to the ear, at least let us not 
throw away, at the command of a false 
notion, whatever difference remains to 
the eye. Mete, meat, meet; night and 
knight ; sight, site, cite ; mind and mined; 
aisle and isle ; by, bye, buy ; sent, scent, 
cent ; sett and cell ; wait and weight ; all 
and awl, and a great number of other 
such pairs or triplets, would lose what 
little is left of their individual identity. 
Depend upon it, this difference of spell- 
ing has not been a result of accident. 
It has been retained because of a felt 
instinct of the usefulness of keeping 
things separate in appearance which are 
separate in fact. Any one who has 
dabbled in phonography knows that the 
fatal defect of all short-hand systems of 
writing, for any but those who make a 
long-continued specialty of their use, is 
the extreme similarity of the signs, es- 
pecially when combined in words and 
phrases. The advantage of our alpha- 
bet lies in the ingenious diversity of its 
forms, enabling the eye to seize on the 
special characteristic of each letter, even 
in hurried script. This is the secret 
of its having been retained unchanged 
through so many generations of men. 

My second objection to phonetic spell- 
ing is that it would petrify any language 
in the forms which it happened to have 
at the moment of adopting the "re- 
form." Now I feel sure, whatever certain 
eminent philologists may say, that the 
language-making instinct is by no means 
extinct in us. So far as the iron grip 
of the dictionaries will let it, language 
tends to move and change. And this, 
too, not at hap-hazard, but in obedience 
to a felt cougruity between sound and 



142 



The Contributors' Club. 



[July, 



sense. One or two examples are as 
good as a hundred to illustrate this. 
Why do children, and all persons not 
standing in awe of the dictionary, in- 
cline to say tinny or teeny, for a minute 
object, instead of tiny, if not that the 
littleness of the sound is more suited to 
the littleness of the thing ? And why 
do so many persons show a reluctance to 
pronouncing the o in the name of the 
Deity short, as in 1 dog oxfog ? If a fixed 
phonetic spelling, backed up by all the 
power of the more and more tyrannical 
dictionaries, is allowed to paralyze all 
the instincts of growth and change in 
the language, throwing it into a dead 
and fossil condition before its time, there 
will be no longer possible such progress 
as, for example, that from the old Eng- 
lish ic to the modern I. Ic was too in- 
significant a sound for the whole weight 
of the first person, and that, too, in its 
nominative case of willing and acting. 
The idea needed (and once had) a more 
fitting sound-symbol, and at last found 
it again in this noble vowel, a compound 
whose first tone is ah, that broadest and 
fullest utterance in any language. 

The consequences of unguarded 
and over-hasty speech are a matter of 
common lament ; the mischief of re- 
pressed and laggard speech is of another 
sort, less obvious, less widely deplored, 
but none the less real. An odd, smile- 
and-tear-compelling volume will be that 
entitled Humor and Pathos of the 
Unsaid, even if it comes to be written. 
Somewhere among its visionary pages I 
seem to see a text that originally fell 
from the lips of an old friend of mine, 
who is in her ninetieth year. Having 
written a letter at her request, I laid 
down the pen, remarking, " I have told 
J all the things we said in our pleas- 
ant talk of him." " Is that all ? " she 
inquired, in a tone plaintive and re- 
proachful. " You should have told him 
the things we meant to say" These 
words have since gathered a significance 
never dreamed of in their first utterance. 



To my mind they embody a very subtle 
kind of regret and self-dissatisfaction 
which we all at times feel, yet are at a 
loss to characterize. Why, as soon as 
a friend has withdrawn his presence, do 
we begin to see so many lost opportuni- 
ties in the conversation we have just 
had with him ? Why do we, in dra- 
matic retrospect, set ourselves to round 
out every elliptical construction, to re- 
duce to devout simplicity every possible 
ambiguity in our speech, to enrich every 
feeble or halting expression thereof, 
and so (in dramatic retrospect) arrive 
at a better understanding, fuller and 
sweeter confidences, stronger assurances 
of faith and loving service ? Poor, tar- 
dily ingenious Soul, why said you not 
the thing you meant to say, the word 
that would have conciliated one inesti- 
mably dear, who now, for lack of that 
word timely uttered, pursues estranged 
ways? 

Our grief for the dead has perhaps no 
keener edge of pain than that which 
cuts with the recollection of foregone 
privileges of communication. Had we 
but said this or that, which, surely, we 
wished to say, and had they but left us 
the comfort of their responses ! 

Even as regards the minor concerns 
of our social life, some regret of this 
sort is perpetually turning a thorn in 
our consciousness. The apt rejoinder, 
the happy acknowledgment of a favor 
received, the graceful word that would 
have relieved an awkward situation, 
have a singular trick of coming post- 
fact to the exigency. 

" Beware of Had I wist," advises an 
old-time writer. Of all our resident 
genii or visiting spirits, there is not an- 
other so eloquent, so plausible, so tor- 
turous as the Angel of the After- 
thought, an incomparable illustrator 
and teacher of amenities, tact, appeal, 
and mastery. " All these things which 
I have told you," observes the gently 
derisive angel, " are the things you 
' meant to say ' ! " 



1886.] 



Books of the Month. 



143 



BOOKS OF THE MONTH. 



Science and Nature. The fifty-first volume of 
the International Scientific series (Appleton) is 
Physical Expression, its modes and principles, by 
Francis Warner. The basis of observations for 
this book was largely in children, and Dr. War- 
ner employed for this purpose both sound and im- 
becile children ; he invented and applied a number 
of ingenious mechanical contrivances for register- 
ing expression, and he reached many interesting 
results. It is a discussion of the subject from a 
physiologist's point of view. The fifty-second 
volume of the same series is devoted to Anthro- 
poid Apes, by Robert Hartman, and is an inter- 
esting study of these poor relations in their home 
as well as in captivity. An introductory chapter 
gives the history of our knowledge of them. The 
Mammalia in their relation to primeval times, by 
Oscar Schmidt. (Appleton.) The fifty-third vol- 
ume of the International Scientific series. " It 
will be found," says the author, " to contain 
proofs of the necessity, the truth, and the value 
of Darwinism as the foundation for the theory of 
descent, within a limited field, and is brought 
down to the most recent times." Upland and 
Meadow, a Poaetquissings Chronicle, by Charles 
C. Abbott, M. D. (Harpers.) Dr. Abbott, who 
is well known as a specialist in palaeontology, 
shows himself in this volume as an agreeable 
traveler within that limited area which can be 
reached from one's door-step in a day's walk or 
paddle. It is a pleasure to welcome another to 
the select company which looks up to White of 
Selborne as master. Discussions on Climate and 
Cosmology, by James Croll. (Appleton.) Mr. 
Croll makes this volume in part a defense of his 
positions as laid down in his previous well-known 
writings. He has carried his investigations far- 
ther and has enlarged the scope of his work. An 
Apache Campaign, by John G. Bourke (Scrib- 
ners), though ostensibly a record of military ex- 
perience in 1883, is, by the way, a lively picture 
of the Apache Indians and the country traversed 
by them. The Putnams have brought out a pop- 
ular edition of Roosevelt's capital Hunting Trips 
of a Ranchman. Brattleborough in Verse and 
Prose is a little book compiled and arranged by 
Cecil Hampden Howard. (Frank E. Housh, Brat- 
tleborough, Vt.) The larger part of this souvenir is 
occupied by verse, while H. H., T. W. Higginson, 
and Fanny Fern are drawn upon for prose sketches- 
Persia, the Land of the Imams, a narrative of 
travel and residence, 1871-1885, by James Bassett. 
(Scribners.) Mr. Bassett was a missionary in Per- 
sia, and in the larger part of his book gives an 
account of his tours through the country : but his 
views are not merely those of a missionary ; he 
wrjtes like a good observer and an intelligent man. 
In the latter part of the book he gives the result 
of his general judgment of the country as gathered 
from nearly fifteen years' residence. A map ac- 
companies the volume, and there is a bibliography 



and a table of distances and altitudes, but no in- 
dex. Evolution of To-Day, by H. W. Conn. (Put- 
nams.) This is not, as the title might indicate, a 
philosophical account of how to-day was one of 
the possibilities of yesterday, but is " a summary 
of the theory of evolution as held by scientists at 
the present time, and an account of the progress 
made by the discussions and investigations of a 
quarter of a century." The author goes about his 
task in a spirit of fairness. Charles F. Deems, 
on the contrary, in a tractate entitled Evolution, 
a Scotch verdict (John W. Lovell Co.), gathers a 
number of isolated dicta by scientific men in the 
true spirit of a polemic, and is plainly more de- 
sirous of having his side beat than of reaching the 
truth in the matter. The twenty-third Bulletin 
of the United States National Museum contains a 
bibliography of publications of Isaac Lea, preceded 
by a biographical sketch, by Newton Pratt Scud- 
der. Burma, as it was, as it is, and as it will be, 
by James George Scott. (Redway, London.) A 
sketch of the new dependency of Great Britain by 
an Englishman who knows the country and takes 
a very rosy view of his subject. Signs and Sea- 
sons, by John Burroughs (Houghton), contains a 
baker's dozen of out-door sketches which are al- 
ways new and always old. That is, Mr. Burroughs 
never wearies of Nature, and his stories of her 
seeming and doing are always fresh, but it is 
nothing but the good old world that he tells us 
about always. 

Poetry and the Drama. Tecunisebj a drama, 
by Charles Mair. (Hunter, Rose & Co., Toronto.) 
Mr. Mair writes with precision and dignity, but 
makes little attempt at preserving the qualities 
of the Indian. Tecumseh and the Prophet might 
be Englishmen or Frenchmen. Verses, Trans- 
lations from the German and Hymns, by W. H. 
Furness. (Houghton.) It is worth while to have 
in so agreeable a form Dr. Furness's unrivaled 
translation of Schiller's The Song of the Bell, 
a translation so close as to be perfectly adjusted 
to the music written for the original. The other 
verses have the grace and sweetness which char- 
acterize this scholar and divine. Songs of Old 
Canada, translated by William McLennan. (Daw- 
son Brothers, Montreal.) Fourteen French songs 
are given, with the translation on opposite pages. 
The translation is spirited and faithful, and the 
songs are worth preserving. Ziita Kii, or Songs 
from Silence, by Owen E. Longsdorf. (Scholl 
Brothers, Williamsport, Pa.) The poet hand- 
somely refers the inspiration in his poems to a 
graven image which was dug up in one of the 
Ohio mounds. In a sort of Hiawatha measure 
we have a good deal of theosophic bosh. Hough- 
ton, Mifflin & Co. have issued the concluding four 
volumes of the works of Thomas Middleton, the 
second author in Mr. Bullen's group of English 
Dramatists. The lover of choice books is re- 
minded that only three hundred and fifty copies 



144 



Books of the Month. 



[July. 



of each work are printed, and that the type is 
then distributed. This admirably edited edition 
of the old English playwrights will soon be very 
difficult to obtain. The Outcast, and other poems* 
by Walter Malone. (Printed at the Riverside Press, 
Cambridge.) Here is a volume of three hundred 
pages, written, the author advises us in his pref- 
ace, for the most part between the ages of sixteen 
and nineteen. If he is a true poet, and should have 
kept this volume in manuscript say for ten years 
more, we wonder how many of the three hundred 
pages would ever find their way into print. Idle 
Rhymings, a collection of thoughts jotted down 
in leisure moments, by John H. Mackley. (Jack- 
son, Ohio.) Not a jot of poetry, however. 
Translations from Horace, etc., by Sir Stephen E. 
De Vere, Bart. (George Bell & Sons, London.) 
The etc. which curls itself upon the title-page is 
simply an anacreontic, rendered from Walter 
Mapes, and a couple of short poems. The trans- 
lations have vigor and compactness, but the loftier 
odes suffer less in the rendering than the lighter 
lyrics. Summer Haven Songs, by James Herbert 
Morse. (Putnams.) The refined work and play of 
a man of letters who has pure sentiment, a varied 
form of expression, and excellent taste. The 
Poet Scout, a Book of Song and Story, by Captain 
Jack Crawford. (Funk & Wagnalls".) Why is it 
that sentiment of the most melting character seems 
to well up most fluently from the Rocky Moun- 
tains V An Italian Garden, a Book of Songs, by 
A. Mary F. Robinson (Roberts Bros.), is a dainty 
volume of verse, much of which has an exquisite 
lyrical quality. Saint Gregory's Guest, and Re- 
cent Poems, by John Greenleaf Whittier (Hough- 
ton ), contains eighteen poems, some of which have 
been seen already by readers of The Atlantic, who 
will therefore wish the volume. There is a deli- 
cate bit of irony in Mr. Whittier 's preface, which 
poets who are egged on by their friends will not 
enjoy. One finds great satisfaction in holding 
in one bunch flowers which separately are so fra- 
grant and so beautiful. 

Art and Illustrated Works. The second volume 
has been published of the History of Painting, 
from the German of the late Dr. Alfred Woltmann 
and Dr. Karl Woermann. It is occupied with the 
Painting of the Renaissance, and is translated by 
Clara Bell, and published in America by Dodd, 
Mead & Co. The value of the work is greatly in- 
creased by the illustrations, which do not profess 
to be works of art, but are excellent diagrams. 
Those which have the intention of pictures are de- 
fective in printing, which may be due to poor 
electrotypes. The translator has in some cases 
abridged the original and has added bracketed 
passages, indicating the English home of certain 
pictures. The work is rather one of reference than 
reading. Etching in America, with lists of Ameri- 
can etchers and notable collections of prints, by J. 
R. W. Hitchcock. (White, Stokes & Allen.) An 
interesting little etching, the first produced by the 
oldest of our etching clubs, forms the frontispiece, 



and the entire volume, of less than a hundred pages, 
is a readable and pointed brochure. In spite of 
the slight air of business about the lists at the end, 
the book strikes an unprofessional reader as im- 
partial and candid. National Academy Notes 
and complete catalogue to the sixty-first spring 
exhibition. (Cassell.) This catalogue, now in its 
sixth year, is edited by Charles M. Kurtz, and is 
a useful memorandum, since it contains photo- 
lithographic reduced reproductions of many of the 
pictures, brief notes regarding the artists, and 
much general information concerning the Academy 
and its members. Woman in Music, by George 
B. Upton (A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago), is an 
interesting little monograph, treating not only the 
general question implied in the title, but indi- 
cating also the personal relations of women to the 
great composers. My Journal in Foreign Lands, 
by Florence Trail (Putnams), has its place here, 
since the author devotes most of her attention to 
picture galleries. The book is not an important 
one, but it is naive. A Stroll with Keats, illus- 
trated by Frances Clifford Brown. (Ticknor.) The 
uninformed reader would naturally suppose that 
this was a poem, so entitled, written by a lover of 
Keats, and illustrated. It is, in reality, excerpts 
from Keats's poem beginning, 

" I stood tiptoe upon a little hill," 
with illustrations reproduced apparently by some 
process. It is too late to pronounce upon Keats, 
and too soon, let us gently hope, to pronounce on 
the artist. We are in receipt of the current 
numbers of L'Art and The Portfolio, two publi- 
cations that are without rivals in their own especial 
lines. 

Literature and Literary Criticism. Mr. Hor- 
ace Howard Furness has brought his new vari- 
orum edition of Shakespeare to the sixth volume, 
which is occupied by Othello. (Lippincott.) The 
great value which the edition has is enhanced by 
the editor's decision in this volume to print the 
text of the first folio with scrupulous accuracy, 
and to make all corrections and proposed emen- 
dations in the text. An interesting feature is the 
use which he makes of actors' comments, and the 
reader is delighted to find how Booth and Fechter 
interpret character and scene. The editor's own 
human interest is constantly intimated, and the 
work is far removed from a mere dryasdust 
treatment. Mr. W. D. O'Connor, under the ti- 
tle of Hamlet's Note Book (Houghton), criticises 
Mr. Grant White's criticism of Mrs. Pott's Pro- 
mus of Bacon, which was itself in effect a criti- 
cism of the Shakespearean authorship. All this 
stays us from attempting a criticism of W. D. 
O'Connor. Quis custodes custodiet? The one 
contribution which he appears to make to the 
Shakespeare stew is the suggestion that Raleigh 
wrote the sonnets. The New York Shakespeare 
Society issues its third paper, William Shake- 
speare and Alleged Spanish Prototypes, by Albert 
R. Frey, who examines the question of Shake- 
speare's indebtedness to Lope de Vega. 



THE 



ATLANTIC MONTHLY: 



of Literature^, ^cience^ art> anu 

VOL. L VUL AUG UST, 1886. No. CCCXL VI. 



THE GOLDEN JUSTICE. 



VII. 

A RANDOM PROPHECY. 

SOMEWHAT like the notable Rasselas, 
Prince of Abyssinia, Barclay aspired 
also " to grow acquainted with all who 
had anything unusual in their fortune 
or conduct." The many foreign nation- 
alities represented in the place appeared 
to him a considerable source of interest. 
Recollections of their scenery and tradi- 
tions at home invested even the poorest 
of them with a touch of romance, where- 
as he found the common order of Amer- 
icans looking down upon all alike with 
an ignorant prejudice and disdain. 

He went to the German theatre, and 
an amateur play at the Bohemian Turn- 
halle. He passed, in his observing way, 
among the small, neat shops and cot- 
tages of the German quarter, tenanted 
by a most industrious and thrifty popu- 
lation. A part of this district was on 
the way to the factory. The sign " Eng- 
lish spoken here " was sometimes seen, 
and pots of flowers in the cottage win- 
dows showed that humble striving af- 
ter beauty amidst adverse surroundings 
that appeals to the kindly heart. A 
broom-maker had set up three crossed 
brooms on a post before his door, recall- 
ing the sign of that Dutch admiral who 
swept the seas. Next him, an ancient 
lightning-rod and weather-vane maker 



exhibited, in his small window, gilded 
yachts, birds, and fishes, the famous 
Dexter trotting at full speed, leaping 
stags, short-horn cows, and a profusion 
of other specimens of his handiwork. 

Barclay, having occasion to order 
something connected with the lightning- 
rods of his factory, entered this latter 
establishment. He found the proprietor 
to be a Dane, one Ole Alfsen, a garru- 
lous old fellow, who professed to be a 
weather-prophet, and was much inclined 
to boast of his exploits of former days. 
A son of his, William Alfsen, came in 
while Barclay was there, to bid his fa- 
ther good-by. He was just setting off, 
as it appeared, for a voyage in his own 
sloop, the South Side Belle. 

" I have try first to make that boy 
a mechanic," said the father, taking the 
pains incidentally to explain some traits 
of this son, " but I have to give it up ; 
he bin a natural-born sailor. It come 
by his mother's family. William used 
to sail round with his uncle, what was 
a captain and brother of my wife, in the 
old country, when he was a small kid ; 
and once he was a couple o* years in 
one o' them navy-yards, workin' round 
the big guns." 

" He 's a strong, manly-looking young 
fellow," said Barclay. " I trust he is 
successful." 

"Well, he was pooty successful at 
first, but not so good now. He used to 



Copyright, 1886, by HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co. 



146 



The Golden Justice. 



[August, 



go over, with a load o' small goods, to 
them Fox and Manitou Islands and 
Boy Blank [Bois Blanc] way, and 
Grand Traverse Bay, and Point Betsey, 
you know, what got no stores on 'em. 
He would blow his horn when he come 
in, and all them folks would come down 
to the dock and buy everything what he 
bring." 

" That was an interesting business." 

" Yes, but he lose his vessel ; he went 
to help some other fellers, and his boat 
got away from him and foundered. 
Since then he got awful hard times. I 
lose my money in her, too, what I saved 
up, but I don't say nothing about that." 

The next day, Barclay, being obliged 
to drive down towards the Polish quar- 
ter, saw the same young man walking 
before him, and recognized him from 
the peculiar impression he had made. 
He had not yet sailed, then ? 

The Polish settlement consisted of an 
area of yet poorer and more sparsely 
scattered shops and cottages than those 
of the Germans, which they adjoined. 
It was grouped around a few tall, un- 
painted wooden tenement-houses, con- 
taining many families each, and a solid, 
rather imposing ecclesiastical edifice of 
yellow brick, the church of St. Stanis- 
laus, which had twin steeples, terminat- 
ing in little domes covered with shining 
tin, in the Muscovite manner. Near 
the border-line, where the two nation- 
alities overlapped, began a small ravine, 
with neither grading nor sidewalks, but 
dignified with the name of Sobieski 
Street. Upon this irregular site, driven 
to it by the stress of economy, immi- 
grants had pitched their poor huts and 
cabins. Among them ran a variety of 
meandering paths, the right of way on 
which was disputed with human beings 
by the goats, geese, and swine. At the 
top of the ravine, where it joined a civ- 
ilized thoroughfare again, stood a neat 
cottage of two stories, the lower un- 
painted, which gave a suggestion as of a 
cellar above ground, the residence of 



our worthy friend Ludwig Trapschuh. 
Barclay chanced to see William Alf- 
sen steal cautiously up Sobieski Street, 
and disappear in the neighborhood of 
this dwelling. 

This Polish immigration, he recalled, 
as he drove on, was the outgrowth chief- 
ly of the later Russian persecutions, 
dating from about 1864. Partly as the 
last arrived, and partly on account of 
the uncouthness of their speech, they 
were generally rated lower than any 
others in the social scale. They were 
for the most part but common laborers. 
There were to be seen pouring forth 
from this district, every morning, a 
swarm of men, who proceeded to Mar- 
ket Square to wait for jobs of wood- 
cutting, or to distribute themselves on 
the railroads and public works of the 
city. They wore something like a uni- 
form of military-looking homespun frock- 
coats, full in the skirts, big top-boots, 
round caps bordered with astrakhan, and, 
if it were cold, comforters and thick mit- 
tens. They had been serfs, or something 
very near it, at home, and still retained 
their thoroughly peasant -like aspect. 
They had constituted here, in a small 
way, an untrammeled new Poland : they 
came not from Russia alone, but from 
Prussia, and also that Austrian Galicia 
where Metternich had boasted that he 
had secured " fifty years of tranquillity 
by three days of blood." But the op- 
pressors who had partitioned their coun- 
try had contrived to partition their spirits 
as well. They were found full of violent 
prejudices and ancient localisms : the 
Warsaw man fell out with him of Cra- 
cow, and the peasant of Lithuania with 
the peasant of Podolia or Ukraine. 

William Alfsen entered a poorer cot- 
tage than that of Ludwig Trapschuh, 
the rear oi: which it adjoined. A con- 
siderable piece of back-yard intervened 
between the two. He greeted there a 
heavy, dull-looking woman, who was 
Susanka Kraska, the mother of his tow- 
headed cabin-boy, Nicodem Kraska. 



1886.] 



The Gr olden Justice. 



147 



" Nick a good boy, make good sailor ! " 
he bawled, for Susanka was deaf. 

" You don't let it get drown ? " she 
bawled in return. Her English was 
very defective, and even at its best had 
to be supplemented with some words of 
German. 

" No, I don't let him get drownded." 
And with little more ado he went and 
sat down at a window which command- 
ed the back-yard before mentioned. He 
presently saw appear there a person for 
whom he sought, Stanislava Zelinsky. 
She no longer wore the trim dress in 
which he was wont to see her, but a 
linsey-woolsey petticoat and a bright 
handkerchief over her bosom. There 
rested on her shoulders a heavy wooden 
yoke, with a water-pail at either end, 
which she was going towards the well 
to fill. 

He hurried out, and ensconced him- 
self, as furtively as possible, behind a 
tall pile of wood, whence he whistled 
and called in a way to attract her atten- 
tion. The girl discovered him. 

" I did n't know you was here. I 
thought you was sailed away," she said ; 
refraining, after a first startled glance, 
from looking towards him, so as to be- 
tray her recognition of his presence. 

" I want to see you once more, Stan- 
islava. I got something to say with 
you. I make believe go off. I sail 
through the bridge in big style, so your 
father and Barney think I gone away ; 
then I tie up the boat down by the har- 
bor mouth, leave Nicodem take care of 
her, and come here. You must come 
right away out and take walk." 

" Wait till I make done my work 
and get good excuse. They don't watch 
me now, because they think you was 
gone." 

They arranged to meet at the corner 
of a certain vacant lot, on distant Wind- 
lake Avenue. Alfsen waited patiently 
till she had finished her household tasks, 
and sallied forth ; then he stole down 
the ravine again, and joined her at 



the trysting-place. If the dull Dame 
Kraska regarded this manoeuvre at all, 
possibly she thought it only a part of 
the necessary business of employing her 
lazy son Nicodem as a cabin-boy, or 
possibly she winked at it because she 
had no great love for her neighbor, 
Ludwig Trapschuh. 

" What happen you, Stanislava ? " 
asked Alfsen, at once. " Why you wear 
that kind o' dress ? " 

" I got to ; I must, all time, do house- 
work now." 

" And you don't like milliner business 
no more ? Why you leave Morgenroth's 
store?" 

" I guess I was too sassy. When 
they say something against the Poland- 
ers, I say something back again, and 
they turn me out." 

" Oh, no, you could n't be too sassy, 
Stanislava. Was that, sure, the rea- 
son ? " 

" Well, my uncle and aunt don't want 
me to do no more such work," she ad- 
mitted. " They stop me from every- 
thing. Once, you know, I was setting 
types in a German paper, and once I 
was painting them canisters in the 
Stamped- Ware factory, and once " 

" I don't forget paintin' them canis- 
ters. Did n't I first see you when I used 
to work there, too ? " broke in the young 
mariner, interrupting her. " But, Stan- 
islava, you have that money what you 
get from Governor Lane to pay your 
board. You must not pay your board 
and work so like a servant, too." 

" They got big expenses, and they 
was my family," she answered, simply. 

" By jinks ! that was a swindle. I 
would keep that money, if it was me, or 
I would do what I please." 

" How I can keep it ? My uncle get 
it himself ; I never get it in my hands." 

" I would tell Governor Lane, then. 
Or I would tell Mrs. Varemberg; you 
say she 's such a nice lady." 

" It was my uncle and my aunt," 
reiterated the girl ; alleging this in a 



148 



The G-olden Justice. 



[August, 



naive way, as if it were so convincing 
a reason that nothing could by any pos- 
sibility be urged against it. " I wonder 
what he give me that money for, any 
way ? " she added, presently. 

" Oh, he got plenty." Alfsen was 
little enough troubled on this score, to 
which, indeed, he had never paid an 
instant's attention. " I had something 
very partiklar to say with you, Stan- 
islava," he began anew, hesitatingly. 
" What I got to say is, I guess you must 
give me up, Stanislava." 

" Give you up, Willie ? " she cried, 
as with sudden horror. 

" Yes ; you must get married with 
some smart feller what can take care of 
you. I got no good luck any more, 
no better luck that last trip as before. 
So I go down the lower lakes to look 
for some new kind o' job, and perhaps I 
stay there, and don't never come back. 
What 's the use ? " 

" Willie, you must come back ! " she 
exclaimed, in frightened protest. "I 
don't give you up, you und'stand ? I 
don't give you up." 

" But if I 'm no good no more ? " 

"I keep company with you, all the 
same," she persisted obstinately. 

Reassured by this display of con- 
stancy, he next broached, in a sheepish 
way, another matter he had been turn- 
ing over in his mind. 

" We might get married right away 
by Pastor Freitag," he suggested, 
" and no one know nothing about it. 
Then if they was to treat you too bad I 
could stop it. I would try to take you 
away the soonest possible." 

The girl seemed startled this time in 
a different way. 

" / would n't be married by no Pastor 
Freitag," she responded, with a decided 
toss of the head, in spite of her recent 
avowal of affection. It was evident 
that she cherished a feminine ideal of 
something very much more elaborate in 
the way of a wedding than a clandestine 
ceremony by Pastor Freitag. 



This was a little man, a minister of 
the Lutheran sect, who lived a bachelor 
existence doing all his own cooking 
in the basement of his chapel, on one 
of the minor side streets. He was very 
latitudinarian in his theology, and ac- 
commodating in all his views ; offering, 
for instance, to marry a couple " either 
with or without a God." His chapel 
was, as it were, a local Gretna Green, 
and no small part of his scanty income 
was derived from expediting wedlock 
for persons disposed to be slightly infor- 
mal in their arrangements. 

But little further time was allowed 
for the discussion of Pastor Freitag or 
anything else. The pair, who had wan- 
dered, Jenny and Jessamy fashion, quite 
at their ease, and sometimes hand in 
hand, were suddenly confronted by a 
formidable apparition. It was no less 
than Ludwig Trapschuh. He had left 
his bridge, again, for one of his expedi- 
tions to see South Side aldermen, and 
the like, and found himself at the mo- 
ment in precisely that part of the town. 
The sight struck consternation to their 
souls. His niece gave a faint, involun- 
tary shriek, while Alfsen could only af- 
fect a dogged sort of smile. 

" Did n't I tell you I won't let it ? " 
cried Trapschuh, in a choking fury, ad- 
dressing himself first to the young girl. 
Then, turning to Alfsen, he said, " So-o-o 
you walk yourself with my niece-of-law ? 
If I catch it again, I guess I knock you 
over the heels by the head." 

Before any violence could be done, 
however, Paul Barclay once more ap- 
peared upon the scene. Though he was 
but passing by, driving homeward, his 
presence no doubt acted as a restrain- 
ing influence. It was evident to him 
that a drama of some kind was in prog- 
ress : the young sailor had a defiant air, 
Stanislava was downcast and tearful, 
and Ludwig Trapschuh made the most 
typical of stern, low - comedy fathers. 
Barclay unavoidably gave it his atten- 
tion through his recognizing the partici- 



1886.] 



The G-ol'den Justice. 



149 



pants. As if this were only a signal 
for their breaking up, the little group, 
immediately after, dispersed. William 
Alfsen hurried down to the port, this 
time to cast oft and put to sea without 
further artifice ; Stanislava was dragged 
home by her irate guardian, and, arrived 
there, scolded roundly again, and all 
but beaten, by him and her aunt. The 
occurrence, however, sank deep into 
her recollection ; Alfsen's advice had its 
effect, and she manifested for the first 
time, shortly after, a spark of something 
like the true American independence. 
When pressed hard, she threatened to 
go to David Lane, say to him that she 
was able and anxious to earn her own 
living, and have the stipend stopped. 

" Don't do it, Stanislava/' begged 
Trapschuh, in great alarm. " We got 
big expenses, and we could n't bring 
you up without that money. Remem- 
ber I was a poor man, and I was your 
uncle." 

"You must give me freedom, then; 
I must do what I like." 

Her uncle was thus in some degree 
brought to book. She utilized her priv- 
ilege by exchanging the rude, domestic 
drudgery in which she had been en- 
gaged for occupations more congenial 
to her taste. She appeared at the 
Stamped- Ware Works, to solicit once 
more the stenciling of patterns on light 
boxes and canisters, which she had for- 
merly done, a kind of work sometimes 
to be taken home with her, and some- 
times done at the shop ; and Barclay, 
to whom she addressed herself, was glad 
enough to accede to her request. He 
had a pleasant word more than once for 
this flower of the Polish settlement, 
partly as Mrs. Varemberg's protegee, 
and partly through the more pensive 
recollection, to which his mind some- 
times wandered, of the association of 
their progenitors together in the same 
untimely fate. 

The rigorous northern winter came 
on, and set its seal of ice on the naviga- 



tion of the Great Lakes, not to be opened 
again till another spring. The last be- 
lated vessels came skurrying into port ; 
some were embargoed at places where 
the sudden freezing up of the harbors 
found them. The storm-flag was flying 
almost constantly on its high perch, on 
the roof of the building of the Keeway- 
din Insurance Company. This square 
of vivid scarlet up in the gray sky in- 
dicated now snow-storms that blocked 
the railroads, now wind at forty miles 
an hour, and now blizzards of extreme 
cold that swept down into the streets, 
often driving all human life in-doors, 
and putting a stop to business transac- 
tions. The windows of the shops were 
sometimes as thickly covered by hoar 
frost as if by plates of zinc. The lake, 
impressive in every aspect, was frozen 
as far as the eye could see, and no one 
could say how much farther. What 
mysterious dramas were enacting in the 
long, dead winter out amid the winds 
and currents of that great deserted sea ? 
Amid its roughened and broken ice could 
be seen here and there forbidding chan- 
nels of lead-colored green or purple 
water. On the farther verge, as it van- 
ished under the brooding sky, there 
seemed great breakers tossing, and ice- 
bergs moving in slow procession. 

The South Side Belle did not return 
to port, even among the belated craft, 
but some time afterwards the boy Nick 
Kraska made his way homewards, and 
related that she had been lost off the 
rough upper Michigan shore. Alfsen 
was laid up in hospital over there with 
various injuries, including a broken arm. 
He had been injured in going back after 
Nicodem, who was afraid to strike 
out alone, through a heavy sea full 
of floating lumber; keeping thus the 
promise made to the mother to look after 
the boy's safety. 

" The sloop was as rotten as an old 
pumpkin," said a critic of the occurrence, 
at the Johannisberger House. u She 
was loaded with a cargo of boards, and 



150 



The G-olden Justice. 



[August, 



these thrashed around, broke through 
her sides, and scuttled her by themselves 
the very minute a good thumping sea 
set in." 

Later on, William Alfsen appeared, 
one day, in person, at the Stamped- Ware 
Works, pale and emaciated, his arm still 
in a sling, and accompanying Stanislava, 
whom he had met, on some errand con* 
nected with her work. 

Foreman Akins pointed him out, and 
described the case to Barclay. 

" There 's a feller that used to be a 
smart hand to work," said he. " He 
never 'd orter left ; he did n't know when 
he was well off." 

" Why not give him his place back 
again ? " 

" That arm o' his would n't let him 
be no use now. Unless, may be, it 
was some light job in the packin'-room," 
he added. 

In due time, however, Barclay stopped, 
on his way up town, to offer the son of 
the aged weather-vane maker some light 
work in the packing-room. The young 
man was rather disposed to resent it at 
first, as savoring of charity, but he was 
made to feel that his services were real- 
ly in demand. k 

During the interview, old Alfsen took 
occasion, as usual, to air his views on 
the weather and other topics. 

" I make predictment," said he, " that 
this is not a easy windter, but a strong, 
cold, and enduring one." 

Lightning-rods were the favorite sub- 
ject of his discourse. It appeared that 
he was fond of assembling the children 
of the neighborhood round him to hear 
his stories of the mysterious element 
with which he had had so much to do. 
He would tell of the shattering of the 
masts of vessels by lightning. Once, he 
said, a great wheel of St. Elmo's fire 
as large as a millstone had come roll- 
ing along the waves and pierced a ship 
in three places. Again, a ball of blue 
flame as large as a man's fist had leaped 
from an electrometer and killed its op- 



erator, leaving a red mark on his fore- 
head and his shoes burnt from his feet. 

" Some will be believing rods to be 
no use, because bringing down more 
lightning as what they can carry off," 
he said, in his odd dialect, " but I beg to 
differ much with the believings of said 
persons." 

" Your experience has taught you dif- 
ferently, then ? " said Barclay, not un- 
willing to lead him on a little. 

" Sure ; only they must be good put 
up. How much power you think got 
one o' them clouds 'bout ten thousand 
acres big, eh ? All rod joints must be 
tight and not rusty, and the ends must 
be branched out in the ground, with 
plenty charcoals around it, else every- 
thing get tore up." 

" You have no doubt done some very 
important work in that line, yourself ? " 

"I was the best lightnin'-rods feller 
what you never see," returned the old 
man boastfully. " I did ought to put up 
all that big work on the city hall, too, 
when it was build, but I did n't get 
enough politikle influence." 

"And it took political influence for 
that, even when you were so good a 
workman ? " 

" I bet you it take it ; if you got no 
alderman s on your side, you get no job. 
When I was mad about it, they give me 
a small, little box to make, to put some 
papers in, in that statue ; that job did n't 
amount to nothing at all. I bet you see 
her come down some day, and scatter 
them papers all round." 

"You think the figure is not se- 
cure?" 

" I make predictment what she come 
down. Yes, sir, plenty times already 
see I her shake in the wind." 

"Oh, anything shakes in a high 
wind." 

" Well, but I guess the lightning some 
time hit her, any way. Them other fel- 
lers what put up the rods on the big 
dome and along that golded statue of 
Justice don't know nothing about it," he 



1886.] 

said, still cherishing his resentment of 
years before. " I was the best feller 
for fixing up the right kind o' rods, and 
if she don't got 'em, of course she must 
come down." 

William Alfsen proved a faithful per- 
son in the minor duties assigned him, and 
an intelligent one as well, from whom 
Barclay gathered many useful opinions 
about the needs and views of the work- 
ing class in which he was interesting 
himself. He made friends with him by 
degrees, and took him, more or less, as 
a companion and guide in what Mrs. 
Varemberg was pleased to call his eth- 
nographic explorations among the differ- 
ent races and conditions of men. 

They went together, one night, to a 
meeting of rabid socialists and unifiers 
of labor, held in the district somewhere 
near the factory. There was a speaker 
who had a strange way of perking out 
his chin, and appeared about to choke 
with each sentence, a huge man, who 
made but mild suggestions. There was 
another, a diminutive man, in an over- 
coat with ragged edges, and wide pan- 
taloons flapping over little feet like a 
woman's, who proposed, in a piping 
voice, the most sanguinary measures. 
Hoolan, from the factory, was present, 
among others, and made a speech. Re- 
marking Barclay in the audience, he ad- 
dressed to him personally some ques- 
tions intended to be posers of a very 
crushing sort. It was much out of Bar- 
clay's line, but he rose, nevertheless, and 
answered these and some other of the 
dangerous fallacies he had heard. He 
displayed before them in a few well- 
chosen, forcible words some economic 
doctrines, of the simple elementary sort, 
but novel and original enough in an as- 
sembly like that, little given to consid- 
ering more than one side of a question. 
There were groans and hisses, but Hoo- 
lan stood by him ; on the whole, they 
gave him fair play, and he derived from 
this incident a reputation for oratory, 
as he had already for courage. 



The Golden Justice. 



151 



And- yet again Barclay went with 
Alfsen to a Polish ball, of which the 
latter had apprised him. It was a cel- 
ebration of the military company, and 
was held in a rude wooden building, in 
a grove of leafless trees, dignified with 
the name of a " park," near the south- 
ern city limits. It was on a clear win- 
ter's night. As they drew near the 
place, the moon shone down upon the 
Polish quarter, touching with a sparkle 
the bright tin domes of the church of 
St. Stanislaus, and gleaming white on 
the fields of driven snow all round about 
it, with much such an effect as might 
have been presented at the same mo- 
ment by an actual village of the steppes. 

Within, the Sobieski Guards moved 
about, resplendent in their uniforms of 
blue and red ; and young women, with 
hands and wrists roughened by work, 
sat in rows on benches, while their 
hats and shawls depended from pegs 
behind them. Stanislava Zelinsky was 
there, very charming in white muslin, 
with blue ribbons in her hair. So jeal- 
ously guarded was she by her uncle, 
assisted in his vigilance by the rowdy 
Barney, that William Alfsen could only 
look at her from afar with longing 
and disconsolate eyes. Ludwig Trap- 
schuh, to tell the truth, cherished no 
peculiar prejudice against Alfsen ; he 
would have felt the same way towards 
any other who threatened to take away 
from him his niece and source of reve- 
nue. But precautions as to others were 
needless, for she showed them no favor. 

Barclay, however, was a visitor who 
was treated with august consideration by 
his pleasing young employee, among the 
rest, and he talked with her at consider- 
able length. She could tell him some- 
thing of the traditions of her country : 
the wolf-hunting in the Carpathians ; the 
ancient serpent-worship in marshy Lith- 
uania ; the tarantass with a trotting and 
two galloping horses harnessed abreast ; 
the wodki, or potato brandy ; and a cer- 
tain famous plum jam, made in great ket- 



152 



The Golden Justice. 



[August, 



ties set in the ground, and stirred about 
with wooden shovels. Finally, she in- 
duced the musicians to play for his es- 
pecial benefit the sweet and plaintive 
Kalina and some other national airs. 

The dancing was marked by great 
zest and facility. 

" Why, indeed, should it not be ? " re- 
marked Barclay, as he went back to join 
his companion. " Where, allowing for 
the rudeness of the company, should we 
expect to find more grace and spirit than 
here ? Do we not owe them all the 
modern dances ? What is Polka but the 
word that means ' a Polish woman ' ? 
The Mazurka was the native dance of 
the Mazours, the Cracovienne that of 
Cracow, and the Varsovienne that of 
Warsaw." 

He paused, as he was leaving the 
place, to watch a waltz, in which the 
couples separated at a given signal, 
pointed mocking fingers at each other, 
clapped hands and stamped feet, then 
joined again and went on as before, all 
in harmonious rhythm. On the way 
home Alfsen deferentially confided to 
him his feelings about Stanislava, of 
which his listener had already heard 
something. " Some o' the girls gets mar- 
ried because they 're tired o' workin', 
and often gets a harder time than what 
they had before," said he. " I don't want 
any o' that ; I don't want any girl what 
marries me to be scrubbin' all the time 
at the wash-tub." He took so dark a 
view of his own prospects that no one 
was readier to admit the justice of the 
opposition of Trapschuh than himself. 

" But your arm will soon be well 
again," returned his employer sympa- 
thetically ; " then you can get your old 
place back, earn good wages, and things 
will go all right with you." 

" Yes, but I don't know if I can make 
good mechanic any more," hesitatingly. 
*' I 'm better on some kind of a boat. 
Only when a man lose his boat and I 
lose two he don't easy get no good 
place on any other one. If I could 



get on that revenue cutter, I like it," he 
added wistfully. " Them government 
jobs pay pretty good, and you're sure 
you get your pay." 

" On the Florence Lane ? What sort 
of a place would you want ? " 

" Well, may be to watch around her, 
while she 's laid up for the winter ; and, 
after that, to work on her most any way, 
I could learn all. I would n't care 
much whether it was sailin' or takin' 
care o' the guns ; I understand most all 
that kind o' business." 

Barclay began to speculate whether 
there was any reason why he should not 
get a deserving fellow, with a taste for 
the work, a government appointment on 
a revenue cutter. He apparently found 
none, for he said, 

" I '11 speak to Lieutenant Gregg 
about it." 

But it so happened that peculiar cir- 
cumstances arose to prevent his speak- 
ing to Lieutenant Gregg about it in 
person, and to lead him to turn the 
matter over to other hands, instead. 



VIII. 

A MEETING AT THE FOOT OF THE 
GOLDEN JUSTICE. 

Barclay had first his popular period, 
then something very like an unpopular 
period, in the social life of Keewaydin. 
Looked upon as a person of exceptional 
distinction, he was bidden to all the 
usual entertainments and many especial- 
ly devised in his honor. Keewaydin, 
like most other American towns, did 
not frankly engage in pleasure for pleas- 
ure's sake ; there was generally an apol- 
ogetic air about it. Still, somebody 
coming or somebody going, a notable 
stranger in town, a charitable object to 
be furthered, furnished occasion for suf- 
ficient gayeties. 

" The typical occasion, I should say," 
Mrs. Varemberg explained to him, " is 



1886.] 



The Golden Justice. 



153 






the visit of some young girl who was 
formerly school-mate, say, of a friend 
residing in the place. As soon as it is 
known that such a person has arrived, 
all the acquaintances of the family hasten 
to the house, and steps begin at once to 
be taken for her entertainment." 

" This inter-visiting of school friends, 
now that railroad fares are cheap, and 
the remotest points are really but a few 
days apart, seems one of the great North 
American agencies for unifying civili- 
zation," said Barclay, as if philosoph- 
ically. " The boarding-school ought to 
be set upon a lofty pedestal of honor, as 
a leading factor in the modification of 
types and the settlement of race prob- 
lems. What is the frequent upshot of 
these visits ? The young stranger, flat- 
tered and feted, appears at her best. 
The young men are taken with the 
novelty ; some one of them asks her 
to marry him, and she stays. She has 
been blown afar and taken root, just as 
the seeds of exotic plants are blown by 
the winds to spring up on coral islands." 

"You are undoubtedly correct. But 
how beautifully poetical you are getting, 
in these late days ! " 

" Oh, I have to be rather poetical, as 
a relaxation from the factory. Besides, 
I am a bit of the drift from distant 
shores, myself." 

" Then we must have you follow the 
usual career. Who is to be the happy 
agent of your taking root and flowering 
on our coral reef ? Naturally Miss Tel- 
son, our greatest fortune, whose money 
will be useful to you in your philan- 
thropic enterprises. A philanthropist, 
you know, can never have too much." 

Barclay objected to Miss Telson. She 
was the daughter of the leading capital- 
ist of the place, for others, in the mean 
time, had surpassed David Lane. She 
was a particularly dull, uninteresting 
girl ; it was said of her even now that 
she did not know how to spend her in- 
come. 

" Miss Shad well, then," said Mrs. Var- 



emberg. This young woman, a grand- 
daughter of Shadwell of the Navigation 
Company, and probably the second in 
the list of fortunes, was a little midget 
scarcely out of her teens, with a face 
that already resembled a withered ap- 
ple. She had a rather terrific reputa- 
tion ; she was a law unto herself, and 
was in the habit of making very pert 
and mischievous remarks. A Miss Min- 
ford, who came third in the trio of heir- 
esses, mistakenly endeavored to render 
herself attractive by an elegant fragility ; 
she thought it charming' to profess to be 
utterly unable to do about everything 
anybody would have liked to have her 
do. 

" No," said Barclay decisively, " I 
should not take kindly to so much in- 
validism. I could not quite sink out of 
sight my ideal of blooming health." 

"You do not like invalids, then?" 
said Mrs. Varemberg, with sadness in 
her voice. 

" Not the amateur kind ; all my sym- 
pathy and admiration are reserved for 
the real article," he returned, with cheer- 
ful promptness, endeavoring to atone 
for his stupid slip of the tongue. 

" Ah, I see your desideratum is 
beauty, not money," she rattled on, 
when she had recovered from this shock, 
or hidden her feeling. She affected to 
survey the field next from this point of 
view. 

She pretended many times thereafter, 
in a teasing way, to consider him a per- 
son who was sagely and maturely de- 
liberating upon the choice of a wife 
from among the eligible candidates. She 
would affect to send him forth as a 
champion to the fray, to equip him with 
her best counsels, comfort him in his dis- 
appointments, and the like. She repre- 
sented his heart as wavering in the di- 
rection now of this fascinating fair one, 
now of that. But when, after a consid- 
erable time, no results appeared from 
the campaign, she accused him of phleg- 
matic insensibility. She said he had a 



154 



The G-olden Justice. 



[August, 



heart made in compartments, like those 
of an ocean steamer; one or more of 
them might be broken with impunity, 
leaving the organ practically as good as 
ever. 

" You will find a great deal of good 
blood in Keewaydin," said Mrs. Clin- 
ton, taking her part also in his social 
education. " Many young men of the 
best families of New York and New 
England came here, in the early times, 
to better their circumstances or benefit 
their health. My brother was one of 
them. You naturally belong to this 
congenial element, and I would advise 
you to confine your acquaintanceship as 
much as possible within it. Of course 
we know your father's name well, but 
your mother was a Ridgewood. The 
moment I heard your mother's name 
was Ridgewood, I knew all about you." 

" We are very remarkable on the 
mother's side, also," said Mrs. Varem- 
berg. " We are Bush wicks. The Bush- 
wicks let me see : they all married 
and had large families. Oh, yes, they 
were very extraordinary. There is a 
book about them ; I am going to read it 
some time." 

" Florence ! " protested Mrs. Clinton 
severely. 

" Well, we shall not let Mr. Barclay 
have all the glory." 

" I hardly supposed such distinctions 
much obtained here," said Barclay. 

" They do not," insisted Mrs. Var- 
emberg. "There are really none ex- 
cept those of the pocket-book. Who- 
ever has made his fortune is given a lit- 
tle time, it is true, to wash off the dust 
of the conflict, but he is not kept out 
of any of the rewards of it." Again the 
aunt protested. 

" You two are such a pair of radicals 
and scoffers," said she, classing them 
together. But to be classed with Mrs. 
Varemberg in any category was subtly 
grateful to Barclay. 

There proved to be quite distinctions 
enough, however, of one sort and an- 



other. To supplement the rest, the sec- 
tional divisions of East and West Sides 
and the like were carried into social 
life ; each assumed to be all but suffi- 
cient to itself, and representatives of 
the one went to the other only on the 
occasion of some notable funeral or 
wedding. 

A " society paper " and " society col- 
umns " in the regular papers recorded 
the doings of a Shakespeare Club, a 
highly accomplished one, devoted to pri- 
vate theatricals. Clubs for the cultiva- 
tion of music of many varieties especial- 
ly flourished. The inspiration seemed 
to come in the first place from the large 
German population, so gifted in this art ; 
and it might have been remarked that 
it was through a common interest in 
music that the two races began to over- 
come their early estrangement, and to 
intermingle and marry. The leading 
troupes of performers of all kinds, on 
their travels, were wont to play a night 
or two at the Grand Opera House or 
the Academy of Music. Neither thea- 
tre was quite so grand as its name. Bar- 
clay went to some houses where were 
played " rhyming crambo " and like 
games, in a half-romping way, often 
pleasanter than the more set entertain- 
ments. There were many interiors fitted 
up with charming taste, and these had 
inmates who showed themselves ner- 
vously anxious to keep at the level of the 
latest acquirements in literature, art, and 
general culture. They lamented their 
small advantages as compared with the 
favored denizens of the metropolis, but 
they often have given the best of these 
latter, who are apt to be distracted from 
reading, study, and most that is useful 
by too great a whirl of affairs, in their 
complex life, a wholesome lesson, in- 
stead. 

Barclay had the simplest, most un- 
ostentatious of manners, wherever he 
moved, and it was by no means his own 
fault if he became a centre of attrac- 
tion. The young women were perhaps 



1886.] 



The G-olden Justice. 



155 



a little overawed at first by his unusual 
eligibility, accomplishments, and good 
looks. Even the more reserved had 
their sweetest blandishments for him, 
while others threw themselves daringly 
at his head. All alike proved without 
avail ; they found him impervious, and, 
after what was deemed a sufficient at- 
tempt, they drew off in despair. 

Justine DeBow assumed, on the 
strength of their early acquaintance, a 
closer intimacy with him than most of 
the others, an assumption which he, to 
a certain extent, conceded. " Are you 
never coming to see me ? " she had 
asked him, more than once. He made 
short visits of ceremony and "party 
calls," visiting large, handsome houses, 
where the young hostesses for it was 
the young, for the most part, who con- 
ducted all these matters came down 
to receive him. They sat with hands 
crossed in their laps, talked of Wachtel's 
concert, Ristori, their European tours, 
and their trips to New York and to the 
Eastern seaboard in summer, liking to 
compare with his own. In time he 
dropped in at Justine DeBow's, among 
the rest. She lived in a large wooden 
house, nearly square, painted in brown- 
ish tones. In the low fence, surround- 
ing its door-yard, was a gate swinging 
both ways, which clicked complacently 
to itself for some time after one had 
passed through. 

Barclay courteously asked after her 
mother, and received the reply that she 
would have come down, but her health 
was far from good, and she rarely saw 
visitors. 

" What are your impressions of Kee- 
waydin now ? " his young entertainer 
asked him, hastening to change the sub- 
ject. 

'.< I still find it highly interesting." 

" My idea of an interesting place 
would be something very different," she 
returned, with an almost offended air. 
"It would be a long way off, for one 
thing, and it would furnish rather more 



to keep one from dying of utter stagna- 
tion." 

" I have not stagnated yet, with all 
my Germans and miscellaneous foreign- 
ers to explore. I 've been round the 
world a second time, as it were, since 
my arrival. But perhaps I am still too 
much in my first enthusiasm to advance 
any opinions of consequence." 

She looked at him in surprise. " We 
don't see anything of the Germans," she 
said. " Some of the young men go to 
the Germania Society, though, I believe, 
on Sunday nights, to see the beautiful 
Jewess, Rosa Blumenthal I would, if 
I were they ; I would do most anything 
to keep alive." 

In this mood she was not at all like 
the formal little person he had first met 
on the steamer. 

" She is pretty, as we have agreed," 
said Barclay, reporting the visit after- 
wards to Mrs. Varemberg, " but I have 
not often seen a greater budget of dis- 
content in so small a compass." 

" Which means that she interests 
you. I recollect an unusual character 
or situation was always sure to do it." 

"Ah, well, my interests are so vast 
and varied nowadays that some of them 
will have to be neglected." 

The verdict that Barclay was indif- 
ferent, and even incorrigible, in the sen- 
timental way, was first rendered at St. 
Bartholomew's Guild, a charitable asso- 
ciation of select young ladies of the 
place, and was confirmed at the Saturday 
Morning Club, a society, after the Bos- 
ton model, devoted to their intellectual 
improvement. 

" Oh, he is fastidiously polite, and all 
that ; no one could be more so. He 
looks at you in an appreciative way, and 
gives the most careful attention to all 
you say," pronounced a fair speaker, 
more frank than the rest, at the Guild, 
removing a score of pins from her mouth, 
to be the more untrammeled in the ex- 
pression of her opinion. " But what 
does it all amount to ? You feel, some- 



156 



The Grolden Justice. 



[August, 



how, always kept at a distance. He is 
thoroughly cold ; it is probably consti- 
tutional." 

"I could never conceive of his 'fall- 
ing in love," said another ; " he is the 
kind of man to whom it would be im- 
possible." 

It was measurably certain that he 
had not fallen in love with any of them, 
and yet Justine DeBow held her peace. 
Neither was this authoritative judgment 
pronounced till forbearance had, as it 
were, ceased to be a virtue. Ample time 
had been allowed for revision of judg- 
ment, and the decision, coming from such 
a source, might be considered final. 

Paul Barclay also ran the gauntlet, 
with like imperturbability, of a " mar- 
ried set," which had lately introduced, 
as something of a novelty in Keeway- 
din, certain " fast " practices of enjoy- 
ing life, derived from New York and 
foreign models, and carried into effect, 
as is often apt to be the case with imi- 
tations, in even exaggerated form. Bar- 
clay had seen the world, and was con- 
sidered amply eligible for this set, which 
was inclined to look upon him as a 
marked acquisition, and made him gra- 
cious overtures. It was noted for dash- 
ing little suppers with plenty of cham- 
pagne ; the calling of one another, by the 
members, by their first names ; and the 
dancing of attendance upon the wives 
of others by gallant cavaliers, while the 
husbands showed the most agreeable 
complaisance in the world. A certain 
Mrs. Rycraf t, a siren of the buxom sort, 
by no means without good looks, took 
the lead in the overtures to Barclay. 
Perhaps in order to be beforehand with 
the others, she carried them to notable 
lengths. She talked in a pensive way 
of the unsatisfactoriness of life, and con- 
fided to him that, gay as she seemed, she 
was often oppressed by moods of melan- 
choly. He found her woes but a curi- 
ous parody of the real and poignant 
ones of Mrs. Varemberg. 

She permitted herself a good deal of 



sympathy, she said, for men who are 
sometimes spoken of as bad men ;^ they 
were often very much maligned, and 
they had many redeeming traits. She 
thought men ought not to marry ; if 
she were a man, she would never think 
of it. 

" But perhaps you make too little al- 
lowance for the human nature and the 
weakness of the masculine heart," said 
Barclay, affecting to humor her. 

" Oh, he should fall in love. I would 
not put any countermand upon that," 
she rejoined, as in a kind of consterna- 
tion. 

" Nothing is easier as I have heard 
than to fall in love a little with each 
successive pretty woman ; but in falling 
in love, as some philosopher says, the 
first thing to do is to foresee the end. 
Perhaps it is not always so easy to get 
out of it. Have you any recipe to cover 
that?" 

" Oh, don't ask me for recipes. You 
must find the right person, and then you 
will not want to get out." And she left 
it a transparent mystery who the right 
one was. 

Not long after this, he received a 
very agitated-looking note, signed only 
with an initial. It was couched some- 
what in these terms : 

" Such a strange, unaccountable feel- 
ing has taken possession of me. It is so 
pleasant to think of your being here 
How dare I write this ? I will not 
send it yes, I will. But you must 
forget that it was ever written. Never 
speak of it, never think of it, I adjure 
you." 

Paul Barclay extricated himself from 
this entanglement with all the discretion 
possible, though perhaps no amount of 
discretion is ever sufficient, in such cases, 
to avoid making an enemy, who has 
but the greater power for harm, the 
more consideration that is used. 

After a varied collection of such 
small experiences, he inclined to with- 
draw himself altogether from the social 



1886.] 



The G-olden Justice. 



157 



arena. But for the frigid atmosphere 
created by her father, he would have 
gone more and more often to Mrs. Var- 
emberg's. Even as it was, his visits be- 
gan to attract comment. Why had those 
two so much to say to each other ? Did 
they hold themselves aloof in assumed 
superiority ? the gossips asked. And 
this Barclay, had he none of the natural 
impulses of his youth, that he showed 
no eyes and ears for the conceded beau- 
ties of the place? There were some, 
in truth, to win an anchorite, but they 
failed to attract him. 

As to all this, even the young man 
was often sorely puzzled at his own 
state of mind. A warm and impulsive 
blood really ran in his veins ; few had a 
quicker eye than he for any beauty of 
face or form, a readier appreciation of 
all the attractions that go to make up 
the surpassing feminine charm. But, 
in some strange way, all virtue seemed 
to have gone out of him now. It pleased 
him to associate only with this weak and 
crippled existence ; all other women had 
grown hardly more than tolerable to 
him. 

" Am I not," he would ask himself, in 
trying to account for it, " the widower 
of buried hopes, and is not my past of 
such a sort that I have no right to the 
ordinary present, and the future is no 
longer open to me ? " And, " Why 
should I not use what is left to me as I 
choose ? " he added. 

A chivalrous ideal of remaining al- 
ways at her side, without hope of change 
or reward, began to frame itself vaguely 
in his mind. Why might he not make 
a career of such disinterested friendship ? 
He would let no word or act of his 
trouble her peace of mind ; the most 
perfect prudence should guard her 
against any aspersion by evil tongues ; 
he would only wait, wait indefinitely, and 
offer such poor solace as his presence 
might afford. 

" Do you never go to see any peo- 
ple ? Do you take no part in these fes- 



tivities at all ? " he was moved to ask 
her, after a time. 

" I ? How can I ? How should I act 
if I did ? If I were gay, the malicious 
would say I did not appreciate the 
gravity of my situation ; if I were sad, 
that I was posing for their sympathy, 
or, worse yet, some of the kind-hearted 
would give it to me, and that I could 
not endure." 

" Not even that of your Radbrooks, 
of whose life you have given me such 
attractive accounts ? I have seen some- 
thing of them myself, by the way, and 
think you are right. Only, after all, 
another person's happiness seems a tame 
affair, compared to what one pictures 
for himself." 

" To such places I can go least of 
all ; they bring the tears to my eyes. 
Shall I confess to you that it is one of 
my peculiarities to weep at the sight of 
happiness? I cannot bear it. I have 
often turned away from happy couples, 
out-of-doors, and taken a different street 
to avoid them. You will laugh at a per- 
son so weak and ridiculous, will you 
not ? " 

But Barclay was far indeed from any* 
disposition to merriment. At this rare 
admission that her suffering was mental 
as well as physical, he had no little 
pains to disguise his own emotion, which 
brought a decided lump into his throat. 
Yet, as there seemed nothing of perma- 
nent avail to be done, it became his role 
to save her in some way from herself, 
to aid her to pass her days more cheer- 
fully. He sometimes tried a raillery 
like her own. As she had called him 
Wat Tyler and Gracchus, he dubbed 
her the Exile, the Prisoner of the Lake, 
the Captive, and by many similar high- 
sounding titles. 

" You must watch some spider, day 
by day, spinning its web in a corner of 
your cell ; some little flower peeping up 
through a joint in the paving-stones, for 
your comfort, like various of your il- 
lustrious prototypes," he said. 



158 



The Golden Justice. 



"As to the cobweb," she returned, 
" I hardly think our tidy Swedish house- 
maids will have left one, but the con- 
servatory is the most likely place for 
the flowers. Let us go and look." 

Perhaps the prismatic glitter of all 
these conservatories did more than any 
other feature to give the ordinary pass- 
er-by his idea of the magnificence of 
David Lane and the unclouded happi- 
ness that must necessarily prevail in so 
splendid an establishment. But the or- 
dinary passer-by, unfortunately, is not an 
accurate judge of the realities of things 
from their appearance ; he does not al- 
ways know sufficient of the wants of 
him who appears to want the least, and 
how, after all the needs of the body are 
gratified, there may yet remain the even 
more imperious needs of the heart and 
mind. 

Mrs. Varemberg, pretending to seek 
the proper flower, culled one here and 
there, and then formed them all into a 
bouquet for her companion. How charm- 
ing, he thought, was the touch of her 
light, deliberate hand upon them ; how 
privileged the object, inanimate or ani- 
mate, that might receive the benison of 
her caress ! 

" All this is rather my father's taste 
than my own, the room for orchids, 
particularly," said she. "A conserva- 
tory is Dot greatly to my liking." 

" Nor to mine either, to tell the truth. 
This heaven of glass instead of the blue 
sky, this tepid, enervating atmosphere 
instead of the free air of nature, are but 
poor substitutes for the originals." 

" The plants, in their artificial exist- 
ence, so carefully screened from every 
draught and inequality, remind me too 
much of my own. They too have a 
cowed and disconsolate air." 

"You must give me some of the bolder 
of them, when I begin my landscape- 
gardening, to see what they will do out- 
of-doors." 

" Your landscape-gardening ? " 

" Yes ; I have been waiting to break 



[August, 



it to you. Barclay's Island is going to 
be ' a bower of roses by Bendermeer's 
stream.' And the planing-mill ' sings 
round it all the day long,' he added. 
Oh, I assure you, you won't know it." 

He outlined for her some of his pro- 
posed innovations: he meant to paint 
the buildings, let in the honest light of 
day at the windows unimpeded by the 
time-honored cobwebs and grime, put 
up an ornamental stone gateway at the 
entrance to the grounds, clear away all 
the rubbish, and replace the slag and cin- 
ders by grass-plats varied with some few 
flower-beds, about all that could be 
done without tearing down the whole 
establishment. 

" You will be the most original of 
manufacturers." 

" Oh, no ; they do these things in Mex- 
ico and Central America," he responded. 
" It is charming, the way they have of 
caressing their industrial establishments 
which are the source of their wealth, 
down there. A man is no more ashamed 
to live alongside his cotton-mill or foun- 
dry than if it were a model stock-farm 
with us. As you ride along, you come, 
all at once, upon some imposing, castel- 
lated affair, with its gardens, terraces, 
fountains, statues, and mediaeval-looking 
chapel, and find it to be simply a sugar- 
refinery or ore-reducing works, with the 
proprietor's residence added." 

"And you propose to introduce all 
this here ? " 

" Oh, we can't expect to equal the Cen- 
tral Americans all at once, but we shall 
probably work up to it by degrees." 

" But Paul, you know and an 
island, and such a paradise," broke in 
his companion, as if struck by a sudden 
reflection, " it is quite idyllic. You 
ought to have some sort of a Virginia, 
also. You must find some beautiful 
maiden of the island, who will go about 
clad in coarse stuffs of Bengal, and Paul 
must bring her bird's-nests, and shelter 
her from the rain under a huge banana 
leaf." 



1886.] 

" And we must tell the seasons only 
by their fruits and flowers, and the hours 
of the day only by the shadows passing 
over," added Barclay, readily entering 
into the spirit of it. " Will you not 
deign to be our Virginia, for the time 
being?" 

He drew down over her head the leaf 
of a large plantain they chanced to be 
in close proximity to at the moment, 
after the manner of the well-known 
picture. 

David Lane had entered his conserva- 
tory, to walk briefly, as he was given to 
doing, among his orchids, that poised 
their curious shapes of butterfly and 
bird in the air like living things, and 
was a witness of this scene. It seemed 
to him to show a peculiarly intimate re- 
lationship between the pair. It was at 
last time for him to act, unless he would 
abandon all without a struggle. He 
scowled darkly by himself, but when they 
came up to him made a lame pretense 
of civility. When Barclay had gone, 
he took his daughter aside, and, without 
any reference to his real motive, spoke 
to her earnestly of her health, and strong- 
ly advised her to go at once on a visit to 
New York that had been before pro- 
posed. He himself would go with her. 
Her physicians had recommended it, for 
the benefit of the change, even if it 
should be only a short one. Her inertia 
was at last overcome. It is supposable, 
too, that the absence may, for certain 
reasons, have appealed to the better 
judgment of Mrs. Varemberg as de- 
sirable. Those two, accordingly, soon 
departed. 

There came about, however, a friendly 
correspondence, of a desultory sort, dur- 
ing the separation. It was sometimes 
grave, sometimes gay. The little fiction 
of Paul and Virginia, originating as de- 
scribed, was further continued. Mrs. 
Varemberg had a ready gift in the hu- 
morous way with her pencil, and she 
drew in the corners of her notes little 
caricatures, to which Barclay more 



The G-olden Justice. 



159 



rudely responded in kind as best he 
could. She showed the island, with its 
palms and plantains, always standing 
in the conventional conservatory tubs; 
Paul as a barefoot little urchin, with a 
very wise and knowing look, surrounded 
by his storks and turtles ; old Fahnen- 
stock as the faithful negro Domingo; 
and Virginia a most demure and inno- 
cent little maiden in a striped cotton 
gown. Barclay, on the other hand, in 
his sketches, endeavored to make her 
something of an arrant little coquette. 

The thousand miles of distance inter- 
vening between them seemed to make 
the expression of certain sentiments 
easier ; they sometimes wrote more free- 
ly than they had talked. 

" I want to say to you," wrote Bar- 
clay, " that your friendship, your intelli- 
gent sympathy with my plans, have been 
a great assistance and happiness to me. 
I do not know what I should have done 
without you. I think it has been more 
your kind encouragement than anything 
else that has made me go on." 

In one letter he described to her a 
new plan for a pension fund for his 
workmen that he was endeavoring to 
put into practice. The fund was to be 
made up of a small sum reserved from 
the earnings of each week, supplemented 
by a beneficent provision arranged by 
the management. Then, when a man 
had completed his labors, he would have 
something to take care of him in his old 
age. " But these are mere fag ends and 
side issues," he complained. " Why am 
I not thoughtful ? Why do I not make 
the grand discovery that will produce 
for all a robust and plentiful happiness ? 
You will think so poorly of a person 
who can do no better than this. You 
will cross him off your books in dis- 
gust." 

" Were your achievements greater 
than those of Wilberforce, or Adam 
Smith, or Peter Cooper, I don't know 
but I am making up a rather mixed 
catalogue," she replied, "I shall al- 



160 



The Grolden Justice. 



[August, 



ways like the man better than the phi- 
lanthropist. It seems to me already a 
great discovery that you have found out 
how a master can add to the comfort 
of individuals under him But perhaps 
these are only the simple ideas of the 
poor, untutored mind of 

" VIRGINIA." 

She wrote him once from New York 
of meeting his sisters at a reception. 

" They opened on me with quite a 
fire of questions about you," she said. 
" Is it possible that you have told me 
more of your affairs than you have 
them ? I am, naturally, much flattered 
at the suggestion. I was prepared to 
preserve your confidence as much as 
possible, but we were dragged apart by 
the crowd, and meantime, if I meet 
them again, what am I to tell them ? " 

" Do not tell them anything, too in- 
genuous Virginia," he wrote back in 
alarm. " The fact is, they are of rather 
an interfering turn. I will tell them, 
myself, as much as is for their good, 
when I get around to it." 

He sent once a rude sketch as of 
Virginia, in this new life, surrounded 
by admirers, who vied for the honor of 
holding their respective banana leaves 
above her head, while Paul sulked on 
the island, with his own trailing idly be- 
side him, and the tortoises and flamin- 
goes looking on in sympathy at his de- 
jection. 

David Lane, in this absence, would 
have had her be gay, amused, as different 
as possible from her usual self. It would 
have pleased him to see her accept the 
small attentions of new admirers. As 
to his own objection to her divorce, to 
tell the truth, it would have been by no 
means insuperable, could he have been 
sure that, after her release, she would 
marry any other than Paul Barclay. 
His wish was but poorly gratified. She 
was offered dinners, flowers, opera boxes, 
by old friends and new. " But what 
humor am I in for all this ? " she asked. 
She could not adapt herself to distrac- 



tions. Her depression was increased, too, 
by some fresh news concerning her hus- 
band from an authentic quarter. Un- 
der the immediate influence of this, she 
poured herself out to Barclay with a 
poignant sadness (and yet with an effort 
at self-repression) that wrung his heart 
with compassion for her sufferings. 

" I am glad I am not with you, to 
heap the burden of my sorrows on you, 
in nay selfish way, even more heavily," 
her words ran. " Oh, I was made for 
happiness, and cannot reconcile myself 
to life without it. I must have been 
wrong from the first ; why have I not 
tried to be good instead of to be hap- 
py ? " Thus she accused herself, she 
whom he thought the best of human be- 
ings in every thought and impulse. " I 
suppose such as I arc needed as an ex- 
ample to the others of the evils of ill- 
assorted marriage, just as the helots of 
Sparta were made drunk and shown to 
the patrician youth, as a warning against 
intemperance." 

She had heard that Varemberg had 
gone sometimes under assumed names, 
sometimes retaining his own to Al- 
giers, South Africa, Tonquin, and final- 
ly the Pacific Islands, and carried with 
him everywhere his reckless and aban- 
doned courses. She seemed afflicted at 
length with something almost like nos- 
talgia ; it was evident that her sojourn 
was doing her no good, and David Lane, 
having no excuse for detaining her away 
indefinitely, brought her home. 

Barclay was privileged to see her al- 
most immediately on her return. Three 
days later he saw her again, under pe- 
culiar circumstances. A break had oc- 
curred in the machinery at the factory, 
and while this was being repaired he 
was not in active demand, and set out, 
one morning, to gratify a curiosity he 
had long felt to penetrate to the in- 
terior of the city hall, opposite, climb 
to the dome, a favorite point of view 
with strangers, and visit the Golden 
Justice at close quarters. The myste- 



1886.] 

rious green weather-doors of the city 
hall were continually on the swing. 
They admitted a motley group of offi- 
cials, attorneys, hangers-on about all the 
departments, teachers to see the super- 
intendent of schools, citizens to pay or 
protest against their taxes, aldermen 
with their characteristic air of impor- 
tance, and, once a month, the county 
supervisors, who left their rusty-looking 
wagons, with rusty buffalo-robes thrown 
over the seats, at the curb-stones, all day 
long; and this movement was in prog- 
ress to-day as usual. 

There had been a day and night of 
successive rain, hail, thaw, renewed 
freezing, and then a light snow-fall. It 
was one of those occasions when Na- 
ture has produced from her simplest ma- 
terials effects of dazzling splendor that 
surpass the fable of Aladdin's cave, or 
any bowers of enchantment whatever. 
The trees, encased in a panoply of ice 
to their most infinitesimal twigs, were 
woven together in exquisite traceries, as 
of crystal, pearl, and silver. A sky of 
pure, delji blue stretched overhead its 
canopy, in rich harmony with the rest. 
A brief truce had been struck with the 
rigors of winter, and the atmosphere was 
of an almost balmy mildness. 

Within the square, on the diagonal 
path crossing it, Barclay suddenly met 
with Mrs. Varemberg. She, too, had 
been drawn forth by the fascination of 
the morning, and was taking a short 
walk for exercise. Barclay involunta- 
rily noted her elegantly simple raiment 
of dark cloth, fitted close to her figure, 
and a small bonnet of like material, a 
pompon at the side of which supplied 
the only touch of bright color. She 
was cut out sharply against the carpet 
of snow behind her. The air and ex- 
ercise, with perhaps also the excitement 
of the unexpected meeting, gave her 
cheek an unwonted color, her spirits an 
unusual animation. An extraordinary 
change was already manifest, in the 
short interval since her return. It im- 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 346. 11 



The G-olden Justice. 



161 



pressed Barclay somewhat as when the 
light is suddenly kindled in one of those 
oriental lanterns that, without illumina- 
tion, are dull and opaque. The foun- 
tain in the centre of the square, stand- 
ing by, frozen in the natural shapes of 
its running water, assisted at their con- 
ference, like some afrite out of a fairy 
tale. Broken icicles, fallen from the 
trees, crackled under the small heels of 
the approaching friend. Barclay asked 
her gallantly, referring to these, 

" Are you the princess who scattered 
from her lips a shower of the most val- 
uable brilliants, as often as she spoke 
and wherever she moved ? " 

" Can you doubt it ? I have been 
talking to myself as I came along," she 
rejoined, laughing. " But these are only 
a poor affair : had I known the prince, 
in person, would be abroad this morn- 
ing, there should have been some far 
more worthy of him." 

"The prince was about to explore 
the city hall and mount to the dome, 

a point of view much recommended 
to novices in the sights of Keewaydin, 
I hear. Will you not go up, too, and 
chatter a little there, for the benefit of 
your subjects, and to keep the Golden 
Justice in countenance ? It must be 
long since you have seen each other." 

" I feel quite capable of it on such a 
glorious morning, but I think it would 
hardly do. Besides, I was on my way 
to my father's office." 

"Then perhaps the prince may go, 
too, as far as your father's office." 

" No," she objected hesitatingly. " I 
fear it would be rather conspicuous, our 
walking together in the public streets. 
To speak frankly, it is naturally not 
at all an agreeable subject to talk about, 

some unpleasant comments have been 
made. I heard them even before I went 
away. They come principally, I be- 
lieve, from a Mrs. Rycraft, the pleasure 
of whose acquaintance I do not possess." 

Barclay raged inwardly at this evi- 
dence of the lurking malice of Mrs. Ry- 



162 



The Golden Justice. 



[August, 



craft. " But life is too short," he ex- 
claimed, " to let our conduct be regu- 
lated by nonentities and busybodies. 
They have no rewards, worth the hav- 
ing, to bestow, even if we conform ; not 
one of them would step out of his way 
a hair's breadth for one's real pleasure 
or benefit. It is simply that if we do 
not conform, their energy is actively de- 
voted to trying to make us uncomfort- 
able. 

" Even a sentiment founded on so un- 
reasonable a basis, I suppose, ought to 
be more or less deferred to," his hearer 
replied. " ' A man ought to know how 
to defy opinion, a woman to submit to 
it.' It is the old problem, mooted in 
Delphine, you know." 

" Bah ! " ejaculated Barclay, at first ; 
but he soon endeavored to check the 
expression of his discontent, for in his 
heart he knew she was right. 

Mrs. Varemberg though this too 
was perhaps rather conspicuous let 
him stroll with her to the posts at the 
corner where the path took its exit upon 
the public streets. 

" How lovely it all is ! " she broke off 
in a rhapsody. " It is as if Nature had 
powdered her hair, in the Pompadour 
fashion, you see I must use feminine 
comparisons, and put on all her laces 
and diamonds." 

" And you, too, it makes you look 
so well, so strong and blooming, one 
entirely forgets " 

" I will not be told I look well," she 
interrupted saucily ; " that implies that 
at some former time I have not looked 
so well, and no self-respecting princess 
who drops jewels from her lips can be 
expected to admit that." 

" At any rate, I shall always find it 
difficult hereafter to believe that there is 
anything really serious in your illness." 

" It is only coming home," she said 
more seriously. " It is only a little 
temporary rally. Even my exile here 
somehow seems now preferable to any- 
thing else ; the captive hugs her chains. 



Traveling tired me ; I seemed to get all 
of its discomforts and none of its pleas- 
ures. You must know I have had flat- 
tering doctors tell me I might even get 
well, if I were at peace with myself, at 
rest within. But that is a very practi- 
cal recipe, is it not ? They might as well 
recommend me to get the moon." 

" And you wear your life out in this 
cruel way for what ? It makes me think 
of the millions spent to maintain the 
great standing armies in peace, espe- 
cially if they never come to a conflict." 
But he discreetly checked with this his 
far-off reference to a form of relief he 
had once before proposed to her. 

" I am reliably informed," said Mrs. 
Varemberg, as they parted, " that you 
have been a misanthrope and recluse 
during my absence. You do not go near 
the people who have been polite to you. 
This will never do ; I shall be held part- 
ly responsible for it. We must put a 
stop to it." 

" The reproach shall be no longer de- 
served ; a proper consideration for the 
feelings of Mrs. Rycraft alone demands 
it," responded Barclay. With that his 
charming companion went on, smiling 
at his sarcasm, which she did not look 
upon as severe, while he disappeared 
within the echoing, marble-paved corri- 
dors of the city hall. 

Its two principal corridors crossed 
each other at right angles, and their 
junction was a rotunda, open to the dome 
above, from which it was somewhat too 
obscurely lighted. Over the first door 
encountered in the rotunda, to the right, 
was to be read the sign, " Mayor's Of- 
fice." Through open doors down the 
long halls were seen the officials non- 
chalantly at work, or idle. The comp- 
troller came out, in his shirt - sleeves, 
with a budget of vouchers, and entered 
the office of the county clerk, for the 
county, also, had its share in the costly 
building. A knot of contractors were 
gathered about the door of the Board of 
Public Works, discussing a disagreeable 



1886.] 



The Crolden Justice. 



163 



circumstance, and Barclay heard, in pass- 
ing, some part of their discourse. It 
seemed that Keewaydin was a city that 
had enacted a prohibition against the 
increase of its municipal indebtedness 
beyond a certain per cent, of its total 
property valuation, and it had been sud- 
denly discovered that this limit was al- 
ready reached. A paralyzing doubt had 
been set afloat by the press, whether 
further expenditure of any kind would 
be lawful till another year's taxes were 
in. 

Ives Wilson now came out of the city 
attorney's office, and gave Barclay his 
hand, in his bustling way, as he cheer- 
fully accosted the waiting group. 

" There '11 be no letting of contracts 
to-day, boys," said he. "You may as 
well go home, and make yourselves com- 
fortable. I have it from the mayor and 
the city attorney ; they '11 tell you them- 
selves presently. There 's no money in 
the treasury, and there is n't going to be 
any, so you '11 have to get your healths 
without it." He seemed to have a fa- 
miliar acquaintance with all these men, 
Irish, German, or American, as the case 
might be, and to be as much at home in 
this stratum of society as any other. 

" But we heard that Lane, or Jim De- 
Bow, or some o' them rich fellers, would 
put up the money till the next taxes was 
in," said the German contractor, Klauser- 
man, eagerly. 

" So they have. David Lane offered 
to do it, but Jim DeBow got in ahead 
of him. But that is to be used for nec- 
essary expenses ; without it we might 
have had to turn off the gas and water, 
discharge the police, and shut up the 
public schools. There 's no telling 
whether he '11 ever get his money back, 
either." 

" It 's yeer paper, so it was, that sprung 
it on us, and made all the hullabaloo ! " 
cried one Donlan, emphatically. " If 
yez had left it alone, nobody would have 
known the limit was up." 

"Of course it was," assented the 



journalist gleefully. " When you want 
the news, come to the Index. The rest 
of them will give you your ancient his- 
tory and dead languages. The Index 
deals in facts of the present day." 

" Stop my paper, ye divil ! " said 
Donlan, a contractor of leading impor- 
tance. 

" We could n't think of it, John. We 
would n't let you do yourself a damage 
you 'd never recover from." 

The circle, though indignant, remained 
perhaps but the more imbued with the 
mysterious reverence with which the 
common mind invests the newspaper 
profession. Ives Wilson and his Index 
which were, besides, clearly in the 
right of it in the present case were 
by no means to be judged by common 
rules. 

Barclay had sent to the janitor for 
the key, but now learned that it was al- 
ready in use. It had been taken by some 
other visitor or visitors, who had pre- 
ceded him to the dome. He set out, 
therefore, on his climb up the broad, 
principal iron staircase. He reached 
first the story of the handsome council 
chamber, the county court, where one 
Moses Levy was on trial for the firing 
of his store, to get the insurance money ; 
and the circuit court of coordinate juris- 
diction, where a recess was being taken 
to procure the attendance of a witness. 
He had to ascend next a narrower, more 
winding staircase, of iron also. He 
passed through a great attic, where the 
ribs and braces of the construction plain- 
ly showed, and, opening, finally, a small 
door, stepped out into a sudden glare 
of light, and to a narrow balcony and 
promenade extending around the dome. 

When he had recovered his eyesight 
and taken his bearings a little, he was 
disappointed to find himself still so far 
remote from the Golden Justice. He 
had not been able to estimate its height 
while climbing, and this level, to which 
the general public were restricted, was 
at a long remove even from the lowest 



164 



The Grolden Justice. 



part of her pedestal. He looked down 
at the view, and again upward to catch 
some clearer glimpse of the details of 
the figure. Passing slowly round the 
promenade in this way, he came upon a 
figure leaning on the railing, with that 
musing air of a superior intelligence 
that a figure in a balcony always tends 
to assume, and recognized, with a start, 
David Lane. 

But the elder man was far more 
startled than he, and wore almost a de- 
tected, guilty air. Barclay had never 
seen him quite thus before. His pres- 
ence here was extraordinary ; a person 
of his sort would by no means be ex- 
pected to bring up hither the weight of 
his age and infirmities, and at such a 
season of the year, for his own pleasure. 
Yet strange as it was, the wonderment 
of Barclay was not so extreme as to give 
it its impressi veness ; it was the trouble 
in his own guilty conscience. 

They two were alone on the dome, 
with but small probability of being in- 
terrupted by any others. David Lane 
aimed to recover his usual composure, 
but, even when he had done so, to re- 
assume his ordinary churlishness was 
out of the question. 

" I had some business with the mayor 
on this financial imbroglio, and when 
that was over the notion took me, for 
once in a way, to come up here, for 
for the benefit of the exercise. I am 
not beyond the need of a bit of exer- 
cise yet," he explained. 

It was thus he endeavored to disguise 
the promptings of an uneasy mind that 
sometimes drew him to the place, as the 
murderer is drawn to revisit the scene 
of his crime. He had been, too, if Bar- 
clay did but know it, to a very much 
higher level than this at which they now 
stood ; he had climbed by a steep and 
recondite way, with many a gasp and 
breathing spell, to see that the lower 
fastenings of the Golden Justice seemed, 
at least, still secure. 

"The financial difficulty you speak 



[August, 

of has interested me very much," said 
Barclay affably, puzzled by, yet trying 
to ignore, the apparent confusion of the 
other. " I have come to realize, I think 
for the first time, that there may be 
over - sanguine, improvident, bankrupt 
cities, as well as people." 

" Yes, there are many of them in the 
West, and I believe they are not un- 
known in the East. There is a notable 
instance in this vicinity of a town so 
mortgaged to railroads (that have never 
been built, by the way) that it has for 
years been subject to be sold out under 
the hammer, only no legal body could 
be found to serve the papers on. As 
soon as there is any 'move of the sort 
the city council disbands, or holds its 
meetings in hiding." 

" And was it some flagrant piece of 
corruption that caused Keewaydin to 
adopt its present provision ? " 

" No, it was mainly a piece of pru- 
dent forethought, derived from the ex- 
perience of others. I do not think Kee- 
waydiu has ever been a very corrupt 
place. The many rival elements keep 
too strict a watch on each other for that. 
We have our talk of ' rings ' and ' bosses,' 
it is true, but I sometimes fancy our 
papers only borrow the terms from oth- 
ers, and even use them with a certain 
pride, to give us a more metropolitan 
air." 

They were now looking down on the 
city, and they exchanged some few com- 
ments about it. Its masses looked small- 
er than usual, reduced to their lowest 
terms, as it were, by being cut out against 
the interspaces of snow. The telegraph 
wires connected all parts of it together, 
like the exposed nerves of some living 
organism. From the white streets the 
faint jingle of sleigh-bells came up to 
them ; on the afternoon of such a day 
all the world would be on runners. 
Barclay could contemplate his own lodg- 
ings in the square below ; at a distance 
could be discerned the chimneys of his 
factory, and elsewhere David Lane's 



1886.] 



The Golden Justice. 



165 



house. The mysterious lake spread its 
expanse afar, with here and there some 
bank of mist or low-lying cloud upon it, 
out of which came an occasional twinkle 
of the ice, as if a celestial lance had 
shivered in the midst of it. 

" And you," said David Lane, 
" what brings you up so high, if one may 
ask ? " 

" This view, which alone repays one, 
but still more, to speak frankly, the 
Golden Justice. She had allured me 
from a distance, and I had just been 
saying to myself, when I met you, how 
disappointed I was not to find myself 
nearer ; I had hoped to come out at her 
very foot." 

Oh, fatality ! to see the Golden Jus- 
tice ? Alas, that he should be met with 
here on such an errand ! 

"This is as high as one can get," 
said David Lane coldly. " A special 
permit is needed to go further, and even 
that is of no avail. It is a painful climb, 
and there is no egress but by a trap- 
door, nor any means of approaching the 
statue, after that, unless one should use 
a scaling ladder." 

In secret, no one knew better than 
he whereof he spoke. 

" And why has the Golden Justice 
allured you ? " he went on to ask. 

"I have an eye for the decorative, 
and she appealed to me as a pleasing 
object, shining so golden yellow against 
her field of deep blue ; but when I heard 
that the features were those of Mrs. 
Varemberg 1 found my interest at last 
fully accounted for." 

Barclay was not averse to bringing 
on an explanation of the anomalous 
condition of affairs, since the time and 
circumstances were favorable for it. 
David Lane seemed to incline in the 
same direction. 

" Mrs. Varemberg still much occupies 
your thoughts, then ? " he asked, grave- 
ly attentive. 

" You know how much she once oc- 
cupied me. Well, all that is past and 



gone ; destiny was opposed to it, and, 
with time, my views have changed. 
Since she honors me with her friend- 
ship, I trust there is nothing in what 
has passed to make me withhold from 
her the tribute of my most respectful 
esteem, admiration, and sympathy, and 
my desire to be of service to her in any 
or all the troubles with which she may 
meet." 

Barclay dwelt with emphasis on the 
high-minded, disinterested character of 
his regard, hoping to vindicate himself 
from suspicions that he sometimes 
thought might be at the bottom of the 
opposition of David Lane. Possibly 
the latter knew him better than, at this 
time, he knew himself. 

"Yes, the features are those of my 
daughter Florence," said the ex-gover- 
nor. " We did not know, and were not 
wholly pleased with the resemblance at 
first ; it was the artist's eccentric way 
of paying us a compliment." He an- 
swered soberly, but not resentfully. He 
was in fact in a sort of daze, and made 
no offer to continue the conversation. 
An awkward pause ensued. 

Barclay looked up again at the huge 
bulk of the figure, from the drapery of 
which broad reflected rays glinted down 
into their eyes. 

" It seems she was utilized somewhat 
like a corner-stone," said he, in the most 
cursory way. " I have been told that 
some documents were sealed up in her." 

Lane was as if thunderstruck. He 
fell to trembling, with an agitation such 
as even he had rarely known, and to 
hide it he altered his position, moving a 
little further along by the railing. 

" It is a curious instance ; I don't 
know that I ever heard of one before," 
pursued Barclay, in the same easy tone. 
" It seems reserved for Keewaydin to 
do original things, in a number of ways. 
The whole matter of deposits in corner- 
stones sometimes impresses one curious- 
ly. We leave dispatch-boxes along the 
roadside, as it were, to be opened by those 



166 



The G-olden Justice. 



who come after us, to give them news 
of us and our times. It is a little odd, 
however, considering all the corner- 
stones that are dedicated, how rarely 
you hear of one being opened. Is it be- 
cause it is too soon yet for our buildings 
to have begun to tumble down, flimsy as 
so many of them are ? Or is there really 
no interest in the contents, these being 
so very trite when reached ? " 

" No doubt it is due to the compara- 
tive unimportance of the matters gener- 
ally on deposit," replied David Lane, in 
a voice scarcely audible, struggling man- 
fully to retain the mastery of himself. 

" It would be more considerate, though, 
if one generation would arrange little 
surprises for the next. What was it, 
for instance, you put into the Golden 
Justice?" 

Oh, fatality! fatality! Was it not 
enough that this young man, of all oth- 
ers in the world, should have found 
them out in Europe, and become a suitor 
for his daughter's hand ? Was it not 
enough that avoidance of this should 
have precipitated such lamentable un- 
happiness ? No, he must follow them 
here, establish himself in the place, 
even interest himself in the statue, 
mount to the dome, and be met with to- 
day under its very aegis. Nor this alone ; 
for now at last, with an innocence that 
but made it the more startling, he must 
put the finger of speculation on the 
very box and its contents, on the con- 
fession itself. To what but one fatal 
result could all this concentration of 
events, all these successive approaches, 
this remorseless narrowing of the circle, 
be tending? The utmost efforts had 
availed to hinder no single step of its 
progress. 

" It was a very long time ago," re- 
plied David Lane. " At this distance 
of time it is not easy to remember, 
reports, statistics, the newspapers, I sup- 
pose ; they could hardly have been any- 
thing of great moment." 

"Alfsen, an old weather-prophet in 



[August, 

my vicinity, told me about the box, the 
other day, and predicted that the Golden 
Justice would come down, and I should 
see the deposit scattered about my feet. 
I shall naturally be on the lookout for 
it with interest." 

" He predicts that the Golden Jus- 
tice will fall ? " repeated the elder man 
in horror. He involuntarily cast another 
glance up at the mammoth figure tow- 
ering above them. She was certainly 
secure enough at present. 

" Oh, a piece of garrulous nonsense. 
He keeps up some old grudge for not 
having been allowed to do all the work 
he wanted to on the city hall. Even 
prophecy, it appears, cannot free itself 
from the bias of personal injury." 

David Lane made something like a 
half circuit of the short promenade, then 
turned back upon his track, with a very 
altered bearing : as well as one so much 
troubled in mind and so reserved by re- 
cent habit could do so, he assumed to- 
wards the young man an open and friend- 
ly demeanor. 

" I am glad to have met you here," 
he began. " This situation, apart by 
ourselves, and free from danger of in- 
terruption, gives me, almost for the first 
time, an opportunity of welcoming you 
to the place. I seem to have seen far 
too little of you since your arrival. I 
trust it is not too late to express the 
real interest I feel in you and your af- 
fairs, and to ask if there is any way in 
which I can be of service." 

" I confess I had sometimes thought 
your feelings towards me were quite of 
an opposite sort," returned Barclay, 
much surprised. 

" Oh, no ; why should you think so ? 
Why should it be so ? You are a young 
man, and I an old one. I have often 
many cares and troubles, and perhaps, 
sometimes, an unfortunate manner." 

Had Barclay desired to justify his 
opinion, he would have cited the re- 
jection of his suit together with a long 
course of marked coldness. But of what 



1886.] 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



167 



avail ? And what warrant had he, after 
all, for questioning a father's disposition 
of his daughter's hand, in the supposed 
interest of her happiness, even at the 
expense of a certain subterfuge? To 
re-open the subject, furthermore, he 
feared might arouse distrust anew, and 
defeat the greater freedom of action 
that seemed promised him. 

" Will you tell me about your enter- 
prise and your present prospects ?" asked 
David Lane. 

Barclay, thus encouraged, proceeded 
to give a brief, orderly account of the 
whole, from the first. This statement 
added to Lane's sense as of an inevita- 
ble fatality pursuing him. It impressed 
him as an investment such as might 
have commended itself to the judgment 
of any shrewd cool-headed man of busi- 
ness. It was no mere pretext for re- 
maining, and the circumstances were 
such that, given Barclay's peculiar re- 
quirements, it would have been almost 
reprehensible not to have entered into it. 

They descended the stairs together. 
Lane offered Barclay his hand, at part- 
ing, with a cordiality in which, how- 
ever, was an indescribable shrinking. 



He wished him to come and dine, but 
it happened that day that Barclay could 
not. Thereafter, for a considerable time, 
it was not alone Mrs. Varemberg's invi- 
tations and friendly offices he accepted, 
but her father's as well. The two men 
were seen amicably together on the street 
and on 'Change, and the wise business 
head of David Lane even offered coun- 
sels that brought profit to the Stamped- 
Ware Works. 

And what did it all mean ? Why, 
simply this : that when the hapless Mon- 
tezuma knew that the invading Span- 
iards, the Children of the Sun, destined 
to be the destroyers of himself and his 
people, had landed on his coasts, he sent 
costly presents, to endeavor to turn them 
aside from their march to his capital. 
So David Lane haplessly aimed to pro- 
pitiate the messenger by means of whom 
Destiny seemed stretching forth a long 
arm for his destruction. It was not that 
he was more reconciled to his fate than 
before, or saw clearly, as yet, the means 
of its accomplishment ; but in the mood 
in which he found himself for the time 
being, further struggle, further resist- 
ance, seemed useless. 

William Henry Bishop. 



THE INDIAN QUESTION IN ARIZONA. 



IN the last five years, the raiding 
parties of the Apaches in Southern Ari- 
zona have been so active and constant 
in their work of murder and pillage 
that there has been no security for either 
life or property outside of the few 
towns. In that time more than a thou- 
sand citizens have been murdered, with 
all the accompanying barbarities of sav- 
age warfare, and an immense amount of 
property has been stolen or destroyed. 
Meanwhile, all industries in this region 
trade, grazing, mining, and agricul- 
ture have suffered partial or total pa- 



ralysis. The government seems power- 
less to protect its citizens or to maintain 
its peace and dignity against these out- 
laws. 

The press has been loud in its com- 
ments on the subject, but these do not 
usually go beyond the statement of the 
murders and depredations which have 
been committed, with an occasional as- 
persion on the efficiency of the regular 
army. They do not attempt to trace the 
causes of the evil, or to suggest a remedy 
for it, further than to express the simple 
opinion that the army should catch and 



168 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



[August, 



kill the Indians who may chance at the 
time to be on the war-path. 

The parties engaged in this bloody 
tragedy, which is being perpetually en- 
acted, may be divided into four general 
classes: the Indian, the Frontiersman, 
the Army, and the Government. 

THE INDIAN. 

The Indian is no exception to the 
general law of cause and effect. That 
he is a murderer and a bandit can sur- 
prise no one who will reflect on what 
has been his treatment for the last 
twenty years. 

In 1871, in order to open certain 
parts of Arizona to civilized occupa- 
tion, about eight thousand Indians were 
placed on the San Carlos reservation, 
a region a hundred miles square. The 
agency is situated on the Gila River, in a 
low, hot, dirty, uuhealthful spot. Some 
of the tribes now forced to dwell there 
were mountain Indians. In their native 
haunts, they enjoyed one of the most 
delightful climates in the world. At 
San Carlos they endure one of the most 
abominable. There they suffer from 
long and extreme heat, bad water, fever 
and ague, and ophthalmia. They must 
appear at the agency on the weekly 
ration day. If they stay away, they 
get no rations. In going through the 
camps of the Chiracalmas and Warm 
Springs, I have been struck by the 
misery of their condition. It is these 
mountain Indians who have caused the 
most serious trouble. So far as I know, 
no successful effort has ever been made 
to instruct or assist them in agricul- 
ture. The government feeds them, and 
the agents have not, as a rule, con- 
sidered it the policy of their craft to 
make the Indian self-supporting. The 
game in that locality is nearly exhausted, 
so his occupation as a hunter is gone. 
There he exists, in a hot, sandy camp, 
on the banks of a low, sickly stream, 
without amusement, without hope, with 
no incentive to any good or useful labor. 



But he has one agreeable relaxation 
from his wretched imprisonment on 
the reservation, that of raiding the sur- 
rounding ranches. These raids are to 
him the most delightful diversion con- 
ceivable. The pleasure of killing and 
plundering, with the very slight risk of 
capture and punishment, renders this 
the ideal pastime in the Indian's estima- 
tion. 

Let us imagine a few young " bucks," 
utterly tired of their dreary camp life 
on the Gila. They talk over their posi- 
tion, and organize a raiding party. They 
easily supply themselves with arms and 
ammunition, which most frontier trades- 
men will sell them in any quantity. 
They tell their chief that they are go- 
ing out ; or, if he chance to disapprove 
of such expeditions, they say that they ' 
are going on a hunt to the northern 
part of the reservation, about Camp 
Apache and Mount Ord. Then, having 
determined the first ranch to be at- 
tacked, they quietly leave their camp, 
and move by easy marches on the doomed 
family. They reach the place. One or 
two creep forward and carefully recon- 
noitre. All the party assume their po- 
sitions in the rocks or grass, and patient- 
ly wait until they can take the family at 
the greatest disadvantage. For, though 
devoted to the sport of killing others, 
the Apaches are very much opposed to 
taking the slightest chances against their 
own lives. The looked-for opportunity 
arrives, and they spring from their con- 
cealment. They kill every human be- 
ing about the place, unless they can 
manage, with- perfect safety to them- 
selves, to capture some of the ranch- 
men alive, in which case they will have 
the opportunity of enjoying an Indian's 
favorite amusement, that of watching 
a white man die by slow degrees under 
the most inhuman tortures which savage 
ingenuity can invent. This entertain- 
ment completed, they help themselves to 
whatever pleases their fancy in the house, 
and then set it on fire. Finally, they 



1886.] 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



169 



collect all the horses, and, mounting the 
best, drive the others before them. 

The ball is now open. They will 
move with great rapidity, and will 
promptly agree on the destruction of 
another ranch, a hundred miles or more 
distant. Away they go, now galloping, 
now trotting, and subsiding into a walk 
only when the trail is very steep and 
rough. During this rapid march, they 
show great skill in keeping the loose 
horses ahead of them on the trail. An 
Indian can ride a tired horse from ten 
to twenty miles farther than can a white 
man. When a horse is entirely ex- 
hausted, his rider calmly dismounts, and 
proceeds to kill him, usually by stab- 
bing him many times with a long knife. 
It is very seldom that he will waste a 
precious cartridge on such an occasion, 
but under no circumstance will he leave 
a living horse behind him. 

Now, if the party be in the humor 
for a meal, they build a small fire, cut 
slices from the dead horse, cook them a 
little, and eat their fill. Thus, in the 
stolen horse is combined both the means 
of transportation and the commissary. 
In this, the Indian possesses a vast ad- 
vantage over his soldier pursuer, who 
must ride one horse through an entire 
campaign, and whose rations and spare 
ammunition must be carried with him 
on pack-mules. In this way the raiding 
party can easily cover a hundred miles 
in twenty-four hours, while a company 
of cavalry, with its indispensable pack- 
train, can with difficulty accomplish 
more than thirty, in that rough, road- 
less country. 

With the second ranch, the pro- 
gramme of the first is repeated. The 
Indians murder the inhabitants, plunder 
and burn the house, and drive off the 
horses. 

After this, the party may be seized 
with a desire to witness the effect of 
their escapade on the neighboring mili- 
tary posts. If so, they climb to some 
commanding elevation on Mount Gra- 



ham, or about Helen's Dome. From 
this vantage-ground, they can survey 
the surrounding country for a long dis- 
tance, and their practiced eyes can easily 
detect, by the clouds of dust in the val- 
leys, the approach of a column of troops 
twenty or thirty miles away. If they 
can see several of these columns on the 
march, they enjoy all the delights of a 
successful practical joker; for they are 
confident of their own safety, and have 
the satisfaction of knowing that they 
have put into the field several hundred 
troops. 

If their appetite for murder and plun- 
der is still unsatisfied, they may go into 
Old Mexico, and continue their tactics 
of rapid transit, ambuscade, and pil- 
lage. But it is probable that they will 
now be content with the results of the 
expedition. They will break up the 
loose organization of the party, and 
traveling singly, by night, individually 
make good their retreat to the camp on 
the Gila. 

The return of an Indian from such 
an expedition is a proud day in his life. 
He is a hero, he is a rich man. He has 
several good horses, and money, clothes, 
arms, and ammunition. He enjoys the 
approval of the old men of his tribe, the 
envy of the young ones who stayed in 
camp, and the boundless admiration of 
all the squaws. On the next ration day, 
he presents himself at the agency, and 
calmly resumes the enjoyment of the 
bounties of the government. If he has 
been missed, which is not probable, 
and is asked to give an account of him- 
self, he says that he has been hunting on 
the reservation, or that he has been look- 
ing for some ponies which had strayed 
away from his camp. Every Indian in 
his tribe would sooner die than utter a 
syllable to throw a ray of light on the 
case. 

Here you have the picture of the 
Apache, his home life and his amuse- 
ments. He is born a warrior and a rob- 
ber. Before the white man became his 



170 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



[August, 



neighbor and his prey, he exercised his 
bloody proclivities on the surrounding 
Indian tribes. There is no law to pun- 
ish him, even could his crimes find him 
out, for he is a citizen or subject of a 
nation with whom our government has 
entertained treaty relations ; and the ac- 
knowledgment of the treaty-making pow- 
er has always been held to be the most 
complete admission of the autonomy of 
a people. He is supposed to live under 
the restraints of tribal law. But what 
is tribal law? The Apache code will 
occupy but a few lines. Here it is : 

Theft committed in the tribe is pun- 
ished promptly and often severely. 

Murder in the tribe is a personal af- 
fair, to be settled by the payment of an 
indemnity or by retaliation. 

All crimes successfully committed 
against the persons and property of in- 
dividuals outside of the tribe are com- 
mendable achievements. The Chirica- 
hua, for instance, who kills and robs a 
white man, or an Indian of another tribe, 
is looked upon by his people very much 
as we regard a hunter who kills a deer, 
eats his flesh, and takes his skin, mere- 
ly as a successful sportsman. 

There, among the people of Arizona, 
dwelling about their ranches, their farms, 
and their mines, our government quar- 
ters, feeds, and looses this outlaw, who 
is swift as the eagle, cruel as the hun- 
gry wolf, and who, 

"Fierce in a tyrannous freedom, 
Knows but the law of his moods." 

THE FRONTIERSMAN. 

The frontiersman who settles in Ari- 
zona or New Mexico belongs to one of 
two classes. Either he is a poor man, 
who goes West to conquer a home from 
the vast and unoccupied public domain ; 
or he is a rich man, taking his capital to 
new fields, where it will be more remu- 
nerative than in the already crowded in- 
dustries of the East. In either case, if 
he succeeds in creating tax-paying prop- 
erty from what was formerly an unpro- 



ductive waste, he is a public servant 
and benefactor. He has accepted the 
invitation of the government to make 
his home on the public domain. He has 
complied with all the forms of law. He 
is putting forth his labor, his enterprise, 
his capital, to increase the national 
wealth, and the government is under the 
most sacred obligation to exhaust all its 
wisdom and power to insure him perfect 
security for life and property. That 
the richest and most numerous civilized 
nation under the sun is unable to afford 
its citizens absolute protection from the 
murderous incursions of a few hundred 
savages is a proposition too absurd to 
deserve a moment's consideration. 

When the frontiersman, year after 
year, sees his neighbors, his friends, his 
relations, fall an easy prey to the unre- 
strained Apaches, and when he sees no 
laws enacted, no adequate means de- 
vised, to protect them, he has a right to 
consider that the government has utter- 
ly failed in its obligations to him. Not 
only has it failed to protect him, but it 
has actually placed his enemy in a city 
of refuge, in easy striking distance of 
his home and family, and is further re- 
sponsible for a system which enables 
that enemy to prey upon him with al- 
most complete immunity from punish- 
ment. 

In May, 1882, I followed the trail 
of an Apache war-party from near San 
Carlos to San Simon, New Mexico, and 
counted forty-two men, women, and 
children murdered in mere savage ca- 
price, and, when time and opportunity 
permitted, murdered with accompanying 
barbarities which curdle the blood and 
sicken the heart. 

It is clearly the imperative and imme- 
diate duty of Congress to devise some 
effectual means of protecting the fron- 
tier citizens and restraining the Indians. 
In default of an Indian code vigorously 
enforced, the Apache in his present con- 
dition must be exterminated. Let every 
man judge for himself which horn of 



1886.] 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



171 



the dilemma is humanity, and which is 
barbarism. 

THE ARMY. 

The army represents the strong arm 
of the government for controlling the 
Indian and protecting the frontiersman. 
How inadequate are the means to the 
end is conclusively shown by the fact 
that, on the war-path, the relative speed 
of the Indian and the soldier is three to 
one. This is no aspersion on the effi- 
ciency of our cavalry. They are ready 
and willing to do all that brave men can 
do, but the task imposed upon them is 
simply impossible. I do not believe that 
there is a body of cavalry in the world 
that can keep in sight of a raiding party 
of Apaches, after they have plundered a 
few ranches, and provided themselves 
with several spare horses to the man. 

The treatment of the army by the 
government in Indian affairs is both dis- 
couraging and unjust. Let us assume 
for the moment that the various Indian 
tribes are really nations, possessing 
treaty power, the power to declare 
war and to make peace. One of these 
nations makes war on the United States. 
Both powers put their forces into the 
field. The Indians utterly disregard all 
the laws of civilized warfare. There 
is no such thing as an exchange of 
prisoners. If a wounded soldier falls 
into their hands, he is invariably put 
to death, after being subjected to the 
most cruel and savage tortures which it 
is possible to invent, and the orig- 
inality and ingenuity of the Indian in 
this respect is vast and varied. In short, 
they fight under the black flag. 

Now, one of the most firmly estab- 
lished rules of international law is that 
known as the lex talionis, the law of 
retaliation. This principle, applied to 
the treatment of prisoners, demands that 
they be treated with like consideration 
by both contending parties. If your 
enemy murders his prisoners, as a sim- 
ple act of self-defense you are bound to 
retaliate by putting to death an equal 



number of your prisoners. To fail to 
do this is not only encouraging him in 
his atrocities, but it is an injustice to the 
men whom you send to fight him. 

The Indian invariably makes a rigor- 
ous application of this law in his wars 
with other tribes, and he fully appreci- 
ates the great advantage which he pos- 
sesses over an enemy who persistently 
declines to apply it to his own protec- 
tion. I have talked with several Apaches 
on the subject, and they have expressed 
surprise, not unmixed with contempt, at 
our policy of non-retaliation. 

Now let us look at the position of the 
soldier in his relations with the hostile 
Indian. 

Every officer of the army, before he 
receives his commission, is supposed to 
be instructed in international law and 
the laws of war. He makes the ac- 
quaintance of the lex talionis, and reads 
General Orders No. 100 of 1863, being 
the rules for the government of the ar- 
mies of the United States in the field, 
compiled by Francis Lieber, LL. D., 
a manual still in force with us, and 
which is considered so able a treatise 
on the subject that it has been trans- 
lated and adopted by nearly every civ- 
ilized nation. Note the following ex- 
tracts from General Orders No. 100 : 

Article 27. " The law of war can no 
more wholly dispense with retaliation 
than can the law of nations, of which it 
is a branch. Yet civilized nations re- 
gard retaliation as the sternest feature 
of war. A reckless enemy often leaves 
his opponent no other means of secur- 
ing himself against the repetition of bar- 
barous outrage." 

Article 59. ..." All prisoners of 
war are liable to the infliction of retali- 
atory measures." 

Article 62. " All troops of the ene- 
my, known or discovered to give no quar- 
ter in general or to any portion of the 
army, receive none." 

After learning his lesson from books, 
the young officer passes his examination, 



172 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



[August, 



receives his appointment, and is assigned 
to a regiment in the West. Let us sup- 
pose that, in the course of time, he is 
ordered to take part in an expedition 
against hostile Indians. In following 
the trail of the war-party, he sees burned 
ranches, and the mutilated corpses of 
men, women, and children. During the 
campaign there is a brush with the en- 
emy. The advance guard comes upon 
them strongly posted among the rocks. 
A skirmish line is deployed, and their 
position attacked. During the encounter 
several soldiers are wounded, and that 
part of the line, being hotly pressed, 
gives way before reinforcements can 
come up. The Indians rush down and 
carry off the wounded men. Meanwhile, 
the whole command has come up and 
been deployed for action. The Indians 
beat a hasty retreat, and night stops the 
pursuit. 

The next day the young lieutenant 
comes upon the remains of the captured 
men. They have been staked out upon 
their backs, and hundreds of small pieces 
of wood, sharpened at one end, have 
been stuck into their flesh. The bits of 
wood have then been lighted and al- 
lowed to burn until they have extin- 
guished themselves in the victims' blood. 
The charred bodies are buried, and the 
command moves on. 

At last, after hundreds of miles of 
marching, some of the Indians are cap- 
tured. They are brought into camp, 
and turned over to the commanding 
officer. 

Now, thinks the young officer, if ever 
there was an occasion that justified the 
prompt application of the lex talionis, 
and Articles 27, 59, and 62 of General 
Orders No. 100, it is here. In breath- 
less interest he approaches the com- 
manding officer, who sends for the of- 
ficer of the day, who comes up and sa- 
lutes. The commander says, " Sir, you 
will take charge of these prisoners, and 
place over them a strong guard in the 
centre of the camp. First, you will 



take every precaution to prevent their 
escape ; second, you will see that none 
of the guides, scouts, or frontiersmen 
with the command approach within a 
hundred paces of them, for some of 
these men have had friends and rela- 
tions killed by these very Indians, and 
I fear that the sight of the murderers of 
their people may so inflame their grief 
and resentment that they will attempt 
to kill them while in my keeping. This 
I am determined to prevent. You will 
notify the command that any person of- 
fering violence to the prisoners will be 
promptly and severely punished. That 
is all, sir." 

The young officer is immensely sur- 
prised at these instructions. He had 
expected to bear the order for the exe- 
cution of the prisoners. He had even 
gone so far as to make surmises on the 
probability of his having command of 
the firing party. But when he hears 
careful directions given for their safe 
preservation, his astonishment is so 
great that he even ventures to interro- 
gate his commanding officer on the sub- 
ject. " Sir," he says, " will not these 
prisoners be either hanged or shot, in 
retaliation for the atrocities which they 
have committed on citizens and prison- 
ers ? " 

The commanding officer turns and 
regards in silence his interrogator for 
some seconds, while his surprise at the 
question and the earnest manner of him 
who puts it gives way to an apprecia- 
tion of the fact that this is the youngest 
lieutenant in the regiment, that it is his 
first campaign, that he is fresh from 
theories, books, and orders, that he 
knows little of the practical methods 
of handling the Indian question on the 
frontier, and that he does not yet ap- 
preciate the difference that often exists 
between the national statutes and the 
national practice. Then he says, grave- 
ly and kindly, "Young man, I would 
rather go through a dozen Indian fights 
than kill one of those prisoners." 



1886.] 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



173 



"But, sir," says the lieutenant, "of 
what force, then, are the lex talionis, 
and Articles " 

" I know all that," interrupts the 
commanding officer. " They are in the 
books ; but the sentiment of the East 
will not stand it. If I should retaliate 
on these prisoners, I should expect to 
be ignominiously relieved from my com- 
mand, and perhaps never get another. 
I should in all probability be either 
court-martialed, or investigated by a 
committee of Congress. The Eastern 
press would denounce me as an assassin 
and a monster of cruelty. I am now a 
major, after twenty-five years of hard 
service in the late war and on the fron- 
tier. In a short time I expect my pro- 
motion as lieutenant-colonel. But if I 
followed your very just and natural sug- 
gestion I should be so reviled by the 
press that my confirmation by the Sen- 
ate would probably be contested and de- 
feated, and my career would be blasted 
in the profession to which I have de- 
voted my life. An officer must regard 
the dominant prejudices of the day as 
well as the laws of war and General 
Orders. We serve in the people's army, 
and we must be careful of their feelings. 
I might tell you more than one incident 
in the lives of officers whom I have 
known, who have acted in the manner 
indicated by the International Code and 
the Orders you quote with just such a 
result, an interrupted career, popular 
indignation, obloquy." 

After vouchsafing this explanation the 
older officer turns away, leaving the 
lieutenant to reflect on the intricacies of 
the profession of arms and the compli- 
cated nature of the Indian problem, 
both of which he had considered as very 
simple, and entirely mastered by him- 
self, when he joined his regiment six 
months ago. 

The main body of the hostiles soon 
dissolves into small parties, which, scat- 
tering in the mountains, leave behind 
such slight trails that pursuit is imprac- 



ticable. The command of soldiers then 
breaks up, and the various companies 
return to their garrisons. Our young 
officer watches with interest the fate of 
the prisoners. They are sent to the 
nearest post, where they are kept under 
guard, each receiving the daily ration 
of a soldier. Finally, they are formally 
turned over to their agent. Just what 
he does with them is a mystery. Prob- 
ably he administers a severe lecture. 
Possibly he grants them pardon and ab- 
solution. At all events, they are soon 
at liberty on the reservation, enjoying 
the pleasures of camp life and govern- 
ment rations, and receiving the same 
treatment as the Indians who have spent 
the summer peacefully at home. 

Perhaps some readers will say that 
this is merely a romance. But every 
incident in my hypothetical case has 
been repeatedly true in the lives of 
many officers now in the service. In- 
deed, most of it is my own experience 
in the campaign against the Bannocks, 
in 1878. 

The experience of the civilized world 
shows conclusively that in extreme cases 
capital punishment is a just, necessary, 
and eventually a humane expedient. It 
acts as a protection to the good, and as 
a restraint upon the bad members of 
society. On the same principle, any re- 
flecting person will appreciate how ter- 
ribly our system of dealing with our 
wild Indians is in need of an act of 
Congress, or an order from the Presi- 
dent or Secretary of War, reviving and 
enforcing the law of retaliation in In- 
dian wars. Such an order would have 
a civilizing and humanizing effect upon 
the Indian himself, for it would deprive 
him of a great temptation to indulge 
his savage proclivities for torturing and 
murdering his prisoners, the knowl- 
edge that he can do so with impunity. 
It is also nothing more than an act of 
simple justice and humanity towards our 
army, in its struggles with a barbarous 
foe, to allow it to protect itself against 



174 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



[August, 



his Dameless atrocities by taking advan- 
tage of this natural and fundamental 
law. 

THE GOVERNMENT. 

In reflecting on that lawless and 
bloody chaos known as our Indian poli- 
cy, now existing over a large portion of 
our frontier, the unprejudiced observer 
will be struck with the fact that the 
government and the nation owe them- 
selves, the Indian, and humanity a sol- 
emn debt, a debt until now almost 
entirely unpaid. If public sentiment 
has now brought sufficient pressure to 
bear to cause the government to really 
desire to abandon its long-continued 
practice of applying ineffectual means 
to solve a great problem, then it must 
promptly and vigorously do two things : 

First, enact an Indian code, establish 
Indian courts, and enforce their judg- 
ments by a machinery of law especially 
adapted to the peculiar circumstances of 
the case. 

Second, give the Indians land in sev- 
eralty, and encourage them to become 
self - supporting, independent farmers. 
If, after allowing them a fair trial, they 
will not work, then punish them under 
the Indian code as vagrants, having no 
visible means of support. 

The condition as regards laws and 
morals on the San Carlos reservation I 
can best illustrate by two incidents. 

The Apaches make from fermented 
corn a liquor called by them tizwin. 
By a judicious use of this, after from 
one to two days' fasting, they can get 
very drunk. Tizwin is to them what 
whiskey is to the white man. One Sun- 
day in August of 1882, a report was 
brought into Fort Apache that there 
was a tizwin party and fight in progress 
among some Indians in camp across the 
river from the fort. The commanding 
officer, fearing that some of the Indian 
scouts belonging to the post, and hence 
temporarily under his jurisdiction, might 
be involved, ordered that the combatants 
should be brought to him. The guard 



found lying around a blanket, strewn 
with cards and red and white beans, one 
Indian alive and unhurt, another dead, 
with a ball through his heart, and two 
more rapidly bleeding to death from 
several deep cuts which they had mu- 
tually dealt each other. These were 
the remains of an Apache tizwin and 
card party. 

The living man was brought to the 
commanding officer, who asked him if 
he had killed a man in the camp across 
the river. The Indian answered that 
he had. The commanding officer then 
asked if he did not know that he had 
committed a great crime, and that he was 
a bad Indian, to which he laughingly 
replied, " No, no. I not a bad Indian. 
I play cards with boy. He lose. He lose 
more. He no money he no pay he 
no. good. So I kill him. That's all 
right." 

The commanding officer, perceiving 
that the Indian was too drunk to be 
safely left at liberty, ordered him to 
be confined in the guard-house. The 
next morning, after he was perfectly 
sober, he was released, and ordered to 
leave the post. The commanding officer 
had no right to keep him in the guard- 
house after he ceased to be a dangerous 
person by reason of his intoxication. 
Had he been sent to the agent at San 
Carlos, still there would have been no 
law under which to proceed against him. 
Or had the agent delivered him over to 
his chief, to be punished according to 
tribal law, the chief would have con- 
sidered a murder over cards as a purely 
personal matter, and have taken no no- 
tice of it. So much for tribal govern- 
ment among the Apaches. 

Again, I know an Indian named 
Chappo, who deliberately killed his own 
father, and received as the price of this 
most unnatural crime ten cartridges. 
Both the Indian and the crime are well 
known in Arizona. But there is no law 
to reach such cases. Perhaps Chappo's 
chief considered the laborer worthy of 



1886.] 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



175 



his hire. And so the matter ended in 
Apache ethics. 

When we know the recklessness with 
which Indians kill each other, can we 
wonder at the levity with which they 
sometimes kill white men ? 

I quote the facts concerning the major 
crime of murder. The same deplorable 
state of affairs exists in regard to lesser 
crimes and misdemeanors. In view of 
this, no humane and just man can deny 
the immediate necessity of putting them 
under the restraint and protection of a 
code of laws. This code should be ad- 
ministered by a judge appointed by the 
President, for they are not sufficiently 
advanced to appreciate the jury sys- 
tem. 

The next step is to do away with the 
ration system, and make the Indian self- 
supporting. The practice of issuing 
rations, though seemingly charitable and 
humane, is in the end demoralizing and 
degrading to the last degree. To be 
self-supporting under the conditions of 
our civilization, he must be a farmer. 
To be a farmer, he must have land ; 
and to feel any security in the perma- 
nence of his condition, or any hearty 
interest in his work, the land must be- 
long to him. To this it may be object- 
ed that he is not sufficiently advanced 
to have land in several ty. This is true. 
But if we wait for him to advance by 
nature's slow process from the condition 
of the huntsman to that of the husband- 
man, he will be exterminated long be- 
fore he is ready for his land. 

In looking to the ultimate settlement 
of the Indian question, it is practically 
useless to set aside a reservation for a 
tribe. Such acts are merely temporary. 
We know, and the Indian knows, that 
the government has been, and probably 
will continue to be, powerless to insure 
any tribe in the peaceful possession of 
a reservation after white settlers have 
once determined to take it for farms. 
But if the titles were in several ty, in- 
stead of tribal, as now, and could not 



be conveyed within the period of ninety- 
nine years, it is possible that each Indian 
might then be able to hold enough land 
on which to earn his living. 

Look at the history of the Delawares, 
at peace with us since Braddock's de- 
feat, in 1755, many of them our allies 
in the Revolution. Yet they have been 
pushed across the country from Pitts- 
burgh to the Indian Territory, and in 
their retreat have had five separate 
reservations " solemnly secured to them 
forever." 

Many of the Indians at San Carlos 
are anxious to become independent by 
farming. But to raise anything on their 
land, irrigating ditches are necessary; 
and to construct an irrigating ditch re- 
quires much labor and some slight 
knowledge of engineering. An officer, 
who once acted as agent for a short 
time, told me a pathetic story of a tribe 
I think the Chiracalmas who have 
furnished so many murders of late. 
They went to work, under a medicine 
man as engineer, to make a ditch to 
irrigate some land upon which to raise 
corn and vegetables. They worked 
hard for several weeks, but when their 
work was done the water did not flow 
into the head of their ditch by three 
feet. Their engineer's calculations were 
at fault, and their labor was lost. It is 
probable that their disappointment at 
the failure of their laudable endeavor 
resulted in several raids on neighboring 
ranches. If the government gives these 
Indians land, and encourages farming, 
it should also construct the irrigating 
ditches for them. The saving in rations 
would in a short time more than pay 
for the ditches. 

So much for the peaceable Indian 
with his laws and his lands. 

Now for a method of dealing with the 
bad Indians. 

The code which I contemplate would 
punish major crimes murder, rape, 
arson with death, and lesser offenses 
with fine and imprisonment. Leaving 



176 



The Indian Question in Arizona. 



[August, 



the limits of the reservation would for a 
long time have to be regarded as a se- 
rious misdemeanor. The public safety 
in the West imperatively demands this 
restriction, at least in regard to the 
Apaches. To make the system prac- 
ticable, it would be well to introduce a 
feature of the French law. In France, 
in all prosecutions for offenses except 
those punishable with death or imprison- 
ment for life, it is not necessary that 
the offender be present at his trial. He 
is indicted and notified that on a cer- 
tain day he will be tried for a certain 
offense. If he sees fit to flee the coun- 
try, the trial proceeds without him. The 
witnesses are called and testify, the case 
is thoroughly investigated, and finally 
the sentence is duly pronounced and re- 
corded. This may strike the American 
mind very unfavorably ; yet if France, 
one of the foremost civilized nations, 
adopts this method of procedure in her 
courts, we may certainly afford to use it, 
at least for a time, in enforcing the laws 
with our criminal Indians. The judge 
must have ample powers to employ 
posses to enforce the sentences of his 
court ; otherwise, the law will prompt- 
ly fall into contempt. There is nothing 
which seems more despicable to the 
Indian than weakness or failure in any 
endeavor. 

The law thus equipped is ready to 
deal with offending Apaches. When 
an Indian has been tried and convicted, 
if he is not present to receive his sen- 
tence, the judge should have authority 
to send in pursuit of him several posses 
from tribes other than that of the crimi- 
nal. In cases where the sentence is 
death, they will be authorized to deliver 
the culprit dead or alive at the agency. 
In other cases, he must be brought in 



alive, and no undue severity used in his 
arrest. It will be left to the discretion 
of the judge to determine in what ex- 
treme cases to employ the expedient of 
trial in the absence of the prisoner. 
The posse, consisting of five or six In- 
dians, who capture the absconding crim- 
inal should be paid one thousand dollars. 
This would be about a just remunera- 
tion. Some statistician has worked out 
the problem, and asserts that every In- 
dian killed on the war-path, with our 
present methods, costs the government 
$100,000, not counting the lives of cit- 
izens and soldiers constantly lost. If 
these figures are correct, here is a mur- 
derer brought to justice, society avenged, 
and the law vindicated at a saving to 
the government of $99,000. 

It may be claimed that this is an au- 
tocratic measure. In some respects it 
is, when regarded by the Anglo-Saxon 
mind, resting its ideas of legal proced- 
ure and personal privilege on Magna 
Charta and the Bill of Rights. But it 
must be remembered that our wild In- 
dians are to-day distant at least a thou- 
sand years from even the threshold of 
these great ideas of civil organization 
and personal liberty. It is the height 
of folly to attempt to apply our riper 
institutions to his crude morality. If 
we give him a code, we must shape it to 
fit his requirements. 

This solution of the problem makes 
the Indian a person before the law, 
which at present he is not, any more 
than is the buffalo or the wolf. It gives 
him a code to protect and restrain 
him. It gives him land and a home, and 
makes it possible for him to become 
the independent, self-supporting, produc- 
tive, and useful rear-guard of our civili- 
zation. 

Robert K. Evans. 



1886.] 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



177 



ON THE BENEFITS OF SUPERSTITION. 



"WE in England," says Mr. King- 
lake, " are scarcely sufficiently conscious 
of the great debt we owe to the wise 
and watchful press which presides over 
the formation of our opinions, and which 
brings about this splendid result, namely, 
that in matters of belief the humblest 
of us are lifted up to the level of the 
most sagacious ; so that really a simple 
cornet in the Blues is no more likely 
to entertain a foolish belief in ghosts, 
or witchcraft, or any other supernatural 
topic, than the Lord High Chancellor or 
the leader of the House of Commons." 
This delicate sarcasm, delivered with all 
the author's habitual serenity of mind, 
is quoted by Mr. Ruskin in his Art of 
England ; assentingly, indeed, but with 
a half-concealed dismay that any one 
could find it in his heart to be funny 
upon such a distressing subject. When 
he, Mr. Ruskin, hurls his satiric shafts 
against the spirit of modern skepticism, 
the points are touched with caustic, and 
betray a keen impatience darkening 
quickly into wrath. Is it not bad enough 
that we ride in steam-cars instead of 
post-chaises, live amid brick houses in- 
stead of green fields, and pass by some 
of the " most accomplished pictures in 
the world " to stare gaping at the last 
new machine, with its network of slow- 
revolving, wicked-looking wheels ? If 
in addition to these too prominent faults, 
we are going to frown down the old ap- 
pealing superstitions, and threaten them, 
like naughty children, with the correc- 
tive discipline of scientific research, he 
very properly turns his back upon us 
forever, and distinctly says he has no 
further message for our ears. 

Let us rather, then, approach the 
subject with the invaluable humility of 
Don Bernal Dias del Castillo, that gal- 
lant soldier who followed the fortunes 
of Cortes into Mexico, and afterwards 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 346. 12 



penned the Historia Verdadera, an in- 
genuous narrative of their discoveries, 
their hardships, and their many battles. 
In one of these, it seems, the blessed 
Saint lago appeared in the thickest of 
the fray, mounted on a snow-white char- 
ger, leading his beloved Spaniards to 
victory. Now the conquestador freely 
admits that he himself did not behold 
the saint : on the contrary, what he did 
see in that particular spot was a cav- 
alier named Francisco de Morla, riding 
on a chestnut horse. But does he, on 
that account, puff himself up with pride, 
and declare that his more fortunate com- 
rades were mistaken ? By no means ! 
He is as firmly convinced of the pres- 
ence of the vision as if it had been ap- 
parent to his eyes, and with admira- 
ble modesty lays all the blame upon 
his own unworthiness. " Sinner that 
I am ! " he exclaims devoutly, " why 
should I have been permitted to behold 
the blessed apostle ? " In the same 
spirit honest Peter Walker strained his 
sight in vain for a glimpse of the ghost- 
ly armies that crossed the Clyde in the 
summer of 1686, and, seeing nothing, 
was content to Relieve in them, all the 
same, on the testimony of his neighbors. 
Sir Walter Scott, who appears to have 
wasted a good deal of time in trying to 
persuade himself that he put no faith 
in spirits, confesses quite humbly, in his 
old age, that " the tendency to belief in 
supernatural agencies seems connected 
with and deduced from the invaluable 
conviction of the certainty of a future 
state." And beyond a doubt this ten- 
dency was throughout his life the source 
of many pleasurable emotions. So 
much so, in fact, that, according to Mr. 
Pater's theory of happiness, the loss of 
these emotions, bred in him from child- 
hood, would have been very inadequate- 
ly repaid by a gain in scientific knowl- 



178 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



[August, 



edge. If it be the true wisdom to direct 
our finest efforts towards multiplying 
our sensations, and so expanding the 
brief interval we call life, then the old 
unquestioning credulity was a more 
powerful motor in human happiness 
than any sentiment that fills its ground 
to-day. In the first place, it was closely 
associated with certain types of beauty, 
and beauty is one of the tonics now 
most earnestly recommended to our sick 
souls. " Les fions d'aut fais " were 
charming to the very tips of their dewy, 
trembling wings ; the elfin people, who 
danced in the forest glades under the 
white moonbeams, danced their way 
without any difficulty right into the 
hearts of men ; the swan-maiden, who 
ventured shyly in the fisher's path, was 
easily transformed into a loving wife; 
even the mara, most suspicious and ter- 
rible of ghostly visitors, has often laid 
aside her darker instincts, and developed 
into a cheerful spouse, with only a tinge 
of mystery to make her more attractive 
in her husband's eyes. Melusina comb- 
ing her golden hair by the bubbling 
fountain of Lusignan, Undine playing 
in the rain-drenched forest, the nixie 
dancing at the village feast with her 
handsome Flemish lad, and the mermaid 
reluctantly leaving her watery home to 
wed the youth who captured her magic 
seal-skin, all belong to the sisterhood of 
beauty, and their images did good ser- 
vice in raising the vulgar mind from its 
enforced contemplation of the sordid 
troubles, the droning vexations, of life. 

Next, the happy believers in the su- 
pernatural owed to their simplicity deli- 
cious throbs of fear, not craven cow- 
ardice, but that more refined and com- 
plex feeling, which is of all sensations 
the most enthralling, the most elusive, 
and the most impossible to define. Fear, 
like other treacherous gifts, must be 
handled with discrimination : a thought 
too much, and we are brutalized and de- 
graded ; but within certain limits it en- 
hances all the pleasures of life. When 



Captain Forsyth stood behind the tree, 
that sultry summer morning, and saw 
the tigress step softly through the long 
jungle grass, and the affrighted monkeys 
swing chattering overhead, there must 
have come upon him that sensation of 
awe which alone makes courage possi- 
ble. 1 He knew that his life hung trem- 
bling in the balance, that all depended 
upon the first shot he fired. He re- 
spected, as a sane man would, the mighty 
strength of his antagonist, her graceful 
limbs instinct with power, her cruel eyes 
blinking in the yellow dawn. And born 
of the fear which stirred but could not 
conquer him came the keen transport of 
the hunter, who feels that one such su- 
premely heroic moment is worth a year 
of ordinary life. Without that dread, 
not only would the joy be lessened, and 
the glad rebound from danger to a sense 
of safety lost forever, but the disci- 
plined and manly courage of the Eng- 
lish soldier would degenerate into a 
mere brutish audacity, hardly above the 
level of the beast he slays. 

In children this delicate emotion of 
fear, growing out of their dependent 
condition, gives dignity and meaning 
to their courage when they are brave, 
and a delicious zest to their youthful de- 
linquencies. Gray, in his chilly and 
melancholy manhood, years after he has 
resigned himself to never again being 
" either dirty or amused " as long as he 
lives, goes back like a flash to the un- 
lawful delight of a schoolboy's stolen 
freedom : 

" Still as they run they look behind, 
They hear a voice in every wind, 
And snatch a fearful joy." 

And who that has ever watched a party 
of children, listening with bright eyes 
and parted lips to some weird, uncanny 
legend, like that group of little girls, 
for instance, in Mr. Charles Gregory's 
picture Tales and Wonders, can doubt 
for a moment the " fearful joy " that ter- 

i The Highlands of Central India. By Cap- 
tain James Forsyth. 



1886.] 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



179 



ror lends them ? Nowadays, it is true, 
their youthful ears are but too well guard- 
ed from such indiscretions until they are 
old enough to scoff at all fantastic folly, 
and the age at which they learn to scoff 
is one of the most astonishing things 
about our modern progress. They have 
ceased to read fairy stories, because they 
no longer believe in fairies ; they find 
Hans Andersen silly, and the Arabian 
Nights stupid ; and the very babies, 
"skeptics in long-coats," scorn you 
openly if you venture to hint at Santa 
Glaus. " What did Kriss Kringle bring 
you this Christmas?" I rashly asked a 
tiny mite of a girl ; and her answer was 
as emphatic as Betsey Prig's, when, with 
folded arms and a contemptuous mien, she 
let fall the ever memorable words, "I 
don't believe there 's no sich a person." 
Yet the supernatural, provided it be 
not too horrible, is legitimate food for a 
child's mind, nourishes its imagination, 
inspires a healthy awe, and is death to 
that precocious pedantry which is the 
least pleasing trait that children are 
wont to manifest. While few are will- 
ing to go as far as Mr. Ruskin, who, 
having himself been brought up on fairy 
legends, confesses that his " first impulse 
would be to insist upon every story we 
tell to a child being untrue, and every 
scene we paint for it impossible," yet 
a fair proportion of the untrue and the 
impossible should enter into its educa- 
tion, and it should be left to the enjoy- 
ment of them as long as may be. Those 
of us who have been happy enough to 
believe that salamanders basked in the 
fire and mermaids swam in the deeps, 
that were-wolves roamed in the forests 
and witches rode in the storm, are rich- 
er by all these unfading pictures and 
unforgotten memories than our more 
scrupulously reared neighbors. And 
what if we could give such things the 
semblance of reality once more, could 
set foot in spirit within the enchanted 
forest of Broceliande, and enjoy the 
tempestuous gusts of fear that shook the 



heart-strings of the Breton peasant, as 
the great trees drew their mysterious 
shadows above his head? On either 
side lurk shadowy forms of elf and fairy, 
half hidden by the swelling trunks ; the 
wind whispers in the heavy boughs, and 
he hears their low, malicious laughter; 
the dry leaves rustle beneath his feet, 
he knows their stealthy steps are close 
behind ; a broken twig falls on his shoul- 
der, and he starts trembling, for unseen 
hands have touched him. Around his 
neck hang a silver medal of Our Lady 
and a bit of ash wood given him by 
a wise woman, whom many believe a 
witch ; thus is he doubly guarded from 
the powers of evil. Beyond the forest 
lies the open path, where wife and chil- 
dren stand waiting by the cottage door. 
He is a brave man to wander in the 
gloaming, and if he reaches home there 
will be much to tell of all that he has 
seen and felt. Should he be devoured 
by wolves, however, and there is al- 
ways this prosaic danger to be appre- 
hended, then his comrades will relate 
how he left them and went alone into 
the haunted woods, and his sorrowing 
widow will know that the fairies have 
carried him away, or turned him into 
stone. And the wise woman, reproached, 
perhaps, for the impotence of her charms, 
will say how with her own aged eyes she 
has three times seen Kourigan, Death's 
elder brother, flitting before the doomed 
man, and knew that his fate was sealed. 
So while fresh tales of mystery cluster 
round his name, and his children breathe 
them in trembling whispers by the fire- 
side, their mother will wait hopefully 
for the spell to be broken, and the lost 
given back to her arms ; until Pierrot, 
the charcoal-burner, persuades her that 
a stone remains a stone until the Judg- 
ment Day, and that in the mean time 
his own hut by the kiln is empty, and 
he needs a wife. 

But superstition, it is claimed, begets 
cruelty, and cruelty is a vice now most 
rigorously frowned down by polite so- 



180 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



[August, 



ciety. Daring spirits like Mr. Besant 
may still urge its claims upon our re- 
luctant consideration, Mr. Andrew Lang 
may pronounce it an essential element 
of humor, or a purely speculative genius 
like Mr. Pater may venture to show 
how adroitly it can be used as a help to 
religious sentiment ; but every age has 
pet vices of its own, and, being singular- 
ly intolerant of those it has discarded, 
is not inclined to listen to any argu- 
ments in their favor. Superstition 
burned old women for witches, dotards 
for warlocks, and idiots for were-wolves ; 
but in its gentler aspect it often threw 
a veil of charity over both man and 
beast. The Greek rustic, who found 
a water-newt wriggling in his gourd, 
tossed the little creature back into the 
stream, remembering that it was the un- 
fortunate Ascalaphus, whom the wrath 
of Demeter had consigned to this loath- 
some doom. The mediaeval housewife, 
when startled by a gaunt wolf gazing 
through her kitchen window, bethought 
her that this might be her lost husband, 
roaming helpless and bewitched, and so 
gave the starving creature food. 

" was it war-wolf in the wood ? 
Or was it mermaid in the sea V 
Or was it man, or vile woman, 
My ain true love, that misshaped thee ? " 

The West Indian negress still bestows 
chicken-soup instead of scalding water 
on the invading army of black ants, be- 
lieving that if kindly treated they will 
show their gratitude in the only way 
that ants can manifest it, by taking 
their departure. 

Granted that in these acts of gentle- 
ness there are traces of fear and self- 
consideration ; but who shall say that 
all our good deeds are not built up on 
some such trestle-work of foibles ? " La 
virtu n'iroit pas si loin, si la vanite ne 
lui tenoit pas compagnie." And what 
universal politeness has been fostered 
by the terror that superstition breeds, 
what delicate euphemisms containing 
the very soul of courtesy ! Consider the 



Greeks, who christened the dread fu- 
ries " Eumenides," or " gracious ones ; " 
the Scotch, who warily spdke of the 
devil as the " good man," lest his sharp 
ears should catch a more unflattering 
title ; the Dyak, who respectfully men- 
tions the small-pox as " the chief ; " the 
East Indian, who calls the tiger " lord " 
or " grandfather ; " and the Laplander, 
who gracefully alludes to the white bear 
as " the fur-clad one," and then realize 
what perfection of breeding was involved 
in what we are wont to call ignorant 
credulity. 

Again, in the stress of modern life, 
how little room is left for that most 
comfortable vanity which whispers in 
our ears that failures are not faults ! 
Now we are taught from infancy that 
we must rise or fall upon our own mer- 
its ; that vigilance wins success, and in- 
capacity means ruin. But before the 
world had grown so pitilessly logical 
there was no lack of excuses for the de- 
feated, and of unflattering comments for 
the strong. Did some shrewd Cornish 
miner open a rich vein of ore, then it 
was apparent to his fellow-toilers that 
the knackers had been at work, lead- 
ing him on by their mysterious tapping 
to this more fruitful field. But let 
him proceed warily, for the knacker, 
like its German brother, the kobold, is 
but a capricious sprite, and some day 
may beguile him into a mysterious pas- 
sage or long-forgotten chamber in the 
mine, whence he shall never more re- 
turn. His bones will whiten in their 
prison, while his spirit, wandering rest- 
lessly among the subterranean corridors, 
will be heard on Christmas Eve, ham- 
mering wearily away till the gray dawn 
brightens in the east. Or did some 
prosperous farmer save his crop while 
his neighbors' corn was blighted, and 
raise upon his small estate more than 
their broader acres could be forced to 
yield, there was no opportunity afforded 
him for pride or self - congratulation. 
Only the witch's art could bring about 



1886.] 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



181 



such strange results, and the same sor- 
ceries that had aided him had, doubt- 
less, been the ruin of his friends. He 
was a lucky man if their indignation 
went no further than muttered phrases 
and averted heads. Does not Pliny tell 
us the story of Caius Furius Cresinus, 
whose heavy crops awoke such mingled 
anger and suspicion in his neighbors' 
hearts that he was accused in the courts 
of conjuring their grain and fruit into 
his own scanty ground ? If a woman 
aspired to be neater than her gossips, 
or to spin more wool than they were 
able to display, it was only because the 
pixies labored for her at night ; turning 
her wheel briskly in the moonlight, split- 
ting the wood, and drawing the water, 
while she drowsed idly in her bed. 

" And every night the pixies good 
Drive round the wheel with sound subdued, 
And leave in this they never fail 
A silver penny in the pail." 

Even to the clergy this engaging theory 
brought its consolations. When the 
Reverend Lucas Jacobson Debes, pastor 
of Thorshaven in 1670, found that his 
congregation was growing slim, he was 
not forced, in bitterness of spirit, to 
ask himself were his sermons dull, but 
promptly laid all the blame upon the 
biergen-trold, the spectres of the moun- 
tains, whom he angrily accused, in a 
lengthy homily, of disturbing his flock, 
and even pushing their discourtesy so far 
as to carry them off bodily before his 
discourse was completed. 

Indeed, it is to the clergy that we are 
indebted for much interesting informa- 
tion concerning the habits of goblins, 
witches, and gnomes. The Reverend 
Robert Kirke, of Aberfoyle, Perthshire, 
divided his literary labors impartially 
between a translation of the Psalms into 
Gaelic verse and an elaborate treatise 
on the " Subterranean and for the most 
part Invisible People, heretofore going 
under the name of Elves, Faunes, and 
Fairies, or the like," which was print- 
ed, with the author's name attached, in 



1691. Here, unsullied by any taint of 
skepticism, we have an array of curious 
facts that would suggest the closest inti- 
macy between the rector and the " In- 
visible People," who at any rate con- 
cealed nothing from his eyes. He tells 
us gravely that they marry, have chil- 
dren, die, and are buried, very much like 
ordinary mortals ; that they are invet- 
erate thieves, stealing everything, from 
the milk in the dairy to the baby lying 
on its mother's breast ; that they can 
fire their elfin arrow-heads so adroitly 
that the weapon penetrates to the heart 
without breaking the skin, and he him- 
self has seen animals wounded in this 
manner ; that iron in any shape or form 
is a terror to them, not for the same 
reason that Solomon misliked it, but on 
account of the proximity of the great 
iron mines to the place of eternal pun- 
ishment ; and strangest of all that 
they can read and write, and have ex- 
tensive libraries, where light and toyish 
books alternate with ponderous volumes 
on abstruse mystical subjects. Only the 
Bible may not be found among them. 

How Mr. Kirke acquired all these 
particulars whether, like John Die- 
trich, he lived in the Elfin Mound and 
grew wise on elfin wisdom, or whether 
he adopted a less laborious and secluded 
method does not transpire. But one 
thing is certain : he was destined to pay 
a heavy price for his unhallowed knowl- 
edge. The fairies, justly irritated at 
such an open revelation of their secrets, 
revenged themselves signally by carry- 
ing off the offender, and imprisoning 
him beneath the dun-shi, or goblin hill, 
where he has since had ample oppor- 
tunity to pursue his investigations. It 
is true, his parishioners supposed he had 
died of apoplexy, and under that im- 
pression buried him in Aberfoyle church- 
yard ; but his successor, the Rev. Dr. 
Grahame, informs us of the wide-spread 
belief concerning his true fate. An ef- 
fort was even made to rescue him from 
his captivity, but it failed through the 



182 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



[August, 



neglect of a kinsman, Grahame of Du- 
chray ; and Robert Kirke, like Thomas 
of Ercildoune and the three miners of 
the Kuttenberg, still " drees his weird " 
in the enchanted halls of elfland. 

When the unfortunate witches of 
Warbois were condemned to death, on 
the testimony of the Throgmorton chil- 
dren, Sir Samuel Cromwell, as lord of 
the manor, received forty pounds out of 
their estate ; which sum he turned into 
a rent-charge of forty shillings yearly, 
for the endowment of an annual lecture 
on witchcraft, to be preached by a doc- 
tor or bachelor of divinity, of Queen's 
College, Cambridge. Thus he provided 
for his tenants a good sound church doc- 
trine on this interesting subject, and we 
may rest assured that the sermons were 
far from quieting their fears, or lulling 
them into a skeptical indifference. In- 
deed, more imposing names than Sir 
Samuel Cromwell's appear in the lists 
to do battle for cherished superstitions. 
Did not the devout and conscientious 
Baxter firmly believe in the powers of 
witches, especially after " hearing their 
sad confessions ; " and was not the gen- 
tle and learned Addison more than half 
disposed to believe in them, too ? Does 
not Bacon avow that a " well-regulated " 
astrology might become the medium 
of many beneficial truths ; and did not 
the scholarly Dominican, Stephen of Lu- 
signan, expand the legend of Melusina 
into so noble a history, that the great 
houses of Luxembourg, Rohan, and 
Sassenaye altered their pedigrees, so as 
to claim descent from that illustrious 
nymph? Even the Emperor Henry 
VII. was as proud of his fishy ances- 
tress as was Godfrey de Bouillon of 
his mysterious grandsire, Helias, the 
Knight of the Swan, better known to 
us as the Lohengrin of Wagner's opera ; 
while among more modest annals appear 
the families of Fantome and Dobie, 
each bearing a goblin on their crest, in 
witness of their claim to some shadowy 
supernatural kinship. 



There is often a marked contrast be- 
tween the same superstition as developed 
in different countries, and in the same 
elfin folk, who please or terrify us accord- 
ing to the gay or serious bent of their 
mortal interpreters. While the Keltic 
ourisk is bright and friendly, with a tinge 
of malice and a strong propensity to 
blunder, the English brownie is a more 
clever and audacious sprite, the Scot- 
tish bogle a sombre and dangerous ac- 
quaintance, and the Dutch Hudikin an 
ungainly counterpart of Puck, with 
hardly a redeeming quality, save a lum- 
bering fashion of telling the truth when 
it is least expected. It was Hudikin 
who foretold the murder of James I. of 
Scotland ; though why he should have 
left the dikes of Holland for the bleak 
Highland hills it is hard to say, more 
especially as there were murders enough 
at home to keep him as busy as Cassan- 
dra. So, too, when the English witches 
rode up the chimney and through the 
storm-gusts to their unhallowed meet- 
ings, they apparently confined their at- 
tention to the business in hand, hav- 
ing perhaps enough to occupy them in 
managing their broomstick steeds. But 
when the Scottish hags cried, " Horse 
and hattock in the devil's name ! " and 
rushed fiercely through the tempestu- 
ous night, the unlucky traveler crossed 
himself and trembled, lest in very wan- 
tonness they aim their magic arrows at 
his heart. Isobel Gowdie confessed 
at her trial to having fired in this man- 
ner at the Laird of the Park, as he rode 
through a ford ; but the influence of the 
running water turned her dart aside, 
and she was soundly cuffed by Bes- 
sie Hay, another witch, for her awk- 
wardness in choosing such an unpropi- 
tious moment. 1 In one respect alone 
this evil sisterhood were all in harmony. 
By charms and spells they revenged 
themselves terribly on their enemies, 
and inflicted malicious injuries on their 

1 Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft. By 
Sir Walter Scott. 



1886.] 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



183 



friends. It was as easy for them to sink 
a ship in mid-ocean as to dry the milk 
in a cow's udder, or to make a strong 
man pine away while his waxen im- 
age was consumed inch by inch on the 
witch's smouldering hearth. 

This instinctive belief in evil spells is 
the essence, not of witchcraft only, but 
of every form of superstition, from the 
days of Thessalian magic to the brutish 
rites of the Louisiana Voodoo. It has 
brought to the scaffold women of gentle 
blood, like Janet Douglas, Lady Glam- 
is, and to the stake visionary enthusi- 
asts like Jeanne Dare. It confronts us 
from every page of history, it stares at 
us from the columns of the daily press. 
It has provided an outlet for fear, hope, 
love, and hatred, and a weapon for every 
passion that stirs the soul of man. It 
is equally at home in all parts of the 
world, and has entered freely into the 
religion, the traditions, and the folk-lore 
of all nations. Actaeon flying as a stag 
from the pursuit of his own hounds ; 
Circe's swinish captives groveling at 
their troughs ; Bjorn turned into a bear 
through the malice of his stepmother, 
and hunted to death by his father, King 
Hring ; the Swans of Lir floating mourn- 
fully on the icy waters of the Moyle ; 
the loup-garou lurking in the forests of 
Brittany, and the oborot coursing over 
the Russian steppes ; Merlin sleeping in 
the gloomy depths of Broceliande, and 
Raknar buried fifty fathoms below the 
coast of Helluland, are all alike the 
victims 

" Of woven paces and of waving hands," 
whether the spell be cast by an out- 
raged divinity, or by the cruel hand of 
a malignant foe. 

In 1857, Mr. Newton discovered at 
Cnidos fragments of a buried and ru- 
ined chapel, sacred to Demeter and Per- 
sephone. In it were three marble fig- 
ures of great beauty, some small votive 
images of baked earth, several bronze 
lamps, and a number of thin leaden 
rolls, pierced with holes for the con- 



venience of hanging them around the 
chapel walls. On these rolls were in- 
scribed the dirae, or spells, devoting some 
enemy to the infernal gods, and the mo- 
tive for the suppliant's ill-will was given 
with great naivete and earnestness. One 
woman binds another who has lured away 
her lover ; a second, the enemy who 
has accused her of poisoning her hus- 
band ; a third, the thief who has stolen 
her bracelet; a fourth, the man who 
has robbed her of a favorite drinking- 
horn ; a fifth, the acquaintance who has 
failed to return a borrowed garment ; 
and so on through a long list of griev- 
ances. 1 It is evident this form of prayer 
was quite a common occurrence, and, as 
combining a religious rite with a com- 
fortable sense of retaliation, must have 
been exceptionally soothing to the wor- 
shiper's mind. Persephone was ap- 
peased and their own wrongs avenged 
by this simple act of devotion ; but were 
it given to us now to inscribe, and by 
inscribing doom, all those who have bor- 
rowed and failed to return our books, 
we fear the halls of Tartaras would 
quickly overflow. 

The saddest thing about these faded 
superstitions is that the very men who 
have studied them most accurately are 
often least susceptible to their charms. 
In their eagerness to trace back every 
myth to a common origin, and to prove, 
with or without reason, that they one 
and all arose from the observation of 
natural phenomena, too many writers 
either overlook entirely the beauty and 
meaning of the tale, or treat it with a 
contemptuous indifference very hard to 
understand. Mr. Baring-Gould, a most 
honorable exception to this evil rule, 
takes occasion now and then to deal 
some telling blows at the extravagant 
theorists who persist in maintaining that 
every tradition bears its significance on 
its surface, and who, following up their 
preconceived opinions, cruelly overtax 

1 The Myth of Demeter and Persephone. By 
Walter Pater. 



184 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



[August, 



the credulity of their readers. He him- 
self has shown conclusively that many 
Aryan myths are but allegorical rep- 
resentations of natural forces ; but in 
these cases the connection is always dis- 
tinctly traced and easily understood. It 
is not hard for any of us to perceive the 
likeness between the worm Schamir, the 
hand of glory, and the lightning, when 
their peculiar properties are so much 
alike ; or to behold in the Sleeping 
Beauty or Thorn-Rose the ice-bound 
earth slumbering through the long win- 
ter months, until the sun-god's kisses 
win her back to life and warmth. But 
when we are asked to believe that Wil- 
liam Tell is the storm-cloud, with his 
arrow of lightning and his iris bow bent 
against the sun, which is resting like a 
coin or a golden apple on the edge of 
the horizon, we cannot but feel, with 
the author of Curious Myths, that a 
little too much is exacted from us. " I 
must protest," he says, " against the 
manner in which our German friends 
fasten rapaciously upon every atom of 
history, sacred and profane, and demon- 
strate all heroes to represent the sun ; 
all villains to be the demons of night or 
winter ; all sticks and spears and arrows 
to be the lightning ; all cows and sheep 
and dragons and swans to be clouds." 

But then it must be remembered that 
Mr. Baring-Gould is the most tolerant 
and catholic of writers, with hardly a 
hobby he can call his own. Sympathiz- 
ing with the sad destruction of William 
Tell, he casts a lance in honor of Saint 
George against Reynolds and Gibbon, 
and manifests a lurking weakness for 
mermaids, divining-rods, and the Wan- 
dering Jew. He is to be congratulated 
on his early training, for he assures us 
he believed, on the testimony of his 
Devonshire nurse, that all Cornishmen 
had tails, until a Cornish bookseller 
stoutly denied the imputation, and en- 
lightened his infant mind. He has the 
rare and happy faculty of writing upon 
all mythical subjects with grace, sympa- 



thy, and vraisemblance. Even when 
there can be no question of credulity 
either with himself or with his readers, 
he is yet content to write as though for 
the time he believes. Just as the author 
of Obiter Dicta advises us to lay aside 
our moral sense when we begin the mem- 
oirs of an attractive scamp, and to re- 
call it carefully when we have finished, 
so Mr. Baring- Gould generously lays 
aside his enlightened skepticism when 
he undertakes to tell us about sirens and 
were-wolves, and remembers that he is 
of the nineteenth century only when 
his task is done. 

This is precisely what Mr. John Fiske 
is unable or unwilling to accomplish. 
He cannot for a moment forget how 
much better he knows ; and instead of 
an indulgent smile at the delightful fol- 
lies of our ancestors, we detect here and 
there through his very valuable pages 
something unpleasantly like a sneer. 
" Where the modern calmly taps his 
forehead," explains Mr. Fiske, " and 
says, ' Arrested development ! ' the terri- 
fied ancient made the sign of the cross, 
and cried, < Were -wolf I'" 1 Now a 
more disagreeable object than the " mod- 
ern " tapping his forehead, like Dr. Blim- 
ber, and offering a sensible elucidation 
of every mystery, it would be hard to 
find. The ignorant peasant making his 
sign of the cross is not only more pic- 
turesque, but he is more companionable, 
in books, at least, and it is of far 
greater interest to try to realize how 
he felt when the specimen of " arrested 
development " stole past him in the 
shadow of the woods. There is, after 
all, a mysterious horror about the lame 
boy, some impish changeling of evil 
parentage, foisted on hell, perhaps, as 
Nadir thrust his earth-born baby into 
heaven, who every Midsummer Night 
and every Christmas Eve summoned the 
were-wolves to their secret meeting, 
whence they rushed ravenously over the 
German forests. The girdle of human 
i Myths and Mythmakers. 



1886.] 



On the Benefits of Superstition. 



185 






skill, three finger-breadths wide, which 
wrought the transformation ; the tell- 
tale hairs in the hollow of the hand 
which betrayed the wolfish nature; the 
fatality which doomed one of every 
seven sisters to this dreadful enchant- 
ment, and the trifling accidents which 
brought about the same undesirable re- 
sult are so many handles by which we 
grasp the strange emotions that swayed 
the mediaeval man. Jacque Roulet and 
Jean Grenier, 1 as mere maniacs and can- 
nibals, fill every heart with disgust ; but 
as were-wolves an awful mystery wraps 
them round, and the mind is distracted 
from pity for their victims to a fasci- 
nated consideration of their own tragic 
doom. A blood-thirsty idiot is an ob- 
ject that no one cares to think about; 
but a wolf-fiend, urged to deeds of vio- 
lence by an impulse he cannot resist, is 
one of those ghastly creations that the 
folk-lore of every country has placed 
sharply and persistently before our star- 
tled eyes. Yet surely there is a touch of 
comedy in the story told by Van Hahn, 
of an unlucky freemason, who, having 
divulged the secrets of his order, was 
pursued across the Pyrenees by the mas- 
ter of his lodge in the form of a were- 
wolf, and escaped only by taking refuge 
in an empty cottage, and hiding under 
the bed. 

" To us who are nourished from child- 
hood," says Mr. Fiske again, " on the 
truths revealed by science, the sky is 
known to be merely an optical appear- 
ance, due to the partial absorption of the 
solar rays in passing through a thick 
stratum of atmospheric air ; the clouds 
are known to be large masses of watery 
vapor, which descend in rain-drops when 
sufficiently condensed ; and the light- 
ning is known to be a flash of light ac- 
companying an electric discharge." But 
the blue sky-sea of Aryan folk-lore, in 
which the cloud-flakes floated as stately 
swans, drew many an eye to the con- 
templation of its loveliness, and touched 

1 Book of Were- Wolves. By Baring-Gould. 



many a heart with the sacred charm of 
beauty. On that mysterious sea strange 
vessels sailed from unknown shores, and 
once a mighty anchor was dropped by 
the sky mariners, and fell right into a 
little English graveyard, to the great 
amazement of the humble congregation 
just coming out from church. The sen- 
sation of freedom and space afforded by 
this conception of the heavens is a deli- 
cious contrast to the conceit of the Per- 
sian poet, 

" That inverted Bowl they call the Sky, 
Whereunder crawling cooped we live and die ; " 

or to the Semitic legend, which described 
the firmament as made of hammered 
plate, with little windows for rain, a 
device so poor and barbaric that we 
wonder how any man could look up into 
the melting blue and admit so sordid a 
fancy into his soul. 

" Scientific knowledge, even in the 
most modest men," confesses Dr. Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, " has mingled with it 
something which partakes of insolence. 
Absolute, peremptory facts are bullies, 
and those who keep company with them 
are apt to get a bullying habit of mind." 
Such an admission from so genial and 
kindly a source should suffice to put us 
all on the defensive. It is not agree- 
able to be bullied even upon those mat- 
ters which are commonly classed as 
facts ; but when we come to the misty 
region of dreams and myths and super- 
stitions, let us remember, with Lamb, 
that " we do not know the laws of that 
country," and with him generously for- 
bear to " set down our ancestors in the 
gross for fools." We have lost forever 
the fantasies that enriched them. Not 
for us are the pink and white lions that 
gamboled in the land of Prester John, 
nor his onyx floors, imparting courage 
to all who trod on them. Not for us 
the Terrestrial Paradise, with its " Welle 
of Youthe, whereat thei that drynken 
semen alle weys yongly, and lyven with- 
outen sykeness ; " 2 nor the Fortunate 
2 Travels of Sir John Mandeville. 



186 Endymion. [August, 

Isles beyond the Western Sea, where "The whole wide world is painted gray on 

spring was ever green, where youths And g derland forever pa8t .,, - 
and maidens danced hand in hand on 

the dewy grass, where the cows un- All we can do is to realize our loss 

grudgingly gave milk enough to fill with becoming modesty, and now and 

whole ponds instead of milking-pails, then cast back a wistful glance 

and where wizards and usurers could " where underneath 

never hope to enter. The doors of The shelter of the quaint kiosk, there sigh 

these enchanted spots are closed upon A troup of Fancy's little China Dolls, 

r ... _, ... V. Who dream and dream, with damask round their 

us, and their key, like Excalibur, lies i oms> 

hidden where no hand can grasp it. And in their hands a golden tulip flower." 

Agnes Repplier. 



ENDYMION. 

How slowly falls yon sickle from on high 

Through evening's silent sky, 
Flashing a splendor from its curved blade 

On the low-lying shade ! 

Now in and out the narrow cloud that bars 

Its pathway from the stars 
It slips, and with a golden glory shines, 

Nearing the mountain lines. 

Nay, 't is no sickle which some unseen hand 

Lets fall upon the land; 
It is the jewel of a lady's crown, 

As she steps lightly down. 

Night after night, down the aerial stair 

She stealeth unaware ; 
Leaving the empire which she rules above, 

And all her state, for love. 

Behold, her feet have touched the rocky steeps 

Where the young shepherd sleeps, 
And larger burns her jewel as she moves 

In search of him she loves. 

And now it fades, and glimmers, and is gone. 

Happy Endymion! 
While here the world in sudden shadow lies, 

She bends above his eyes. 

Samuel V. Cole. 



1886.] 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



187 



SIX VISIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE. 



FROM MRS. MARGARET ETHERIDGE MAYNARD 
(OF NEW YORK CITY) TO MRS. RUFUS HILL, 
ANDOVER, MASS. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, February 22. 

YOUR letter, my dear friend, has just 
arrived, and I instantly sit down to give 
you my frankest opinions of St. Augus- 
tine. In the first place, the climate is 
most disagreeable. I know they tell 
you it is n't, but it seems to be a prin- 
ciple of the Floridians not to tell the 
truth. The main industry of the State 
is deceiving strangers. You read in the 
newspapers of the weather we found 
last month. I thought we should per- 
ish. My room had a fireplace, and 
Rawdon's had a stove which smoked. 
My dear, I had to sit wrapped up in 
furs, with my feet on the hot-water bag, 
feeling, for all the world, just like the 
Greely party. There was not a sign of 
steam, or furnace, or any other kind of 
warmth, except stoves and fireplaces, 
in the house, and the halls were like 
Greenland : I always had to put on 
my bonnet and cloak to go down to the 
parlor. 

Well, their oranges are all frozen, 
and I think most of the trees are gone, 
too, though they pretend they are not. 
And you need not think you will get 
lovely tropical fruit, for you won't, 
nothing but oranges, and they are either 
stale (picked before the frost) or half 
frozen. They are rank poison ; but what 
do these greedy Augustines care that 
we are losing our health, eating their 
pestilential fruit ? I expected to revel 
in delicious figs, dates, bananas, Japan 
plums, pineapples, alligator pears, gua- 
vas, and all the other things those ro- 
mancers that write the Florida circulars 
pretend you are going to have in a 
" semi-tropical climate." I even had 



visions of eating bread-fruit. One man 
said it grew in Florida, and I thought it 
might as well grow in St. Augustine as 
anywhere else. Well, my dear, there is 
nothing, nothing in this wicked world 
but poor oranges. Sometimes, it is true, 
for a few days, you can get some mean, 
green little Nassau bananas, and once 
two pineapples strayed over from the 
same place. I saw some cocoa-nuts in 
the pod (I suppose they call it a pod ; 
if they don't, they ought to), and I 
asked the man if they were fresh. He 
said, " Well, yes 'm, pretty fresh. I got 
'em 'bout two months ago. They ain't 
for eating, ezactly ; strangers like to 
take 'em home to show." There 's the 
list, unless you call peanuts fruit. And 
/think it perfectly ridiculous ! 

But to return to the climate : all Jan- 
uary was horrid. After the cold we 
had weeks of rain and fog. There is a 
great deal of fog here, and a great deal 
of rain ; and when it is n't rainy or fog- 
gy the wind blows a gale. I really nev- 
er saw such a tempestuous place. It goes 
without saying that you can't walk. 
My dear Helen, don't delude yourself 
with any notion of walking here ! Fig- 
ure to yourself streets without a vestige 
of sidewalk, unless you choose to call a 
little ragged, humpy ruin of concrete, 
about a foot wide, a vestige. It cer- 
tainly isn't anything else, and usually 
there is n't even that. They say it is a 
remnant of the old Spanish pavement. 
Probably, or the Mound Builders ! 
The whole town is built on sand mixed 
with sharp little shells, which cut into 
your shoes and nearly drive you frantic. 
This is ankle-deep everywhere. You 
don't walk in St. Augustine; you wade! 
And the dust is something dreadful. 
But you wouldn't want to walk, any- 
how. The streets are so narrow that 
pedestrians have to retire into the shops 



188 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



[August, 



when two carriages pass each other. 
You always have to walk single file, so 
as to be ready to save your life by dodg- 
ing into a doorway. Of course they 
drive the horses, and especially ride the 
horses, at the top of their speed, these 
negroes would rather run over you than 
not ! I suppose it does n't add muck to 
the perils of the street to have no drain- 
age, and to see orange skins, papers, and 
every other kind of rubbish flung into 
the streets for you to tread over ; but it 
certainly is unpleasant. 

As to drives : I think the Society for 
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
ought to forbid driving horses through 
these sandy roads. I should want to 
discharge my coachman if he treated my 
horses so. And there is n't anything 
but sand and swamp. And, right here, 
I may as well free my mind about the 
drivers. They are liars from the cradle 
to the grave. I paid a colored man four 
dollars, the other day, to take me to 
Magnolia Grove. One of the things I 
went South to see was magnolias. We 
drove, and we drove, and we drove. It 
was hot and sandy and dusty, and I 
made him go slowly on account of the 
horses. Finally, we stopped. My dear, 
there was just one magnolia. The driver 
flicked the tip of his whip at the lone 
magnolia. " Dat 's it," said he. 

" Where 's Magnolia Grove ? " I asked. 

" Dat 's it," said he, " yes 'm." 

" But where are the rest of them ? " 

" Dey ain't no res','' he replied. 

"But why do they call it Magnolia 
Grove, then ? " I inquired. 

" Kase of de magnolia," said he. 

This same man told me that the old 
market in the plaza was the old slave- 
market, and that his mother was sold 
there ; and it never was anything more 
romantic than a fish-market. And he 
told me that a scrubby old cemetery, 
where he took me for a dollar, was the 
Huguenot cemetery, when there never 
were any Huguenots buried in St. Au- 
gustine ; there never were any Hugue- 



nots in St. Augustine, anyhow. What 's- 
his-name killed them all before they got 
here, and they weren't buried any- 
where, poor things. I read all about it 
in the guide book, after I got home ; 
that man was lying the whole while. 

I have to squander my money on 
them still, because I can't walk in the 
sand ; I 'm giddy, though I am not 
young, and I can't walk on the sea-wall ; 
there is nothing but sand and sea-wall 
in Augustine. You ask about features 
of interest : there 's a feature for you, 
an awful structure, hardly three feet 
wide, without an inch of railing between 
you and eternity, or, at least, ruining 
your clothes. One side is the bay, and 
the other side the sand of Augustine, 
five feet below. " Oh, that 's not much 
of a fall," your nephew says ; but I 
have n't the figure for falling, and I leave 
the sea-wall to young Salisbury and my 
niece. By the way, he is a delightful 
fellow, and, entre nous,, I fancy Emmy 
thinks so, too. 

You want to know about excursions. 
Well, the least objectionable is to North 
Beach. You can get over in a sail-boat, 
if you aren't seasick, and don't value 
your life ; or you can take a dreadful 
little steamer (by climbing a ladder and 
walking a plank), and then probably 
have to wait an hour on the sand in the 
sun for it when you go back. There 
is n't anything to see but a beach. Then 
there is Matanzas, where you sail for- 
ever, and are likely to have the wind 
desert you, and be obliged to spend the 
night nowhere in particular. 

And there is a simply fiendish excur- 
sion to Anastasia Island. You go over 
in the steamer, at least I did, and 
when you get over you see a tramway 
built on piles, with a ditch on either 
side, and no room to fall out of the car, 
just merely a few planks for the horse 
to go over. The rails are of wood and 
all worn out ; and there is a decrepit, 
ramshackle old platform on wheels, with 
a canopy, which they call a car ; and 



1886.] 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



189 



one poor little white invalid horse to 
drag it. Of course they load that car 
until it creaks and sways in the most 
awful manner, and then a brutal boy 
whips the poor horse along that dread- 
fully unsafe road. All this sickening 
peril is to get to the light-house. Then, 
if you like, you can jump into the bay- 
onet bush, and scramble over to the 
beach. When you get back to the shore 
you generally have to wait an hour ; but 
you will have plenty to do, fighting sand- 
flies. Then, if the tide is out, you will 
have to escape to the steamer in small 
boats half filled with water. Ours had 
no oarlocks, and the man stood up and 
paddled with an oar, and did n't know 
how. Actually, I wonder that excur- 
sion did n't shatter my nerves entirely. 
After we were all in the steamer, towing 
the boats along, that boat swamped, 
swamped before our eyes. Think if we 
had all been in it ! 

As to places of interest : there are 
some ridiculous little city gates (with 
no wall), an ugly old cathedral, and the 
fort. The fort is well enough in its 
way, but don't you let them show you 
the dungeons ; you nearly break your 
back crawling into the horrid black holes, 
and you can't sleep all night for think- 
ing of the awful stories they tell you 
about cages and skeletons and the Span- 
ish Inquisition, and no end of horrors ! 
All lies, too, my dear ; I read about 
them in the guide book. 

In regard to hotels, well, perhaps 
I am too particular. But I can tell 
you one thing, they charge enough to be 
good. Prices, generally, are extortion- 
ate. " Well, you see, ma'am," said an 
honest tradesman to me, " we have three 
prices : one for ourselves, the people of 
the town, that 's very reasonable ; one 
for the winter residents, that's not so 
very high ; and then we make a spe- 
cial price for the rank strangers ! " You 
will think they do, if you come. Last 
of all, you ask my advice about coming. 
Do you remember Punch's to the young 



man about to marry ? It is mine, too, 
Don't ! Your loving friend, 

MARGARET E. MAYNARD. 

P. S. I have just asked Rawdon her 
opinion ; and she says that she can't 
find it in her conscience to recommend 
a town where they allow " wild beasts 
like them halligators " to be kept in 
yards, and to swim around loose in bar- 
rels in the shop windows. She hap- 
pened to notice a big one tied to a post 
in a yard once, and ran for her life, all 
the way from King Street to the San 
Marco. Another time she saw a para- 
graph in a paper about Northerners 
never leaving without an alligator. 
Now she regularly looks under the bed 
for them every night. " Most like the 
'otel 's swarming with them this werry 
moment, mum," she says, " in band- 
boxes and bath-tubs ! " Then she gath- 
ers her skirts tightly about her with one 
hand, and pokes with the umbrella han- 
dle in the other, and gives a little 
scream at every poke. I asked her why 
she screamed, and she said, " Oh, mum, 
hit 's for the hawfulness of it ! I can't 
'old in ! " 

I fancy Rawdon will be as relieved 
as I to go, and we leave for Charleston 
next Monday. Come there instead. 

M. E. M. 
ii. 

FROM MISS EMILY ETHERIDGE LAWRENCE (OF 
CHICAGO, ILL.) TO MRS. RUFUS HILL, ANDO- 
VER, MASS. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, February 22. 

DEAR MRS. HILL, I know auntie 
is writing you, and I am sure that she is 
saying something horrid about this dear, 
sweet, quaint, lovely old town. So I 
have treacherously borrowed her paper, 
and as you were so good as to ask me 
to write, too, I am going to do it now, 
and send my opinions along by the very 
same mail ; I am hoping that you will 
open my letter first. 

Truly, dear Mrs. Hill, Augustine is 
lovely! The climate is delicious, soft, 



190 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



[August, 



yet bracing. There is a good deal of 
fog ; but the effects on the water are so 
exquisite that one does n't regret it, but 
quite the contrary. Mr. Salisbury is very 
good with his yacht, and takes us sailing 
so often that mamma and I are both in 
love with the bay. Every day, almost, 
we have a splendid sea breeze, and can 
make all the excursions by sail. I 
think there is no place like St. Augus- 
tine. I feel as though I were in Spain 
and England and America at the same 
time. It is most fascinating and roman- 
tic ; and I feel as though I could never 
tire of these narrow, winding streets, 
with their funny little shops, where you 
can buy alligator - tooth jewelry, and 
shells, and photographs, and the dearest 
palmetto hats in the world. Mr. Salis- 
bury accuses me of intending to open a 
shop, I am buying so many, and poor 
mamma sighs and wonders how I am 
ever going to carry them all home. 

You speak of the walks and drives. 
There is no end of them. In the first 
place, there is the town itself. I send 
you some photographs. Are n't they 
perfect horrors ? I took them myself. 
Mr. Salisbury " supplied the human in- 
terest," as he calls it, by putting himself 
in the foreground. It is quite his own 
fault that his hands look so gigantic, and 
that he seems to have three of them in 
one of the pictures. He would put them 
out and wave them while the picture 
was going on. He said that he was rep- 
resenting " one of Mr. Cook's personal- 
ly conducted tours, being conducted." 
Is n't he quite too absurd, sometimes ? 
I wish the photographs were good, 
though, for the houses are so pictur- 
esque ; built of this queer old coquina 
stone, all stained and blackened by li- 
chens, with dormer windows and hanging 
balconies (why they hang, and don't 
break down, is a puzzle to me) and roofs 
that do a hundred fantastic things no 
other American roofs dare to do, twist 
themselves into gables, project over bal- 
conies, step down and then project, or 



hop up and make the roof for a side gal- 
lery. Now don't you pine to walk, past 
such houses ? Why, the very names of 
the streets are tempting. King, St. 
George, Hypolita, Kuna, Spanish, Treas- 
ury, Baya, St. Francis, Tolomato, don't 
they make you think of Menendez and 
the Huguenots, and the Moors, and the 
English red-coats marching in, and Span- 
ish signoritas in black lace veils, and the 
Seminole Indians, and the Inquisition, 
and guitars, serenading, and everything 
else nice and romantic ? And is n't it 
interesting to think that we are walking 
on the very pavement that the Span- 
iards made ? There are lovely drives 
all about ; and as for excursions, they 
are countless, by land or sea. Now the 
wild flowers are coming, and I rave over 
them. Yesterday, mamma, Mr. Salis- 
bury, and I went out on the Picolata 
road and picked bushels of jasmine. We 
left the carriage, and got so interested 
(finding thicker and thicker trees, you 
know how that is) that mamma began 
to think we were devoured by an alliga- 
tor, and was in an awful state of anx- 
iety. Rawdon has managed to give 
mamma her notions about alligators as 
beasts of prey. Then, there are all the 
sails. North Beach has such a nice 
beach and the most fascinating shells. 
Matanzas is weirdly beautiful, with its 
ruined fort and its associations. And 
there is a delightful excursion to An- 
astasia Island. You will laugh when 
you see the droll little primitive horse- 
car and ridiculous shaggy white pony 
that will meet you and take you over 
wooden rails to the lighthouse. There 
was such a load of us, and of course 
aunt Margie lifted up her voice in be- 
half of the beast. " Boy," I heard her 
saying, " ; you must n't whip him. How 
would you like to be whipped when 
you were pulling a load too heavy for 
you ? " 

Dear aunt Margie, she quite hates 
the place. She has tried three hotels, 
and is now at a fourth. We are at the 



1886.] 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



191 



first of the discarded ones, and find it 
luxurious ; but when I told her so, she 
only shook her head sadly, and said, 
" My dear, you are young ; you don't 
depend on your soup." She has her 
locked bath-tub and her Vienna coffee- 
pot and all her traps. Bawdon gets 
out the tea things every afternoon at 
four; auntie collects all the old tab- 
bies she knows, and they drink tea and 
abuse the place. They snub me, and 
they are too old for me to snub them, 
and it is enraging. There is one hor- 
rid old frump who is always flinging 
my age at me. " What does nineteen 
know of the merits of a place ? " she 
says, meaning me. Well, I could n't 
know much less than she does ! That 
is awfully ill-natured. I do beg your 
pardon, dear Mrs. Hill, and I will talk 
about something else, quick! 

You ask about the places of interest. 
I am sure one can't help liking the sea- 
wall (such good walking and such a 
magnificent view), and there are some 
sweet little city gates (you see them on 
all the preserve cans), and the cathedral 
is a joy ; but the best of all is the fort. 
Is n't it wonderful to think of all that 
those towers have seen, how much 
triumph and what misery ! They were 
built by poor Indians and captives, you 
know. I declare, when I reflect how 
cruel those wicked Spaniards were, I 
take solid comfort in thinking of De 
Gourgues, and of how Drake burned the 
fort and pillaged the town. I only wish 
he had burned up old Menendez in it. 
Just picture that cruel old thing wheed- 
ling the poor shipwrecked Frenchmen 
into surrending, and then going off and 
drawing that cross in the sand, with his 
lance ! And think of those poor, unsus- 
picious men, with their hands tied behind 
their back, coming ten at a time ; and 
then just as soon as they reached this 
fatal mark, the Spaniards stabbing them 
dead ! You will remember that when you 
walk along the Matanzas beach. Matan- 
zas, " Place of Slaughter," is n't it 



rightly named ? Did you know that Os- 
ceola was confined in the fort before they 
sent him to Charleston ? Poor Osceola, 
I liked his not letting them kill women 
and children. And that was fine, too, 
about the council, when he dashed his 
knife through the treaty, crying, "The 
only treaty that I will make is with 
this ! " But you will imagine that I 
am Tennyson's brook, that goes on for- 
ever. I will stop no, I won't, until I 
tell you about prices. I think them 
very reasonable, when you consider how 
short the season is, and that there is 
nothing but the season to live on. Who 
can wonder that they make all they can 
out of us while they have a chance ! 
Now please pardon this long effusion, 
and don't let it prevent your coming. 

Always, dear Mrs. Hill, affectionate- 
ly yours, EMILY E. LAWRENCE. 

P. S. There are good riding horses 
here, and very good tennis grounds. It 
is amusing to watch the game, even if 
one does n't play, so I mention it. Mr. 
Salisbury is the best player here. 

E. E. L. 

in. 

FROM COL. SAMUEL TURNER, U. S. A., TO MRS. 
RUFUS HILL, ANDOVER MASS. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, February 23, 1886. 
DEAR HELEN, Mea culpa ! mea 
culpa ! I deceived you, but I did n't 
mean to. I am the man who advised 
you to go to St. Augustine. But it 
was n't this Augustine that I was talk- 
ing about. I was here nineteen years 
ago. Then it was the quaintest, dream- 
iest, most pathetic old Spanish town. 
The Minorcans spoke Spanish, every- 
body was ruined by the war, nobody 
thought of being enterprising, and the 
pretty Minorcan girls, slim and dark- 
eyed and pensive-looking, were a pleas- 
ant sight for a young fellow. The old 
coquina houses stood all over the town, 
and each house had its garden and kigh 
wall around the orange - trees. The 



192 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



[August, 



plaza market was a market then ; from 
four to six, every morning, you could 
buy the toughest Floridian beef and 
" razor-backs " (Floridian for pig, my 
ignorant friend ; so called because their 
backs are thin and sharp as a razor), and 
as good fish as any man wants to eat. 
Then we came over from Picolata by 
stage. We crawled along for six miles, 
but we always came into town with a 
grand flourish, the four horses on a gal- 
lop and the horn going. We drew up 
opposite the post-office. The post-office 
was worth seeing then, I assure you. 
Formerly, when there was a governor, 
it was the " Governor's Palace," no less. 
There were arches in front, and a no- 
ble, high wall, with great pillars, all 
around the garden, and a row of pride 
of India trees before the wall. 

Well, now, what have they done? 
Spoiled everything. My adorable An- 
glo - Spanish town is trampled under 
the inexorable march of improvement. 
They have built fine villas and pulled 
down the old houses. They have run 
up cheap wooden shops and houses plas- 
tered all over with shingles, like fish 
scales ; all alike, showy, ugly, and scamp- 
ily built. They have kicked the old rel- 
ics out of the way. The proprietor of a 
boarding-house had the old coquina bat- 
tery pulled down because it obstructed 
the view. The " oldest house," where 
the date-palm (so old that no one re- 
members any tradition of its planting) 
grew through the wall, is smartened up 
out of knowledge. The sculptured wall 
of the house, which cost so much thafr 
it ruined the Spanish treasurer, is gone, 
and the picket fence of a hotel has 
taken its place. They have even tried 
'to pull down the city gates for the stone, 
but they did have the grace to stop 
that. They have stuck a big hotel up 
to stare the fort out of countenance, 
and there I am. It is comfortable 
enough ; I have no fault to find with 
the comfort, but I wish the vandals that 
built it were in Matanzas Bay. They 



have half a dozen more hotels, over 
the town, and are building another one 
by the river, which is to be in Span- 
ish style, with tropical courts and foun- 
tains and hanging gardens and the Lord 
knows what not. I hear rumors that 
they are going to try to get an appro- 
priation from Congress, and make Au- 
gustine a port of entry. Like enough. 
They have got two railroads, and they 
are fighting for a canal with the Halifax 
River, so as to bring up tropical fruits 
from South Florida. " We are going 
to have right smart of a town," says the 
New South. They are. But the charm 
of " the ever faithful city " has withered 
under their enterprising hands, and is 
gone forever. 

Why, the Minorcans themselves 
have been scorched by this flaming zeal 
for " improvement." They want to sell 
their places. Nineteen years ago, you 
could n't get a Minorcan to sell the home 
his father gave him, at any price. But 
now they don't even cling to the old 
tongue ; the new generation can't talk 
Spanish. They have n't even spared 
the good old lies. They had to improve 
on them. I hardly recognized the ven- 
erable fiction of the cages found in the 
dungeon, when I read it in the guide 
books. I haven't the heart to go to 
the fort and hear Sergeant McGuire's 
successor hold forth. 

Oh, well, perhaps it is because "I 
have been young, and now I am old ; " 
and more than the old ruins made Au- 
gustine beautiful to me then. To-day, 

" I walk once more a sea-beat shore, 

A stranger, yet at home ; . . 
A land of dreams I roam." 

The prettiest sight to me, in Augus- 
tine, now, is the flock of young people, 
playing tennis in all the colors of the 
rainbow, or riding horseback. Young 
Salisbury is a fine fellow, and I see him 
nearly every day, riding, or walking, or 
sailing with a charmingly pretty young 
girl. I will wager he thinks St. Au- 
gustine delightful. But you and I, my 



1886.] 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



193 



dear friend, ah, there is the differ- 
ence ! Well, you might come and see for 
yourself ; it is easy to get away again. 
Always your devoted friend, 

SAMUEL TURNER. 

IV. 

FROM MRS. CLARMJCE ATTERBURY (WINTER RES- 
IDENT OF ST. AUGUSTINE) TO MRS. RUFUS HILL. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, February 22. 

DEAREST HELEN, Certainly, by 
all means come to Augustine. I am 
sure that you won't regret it. And 
now I am going to answer all your ques- 
tions in the most methodical manner, 
one by one. Climate ? Charming ! 
But there is nothing perfect on earth, 
and our poor Florida climate is no ex- 
ception, though I think it is expected to 
be. We do have rainy days in January, 
not many, but we have them ; and last 
January it froze, but that was unprece- 
dented. Generally, the weather is de- 
lightful, with just enough of a sea breeze 
to blow away every particle of malaria. 
Walks and drives ? They are endless. 
I will show you all the old houses. 
They are volumes of history, tragedy, 
and melodrama bound in brick and mor- 
tar. Our streets are n't yet what we 
hope they will be, but the soil has one 
advantage : you will seldom, if ever, need 
to wear rubbers, and if you get the right 
kind of boots you won't mind the sand. 
There are delightful drives in every di- 
rection, and we have the gentlest horse, 
that will let us loiter along and almost 
see the flowers grow. How beautiful 
they are now, too ! The woods are full 
of yellow jasmine, and hawthorn, and 
wild-plum blossoms; and on the pine 
barrens, the ground is beautiful with in- 
numerable violets, blue and white, and 
dear little chaptalia, like daisies. The 
myrtles and oaks and magnolias keep 
their glossy green, and you won't miss 
the orange-trees, though we do. It was 
pitiful, but we ought to be thankful 
that it was no worse. The trees are 
not harmed, and in a month's time will 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 346. 13 



shake their white blooms in the face of 
the croakers. 

Excursions ? If you are fond of sail- 
ing, they are innumerable ; and I do so 
hope you are, for we have a new yacht, 
really, it is only a sail-boat, but we 
call it a yacht because that sounds 
grander; since our friends are all set- 
ting up yachts, why not we ? 

Hotels ? Good enough for any one j 
but I sha'n't say a word about them, be- 
cause you are coming straight to us. The 
idea of your thinking of a hotel, Helen 
Hill ! It is evident that you don't un- 
derstand the Southern character. 

Prices ? Very reasonable, indeed ; 
especially when you consider the long 
distance everything has to be transport- 
ed. Tourists will have Northern beef 
and Northern butter and Northern gro- 
ceries, and yet they grumble because 
they don't get all these at the very low- 
est Northern prices. But tourists grum- 
ble, anyhow, I think. Apropros of 
grumblers, I paid a visit to Mrs. Maynard, 
as you asked. Now, she is typical. She 
is trying all the hotels, in rotation, with 
malice prepense, just to pick flaws. 
She won't sail, she won't drive, she 
won't walk ; she expects all the fruits of 
the tropic zone and all the flowers to be 
blooming at once, here in Augustine, 
in February. And, of course, she is 
disappointed with the poor ancient city. 
But I don't think you will be. At least 
give us a trial. Clare is well and the 
children and all send love and join with 
me in begging you to come. 

Yours with much love, 

LAURA. 
v. 

FROM DANIEL CARVER LAWRENCE (OF CHICAGO, 
ILL.) TO MRS. RUFUS HILL, ANDOVER, MASS. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, February 22, 1886. 
MY DEAR MRS. HILL, Your favor 
of the 19th is at hand, and in reply I 
would say that, speaking generally, St. 
Augustine seems an interesting old town 
for a week's visit ; after that, I should 
call it pretty slow, a town of no enter- 



194 



Six Visions of St. Augustine. 



[August, 



prise. Particularly, will answer your 
questions as they come. 

I. The climate is fair to middling : 
better than Chicago in March, not so 
pleasant as Chicago in June. It rains 
considerable ; but they say that is splen- 
did for the oranges. It blows most of 
the time ; but they say that is healthy. 
It is very changeable, hot and cold the 
.same day ; but they call that a pleasant 
variety. I take it, they are a set of 
-champion braggers in Florida, and lie as 
easily as they eat. I met a poor Eng- 
lishman, yesterday, one of a colony who 
had swallowed their big stories, and 
come over to South Florida to find per- 
petual sunshine and flowers, and noth- 
ing to do but wink at their orange-trees. 
When they got to their particular bit of 
swamp, they found there was n't any- 
thing perpetual in Florida except alli- 
gators arid swamp fever. The English- 
man was pretty mad over the whole thing. 
I did n't much blame him, though he 
ought to have looked before he leaped. 
Fact of the matter is, the speculators 
have got hold of this State, and are boom- 
ing it for all it is worth. 

II. " Walks and drives and excur- 
sions." Walking is bad in St. Augus- 
tine ; no sidewalks, streets dusty, sandy, 
and to my mind in a disgraceful condi- 
tion. If the inhabitants were n't so 
busy trying to cheat strangers out of 
their last red cent, they might be more 
enterprising. The only decent walking 
place is the sea-wall, and that Uncle 
Sam looks after ; if he did n't, it would 
be just as out of gear as everything else. 
So far as I can see, the Augustines are 
laying back on their oars, waiting to 
sell their marshes and sand lots at fabu- 
lous prices, and thinking all improve- 
ments worse than wasted, meanwhile. 
All the Floridians prefer to spend their 
money advertising in the Northern pa- 
pers and on circulars, what a grand, 
glorious semi-tropical country they have, 
to putting any of it into the land. They 
have been dawdling over a canal for the 



longest while, and will dawdle, I guess, 
until some confiding Northern capitalists 
come down and fix it. Drives are about 
as bad as the walking. Can't say any- 
thing about any excursions except the 
one to Anastasia Island. I am glad I 

O 

went, for it was worth the trouble to see 
the shiftless horse-car railway they have 
there, wooden rails, and the worst- 
looking old Noah's ark of a car you ever 
saw, drawn by a little white pony that 
looked so feeble you wanted to put him 
on the car and push him. The road is 
laid on piles, over the swamp, which is 
chock full of bayonet plants. And there 
is a notice stuck up, warning you that 
walking over that road is charged at the 
same price as riding. So when, for any 
reason, the car does n't run, they get 
their little fifteen cents just the same. 
There 's Florida thrift for you ; they are 
bound to get your money, whether they 
give you anything for it, or not. 

III. " Places of interest." Best of 
them is the fort. They say that cost so 
much that the Spanish king observed 
they must have built it of solid silver 
dollars. Shiftless about it, I guess. 
They say they had Indians and slaves 
and such fellows build it, and that sort 
of labor costs more than it comes to. I 
notice one thing about Florida, reading 
the history. All these colonies sent 
over here got their supplies from home. 
They never rolled up their sleeves and 
got their living out of the soil. Not 
they ; if the ships with supplies did n't 
come, they waltzed back home, or else 
they starved. And they have kept on 
doing that way, ever since. They get 
the bulk of their provisions from the 
North, now, meat, groceries, canned 
vegetables, feed for their stock. Even 
most of the milk comes from the North, 
condensed, in cans, and about all the 
butter. Florida has always been a sort 
of colony. First Spanish, then English, 
now she is Yankee. About all the hotel- 
keepers and half the store-keepers are 
Yankees. 



1886.] 



To the Memory of Helen Hunt Jackson. 



195 



IV. "Hotels." Should n't like to ex- 
press an opinion ; only what is called a 
first-class hotel here, with exalted prices, 
would cut a very small figure up North. 

V. " Prices." They are high. The 
natives make the Yankees pay well for 
the property they buy or rent, and they 
pass the prices on to strangers. 

Lastly, you ask about my opinion of 
the advisability of your coming. I 
should n't presume to advise a lady. I 
don't like St. Augustine, but Mrs. Law- 
rence and Emmie will talk to you by 
the hour about what a charming place it 
is. 1 imagine Emmie likes the sailing 
and the riding horseback, but what the 
Madam finds to admire beats me ; I sup- 
pose, however, she knows her own mind. 
Remember me to Hill. There is first- 
class fishing here. Tell him to bring 
his rod, if he comes. Hoping this long 
letter won't be quite useless to you, I 
am Very truly yours, 

D. C. LAWRENCE. 

VI. 

FROM BASIL SALISBURY (OF BOSTON, MASS.) TO 
MRS. RUFUS HILL, ANDOVER, MASS. 

ST. AUGUSTINE, February 25, 1886. 
DEAR AUNT HELEN, I know it, you 
told me so ; but it makes no difference. 
We are engaged. Please come and give 



us your blessing. St. Augustine is 
charming, now. The climate is perfect ; 
bright, sunny, hardly any wind, and we 
have n't had a real rainy day for an age. 
You will like the walks ; and I want to 
show you my new boat. Then you are 
interested in antiquities, and you can 
gloat over them here in the Ancient 
City. The hotels do very well, all of 
them. Prices are moderate. Don't 
you want me to go up to Jacksonville 
to meet you, if uncle Rufus does n't 
come? You know Emily, so I sha'n't 
need to expatiate on that subject. Come 
and bless us, do. 

Your affectionate nephew, 

BASIL. 

FROM MRS. RUFUS HILL TO JUDGE RUFUS HILL, 
PORTLAND, MAINE. 

ANDOVER, MASS., February 28. 

DEAR RUFUS, You know it was 
you who wanted me to write to all our 
friends in St. Augustine, and get a cate- 
gorical opinion from each. Now will 
you please look over these letters, and 
see if you can make anything definite 
about St. Augustine out of them, for 
1 can't ! But is n't it nice about Basil 
and Emily Lawrence ? 

Your loving wife, 

HELEN. 
Octave Thanet. 



TO THE MEMORY OF HELEN HUNT JACKSON. 



A DEDICATION. 

GREAT heart of many loves ! while earth was thine, 
Thou didst love Nature and her every mood: 
Beneath thine eye the frail flower of the wood 
Uplifted not in vain its fleeting sign, 
And on thy hearth the mast-tree's blaze benign, 
With all its sylvan lore, was understood! 
Seems homely Nature's mother-face less good, 
Spirit down-gazing from the Fields Divine ? 
Oh, let me bring these gathered leaves of mine, 



196 



The Two Browns. 



[August, 



Praising the common earth, the rural year, 
And consecrate them to thy memory dear, 
Thought's pilgrim to thy mortal body's shrine, 
Beneath soft sheddings of the mountain pine 
And trailing mountain heath untouched with sere! 

Edith M. Thomas. 



THE TWO BROWNS. 



BROWN left his chair by the fire 
somewhat impatiently, and dropped his 
newspaper on the rug ; he crossed the 
dining-room to the bay-window, and 
stood with his back to his wife, looking 
out at the weather. Women were such 
persistent geese ! He had a vague idea 
that she might take some notice of the 
disagreeable sleet and wind, and relent a 
little about hinting that he had better 
be at his office. She had already asked 
him to renew her subscription to the 
church newspaper (he would have to 
leave the stage and walk a block and a 
half), and had said that he must look in 
at her brother Bob's counting-room some 
time during the day to ask for his wife's 
health. She had furthermore given him 
two letters to post, and had reminded 
him three times that he must not forget 
them. 

" I believe I will not go to the office 
to-day," Brown announced presently, 
with considerable dignity and even stern- 
ness, as if he would not brook the idea of 
being contradicted in any shape. His 
wife said nothing to this, which was a 
great disappointment ; and after growing 
more and more disturbed for a minute 
or two he turned and offered his expla- 
nations. Mrs. Brown was devoting her- 
self to the baby, while the nursery-maid 
was busy up-stairs in the baby's luxuri- 
ous quarters. Brown was usually nei- 
ther too proud nor too much occupied 
to devote himself to his daughter, also, 



but now he walked stiffly back to the 
big chair by the fire, and took no notice 
of the little hands that were put out to 
him. The baby's mother flushed sud- 
denly with something like anger, very 
unusual in her gentle face. 

" It is such an abominable day," said 
Brown. "I don't feel very energetic. 
There won't be a soul inside the office 
door, unless it 's a book agent. I am 
going to make myself comfortable at 
home, and see something of you and 
yes, you little pink ! " 

He had come so near to neglecting 
the baby that his better nature could 
submit no longer, and he caught the 
smiling child, and went prancing round 
the breakfast table until she shrieked 
with delight, and family harmony was 
restored. Mrs. Brown smiled, too, 
they were a happy household ; but she 
looked serious again directly, and re- 
turned to the charge. 

" Ben, dear," she said, " I don't like 
to have you neglect your profession." 

Brown stopped his capering, and the 
cups and plates gave a final jingle. 
u When you know perfectly well how it 
neglects me ! " he responded solemnly, 
with a twinkling eye. 

Even in the presence of the baby 
Mrs. Brown did not like to have such 
confessions made, and she looked up 
reproachfully. She kept up with great 
care the fiction of her husband's having 
already a fair law practice for a young 
man of his age, and a very promising 
outlook. Brown had no imagination ; 



1886.] 



The Two Browns. 



197 



he made no complaint ; he knew plenty 
of fellows in the same box, and was 
not going to shoulder the whole shame 
of paying rent for a clientless office. 
He had begun to get tired of spend- 
ing his days there altogether, even with 
the resource of taking all the time 
he liked for an elaborate and social 
luncheon. His wife had been growing 
a trifle anxious lately because it was so 
difficult to tempt his appetite at dinner- 
time, and Fales, the wit of the lunch- 
eon club, had said in his affected little 
drawling voice only the day before, 
" Shall have to cut this sort of thing, 
you know ; getting too stout, and always 
hated eating my dinner in the middle 
of the day. Could do it with one client, 
but to-morrow I 'm expecting another." 
Brown suddenly remembered this, and 
smiled, because he had a quick, amusing 
fear lest the bad weather might keep 
Fales's client at home. Then he gave 
a sigh, and gently deposited the baby 
in her mother's lap. " I will go, you 
hard-hearted monsters," he said, kissing 
them both, " but why I ever let myself 
be coaxed into studying law is the puz- 
zle of my life. If I had something to 
do I would work like a beaver. I 've 
got it in me, fast enough, but I hate this 
make-believe business. So would you." 

" I do feel sorry about it ; you know 
I do," answered Lucy, with great ten- 
derness and sympathy. " I should be 
perfectly unhappy. But you have your 
studies, Ben, dear." 

" I begin to hate those old yellow 
books," said Ben. " Now if my father 
had let me study engineering, as I 
wished, I should have been in the mid- 
dle of things by this time." 

" You never would have broken the 
chain ? " asked Lucy, with unfeigned 
anxiety roused by such treason. She 
had been so proud of Brown's being 
the fourth lawyer of his line and of his 
precocious scholarship. He was only 
twenty-eight years and two months old 
at that moment, beside, and it was 



much too soon to lose all hope about his 
future. 

Brown went manfully out into the 
sleet a few minutes later, and his wife 
and the baby watched him from the 
window. He was a handsome, good- 
natured young man, and it was impossi- 
ble not to be proud of him, or to feel 
sorry at his temporary discomfort as he 
slipped and plodded along the encum- 
bered sidewalk. When he had paused 
for a moment at the corner to throw 
a last kiss to the baby and wave his 
hand, old Mr. Grandison, who stood at 
his own window opposite, nodded his 
head in sage approval. " Good fel- 
low," he grumbled, with his chin plunged 
deep in his old-fashioned black silk 
stock. " Comes of a good family and 
is sharp after his business." The damp 
air blew in at the window, and the spec- 
tator of Brown's departure was obliged 
to turn away and seek his fireside again. 
He would have been perfectly thankful 
to change places with the young man, 
and go down town to do a stiff day's 
work, as he used twenty years ago. 

Lucy Brown had turned aside from 
her window, also, and begun an eager 
morning's work. She had been dread- 
fully afraid that Ben would insist upon 
staying at home, and she felt hard- 
hearted in very truth. But when she 
had waked up that morning to find it 
snowing, she had resolved to have the 
books in the library thoroughly cleaned. 
Nobody would come in, and she would 
muster the household force, and of course 
attend to Ben's private desk and papers 
herself. She was still excited by her 
narrow escape from complete disap- 
pointment, but she hoped she had not 
seemed anything but kind and affec- 
tionate in urging her husband that day 
of all others to go to his office. 

Mr. John Benedict Brown had an un- 
eventful journey to his place of busi- 
ness. He liked the bad weather, on the 
whole, he had so few things ordinarily 



198 



The Two Browns. 



[August, 



to match his youthful energy against, 
and he met two or three companions 
in misery, if one had any right to call 
these briefless barristers by such a hard 
name. Each carried his green bag, but 
Brown's friend Fales unconsciously held 
his in such a way that the shape of a 
box of cigars was displayed unmistak- 
ably as its only contents. Fales's office 
was farther down the street, and Brown 
remembered his promise about the sub- 
scription just in time not to pass the 
office of the paper. He would have 
sent a note to the publisher, to do his 
errancl, but Lucy was very strenuous 
upon his settling the matter in person. 
Sho had paid for a year in advance, 
and the bill had been rendered again. 
She was most dependent upon this par- 
ticular publication, and seemed absurdly 
anxious to stand well in the publisher's 
estimation. There was only one other 
man in the office beside the clerk, when 
Brown entered. This other man stood 
with his back to the door, looking over 
a file of newspapers, and until the small 
matter was settled, in a general and im- 
personal fashion that would have wound- 
ed Mrs. Brown, he gave no sign of con- 
sciousness of Brown's presence. 

Then he laid down the newspapers 
and approached our friend. " Snooks, 
old boy, how are you ? " he inquired 
affectionately, and a little timidly too, as 
if not quite certain of his reception. 

The very name of Snooks was suf- 
ficient: it had been Brown's nickname 
at the school where he had fitted for col- 
lege. Anybody who called him Snooks 
had a right to favor after the space of 
at least a dozen years since those happy 
days when he had heard it often. This 
schoolmate had not followed the class to 
college, but he had been a good crony in 
his day, and a lad of some cleverness 
and an erratic habit of mind. Only a few 
days before, Fales, who had also been 
at the school, had asked our hero what 
had become of Checkley. Old Shekels 
they used to call him, for the inconse- 



quent reason that he never had two cents 
in his pocket. He was kept at his studies 
by some kind and charitable friend, who 
forgot to an aggravating extent to sup- 
ply the minor comforts of life. Check- 
ley had developed an amazing gift for 
maintaining himself by an ingenious 
system of barter, like those savages who 
have not got so far in civilization as any 
sort of exchequer or strictly financial 
arrangements. 

The old brotherliness of the past 
quickly filled Brown's heart. Checkley 
looked hungry, as usual, but he would 
take him to the office and make him a 
welcome companion that dull morning, 
and by and by they would have a bit of 
luncheon together. After all, the day 
promised well ; he had feared a very 
special lack of entertainment. 

" Come round to my office," said 
Brown, warmly. " I 've nothing in the 
world to do this morning. Tell me 
what you have been about all this time. 
I '11 send for Fales presently ; he was 
asking for you a day or two ago. We 're 
both in the law ; lots of time to call our 
own, too," he added, with a cheerful 
honesty which his wife would have in- 
wardly lamented and tried to explain. 

Checkley was out that day protected 
by a melancholy fall overcoat and no 
umbrella, but he took Brown's umbrella, 
and carried it over both their heads with 
careful impartiality, as if it were his 
own. He looked as if he were grow- 
ing old, which seemed premature in a 
man of thirty. Brown could not help a 
suspicion that Checkley had made him- 
self up for some secret purpose. He 
always used to say that he meant to 
be a detective, and had been considered 
immensely clever in some boyish plays 
and pantomimes. However, another 
stolen glance made Brown feel certain 
that this appearance was Checkley as 
Himself, An Unsuccessful Man, and that 
the gray hairs which sprinkled his thin, 
straight, brownish hair were quite genu- 
ine. The thinness and lankness of his 



1886.] 



The Two Browns. 



199 



boyhood had never fulfilled their prom- 
ise of a robust frame, but appeared to 
have suffered from exposure and neglect, 
like an unfinished building which has 
had time to let its timbers get rain- 
blackened and look poor. 

But the same spirit and shrewd de- 
termination twinkled from Checkley's 
eyes, and he kept step manfully with 
his well-clothed and well-fed acquaint- 
ance. This was a most fortunate meet- 
ing. Nothing had ever played better 
into his hands. Snooks Brown was al- 
ways a good fellow, and luck was sure 
to turn. 

" You are n't in the Parishioner's 
War-Cry office as a permanent thing, I 
imagine ? " asked Brown, with friendly 
desire to keep up the conversation, just 
as they stepped into the elevator. " Odd 
that we should have happened to find 
each other there. I never was inside 
that place before." 

" No," said Checkley. " Truth is, it 
looked quiet and secluded, and I put 
into harbor there to dry off a little and 
get my wits together. Temporary asy- 
lum. I was paying that clerk the com- 
pliment of looking over his newspapers, 
but I think he was just beginning to 
suspect that I held them upside down. 
I had a kind of revenge on him when 
you came in. It looked as if we had an 
appointment, you know, and you were 
always so thundering respectable." 

Brown laughed with unaffected pleas- 
ure. He was not so far from boyhood 
as a stranger might imagine. There 
was something delightful about Check- 
ley's turning up that wet February 
morning, and telling the most mortify- 
ing facts about himself with honest sin- 
cerity. He took the wet, thin overcoat 
and put it away with his own, and would 
have insisted upon his guest's occupying 
the best chair in the office, if he had not 
promptly taken it without any invita- 
tion. There was an open wood fire, 
and Checkley stretched out a pair of 
very shabby shoes to dry with an air of 



comfort and satisfaction. He was a 
schemer, a dreamer, a curious plotter of 
insignificant things, but he never had 
been a toady or a beggar, and there was 
a golden thread of good humor and un- 
selfishness through his unprofitable char- 
acter. 

Brown had taken up a not very pon- 
derous mail that lay on his desk, two 
or three bills, as many circulars, and an 
invitation to make further subscription 
to the Art Club. He gravely looked 
these over, and put them in an orderly 
heap at the further edge of the blotter. 
Old Shekels's shoes were beginning to 
steam at the toes, and his host noticed 
that they looked about the size of his 
own shoes. At any rate, there was an 
extra pair of arctics in the office closet 
that could be offered before they went 
out to luncheon. Brown felt a glow of 
kind-heartedness spread itself over him, 
as he resolved to dress Checkley in com- 
fortable fashion before they parted again. 
" You look just as you did when we 
used to stay up after hours, and sit be- 
fore the fire and tell stories," he said, 
jovially, to his guest. " I dare say you 
could spin as good a midnight yarn as 
ever." 

" You rich fellows see the world from 
a different angle," responded Checkley, 
who grew more luxurious every mo- 
ment. " Now it really makes no differ- 
ence how long you have to wait for 
practice ; it 's sure to come, if only when 
you begin to settle up the family estates. 
There are half a dozen good round ones ; 
and they never would like to choose 
any one else, all those good old aunties 
of yours. If you had been out of school 
when your father died, you would have 
gone on with at least a third of his 
business, and that was enough for you 
to handle. It is only a question of time, 
and you 're rich any way. I don't like 
to see all your first-rate abilities rusting 
out, nevertheless. I always said there 
was more good stuff in you than in any 
of the fellows, more hold on and push 



200 



The Two Browns. 



[August, 



too, if you had anything to push, and 
got your energy well roused. I should 
just like to see you in a Western rail- 
road office, making things spin. Now 
a poor dog like me, thrown out neck 
and heels into the water to get to land 
as best I can by myself, why, it 's a 
good thing to meet a floating plank to 
rest a paw on now and then ; " and he 
turned to look Brown full in the eyes 
with a plaintive, doglike appeal, as if he 
unconsciously identified himself with his 
figure of speech. 

" What have you been doing, old boy? 
Can't I lend you a hand, somehow ? " 
asked the sympathetic host. He began 
to feel that the minus Shekels was driv- 
ing at something definite, and he did not 
believe that he should make a fool of 
himself ; but this was the first time that 
one of his boyhood friends had turned 
up, looking as if the world had used 
him badly. There ought to be some- 
thing done about it. 

" Look here," said Checkley, with an 
air of secrecy, and he held out a sheaf 
of papers, which were produced from his 
breast-pocket as if the hand knew its 
way to them. " I dare say," the owner 
remarked proudly, " that you would n't 
believe that there is an enormous for- 
tune in that small space ? " 

Brown tried to look interested, but 
his doubtfulness showed through. 

" It is the surest thing alive," con- 
tinued Checkley. " Have you got ten 
thousand dollars you could put your 
hand on ? " 

The listener nodded slowly ; to tell 
the truth, he had a little more than that 
lying idle in the bank, because he really 
did not know how to reinvest it. The 
bulk of his property was in the hands 
of trustees to whom his father had con- 
signed it, but this was some money that 
had been left him by an old relative, 
long ago, in his own right. He had a 
vague idea of putting it into a country 
place some day or other. He had a sen- 
timent about keeping it by itself, and 



he wanted a nice old-fashioned farm by 
and by. For the present he and his 
wife spent their summers with Lucy's 
mother, who would else have been alone 
in her great house at Newport. He 
could say neither yes nor no to such a 
question, or rather such a questioner, as 
this ; yet a curiosity took possession of 
him to hear more, and Checkley saw 
his advantage. 

" Now, my boy," he said, pulling his 
big chair close to Brown's side at the 
desk, "I helped work this out, and I 
twisted things round so that I have the 
right in my own hands. I simply have 
n't a cent, and I don't know where I 
can get it, unless you give it to me, to 
carry out the thing one step more. I 
need capital," he ended, persuasively, 
and gave another doglike look at Brown. 

The situation was growing common- 
place. Brown felt for the first time a 
little bored, and began to wonder how 
he should get out of it. He also no- 
ticed that Old Shekels had singed those 
confounded old shoes of his. It was be- 
coming doubtful if the arctic overshoes 
and the luncheon even would be consid- 
ered a handsome conclusion to their re- 
newed acquaintance. 

" Now look here," said Shekels, with 
a cheerful smile. " You are thinking 
how you can ever get rid of me, and 
that you have heard this sort of story 
before. I '11 tell you the rest of it in 
fifteen minutes, and then you can say 
that your business claims your time, 
and I '11 disappear like the juggler's rab- 
bit in the hat." 

" In the shoes," Brown mentally cor- 
rected him, and tried to look resigned, 
and even pleased ; but he played impa- 
tiently with his paper-knife. He felt 
provokingly young and helpless in. 
Checkley's hands. 

Brown's legal ancestry and the tradi- 
tions of his education had not prevented 
the love of his profession from being 
largely an acquired taste. He was equal 
to being a good lawyer by and by, but 



1886.] 



The Two Browns. 



201 



his head was naturally fitted for affairs ; 
and if there was one thing that he un- 
derstood more easily than another, it 
was mechanical intricacies. Checkley 
did not use his whole fifteen minutes in 
making sure of this ally. 

" I do see it. Do you take me for 
a blind man ? " exclaimed the listener, 
springing to his feet, and marching across 
to the window, where he stood with his 
back to Checkley, just as he had looked 
out at the storm once before that day. 
" It is a great temptation, but I can't 
throw up my law prospects. My career 
is cut out for me already. But I '11 give 
you a lift, Old Shekels, hang me if I 
don't ! " 

Checkley grew calm as his friend be- 
came excited. " Nonsense," said he. " I 
don't want much of your time ; it 's your 
money I 'in after. You can keep your 
law business going, all the better for 
you. We are likely to have suits, but 
nobody can touch us. I don't ask you 
to decide now. Think it over, and think 
me over. I 've no security to give you 
but my plan itself." 

" Do you smoke ? " said Brown am- 
icably, and Checkley answered that he 
did. 

As the story of this day cannot be 
suffered to grow any longer, the read- 
er must be content to know that these 
former schoolmates passed a most agree- 
able morning, that they had a capital 
luncheon together, early, lest Check- 
ley might not have breakfasted well, 
and that Checkley accepted the overshoes 
and all other favors with generous lack 
of protest or false shame. 



II. 



A year from the time when he met his 
old playfellow, Brown was inclined to 
repent his whole indulgence in affection- 
ate civilities to a roving schemer. He 
assured himself that it had been an ex- 
pensive lesson, but one that he probably 



needed. A year later Brown was tri- 
umphant, and began to flatter himself 
that he knew a man and likewise a prom- 
ising enterprise when he saw them. He 
was doing very well in his law business. 
The family reputation for clearness of 
legal vision and successful pleading was 
gaining new laurels, and young J. Bene- 
dict Brown was everywhere spoken of as 
the most promising man of his age at the 
New York bar. Detractors hinted that 
there were dozens of brighter men, but 
that nobody could help picking up some 
crumbs of business with such a father 
and grandfathers behind him. Mrs. 
Brown led the company of her husband's 
admirers, and already indulged in dreams 
of his appearance in the gloomy but 
noble garb of a chief justice. He was 
very busy in these days ; long ago he 
had been obliged to take his breakfast 
at eight o'clock instead of half past nine, 
and he was rarely at home until after 
six o'clock at night, while it was not un- 
common that their seven-o'clock dinner 
was considerably delayed. Lucy watched 
him with increasing anxiety, for fear 
that he would break himself down with 
overwork, but he never had seemed in 
such good health and spirits. The year 
before he had been so gloomy arid de- 
spondent for a few weeks that she was 
always fearing a return, but at present 
there was no sign of any. To outward 
view the Benedict Browns were the 
most prosperous young people in the 
city. Fortune, position, everything that 
the social heart desired, seemed to be 
heaped upon them. A few croaking 
voices had begun to figure Brown's prob- 
able expenses, and to insinuate that he 
must be living a good way beyond his 
income. Brown did not look like a 
debtor, however; he had an older and 
more determined appearance, as if he 
had weighty affairs on his mind and a 
high principle of conduct in regard to 
them. 

One morning early in March the hero 
of this tale hurried away from his break- 



202 



The Two Browns. 



[August, 



fast table, with a quick kiss on the top 
of his three-year-old daughter's curly 
warm little head. They had been break- 
fasting alone together in a delightfully 
social way, and before Brown put on 
his overcoat he ran up-stairs, two steps 
at a time, to give another kiss to his 
wife and a young son some three weeks 
of age. Mrs. Brown already spoke of 
the unconscious morsel of humanity with 
proud respect as Benedict, but Brown 
himself was provokingly fond of calling 
him Johnny. He appeared to have a 
secret satisfaction and deep sense of pride 
and amusement in denying his son the 
family name. Who knew whether this 
might not be the most illustrious of all 
the five Benedict Browns ? At present 
he was a very important and welcome 
person indeed in his own family. 

"I am in an uncommon hurry this 
morning," said the father, turning back 
for one word more as he went out. " I 
have a business meeting to go to at 
nine." 

Lucy was one of those delightful wo- 
men who rarely demand particular ex- 
planations and are contented with gen- 
eral assurances, and she kindly advised 
Brown not to get too tired, and to be 
sure to come home by half past five if 
he could ; she missed him so much more 
now that she was not busy herself and 
had to spend the whole day up-stairs. 
She had a vague desire to know about 
her husband's business, it seemed to 
interest him so much ; but she did not 
like to expose her total ignorance of 
affairs, and had a theory, beside, that it 
was better for Ben to shake off his 
cares when he was at home. 

As Ben went down-stairs again, he 
was attacked by a sense of guilt more 
uncomfortable than usual, and said to 
himself that he must really tell Lucy 
all about the Planter Company. There 
was no fear of any catastrophe, it was 
far beyond the realm of experiments, 
and she was sure to hear of it from 
somebody else, and to feel hurt at his 



silence. The wonder was that he had 
hidden his head in the sand of his first 
name so long. 

The office of J. Benedict Brown, 
counselor at law, was unvisited, except 
by its faithful clerk and copyist, until 
some three hours later in the day. When 
the young lawyer reached a certain point 
on Broadway, he turned quickly to the 
right and went down a side street, as 
if he were well accustomed to such a 
course, and knew the shortest cut toward 
a dingy brick building which bore a 
clamorous sort of sign, " The Farmer's 
Right-Hand Man: The Electrical Au- 
tomatic Potato Planter. Brown and 
Checkley, Manufacturers." The door- 
way was blockaded with large packing- 
cases, and early as it still was for the 
business world there were several men 
in the counting-room, toward which 
Brown went at once. The workmen 
near by gave our friend a cheerful morn- 
ing greeting, and Mr. Checkley, who sat 
behind his desk, rose soberly, and pre- 
sented the new-comer to the counting- 
room audience as " Our head of the firm, 
gentlemen, Mr. John B. Brown ; and 
now we will proceed to business at once." 
Brown established himself at another 
desk, well stocked with papers, and be- 
gan to hunt for something in a lower 
drawer, the key of which he had taken 
from his own pocket. This was evi- 
dently not an occasional thing, this busi- 
ness interview; he took on even to the 
most indifferent observer's eye an air 
of relationship to the place. 

" The only thing that seems to be 
imperative this morning, Mr. Brown," 
said Checkley placidly, in a voice direct- 
ed to the other listeners, " is a decision 
on our part in regard to the increase 
of our circular, almanac, and agent de- 
partments. We came to no conclusion 
yesterday. You have the figures before 
you on that sheet of blue paper. I 
think the least increase that we can 
manage is to quadruple the number of 



1886.] 



The Two Browns. 



203 



circulars and almanacs over that of last 
year." 

Checkley was in the habit of trying 
to give casual strangers as large an 
idea as possible of the magnitude of the 
Planter Company's business, so Brown 
listened respectfully, and waited for 
further information. 

" These gentlemen," continued Mr. 
Checkley, " are ready with an offer to 
make an extensive additional contract 
for the wood-work of the machines, and 
we will listen to them. In our liability 
to meet extraordinary orders at short 
notice, we are of course obliged to de- 
fend ourselves against any possible in- 
ability of theirs to furnish supplies. 
We find that the business grows with 
such rapidity that it is most difficult to 
make provision against surprise. You 
can easily understand " (addressing the 
small audience) " that an article like 
ours is valuable to every man who cul- 
tivates over three acres of land. In- 
dispensable, I may say, since it saves 
the hiring of labor, saves time, and saves 
strength. Such an article is one no 
farmer will be without when he once 
sees it work." 

Checkley was unusually fluent of 
speech this morning, and the interview 
went on prosperously. Somehow, the 
familiar place and familiar arguments 
struck Brown with a fresh vividness and 
air of reality. His thoughts wandered 
away to his law business for a few min- 
utes, and then he found himself again 
listening to another account of the elec- 
trical automatic potato planter which 
Checkley was giving to a new-comer, a 
Western man, who was evidently a large 
dealer in agricultural supplies. There 
was a row of clerks behind a screen, and 
their pens were scratching diligently. 
Brown could see the high stacks of al- 
manacs through the dusty glass walls 
that fenced the counting-room, bright 
red almanacs, which combined a good 
selection of family reading with meteor- 
ological statistics and the praises of the 



potato planter judiciously arranged on 
every page. It looked as if there were 
almanacs enough already for every man, 
woman, and child in America, but 
Checkley knew what he was about. 
Brown had thought that almanacs were 
a step too low ; he was conscious of a 
shameful wish now and then that he 
had embarked on any sort of business 
rather than a patent potato planter. 
The pride of the J. Benedict Browns, 
judges and famous pleaders at the bar, 
had revolted more than once in the be- 
ginning against such a sordid enterprise. 
But as for John B. Brown, the enter- 
prising manufacturer and distributer of 
an article that no farmer could do with- 
out felt an increasing pride in his suc- 
cess. He had merely made use of a 
little capital that was lying idle, and his 
own superfluous and unemployed energy. 
He believed that his legal affairs had 
been helped rather than hindered by 
this side issue of his, and he and Check- 
ley had fought some amazing fights with 
the world in the course of their short 
but successful alliance. Brown lazily 
opened a directory near at hand, and 
looked among the B's. It was a new 
copy, and he nearly laughed aloud at 
the discovery that he figured twice on 
the page : Brown, J. Benedict, lawyer, 
Broadway ; h. 38th St., and Brown, 
John B., B. & Checkley, machinists, 9th 
Ave ; h. Jersey City. Here was a gen- 
eral masquerade ! Checkley lived in 
Jersey City, and one of the clerks must 
have given wrong information, or else 
the directory agent had confused what 
was told him. Nobody knew where he 
lived, very likely. They called him 
The Boss, in the establishment, because 
he dressed well and had a less brotherly 
and companionable manner than Check- 
ley. It was surprising, the way a man 
could hide himself in such a huge city 
as this. Yes, he must certainly tell 
Lucy that very night. They would 
have a capital laugh over it, and he 
could tease her about making Johnny a 



204 



The Two Browns. 



[August, 



partner instead of the fifth at the bar. 
Lucy was very fond -of a joke, and she 
had no idea how rich they were going 
to be if affairs went on at this pace. 
Brown had felt very dishonest for a long 
time whenever he saw their advertise- 
ments in the papers, and had been near- 
ly ready to confess and be forgiven once 
the summer before, when he and Lucy 
took a little journey together up the 
Connecticut River, and Lucy had writhed 
in contemptuous agony over Checkley's 
desecration of natural scenery. " Use 
Brown and Checkley's Electrical Auto- 
matic Potato Planter, and Save Ten 
Years of Life," was displayed on rocks 
and fences everywhere. Checkley him- 
self had used his short summer holiday 
in leading a gang of letterers into the 
rural districts, and this was the result. 
Could a man of ordinary courage con- 
fess at such a moment that the name of 
Brown was in reality her own property, 
and that she was unconsciously respon- 
sible for such vandalism ? 

Checkley was rushing things this 
morning ; he eagerly assured his guest 
that they had made the planter pay her 
own bills after the first six months, and 
had advertised only as fast as they gained 
the means. It was the first application 
of electricity to farming. " Brown and 
I had little capital to start with, but we 
knew we had hold of a sure thing. I 
am not sure that there is anything that 
corresponds to it in the world of in- 
ventions," Checkley continued proudly. 
"I have been an inventor all my life. 
Here you have a light-wheeled vehicle 
that one horse can drag all day and an in- 
telligent child can control. You only need 
to plough and harrow and manure your 
ground : then the planter is driven to 
and fro ; it stops itself at proper dis- 
tances, a revolving harrow loosens the 
ground within a space twelve inches in 
diameter, this harrow is drawn up, the 
shovel throws the earth out at one side, 
the hopper lets fall sufficient seed, a sec- 
ond shovel arrangement covers it in, and 



a weight falls twice and banks it down, 
the horse steps on between the -furrows. 
My dear sir, in the time I have consumed 
in telling you, four hills of potatoes are 
planted as well as if you had done each 
one separately with your own hoe ; the . 
average time is only three fifths of a 
minute. A horse soon learns the trick, 
for the brake is self-acting and stops 
him in the proper place. The only 
thing that troubled us in the beginning 
was the complaint of patrons that the 
horses gave trouble, and the hills went 
zigzagging all over the field. This new 
improvement makes a field as regular as 
a checker-board. With the brake that 
stops the planter instantly, the horse 
learns to anticipate, and makes his four 
steps forward and stops of his own ac- 
cord. It is less fatiguing for the horse 
than a plough or harrow, and a treadmill 
is barbarous beside it. Then think of 
the heat of planting time and the waste 
of human energy ! We are now per- 
fecting a re-hoer and digger, but our 
present enterprise is more than we can 
handle with ease. You have, 110 doubt, 
read our testimonials. Hear this : a 
ten-acre field planted in half a day, with 
some help from a neighbor, read for 
yourself, sir! 

" You need to be very careful of the 
gauges and setting your brakes proper- 
ly," Checkley confided honestly. " Elec- 
tricity is a terrible force ; there has been 
one bad accident through such careless- 
ness. The shovel arrangement was not 
set as it should be, and the machine went 
on digging straight down, and would have 
carried the horse with it, if the harness 
had n't been so old that he freed him- 
self, and scrambled out of the pit. My 
dear sir, this will show you the power of 
that machine : it went down forty feet, 
right through gravel, rotten rock, and 
everything, until it struck a solid ledge, 
and that checked it at last. The whole 
neighborhood collected, and they got 
alarmed, thought she might be boring 
for a volcano or something ; and they 



1886.] 



The Two Browns. 



205 



rolled a big bowlder out of a pasture 
near by, and let it drop right down on 
the planter ; but that only damaged the 
wood-work and partly disabled the run- 
ning-work, for she kept tossing up splin- 
ters for a day or two. The man had n't 
a word to say, for it was a springy field, 
and the planter had struck water some- 
where and made him a first-rate well. 
He had been intending to dig one there- 
abouts for a good while." 

" I want to know ! " exclaimed the 
wide-eyed listener. Brown heard this 
flow of Checkley's eloquence, and was 
amused at the response. It seemed 
that the listener, a worthy, well-to-do 
Connecticut farmer, had an idea of in- 
troducing the automatic potato planter 
to his neighborhood, and was trying to 
obtain one on trial at reduced price, with 
a promise of wide influence in its behalf 
and cordial recommendation. Checkley 
believed in favoring the farmers, and the 
affair was presently concluded. Brown 
was amazed to hear his companion say 
that he, Brown, had been thinking that 
he should like to pay a visit to that 
neighborhood at county-fair time, and 
speak to the folks on agricultural topics. 
Checkley liked his jokes, and Brown 
smiled, but he turned a little cold, and 
wondered if they were not going a 
trifle too fast. There might not be 
enough of him for two Browns, at this 
rate ! But it was something to find him- 
self a busy, prosperous man instead of 
an idle, overgrown boy, and among the 
new firms of its class none stood better 
than Brown and Checkley. 

There was little time left for serious 
business conference, but Checkley had 
great executive ability, and so had Mr. 
John B. Brown, of Jersey City, for that 
matter. Checkley was thin yet and not 
very well dressed, but he had a buoyant, 
confident air. " How well he knows 
human nature, and what a good fellow 
he is ! " thought Brown as they parted. 
" Snooks is more of a man than the 
dandy I met in that newspaper office," 



reflected Checkley. " I never have lost 
a cent for him, either, but hang me if we 
have n't had some narrow escapes. I 
got him in pretty deep once, when he 
had the worst doubts of me he ever had. 
Snooks looked solemn, but he never 
flung at me, or did anything but shoul- 
der half the blame and the worry, like 
a man." 

In the neighborhood of the company's 
office Brown met several business ac- 
quaintances, who gave him a friendly 
good - morning. He had gathered a 
whole new circle of associates, in his 
character of senior partner of Brown 
and Checkley. He had indulged in bad 
lunches with these friends, and already 
figured largely in the agricultural-im- 
plement world ; he would have been 
deeply gratified if he had heard some- 
body say, as he went by, " That 's 
Brown, of the Planter Company. Those 
fellows are sweeping everything before 
them this spring. They 've got hold of 
as big a thing as the McCorinick reaper." 

It was ten or fifteen minutes' walk 
between the two offices, and when J. 
Benedict Brown, Esq., seated himself at 
his desk he was still thinking about his 
other business, which he usually insist- 
ed upon putting out of his mind. He 
never had looked at it so entirely from 
the outside. He was at heart a most 
conservative person. He was more fet- 
tered than he knew by his family pride 
and traditions, and he had become per- 
suaded of his ability to follow the law 
in a way that he never used to expect. 
He felt it in him to make his influence 
recognized at the bar, and to handle 
heavy pieces of business. Now that 
Checkley was so well established he 
could slip out, and hold only a silent 
partnership, if he pleased. Yet an op- 
posing judgment in his own mind at the 
moment prevented him from cordially 
accepting such an idea. There were 
some things, and he knew it, that Check- 
ley could not have planned nor have 
carried without him, and the concern 



206 



The Two Browns. 



[August, 



might easily fall to pieces even now. 
There was his own boy, however, who 
must inherit as fair a name from him as 
he had from his father. There had 
never yet been a dishonored man of his 
name. Checkley had counted upon the 
value of the family reputation at first ; 
he insisted that they were throwing 
away a great advantage by not adding the 
prefix of J. Benedict to the plain Brown 
and Checkley. J. Benedict Brown was 
a name of historical renown. Check- 
ley did not begin to understand yet that 
John B. Brown was as utterly unknown 
to the friends of the J. Benedict Browns 
as if he and his potato planter had never 
existed. He simply knew that Snooks 
was old-maidishly eager to keep his two 
occupations apart, and that only from 
half past eight to ten and from three 
o'clock until dinner-time he was the 
steady shaft-horse of Brown and Check- 
ley. 

Brown sat in the Broadway office, 
busy at his work, having finished his re- 
flections without coming to any new de- 
cisions. He was working up a law case 
that he took great pride in. All his in- 
herited cleverness and a new love for 
such a puzzle delighted him ; he never 
had felt a keener sense of his own 
power, and the planter was utterly for- 
gotten. 

Some one entered the office, and gave 
a chair one aggressive pull across the 
polished wood floor. It sounded as if 
the caster had left a damaging scratch, 
and Brown looked round with not a lit- 
tle annoyance. He felt a strange sus- 
picion that one of his Planter Company 
associates had at last hunted him down. 
There was an inner room for purposes 
of private consultation, and Brown sig- 
nified, after a proper interval, that the 
stranger might go there. It was a dark- 
ish place, where he had once tried to 
have his own desk ; but it was much 
too gloomy, especially in the days when 
there was nothing to do. Except when 
he was at court, or at his other busi- 



ness, he was very faithful to his post, 
and the stranger need not have been so 
unreasonably glad to find him at his 
office. 

" I see that you 're your father's own 
son," the client began, in an asthmatic 
voice. He looked like a cross old fel- 
low, and Brown had an instant sense of 
relief because the first words had not 
been suggestive of the other place of 
business. "I knew your father and 
grandfather before you," said Mr. Gran- 
dison, " and I 've been out of lawyers' 
hands these thirty years, more or less ; 
but I 've got some fight left, and when 
I got my blood up yesterday about some 
infringements, I thought over whom I 
could trust to defend me, and I decided 
that I would come round and look vou 
over, to see if I could trust you with 
such a piece of work. I don't know 
whether you 're not too young now, but 
it '11 be a feather for you if you can 
handle it. I 'm ready to pay what the 
work 's worth, I '11 tell you that to 
begin with." 

The word " infringements " had an 
unpleasant sound, but Brown waited pa- 
tiently. He had some knowledge of 
this man, for whom his father had 
gained a famous case. Grandison was 
an inventor. On the whole, he could 
recall the case perfectly ; he had tried 
to make himself familiar with it, for fu- 
ture use ; but there was no possibility 
of those questions being reopened. 

" My factories go on like clock-work, 
and have these twenty years," said the 
old man. Brown began to feel a per- 
sonal dislike. " I thought I had dis- 
posed of all opponents and rivals long 
ago. Jenks and Rowley are our reg- 
ular lawyers, but now they 're getting 
old, and they don't own me, any way. 
You see there are a couple of jackasses, 
over on Ninth Avenue, who have start- 
ed up an electrical potato planter. 
a capital good thing it is, too, that 
runs so close to that cog-wheel arrange- 
ment in the steam harrow we make that 



1886.] 



The Two Browns. 



207 



I J m going to stop them short, if I can ; 
or, if I can't do that, I '11 buy 'em out, 
if it costs a million to do it. You can't 
afford to let such a business as mine 
scatter itself, and I mean to hold it to- 
gether as long as I am here to do it." 

Brown felt a dampness gather on his 
forehead; then his manhood arose tri- 
umphant, and his courage declared itself 
equal to this emergency. He was not 
caught stealing, neither had he done 
anything dishonorable. There was no 
real incongruity in a Benedict Brown's 
being interested in a potato planter ; it 
had all been a fair, above-board busi- 
ness. He was ready to stand up for it. 

"I've been living in Thirty-Eighth 
Street," said the client, " and I have 
often watched you come and go. I like 
to see a lad diligent and right after his 
business, as you are, and ready to go 
down town an hour or two earlier in 
the morning than the fashion is. I 've 
had my eye on you for a year or two. 
I started in life a poor boy, and never 
had the backing up that was ready for 
you ; but I keep the run of my affairs, 
I can tell you. I don't get down town 
every day, by any means, but a thing 
like this that I want to consult you 
about fires me all up." 

" Will you give me an idea of the 
case, Mr. Grandison ? " asked Brown 
politely. He was afraid he might be 
taking an unfair advantage, but the 
words were out, and the old manufac- 
turer, with much detail, laid the griev- 
ance before him. 

" They 're smart young men," he end- 
ed. "I don't know their match. I 
hear they had a small capital, and laid 
it out mostly in advertising. One of 
them got hold of a half - worked - out 
notion and completed it, and bought out 
the owner's right ; and there was a small 
manufactory over in Jersey that had 
been swamped, and they got that for a 
song, too ; and the minute the machine 
was on the market it went like wild-fire. 
In spite of constant extensions, they 



have been able to meet their obligations 
right along. I don't want to harm 'em 
if they '11 treat me fairly. I '11 give 'em 
a handsome sum down to sell out quiet- 
ly, or I '11 fight 'em all to pieces." 

" Perhaps they can stand a fight, and 
can prove that their machine is no in- 
fringement on anybody's," suggested the 
lawyer, with a good deal of spirit. 

Mr. Grandison gave him a shrewd 
glance. " This Brown is no relation to 
you, I hope ? " he said, doubtfully ; but 
Brown flushed quickly, and made a lit- 
tle joke about the name's not being at 
all uncommon. The client thought he 
was not pleased at being associated with 
a firm of machinists, and was sorry he 
had spoken. The boy felt older than 
he looked, no doubt. 

When the interview was ended, Brown, 
who had been very inexpressive of his 
opinions all the way through, assured his 
visitor that there were some reasons 
why he would not give any answer then 
about undertaking the case, and would 
ask his leave to defer a direct reply un- 
til the next day. " I shall be very glad 
to stop as I go up town in the after- 
noon," said our friend. The elder man 
thanked him, and said he should count 
it a great favor, if the weather were no 
better than at present, and went limp- 
ing away. Poor old soul ! it was late 
for him to be taking pleasure in quarrels 
with his fellow-men. 

Checkley was going over to the works 
that afternoon, arid there was no hope 
of seeing him until the next morning, so 
Brown gave all his mind that he possi- 
bly could to being J. Benedict, the rising 
lawyer. He had some perplexing busi- 
ness upon which he tried hard to fix his 
attention, but the affairs of John B. 
Brown and the potato planter kept ris- 
ing before him in an uneasy, ghostlike 
way that was most disagreeable. He 
had put more of his thoughts into those 
side interests than he had been aware. 
The two years had gone by like a 
dream, but they had left a good many 



208 



The Two Browns. 



[August, 



permanent evidences of their presence. 
There was one of the teamsters, who 
had broken his leg early in the winter, 
and whom Brown had visited in the hos- 
pital, besides looking after the patient's 
family. He had built up his own busi- 
ness reputation, and had grown ambi- 
tious about the success of the firm. He 
had determined at first to say nothing, 
even to his wife, until he knew whether 
he had made a fool of himself or not, 
but he was perfectly aware now that he 
had not made a fool of himself. He 
was evolving plans for giving all their 
workmen some share in the business, 
and was increasingly glad that he had a 
chance to work out some experiments in 
the puzzling social questions of the day. 
He was ready now to be something of 
a statesman. He was willing to be- 
lieve that he had got hold of the right 
thread of the snarled skein that linked 
labor with capital. His wife knew that 
he had some business interests apart 
from his law reports and his practice, 
and none of his friends would be sur- 
prised that he had been speculating a 
little. Fales would have got at the 
whole story, and told it, too ; but he had 
gone abroad months before, and relin- 
quished his profession altogether, for 
the time being. Perhaps the time had 
come to choose between the two Browns ; 
it would be hard to play both charac- 
ters, if the cares of either should double, 
for instance, and he was, perhaps, fated 
to be J. Benedict, after all. This was a 
melancholy thought, and the old wish 
returned that his other enterprise had 
concerned anything but an automatic 
potato planter. It might give him a 
nickname, and he never would be able 
to live the silly story down. Checkley 
was sure to project something new, and 
yet he was truly proud of the firm of 
Brown and Checkley, and would not 
see it cheated. 

Next day, Checkley happened to be 
alone in the office, and his partner beck- 
oned him out into an empty corner of 



their place of business, where they were 
well removed from the clerks and their 
scratching pens. Checkley laughed and 
shouted, and was at first unable to give 
any answer. "Wants you to bring a 
suit of infringement against yourself, 
does he ? " he gasped at length. " Go 
ahead, my boy ; nobody '11 know the dif- 
ference. It will advertise us enormous- 
ly. I have told you a dozen times that 
nothing would do us so much good as a 
rousing lawsuit. Now don't put on your 
best J. Benedict manners, but listen to 
me. I 'm not going to work myself to 
death. We have laid by something 
handsome already ; if the old fellow will 
add to it, I am perfectly willing to sell 
out, if you are, just to make his last 
days happy. I 've got my head full of 
new electric notions, and I want to go 
to France and experiment. You tell 
him the whole story ; he will be glad to 
get hold of the planter, and I shall be 
glad to let it go. I meant to go roving 
this summer. I '11 let it all drop. We 
have had a run of luck, and luck is apt 
to turn. We 're young yet, you know, 
J. Benedict Brown, so I put this busi- 
ness into your hands. You 're lawyer 
for the firm." 

Brown turned away mournfully; he 
was convinced more entirely than ever 
before of the erratic nature of his part- 
ner : yesterday with his whole soul 
bent on furthering the success of the 
planter ; to-day ready to throw it by, 
and to wander away and spend all the 
money he had earned. Brown mental- 
ly resolved that it really was not safe to 
risk his good name any longer in such 
keeping, and that he should insist upon 
being made trustee of a share of his 
partner's funds, so that Checkley might 
never come to the ground again. 

Checkley called him back in great 
excitement, when he was leaving the of- 
fice, a little later. " Look here," said 
he. " I was going to put this picture 
into our next almanac as your portrait. 
I was in the patent-medicine business 



1886.] 



The Princess Oasamassima. 



209 



once, and this was old Dr. Parkins, who 
made the Spring Bitters. I was going 
to start him again as John B. Brown, 
the Pennsylvania farmer and inventor." 

" I think it would have been beneath 
our dignity," responded Brown, severe- 
ly. "What became of your patent- 
medicine business ? I never heard of 
that." 

" Because it fell through," said Old 
Shekels, cheerfully. " This was the only 
thing that never did. You 're spoiling 
a first-class business man for a doubt- 



ful lawyer." But Brown laughed, and 
straightened himself proudly as he went 
toward Broadway and his other office, 
which bore the shining brass door-plate 
with his honored name of J. Benedict 
Brown. 

That evening he confessed all to his 
wife. It was a great shock, but she bore 
it bravely. She knew little about busi- 
ness, but she believed with all her heart 
in respecting the traditions of one's fam- 
ily. Though, after all, one Brown had 
kindly made money for the other. 

Sarah Orne Jewett. 



THE PRINCESS CASAMASSIMA. 

BOOK FOURTH. 



XXXIX. 

ON Saturday afternoons Paul Muni- 
ment was able to leave his work at four 
o'clock, and on one of these occasions, 
some time after his visit to Madeira 
Crescent, he came into Rosy's room at 
about five, carefully dressed and brushed, 
and ruddy with the freshness of an abun- 
dant washing. He stood at the foot of 
her sofa, with a conscious smile, knowing 
how she chaffed him when his necktie 
was new; and after a moment, during 
which she ceased singing to herself, as 
she twisted the strands of her long black 
hair together and let her eyes travel 
over his whole person, inspecting every 
detail, she said to him, " My dear Mr. 
Muniment, you are going to see the 
Princess." 

"Well, have you anything to say 
against it ? " Mr. Muniment asked. 

" Not a word ; you know I like prin- 
cesses. But you have." 

" Well, my girl, I '11 not speak it to 
you," the young man rejoined. " There 's 
something to be said against everything, 
if you '11 give yourself trouble enough." 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 346. 14 



" I should be very sorry if ever any- 
thing was said against you." 

" The man 's a sneak who is only and 
always praised," Muniment remarked. 
" If you did n't hope to be finely abused, 
where would be the encouragement ? " 

"Ay, but not with reason," said 
Rosy, who always brightened to an 
argument. 

" The better the reason, the greater 
the incentive to expose one's self. How- 
ever, you won't hear it, if people do 
heave bricks at me." 

"I won't hear it? Pray, don't I 
hear everything? I should like any 
one to keep anything from me ! " And 
Miss Muniment gave a toss of her re- 
cumbent head. 

" There 's a good deal I keep from 
you, my dear," said Paul, rather dryly. 

" You mean there are things I don't 
want, I don't take any trouble, to know. 
Indeed and indeed there are : things 
that I would n't know for the world 
that no amount of persuasion would in- 
duce me, not if you was to go down on 
your knees. But if I did if I did, 
I promise you that just as I lie here 



210 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



I should have them all in my pocket. 
Now there are others," the young wo- 
man went on " there are others that 
you will just be so good as to tell me. 
When the Princess asked you to come 
and see her you refused, and you wanted 
to know what good it would do. I hoped 
you would go, then; I should have 
liked you to go, because I wanted to 
know how she lived, and whether she 
had things handsome, or only in the 
poor way she said. But I did n't push 
you, because I couldn't have told you 
what good it would do you : that was 
only the good it would have done me. 
At present I have heard everything 
from Lady Aurora, and I know that it 's 
all quite decent and tidy (though not 
really like a princess, a bit), and that 
she knows how to turn everything about 
and put it best end foremost, just as I 
do, like, though /ought n't to say it, no 
doubt. Well, you have been, and more 
than once, and I have had nothing to 
do with it ; of which I am very glad 
now, for reasons that you perfectly 
know you 're too honest a man to pre- 
tend you don't. Therefore, when I see 
you going again, I just inquire of you, 
as you inquired of her, What good 
does it do you ? " 

"I like it I like it, my dear," said 
Paul, with his fresh, unembarrassed 
smile. 

" I dare say you do. So should I, in 
your place. But it 's the first time I 
have heard you express the idea that 
we ought to do everything we like." 

" Why not, when it does n't hurt any 
one else ? " 

" Oh, Mr. Muniment, Mr. Muni- 
ment ! " Rosy exclaimed, with exagger- 
ated solemnity, holding up a straight, 
attenuated forefinger at him. Then she 
added, " No, she does n't do you good, 
that beautiful, brilliant woman." 

" Give her time, my dear give her 
time," said Paul, looking at his watch. 

" Of course you are impatient, but 
you must hear me. I have no doubt 



she '11 wait for you ; you won't lose your 
turn. Please, what would you do if 
any one was to break down alto- 
gether ? " 

" My bonny lassie," the young man 
rejoined, "if you only keep going, I 
don't care who fails." 

" Oh, I shall keep going, if it 's only 
to look after my friends and get justice 
for them," said Miss Muniment " the 
delicate, sensitive creatures who require 
support and protection. Have you real- 
ly forgotten that we have such a one as 
that ? " 

The young man walked to the win- 
dow, with his hands in his pockets, and 
looked out at the fading light. " Why 
does she go herself, then, if she doesn't 
like her?" 

Rose Muniment hesitated a moment. 
" Well, I 'm glad I 'm not a man ! " she 
broke out. " I think a woman on her 
back is cleverer than a man on his two 
legs. And you such a wonderful one, 
too ! " 

" You are all too clever for me, my 
dear. If she goes and twenty times 
a week, too why should n't I go, once 
in ever so long ? Especially as I like 
her, and Lady Aurora does n't." 

" Lady Aurora does n't ? Do you 
think she 'd be guilty of hypocrisy ? 
Lady Aurora delights in her ; she won't 
let me say that she herself is fit to dust 
the Princess's shoes. I needn't tell 
you how she goes down before them she 
likes. And I don't believe you care a 
button ; you have got something in your 
head, some wicked game or other, that 
you think she can hatch for you." 

At this Paul Muniment turned round 
and looked at his sister a moment, smil- 
ing still and whistling just audibly. 
" Why should n't I care ? Ain't I 3oft, 
ain't I susceptible ? " 

" I never thought I should hear you 
ask that, after what I have seen these 
four years. For four years she has 
come, and it's all for you, as well it 
might be, and you never showing any 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



211 



more sense of what she 'd be willing to 
do for you than if you had been that 
woolen cat on the hearth rug ! " 

" What would you like me to do ? 
Would you like me to hang round her 
neck and hold her hand, the same as 
you do ? " Muniment asked. 

"Yes, it would do me good, I can 
tell you. It 's better than what I see 
the poor lady getting clouded over, like 
a mirror that wants rubbing." 

" You know a good deal, Rosy, but 
you don't know everything," Muniment 
remarked in a moment, with a face that 
gave no sign of seeing a reason in what 
she said. " Your mind is too poetical. 
There 's nothing that I should care for 
that her ladyship would be willing to 
do for me." 

" She would marry you at a day's 
notice she 'd do that." 

" I should n't care for that. Besides, 
if I was to ask her, she would never 
come into the place again. And I 
should n't care for that, for you." 

" Never mind me ; I '11 take the risk ! " 
cried Rosy, gayly. 

" But what 's to be gained, if I can 
have her, for you, without any risk ? " 

' " You won't have her for me, or for 
any one, when she 's dead of a broken 
heart." 

" Dead of a broken tea-cup ! " said 
the young man. " And, pray, what 
should we live on, when you had got us 
set up ? the three of us, without count- 
ing the kids." , 

He evidently was arguing from pure 
good-nature, and not in the least from 
curiosity ; but his sister replied as eager- 
ly as if he would be floored by her an- 
swer : " Has n't she got two hundred a 
year of her own ? Don't I know every 
penny of her affairs ? " 

Paul Muniment gave no sign of any 
mental criticism he may have made on 
Rosy's conception of the delicate course, 
or of a superior policy; perhaps, in- 
deed, for it is perfectly possible, her in- 
quiry did not strike him as having a 



mixture of motives. He only rejoined, 
with a little pleasant, patient sigh, " I 
don't want the dear old girl's money." 

His sister, in spite of her eagerness, 
waited twenty seconds ; then she flashed 
at him, " Pray, do you like the Prin- 
cess's better ? " 

" If I did, there would be more of 
it," he answered, quietly. 

" How can she marry you ? Has n't 
she got a husband ? " Rosy cried. 

" Lord, how you give me away ! " 
laughed her brother. " Daughters of 
earls, wives of princes I have only 
to pick." 

" I don't speak of the Princess, so 
long as there 's a prince. But if you 
have n't seen that Lady Aurora is 
a beautiful, wonderful exception, and 
quite unlike any one else in all the wide 
world well, all I can say is that 7 
have." 

" I thought it was your opinion," 
Paul objected, " that the swells should 
remain swells, and the high ones keep 
their place." 

" And, pray, would she lose hers if 
she were to marry you ? " 

"Her place at Inglefield, certainly," 
said Paul, as patiently as if his sister 
could never tire him with any insistence 
or any minuteness. 

" Has n't she lost that already ? Does 
she ever go there ? " 

" Surely you appear to think so, from 
the way you always question her about 
it," replied Paul. 

" Well, they think her so mad already 
that they can't think her any madder," 
his sister continued. " They have given 
her up, and if she were to marry you " 

" If she were to marry me, they 
would n't touch her with a ten - foot 
pole," Paul broke in. 

Rosy flinched a moment ; then she said, 
serenely, " Oh, I don't care for that ! " 

" You ought to, to be consistent, 
though, possibly, she should n't, admit- 
ting that she would n't. You have 
more imagination than logic which, of 



212 



The Princess Oasamassima. 



[August, 



course, for a woman, is quite right. 
That 'B what makes you say that her 
ladyship is in affliction because I go to 
a place that she herself goes to without 
the least compulsion." 

" She goes to keep you off," said 
Rosy, with decision. 

" To keep me off ? " 

" To interpose, with the Princess ; 
to be nice to her and conciliate her, so 
that she may not take you." 

" Did she tell you any such rigmarole 
as that ? " Paul inquired, this time star- 
ing a little. 

" Do I need to be told things, to know 
them ? I am not a fine, strong, superior 
male ; therefore I can discover them for 
myself," answered Rosy, with a daunt- 
less little laugh and a light in her eyes 
which might indeed have made it appear 
that she was capable of wizardry. 

" You make her out at once too pas- 
sionate and too calculating," the young 
man rejoined. " She has no personal 
feelings, she wants nothing for herself. 
She only wants one thing in the world 
to make the poor a little less poor." 

" Precisely ; and she regards you, a 
helpless, blundering bachelor, as one of 
them." 

" She knows I am not helpless so 
long as you are about the place, and 
that my blunders don't matter so long 
as you correct them." 

" She wants to assist me to assist you, 
then ! " the girl exclaimed, with the lev- 
ity with which her earnestness was al- 
ways interfused ; it was a spirit that 
seemed, at moments, in argument, to 
mock at her own contention. " Besides, 
is n't that the very thing you want to 
bring about ? " she went on. " Is n't 
that what you are plotting and working 
and waiting for ? She wants to throw 
herself into it to work with you." 

" My dear girl, she does n't under- 
stand a pennyworth of what I think. 
She could n't if she would." 

" And no more do I, I suppose you 
mean." 



" No more do you ; but with you it 's 
different. If you would, you -could. 
However, it matters little who under- 
stands and who does n't, for there 's 
mighty little of it. I 'm not doing much, 
you know." 

Rosy lay there looking up at him. 
" It must be pretty thick, when you talk 
that way. However, I don't care what 
happens, for I know I shall be looked 
after." 

" Nothing will happen nothing will 
happen," Paul remarked, simply. 

The girl's rejoinder to this was to say 
in a moment, "You have a different 
tone since you have taken up the Prin- 
cess." 

She spoke with a certain severity, 
but he broke out, as if he had not heard 
her, " I like your idea of the female 
aristocracy quarreling over a dirty brute 
like me." 

" I don't know how dirty you are, but 
I know you smell of soap," said Rosy, 
with serenity. " They won't quarrel ; 
that's not the way they do it. Yes, 
you are taking a different tone, for 
some purpose that I can't discover just 
yet." 

" What do you mean by that ? When 
did I ever take a tone ? " her brother 
asked. 

" Why, then, do you speak as if you 
were not remarkable, immensely re- 
markable more remarkable than any- 
thing any one, male or female, good or 
bad, of the aristocracy or of the vulgar 
sort, can ever do for you ? " 

" What on earth have I ever done to 
show it ? " Paul demanded. 

" Oh, I don't know your secrets, and 
that 's one of them. But we 're out of 
the common beyond any one, you and 
I, and, between ourselves, with the 
door fastened, we might as well admit 
it." 

"I admit it for you, with all my 
heart," said the young man, laughing. 

" Well, then, if I admit it for you, 
that 's all that 's required." 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



213 



The brother and sister considered 
each other a while in silence, as if each 
were tasting, agreeably, the distinction 
the other conferred ; then Muniment 
said, "If I 'm such an awfully superior 
chap, why should n't I behave in keep- 
ing?" 

" Oh, you do, you do ! " 

" All the same, you don't like it." 

" It is n't so much what you do ; it 's 
what she does." 

" How do you mean, what she does ? " 

" She makes Lady Aurora suffer." 

" Oh, I can't go into that," said Paul. 
" A man feels like a muff, talking about 
the women that ' suffer ' for him." 

" Well, if they do it, I think you might 
bear it ! " Rosy exclaimed. " That 's 
what a man is. When it comes to be- 
ing sorry, oh, that 's too ridiculous ! " 

"There are plenty of things in the 
world I 'm sorry for," Paul rejoined, 
smiling. " One of them is that you 
should keep me gossiping here when 
I want to go out." 

" Oh, I don't care if I worry her a 
little. Does she do it on purpose ? " 
Rosy continued. 

" You ladies must settle all that to- 
gether," Muniment answered, rubbing 
his hat with the cuff of his coat. It 
was a new one, the bravest he had ever 
possessed, and in a moment he put it on 
his head, as if to reinforce his reminder 
to his sister that it was time she should 
release him. 

"Well, you do look genteel," she 
remarked, complacently, gazing up at 
him. " No wonder she has lost her 
head ! I mean the Princess," she ex- 
plained. " You never went to any such 
expense for her ladyship." 

" My dear, the Princess is worth it 
she's worth it," said the young man, 
speaking seriously now, and reflectively. 

"Will she help you very much?" 
Rosy demanded, with a strange, sudden 
transition to eagerness. 

"Well," said Paul, "that's rather 
what I look for." 



She threw herself forward on her 
sofa, with a movement that was rare 
with her, and shaking her clasped hands 
she exclaimed, "Then go off, go off 
quickly ! " 

He came round and kissed her, as if 
he were not more struck than usual with 
her freakish inconsequence. " It 's not 
bad to have a little person at home who 
wants a fellow to succeed." 

"Oh, I know they will look after 
me," she said, sinking back upon her 
pillow with an air of agreeable security. 

He was aware that whenever she said 
" they," without further elucidation, she 
meant the populace surging up in his 
rear, and he rejoined, always hilarious, 
" I don't think we '11 leave it much to 
'them.'" 

" No, it 's not much you '11 leave to 
them, I '11 be bound." 

He gave a louder laugh at this, and 
said, " You 're the deepest of the lot, 
Miss Muniment." 

Her eyes kindled at his praise, and 
as she rested them on her brother's she 
murmured, " Well, I pity the poor 
Princess, too, you know." 

" Well, now, I 'm not conceited, but I 
don't," Paul returned, passing in front 
of the little mirror on the mantel-shelf. 

" Yes, you '11 succeed, and so shall I 
but she won't," Rosy went on. 

Muniment stopped a moment, with 
his hand on the latch of the door, and 
said, gravely, almost sententiously, 
" She is not only beautiful, as beautiful 
as a picture, but she is uncommon sharp, 
and she has taking ways, beyond any- 
thing that ever was known." 

" I know her ways," his sister replied. 
Then, as he left the room, she called 
after him, " But I don't care for any- 
thing, so long as you become prime 
minister of England ! " 

Three quarters of an hour after this 
Muniment knocked at the door in Ma- 
deira Crescent, and was immediately 
ushered into the parlor, where the Prin- 
cess, in her bonnet and mantle, sat alone. 



214 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



She made no movement as he came in ; 
she only looked up at him with a smile. 

" You are braver than I gave you 
credit for," she said, in her rich voice. 

"I shall learn to be brave, if I as- 
sociate a while longer with you. But 
I shall never cease to be shy," Muni- 
ment added, standing there, and looking 
tall in the middle of the small room. 
He cast his eyes about him for a place 
to sit down, but the Princess gave him 
no help to choose ; she only watched 
him, in silence, from her own place, 
with her hands quietly folded in her 
lap. At last, when, without remonstrance 
from her, he had selected the most un- 
comfortable chair in the room, she re- 
plied 

" That 's only another name for des- 
perate courage. I put on my bonnet, 
on the chance, but I did n't expect 
you." 

" Well, here I am that 's the great 
thing," Muniment said, good-humoredly. 

" Yes, no doubt it 's a very great thing. 
But it will be a still greater thing when 
you are there." 

"I am afraid you hope too much," 
the young man observed. "Where is 
it ? I don't think you told me." 

The Princess drew a small folded let- 
ter from her pocket, and, without saying 
anything, held it out to him. He got 
up to take it from her, opened it, and, 
as he read it, remained standing in front 
of her. Then he went straight to the 
fire and thrust the paper into it. At 
this movement she rose quickly, as if to 
save the document, but the expression 
of his face, as he turned round to her, 
made her stop. The smile that came 
into her own was a little forced. " What 
are you afraid of?" she asked. "I 
take it the house is known. If we go, 
I suppose we may admit that we go." 

Muniment's face showed that he had 
been annoyed, but he answered, quietly 
enough, " No writing no writing." 

" You are terribly careful," said the 
Princess. 



" Careful of you yes." 

She sank down upon her sofa again, 
asking her companion to ring for tea ; 
they would do much better to have some 
before going out. When the order had 
been given, she remarked, " I see I shall 
have much less keen emotion than when 
I acted by myself." 

" Is that what you go in for keen 
emotion ? " 

" Surely, Mr. Muniment. Don't you ? " 

" God forbid ! I hope to have as lit- 
tle of it as possible." 

" Of course one does n't want any 
vague rodomontado; one wants to do 
something. But it would be hard if 
one could n't have a little pleasure by 
the way." 

" My pleasure is in quietness," said 
Paul Muniment, smiling. 

" So is mine. But it depends on how 
you understand it. Quietness, I mean, 
in the midst of a tumult." 

" You have rare ideas about tumults. 
They are not good in themselves." 

The Princess considered this a mo- 
ment ; then she remarked, " I wonder 
if you are too prudent. I should n't like 
that. If it is made an accusation against 
you that you have been where we are 
going shall you deny it ? " 

" With that prospect, it would be sim- 
pler not to go at all, would n't it ? " Mu- 
niment inquired. 

" Which prospect do you mean ? That 
of being found out, or that of having to 
lie ? " 

"I suppose that if you lie you are 
not found out," Muniment replied, hu- 
morously. 

" You won't take me seriously," said 
the Princess. She spoke without irri- 
tation, without resentment, with a kind 
of resigned sadness. But there was a 
certain fineness of reproach in the tone 
in which she added, "I don't believe 
you want to go at all." 

" Why else should I have come, es- 
pecially if I don't take you seriously ? " 

" That has never been a reason for a 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



215 



man not going to see a woman," said 
the Princess. " It 's usually a reason 
in favor of it." 

Muniment turned his smiling eyes 
over the room, looking from one article 
of furniture to another : this was a way 
he had when he was engaged in a dis- 
cussion, and it suggested not so much 
that he was reflecting on what his in- 
terlocutor said as that his thoughts 
were pursuing a cheerfully independent 
course. Presently he observed, " I don't 
know that I quite understand what you 
mean by that question of taking a wo- 
man seriously." 

" Ah, you are very perfect," mur- 
mured the Princess. " Don't you con- 
sider that the changes you look for will 
be also for our benefit ? " 

" I don't think they will alter your 
position." 

" If I did n't hope for that, I wouldn't 
do anything," said the Princess. 

" Oh, I have no doubt you '11 do a 
great deal." 

The young man's companion was si- 
lent for some minutes, during which he 
also was content to say nothing. " I 
wonder you can find it in your con- 
science to work with me," she observed 
at last. 

" It is n't in my conscience I find it," 
said Muniment, laughing. 

The maid-servant brought in the tea, 
and while the Princess was making a 
place for it on a little table beside her 
she exclaimed, " Well, I don't care, for 
I think I have you in my power ! " 

" You have every one in your power," 
returned Muniment. 

" Every one is no one," the Princess 
replied, rather dryly ; and a moment 
later she said to him, " That extraordi- 
nary little sister of yours surely you 
take her seriously ? " 

" I 'm wonderful fond of her, if that 's 
what you mean. But I don't think her 
position will ever be altered." 

" Are you alluding to her position 
in bed ? If you consider that she will 



never recover her health," the Princess 
said, " I am very sorry to hear it." 

" Oh, her health will do. I mean 
that she will continue to be, like all the 
most amiable women, just a kind of or- 
nament to life." 

The Princess had already perceived 
that he pronounced amiable " emiable ; " 
but she had accepted this peculiarity of 
her visitor in the .spirit of imaginative 
transfigurement in which she had accept- 
ed several others. " To your life, of 
course. She can hardly be said to be 
an ornament to her own." 

" Her life and mine are all one." 
" She is certainly magnificent," said 
the Princess. While he was drinking 
his tea, she remarked to him that for a 
revolutionist he was certainly most ex- 
traordinary ; and he inquired, in answer, 
whether it were not rather in keeping 
for revolutionists to be extraordinary. 
He drank three cups, declaring that his 
hostess's decoction was rare ; it was 
better, even, than Lady Aurora's. This 
led him to observe, as he put down his 
third cup, looking round the room again, 
lovingly, almost covetously, " You 've 
got everything so handy, I don't see 
what interest you can have." 

" How do you mean, what interest ? " 
" In getting in so uncommon deep." 
On the instant the Princess's expres- 
sion flashed into pure passion. " Do 
you consider that I am in really 
far?" 

" Up to your neck, ma'am." 
" And do you think that il y va of 
my neck I mean that it 's in danger ? " 
she translated, eagerly. 

" Oh, I understand your French. 
Well, I'll look after you," Muniment 
observed. 

" Remember, then, definitely, that I 
expect not to lie." 

" Not even for me ? " Then Muni- 
ment added, in the same familiar tone, 
which was not rough nor wanting in 
respect, but only homely and direct, sug- 
gestive of growing acquaintance, " If I 



216 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



was your husband, I would come and 
take you away." 

" Please don't speak of my husband," 
said the Princess, gravely. " You have 
no qualification for doing so ; you know 
nothing whatever about him." 

" I know what Hyacinth has told 
me." 

" Oh, Hyacinth ! " the Princess mur- 
mured, impatiently. There was another 
silence of some minutes, not disconnected, 
apparently, from this reference to the 
little bookbinder ; but when Muniment 
spoke, after the interval, it was not to 
carry on the allusion. 

" Of course you think me very plain, 
very rude." 

" Certainly, you have not such a nice 
address as Hyacinth," the Princess re- 
joined, not desiring, on her side, to evade 
the topic. " But that is given to very 
few," she added ; " and I don't know 
that pretty manners are exactly what 
we are working for." 

" Ay, it won't be very endearing 
when we cut down a few allowances," 
said Muniment. " But I want to please 
you ; I want to be as much as possible 
like Hyacinth," he went on. 

" That is not the way to please me. 
I don't forgive him ; he 's very silly." 

" Ah, don't say that ; he 's a little 
brick ! " Muniment exclaimed. 

" He 's a dear fellow, with extraor- 
dinary qualities, but so deplorably con- 
ventional." 

" Yes, talking about taking things se- 
riously he takes them seriously," re- 
marked Muniment. 

"Has he ever told you his life?" 
asked the Princess. 

" He has n't required to tell me. I 've 
seen a good bit of it." 

" Yes, but I mean before you knew 
him." 

Muniment reflected a moment. " His 
birth, and his poor mother ? I think it 
was Rosy told me about that." 

" And, pray, how did she know ? " 

" Ah, when you come to the way 



Rosy knows ! " said Muniment, laugh- 
ing. " She does n't like people in that 
predicament. She thinks we ought all 
to be finely born." 

" Then they agree, for so does poor 
Hyacinth." The Princess hesitated an 
instant ; then she said, as if with a quick 
effort, " I want to ask you something. 
Have you had a visit from Mr. Vetch ? " 

" The old gentleman who fiddles ? 
No, he has never done me that honor." 

"It was because I prevented him, 
then. I told him to leave it to me." 

" To leave what, now ? " Muniment 
looked at her in placid perplexity. 

" He is in great distress about Hya^ 
cinth about the danger he runs. You 
know what I mean." 

" Yes, I know what you mean," Mu> 
niment replied, slowly. " But what 
does he know about it? I thought it 
was supposed to be a deadly secret." 

" So it is. He does n't know any- 
thing ; he only suspects." 

" How do you know, then ? " 

The Princess hesitated again. " Oh, 
I 'm like Rosy I find out. Mr. Vetch, 
as I suppose you are aware, has known 
Hyacinth all his life ; he takes a most 
affectionate interest in him. He be- 
lieves there is something hanging over 
him, and he wants it to be turned oS, to 
be stopped." The Princess paused, at 
this, but her visitor made no response, 
and she went on : " He was going to 
see you, to beg you to do something, to 
interfere ; he seemed to think that your 
power, in such a matter, would be very 
great ; but, as I tell you, I requested 
him, as a particular favor to me, to let 
you alone." 

" "What favor would it be to you ? " 
Muniment asked. 

" It would give me the satisfaction of 
feeling that you were not worried." 

Muniment appeared struck with the 
curious inadequacy of this explanation, 
considering what was at stake ; he broke 
into a laugh, and remarked, " That was 
considerate of you, beyond everything." 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



217 



"It was not meant as consideration 
for you ; it was a piece of calculation." 
The Princess, having made this an- 
nouncement, gathered up her gloves and 
turned away, walking to the chimney- 
piece, where she stood a moment ar- 
ranging her bonnet-ribbons in the mirror 
with which it was decorated. Muniment 
watched her with evident curiosity ; in 
spite both of his inaccessibility to ner- 
vous agitation and of the skeptical theo- 
ries he entertained about her, he was 
not proof against her general faculty of 
creating a feeling of suspense, a ten- 
sion of interest, on the part of those 
who associated with her. He followed 
her movements, but, plainly, he did n't 
follow her calculations, so that he could 
only listen more attentively when she in- 
quired suddenly, " Do you know why I 
asked you to come and see me ? Do you 
know why I went to see your sister? 
It was all a plan," said the Princess. 

" We hoped it was just an ordinary 
humane, social impulse," the young man 
returned. 

" It was humane, it was even social, 
but it was not ordinary. I wanted to 
save Hyacinth." 

" To save him ? " 

"I wanted to be able to talk wit 
you just as I am talking now." 

" That was a fine idea ! " Muniment 
exclaimed, ingenuously. 

" I have an exceeding, a quite inex- 
pressible, regard for him. I have no 
patience with some of his opinions, and 
that is why I permitted myself to say 
just now that he is silly. But, after all, 
the opinions of our friends are not what 
we love them for, and therefore I don't 
see why they should be what we hate 
them for. Hyacinth Robinson's nature 
is singularly generous and his intelligence 
very fine, though there are some things 
that he muddles up. You just now ex- 
pressed strongly your own regard for 
him ; therefore we ought to be perfectly 
agreed. Agreed, I mean, about getting 
him out of his scrape." 



Muniment had the air of a man who 
felt that he must consider a little before 
he assented to these successive prop- 
ositions ; it being a limitation of his 
intellect that he could not respond with- 
out understanding. After a moment he 
answered, referring to the Princess's 
last remark, in which the others ap- 
peared to culminate, and at the same 
time shaking his head a little and smil- 
ing, " His scrape is n't important." 

"You thought it was when you got 
him into it." 

" I thought it would give him pleas- 
ure," said Muniment. 

" That 's not a reason for letting peo- 
ple do what is n't good for them." 

" I was n't thinking so much about 
what would be. good for him as about 
what would be bad for some others. He 
can do as he likes." 

" That 's easy to say. They must be 
persuaded not to call upon him." 

" Persuade them, then, dear mad- 
am." 

" How can I persuade them ? If I 
could, I would n't have approached you. 
I have no influence, and even if I had 
my motives would be suspected. You 
are the one to interpose." 

"Shall I tell them he funks it?" 
Muniment asked. 

" He does n't he does n't ! " ex- 
claimed the Princess. 

"On what ground, then, shall I put 
it?" 

" Tell them he has changed his opin- 
ions." 

" Would n't that be rather like de- 
nouncing him as a traitor, and doing it 
hypocritically ? " 

" Tell them, then, it 's simply my 
wish." 

" That won't do you much good," 
Muniment said, with his simple laugh. 

" Will it put me in danger ? That 's 
exactly what I want." 

" Yes ; but as I understand you, you 
want to suffer for the people, not by 
them. You are very fond of Robinson 



218 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



that 's perfectly natural," the young 
man went on. " But you ought to re- 
member that, in the line you have 
chosen, our affections, our natural ties, 
our timidities, our shrinkings " His 
voice had become low and grave, and he 
paused a little, while the Princess's deep 
and lovely eyes, attaching themselves to 
his face, showed that, in an instant, she 
was affected by this unwonted adjura- 
tion. He spoke now as if he were tak- 
ing her seriously. " All those things ' 
are as nothing, and must never weigh a 
feather beside our service." 

The Princess began to draw on her 
gloves. " You 're a most extraordinary 
man." 

" That 's what Rosy tells me." 

" Why don't you do it .yourself ? " 

"Do Hyacinth's job? Because it's 
better to do my own." 

" And, pray, what is your own ? " 

" I don't know," said Paul Muniment, 
with perfect serenity and good-nature. 
" I expect to be instructed." 

" Have you taken an oath, like Hya- 
cinth?" 

" Ah, madam, the oaths /take I don't 
tell," said the young man, gravely. 

" Oh, you . . . ! " the Princess mur- 
mured, with an ambiguous cadence. 
She appeared to dismiss the question, 
but to suggest, at the same time, that he 
was very abnormal. This imputation 
was further conveyed by the next words 
she uttered : " And can you see a dear 
friend whirled away like that ? " 

At this, for the first time, Paul Mu- 
niment exhibited a certain irritation. 
" You had better leave my dear friend 
to me." 

The Princess, with her eyes still fixed 
upon him, gave a long, soft sigh. " Well, 
then, shall we go ? " 

Muniment took up his hat again, but 
he made no movement toward the door. 
" If you did me the honor to seek my 
acquaintance, to ask me to come and see 
you, only in order to say what you have 
just said about Hyacinth, perhaps we 



need n't carry out the form of going to 
the place you proposed. Was n't ihis 
only your pretext ? " 

" I believe you are afraid ! " the Prin- 
cess exclaimed ; but in spite of her ex- 
clamation the pair presently went out of 
the house. They quitted the door to- 
gether, after having stood on the step 
for a moment, looking up and down, ap- 
parently for a cab. So far as the dark- 
ness, which was now complete, permit- 
ted the prospect to be scanned, there 
was no such vehicle within hail. They 
turned to the left, and after a walk of 
several minutes, during which they were 
engaged in small, dull by-streets, emerged 
upon a more populous way, where there 
were lighted shops and omnibuses and 
the evident chance of a hansom. Here 
they paused again, and very soon an 
empty hansom passed, and, at a sign, 
pulled up near them. Meanwhile, it 
should be mentioned, they had been fol- 
lowed, at a distance, by a cautious figure, 
a person who, in Madeira Crescent, when 
they came out of the house, was sta- 
tioned on the other side of the street, at 
a considerable distance. When they ap- 
peared he retreated a little, still, how- 
ever, keeping them in sight. When they 
moved away he moved in the same di- 
rection, watching them, but maintaining 
his distance. He drew nearer, seem- 
ingly because he could not control his 
eagerness, as they turned into West- 
bourne Grove, and during the minute 
they stood there he was exposed to rec- 
ognition by the Princess if she had hap- 
pened to turn her head. In the event 
of her having felt such an impulse, she 
would have discovered, in the lamp-light, 
that her noble husband was hovering in 
her rear. But the Princess was other- 
wise occupied ; she failed to see that at 
one moment he came so close as to sug- 
gest that he had an intention of address- 
ing himself to the couple. The reader 
scarcely needs to be informed that his 
real intention was to satisfy himself as 
to the kind of person his wife was walk- 



1886.] 



The Princess Oasamassima. 



219 



ing with. The time allowed him for 
this inquiry was brief, especially as he 
had perceived, more rapidly than he 
sometimes perceived things, that they 
were looking for a vehicle, and that with 
its assistance they would pass out of his 
range a reflection which caused him 
to give half his attention to the business 
of hailing any second cab which should 
come that way. There are parts of 
London in which you may never see a 
cab at all, but there are none in which 
you may see only a single one ; in ac- 
cordance with which fortunate truth, 
Prince Casamassima was able to wave 
his stick to good purpose as soon as the 
two objects of his pursuit had rattled 
away. Behind them now, in the gloom, 
he had no fear of being seen. In little 
more than an instant he had jumped into 
another hansom, the driver of which ac- 
companied the usual exclamation of 
" All right, sir ! " with a small, amused 
grunt, which the Prince thought emi- 
nently British, after he had hissed at 
him, over the hood, expressively, and in 
a manner by no means indicative of that 
nationality, the injunction, " Follow, fol- 
low, follow!" 

XL. 

An hour after the Princess had left 
the house with Paul Muniment, Madame 
Grandoni came down to supper, a meal 
of which she partook, in gloomy soli- 
tude, in the little back parlor. She had 
pushed away her plate, and sat motion- 
less, staring at the crumpled cloth, with 
her hands folded on the edge of the 
table, when she became aware that a 
gentleman had been ushered into the 
drawing-room, and was standing before 
the fire in an attitude of discreet expec- 
tancy, At the same moment the maid- 
servant approached the old lady, and re- 
marked, with bated breath, " The Prince, 
the Prince, mum ! It 's you he 'ave 
asked for, mum ! " Upon this, Madame 
Grandoni called out to the visitor from 



her place, addressed him as her poor 
young friend, and bade him come and 
give her his arm. He obeyed with sol- 
emn alacrity, and conducted her into the 
front room, near the fire. He helped 
her to arrange herself in her arm-chair, 
and to gather her shawl about her ; then 
he seated himself near her, and remained 
with his pathetic eyes bent upon her. 
After a moment she said, " Tell me 
something about Rome. The grass in 
the Villa Borghese must already be thick 
with flowers." 

"I would have brought you some, 
if I had thought," he answered. Then 
he turned his eyes about the room. 
" Yes, you may well ask, in such a black 
little hole as this. My wife should not 
live here," he added. 

" Ah, my dear friend, for all that 
she 's your wife ! " the old woman ex- 
claimed. 

The Prince sprang up in sudden, 
passionate agitation, and then she saw 
that the rigid quietness with which he 
had come into the room and greeted her 
was only an effort of his good manners. 
He was really trembling with excite- 
ment. "It is true it is true! She 
has lovers she has lovers ! " he broke 
out. "I have seen it with my eyes, 
and I have come here to know ! " 

" I don't know what you have seen, 
but your coming here to know will not 
have helped you much. Besides, if you 
have seen, you know for yourself. At 
any rate, I have ceased to be able to tell 
you." 

" You are afraid you are afraid ! " 
cried the visitor, brandishing his arms. 

Madame Grandoni looked up at him 
with slow speculation. " Sit down and be 
tranquil, very tranquil. I have ceased 
to pay attention I take no heed." 

" Well, I do, then," said the Prince, 
subsiding a little. " Don't you know 
she has gone out to a house, in a horri- 
ble quarter, with a man ? " 

" I think it highly probable, dear 
Prince." 



220 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



" And who is he ? That 's what I want 
to discover." 

" How can I tell you ? I have n't 
seen him." 

He looked at her a moment, with his 
distended eyes. " Dear lady, is that kind 
to me, when I have counted on you ? " 

" Oh, I am not kind any more ; it 's 
not a question of that. I am angry 
as angry, almost, as you." 

"Then why don't you watch her, 
eh?" 

" It 's not with her I am angry. It 's 
with myself," said Madame Grandoni, 
meditatively. 

" For becoming so indifferent, do you 
mean ? " 

" On the contrary, for staying in the 
house." 

" Thank God, you are still here, or I 
could n't have come. But what a lodg- 
ing for the Princess ! " the young man 
exclaimed. " She might at least live in 
a manner befitting." 

" Eh, the last time you were in Lon- 
don you thought it was too costly ! " 
she cried. 

He hesitated a moment. " Whatever 
she does is wrong. Is it because it 's 
so bad that you must go ? " he went on. 

" It is foolish foolish foolish," 
said Madame Grandoni, slowly, impres- 
sively. 

" Foolish, che, che ! He was in the 
house nearly an hour, this one." 

" In the house ? In what house ? " 

" Here, where you sit. I saw him 
go in, and when he came out it was af- 
ter a long time, with her." 

" And where were you, meanwhile ? " 

Again Prince Casamassima hesitated. 
" I was on the other side of the street. 
When they came out I followed them. 
It was more than an hour ago." 

" Was it for that you came to Lon- 
don?" 

" I don't know what I came for. To 
torment myself." 

" You had better go back to Rome," 
said Madame Grandoni. 



" Of course I will go back, but if you 
will tell me who this one is ! How can 
you be ignorant, dear friend, when he 
comes freely in and out of the house 
where I have to watch, at the door, for 
a moment that I can snatch ? He was 
not the same as the other." 

" As the other ? " 

" Doubtless there are fifty ! I mean 
the little one, whom I met, in the other 
house, that Sunday afternoon." 

"I sit in my room almost always 
now," said the old woman. " I only 
come down to eat." 

" Dear lady, it would be better if you 
would sit here," the Prince remarked. 

" Better for whom ? " 

" I mean that if you did not withdraw 
yourself you could at least answer my 
questions." 

" Ah, but I have not the slightest de- 
sire to answer them," Madame Gran- 
doni replied. " You must remember 
that I am not here as your spy." 

" No," said the Prince, in a tone of 
extreme and simple melancholy. "If 
you had given me more information, I 
should not have been obliged to come 
here myself. I arrived in London only 
this morning, and this evening I spent 
two hours walking up and down oppo- 
site the house, like a groom waiting for 
his master to come back from his ride. 
I wanted a personal impression. It was 
so that I saw him come in. He is not 
a gentleman not even like some of 
the strange ones here." 

" I think he is Scotch," remarked 
Madame Grandoni. 

" Ah, then, you have seen him ? " 

"No, but I have heard him. He 
speaks very loud the floors of this 
house are not built as we build in Italy 
and his voice is the same that I have 
heard in the people of that country. 
Besides, she has told me some things. 
He is a chemist's assistant." 

" A chemist's assistant ? Santo Dio ! 
And the other one, a year ago more 
than a year ago was a bookbinder." 



1886.] 

" Oh, the bookbinder ! " murmured 
Madame Grandoni. 

" And does she associate with no peo- 
ple of good? Has she no other soci- 
ety?" 

" For me to tell you more, Prince, 
you must wait till I am free," said the 
old lady. 

" How do you mean, free ? " 

"I must choose. I must either go 
away and then I can tell you what I 
have seen or if I stay here I must 
hold my tongue." 

" But if you go away you will have 
seen nothing," the Prince objected. 

"Ah, plenty as it is more than I 
ever expected to." 

The Prince clasped his hands together 
in tremulous suppliance ; but at the 
same time he smiled, as if to conciliate, 
to corrupt. " Dearest friend, you tor- 
ment my curiosity. If you will tell me 
this, I will never ask you anything more. 
Where did they go ? For the love of 
God, what is that house ? " 

" I know nothing of their houses," 
she returned, with an impatient shrug. 

" Then there are others there are 
many ? " She made no answer, but sat 
brooding, with her chin in her protru- 
sive kerchief. Her visitor presently 
continued, in a soft, earnest tone, with 
his beautiful Italian distinctness, as if 
his lips cut and curved the sound, while 
his fine fingers quivered into quick, em- 
phasizing gestures : " The street is 
small and black, but it is like all the 
streets. It has not importance ; it is 
at the end of an endless imbroglio. 
They drovo for twenty minutes; then 
they stopped their cab and got out. 
They went together on foot some min- 
utes more. There were many turns ; 
they seemed to know them well. For 
me it was very difficult of course I 
also got out ; I had to stay so far behind 
close against the houses. Chiffmch 
Street, N. E. that was the name," the 
Prince continued, pronouncing the word 
with difficulty ; " and the house is No. 



The Princess Casamassima. 



221 



32 I looked at that after they went 
in. It 's a very bad house worse than 
this ; but it has no sign of a chemist, 
and there are no shops in the street. 
They rang the bell only once, though 
they waited a long time ; it seemed to 
me, at least, that they did not touch it 
again. It was several minutes before 
the door was opened; and that was a 
bad time for me, because as they stood 
there they looked up and down. For- 
tunately you know the air of this place ! 
I saw no light in the house not even 
after they went in. Who let them en- 
ter, I could n't tell. I waited nearly 
half an hour, to see how long they 
would stay and what they would do on 
coming out ; then, at last, my impa- 
tience brought me here, for to know 
she was absent made me hope I might 
see you. While I was there, two per- 
sons went in two men, together, 
smoking, who looked like artisti (I did 
n't see them near) but no one came 
out. I could see they took their cigars 
and you can fancy what tobacco ! 
into the presence of the Princess. For- 
merly," pursued Madame Grandoni's 
visitor, with a touching attempt at a hu- 
morous treatment of this point, " she 
never tolerated smoking never mine, 
at least. The street is very quiet 
very few people pass. Now what is the 
house ? Is it where that man lives ? " 
he asked, almost in a whisper. 

He had been encouraged by her con- 
senting, in spite of her first protests, to 
listen to him he could see she was lis- 
tening; and he was still more encour- 
aged when, after a moment, she an- 
swered his question by a question of her 
own : " Did you cross the river to go 
there ? I know that he lives over the 
water." 

" Ah, no, it was not in that part. I 
tried to ask the cabman who brought 
me back to explain to me what it is 
called ; but I could n't make him under- 
stand. They have heavy minds," the 
Prince remarked. Then he went on, 



222 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



drawing a little closer to his hostess: 
44 But what were they doing there ? 
Why did she go with him ? " 

" They are plotting. Ecco ! " said 
Madame Grandoni. 

" You mean a secret society, a band 
of revolutionists and assassins ? Capisco 
bene, that is not new to me. But 
perhaps they only pretend it 's for that," 
added the Prince. 

" Only pretend ? Why should they 
pretend ? That is not Christina's way." 

" There are other possibilities," the 
Prince observed. 

" Oh, of course, when your wife goes 
away with strange men, in the dark, to 
far-away houses, you can think anything 
you like, and I have nothing to say to 
your thoughts. I have my own, but 
they are my own affairs, and I shall not 
undertake to defend Christina, for she 
is indefensible. When she does the 
things she does, she provokes, she in- 
vites the worst construction ; there let 
it rest, save for this one remark, which 
I will content myself with making : If 
she were a dishonest woman, she would 
not behave as she does now, she would 
not expose herself to irresistible inter- 
pretations ; the appearance of every- 
thing would be good and proper. I 
simply tell you what I believe. If I 
believed that what she is doing con- 
cerned you alone, I should say nothing 
about it at least, sitting here. But it 
concerns others, it concerns every one, so 
I will open my mouth at last. She has 
gone to that house to break up society." 

" To break it up, yes, as she has 
wanted before ? " 

" Oh, more than before. She is very 
much entangled. She has relations with 
people who are watched by the police. 
She has not told me, but I have per- 
ceived it by simply living with her." 

Prince Casamassima stared. " And 
is she watched by the police ? " 

" I can't tell you ; it is very possible 
except that the police here is not like 
that of other countries." 



" It is more stupid," said the Prince. 
He gazed at Madame Grandoni with a 
flush of shame on his face. " Will she 
bring us to that scandal ? It would be 
the worst of all." 

" There is one chance the chance 
that she will get tired of it," the old 
lady remarked. " Only the scandal 
may come before that." 

44 Dear friend, she is the devil," said 
the Prince, solemnly. 

" No, she is not the devil, because she 
wishes to do good." 

"What good did she ever wish to 
do to me ? " the Italian demanded, with 
glowing eyes. 

Madame Grandoni shook her head 
very sadly. " You can do no good, of 
any kind, to each other. Each on your 
own side, you must be quiet." 

" How can I be quiet when I hear 
of such infamies ? " Prince Casamassima 
got up, in his violence, and, in a tone 
which caused his companion to burst 
into a short, incongruous laugh as soon 
as she heard the words, exclaimed, " She 
shall not break up society ! " 

44 No, she will bore herself before the 
trick is played. Make up your mind to 
that." 

"That is what I expected to find 
that the caprice was over. She has 
passed through so many follies." 

44 Give her time give her time," re- 
plied Madame Grandoni. 

" Time to drag my name into an as- 
size court ? Those people are robbers, 
incendiaries, murderers ! " 

44 You can say nothing to me about 
them that I have n't said to her." 

" And how does she defend herself ? " 

" Defend herself ? Did you ever hear 
Christina do that ? " Madame Grandoni 
asked. " The only thing she says to 
me is, ' Don't be afraid ; I promise you 
by all that 's sacred that you sha'n't suf- 
fer.' She speaks as if she had it all in 
her hands. That is very well. No 
doubt I'm a selfish old woman, but, 
after all, one has a heart for others." 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



223 



" And so have I, I think I may pre- 
tend," said the Prince. " You tell me 
to give her time, and it is certain that 
she will take it, whether I give it or not. 
But I can at least stop giving her mon- 
ey. By Heaven, it 's my duty, as an 
honest man." 

" She tells me that as it is you don't 
give her much." 

" Much, dear lady ? It depends on 
what you call so. It 's enough to make 
all these scoundrels flock around her." 

" They are not all scoundrels, any 
more than she is. That is the strange 
part of it," said the old woman, with a 
weary sigh. 

" But this fellow, the chemist to- 
night what do you call him ? " 

" She has spoken to me of him as a 
most estimable young man." 

" But she thinks it 's estimable to 
blow us all up," the Prince returned. 
" Does n't he take her money ? " 

" I don't know what he takes. But 
there are some things Heaven forbid 
one should forget them ! The misery 
of London is something fearful." 

" Che vuole f There is misery every- 
where," returned the Prince. " It is 
the will of God. Ci vuoV pazienza! 
And in this country does no one give 
alms ? " 

" Every one, I believe. But it ap- 
pears that it is not enough." 

The Prince said nothing for a mo- 
ment ; this statement of Madame Gran- 
doni's seemed to present difficulties. 
The solution, however, soon suggested 
itself ; it was expressed in the inquiry, 
" What will you have in a country 
which has not the true faith ? " 

" Ah, the true faith is a great thing ; 
but there is suffering even in countries 
that have it." 

" Evidentemente. But it helps suffer- 
ing to be borne, and, later, it makes it 
up ; whereas here ! . . ." said the young 
man, with a melancholy smile. " If I 
may speak of myself, it is to me, in my 
circumstances, a support." 



" That is good," said Madame Gran- 
doni. 

He stood before her, resting his eyes 
for a moment on the floor. " And the 
famous Sholto Godfrey Gerald does 
he come no more ? " 

" I have n't seen him for months, and 
know nothing about him." 

" He does n't like the chemists and 
the bookbinders, eh ? " asked the Prince. 

" Ah, it was he who first brought 
them to gratify your wife." 

" If they have turned him out, then, 
that is very well. Now, if only some 
one could turn them out ! " 

"Aspetta, aspetta ! " said the old wo- 
man. 

" That is very good advice, but to 
follow it isn't amusing." Then the 
Prince added, "You alluded, just now, 
as to something particular, to quel gio- 
vane, the young artisan whom I met in 
the other house. Is he also estimable, or 
has he paid the penalty of his crimes?" 

" He has paid the penalty, but I don't 
know of what. I have nothing bad to 
tell you of him, except that I think his 
star is on the wane." 

" Poverino ! " the Prince exclaimed. 

" That is exactly the manner in which 
I addressed him the first time I saw 
him. I did n't know how it would hap- 
pen, but I felt that it would happen 
somehow. It has happened through his 
changing his opinions. He has now the 
same idea as you that d vuol' 



The Prince listened with the same 
expression of wounded eagerness, the 
same parted lips and excited eyes, to 
every added fact that dropped from 
Madame Grandoni's lips. " That, at 
least, is more honest. Then he does n't 
goto Chiffinch Street?" 

" I don't know about Chiffinch Street ; 
but it would be my impression that he 
does n't go anywhere that Christina 
and the other one the Scotchman 
go together. But these are delicate 
matters," the old woman added. 



224 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



They seemed much to interest her in- 
terlocutor. " Do you mean that the 
Scotchman is what shall I call it? 
his successor ? " 

For a moment Madame Grandoni 
made no reply. " I think that this case 
is different. But I don't understand ; 
it was the other, the little one, that 
helped her to know the Scotchman." 

"And now they have quarreled 
about my wife ? It is all tremendously 
edifying ! " the Prince exclaimed. 

" I can't tell you, and should n't have 
attempted it, only that Assunta talks to 
me." 

" I wish she would talk to me," said 
the Prince, wistfully. 

" Ah, my friend, if Christina were to 
find you getting at her servants ! " 

" How could it be worse for me than 
it is now ? However, I don't know why 
I speak as if I cared, for I don't care 
any more. I have given her up. It is 
finished." 

"I am glad to hear it," said Ma- 
dame Grandoni, gravely. 

" You yourself made the distinction, 
perfectly. So long as she endeavored 
only to injure me, and in my private ca- 
pacity, I could condone, I could wait, I 
could hope. But since she has so reck- 
lessly thrown herself into the most 
criminal undertakings, since she lifts 
her hand with a determined purpose, as 
you tell me, against the most sacred in- 
stitutions it is too much ; ah, yes, it is 
too much. She may go her way ; she 
is no wife of mine. Not another penny 
of mine shall go into her pocket, and 
into that of the wretches who prey upon 
her, who have corrupted her." 

" Dear Prince, I think you are right. 
And yet I am sorry ! " sighed the old 
woman, extending her hand for assist- 
ance to rise from her chair. " If she 
becomes really poor, it will be much 
more difficult for me to leave her. This 
is not poverty, and not even a good im- 
itation of it, as she would like it to be. 
But what will be said of me if, having 



remained with her through so much of 
her splendor, I turn away from her the 
moment she begins to want ? " 

" Dear lady, do you ask that to make 
me relent ? " the Prince inquired, after 
an hesitation. 

" Not in the least ; for whatever is 
said and whatever you do, there is noth- 
ing for me in decency, at present, but 
to pack my trunk. Judge, by the way 
I have tattled." 

" If you will stay on, she shall have 
everything." The Prince spoke in a 
very low tone, with a manner that be- 
trayed the shame he felt at his attempt 
at bribery. 

Madame Grandoni gave him an as- 
tonished glance, and moved away from 
him. " What does that mean ? I thought 
you did n't care." 

I know not what explanation of his 
inconsequence her companion would 
have given her if, at that moment, the 
door of the room had not been pushed 
open, to permit the entrance of Hyacinth 
Robinson. He stopped short on per- 
ceiving that Madame Grandoni had a 
visitor, but before he had time to say 
anything the old lady addressed him 
with a certain curtness : "Ah, you don't 
fall well ; the Princess is n't at home." 

" That was mentioned to me, but I 
ventured to come in to see you, as I 
have done before," Hyacinth replied. 
Then he added, as if he were retreating, 
" I beg many pardons. I was not told 
that you were not alone." 

" My visitor is going, but I am going 
too," said Madame Grandoni. " I must 
take myself to my room. I am ner- 
vous and very sad. Therefore, kindly 
excuse me." 

Hyacinth had had time to recognize 
the Prince, and this nobleman paid him 
the same compliment, as was proved by 
his asking of Madame Grandoni, in a 
rapid aside, in Italian, " Is n't it the 
bookbinder ? " 

" Siccuro," said the old lady ; while 
Hyacinth, murmuring a regret that he 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



225 



should find her indkposed, turned back 
to the door. 

"One moment one moment, I 
pray ! " the Prince interposed, raising 
his hand persuasively, and looking at 
him with an unexpected, exaggerated 
smile. " Please introduce me to the 
gentleman," he added, in English, to 
Madame Grandoni. 

She manifested no surprise at the re- 
quest she had none left, apparently, 
for anything but pronounced the name 
of Prince Casamassima, and then add- 
ed, for Hyacinth's benefit, " He knows 
who you are." 

" Will you permit me to keep you a 
very little minute ? " the Prince con- 
tinued, addressing the other visitor ; af- 
ter which he remarked to Madame 
Grandoni, " I will speak with him a 
little. It is perhaps not necessary that 
we should incommode you, if you do 
not wish to stay." 

She had for a moment, as she tossed 
off a satirical little laugh, a return of 
her ancient drollery : " Remember that 
if you talk long she may come back. 
Yes, yes, I will go up-stairs. Felicissi- 
ma notte, signori ! " She took her way 
to the door, which Hyacinth, consider- 
ably bewildered, held open for her. 

The reasons for which Prince Casa- 
massima wished to converse with him 
were mysterious ; nevertheless, he was 
about to close the door behind Madame 
Grandoni, as a sign that he was at the 
service of her companion. At this mo- 
ment the latter raised again a courteous, 
remonstrant hand. " After all, as my 
visit is finished, and as yours comes to 
nothing, might we not go out ? " 

" Certainly, I will go with you," said 
Hyacinth. He spoke with an instinct- 
ive stiffness, in spite of the Prince's 
queer affability, and in spite also of the 
fact that he felt sorry for the nobleman, 
to whose countenance Madame "Gran do- 
ni's last injunction, uttered in English, 
had brought a deep and painful blush. 
It is needless to go into the question of 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 346. 15 



what Hyacinth, face to face with an 
aggrieved husband, may have had on his 
conscience, but he assumed, naturally 
enough, that the situation might be 
grave, though indeed the Prince's man- 
ner was, for the moment, incongruously 
conciliatory. Hyacinth invited his new 
acquaintance to pass, and in a minute 
they were in the street together. 

" Do you go here do you go 
there ? " the Prince inquired, as they 
stood a moment before the house. " If 
you will permit, I will take the same 
direction." On Hyacinth's answering 
that it was indifferent to him the Prince 
said, turning to the left, " Well, then, 
here, but slowly, if that pleases you, 
and only a little way." His English 
was far from perfect, but his errors 
were mainly errors of pronunciation, 
and Hyacinth was struck with his effort 
to express himself very distinctly, so 
that, in intercourse with a little rep- 
resentative of the British populace, 
his foreignness should not put him at a 
disadvantage. Quick as he was to per- 
ceive and appreciate, Hyacinth noted 
how a certain quality of breeding that 
was in his companion enabled him to 
compass that coolness, and he mentally 
applauded his success in a difficult feat. 
Difficult he judged it, because it seemed 
to him that the purpose for which the 
Prince wished to speak to him was one 
which must require a deal of explana- 
tion, and it was a sign of training to ex- 
plain adequately, in a foreign tongue, 
especially if one were agitated, to a per- 
son in a social position very different 
from one's own. Hyacinth knew what 
the Prince's estimate of his importance 
must be (he could have no illusions as 
to the character of the people his wife 
received) ; but while he heard him care- 
fully put one word after the other, he 
was able to smile to himself at his need- 
less precautions. Hyacinth reflected 
that at a pinch he could have encoun- 
tered him in his own tongue ; during 
his stay at Venice he had picked up an 



226 



The Princess Casamassima. 



[August, 



Italian vocabulary. " With Madame 
Grandoni I spoke of you," the Prince 
announced, dispassionately, as they 
walked along. " She told me a thing 
that interested me," he added ; " that 
is why I walk with you." Hyacinth 
said nothing, deeming that better by si- 
lence than in any other fashion he held 
Jiimself at the disposal of his interloc- 
utor. " She told me you have changed 
you have no more the same opinions." 

" The same opinions ? " 

" About the arrangement of society. 
You desire no more the assassination of 
the rich." 

" I never desired any such thing ! " 
said Hyacinth, indignantly. 

" Oh, if you have changed, you can 
confess," the Prince rejoined, in an 
encouraging tone. " It is very good for 
some people to be rich. It would not 
be right for all to be poor." 

" It would be pleasant if all could be 
rich," Hyacinth suggested. 

" Yes, but not by stealing and shoot- 
ing." 

"No, not by stealing and shooting. 
I never desired that." 

"Ah, no doubt she was mistaken. 
But to-day you think we must have pa- 
tience," the Prince went on, as if he 
hoped very much that Hyacinth would 
allow this valuable conviction to be at- 
tributed to him. " That is also my 
thought." 

" Oh, yes, we must have patience," 
said Hyacinth, who was now smiling to 
himself in the dark. 

They had by this time reached the 
end of the little Crescent, where the 
Prince paused under the street-lamp. 
He considered Hyacinth's countenance 
for a moment by its help, and then he 
pronounced, " If I am not mistaken, 
you know very well the Princess." 

Hyacinth hesitated a moment. " She 
has been very kind to me." 

" She is my wife perhaps you 
know." 

Again Hyacinth hesitated, but after 



a moment he replied, " She has told me 
that she is married." As soon- as he 
had spoken these words he thought 
them idiotic. 

" You mean you would not know if 
she had not told you, I suppose. Evi- 
dently, there is nothing to show it. 
You can think if that is agreeable to 
me." 

"Oh, I can't think, I can't judge," 
said Hyacinth. 

" You are right that is impossible." 
The Prince stood before his companion,, 
and in the pale gas-light the latter saw 
more of his face. It had an unnatural 
expression, a look of wasted anxiety ; 
the eyes seemed to glitter, and Hyacinth 
conceived the unfortunate nobleman to 
be feverish and ill. He continued in 
a moment : "Of course you think it 
strange my conversation. I want 
you to tell me something." 

" I am afraid you are very unwell," 
said Hyacinth. 

" Yes, I am unwell ; but I shall be 
better if you will tell me. It is be- 
cause you have come back to good ideas 
that is why I ask you." 

A sense that the situation of the 
Princess's husband was really pitiful, 
that at any rate he suifered and was 
helpless, that he was a gentleman and 
even a person who would never have 
done any great harm a perception of 
these appealing truths came into Hya- 
cinth's heart, and stirred there a desire 
to be kind to him, to render him any 
service that, in reason, he might ask. 
It appeared to Hyacinth that he must 
be pretty sick to ask any service at 
all, but that was his own affair. "If 
you would like me to see you safely 
home, I will do that," our young man 
remarked ; and even while he spoke he 
was struck with the oddity of his being 
already on such friendly terms with a 
person whom he had hitherto supposed 
to be the worst enemy of the rarest of 
women. He found himself unable to 
consider the Prince with resentment. 



1886.] 



The Princess Casamassima. 



22T 



The nobleman acknowledged the ci- 
vility of his offer with a slight inclina- 
tion of his long, attenuated person. " I 
am very much obliged to you, but I 
will not go home. I will not go home 
'till I know this to what house she has 
gone. Will you tell me that ? " 

" To what house ? " Hyacinth re- 
peated. 

" She has gone with a person whom 
you know. Madame Grandoni told me 
that. He is a Scotch chemist." 

" A Scotch chemist ? " Hyacinth 
stared. 

" I saw them myself two hours, 
three hours, ago. Listen, listen ; I will 
be very clear," said the Prince, laying 
his forefinger on the other hand with an 
explanatory gesture. " He came to that 
house this one, where we have been, 
I mean and stayed there a long time. 
I was here in the street I have 
passed my day in the street ! They 
came out together, and I watched them, 
I followed them." 

Hyacinth had listened with wonder, 
and even with suspense ; the Prince's 
manner gave an air of such importance, 
such mystery, to what he had to relate. 
But at this he broke out : " This is not 
my business I can't hear it ! / don't 
watch, /don't follow." 

The Prince stared a moment, in sur- 
prise ; then he rejoined, more quickly 
than he had spoken yet, " But they 
went to a house where they conspire, 
where they prepare horrible acts. How 
can you like that ? " 

" How do you know it, sir ? " Hya- 
cinth inquired, gravely. 

" It is Madame Grandoni who has 
told me." 

" Why, then, do you ask me ? " 

" Because I am not sure, I don't think 
she knows. I want to know more, to 
be sure of what is done in that house. 
Does she go there only for the revolu- 
tion," the Prince demanded, u or does 
she go there to be alone with him ? " 

"With htm?" The Prince's tone 



and his excited eyes infused a kind of 
vividness into the suggestion. 

" With the tall man the chemist. 
They got into a hansom together ; the 
house is far away, in the lost quarters." 

Hyacinth drew himself together. " I 
know nothing about the matter, and I 
don't care. If that is all you wish to 
ask me, we had better separate." 

The Prince's face elongated ; it seemed 
to grow paler. " Then it is not true 
that you hate those abominations ! " 

Hyacinth hesitated a moment. " How 
can you know about my opinions ? How 
can they interest you ? " 

The Prince looked at him with dismal 
eyes ; he raised his arms a moment, a 
certain distance, and then let them drop 
at his sides. " I hoped you would help 
me." 

" When we are in trouble we can't 
help each other much ! " our young man 
exclaimed. But this valuable remark 
was lost upon the Prince, who at the 
moment Hyacinth spoke had already 
turned to look in the direction from 
which they had proceeded, the other end 
of the Crescent, his attention apparent- 
ly being called thither by the sound of 
a rapid hansom. The place was still 
and empty, and the wheels of this vehi- 
cle reverberated. The Prince peered at 
it, through the darkness, and in an in- 
stant he cried, under his breath, excit- 
edly, " They have come back they 
have come back ! Now you can see 
yes, the two ! " The hansom had slack- 
ened pace and pulled up ; the house be- 
fore which it stopped was clearly the 
house the two men had lately quitted. 
Hyacinth felt his arm seized by the 
Prince, who, hastily, by a strong effort, 
drew him forward several yards. At 
this moment a part of the agitation that 
possessed the unhappy nobleman seemed 
to pass into his own blood ; a wave of 
anxiety rushed through him anxiety 
as to the relations of the two persons 
who had descended from the cab ; he 
had, in short, for several instants, a very 



228 



A Volume of Dante. 



[August, 



exact revelation of the state of feeling 
of a jealous husband. If he had been 
told, half an hour before, that he was 
capable of surreptitious peepings. in the 
interest of such jealousy, he would have 
resented the insult ; yet he allowed him- 
self to be checked by his companion just 
at the nearest point at which they might 
safely consider the proceedings of the 
couple who alighted. It was in fact the 
Princess, accompanied by Paul Muni- 
ment. Hyacinth noticed that the latter 
paid the cabman, who immediately drove 
away, from his own pocket. He stood 
with the Princess for some minutes at 
the door of the house minutes during 
which Hyacinth felt his heart beat in- 
sanely, ignobly, he could n't tell why. 

" What does he say ? what does she 
say ? " hissed the Prince ; and when 
he demanded, the next moment, " Will 
he go in again, or will he go away ? " 
our sensitive youth felt that a voice was 
given to his own most eager thought. 



The pair were talking together, with 
rapid sequences, and as the door had not 
yet been opened it was clear that, to 
prolong the conversation on the steps, 
the Princess delayed to ring. " It will 
make three, four, hours he has been with 
her," moaned the Prince. 

" He may be with her fifty hours ! " 
Hyacinth answered, with a laugh, turn- 
ing away, ashamed of himself. 

" He has gone in sangue di Dio ! " 
cried the Prince, catching his compan- 
ion again by the arm and making him 
look. All that Hyacinth saw was the 
door just closing ; the Princess and Mu- 
niment were on the other side of it. *' Is 
that for the revolution ? " the trembling 
nobleman panted. But Hyacinth made 
no answer; he only gazed at the closed 
door an instant, and then, disengaging 
himself, walked straight away, leaving 
the Prince in the darkness, to direct a 
great, helpless, futile shake of his stick 
at the indifferent house. 

Henry James. 



A VOLUME OF DANTE. 

I LIE unread, alone. None heedeth me. 

Day after day the cobwebs are unswept 

From my dim covers. I have lain and slept 
In dust and darkness for a century. 
An old forgotten volume, I. Yet see ! 

Such mighty words within my heart are kept 

That, reading once, great Ariosto wept 
In vain despair so impotent to be. 

And once, with pensive eyes and drooping head, 
Musing, Vittoria Colonna came, 

And touched my leaves with dreamy finger-tips, 
Lifted me up half absently, and read ; 

Then kissed the page with sudden tender lips, 
And sighed, and murmured one beloved name. 

Caroline Wilder Fellowes. 



1886.] 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



229 



DOMESTIC ECONOMY IN THE CONFEDERACY. 



AMONG the many remarkable features 
of the war between the States the block- 
ade system was perhaps the most ex- 
traordinary. For extent and effective- 
ness it stands without a parallel in his- 
tory. Isolation on the part of one of 
the belligerents doubtless shaped the re- 
sult in larger measure than in any pre- 
ceding war of anything like the same 
magnitude. For it is to be questioned 
if there was ever before a great people 
so far from self-sustaining as was the 
South in 1861. Indeed, only by means 
of- the modern facilities of transportation 
could it have been possible for a territory 
so large and populous to have fallen into 
a state of such absolute dependence on 
the outside world. Not only was steam 
an indispensable auxiliary of the Feder- 
als, rendering the invasion and retention 
of the revolting territory practicable, 
but it had fostered at the South a fatal 
economic condition which made the fail- 
ure of the Confederacy a foregone con- 
clusion from the first. How this abnor- 
mal state told when isolation came, and 
how desperately the people strove to 
remedy it, forms a curious and pathetic 
chapter of the war history. 

While war in the abstract had been 
vaguely apprehended for a generation, 
war in the concrete took the South, as 
all unpleasant things are apt to take 
optimistic human nature, by surprise. 
And optimism was as peculiarly charac- 
teristic of the Southern mind up to Ap- 
pomattox as the opposite quality has 
been ever since. Moreover, the political 
axiom of the day, that even should war 
arise the imperative need of cotton would 
at least force the European powers to 
keep their ports open, lulled the South 
into such security that hostilities over- 
took her with little more than the scant 
stock of crude and manufactured arti- 
cles necessary for current use. 



The few unvaried manufacturing es- 
tablishments that existed were of course 
utterly inadequate to supply the needs 
of the people, and neither machinery 
nor artisans were to be had to found 
new ones. Many of the most skilled 
workmen were Northern men, who either 
returned home on the outbreak of war, 
or slipped through the lines later on, as 
our fortunes grew darker and our need 
sorer. All such as remained at the 
South were insufficient to meet the mil- 
itary requirements of the hour. For 
the people in their domestic needs there 
was nothing left but a recourse to the 
rude contrivances of primitive days, 
which fortunately were not yet entirely 
obsolete in the rural districts. To these, 
as the slender stock of manufactured 
articles in the country gave out and the 
European powers persisted in holding 
aloof, the people turned with such skill 
and material as they were possessed of, 
to provide the necessaries of life. Spin- 
ning-wheels were set agoing ; the scat- 
tered members of shapeless, half-for- 
gotten old looms were dragged to light ; 
while the neighborhood blacksmith, cob- 
bler, and other petty craftsmen found 
themselves suddenly spring into impor- 
tant personages. On the ingenuity of 
each family, often of each individual, 
depended sooner or later their comfort, 
almost their existence. There was a 
suggestion of primeval life in the man- 
ner in which even in the veriest trifles 
one was thrown wholly on his own re- 
sources. Not only had a way to be in- 
vented to make everything, but in most 
cases a substitute had to be discovered 
for the crude material of which they 
were made, till between makings, reno- 
vatings, and remodelings, we became a 
nation of Crusoes. Indeed, if that era 
of home life had to be characterized by 
one word, there could be no choice as to 



230 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



[August, 



the term " substitute." It may be added, 
in passing, that to this day the word is 
commonly used by the illiterate people 
of North Carolina as a synonym for all 
that is sorry and worthless. There was 
hardly a tree or plant that did not in 
the long run furnish at least one sub- 
stitute ; being laid under tribute to feed 
or clothe the people, or to cure their 
ailments. Of these substitutes, some 
were in the beginning a rage, but each 
in the end a necessity. The absorption 
of the Southern mind in the war issue, 
coupled with its inherent non-inventive- 
ness, or, more accurately, its non-com- 
pletiveness, can alone account for the 
paucity of permanently useful inven- 
tions that have arisen from that period 
of ceaseless experiment. 

The most serious matter of all was 
the great dearth of the prime staples of 
life themselves that overtook the South 
almost on the very threshold of war. 
The Confederacy was self-sustaining in 
breadstuff alone, and by breadstuff is 
meant Indian corn only, wheaten bread 
being regarded as a luxury by thousands 
in average circumstances, and the in- 
adequacy of transportation prevented a 
proper distribution of even that. There 
was only one considerable saline, and 
the probability of a total failure of the 
salt supply, from its exhaustion or cap- 
ture, was a matter of ever-deepening 
anxiety. The meat product of the coun- 
try was largely insufficient at first, and 
after the loss of so much valuable terri- 
tory in Tennessee and Kentucky the 
government, by dint of buying, tithing, 
and impressing, was barely able to scrape 
together, week by week, the stinted ra- 
tions of bacon indispensable to keep life 
in the soldiers. Urgent as the need 
of recruits soon became, the authorities 
perforce adhered to the arrangement 
whereby the overseers of plantations 
were exempt from military duty, main- 
ly in consideration of the proprietors giv- 
ing bond to furnish the army with a few 
hundred pounds of bacon or beef an- 



nually. Private individuals, having the 
advantage of only one of the resources 
of the government, and that the least 
reliable, that of purchase, often found it 
impossible to procure meat at all. It 
took time to render available the limited 
product of iron and leather of which the 
country was capable. Iron was known 
to exist in various localities, but few of 
the mines had been developed, and both 
appliances and skilled labor were lack- 
ing to work them to any extent. The 
petty rural tanneries, tanning hides " one 
half for the other " and consuming eigh- 
teen months in the process, were the 
only dependence for leather. 

No sooner did the war and the at- 
tendant blockade become a certainty 
than the speculators, with swift and con- 
certed action, possessed themselves of 
almost the entire stock of salt, bacon, 
and leather, and withdrew them from 
market. Scarcely a country store or 
backwoods tan-yard escaped their visita- 
tion. A clique of half a dozen men ob- 
tained and held control of the only two 
nail factories in the Confederacy. By 
this means the speculators not only 
hastened and heightened the general 
stringency and distress, but through the 
exorbitant prices they were enabled to 
charge gave the first blow to the cur- 
rency. In fact, into such a vast evil did 
speculation soon grow that efforts were 
made, in the convention called in North 
Carolina in 1861, to suppress it entirely 
by means of fines, imprisonment, and 
confiscation. The measure failed, ex- 
cept in respect to salt, as did that to 
limit the growing of tobacco and cotton ; 
Virginia having restricted the planting 
of the former, and South Carolina and 
Georgia that of the latter. Nor was 
the detestation in which both practices 
were universally held much more effi- 
cacious. Speculation grew ever fiercer 
and more unfeeling. Although those 
who grew large crops of cotton and 
tobacco were discountenanced and re- 
garded as half traitors, many persisted 



1886.] 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



231 



in raising and accumulating these sta- 
ples, till the return of peace brought 
fabulous prices for all such stores as had 
been fortunate enough to escape the 
tithing, impressing, and burning agents 
of the Confederate government. 

From first to last, salt was the most 
precious of all commodities. To be 
worth one's salt was to have a value in- 
deed. Its price, scarcity, and the meth- 
ods by means of which its use could be 
largely dispensed with were subjects up- 
permost in every mind, and topics as 
common as the weather in every con- 
versation. Its exposure for sale could 
draw even the long-hoarded pittance of 
silver from its hiding-place; and when 
the Confederate government could pur- 
chase supplies oil no other terms, an 
offer of part payment in salt never failed 
to work wonders. It was possible to 
subsist, or at any rate to exist, with lit- 
tle leather and less iron. Old utensils 
might be mended and mended again, and 
their use extended almost indefinitely ; 
people might go barefoot and yet live ; 
but at least salt enough to cure the ba- 
con was a sine qua non. 

The State of North Carolina, after 
making it unlawful to speculate in salt, 
appointed a salt commissioner and made 
an appropriation to establish evaporating 
stations on the coast; and when these 
proved inadequate, and the approach of 
Federal fleets and armies rendered them 
insecure, state works were established 
at Saltville, Virginia, the great saline 
of the Confederacy. Even this last re- 
source was uncertain, and the supply 
never continuous. Sometimes the gov- 
ernment monopolized the wells, still 
oftener the transportation ; while the 
danger of having teams impressed at 
the works by the military authorities 
became so great that nothing save ex- 
treme individual necessity could induce 
the people to run the risk. At times 
not a pound of salt could be bought at 
any price. Many were driven to dig up 
the dirt floors of their smoke-houses, im- 



pregnated with the meat drippings of 
years, and by a tedious process of leach- 
ing and boiling to obtain an apology for 
salt. Every method practiced by civil- 
ized or uncivilized man for the curing 
of meat without or with a modicum of 
salt was attempted. While many of 
these processes were failures, occasion- 
ing the loss of more or less priceless 
bacon, some effected cures which in 
point of durability might have competed 
with petrifactions themselves, and with 
fair prospects of success, supposing them 
to have been subjected to any agency of 
destruction short of Confederate hunger. 

Boundless was the excitement and in- 
dignation in North Carolina when, in 
1864, it was falsely rumored that the 
governor of Virginia had determined to 
prohibit by proclamation the removal 
of salt beyond the borders of that State, 
as the governor of North Carolina had 
long before done in regard to cotton 
and woolen fabrics. " We give Virginia 
blood," cried the press, " and she refuses 
us salt. We have paved her soil with 
the bones of our best and our bravest, 
and now she forbids us to gather what 
may without blasphemy be called the 
crumbs of life, which she lets fall. Our 
women and children must die at her 
hands, in requital of their husbands and 
fathers having died in her defense." 

All the salt that the State was able to 
procure from Saltville and through the 
blockade was sold to the people giving 
the wives and widows of soldiers the 
preference at cost, which was usually 
about one fourth the market price. The 
greater part of the former was of very 
inferior quality ; the " coast salt " espe- 
cially, being quoted at just half the price 
of the imported article. The last in- 
stallment of state salt, issued for the 
hog-killing in December, 1864, was at 
the rate of six pounds per capita of 
population. Shortly after that the works 
were destroyed by a Federal raid. In- 
deed, it was a matter of wonder to us, 
considering the vital importance to the 



232 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



[August, 



Confederacy of this unique place, which 
had sprung into being and prominence 
with the suddenness of a mushroom city 
of the West, that the Federals should 
not earlier have put forth even more 
strenuous efforts than they did for its 
possession. 

The dearth of leather also drove the 
people to all sorts of grotesque expedi- 
ents. Sole leather especially, owing to 
the difficulty which the small tanneries 
experienced in its production, was ex- 
tremely scarce. Wood, which had long 
been worn to a very limited extent by 
the slaves in some localities, now came 
into general use in the making of shoes. 
A wooden shoe was among the very first 
inventions patented under the Confed- 
erate government. In the beginning a 
considerable variety of shapes prevailed. 
Some could do no better than dig out 
a rude wooden receptacle for the foot, 
a travesty on the sabot worn by the 
French peasants ; a strip of leather be- 
ing attached to the top, by means of 
which the clog was secured to the ankle. 
But by far the best and most comfort- 
able style, and one which was adopted 
whenever the additional leather required 
was to be had, was a simple sole of ash, 
willow, or some light wood, to which 
full leathern uppers were fastened with 
tacks. At first these were made so 
thick, in order to insure durability, that 
among their various other effects was 
that of adding very sensibly to the stat- 
ure of the community. Later on it was 
found better to make the soles thinner, 
and protect them from wear by nailing 
on their bottoms light irons, similar in 
shape to horseshoes. They were neces- 
sarily the noisiest shoes ever worn, al- 
ways announcing the approach of their 
wearers at a good round distance. When 
the air was clear and the ground frozen, 
one was by this means kept well ap- 
prised of the movements of his immedi- 
ate neighbors. Especially did their tell- 
tale clatter make them the abomination 
of the negro in his nocturnal rambles. 



The dismay of nervous people and care- 
ful housewives, their effect in-doors was 
indeed something terrific, though after 
irons came into vogue and lessened the 
impacting surface, the clatter was toned 
down to something under the tramp of 
a horse. Nor were they much less de- 
structive to floors, while carpets simply 
did not exist in their wake. Despite 
the scrubbings and scourings of a quar- 
ter century, their marks are yet to be 
seen in some houses. 

The use of wooden bottoms for shoes 
was by no means confined to the negroes. 
They were worn by the majority of la- 
boring people, as well as by many of 
both sexes who had been reared in afflu- 
ence. The scarcity of the last winter 
of the war drove whole families into 
them, except the little feet which could 
not be trusted to steer such craft, but 
bore their share of martyrdom by being 
imprisoned indoors throughout the live- 
long dreary months. 

Great skill and caution were requisite 
to keep afoot in wooden bottoms at all. 
A queer spectacle it was, too, to see one's 
fellow-beings stepping gingerly around, 
as if there were universal misgivings as 
to the safeness of the earth's crust. One 
may forget his first feat with firearms 
and even his first exploit on skates, but 
never his first flight on or, to be accu- 
rate, his first abduction by wooden bot- 
toms. If the soles, which in a clumsy 
attempt to fit the foot were shaped like 
rockers, were once set in motion, they 
persisted in inexorably tilting one for- 
ward, especially if descending a hill, till 
volition was utterly lost, and nothing 
short of an ascent or a fall could arrest 
them. However, in time they became 
comparatively manageable, one getting 
able to choose his own path, as well as 
to have some small voice in stoppages. 

Uppers were made of such random 
pieces of leather, or of anything bearing 
the faintest semblance to leather, that 
could be lighted on. Carriage curtains 
and buggy tops were acceptable. In 



1886.] 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



233 



some cases old morocco pocket-books 
were converted into children's shoes; 
while many ladies managed to fashion 
themselves a sort of moccasin out of the 
most heterogeneous and unpromising 
materials. Woe to the careless wight 
who suffered his saddled horse to stand 
out near church, store, or post-office af- 
ter nightfall ! The chances were that 
when he went to mount he would find 
that some one had appropriated his sad- 
dle skirts for sole leather, unless indeed 
he had forestalled such an act by appro- 
priating them to that end himself. 

Iron was now the precious metal. 
War not only monopolized the entire 
product of the South, but so sore was 
the need that frequent calls were made 
for plantation bells to be cast into can- 
non. Many church bells were also giv- 
en. In the cry for iron ! iron ! a large 
society of ladies undertook to furnish 
material for building an iron-clad by 
collecting all the broken pots, pans, and 
kettles in the Confederacy. The home 
folk had to depend almost entirely on 
the reworking of old iron. An active 
and unremitting search was maintained 
for every superfluous or cast-away scrap. 
All old vehicles and farm implements 
not absolutely indispensable were de- 
molished, and the iron they contained 
was diverted to the pressing needs of the 
moment. All idle nails were carefully 
drawn and laid away for future use. A 
sharp lookout was kept for stray pins. 
Womenkind made their boast of the 
weeks or months they had passed with- 
out missing a single pin ; while the loss 
of a good darning-needle would have 
been a calamity involving perhaps half 
a neighborhood. The rapidity with 
which such indestructible articles as pins, 
needles, buttons, etc., disappeared from 
the face of the earth after the blockade 
was established was as unaccountable 
as the speed with which larger things 
wore out. Many a hard-beset house- 
wife, in her distress, " vowed," and half 
believed, that the Yankee manufactur- 



ers, with a prophetic eye to the future, 
had purposely made the wares sent 
South of the most worthless description, 
in order that their collapse might em- 
barrass us in the prosecution of the war. 
Of all manufactured articles, cotton 
cards were, under the circumstances, of 
most vital importance, and their scarcity 
the source of most anxiety. A small 
patch of cotton was now planted on 
every farm, to be made into clothing. 
Fingers were a good, if very tedious, 
substitute for gins, which existed, of 
course, only in the cotton district ; but 
without cards to prepare the lint for 
spinning, the wheels and looms had been 
resurrected to no purpose. These want- 
ing, the cotton was useless, and there was 
no other resource. As every thread of 
clothing had to be homespun, tireless 
activity was necessary to provide for 
even a moderate-sized family of whites 
and blacks. The hum of the wheel and 
thump of the loom were necessarily al- 
most as ceaseless as the tick of the clock ; 
and as few families possessed more than 
one pair of cards, they had to be plied 
far into the night to keep rolls ahead 
for the women at the wheel. When it 
is remembered how much depended on 
these frail implements, and that their 
replacement was altogether problemat- 
ical, it may be believed that their wear 
brought as many care wrinkles into the 
face of the materfamilias as the dimi- 
nution of the stint of salt itself. Only 
the trustiest hand on the place, usually 
the black " mammy " herself, was ever 
allowed to touch them ; nor was ever 
chancellor with his seals, or priest with 
his relics, more vigilant or self-impor- 
tant. Despite the numberless attempts, 
it was late in the war, if at all, that a 
really successful pair of cards was made 
in the Confederacy. The renovation of 
old ones, so as to prolong their usefulness 
for a few weeks, was, I believe, the most 
that was ever achieved. Indeed, the 
wire from which they were made, being 
of foreign manufacture, was as unattain- 



234 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



[August, 



able as the cards themselves. Every 
pair had to run the gauntlet of the 
blockade. The most valuable part of 
the cargo of the state blockade-runner, 
the Ad- Vance, consisted of bales of card- 
facing, to be attached to backs and han- 
dles on arrival. By this means Gov- 
ernor Vance was enabled almost to the 
very last to furnish the wives and wid- 
ows of Confederate soldiers with good 
cards at ten dollars a pair, which could 
not always be obtained at one hundred 
dollars in the open market. 

Much less than four years had sufficed 
to reduce the unreplenished wardrobes 
to nothing. Besides the effect of con- 
stant use, inroads had been made into 
them for every sort of purpose. Not to 
speak of the silk dresses, which amid the 
enthusiasm of the earlier, brighter days 
of the war had been converted into bat- 
tle-flags, woolen dresses and shawls had, 
later on, been made into shirts for the 
soldiers, as the carpets had been made 
into blankets, and the linen and curtains 
into lint and bandages for the wounded. 
Homespun or calico at ten dollars a yard 
was the only alternative for dress goods. 
In order that in point of dress all might 
be on the same footing, large societies 
of ladies bound themselves to wear noth- 
ing but the product of their own looms. 
These societies also had in view the dis- 
covery and dissemination of the best 
methods of dyeing and weaving, as well 
as the endless minutiae of this strange, 
perplexing economy. For besides the 
difficulties of cards, wheel, and loom, a 
host of obstacles had yet to be sur- 
mounted. Sightly and permanent dyes 
had to be concocted from the roots, herbs, 
and barks of the country. Then per- 
haps vexatious thread, and implements 
in the way of scissors, needles, etc., the 
handiwork of a smith who had never 
till now attempted anything more deli- 
cate than plough-points or grubbing-hoes, 
had to be contended with. As a last re- 
sort, buttons were made of persimmon 
seed, through which holes were pierced 



for eyes. In many cases a mourning 
dress went the rounds of the neighbor- 
hood, as death entered one door after 
another. The aesthetic faculty, then, 
proven to be ineradicable in womankind, 
was confined mainly to the selection 
and grouping of dyes for cotton cloth, 
and to elaborate hats and bonnets, made 
at infinite pains from shucks or straw, 
garnished with mysterious bits of finery 
reclaimed from no one knew where. 
However, the rag-bag proved a magi- 
cal repository of boundless possibilities, 
whence the conjuring hand drew always 
just what was needed. 

Coffee had been almost the sole table 
beverage of the South, and no privation 
caused more actual discomfort among 
the people at large than the want of it. 
There was nothing for which they strove 
so eagerly and unceasingly to procure a 
substitute. Few indeed were the sub- 
stances which did not first and last find 
their way into the coffee-pot. Wheat, 
rye, corn, sweet-potatoes, pea-nuts, dan- 
delion seed, okra seed, persimmon seed, 
melon seed, are but a few of the substi- 
tutes which had their turn and their day. 
" A fig for the difference between Ri-o 
and ry-e," said the wits. " Eureka ! " 
cried an enthusiastic newspaper corre- 
spondent. " Another of the shackles 
which holds the South the commercial 
thrall of the world is severed. Let 
South America keep her Rio and the 
antipodes its Java. It is discovered to 
be true beyond peradventure that as a 
beverage the seed of the sea-island cot- 
ton cannot be distinguished from the 
best Java, unless by its superiority ; 
while the seed of the ordinary variety is 
found to be not a whit behind the best 
Rio." What a flutter of excitement 
and joy it raised in many a household 
and doubtless the scene -in ours was 
typical to find that the great national 
plant, the very symbol of the Confed- 
eracy, was indeed so many-sided ! It 
gave us greater confidence, if it were 
possible to have greater, in the power 



1886.] 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



235 






and possibilities of the South, now that 
Cotton, the great king, had had another 
crown laid on his brow. So opportune 
was the discovery, too, that it struck us 
as almost a divine revelation, indicating 
the interposition of Providence in our 
favor. So eager were we to test it or 
rather to confirm it, for it was too good 
not to be true that we could not await 
meal-time. Residing in North Carolina 
and up the country, we had never seen 
any sea-island cotton, but the prospect 
of being confined to Rio was by no 
means appalling. A pickaninny was 
forthwith hurried off to the cotton patch, 
then sparsely flecked with newly opened 
boles. The apronful of precious stuff, 
now a veritable manna, was hardly in- 
doors before a dozen hands, of all sizes 
and colors, were tearing, picking, at the 
discredited fibre, in quest of the more 
priceless seed. The Rio was made and 
drunk. Despite the sorghum sweetening, 
the verdict was unanimous in its favor. 
I hope that the communication of this 
stupendous discovery to our neighbors 
added as immensely to our happiness as 
to our self-importance. But if in thd last 
respect we sinned, retribution could not 
have been laggard. For although, owing 
to the fact that happily the recollection 
of disappointments and humiliations is 
less abiding than the opposite feelings, 
I am unable to tell exactly why and 
when we returned to parched bran, it 
is nevertheless true that we did. 

Receipts for making " coffee without 
coffee " (when the real article was al- 
luded to, strong emphasis on the word 
left no doubt as to which kind was 
meant) were extensively advertised in 
the newspapers, and in some instances 
sold by canvassing agents. But rye, 
okra seed, and meal or bran held in the 
long run the popular favor. Those who 
could afford an infinitesimal quantity 
of the real article, counted out by the 
grain, to flavor the substitute, were the 
envy of the neighborhood. A cup of 
pure and genuine coffee would in the 



eyes of many have been an extravagance 
akin to Cleopatra's famous draught itself. 
The contents of a small gourd, which 
held our entire stock of the genuine ar- 
ticle for many months before the close 
of the war, must have gone towards the 
making of an incredible lake of coffee. 

The few votaries of tea consoled them- 
selves as best they could on a decoction 
of raspberry leaves or sassafras root. 
Some genius discovered in corn-fodder 
the exact flavor of black tea. Sugar, 
after the fall of Vicksburg, was almost 
as scarce as coffee. But in sorghum the 
people found a substitute which came 
perhaps nearer a success than any of 
the numberless makeshifts of the period. 
Sorghum, or Chinese sugar-cane, as it 
was then known, had been raised to 
some small extent in the State as early 
as 1857. It began to be largely planted 
in 1862, and during the two succeeding 
years its cultivation became general ; 
sorghum-boiling adding another to the 
great Southern festivals of corn-shuck- 
ing and hog-killing. It was about the 
sole thing of which there was no stint 
in the Confederacy. Verily the land 
was " submerged in sorghum." It sweet- 
ened the coffee, tea, and all the desserts 
of the time; sorghum candy was the 
national confection, sorghum " stews " 
the national festival. The strange creak- 
ing hum of the cane-mills pervaded the 
land. Every place was redolent of it ; 
everything was sticking with it. 

As the juice, after being expressed by 
rude wooden mills on the farm, was 
boiled by unskilled hands in vessels of 
every imaginable shape and size, the 
most divers and surprising results often 
ensued. Here one farmer left his sor- 
ghum so underdone that it soured ; there 
another so overcooked his that it refused 
to leave the barrel in which it had been 
poured. In short, every result between 
candy and vinegar was obtained. The 
product of no two farms, indeed of no 
two kettles, was alike in color, taste, or 
consistency. While a few succeeded 



236 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



[August, 



in making a tolerable syrup, the ma- 
jority were only learning the art when 
the war ended. As the sorghum was in 
most cases unavoidably boiled in iron 
vessels, the habitual users of it were 
easily to be distinguished by their ab- 
normally black teeth. Controversy as 
to its healthfulness and unhealthful- 
ness, its effect upon the teeth and the 
system in general, was almost as rife as 
that now carried on respecting whiskey 
and tobacco ; and it may be added that 
it exerted about the same influence on 
the millions of consumers. 

Confederate stationery was a thing 
no less unique and characteristic than 
the other products of the time. The 
writing-paper, of a dingy salmon color, 
rough and furzy, was ruled with heavy, 
glaring blue lines, doubtless on the prin- 
ciple that the plainness of the land- 
marks should be in proportion to the 
difficulty of the way. But with this 
paper, such as it was, at $10 a quire, 
and envelopes in proportion, it was re- 
sorted to only after every available bit 
of paper, every page of old account- 
books, whether already written on one 
side or not, and even the fly-leaves of 
printed volumes had been ferreted out 
and exhausted. Envelopes were made 
of scraps of wall-paper and from the 
pictorial pages of old books, the white 
side out, stuck together in some cases 
with the gum that exudes from peach- 
trees. Ink had almost as many substi- 
tutes as coffee, and with nearly as great 
a variety of results. Sumac-berries, 
poke-berries, " oak balls," and green 
persimmons set with rusty nails were 
oftenest used in concocting the fluids 
with which we blotted paper. We found 
that black-gum roots made fair corks. 
One of the very few things, if not the 
sole thing, that could be achieved with 
a dime was to post a letter. The ten- 
cent stamps, which were small and blue, 
bore a profile to all appearances a com- 
promise between those of the rival Presi- 
dents. 



The newspaper was of course the 
great institution of those feverish days. 
The war, in that it gave a powerful im- 
petus to reading and writing, and led 
the minds of the country people farther 
afield, was undoubtedly a great educator. 
Newspapers now found their way to the 
occupants of numberless cabins, whose 
literary needs and curiosity as to the 
outside world had hitherto been fully 
satisfied by two books : one written a 
couple of thousand years ago in Pales- 
tine, the other a couple of hundred years 
ago in England. Few indeed were the 
households which had not a member at 
the perilous front, and the war news was 
matter of personal interest to all. One 
of the many pathetic sights of home life 
was the eager expectation with which an 
illiterate wife, or mother, or father hur- 
ried off, on securing the long-coveted 
newspaper, in quest of a reader, and 
doubtless as column after column was 
gone over in vain, to wonder, simple 
souls, how so much could be written 
without a word of mention touching the 
one in their eyes all-important. The 
condition of each copy when it came 
from the country post-office proved it to 
have been already thoroughly fumbled 
by the eager crowd which always col- 
lected around such places for the perusal 
of all papers not called for immediately 
on the opening of the mails. To such 
an extent was this practice sanctioned by 
custom, or by mutual forbearance, that if 
one called and found his paper missing, 
the tone in which he was informed " that 
some of the boys must have got hold of 
it and carried it off somewhere " showed 
that an explanation rather than an apol- 
ogy was intended. Once in the hands 
of the people, the papers passed swiftly 
from door to door as long as they held 
together. Between this ceaseless thumb- 
ing and the manifold household needs 
for paper, which had to be supplied 
wholly from this source, it is not to be 
wondered that extremely few copies are 
now extant. 



1886.] 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



237 



Strange and peculiar to the times in 
matter and material were the weekly 
papers that reached us. Pregnant as 
the days were, space could be found 
only for the most salient events. Here 
half a column described a pitched bat- 
tle ; there a paragraph told all that we 
ever knew of a sharp skirmish, costing a 
hundred lives ; again, a single sentence 
chronicled the daring and death of a 
dauntless handful. No one could form 
an idea as to what a day might bring 
forth. 

As the press was naturally reticent 
respecting such matters as might dis- 
hearten friends, or encourage foes, 
not even then escaping frequent threats 
of bridling measures at the hands of 
the Richmond government, the news- 
paper advertisements have a peculiar 
value, as giving within certain limits a 
true, because unconscious, presentation 
of the condition and attitude of the peo- 
ple. Most of these notices, which were 
no less characteristic of the times than 
the news matter, fell under three heads : 
the orders of the Confederate conscrip- 
tion and commissary officers ; notices that 
certain worthies, " urgently and unavoid- 
ably detained at home," wished to hire 
substitutes ; and rewards offered for de- 
serters and runaway negroes. It is re- 
markable that in giving the approximate 
or probable whereabouts of the latter 
they were almost invariably represented 
as having returned to the old neighbor- 
hood from which they had once been 
removed, instead, as might be supposed, 
of making their way towards the Federal 
lines. The disproportion between the 
large quantity of land and the small num- 
ber of slaves advertised for sale strikes 
one, under the circumstances, as very 
singular and unaccountable. Neither the 
fact that the method followed in selling 
the two species of property was differ- 
ent, nor that much land was thrown on 
the market owing to the proximity of 
the advancing Federal lines, the slaves 
being removed to a place of safety, will, 



I think, entirely account for it. The 
true explanation, doubtless, lay largely 
in the spirit of combativeness which 
prompted men to cling with all the more 
tenacity to a species of property which 
they regarded as unjustly and malicious- 
ly attacked, coupled, too, with the scarce- 
ly formulated belief that if emancipa- 
tion ever came, confiscation and all that 
was dreadful must, as a natural conse- 
quence, come hand in hand with it. To 
the very last the newspapers referred to 
the high price of slaves as a proof of 
the determination and confidence of the 
Southern people in the struggle. 

The fewness of trade advertisements 
indicate a situation in which solicitation 
was incumbent on the buyer instead of 
the seller. An occasional cheap John, 
as a proof of his enterprise and philan- 
thropy, announced that he had been 
able to reduce the price of coffee to $40 
a pound, sugar to $15, nails to $10, cali- 
co to $10 a yard, salt to $100 a sack, 
and other things to prices proportion- 
ally low. Grotesque and ironical to the 
last degree, and in more than one way, 
was an advertisement of the last winter 
of the war, in which an undertaker, in 
as lively fanfare of type as the font was 
then capable of, gave notice that he had 
just received through the blockade an 
assortment of mahogany coffins, with 
which he would be pleased to supply his 
friends and the public generally. How- 
ever, in view of the fact that the col- 
umns were profoundly silent as to the 
whereabouts of food and raiment, there 
was unquestionably much timeliness in 
the tender of such wares. 

After the rapid depreciation of the 
currency set in, no newspaper received 
subscriptions for more than six months 
in advance. With everything else at a 
hundred prices, $40 per half year for 
the dailies, and $20 for the weeklies, 
seemed strangely low. And although, 
between rough paper, worn type, and 
bad ink, they were sometimes only par- 
tially decipherable, and almost without 



238 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



[August, 



exception were reduced to half a sheet 
before the war was two years old, they 
nevertheless maintained a standard of 
excellence striking in those days of 
bungling attempts and lame efforts. 
The fact that the number of papers in 
North Carolina was reduced only from 
fifty-seven in 1861 to twenty-six in 1865, 
while at least nine tenths of all other 
business enterprises were ruined, proves 
journalism to have been the least unsuc- 
cessful occupation of the war period. 

The Confederate currency was too re- 
markable a feature of the times to be 
omitted in any account of them. The 
depreciation which began spontaneously 
at various places was many months in 
becoming general ; nor was it ever near- 
ly uniform throughout the South. In 
the beginning it arose from no distrust 
of the currency itself. The great ma- 
jority of the people were willing to re- 
ceive, and actually did receive it at par, 
till the action of speculators forced up 
prices. Even then it passed as gold in 
the rural parts of North Carolina to the 
close of 1862. In fact, till the great 
twin disasters of July, 1863, destroyed 
ninety per cent, of the value of Confed- 
erate notes, there had been no great 
difference in the price of gold North 
and South. After that the currency 
sank with ever-increasing rapidity. The 
attempt of the Confederate Congress, 
by the act of February 11, 1864, to 
restrict the circulation by forcing the 
conversion into bonds of all notes over 
five dollars, the first of the ensuing 
April, under penalty of a repudiation of 
one third their value, proved not only 
futile, but really disastrous. We felt 
the instant effect in the destruction of 
thirty-three per cent, of the value of 
every dollar in circulation, the small 
notes sympathizing with the larger ones. 
When the new issue, of which so much 
had been fondly hoped, was at last ut- 
tered, it had far less purchasing power 
than the old before the damaging cur- 
rency bill was passed. But for the de- 



vice of the government in bolstering up 
the currency by steadily selling gold, 
for many months towards the last, at 
sixty for one, the notes must have lost 
even the shadow of value they retained. 
During 1864 returned prisoners protest- 
ed that a dollar in " bluebacks " would 
buy more at Point Lookout than in 
Richmond. 

Indeed, to the extreme scarcity of all 
goods and supplies in the South, as much 
as to the inflation and consequent dis- 
trust of the currency, must be ascribed 
its depreciation. Excepting the consid- 
erable influx of counterfeit Confederate 
notes smuggled through the lines from 
the North, there were just fifteen times 
as many dollars in circulation per capita, 
counting the population actually within 
the limits of the Confederacy, in Janu- 
ary, 1864, as in the same month of 1860. 
The fact that specie possessed five times 
its normal purchasing power is an ap- 
parent but not a real refutation of this 
assertion. Owing to the urgent demand 
for specie for the blockading and smug- 
gling trade, gold was no longer a stan- 
dard of value. Some idea of the in- 
fluence of this demand on the value of 
specie may be formed from the fact that 
the fall of Wilmington and the close of 
the blockade lessened the price of gold 
appreciably, although the Confederacy 
was tottering to its fall, with scarcely 
two months of life before it. Such an 
object of cupidity did the all-powerful 
silver gold being rarely or never seen 
in general circulation become to the 
whole people that years of vexatious 
experience with the unwieldy medium 
have hardly yet destroyed their venera- 
tion and affection for it. 

As for the last two years, at least, no 
one hoarded or even husbanded Con- 
federate money, it seemed a great deal 
more abundant than it really was. Nev- 
er before, away from the gaming-table, 
did money ever change hands so rapid- 
ly. Each individual being bent and de- 
termined not to hold it, the whole com- 



1886.] 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



239 



m unity was on the rack to keep the last 
dollar in circulation. That this should 
have been at all difficult, in face of the 
exorbitant prices that prevailed, is suffi- 
cient proof of the extreme scarcity of 
everything that man needs or wishes. 
A young subaltern in Richmond, in 
1864, who, on a day's furlough, before 
leaving for camp, went into a restaurant 
to disencumber himself of $400 in "Jeff 
Davis shucks," and to make doubly sure 
took two acquaintances with him, found, 
when the reckoning came, after a by no 
means sumptuous repast, that he had 
not only succeeded in doing so, but had 
incurred an indebtedness of $800 be- 
sides. Then indeed money burned every 
pocket. If there was anything that the 
people valued less than money I never 
heard of it. A practical treatise point- 
ing out reliable ways of spending money 
would doubtless have had as many stu- 
dents then as one giving the opposite 
process now. 

The very appearance of the majority 
of the notes in circulation was calculated 
to destroy the traditionary respect of the 
people for money. While the execu- 
tion of some of the larger Confederate 
notes was, under the circumstances, of 
extraordinary merit, the popular com- 
plaint that the smaller bills and frac- 
tional currency, especially the state 
notes, did not even look like money was 
a just one. At their lowest ebb, neither 
in material nor execution would they 
have reflected credit on a village print- 
ing-office. A few months' use sufficed 
pretty thoroughly to efface the letter- 
press, and at the same time to reduce 
the note to as many fragments as there 
had been creases in it, which fragments 
were commonly kept together by being 
pasted on a backing of newspaper, home- 
spun cloth, or other material that came 
to hand. 

While the abnormal economic condi- 
tion of which I have endeavored to give 
the most prominent features imposed 
more or less hardship on all, it bore 



very unequally on people of different 
occupations. The professional class and 
those who worked for salaries and wages 
naturally fared worst at a time when the 
struggle for bare existence taxed the 
energies of the majority to the utmost, 
and when the value of money was the 
most uncertain thing in a situation where 
nothing was certain. Besides, although 
the price of the necessities of life in- 
creased fifty and a hundred fold, pro- 
fessional emoluments, salaries, and wages 
advanced not more than ten, rarely more 
than five, fold. The monthly pay of a 
Confederate foot-soldier $15 a month, 
and that of tener than not in arrears 
would, for many months preceding Lee's 
surrender, have barely sufficed, in Rich- 
mond, to buy a pound of bacon to eke 
out his pitiful rations, or a swallow of 
poor whiskey to induce momentary for- 
getfulness of hunger, although, per- 
chance, in Raleigh, at times, that amount 
might have put him in possession of 
both. The sum of $50, which the pri- 
vates received annually in commutation 
for clothing, was, when the method was 
abolished, hardly less inadequate than 
his pay. As the currency depreciated, 
even civilians, who could command some 
increase of pay, found that prices so out- 
grew their salaries that, if obliged to de- 
pend on them alone, they remained hope- 
lessly impecunious. However, any one 
with the opportunity and inclination to 
speculate which, in view of the fact 
that there was nothing but the bare ne- 
cessities of life in which to speculate, 
was held a shameful thing found little 
trouble in making more money than he 
could use. At the same time that the 
speculators were cudgeling their brains 
to devise new ways of spending the flood 
of Confederate money that poured in on 
them, the families of soldiers, and even 
of officers, unless they had independent 
means of support, were reduced to pen- 
ury, and but for the charity of neigh- 
bors, and the aid extended by the State 
in furnishing them food at cost, or, in 



240 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



[August, 



extreme cases, without charge, must have 
starved. The concentration of refugees 
within the Confederate limits, as the 
Federal lines advanced, increased still 
faster the constantly widening dispropor- 
tion between demand and supply in all 
the essentials of life. 

As has been aptly said, necessities 
became luxuries ; and there were no 
comforts. It is such tests as these that 
reveal the wide differences between our 
real and imaginary needs. Many fam- 
ilies who before the war had held it im- 
possible to live on less than one thou- 
sand dollars a year found now that a sum 
with the purchasing power of one twen- 
tieth of that amount not only sufficed to 
keep soul and body together, but that 
enough was left to enable them to give 
a meal to every Confederate soldier who 
came within their reach. Meanwhile, 
the women of the household, the men 
being at the front or perhaps dead, after 
performing such domestic duties as were 
indispensable, devoted every moment to 
gratuitous work for the soldiers, usually 
giving the material sheets, valances, 
curtains, carpets, shawls, and woolen 
dresses, the accumulations of better 
days from which the articles were 
made. Many families lived mainly 
on sorghum and sweet-potatoes. Cases 
were known in which a sick person, the 
recipient of some chance delicacy, 
transmitted it to another, regarded in 
still greater need of it, who did likewise ; 
and after passing in turn through vari- 
ous hands, till all knowledge of the first 
donor was lost, it came back to the 
house from which it started. In keep- 
ing with the severe economy of the 
times was the action of the boarding- 
schools, which, in order that the students 
might be deterred from taking more 
food than they could eat, imposed a pen- 
alty on all who left anything on their 
plates. 

It would be a strong arraignment of 
the wastefulness of a normal period to 
compare the quantity of even the most 



indispensable staple used per head with 
that used, say, in 1864, could either be 
exactly known. The straggling Con- 
federate who, when detected in a persim- 
mon-tree by his commanding officer, the 
fruit being yet unripe and powerfully 
astringent, declared in extenuation that 
he was compelled to draw up his stom- 
ach to fit his rations, described in home- 
ly phrase a process of which there was 
very\wide need. 

Fortunate were those who were pro- 
ducers and as little dependent as possi- 
ble on the caprice and uncertainties of 
markets. Not only did the difficulty of 
transportation and the consequent in- 
equality of distribution cause the great- 
est diversity of prices to prevail in the 
State, or even in a much more restrict- 
ed area, it was not uncommon to find 
a difference of fifty or seventy-five per 
cent, in prices at places not fifty miles 
apart, both being on the railroad, but 
one could form no idea one day what he 
would have to pay the next, nor was 
there any certainty that he would be 
able to buy at all. Guided by rumor, a 
veritable Ariel in those days and on such 
errands, he might set out with one hun- 
dred dollars in pocket to buy a sack of 
salt, a pair of cotton cards, or even two 
barrels of corn or ten pounds of bacon, 
and learn on reaching the distant store, 
even if the coveted articles turned not 
out to be myths, that the whole stock 
had been exhausted the first half day, 
or that the merchant, falling suddenly 
into doubt as to finding opportunity to 
reinvest his money, had doubled prices, 
or closed his doors and refused to sell 
at all. 

Feuds strangely characteristic of the 
times sometimes arose between neigh- 
boring places. The speculators from 
one town, making a sudden foray into 
another, would strip it of everything 
that money could buy, carrying off their 
spoil for a profit. As a consequence, 
prices in the raided town leaped up a 
hundred per cent, at a bound, even if 



'1886.] 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



"241 



a downright famine did not ensue. A 
storm of indignation arose. The news- 
papers inveighed against it, the people 
resented it, and the feelings thus en- 
gendered in some instances outlived the 
war. 

Even in the larger towns it was a rare 
thing for the stores to stand open reg- 
ularly. When a merchant could find 
anything to sell he opened his doors, 
disposed of it quickly, and closed while 
in quest of another stock. Especially 
was this the case if he sold only block- 
ade goods. Some managed to do a less 
spasmodic business by dealing in rude 
articles of country manufacture, includ- 
ing always the ubiquitous sorghum. 

We now came to regard the charac- 
ter of the North Carolina coast, so long 
deplored as a bar to her commercial pros- 
perity, much in the nature of a divine 
blessing, foreordained from the begin- 
ning to be her salvation at this the su- 
preme crisis of her fate. We felt that 
the sands and storms at the mouth of 
Cape Fear and the wild sea off Hatter- 
as, rendering a thorough blockade im- 
possible, were as powerful allies of the 
South as the one hundred and twenty 
odd thousand men the State sent to the 
field. Especial interest was taken in 
the state steamer, the Ad-Vance. Her 
safety was an object of scarcely less so- 
licitude than that of a Southern army. 
In the poorest log cabin in the land, the 
minds of whose simple occupants had 
before traveled scarcely a dozen miles 
from home, the name of this steamer 
was a household word, inseparably as- 
sociated with the priceless salt and cot- 
ton cards on which the very existence 
of the family depended. Prayers for 
her safety went up from every quarter, 
from gray-headed deacons and from 
children who were babes in arms when 
Sumter was fired on. Not a few saw 
the hand of Providence in her long im- 
munity from harm. Many a grudge 
was scored against the Richmond au- 
thorities, when in September, 1864, she 

VOL. LVIH. NO. 346. 16 



was taken off Hatteras. Having had 
to surrender her anthracite to a Confed- 
erate cruiser, she had been obliged to 
put to sea with bituminous coal, which, 
lessening her speed and by its denser 
smoke betraying her whereabouts, led 
to her capture. 

But blockade running, like the divers 
other schemes of the times on which 
so many hopes were built, proved fruit- 
ful mostly in disappointment. We were 
ever on the eve of an era of plenty 
from this source, but foreign recognition 
itself was not more of a mirage. Al- 
though the Confederate Congress early 
in 1864 prohibited the importation of 
luxuries, among which were numbered 
the finer fabrics of cotton and wool, in 
order that all possible space might be 
devoted to bringing in the prime neces- 
saries of life, and we were assured that 
swift steamers, painted a light blue to 
blend with the hues of sea and sky, stole 
in and out the Cape Fear at the rate 
of ten a month, less than one in eleven 
being taken, we at last awoke to the 
fact that these supplies were but as a 
drop of water to a wretch dying of thirst. 
Then there was always more or less of 
a scrimmage over the cargoes of the 
blockade runners, and it required the 
alertness and push of a person on the 
spot, as well as Confederate money ad 
libitum, to put one in possession of any- 
thing like a stock of merchandise. Non- 
combatants were chary of trips from 
home, in those unsettled times. If a 
man's age did not clearly place him be- 
yond the conscription limits, the main 
object of his life, from which not even 
the passion for speculation could for a 
moment seduce him, was to avoid the 
conscription officers, whose methods were 
usually as summary as their power was 
un trammeled. As a consequence, the 
modicum of foreign goods that came in 
was not distributed even to the extent 
of which the deranged state of trans- 
portation would have admitted, the bulk 
of them going to the larger places. 



242 



Domestic Economy in the Confederacy. 



[August, 



Thus straitened were the people on 
whom were imposed the enormous taxes 
necessary to the maintenance of war, 
burdens which grew ever heavier, as the 
people became poorer. In an estimate 
made in the beginning of 1865, it was 
reckoned that the government would re- 
quire for the support of the war that 
year a sum more than twice as great as 
the total circulation of the South. The 
'Confederate tax was then five per cent, 
on all property, twenty per cent, on in- 
comes and profits in trade, besides a 
special tax on hundreds of other arti- 
cles, heavy in proportion as they could 
be construed to be luxuries. But long 
before this the government had seen 
that something more tangible than even 
an unlimited amount of its own notes, 
with their shadowy values, was indis- 
pensable to its existence. The tithing 
system had been established as early as 
April, 1863. This exacted a tenth of 
all farm produce not absolutely too per- 
ishable for transportation, sweet-pota- 
toes included. When tithes and taxes 
combined proved inadequate, as they 
soon did, recourse was had to the last 
resource of impressment. When the re- 
strictions by which the impressing pow- 
er was surrounded, forbidding the seiz- 
ure of provisions virtually from any 
.save speculators, and even then, if on the 
way to market, prescribing a tedious 
method of appraisement, bade fair to 
render utterly barren this dernier res- 
sort, the Confederate agents ignored all 
trammels, and summarily impressed sup- 
plies wherever they could be found, 
paying for them at schedule rates, which 
were usually about one fourth the mar- 
ket price. 

The most vehement protest of the 
state press could never administer more 



than a temporary check to this practice. 
Among other things impressed- were 
all pleasure horses, to be used in cav- 
alry service, arid all firearms of every 
description, except a gun for each house- 
hold. 

In addition to the national taxes, 
tithes, and impressments enumerated 
above, the State of North Carolina, 
which, besides ministering largely to the 
wants of her sons in the regular service, 
maintained a considerable armament of 
her own, consisting of boys and old men 
not within the Confederate conscription 
limits, also levied a tax of two per cent, 
on all property, and at the close of the 
war was on the eve of exacting half a 
tithe additional. She also drafted slaves 
and free negroes, as she had need of 
them, for work on the fortifications. Al- 
though the slaves were impressed for 
only short periods, and their labor was 
paid for as liberally as the authorities 
paid for anything, this created more dis- 
content and disaffection than any other 
measure of that trying time. So mor- 
bidly sensitive had the people become in 
regard to this species of property that 
not even a friendly hand could touch it 
in the direst extremity without giving 
offense. So manifest was this spirit that 
the press taunted the slave-holders with 
being more willing to risk the lives of 
their sons than the value of their slaves 
in the support of the cause. 

How all these exactions were met, all 
these burdens borne, is one of those 
problems which inexorable necessity 
alone has ever been able to solve. That 
they were cheerfully borne, and that 
through all hardships and grievances 
the belief of the great mass of the peo- 
ple in the Confederacy survived to the 
end, are incontestable facts. 

David Dodge. 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



243 



IN THE CLOUDS. 



XIX. 



GWINNAN, upon recovering conscious- 
ness, showed no retrospective interest in 
the scene at the depot. He remarked 
imperatively to the physician whom he 
found in attendance that it was necessary 
for him to leave during the afternoon, 
in fact, as soon as possible, to hold 
court in a distant county. He added, 
for the instruction of the doctor, that the 
clerk could open court, and had no doubt 
done so on Monday and Tuesday, and 
would be obliged to repeat this on 
Wednesday, without the presence of the 
presiding judge, but Thursday was the 
last day for which the statute had pro- 
vided the alternative. He evidently ex- 
pected that if the physician had any 
flimsy objections he would withdraw 
them before this grave necessity, under- 
standing that this was no time for the 
indulgence of professional whimseys. 

There was something so arrogantly 
disregardf ul of any other claims upon his 
attention, so belittling of merely corpo- 
real considerations, that the physician 
would have been a little less than medi- 
cal had he been able to repress a certain 
sense of domination as he answered, 
" Well, that happened more than two 
weeks ago, judge, and I reckon court 
was adjourned over to the next term." 

Gwinnan became aware with a sort of 
amaze that the hands he lifted did not 
seem his own ; that his head was light 
and giddy, or dully aching ; that he was 
fretful and helpless ; that no manner of 
respect was paid to his views. He was 
hardly pleased by the exchange of iden- 
tity with this ill-adjusted, listless, forlorn 
being ; the less when he finally grew 
able to stand upon his feet again, and 
was informed that for the next month 
or so he must do nothing but seek to 
interest and entertain the invalid, to see 



that he forbore to dwell on business, to 
seek to occupy his attention with pass- 
ing events, to divert him with trifles. 

It might have seemed even to others 
an arduous task to amuse with incidents 
a man whose every waking moment was 
occupied by principles. So completely 
had his rarefied, almost impersonal ju- 
dicial ambition, his pride of office, his 
solicitous reverence of its dignity, at- 
tenuated his sense of self that he cared 
little for Gwinnan as a man ; he re- 
spected him as a judge. He had held 
himself sedulously to his aspirations ; 
as it were on his knees, he had served 
his vocation day and night. It was to 
him as essential an organic constituent 
of his being as the lungs ; he could ill 
live without it, even for a time. Per- 
haps he might not have made the effort 
had not the physician warned him that 
he might never be fit for business, never 
again sit upon the bench, should he 
overexert himself now, before recover- 
ing from the effect of those terrible 
blows upon the skull. He became sud- 
denly tractable, wistful, and turned 
mournfully to the search of light enter- 
tainment. He assented with a dreary 
docility to the prescription of a change 
of air and scene. He accepted without 
demur, with a dull sense of endurance, 
the plan briskly devised for him to spend 
a week or two in Nashville, and if he 
did not recuperate rapidly to go thence 
South for the winter. He was not given 
to scanning his own mental poses and 
adjusting them to some theory of sym- 
metry ; he could but feel, however, as if 
he were already dead, stalking among 
scenes in which he had no interest, half- 
heartedly mingling with men whose 
every instinct was as far removed from 
the spirit that swayed him as if some 
essential condition of existence divided 
It was with a truly post-morteni 



244 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



indifference he listened to the talk of 
his friends who sought him out during 
his stay in Nashville, very interesting 
talk, doubtless, but purposeless, ineffica- 
cious ; they cited neither case nor sec- 
tion. He preferred to sit alone and idle 
before the blazing coal fire in his own 
room, expressionless with the stereo- 
typed hotel furniture ; now and then 
he roused himself, with a conscientious 
start, when he found his mind revolving 
like a moth around some scintilla juris 
which had especial attraction for him. 

He had experienced a sense of re- 
luctant relinquishment to find how the 
weeks had fled during his illness. Win- 
ter had advanced ; the Cumberland River 
was full of floating ice ; the town had 
the shrunken, deserted, torpid aspect 
common to every Southern city when 
the snow is on the ground. No one 
was abroad without absolute necessity 
except the English sparrow, prosperous 
exile. In the hope of varying the te- 
dium, one evening, Gwinnan sat down 
in one of the arm-chairs drawn close to 
the balustrade of the corridor overlook- 
ing the rotunda. It was a coign e of 
vantage from which all the life of the 
hotel was visible. Below, at the desk, 
the in-coming travelers were register- 
ing their names ; the click of billiards 
was a cheerful incident of the atmos- 
phere, with the rising of the fumes of 
many a cigar. On the opposite corri- 
dor the clatter of dishes could be heard 
from the dining-room, and occasionally 
there emerged gentlemen and tooth- 
picks. The rumble of the elevator 
sounded ceaselessly, and now and then 
fluttering flounces issued from its door 
which was visible down a cross-hall. 

Behind Gwinnan the great windows 
opened upon the snowy street. He could 
see the white roofs opposite gleam dimly 
against the nebulous sky. Carriage- 
lamps sometimes flashed past, yellow, 
lucent with jeweled effects. An electric 
light hard by flamed with a fibrous radi- 
ance, and empurpled the black- night, 



and conjured circles, mystically white, 
far-reaching into the snow. The plate- 
glass gave a reflection of his long lank 
figure and the red velvet arm-chair, and 
of the innumerable children of the place, 
racing about, unrestrained, in white 
frocks, much bedizened. There was a 
dog among them, a poodle, in his white 
frock too, accoutered also with a sharp, 
shrill cry, and swiftly gamboling despite 
much fat. He had as independent an 
aspect as if he knew that all the legis- 
lators crowded into all the caucuses in 
the city could not compass a dog-law 
that would interfere with his pretty lib- 
erty, or place a tax on his frizzy head. 
The sovereign people would have none 
of it. And so the obnoxious law stands 
repealed, and the dog-star is in the as- 
cendant. Now and then he came and 
sat at Gwinnan's feet, with a lolling 
tongue and panting sides. 

There had been a caucus in the read- 
ing-room of the hotel, and presently the 
doors, opening upon the corridor, be- 
gan to disgorge knots of men, some of 
whom walked off together, others stood 
in discussion. Now and then one was 
seized by a lobbyist, lying in wait. 
Gwinnan was aware of Harshaw's pres- 
ence before he saw him : a liquid, gur- 
gling, resonant laugh, and then the 
floater, accompanied by a colleague into 
whose arm he had hooked his own, 
came through the door. His hat was 
thrust on the back of his yellow head ; 
he stroked his long yellow beard, with 
a gesture of self-satisfaction ; his face 
was broad, and animated, and pink with 
prosperity. 

Fortune was favoring Mr. Harshaw, 
and few men have ever basked in her 
smiles so appreciatively. He had at- 
tained the reputation of being very in- 
fluential in the House. His cooperation 
was eagerly sought. In truth, as a wire- 
puller he had developed marked dexter- 
ity, and there were precious few things 
that Mr. Harshaw could not accom- 
plish in a caucus. He did a little " lo- 






1886.] In the Clouds. 

rolling," but he was chary of the in- 
terchange of favors, carrying his point , 
usually by persistence and pugnacity, 
and he possessed tremendous staying 
power as a debater. He had a certain 
barbaric delight in oppression ; having 
become possessed of the opportunity, he 
used it often when neither he nor his 
constituents had anything to gain. He 
took advantage of his ascendency to pay 
off many old grudges, some of them of 
a purely arbitrary construction and aes- 
thetic nature. He was in some sort 
aware that his colleagues were ashamed 
of his rough manners, his bullying, his 
coarse onslaughts, in which, being of 
the same political party, they were often 
constrained to appear as his supporters. 
He continually alluded to himself as if 
he were of peculiarly humble origin, 
representing himself as being of the 
People, from the People, and FOR the 
People, and forcing the conclusion that 
the other members from his region were 
bloated aristocrats. Nevertheless, who- 
ever would go to the state Senate next 
session, it was safe to say that the dem- 
agogue had assured his own nomination ; 
for merit had a fine chance to be mod- 
est, as behooves it, while Mr. Harshaw 
was shaping the future by manipulating 
the present. 

And now suddenly he was not quite 
sure that he wanted the nomination. 
In these days, while he divided his time 
between the beautiful Capitol building 
and one of the hostelries of the town, 
which was in his rural estimation hard- 
ly less magnificent, he meditated much 
upon Mink's assault upon Judge Gwin- 
nan in the depot of Glaston. Not in 
the interest of his client ; even the most 
solicitous of counsel could not be ex- 
pected to occupy his attention with the 
fate of the wayward Mink, who had 
passed beyond his aid. Mink's deed did 
not in truth seem to Harshaw so very 
much amiss. Of course he recognized 
its moral turpitude, being one of those 
cognizable by the law. but he also per- 



245 



ceived in it the finger of Providence, 
laid somewhat heavily, it must be 
confessed, on Gwinnan. He speculated 
deeply, despite his other absorptions, 
on who would probably be elected to 
supply Gwinnan's place, in case of the 
death of the wounded incumbent, and 
he reflected that he himself as a lawyer 
was highly esteemed in that circuit, for 
he had a large practice throughout the 
region, and that moreover, by a certain 
fortuitous circumstance, he was eligible 
for the position ; although his law office 
was in Shaftesville, he lived on his farm 
which was several miles distant, just 
within the boundaries of Kildeer Coun- 
ty, one of the judicial circuits over which 
Gwinnan presided. Apart from his re- 
pute at the bar, he was well known 
to the people at large through certain 
popuiar measures he had advocated. 
He devoted himself to these with re- 
newed ardor. He never allowed himself 
to view with a vacillating mind any 
course, however obviously salutary, when 
he had once discovered with a keen in- 
stinct that it was unlikely to secure the 
approval of the masses. Nevertheless, 
he applied his tact with such success 
that this foregone conclusion was not 
readily apparent, and he was continually 
beset for his influence. He had a secret 
gratulation that he was held in special 
veneration by the lobbyists. He could 
ill maintain the aspect of unwilling cap- 
tive, when he was waylaid and button- 
holed, and his attention eagerly entreat- 
ed for certain measures. As an anx- 
ious-faced man, who had evidently been 
awaiting him, stepped forward now, 
glancing with a casual apology at his 
friend, who walked on, Harshaw's re- 
luctant pause, his frown, his important 
bored sufferance, were as fine histrionic- 
ally as if he were playing at being a 
statesman on a stage, which, indeed, 
he was. 

He listened with a divided mind to 
the outpouring of the lobbyist, his 
opaque blue eyes fixed in seeming de- 



246 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



liberation upon the chandelier hanging 
down into the rotunda below, his ex- 
ceedingly red lips pursed up in a pucker 
of dubitation. Now and then he patted 
the toe of one boot on the floor medita- 
tively. Occasionally he looked his in- 
terlocutor full in the face, asking a ques- 
tion, presumably a poser ; then he would 
triumphantly thrust out his very red 
tongue, and his resonant, burly laugh 
would vibrate above the dancing of the 
overdressed children, and the riotous 
barking of the dog, and the tinkling 
waltzes played by a band of musicians 
ranged about the fountain in the ro- 
tunda. His entertainment in his own 
self-importance and posings was so ab- 
sorbing that the lobbyists and the advo- 
cates of many measures were often at 
a loss to know how best to reach Mr. 
Harshaw's desire to serve his country ; 
for he did not love money, and his in- 
tegrity, as far as it was concerned, was 
above suspicion. 

All at once genuine interest suddenly 
usurped these feignings on his face. 
His eye fell on Judge Gwinnan walking 
along the corridor, and leaning upon a 
stout cane. He looked very thin, very 
pale, taller than before, and somehow 
his face was more youthful with the 
wistfulness of illness upon it, his hair 
clipped close, and the black patch on 
his head. He moved slowly, and with 
little spirit. 

Harshaw stepped briskly forward, with 
a curt " Excuse me " to the lobbyist, tak- 
ing no reproach for leaving him with 
his mouth open, for it seemed his normal 
condition. 

" Why judge," Harshaw exclaimed, 
with his bluff familiarity, " you look 
bloomin' ! " He was about to stretch 
out his hand, but desisted, noticing that 
Gwiunan held his hat in one hand, and 
leaned upon his stick with the other. 
He took the judge by the elbow, as he 
walked a few steps with him. A dim 
image of the pair paced along in the 
plate-glass windows, as if their doubles 



were stalking without in the snow in 
scenes of which they were unconscious. 
" I had no idea you were pulling togeth- 
er so fast," he continued, scanning the 
face which was almost spectral in its at- 
tenuation and pallor, in close contrast to 
his own fat floridity of countenance, his 
red lips, his gleaming white teeth, his 
mane of yellow hair, and his dense yel- 
low beard. His wide, black soft hat 
stuck on the back of his head accented 
his high color. " But I declare, it 's 
worth while for a man to get hit over 
the head to find out how important he is, 
and how he is esteemed. I never knew 
more profound sympathy and indignation 
than the affair excited. As to myself, I 
felt it especially, as I had taken so much 
stock in that rascally client of mine." 

There was a pause. Gwinnan made 
no reply. His face was turned toward 
Harshaw with a certain unresponsive- 
ness, an inscrutable questioning, a ca- 
daverous gravity. His hollow eyes were 
very bright and large. Somehow they 
put Harshaw out of countenance. Some- 
thing there was in their expression be- 
yond his skill to decipher. He became 
a trifle embarrassed, and yet he could 
not have said why. He went on at ran- 
dom. He had observed that a number 
of people were remarking them. There 
was nothing strange in the peripatetic 
method that the interview had taken 
upon itself, but suddenly he found it odd 
that Gwinnan had not paused. 

"That fellow, Mink Lorey, is a most 
extraordinary and unexpected kind of 
scamp," Harshaw proceeded uneasily, 
making talk. "To my certain knowl- 
ed"ge, he cared so little about the girl 
that he refused to see her when she came 
to visit him in jail. But the idea of an- 
other man admiring her seemed to set 
him wild." 

Gwinnan stopped short. 

" What girl ? " he asked, m his soft, 
inexpressive drawl. 

"The girl that testified, Alethea 
Sayles," said Harshaw, relieved that 



1886.] In the Clouds. 

Gwinnan had spoken, striving for his 
old bluff assurance, but still conscious 
that he had lost his tact. " She was 
pretty, very pretty indeed, and you were 
not alone in having the good taste to 
notice it. The rest of us did n't have to 
pay for it with a broken head, though, 
eh, judge? Ha! ha!" 

There was a moment's pause. 

" Mr. Harshaw," said Gwinnan, lean- 
ing against one of the great pillars, the 
reflection in the plate-glass duplicating 
the posture on the snowy sidewalk, as 
if that other self, liberated and in iso- 
lated independence, busied in different 
scenes, now meditated, and now spoke, 
and now lifted a fiery glance, " I will 
take this opportunity to tell you that I 
believe you to be an egregious liar, and 
I know you for an arrant hypocrite." 

" Sir ! " cried Harshaw, starting back, 
tingling from the words as if they were 
blows. He made an instinctive gesture 
toward his pistol pocket ; it was empty. 
He was acutely conscious of the men 
who pressed a little nearer, noticing the 
excitement. 

G win nan's voice had a singular car- 
rying quality, and every deliberate, low- 
toned word was distinct. 

" I repudiate your professions of 
friendship. I despise your protestations 
of sympathy. If your threats at the 
court-house door at Shaftesville had 
been earlier repeated to me, ludicrously 
impotent as they are, you should never 
have approached me again. Now," 
his voice broke suddenly, in his feeble- 
ness and excitement, and was thin and 
tremulous and shrill, " keep out of 
my way, or I will beat you with tfiis 
stick like a dog ! " 

Gwinnan had lifted the stick, and 
shook it threateningly in his trembling 
hand. Harshaw, with his own reasons 
for declining to give the first blow, could 
only shrink and wince in anticipation. 
The stick did not descend on him, how- 
ever, for Gwinnan turned, and, leaning 
on it, made his way down the corridor 



247 



among the wondering men, who slowly 
opened an aisle for him in their midst. 



XX. 

It was a confused scene which Gwin- 
nan had left. Harshaw's friends pressed 
about him, animated equally, perhaps, 
by curiosity and surprise. His self-re- 
straint had given way. He swore with 
every breath he drew, repeating, in an- 
swer to questions, the unlucky threat 
over and again. " I said that he would 
be impeached, and that I would intro- 
duce the resolution in the House myself. 
And so, by God, I will ! " 

His face was hot and scarlet. The 
perspiration stood out on his forehead. 
He ground his teeth and clenched his 
hands. He would walk forward a few 
unsteady steps, then pause to reiterate 
and explain, and swear that if Gwinnan 
were not at death's door he would cow- 
hide him within an inch of his life. 
The progress of the group, slow as it 
was, with these frequent interruptions, 
was in the direction of the stairs. It 
was chiefly composed of members of the 
legislature, and, there being a night ses- 
sion, they mechanically took their way 
to the Capitol. A few gentlemen loung- 
ing about the corridor were watching 
their exit with the gusto of disinterested 
spectators, as they disappeared down the 
staircase, reappearing below in the ro- 
tunda, Harshaw still in the van, his 
florid face bloated with rage, his hat on 
the back of his head, his hands thrust in 
the pockets of his trousers. His friends 
wore a becoming gravity, but Harshaw 
was too thoroughly a man of this world 
not to know how much more they val- 
ued the diversion he furnished than his 
interests as affected thereby. They all 
crossed the office, and disappeared final- 
ly through the street door, and the spec- 
tators on the corridor shifted their pos- 
tures, and tipped off the ash grown long 
on their cigars, and commented. 



248 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



" Biggest blatherskite put of hell, 
Harsl} aw. is, "remarked a young fellow, 
who fluug himself diagonally into a seat, 
hanging his long legs over one arm of 
the chair and resting his back against 
the other. He put his cigar into his 
mouth, and puffed at his ease. He had 
a pale face, thin dark hair, irregular 
features, straight black eyebrows, and 
wide, restless black eyes, quickly glan- 
cing, with a suggestion of melancholy. 
He was handsomely dressed, although 
he wore his clothes with a slouching, 
irreverent air, as if he gave his attire 
scant heed. Despite their cut and qual- 
ity, there was nothing dapper about him. 
He had a lank, listless white hand and a 
foot singularly long and narrow. His 
forehead was remarkably high, austere, 
and almost noble ; one might look in 
vain for correlative expressions in the 
other features. He was languid and 
inattentive, but this manner suggested 
affectation, for it did not eliminate the 
idea of energy. He smoked a great 
deal, and drank not much, but discrimi- 
natingly ; he was proud of seeming reck- 
less, and of being more reckless than he 
seemed. He had other qualities more 
genial. He knew a good dog when he 
saw him. He knew a good horse, and 
he loved him. He was the possessor of 
a liberal hand and a long purse. He 
had an enthusiastic admiration of fine 
principles, and he had the pity of it ! 
his own definition of fine principles. 
He entertained a horror of anything 
base, and he had a command of very 
strong language to characterize it. He 
arrogated to himself the finer attri- 
butes. He strained for the heroic poise. 
He would feel nothing, believe noth- 
ing, do nothing, that was unbecoming 
of what he esteemed the noblest ex- 
pression of man and gentleman. Never- 
theless he had no serious objects in 
life, no absorbing ambition, no ability 
to originate. But he could espouse an- 
other man's cause with a fervor of un- 
selfishness. The excitements and vicissi- 



tudes of the affairs of others rejoiced 
the voids of his capacities for emotion. 
He was of the stuff of which adherents 
are made, essentially a partisan. His 
prototypes have ridden in the ranks of 
every losing cause since the world be- 
gan. He was of the essence of those 
who are born for freaks of valor, for 
vagrant enthusiasms, for misguided fan- 
tastic feuds, for revolution. One need 
have no special powers of divination to 
know that he was a man who must die 
in his boots. 

"Do you think, sir, that Mr. Har- 
shaw had no foundation for his threat," 
said an elderly granger, who leaned 
against a pillar, " no foundation for 
this charge against Judge Gwinnan ? " 

" Gwinnan may have ruled against 
him a time or two," said Kinsard. 
" That 's about the size of it." 

He had a pedigree as long as his 
favorite colt's, but this was the way he 
talked. 

"It is a gross slander, then ; it implies 
a stealage, or taking a bribe, or some 
malfeasance in office, the judicial of- 
fice," said one of the by-standers. 

" It was very shabby in Harshaw to 
say it ; then, thinking Gwinnan had 
never heard of it, to go fawning up, pre- 
tending to be so mighty friendly," re- 
joined another. 

Kinsard's black eyes turned slowly 
from one speaker to the other. 

"If I had been Judge Gwinnan, I 
would have killed him for it," he said, 
with his cigar held lightly between his 
fingers. " I would have spilt his brains, 
not his blood ; and I would have had 
some scientific man to find the precise 
section of the brain structure which 
ideated that theory, and I would have 
had it comminuted, and vaporized, and 
transmuted into nothingness." 

He spoke with calmness, as if these 
things were done every day for the 
vengeful in Tennessee. 

The granger took off his spectacles 
suddenly. He wanted to see this ex- 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



249 



traordinary young man, who he had an . 
idea was too dangerous to be at large. 

The others looked at him with a less 
serious air. They had heard him talk 
before. 

" Well," said a certain Mr. Forsey, 
also a young man, who had dropped 
upon the broad window-seat and lounged 
there, holding one knee in his clasped 
hands, and smoking too, " do you think 
Harshaw would have ventured to say 
it if there were no foundation for it, 
if Gwinnan had done nothing to sug- 
gest such a proceeding ? What motive 
had Harshaw ? " 

He was a different manner of man. 
He had close-cut fair hair, a face broad 
across the cheek-bones and narrow at 
the chin, sparse whiskers and a light 
gray, wide-open eye. He had a sedu- 
lously neat appearance, a soft tread, and 
delicate white hands, in one of which 
he held his hat. 

"What motive? What motive for 
slander ? Go to first principles. Gwin- 
11 an has got something that Harshaw 
wants." He put his cigar into his mouth 
and went on talking as he held it fast 
between his teeth. " What fools we all 
are ! We make laws against predatory 
beasts and decree their extermination. 
Pay a bounty for the scalps of the ma- 
rauding men, I say, the sharp fel- 
lows who ravage and pillage and have 
contrived so far to keep the law on their 
side. But pshaw ! " he shifted his lees 

IT O 

over the arm of the chair impatiently. 
"He can't hurt Gwinnan. Talk can't 
compass the impeachment of a judge. 
Gwinnan is one of the strongest men on 
the bench. Made the stiffest show that 
ever was seen when he ran against old 
Judge Burns, who had sat on the bench 
in that circuit till everybody thought he 
owned it. Old man could have mort- 

I gaged the bench, could have raised 
money on it, I have n't a doubt. Gwin- 
nan couldn't have beat Burns, if he 
had n't been above reproach and suspi- 
cion ; it 's a tremendous thing to upset 



an old fixture like that. Gwinnan is a 
sound lawyer and a splendid man." 

Mr. Kinsard's views, as his colleagues 
in the legislature had discovered to 
their confusion, were apt to confirm his 
hearers in the opposite opinion. A bill 
was much safer when he arrayed him- 
self against it. Mr. Forsey was not 
convinced that so serious a charge would 
have been made with absolutely nothing 
to support it. The idea of the blurt- 
ings of an uncontrolled rage occurred 
to neither of them. Forsey sat looking 
so steadily at the dapper toe of his boot 
for a time, and yet with so stealthy a 
stillness, that it might have suggested 
the bated exultation of a cat that had 
had a glimpse of a frisking mouse in 
that neighborhood, and was waiting to 
pounce upon it. 

" Judge Gwinnan has the reputation," 
gravely remarked the granger, who 
looked as if he might be a pillar of the 
church, "of being a very upright man, 
a most worthy man, and a Christian 
gentleman." 

" Of course he is," said Kinsard ; 
" no question about it, and nobody but 
a fool would have thought of anything 
else. I am going to introduce a bill," 
he added seriously, u to make the fool- 
killer a State officer. We need him in 
Tennessee more than a geologist, or a 
governor, or anybody but a sheriff. A 
fool-killer ought to be on the State pay- 
roll." 

No one said anything further, for 
Kinsard was lazily pulling himself out 
of the contortions into which he had 
sunk in the chair. 

He was very striking when he stood 
at his full height. There was an air of 
spirit and dash and bravery about him 
very engaging to the imagination. His 
high, broad forehead gave nobility and 
seriousness to a face that would other- 
wise have been only sparkling, or sneer- 
ing, or melancholy, as his mood dictated. 
There was something essentially untam- 
able in his eyes. But for the finality of 



250 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



this obvious limitation one might have 
hoped that should he wear out his fiery, 
fantastic, erratic spirit, should some blow 
subdue it and give it into his control, 
there were great gifts there awaiting 
development denied. He was aware of 
them in some sort ; he bore himself as 
a man endowed with some splendor of 
preeminence. And others accorded it. 
Youth has much credit given to its 
promise, despite that it so often falls in 
the bud or fails in the fruit. But it 
rarely has so brilliant a prospect as 
here ; and after he had strolled off at a 
leisurely, swinging gait, saying that he 
was going to the House, where a bill 
was coming up that he wanted to kill, 
they all looked after him, and comment- 
ed on him, and called him a fine, high- 
minded young man, and said it was a 
good thing for young fellows to have 
political ambition, and it was dying out 
among that class generally, who were 
too fond of making money and of using 
their time to their own advantage. 

He stood for a moment on the steps 
of the hotel, drawing on his gloves. 
Despite the snow, there was a faint sug- 
gestion of spring in the air. A thaw 
had set in. He heard drops slowly pat- 
tering down from the cornice above. 
The blue-white splendors of the electric 
light, with its myriad fine and filar rays 
whorled out into the darkness, showed 
a deserted street. A carriage, looking 
with its two lamps like some watchful- 
eyed monster, pulled up in front of the 
door, and the colored driver, with a 
wide display of a toothful grin, alight- 
ed with a " Want a hack, boss ? " 

"Jim, Tom oh, it's Dick," said 
Kinsard, glancing at the dusky face in 
the lamplight ; he knew all the colored 
folks in town. " Well, drive me to the 
Capitol, and don't be all night about it, 
either." 

He flung himself upon the seat, lift- 
ed his long, slender feet to the oppo- 
site cushions, and with a complete col- 
lapse of anatomy resigned himself to 



.the transit. The vehicle moved from 
the curb with something of the sound 
of a boat pushing off from shore, so 
splashing was its progress through the 
deep slush of the streets. The hoof- 
beats of the horses were muffled ; the 
voice of the driver sounded, and was 
still again. Kinsard smoked in idle ab- 
straction, hardly thinking, perhaps, even 
of his mission and the slaughter of the 
"innocent William," as he slangily 
called the bill which he intended to kill. 
When the carriage had climbed the Cap- 
itol hill, on which the fair edifice tow- 
ered, glimmering vaguely white against 
the purple night, its rows of illuminated 
windows all a gleaming yellow, and cast- 
ing dim shafts of light adown the snowy 
slopes of the grounds below, he roused 
himself and looked up. Even after he 
had alighted and ascended the long flights 
of stone steps, between the groups of 
great figures that stand beneath the flar- 
ing gas lamps, he turned, and more than 
once walked the length of the stately 
portico, gazing down with a vague at- 
traction he could hardly have explained 
at the snowy roofs of the city, on its 
many hills, amidst the dun-colored in- 
tervals of the streets and the misty de- 
pressions. The heavens were purple 
above it ; the stars palpitated in the in- 
finite distances ; a late moon was rising. 
He recognized the outline of Fort Neg- 
ley to the south against the sky ; he saw 
the steely gleam of the river. Spires, 
long glancing lines of light, domes, tur- 
rets, mansard roofs, mingled in pictur- 
esque fantasies of architecture. A bell 
rang out a mellow note ; the icy air had 
crystalline vibrations. Here and there 
the aureola of unseen electric lights, the 
mere fringes of lustre,' seemed the rising 
of some more cheerful orb ; for melan- 
choly hung upon the progress of the 
moon. In the tower of some public 
building Time lifted a smiling face in 
an illuminated dial, and far away to the 
west he saw a planet touch a spire, in 
an unprophesied conjunction. The lights 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



251 



of homes, yellow, steady, gleaming in 
some fantastic braidery of form, seemed 
themselves a constellation of more ge- 
nial suggestion than the pallid keener 
clustered scintillations of the chimeras 
of the skies. The gilded cross of the 
cathedral held aloft over the city was 
sublimated in the moonbeams and the 
fair nocturnal influences ; it was mystic, 
effulgent, seeming to radiate light like 
the consecrated sign in a vision. He did 
not feel the cold ; he stood for a long 
time, with his hands in his pockets, his 
overcoat falling back on his shoulders, 
watching with his restless eyes the quiet 
snowy town suffused with dreamy yel- 
low light and pervaded by long, pensive 
shadows. Suddenly he turned, and went 
within. 

The House of Representatives pre- 
sented a spectacle not altogether unpre- 
cedented in his experience. A spirited 
debate was in progress. Sixteen men 
were trying to speak at once. The sev- 
enteenth earnest orator was forcibly 
held in his chair by his friends. The 
speaker's gavel sounded continuously, 
and with the cries of " Question " aided 
the coherency of the discussion. Other 
members were talking in low tones of 
alien matters ; here and there a knot 
stood in earnest discussion. One had 
fallen asleep. His snores might have 
been generally noticed but for the com- 
motion. Kinsard glanced at him as he 
took his seat close by. 

"That's the best oratorical effort I 
ever heard McKimmon make," he said 
to a friend. " Observe how he sticks to 
the point : iterative, it is true ; tautology 
might be urged against it as mere dic- 
tion ; but I admire its simplicity, its com- 
prehensibility, its continuity. There are 
no digressions ; nothing is done for ef- 
fect ; plain, cogent, impressive. It is a 
fine display of natural eloquence." Hk 
colleague burst out laughing, and Kin- 
sard looked at him in apparent surprise, 
lifting his straight black eyebrows a lit- 
tle. Then he asked if the bill to re- 



move the county seat of Kildeer County 
had yet been reached. 

" No," said his friend, " but Harshaw 
has been around here after you three or 
four times." 

The speaker's gavel had succeeded 
in securing order, and now the sixteen 
men's statements and counter-statements 
were elicited in decorous routine. The 
sudden cessation of noise roused Mr. 
McKimmon, whose somnolency ended in 
a snort and a conviction that he had not 
closed his eyes. He perceived a suspi- 
cion to the contrary in the minds of his 
nearest neighbors, and he could not ac- 
count for it. 

After the Assembly had voted upon 
the question of public policy which had 
so agitated it, various minor bills were 
taken up, and there was a good deal of 
quiet movement, groups of two or three 
colloguing together here and there, 
and Harshaw came up again to talk to 
Kinsard. 

" I want to know whether you '11 co- 
operate with us against the bill for mov- 
ing the county seat of Kildeer County." 

He stood leaning one arm upon Kin- 
sard's desk; the other was akimbo. 
He knitted his brow meditatively, and 
pursed up his red lips, and looked not at 
Kinsard, but at his inkstand. He had 
not altogether recovered from the rebuff 
so publicly given in the hotel corridor. 

It is always a misfortune when a man 
of Harshaw's stamp has to contend with 
any degree of injustice. He had re- 
peated to Gwinnan the truth, and for 
it he had been given the lie direct in 
circumstances under which he could not 
resent it ; even the original threat was 
only the blurtings of an honest rage and 
for another man's sake. He was clever 
in adroitly justifying means and ends. 
To be armed with the truth, a genuine 
grievance, endowed him with a force, a 
self-respect, all-potent in their way, and 
a wonderful driving-wheel to an already 
lubricated and too alert machinery. He 
had an imperative, serious air which 



252 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



seemed to intimate to Mr. Kinsard that 
this was no time for fooling. 

Kinsard was eccentric, ill-balanced. 
He was made up of prejudices, and he 
obeyed the impulse of the moment as 
| other men obey interest or law. He 
was not predisposed in Harshaw's fa- 
vor. He took a different view of the 
scene upon which Harshaw presumed. 
He looked up, a whimsical light in his 
grave eyes, as he allowed Harshaw to 
waste his breath in urging him to vote 
against a bill which he was already 
pledged to kill. 

" The county line of those portions 
taken from Cherokee and Kildeer coun- 
ties to form a new county in no instance 
approaches the county seat of Kildeer 
within eleven miles. There is no use 
for the people of Kildeer to commit the 
extravagance of a new court-house when 
they already have one, a frame build- 
ing, it is true, but spacious." 

He looked very spacious himself, as 
he stood erect and waved his arm, the 
mental vision of the commodious Tem- 
ple of Justice of Kildeer before him. 

"Then, sir, it is thought there may 
be a railroad to the present county 
seat, a branch of the T. C. V., which 
will aid in developing the resources of 
the country." 

" Well, I don't believe in railroads," 
said Kinsard, unexpectedly. " When- 
ever they get to talking about running 
a railroad from one little town where 
there is nothing to another little town 
where that nothing is not wanted, I un- 
derstand it as developing the resources 
of the country." 

Harshaw was not in a mood to be 
bantered. 

" Mr. Kinsard," he said, " you are 
either a fool absolute, or you think I 
am." 

" As far as you are concerned," said 
Kinsard with mock courtesy, " I have 
the highest opinion of your intelligence ; 
ergo, it is more than probable that I am 
a fool." 



Harshaw endeavored to recover him- 
self. He reassumed his more genial 
manner. " Admit that we are a choice 
brace. Well, now, we want you on our 
side ; all the solid, substantial people 
of Kildeer County are arrayed against 
it." 

" Oh, there are some solid citizens for 
it," said Kinsard perversely, " or you 'd 
be willing for it to be put to the popular 
vote." 

Harshaw looked keenly at him. 
" Judge Gwinnan has been talking to 
you, has n't he ? We 've had to fight 
his influence all the way through." 

" Well, Judge Gwinnan is a promi- 
nent citizen of that county and a very 
sensible man, and if he is in favor of 
the change he must have good reasons," 
said Kinsard, seriously. " That 's enough 
to take it through." 

Harshaw cast an indignant glance 
upon him. " Well, before I 'm done with 
it I '11 show you that this General As- 
sembly is n't run by Judge Gwinnan's 
influence and by his myrmidons. I am 
glad you have let me know at last whose 
mouthpiece you are ! " 

He walked away with that extraor- 
dinary quickness and lightness so incon- 
gruous with his portliness. Kinsard's 
black eyes, that seemed kindled with 
actual flames, followed him for a mo- 
ment. Then, as comprehension slowly 
dawned upon him, and with a wrench 
as if he broke from actual physical 
restraint, he started from his seat to 
follow. 

u No, you won't, now ; no, you won't." 
His colleague had locked his arm into 
Kinsard's, and held it like a vise. He 
was a square-built, slow, muscular man, 
solid as granite. His eyes were fixed 
upon Harshaw, who was already speak- 
ing against the bill. " What is that man 
saying ? " 

Kinsard at once lapsed into attention. 
Harshaw was a clear and forcible speak- 
er, and with lucid arguments ranged 
upon the side of conservatism and econo- 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



253 



my he was giving the advocates of the 
measure a very stiff fight. They got on 
their feet time and again, and came at 
him. He had a great fund of pugnaci- 
ty, and on principle fought every point. 
His face was flushed ; his eyes were 
grave and intent ; his frequent gestures 
ponderous and forcible. Now and then 
he tossed back his mane of yellow hair, 
as if its weight vexed him. He sought 
to show the ephemeral nature of the ad- 
vantages urged, the solid interests relin- 
quished. Presently his old slogan was 
resounding on the air. He was repre- 
senting that the sacred interests of the 
people were imperiled by the machina- 
tions of the bloated plutocracy of Kil- 
deer County. He wanted it to be dis- 
tinctly understood that he did not charge 
any nefarious practices, any corrupt in- 
fluences ; only that most subtle, insidi- 
ous, and pervasive sway always exerted 
by the views of men of position, men 
of family, men of " prawperty," against 
the simple will and simple needs of the 
Plain People. The high-toned folks, the 
few rich folks, wished the county seat 
moved to Damascus, because they had 
"prawperty" there. (He pronounced 
" prawperty " with so contemptuous an 
intonation that one felt one could never 
take pleasure in paying taxes again.) 
They had "prawperty," and railroad 
stock, and thus from the people, the 
many of moderate means, who had built 
up the present county town and made 
it what it was, who spent their money 
right there instead of going off to pat- 
ronize merchants and schools in Glas- 
ton, as was the habit of the wealthy, 
from this class would be wrenched those 
privileges which they had made valua- 
ble. All those advantages, which had 
been nursed for years, which were so 
much actual materialization of the efforts 
of the Plain People, would go to not 
to Tophet, as one might have expected 
from the tone, but to Damascus ! 

But he would champion their rights ; 
he would be heard ; he would not heed 



the ostentatious reference of the gentle- 
man from Cherokee to his watch. Why, 
he could tell the speaker that these same 
influential men had their personal rep- 
resentation in this House. A member 
confessed to him that because one of 
these little great men wanted a thing 
it had to go through this General As- 
sembly. "And so his mouthpiece re- 
peats his wish, his tool does his will ! " 

A murmur arose. 

Kinsard was on his feet in an instant. 

"Mr. Speaker," he thundered, "the 
member means me ! " 

There was sudden silence. 

He stood at his full height, his head 
thrown back, his brilliant eyes fixed an- 
grily on Harshaw. 

Harshaw was dumfounded. He had 
expected Kiusard to quake silently and 
secretly under the lash ; to quiver in ter- 
ror lest his identity be hinted. This 
open avowal had routed him. He was 
in an ill-humor, but he had no desire 
to seriously attack Kinsard on a point 
like this. He wanted to punish him, to 
intimidate him; to threaten that most 
sensitive possession of the young and 
spirited, his reputation, or, as Kinsard 
would have called it, his " sacred honor." 
He had the usual contempt of a man of 
forty for youth, its self-assertion, its 
domineering. He intended the chance 
allusion as discipline. He had fallen 
under his own lash. He stood in dis- 
may as Kinsard reiterated, " He means 
me ! " 

There was a general laugh ; the im- 
putation, in view of his character, his 
prominence, his wealth, his very eye, 
was so absurd. 

" But, Mr. Speaker," Kinsard's 
tones were grandiloquent " in view of 
the publicity of this charge, I consider 
that I am wounded in my reputation, 
and I demand reparation." 

" I can make no formal retraction," 
said Harshaw, hastily, " for I have im- 
puted no discredit, except being easily 
dominated." 



254 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



Kiiisard fixed upon him a look of 
amazement. He turned again to the 
chair. " Mr. Speaker," he said, " the 
member from the floterial district of 
Cherokee and Kildeer " he sedulously 
avoided the word " gentleman " " la- 
bors under a mistake. I do not demand 
the retraction of a word. Perhaps he 
will understand this token." He took 
his glove, and cast it in the open space 
before the speaker's desk. 

Only a nineteenth-century kid glove, 
with two porcelain buttons at the wrist, 
but it was flung down with as splendid 
and gallant a gesture as if it was a 
gauntlet of mail. 

The old fellows, who had outlived 
folly like this, were grinning at the re- 
vival of their ancient manners. The 
younger men, profiting by the traditions 
of their elders, were grave and quiver- 
ing with excitement. Harshaw was in 
a quandary, conscious of being ridiculous 
in the eyes of one class, and of being 
dared and defied in the eyes of the oth- 
er. He would not do so absurd a thing 
as to lift Kinsard's glove. Yet with the 
significance of the " token " he was 
ashamed to let it lie. 

And the speaker had a big job on his 
hands. 

The gavel sounded now and again. 
Some one, with a pious view of making 
bad worse, was calling the attention of 
the house to the anti-dueling legislation. 
Another reminded Mr. Kinsard of his 
" sacred obligations " to his constituents, 
to the people of Tennessee, to the As- 
sembly, all of which seemed to have 
escaped him for the moment. Kinsard's 
colleague had sprung forward, recovered 
the somewhat ridiculous integument, and, 
crumpling it up, put it into his own 
pocket. He succeeded in attracting the 
attention of the chair and of the House. 
He wished he spoke in a labored way, 
with a pause between each phrase, and 
a rising inflection to remark that the 
House was disposed to take a great deal 
on trust. The gentleman had not given 



any challenge. Did the members ask 
what that glove meant, then? Why, 
defiance ! Dueling was with a deadly 
weapon ; deadly weapon was of the 
essence of the offense. The gentleman 
might have preferred to have a round 
or two at fisticuffs, or, perhaps, simply 
to engage in debate. (Derisive cries 
and laughter.) Defiance only ! It was 
a breach of all the proprieties to men- 
tion the anti-dueling laws in this con- 
nection. Too much taken for granted, 
Mr. Speaker. If I should be heard to 
say to a man that I would see him be- 
fore dinner, it would be highly prepos- 
terous to have me arrested. We might 
be going to kill each other, it is true, 
but then, again, we might be only going 
to " smile." 

The speaker sat listening gravely, 
much wishing to further the acceptance 
of this view, for he considered the dem- 
onstration mere boyish wrath and folly. 
He made strong efforts for the adjust- 
ment of the difficulty. Harshaw rose 
presently, and begged to call attention 
to the fact that he had named no names, 
had given no intimation as to identity. 
He had spoken indefinitely, and the gen- 
tleman had insisted upon revealing him- 
self. He would say that he desired to 
provoke no quarrel ; he had no ill-will to 
the gentleman in question. He begged 
to withdraw what he had said, and he 
tendered his apologies. 

Kinsard, under the pressure that was 
brought to bear, could hardly do less 
than accept them, and thus, it seemed at 
the time, the matter ended. 

It had been a stormy evening for 
Harshaw. He was, however, well ac- 
customed to contention. It was not 
this that irked him ; he writhed under 
the sense of disadvantage, of being 
brought in propinquity to defeat. He 
was a man not susceptible of the finer 
emotions of success, of gratulation be- 
cause of the thing attained rather than 
the plaudits of attainment. His sensi- 
bility to achievement was manifest in a 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



255 



certain sordid inversion of values. He 
made popularity, position, social oppor- 
tunity, political preferment, the end of 
mental supremacy, rather than its hum- 
ble incident. And thus it was that, 
rough as he was, courageous, obstinate, 
full of rugged nodules of traits, hard, 
strong, but limited, there was no solid 
substratum of absolute sincere purpose 
in his nature, no bed-rock impervious to 
all infiltration of temptation or extrane- 
ous influence ; whatever he might build 
would fail at the foundation. 

His world had changed to him in 
some sort during the short hours since 
the darkness had fallen. He strode into 
the hotel feeling a different man. He 
found it necessary to assert himself. 
All the fight in him was on the alert. 
He cared little for Kinsard or for the 
scene itself in the House, but it was 
peculiarly obnoxious to him that it should 
have been another chance allusion to the 
man he hated which precipitated the 
collision. He writhed under the sense 
that it might seem a reiteration of the 
lesson received earlier in the evening. 
He knew that many commented upon 
the coincidence, and that doubtless he 
was recommended to leave Gwinnan 
alone. Now submission was not what 
he was prepared to offer. He preferred 
that it should seem a persistent attack 
on Gwinnan. Once more he returned 
to the charge. 

He was serious, lowering, formidable. 
He did not go at once to his room, as 
the lateness of the hour might have 
impelled him. He was quick to ob- 
serve the faces of the legislators about : 
some were merely curious ; others held 
a half-cloaked triumph ; and still others 
an open gloating satisfaction. It was 
with a manner which was a distinct 
replication to all three manifestations 
that he lounged about the reading-room 
with a striding gait, his hat on the back 
of his head, his hands in his pockets, 
and his cigar fast between his teeth. 
He finally threw himself into a chair 



by the table before the open fire in the 
inner room, and said in a meditative un- 
dertone to a gentleman with whom he 
had sufficient association to make it seem 
a confidence to a friend, " I reckon I '11 
have to write to Judge Gwinnan." The 
others heard it, however, and it was to 
several that he read the letter when it 
was completed. They thought it very 
bold ; to show that it was not empty 
bluster, but written with all the sincerity 
of immediate intention, he rang for a 
bell-boy, and dispatched it in their pres- 
ence to Gwinnan's room. 

That gentleman's physician still urged 
his patient to cultivate a more vivid in- 
terest in life, in passing events ; to seek 
to absorb himself; to rouse himself. 
Mr. Harshaw's letter very effectually 
compassed this result. 

The writer begged Judge Gwinnan's 
attention to sundry facts which he pro- 
ceeded to set forth in due detail. He 
premised that he would endeavor to take 
no other notice of an insult offered him 
by a man who was virtually at death's 
door, and who might uncharitably, per- 
haps, be supposed to have taken advan- 
tage of that circumstance ; such as the 
advantage was, he made Judge Gwinnan 
most heartily welcome to it. In de- 
fense of his own reputation for veracity, 
however, he felt it necessary to state 
his authority, beside, his observations, 
that Judge Gwinnan had taken such 
notice of a very beautiful girl, who was 
a witness, as to render her lover, who 
was the prisoner, wildly jealous, and to 
result in the injuries from which Judge 
Gwinnan was now unfortunately suffer- 
ing. His authority was the deputy 
sheriff and the two guards, to whom the 
prisoner stated these facts, swearing that 
he would kill Judge Gwinnan. Mr. 
Harshaw begged to remark in addition 
that he fully realized that he was ill 
advised in saying he would like' to in- 
troduce a resolution to impeach Judge 
Gwinnan. He knew that the action of 
a court in a matter of contempt com- 



256 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



mitted in the presence of the court is 
wholly a matter of judicial discretion, 
not liable to be reviewed by the court 
above, and therefore it should have been 
free from impotent criticism, which could 
avail naught to either counsel or pris- 
oner, who have absolutely no resource 
nor recourse. He deeply regretted his 
words, and their futility. 

The mock apology, which had been 
highly appreciated by the coterie in the 
reading-room, the whole tenor of the 
letter, the revelation which it made, 
had important results to Judge Gwin- 
nan, who was accustomed to deal with 
larger motives and finer issues than Har- 
shaw's wrath or satire could furnish. 

He had such exceeding confidence in 
the dignity and decorum of Gwinnan 
as judge that at first it seemed almost 
impossible that he should have taken 
such notice of the witness as to attract 
the attention of others. But there was 
a sort of coercive evidence in the cir- 
cumstance that the girl's face had lin- 
gered in his mind with a luminous dis- 
tinctness, a surprised pleasure, a newly 
awakened sense of beauty, which he had 
associated with no other face that he 
could remember. He was not a senti- 
mental man. He had had few roman- 
tic experiences, and the flavor they had 
left was vapid and foolish. Alethea 
had not primarily impressed him as beau- 
tiful. She looked so noble, so true, so 
radiantly good. It was altogether an 
abstract sentiment, a tribute to the lofty 
qualities which he revered and she em- 
bodied. 

He cared so little for Gwinnan as 
Gwinnan that he entertained the mild- 
est resentment toward the man who had 
struck him oh the head with his iron 
shackles. The indignity offered by the 
foreman of the jury, and afterward by 
Harshaw, to Gwinnan the judge had 
burned into his consciousness, and the 
scars would be there on the judgment 
day. The knowledge that the attack 
was not in revenge for some fancied 



wrong in the trial, but that it was the 
frenzy of a madly jealous lover in chains 
and in expatriation, altered the whole 
aspect of the case for Gwinnan as 
Gwinnan. 

The judge could not, perhaps, have 
sufficiently condemned Gwinnan's state 
of mind as he sat down and wrote to 
Mr. Kenbigh, the attorney for the State 
at Glaston, requesting that no action 
should be taken in regard to the assault, 
as he was not willing to prosecute. 



XXI. 

Alethea Sayles awoke early the morn- 
ing after the momentous news of Mink's 
journey had come to Wild-Cat Hollow ; 
such an awakening as a barn-swallow 
might know, the familiar of the rafters 
and the clapboards. There was no oth- 
er ceiling to the roof-room. She might 
put up her hand and touch it where she 
lay, but in the centre it was higher, 
high enough for many pendent uses : 
bags of cotton swung from the ridge- 
pole ; hanks of yarn ; bunches of pep- 
per ; gourds ; old hats and garments, 
of awry, distorted, facetious aspect in 
their caricature of the habit of hu- 
manity. The snow pressed heavily with- 
out ; through the crevices vague white 
glimpses of the drifts might be seen, 
for the dull glow from the fire in the 
room below penetrated the cracks be- 
tween the boards of the flooring, which 
served as the ceiling of the lower story. 
Light came in, too, from the rifts be- 
tween the wall and the great stick-and- 
clay chimney, which bulged outward, 
being built outside the house, as is the 
habit in the region. It was the light 
of the waning moon, fitful, fluctuating, 
for clouds were astir. Now and then, 
too, Alethea could see the great morn- 
ing star with its tremulous glister, seem- 
ing nearer, dearer, than all the others, 
splendid, yet tender and full of prom- 
ise. She looked wistfully at it for a 



1886.] 



In the Clouds. 



257 



moment, feeling the dull aching wound 
in her heart, and forgetting what dealt 
it. Then it all came back to her, and 
she wondered she had awakened again. 
She could not understand how she lived. 
She felt as if she could rise no more. 
But the cow was to be milked ; she 
listened to the cocks crowing. The 
baby, who had developed a virulent habit 
of early rising, was already astir. She 
heard his thumping bare feet on the 
floor of the room below ; he would be 
cold, and she thought of the danger of 
the embers, and remembered that the 
sluggard his mother still drowsed. The 
breakfast must be cooked, the dishes 
must be washed. Her physical strength 
was asserting itself against the shock to 
her mind. Her collapsed energies were 
recuperated by sleep, albeit- the slum- 
ber induced by the primitive narcotics 
of the " yerb bag." Ah, the world of 
Wild-Cat Hollow, small though it was, 
was full of work, and she must lay hold. 
And so she rose once more, and joined 
hands with joyless duty. 

Ben Doaks sojourned with them for 
a time, and went hunting with Jessup, 
and brought back game, and made Mrs. 
Sayles presents of the peltry. As he 
sat by the fire at night he told the news 
from the cove in great detail, and dis- 
cussed it freely with Mrs. Jessup, and de- 
veloped remarkable capacities for acqui- 
escence. Old Griff, he said, was hav- 
ing a mighty hard winter. His mill 
had proved a sore loss, for he was bereft 
of his tolls and he had planted little 
corn. " He mought make out, though. 
His meat looks thrivin' ; he hain't 
killed yit." Ben spoke of the miller's 
hogs afoot as if they held their fat in 
trust and were stewards of their own 
bacon. The old man seemed failing, 
and talked much about Tad ; sometimes 
as if he had already returned, some- 
times as if he momently expected him. 
The children, too, " 'pear eel thrivin'," 
though Ben did n't believe Sophy would 
ever be good for much except to look 

VOL. LVIII. NO. 346. 17 



at, and the little ones " all 'peared rag- 
ged ez ef she did n't study 'bout them 
much." 

"Too many peart, spry boys in the 
cove fur her ter study 'bout, stiddier 
them," said Mrs. Sayles, with a scornful 
toss of the head, histrionically seeing 
the situation from Sophy's standpoint. 

" Jerry Price 'pears ter set a heap o' 
store by Sophy's looks," submitted Ben, 
with the implication of the remark. 

" Waal, 't would be a jedgmint on 
Dely Purvine fur all her onwholesome 
vanity an' slack-twisted sort o' religion, 
ef that thar Jerry Price, ez she hev 
brung up ez ef he war her own son, 
though his looks air enough ter tarrify 
a mole, war ter marry Sophy Griff." 

" Waal, sir, one thing, her house- 
keepin' could n't 'stonish him none arter 
Mis' Purvine's," remarked Mrs. Jessup, 
with an elaborate semblance of seeing 
the brighter side of things. 

" Shucks ! " Mrs. Sayles commented. 
" He 'd miss mightily the show and the 
shine he hev been used ter along o' Mis' 
Purvine." 

" Waal," said Ben, " I don't b'lieve 
ez Mis' Purvine would mind much who 
Jerry marries, so long ez he keeps clar 
o' Elviry Crosby. Mis' Purvine air 
mightily outdone with her. She hev 
been actin' 'bout'n Peter Rood same ez 
ef she war a widder-woman. An' ye 
know she would n't speak ter him ez 
long ez Mink war out'n the grip o' the 
sher'ff. She tried ter toll Pete back ar- 
terwards. I hearn him 'low sech when 
they war drawin' the jury. I dunno 
how she made out." 

Mrs. Sayles gazed at the fire solemn- 
ly from under her pink sunbonnet. 
" Death tolled him," she said lugubri- 
ously. 

"I'd jes' ez lief Death as Elviry 
Crosby," said Mrs. Jessup, in calm su- 
periority to the wiles of feminine fas- 
cination. 

Old man Sayles shook his head in ne- 
gation. 



258 



In the Clouds. 



[August, 



" Mighty dark under the ground," he 
said, with terror of the termination of 
life ; which for him signified so little 
that a sponge with a vocable or two 
might have seemed his correlative. 

But when Ben was gone, and the 
sight of Alethea, silent, absorbed, pal- 
lid, broken-hearted, gave him little wish 
to prolong his stay, the scene at the 
fireside was less amicable and cheerful. 
The elder women, bereft of gossip, bick- 
ered over the trifling mishaps of the day. 
The old man sorted his " lumber." Jes- 
sup slouched and lazed and smoked. 
Only the weather varied the aspect of 
the world. The snow slipped away in 
the thaw, leaving mud and ooze and in- 
tervals of blackened ice. Then