BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME
OF THE SAGE ENDOWMENT
FUND GIVEN IN 189I BY
HENRY WILLIAMS SAGE
nn «^.- Cornell University Library
PR 9199.3.L43L7 1918
Literary lapses /
The original of tliis book is in
tine Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.
LITER J R r LAPSES
NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY
LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD
My Financial Career 9
Lord Oxhead's Secret 15
boarding-house geometry 26
The Awful Fate of Melfomenus Jones . 28
A Christmas Letter 33
How to Make a Million Dollars ... 35
How TO Live to Be 200 42
How TO Avoid Getting Married ... 48
How TO Be a Doctor 54
The New Food 62
A New Pathology 65
The Poet Answered 72
The Force of Statistics 74
Men Who Have Shaved Me 77
Getting the Thread of It 85
Telling His Faults ,92
Winter Pastimes 95
Number Fifty-Six 102
Aristocratic Education 113
The Conjurer's Revenge 117
Hints to Travellers 122
A Manual of Education 127
Hoodoo McFiggin's Christmas .... 132
The Life of John Smith 138
On Collecting Things 14S
Society Chit-Chat 150
Insurance Up to Date 156
Borrowing a Match 159
A Lesson in Fiction 162
Helping the Armenians "'. 169
A Study in Still Life. — ^The Country Hotel 172
An Experiment with Policeman Hogan . 175
The Passing of the Poet 185
Self-made Men 194
A Model Dialogue 200
Back to the Bush 203
Reflections on Riding 212
Half-hours with the Poets —
I. Mr. Wordsworth and the Little
Cottage Girl 222
n. How Tennyson Killed the May
HL Old Mr. Longfellow on Board the
A, B, AND C 237
My Financial Career
WHEN I go into a bank I get rat-
tled. The clerks rattle me; the
wickets rattle me; the sight of
the money rattles me; every-
thing rattles me.
The moment I cross the threshold of a bank
and attempt to transact business there, I be-
come an irresponsible idiot.
I knew this beforehand, but my salary had
been raised to fifty dollars a month and I felt
that the bank was the only place for it.
So I shambled in and looked timidly round
at the clerks. I had an idea that a person
about to open an account must needs consult
I went up to a wicket marked "Account-
ant." The accountant was a tall, cool devil.
The very sight of him rattled me. My voice
"Can I see the manager?" I said, and
added solemnly, "alone." I don't know why
I said "alone."
"Certainly," said the accountant, and
The manager was a grave, calm man. I
held my fiftyrsix dollars clutched in a crumpled
ball in my pocket.
"Are you the manager?" I said. God
knows I didn't doubt it.
"Yes," he said.
"Can I see you," I asked, "alone?" I
didn't want to say "alone" again, but without
it the thing seemed self-evident.
The manager looked at me in some alarm.
He felt that I had an awful secret to reveal.
"Come in here," he said, and led the way
to a private room. He turned the key in the
"We are safe from interruption here," he
said; "sit down."
We both sat down and looked at each other.
I found no voice to speak.
"You are one of Pinkerton's men, I pre-
sume," he said.
He had gathered from my mysterious man-
ner that I was a detective. I knew what he
was thinking, and it made me worse,
My Financial Career
"No, not from Pinkerton's," I said, seeming
to imply that I came from a rival agency.
"To tell the truth," I went on, as if I had
been prompted to He about it, "I am not a de-
tective at all. I have come to open an ac-
count. I intend to keep all my money in this
The manager looked relieved but still seri-
ous; he concluded now that I was a son of
Baron Rothschild or a young Gould.
"A large account, I suppose," he said.
"Fairly large," I whispered. "I propose to
deposit fifty-six dollars now and fifty dollars
a month regularly."
The manager got up and opened the door.
He called to the accountant.
"Mr. Montgomery," he said unkindly loud,
"this gentleman is opening an account, he will
deposit fifty-six dollars. Good morning."
A big iron door stood open at the side of
"Good morning," I said, and stepped into
"Come out," said the manager coldly, and
showed me the other way.
I went up to the accountant's wicket and
poked the ball of money at him with a quick
convulsive movement as if I were doing a con-
My face was ghastly pale.
"Here," I said, "deposit it." The tone of
the words seemed to mean, "Let us do this
painful thing while the fit is on us."
He took the money and gave it to another
He made me write the sum on a slip and
sign my name in a book. I no longer knew
what I was doing. The bank swam before
"Is it deposited?" I asked in a hollow, vi-
"It is," said the accountant.
"Then I want to draw a cheque."
My idea was to draw out six dollars of it
for present use. Someone gave me a cheque-
book through a wicket and someone else be-
gan telling me how to write it out. The peo-
ple in the bank had the impression that I was
an invalid millionaire. I wrote something on
the cheque and thrust it in at the clerk. He
looked at it.
"What! are you drawing it all out again?"
he asked in surprise. Then I realised that I
My Financial Career
had written fifty-six instead of six. I was too
far gone to reason now. I had a feeling that
it was impossible to explain the thing. All the
clerks had stopped writing to look, at me.
Reckless with misery, I made a plunge.
"Yes, the whole thing."
"You withdraw your money from the
"Every cent of it."
"Are you not going to deposit any more?"
said the clerk, astonished.
An idiot hope struck me that they might
think something had insulted me while I was
writing the cheque and that I had changed my
mind. I made a wretched attempt to look like
a man with a fearfully quick temper.
The clerk prepared to pay the money.
"How will you have it?" he said.
"How will you have it?" .
"Oh" — I caught his meaning and answered
without even trying to think — "in fifties."
He gave me a fifty-dollar bill.
"And the six?" he asked dryly.
"In sixes," I said.
He gave it me and I rushed out.
As the big door swung behind me I caught
the echo of a roar of laughter that went up to
the ceiling of the bank. Since then I bank no
more. I keep my money in cash in my trou-
sers pocket and my savings in silver dollars in
Lord Oxhead's Secret
A ROMANCE IN ONE CHAPTER
IT was finished. Ruin had come. Lord
Oxhead sat gazing fixedly at the library
fire. Without, the wind soughed (or
sogged) around the turrets of Oxhead
Towers, the seat of the Oxhead family. But
the old earl heeded not the sogging of the wind
around his seat. He was too absorbed.
Before him lay a pile of blue papers with
printed headings. From time to time he
turned them over in his hands and replaced
them on the table with a groan. To the earl
they meant ruin — absolute, irretrievable ruin,
and with it the loss of his stately home that
had been the pride of the Oxheads for genera-
tions. More than that — ^the world would now
know the awful secret of his life.
The earl bowed his head in the bitterness
(of his sorrow, for he came of a proud stock.
About him hung the portraits of his ancestors.
Here on the right an Oxhead who had broken
his lance at Crecy, or immediately before it.
There McWhinnie Oxhead who had ridden
madly from the stricken field of Flodden to
bring to the affrighted burghers of Edinburgh
all the tidings that he had been able to gather
in passing the battlefield. Next him hung the
dark half Spanish face of Sir Amyas Oxhead
of Elizabethan days whose pinnace was the
first to dash to Plymouth with the news that
the English fleet, as nearly as could be
judged from a reasonable distance, seemed
about to grapple with the Spanish Armada.
Below this, the two Cavalier brothers, Giles
and Everard Oxhead, who had sat in the oak
with Charles II. Then to the right again the
portrait of Sir Ponsonby Oxhead who had
fought with Wellington in Spain, and been dis-
missed for it.
Immediately before the earl as he sat was
the family escutcheon emblazoned above the
mantelpiece. A child might read the sim-
plidty of its proud significance — an ox ram-
pant quartered in a field of gules with a pike
dexter and a dog intermittent in a plain paral-
lelogram right centre, with the motto, "Hie,
haec, hoc, hujus, hujus, hujus."
* * * ^. *
Lord Oxhead's Secret
,^ "Pather!" — ^The girl's voice rang clear
through the half light of the wainscoted li-
brary. Gwendoline Oxhead had thrown her-
self about the earl's neck. The girl was radi- '
ant with happiness. Gwendoline was a beau-
tiful girl of thirty-three, typically English in
the freshness of her girlish innocence. She
wore one of those charming walking suits of
brown holland so fashionable among the aris-
tocracy of England, while a rough leather belt
encircled her waist in a single sweep. She bore
herself with that sweet simplicity which was
her greatest charm. She was probably more
simple than any girl of her age for miles
around. Gwendoline was the pride of her
father's heart, for he saw reflected in her the
qualities of his race.
"Father," she said, a blush mantling her
fair face, "I am so happy, oh so happy; Edwin
has asked me to be his wife, and we have
plighted our troth — at least if you consent.
For I will never marry without my father's
warrant," she added, raising her head proudly;
"I am too much of an Oxhead for that."
Then as she gazed into the old earl's
stricken face, the girl's mood changed at once.
"Father," she cried, "father, are you ill?
What is it? Shall I ring?" As she spoke
Gwendoline reached for the heavy bell-rope
that hung beside the wall, but the earl, fearful
that her frenzied efforts might actually make
it ring, checked her hand. "I am, indeed,
deeply troubled," said Lord Oxhead, "but of
that anon. Tell me first what is this news
you bring. I hope, Gwendoline, that your
choice has been worthy of an Oxhead, and that
he to whom you have plighted your troth will
be worthy to bear our motto with his own."
And, raising his eyes to the escutcheon before
him, the earl murmured half unconsciously,
"Hie, haec, hoc, hujus, hujus, hujus," breath-
ing perhaps a prayer as many of his ancestors
had done before him that he might never for-
"Father," continued Gwendoline,, half tim-
idly, "Edwin is an American."
"You surprise me indeed," answered Lord
Oxhead; "and yet," he continued, turning to
his daughter with the courtly grace that
marked the nobleman of the old school, "why
should we not respect and admire the Ameri-
cans? Surely there have been great names
among them. Indeed, our ancestor Sir Amyas
Oxhead was, I think, married to Pocahontas
Liord Oxhead's Secret
— at least if not actually married" — -the earl
hesitated a moment.
"At least they loved one another," said
"Precisely," said the earl, with relief, "they
loved one another, yes, exactly." Then as if
musing to himself, "Yes, there have been great
Americans. Bolivar was an American. The
two Washington^ — George and Booker — are
both Americans. There have been others too,
though for the moment I do not recall their
names. But tell me, Gwendoline, this Edwin
of yours — ^where is his family seat?"
"It is at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, father."
"Ah! say you so?" rejoined the earl, with
rising interest. "Oshkosh is, indeed, a grand
old name. The Oshkosh are a Russian family.
An Ivan Oshkosh came to England with Peter
the Great and married my ancestress. Their
descendant in the second degree once removed,
Mixtup Oshkosh, fought at the burning of
Moscow and later at the sack of Salamanca
and the treaty of Adrianople. And Wisconsin
too," the old nobleman went on, his features
kindling with animation, for he had a passion
for heraldry, genealogy, chronology, and com-
mercial geography; "the Wisconsins, or better,
I think, the Guisconslns, are of old blood. A
Guisconsin followed Henry I to Jerusalem and
rescued my ancestor Hardup Oxhead from the
Saracens. Another Guisconsin . . ."
"Nay, father," said Gwendoline, gently in-
terrupting, "Wisconsin is not Edwin's own
name: that is, I believe, the name of his es-
tate. My lover's name is Edwin Einstein."
"Einstein," repeated the earl dubiously — ■
"an Indian name perhaps; yet the Indians are
many of them of excellent family. An ances-
tor of mine . . ."
"Father," said Gwendoline, again inter-
rupting, "here is a portrait of Edwin. Judge
for yourself if he be noble." With this she
placed in her father's hand an American tin-
type, tinted in pink and brown. The picture
represented a typical specimen of American
manhood of that Anglo-Semitic type so often
seen in persons of mixed English and Jewish
extraction. The figure was well over five feet
two inches in height and broad in proportion.
The graceful sloping shoulders harmonised
with the slender and well-poised waist, and
with a hand pliant and yet prehensile. The
pallor of the features was relieved by a droop-
ing black moustache.
Lord Oxhead's Secret
Such was Edwin Einstein to whom Gwen-
doline's heart, if not her hand, was already
affianced. Their love had been so simple and
yet so strange. It seemed to Gwendoline that it
was but a thing of yesterday, and yet in reality
they had met three weeks ago. Love had
drawn them irresistibly together. To Edwin
the fair English girl with her old name and
wide estates possessed a charm that he scarcely
dared confess to himself. He determined to
woo her. To Gwendoline there was that in
Edwin's bearing, the rich jewels that he wore,
the vast fortune that rumour ascribed to him,
that appealed to something romantic and
chivalrous in her nature. She loved to hear
him speak of stocks and bonds, corners and
margins, and his father's colossal business. It
all seemed so noble and so far above the sordid
lives of the people about her. Edwin, too,
loved to hear the girl talk of her father's es-
tates, of the diamond-hilted sword that the
saladin had given, or had lent, to her ancestor
hundreds of years ago. Her description of
her father, the old earl, touched something ro-
mantic in Edwin's generous heart. He was
never tired of asking how old he was, was he
rob. .it, did a shock, a sudden shock, affect him
much? and so on. Then had come the eve-
ning that Gwendoline loved to live over and
over again in her mind when Edwin had asked
her in his straightforward, manly way, whether
— subject to certain written stipulations to be
considered later — she would be his wife:
and she, putting her hand confidingly in his
hand, answered simply, that — subject to the
consent of her father and pending always the
necessary legal formalities and inquiries — she
It had all seemed like a dream: and now
Edwin Einstein had come in person to ask her
hand from the earl, her father. Indeed, he
was at this moment in the outer hall testing
the gold leaf in the picture-frames with his
pen-knife while waiting for his affianced to
break the fateful news to Lord Oxhead.
Gwendoline summoned her courage for a
great effort. "Papa," she said, "there is one
other thing that it is fair to tell you. Edwin's
father is in business."
The earl started from his seat in blank
amazement. "In business!" he repeated, "the
father of the suitor of the daughter of an Ox-
head in business! My daughter the step-
daughter of the grandfather of my grandson!
Ijord Oxhead's Secret
Are you mad, girl? It is too much, too
"But, father," pleaded the beautiful girl in
anguish, "hear me. It is Edwin's father —
Sarcophagus Einstein, senior — not Edwin him-
self. Edwin does nothing. He has never
earned a penny. He is quite unable to support
himself. You have only to see him to believe
it. Indeed, dear father, he is just like us. He
is here now, in this house, waiting to see you.
If it were not for his great wealth . . ."
"Girl," said the early sternly, "I care
not for the man's riches. How much has
"Fifteen million two hundred and fifty thou-
sand dollars," answered Gwendoline. Lord
Oxhead leaned his head against the mantel-
piece. His mind was in a whirl. He was try-
ing to calculate the yearly interest on fifteen
and a quarter million dollars at four and a half
per cent reduced to pounds, shillings, and pence.
It was bootless. His brain, trained by long
years of high living and plain thinking, had
become too subtle, too refined an instrument
for arithmetic. . . .
At this moment the door opened and Ed-
win Einstein stood before the earl. Gwen-
doline never forgot what happened. Through
her life the picture of it haunted her — ^her
lover upright at the door, his fine frank gaze
fixed inquiringly on the diamond pin in her
father's necktie, and he, her father, raising
from the mantelpiece a face of agonised amaze-
"You! You!" he gasped. For a moment
he stood to his full height, swaying and grop-
ing in the air, then fell prostrate his full length
upon the floor. The lovers rushed to his aid.
Edwin tore open his neckcloth and plucked
aside his diamond pin to give him air. But
it was too late. Earl Oxhead had breathed his
last. Life had fled. The earl was extinct.
That is to say, he was dead.
The reason of his death was never known.
Had the sight of Edwin killed him ? It might
have. The old family doctor hurriedly sum-
moned declared his utter ignorance. This,
too, was likely. Edwin himself could explain
nothing. But it was observed that after the
earl's death and his marriage with Gwendoline
he was a changed man; he dressed better,
talked much better English.
Lord Oxhead's Secret
The wedding itself was quiet, almost sad.
At Gwendoline's request there was no wedding
breakfast, no bridesmaids, and no reception,
while Edwin, respecting his bride's bereave-
ment, insisted that there should be no best
man, no flowers, no presents, and no honey-
Thus Lord Oxhead's secret died with him.
It was probably too complicated to be inter-
DEFINITIONS ANI} AXIOMS
ALL boarding-houses are the same
Boarders in the same boarding-
house and on the same flat are equal
to one another.
A single room is that which has no parts
and no magnitude.
The landlady of a boarding-house is a par-
allelogram — that is, an oblong angular figure,
which cannot be described, but which is equal
A wrangle is the disinclination of two board-
ers to each other that meet together but are
not in the same line.
All the other rooms being taken, a single
room is said to be a double room.
POSTULATES AND PROPOSITIONS
A pie may be produced any number of
The landlady can be reduced to her lowest
terms by a series of propositions.
A bee line may be made from any boarding-
house to any other boarding-house.
The clothes of a boarding-house bed, though
produced ever so far both ways, will not meet.
Any two meals at a boarding-house are to-
gether less than two square meals.
If from the opposite ends of a boarding-
house a line be drawn passing through all the
rooms in turn, then the stovepipe which warms
the boarders will lie within that line.
On the same bill and on the same side of it
there should not be two charges for the same
If there be two boarders on the same flat,
and the amount of side of the one be equal to
the amount of side of the other, each to each,
and the wrangle between one boarder and the
landlady be equal to the wrangle between the
landlady and the other, then shall the weekly
bills of the two boarders be equal also, each
For if not, let one bill be the greater.
Then the other bill is less than it might have
been — ^which is absurd.
The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones
SOME people — ^not you nor I, because
we are so awfully self-possessed — ^but
some people, find great difficulty In
saying good-bye when making a call or
spending the evening. As the moment draws
near when the visitor feels that he is fairly en-
titled to go away he rises and says abruptly,
"Well, I think I . . ." Then the people say,
"Oh,' must you go now ? Surely It's early yet I"
and a pitiful struggle ensues.
I think the saddest case of this kind of thing
that I ever knew was that of my poor friend
Melpomenus Jones, a curate — such a dear
young man, and only twenty-three! He sim-
ply couldn't get away from people. He was
too modest to tell a He, and too religious to
wish to appear rude. Now it happened that
he went to call on some friends of his on the
very first afternoon of his summer vacation.
The next six weeks were entirely his own —
absolutely nothing to do. He chatted awhile,
drank two cups of tea, then braced himself
for the effort and said suddenly:
i The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones
"Well, I think I . . ."
But the lady of the house said, "Oh, no! Mr.
Jones, can't you really stay a little longer?"
Jones was always truthful. "Oh, yes," he
said, "of course, I — er — can stay."
"Then please don't go."
He stayed. He drank eleven cups of tea.
Night was falling. He rose again.
"Well now," he said shyly, "I think I
really . . ."
"You must go?" said the lady politely. "I
thought perhaps you could have stayed to din-
ner . . ."
"Oh well, so I could, you know," Jones said,
"if . . ."
"Then please stay, I'm sure my hushand will
"All right," he said feebly, "I'll stay," and
he sank back into his chair, just full of tea,
Papa came home. They had dinner. All
through the meal Jones sat planning to leave
at eight-thirty. AH the family wondered
whether Mr. Jones was stupid and sulky, or
After dinner mamma undertook to "draw
him out," and showed him photographs. She
showed him all the family museum, several
gross of them — photos of papa's uncle and his
wife, and mamma's brother and his little boy,
an awfully interesting photo of papa's uncle's
friend in his Bengal uniform, an awfully well-
taken photo of papa's grandfather's partner's
dog, and an awfully wicked one of papa as the
devil for a fancy-dress ball.
At eight-thirty Jones had examined sevfinty-
one photographs. There were about sixty-
nine more that he hadn't. Jones rose.
' "I must say good night now," he pleaded.
"Say good night!" they said, "why it's
only half-past eight! Have you anything to
"Nothing," he admitted, and muttered some-
thing about staying six weeks, and then laughed
Just then it turned out that the favourite
child of the family, such a dear little romp,
had hidden Mr. Jones's hat; so papa said that
he must stay, and invited him to a pipe and
a chat. Papa had the pipe and gave Jones
the chat, and still he stayed. Every moment
he meant to take the plunge, but couldn't.
Then papa began to get very tired of Jones,
and fidgeted and finally said, with jocular irony,
The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones
that Jones had better stay all night, they could
give him a shake-down. Jones mistook his
meaning and thanked him with tears in his eyes,
and papa put Jones to bed in the spare room
and cursed him heartily.
After breakfast next day, papa went off to
his work in the City, and left Jones playing
with the baby, broken-hearted. His nerve was
utterly gone. He was meaning to leave all
day, but the thing had got on his mind and he
simply couldn't. When papa came home in the
evening he was surprised and chagrined to find
Jones still there. He thought to jockey him
out with a jest, and said he thought he'd have
to charge him for his board, he ! he 1 The un-
happy young man stared wildly for a moment,
then wrung papa's hand, paid him a month's
board in advance, and broke down and sobbed
like a child.
In the days that followed he was moody
and unapproachable. He lived, of course, en-
tirely in the drawing-room, and the lack of
air and exercise began to tell sadly on his
health. He passed his time in drinking tea
and looking at the photographs. He would
stand for hours gazing at the photographs of
papa's uncle's friend in his Bengal uniform —
talking to it, sometimes swearing bitterly at
it. His mind was visibly failing.
At length the crash came. They carried
him upstairs in a raging delirium of fever.
The illness that followed was terrible. He
recbgnised no one, not even papa's uncle's
friend in his Bengal uniform. At times he
would start up from his bed and shriek, "Well,
I think I . . ." and then fall back upon the
pillow with a horrible laugh. Then, again, he
would leap up and cry, "Another cup of tea
and more photographs! More photographs I
At length, after a month of agony, on the
last day of his vacation, he passed away. They
say that when the last moment came, he sat
up in bed with a beautiful smile of confidence
playing upon his face, and said, "Well — the
angels are calling me ; I'm afraid I really must
go now. Good afternoon."
And the rushing of his spirit from its prison-
house was as rapid as a hunted cat passing over
a garden fence.
A Christmas Letter
(In answer to a young lady who has sent an invita-
tion to be present at a children's party)
Allow me very gratefully but
firmly to refuse your kind invi-
tation. You doubtless mean well ;
but your ideas are unhappily mistaken.
Let us understand one another once and for
all. I cannot at my mature age participate
in the sports of children with siich abandon
as I could wish. I entertain, and have al-
ways entertained, the sincerest regard for
such games as Hunt-the-Slipper and Blind-
Man's Buff. But I have now reached a time
of life, when, to have my eyes blindfolded and
to have a powerful boy of ten hit me in the
back with a hobby-horse and ask me to guess
who hit me, provokes me to a fit of retaliation
which could only culminate in reckless crimi-
nality. Nor can I cover my shoulders with a
drawing-room rug and crawl round on my
hands and knees under the pretence that I am
a bear without a sense of personal insufficiency,
which is painful to me.
Neither can I look on with a complacent eye
at the sad spectacle of your young clerical
friend, the Reverend Mr, Uttermost Farthing,
abandoning himself to such gambols and ap-
pearing in the role of life and soul of the eve-
ning. Such a degradation of his holy calling
grieves me, and I cannot but suspect him of
You inform me that your maiden aunt in-
tends to help you to entertain the party, I
have not, as you know, the honour of your
aunt's acquaintance, yet I think I may with
reason surmise that she will orgahise games
— guessing games — in which she will ask me
to name a river in Asia beginning with a Z;
on my failure to do so she will put a hot plate
down my neck as a forfeit, and the children
will clap their hands. These games, my dear
young friend, involve the use of a more adapt-
able intellect than mine, and I cannot consent
to be a party to them.
May I say in conclusion that I do not con-
sider a five-cent pen-wiper from the top
branch of a Xmas tree any adequate compensa-
tion for the kind of evening you propose.
I have the honour
To subscribe myself,
Your obedient servant,
Hoio to Make a Million Dollars
I MIX a good deal with the Millionaires.
I like them. I like their faces, I like
the way they live. I like the things they
eat. The more we mix together the bet-
ter I like the things we mix.
Especially I like the way they dress, their
grey check trousers, their white check waist-
coats, their heavy gold chains, and the signet-
rings that they sign their cheques with. Myl
they look nice. Get six or seven of them sit-
ting together in the club and it's a treat to see
them. And if they get the least dust on them,
men come and brush it off. Yes, and are glad
to. I'd like to take some of the dust off them
Even more than what they eat I like their
intellectual grasp. It is wonderful. Just
watch them read. They simply read all the
time. Go into the club at any hour and you'll
see three or four of them at it. And the
things they can readl You'd think that a
man who'd been driving hard in the office from
eleven o'clock until three, with only an hour
and a half for lunch, would be too fagged.
Not a bit. These men can sit down after of-
fice hours and read the Sketch and the Police
Gazette and the Pink Uh, and understand the
jokes just as well as I can.
What I love to do is to walk up and down
among them and catch the little scraps of con-
versation. The other day I heard one lean
forward and say, "Well, I offered him a mil-
lion and a half and said I wouldn't give a
cent more, he could either take it or leave
it " I just longed to break in and say,
"What I what I a million and a half ! Oh 1 say
that again! Offer it to me, to either take it
or leave it. Do try me once: I know I can:
or here, make it a plain million and let's call
Not that these men are careless over money.
No, sir. Don't think it. Of course they
don't take much account of big money, a hun-
dred thousand dollars at a shot or anything of
that sort. But little money. You've no idea
till you know them how anxious they get about
a cent, or half a cent, or less.
Why, two of them came into the club the
other night just frantic with delight: they said
wheat had risen and they'd cleaned up four
How to Make a Million Dollars
cents each in less than half an hour. They
bought a dinner for sixteen on the strength of
it. I don't understand it. I've often made
twice as much as that writing for the papers
and never felt like boasting about it.
One night I heard one man say, "Well,
let's call up New York and offer them a quar-
ter of a cent." Great heavens ! Imagine pay-
ing the cost of calling up New York, nearly
five million people, late at night and of-
fering them a quarter of a cent! And yet —
did New York get mad? No, they took it.
Of course it's high finance. I don't pretend
to understand it. I tried after that to call up
Chicago and offer it a cent and a half, and
to call up Hamilton, Ontario, and offer it half
a dollar, and the operator only thought I was
All this shows, of course, that I've been
studying how the millionaires do it. I have.
For years. I thought it might be helpful to
young men just beginning to work and anxious
You know, many a man realises late in life
that if when he was a boy he had known what
he knows now, instead of being what he is he
might be what he won't; but how few boys
stop to think that if they knew what they don't
know instead of being what they will be, they
wouldn't be? These are awful thoughts.
At any rate, I've been gathering hints on
how it is they do it.
One thing I'm sure about. If a young man
wants to make a million dollars he's got to be
mighty careful about his diet and his living.
This may seem hard. But success is only
achieved with pains.
There is no use in a young man who hopes
to make a million dollars thinking he's entitled
to get up at 7.30, eat force and poached eggs,
drink cold water at lunch, and go to bed at 10
p.m. You can't do it. I've seen too many mil-
lionaires for that. If you want to be a million-
aire you mustn't get up till ten in the morning.
They never do. They darn't. It would be
as much as their business is worth if they were
seen on the street at half-past nine.
And the old idea of abstemiousness is all
wrong. To be a millionaire you need cham-
pagne, lots of it and all the time. That and
Scotch whisky and soda: you have to sit up
nearly all night and drink buckets of it. This
is what clears the brain for business next day.
I've seen some of these men with their brains
Hoto to Make a Million Dollars
so clear in the morning, that their faces look
To live like this requires, of course, resolu-
tion. But you can buy that by the pint.
Therefore, my dear young man, if you want
to get moved on from your present status in
business, change your life. When your land-
lady brings your bacon and eggs for breakfast,
throw them out of window to the dog and tell
her to bring you some chilled asparagus and a
pint of Moselle. Then telephone to your
employer that you'll be down about eleven
o'clock. You will get moved on. Yes, very
Just how the millionaires make the money
is a difficult question. But one way is this.
Strike the town with five cents in your pocket.
They nearly all do this; they've told me
again and again (men with millions and
millions) that the first time they struck town
they had only five cents. That seems to have
given them their start. Of course, it's not
easy to do. I've tried it several times. I nearly
did it once. I borrowed five cents, carried it
away out of town, and then turned and came
back at the town with an awful rush. If I
hadn't struck a beer saloon in the suburbs and
spent the five cents I might have been rich
Another good plan i6 to start something.
Something on a huge scale: something nobody
ever thought of. For instance, one man I
know told me that once he was down in
Mexico without a cent (he'd lost his five in
striking Central America) and he noticed that
they had no power plants. So he started some
and made a mint of money. Another man that
I know was once stranded in New York, abso-
lutely, without a nickel. Well, it occurred to
him that what was needed were buildings ten
stories higher than any that had been put up.
So he built two and sold them right away.
Ever so many millionaires begin in some such
simple way as that.
There is, of course, a much easier way than
any of these. I almost hate to tell this, be-
cause I want to do it myself.
I learned of it just by chance one night at
the club. There is one old man there, ex-
tremely rich, with one of the best faces of the
lot, just like a hyena, I never used to know
how he had got so rich. So one evening I
asked one of the millionaires how old Bloggs
had made all his money.
How to Make a Million Dollars
"How he made it?" he answered with a
sneer. "Why he made it by taking it out of
widows and orphans."
Widows and orphans! I thoi'ght, what an
excellent idea. But who would have suspected
that they had it?
"And how," I asked pretty cautiously, "did
he go at it to get it out of them?"
"Why," the man answered, "he just ground
them under his heels, that was how."
Now isn't that simple? I've thought of
that conversation often since and I mean to
try it. If I can get hold of them, I'll grind
them quick enough. But how to get them.
Most of the widows I know look pretty solid
for that sort of thing, and as for orphans, it
must take an awful lot of them. Meantime
I am waiting, and if I ever get a large bunch
of orphans all together, I'll stamp on them
I find, too, on inquiry, that you can also
grind it out of clergymen. They say they
grind nicely. But perhaps orphans are easier.
Horn to Live to Be 200
TWENTY years ago I knew a man
called Jiggins, who had the Health
He used to take a cold plunge
every morning. He said it opened his pores.
After it he took a hot sponge. He said it
closed the pores. He got so that he could open
and shut his pores at will.
Jigjgins used to stand and breathe at an open
window for half an hour before dressing. He
said it expanded his lungs. He might, of
course, have had it done in a shoe-store with
a boot stretcher, but after all it cost him noth-
ing this way, and what is half an hour ?
After he had got his undershirt on, Jiggins
used to hitch himself up like a dog in harness
and do Sandow exercises. He did them for-
wards, backwards, and hind-side up.
He could have got a job as a dog anywhere.
He spent all his time at this kind of thing. In
his spare time at the o£Ece, he used to lie on
his stomach on the floor and see if he could
lift himself up with his knuckles. If he could,
How to Live to Be 200
then he tried some other way until he found
one that he couldn't do. Then he would spend
the rest of his lunch hour on his stomach,
In the evenings in his room he used to lift
iron bars, cannon-balls, heave dumb-bells, and
haul himself up to the ceiling with his teeth.
You could hear the thumps half a mile.
He liked it.
He spent half the night slinging himself
around his room. He said it made his brain
clear. When he got his brain perfectly clear,
he went to bed and slept. As soon as he woke,
he began clearing it again.
Jiggins is dead. He was, of course, a
pioneer, but the fact that he dumb-belled him-
self to death at an early age does not pre-
vent a whole generation of young men from
following in his path.
They are ridden by the Health Mania.
They make themselves a nuisance.
They get up at impossible hours. They
go out in silly little suits and run Marathon
heats before breakfast. They chase around
barefoot to get the dew on their feet. They
hunt for ozone. They bother about pepsin.
They won't eat meat because it has too much
nitrogen. They won't eat fruit because it
hasn't any. They prefer albumen and starch
and nitrogen to huckleberry pie and dough-
nuts. They won't drink water out of a tap.
They won't eat sardines out of a can. They
won't use oysters out of a pail. They won't
drink milk out of a glass. They are afraid
of alcohol in any shape. Yes, sir, afraid.
And after all their fuss they presently incur
some simple old-fashioned illness and die like
Now people of this sort have no chance to
attain any great age. They are on the wrong
Listen. Do you want to live to be really
old, to enjoy a grand, green, exuberant,
boastful old age and to make yourself a
nuisance to your whole neighbourhood with
Then cut out all this nonsense. Cut it out.
Get up in the morning at a sensible hour.
The time to get up is when you have to, not
before. If your office opens at eleven, get up
at ten-thirty. Take your chance on ozone.
There isn't any such thing anyway. Or, if
there is, you can buy a Thermos bottle full for
Hoto to Live to Be 200
five cents, and put it on a shelf in your cup-
board. If your work begins at seven in the
morning, get up at ten minutes to, but don't
be liar enough to say that you like it. It isn't
exhilarating, and you know it.
Also, drop all that cold-bath business. You
never did it when you were a boy. Don't be
a fool now. If you must take a bath (you
don't really need to), take it warm. The
pleasure of getting out of a cold bed and creep-
ing into a hot bath beats a cold plunge to death.
In any case, stop gassing about your tub and
your "shower," as if you were the only man
who ever washed.
So much for that point.
Next, take the question of germs and bacilli.
Don't be scared of them. That's alL
That's the whole thing, and if you once
get on to that you never need to worry
If you see a bacilli, walk right up to it, and
look it in the eye. If one flies into your
room, strike at it with your hat or with a
towel. Hit it as hard as you can between
the neck and the thorax. It will soon get sick
But as a matter of fact, a bacilli is perfectly
quiet and harmless if you are not afraid of it.
Speak to it. Call out to it to "lie down." It
will understand. I had a bacilli once, called
Fido, that would come and lie at my feet while
I was working. I never knew a more affec-
tionate companion, and when it was run over
by an automobile, I buried it in the garden
with genuine sorrow.
(I admit this is an exaggeration. I don't
really remember its name; it may have been
Understand that it is only a fad of modem
medicine to say that cholera and t3^hoid and
diphtheria are caused by bacilli and germs;
nonsense. Cholera is caused by a frightful pain
in the stomach, and diphtheria is caused by
trying to cure a sore throat.
Now take the question of food.
Eat what you want. Eat lots of it. Yes, eat
too much of it. Eat till you can just stagger
across the room with it and prop it up against
a sofa cushion. Eat everything that you like
until you can't eat any more. The only test
is, can you pay for it? If you can't pay for it,
don't eat it. And listen — don't worry as to
whether your food contains starch, or albumen,
or gluten, or nitrogen. If you are a damn
Horn to Live to Be 200
fool enough to want these things, go and buy
them and eat all you want of them. Go to a
laundry and get a bag of starch, and eat your
fill of it. Eat it, and take a good long drink of
glue after it, and a spoonful of Portland
cement. That will gluten you, good and solid.
If you like nitrogen, go and get a druggist
to give you a canful of it at the soda counter,
and let you sip it with a straw. Only don't
think that you can mix all these things up with
your food. There isn't any nitrogen or phos-
phorus or albumen in ordinary things to eat.
In any decent household all that sort of stuff
Is washed out in the kitchen sink before the
food is put on the table.
And just one word about fresh air and
exercise. Don't bother with either of them.
Get your room full of good air, then shut up
the windows and keep it. It will keep for
years. Anyway, don't keep using your lungs
all the time. Let them rest. As for exercise,
if you have to take it, take it and put up with
it. But as long as you have the price of a hack
and can hire other people to play baseball for
you and run races and do gymnastics when
you sit in the shade and smoke and watch
them — great heavens, what more do you want?
How to Avoid Getting Married
SOME years ago, when I was. the
Editor of a Correspondence Column,
I used to receive heart-broken letters
from young men asking for advice
and sympathy. They found themselves the
object of marked attentions from girls which
they scarcely knew how to deal with. They
did not wish to give pain or to seem indifferent
to a love which they felt was as ardent as it was
disinterested, and yet they felt that they could
not bestow their hands where their hearts had
not spoken. They wrote to me fully and
frankly, and as one soul might write to another
for relief. I accepted their confidences as
under the pledge of a secrecy, never divulging
their disclosures beyond the circulation of my
newspapers, or giving any hint of their
identity other than printing their names and
addresses and their letters in full. But I
may perhaps without dishonour reproduce one
of these letters, and my answer to it, inasmuch
as the date is now months ago, and the
softening hand of Time has woven its roses —
How to Avoid Getting Married
how shall I put it? — the mellow haze of
reminiscences has — ^what I mean is that the
young man has gone back to work and is all
Here then is a letter from a young man
whose name I must not reveal, but whom I
will designate as D. F., and whose address
I must not divulge, but will simply indicate
as Q. Street, West.
"Dear Mr. Leacock,
"For some time past I have been the
recipient of very marked attentions from a
young lady. She has been calling at the house
almost every evening, and has taken me out in
her motor, and invited me to concerts and
the theatre. On these latter occasions I have
insisted on her taking my father with me, and
have tried as far as possible to prevent her
saying anything to me which would be unfit
for father to hear. But my position has
become a very difficult one. I do not
think it right to accept her presents when I
cannot feel that my heart is hers. Yesterday
she sent to my house a beautiful bouquet of
American Beauty roses addressed to me, and
a magnificent bunch of Timothy Hay for
father. I do not know what to say. Would
it be right for father to keep all this
valuable hay? I have confided fully in father,
and we have discussed the question of presents.
He thinks that there are some that we can keep
with propriety, and others that a sense of
delicacy forbids us to retain. He himself is
going to sort out the presents into the two
classes. He thinks that as far as he can see,
the Hay is in class B. Meantime I write to
you, as I understand that Miss Laura Jean
Libby and Miss Beatrix Fairfax are on their
vacation, and in any case a friend of mine who
follows their writings closely tells me that they
are always full.
"I enclose a dollar, because I do not think
it right to ask you to give all your valuable
time and your best thought without giving you
back what' it is worth."
On receipt of this I wrote back at once a
private and confidential letter which I printed
in the following edition of the paper.
"My dear, dear Boy,
"Your letter has touched me. As
soon as I opened it and saw the green and blue
tint of the dollar bill which you had so daintily
How to Avoid Getting Married
and prettily folded within the pages of your
sweet letter, I knew that the note was from
someone that I could learn to love, if our
correspondence were to continue as it had
begun. I took the dollar from your letter
and kissed and fondled it a dozen times. Dear
unknown boy 1 I shall always keep that dollar !
No matter how much I may need it, or how
many necessaries, yes, absolute necessities,
of life I may be wanting, I shall always keep
that dollar. Do you understand, dear? I
shall keep it. I shall not spend it. As far
as the use of it goes, it will be just as if you
had not sent it. Even if you were to send me
another dollar, I should still keep the first one,
so that no matter how many you sent, the
recollection of one first friendship would not
be contaminated with mercenary considera-
tions. When I say dollar, darling, of course
an express order, or a postal note, or even
stamps would be all the same. But in that
case do not address me in care of this office,
as I should not like to think of your pretty
little letters lying round where others might
"But now I must stop chatting about my-
self, for I know that you cannot be interested
in a simple old fogey such as I am. Let me
talk to you about your letter and about the
difficult question it raises for all marriageable
"In the first place, let me tell you how glad
I am that you confide in your father. What-
ever happens, go at once to your father, put
your arms about his neck, and have a good
cry together. And you are right, too, about
presents. It needs a wiser head than my poor
perplexed boy to deal with them. Take them
to your father to be sorted, or, if you feel that
you must not overtax his love, address them
to me in your own pretty hand.
"And now let us talk, dear, as one heart to
another. Remember always that if a girl is
to have your heart she must be worthy of
you. When you look at your own bright inno-
cent face in the mirror, resolve that you will
give your hand to no girl who is not just as
innocent as you are and no brighter than your-
self. So that you must first find out how inno-
cent she is. Ask her quietly and frankly —
remember, dear, that the days of false modesty
are passing away — ^whether she has ever been
in jail. If she has not (and if you have not),
then you know that you are dealing with a
How to Avoid Getting Married
dear confiding girl who will make you a life
mate. Then you must know, too, that her
mind is worthy of your own. So many men
to-day are led astray by the merely superficial
graces and attractions of girls who in
reality possess no mental equipment at
all. Many a man is bitterly disillusioned
after marriage when he realises that his wife
cannot solve a quadratic equation, and that
he is compelled to spend all his days with a
woman who does not know that x squared
plus 2xy plus y squared is the same thing, or,
I think nearly the same thing, as x plus y
"Nor should the simple domestic virtues be
neglected. If a girl desires to woo you, before
allowing her to press her suit, ask her if she
knows how to press yours. If she can, let
her woo; if not, tell her to whoa. But I see
I have written quite as much as I need for
this column. Won't you write again, just as
before, dear boy?
How to Be a Doctor
CERTAINLY the progress of science
is a wonderful thing. One can't
help feeling proud of it. I must
admit that I do. Whenever I get
talking to anyone — that is, to anyone who
knows even less about it than I do — about the
marvellous development of electricity, for
instance, I feel as if I had been person-
ally responsible for it. As for the linotype
and the aeroplane and the vacuum house-clean-
er, well, I am not sure that I didn't invent
them myself. I believe that all generous-
hearted men feel just the same way about
However, that is not the point I am intend-
ing to discuss. What I want to speak about is
the progress of medicine. There, if you
like, is something wonderful. Any lover of
humanity (or of either sex of it) who looks
back on the achievements of medical science
must feel his heart glow and his right ventricle
expand with the pericardiac stimulus of a per-
How to Be a Doctor
Just think of it. A hundred years ago there
were no < bacilli, no ptomaine poisoning, no
diphtheria, and no appendicitis. Rabies was but
little known, and only imperfectly developed.
All of these we owe to medical science. Even
such things as psoriasis and parotitis and
trypanosomiasis, which are now household
names, were known only to the few, and were
quite beyond the reach of the great mass of
Or consider the advance of the science on
its practical side. A hundred years ago it used
to be supposed that fever could be cured by
the letting of blood; now we know positively
that it cannot. Even seventy years ago it was
thought that fever was curable by the admin-
istration of sedative drugs; now we know that
it isn't. For the matter of that, as recently
as thirty years ago, doctors thought that they
could heal a fever by means of low diet and
the application of ice; now they are absolutely
certain that they cannot. This instance shows
the steady progress made in the treatment of
fever. But there has been the same cheering
advance all along the line. Take rheumatism.
A few generations ago people with rheumatism
used to have to carry round potatoes in their
pockets as a means of cure. Now the doctors
allow them to carry absolutely anything they
like. They may go round with their pockets
full of water-melons if they wish to. It makes
no difference. Or take the treatment of
epilepsy. It used to be supposed that the first
thing to do in sudden attacks of this kind
was to unfasten the patient's collar and let
him breathe; at present, on the contrary,
many doctors consider it better to button up
the patient's collar and let him choke.
In only one respect has there been a decided
lack of progress in the domain of medicine,
that is in the time It takes to become a quali-
fied practitioner. In the good old days a man
was turned out thoroughly equipped after put-
ting in two winter sessions at a college and
spending his summers in running logs for a
sawmill. Some of the students were turned
out even sooner. Nowadays it takes anywhere
from five to eight years to become a doctor.
Of course, one is willing to grant that our
young men are growing stupider and lazier
every year. This fact will be corroborated
at once by any man over fifty years of age.
But even when this is said it seems odd that
a man should study eight years now to
How to Be a Doctor
learn what he used to acquire in eight
However, let that go. The point I want
to develop is that the modern doctor's busi-
ness is an extremely simple one, which could
be acquired in about two weeks. This is the
way it is done.
The patient enters the consulting-room.
"Doctor," he says, "I have a bad pain."
"Where is it?" "Here." "Stand up,"
says the doctor, "and put your arras up above
your head." Then the doctor goes behind the
patient and strikes him a powerful blow in the
back. "Do you feel that," he says. "I do,"
says the patient. Then the doctor turns sud-
denly and lets him have a left hook under the
heart. "Can you feel that," he says
viciously, as the patient falls over on the sofa
in a heap. "Get up," says the doctor, and
counts ten. The patient rises. The doctor
looks him over very carefully without speak-
ing, and then suddenly fetches him a blow in
the stomach that doubles him up speechless.
The doctor walks over to the window and
reads the morning paper for a while. Pre-
sently he turns and begins to mutter more to
himself than the patient. "Huml" he says,
"there's a slight anaesthesia of the tympanum."
"Is that so?" says the patient, in an agony of
fear. "What can I do about it, doctor?"
"Well," says the doctor, "I want you to keep
very quiet; you'll have to go to bed and stay
there and keep quiet." In reality, of course,
the doctor hasn't the least idea what is wrong
with the man; but he does know that if he
will go to bed and keep quiet, awfully quiet,
he'll either get quietly well again or else die
a quiet death. Meantime, if the doctor calls
every morning and thumps and beats him, he
can keep the patient submissive and perhaps
force him to confess what i$ wrong with
"What about diet, doctor?" says the patient,
The answer to this question varies very
much. It depends on how the doctor is feeling
and whether it is long since he had a meal
himself. If it is late in the morning and the
doctor is ravenously hungry, he says: "Oh,
eat plenty, don't be afraid of it; eat meat,
vegetables, starch, glue, cement, anything you
like." But if the doctor has just had lunch and
if his breathing is short-circuited with huckle-
berrj?-pie, he says very firmly: "No, I don't
How to Be a Doctor
want you to eat anything at all: absolutely not
a bite; it won't hurt you, a little self-denial
in the matter of eating is the best thing in the
"And what about drinking?" Again the
doctor's answer varies. He may say: "Oh,
yes, you might drink a glass of lager now and
then, or, if you prefer it, a gin and soda or a
whisky and ApoUinaris, and I think before
going to bed I'd take a hot Scotch with a
couple of lumps of white sugar and bit of
lemon-peel in it and a good grating of nut-
meg on the top." The doctor says this with
real feeling, and his eye glistens with the pure
love of his profession. But if, on the other
hand, the doctor has spent the night before
at a little gathering of medical friends, he is
very apt to forbid the patient to touch alcohol
in any shape, and to dismiss the subject with
Of course, this treatment in and of itself
would appear too transparent, and would fail
to inspire the patient with a proper confidence.
But nowadays this element is supplied by the
work of the analytical laboratory. Whatever
is wrong with the patient, the doctor insists on
snipping off parts and pieces and extracts of
him and sending them mysteriously away to
be analysed. He cuts off a lock of the patient's
hair, marks it, "Mr. Smith's Hair, October,
19 10." Then he clips off the lower part of
the ear, and wraps it in paper, and labels it,
"Part of Mr. Smith's Ear, October, 19 10."
Then he looks the patient up and down, with
the scissors in his hand, and if he sees any
likely part of him he clips it off and wraps it
up. Now this, oddly enough, is the very thing
that fills the patient up with that sense of
personal importance which is worth paying for.
"Yes," says the bandaged patient, later in the
day to a group of friends much impressed,
"the doctor thinks there may be a sUght
anaesthesia of the prognosis, but he's sent my
ear to New York and my appendix to Balti-
more and a lock of my hair to the editors of
all the medical journals, and meantime I am
to keep very quiet and not exert myself beyond
drinking a hot Scotch with lemon and
nutmeg every half-hour." With that he
sinks back faintly on his cushions, luxuriously
And yet, isn't it funny?
You and I and the rest of us — even if we
know all this — as soon as we have a pain
How to Be a Doctor
within us, rush for a doctor as fast as a hack
can take us. Yes, personally, I even prefer
an ambulance with a bell on it It's more
The New Food
I SEE from the current columns of the
daily press that "Professor Plumb, of
the University of Chicago, has just in-
vented a highly concentrated form of
food. All the essential nutritive elements are
put together in the form of pellets, each of
which contains from one to two hundred times
as much nourishment as an ounce of an ordi-
nary article of diet. These pellets, diluted
with water, will form all that is necessary to
support life. The professor looks forward con-
fidently to revolutionising the present food
Now this kind of thing may be all very well
in its way, but it is going to have its drawbacks
as well. In the bright future anticipated by
Professor Plumb, we can easily imagine such
incidents as the following:
The smiling family were gathered round the
hospitable board. The table was plenteously
laid with a soup-plate in front of each beaming
child, a bucket of hot water before the radiant
mother, and at the head of the board the
The New Food
Christmas dinner of the happy home, warmly
covered by a thimble and resting on a poker
chip. The expectant whispers of the little ones
were hushed as the father, rising from his
chair, lifted the thimble and disclosed a small
pill of cpncentrated nourishment on the chip
before him. Christmas turkey, cranberry
sauce, plum pudding, mince pie — it was all
there, all jammed into that little pill and only
waiting to expand. Then the father with deep
reverence, and a devout eye alternating be-
tween the pill and heaven, lifted his voice in a
At this moment there was an agonised cry
from the mother.
"Oh, Henry, quick 1 Baby has snached the
pill!" It was too true. Dear little Gustavus
Adolphus, the golden-haired baby boy, had
grabbed the whole Christmas dinner off the
poker chip and bolted it. Three hundred and
fifty pounds of concentrated nourishment
passed down the oesophagus of the unthinking
"Clap him on the backl" cried the distracted
mother. "Give him water I"
The idea was fatal. The water striking
the pill caused it to expand. There was a dull
rumbling sound and then, with an awful bang,
Gustavus Adolphus exploded into fragments!
And when they gathered the little corpse
together, the baby lips were parted in a linger-
ing smile that could only be worn by a child
who had eaten thirteen Christmas dinners.
A New Pathology
IT has long been vaguely understood
that the condition of a man's clothes
has a certain effect upon the health of
both body and mind. The well-known
proverb, "Clothes make the man," has its
origin in a general recognition of the powerful
influence of the habiliments in their reaction
upon the wearer. The same truth may be ob-
served in the facts of everyday life. On the
one hand we remark the bold carriage and
mental vigour of a man attired in a new suit
of clothes; on the other hand we note the
melancholy features of him who is conscious
of a posterior patch, or the haunted face of
one suffering from internal loss of buttons.
But while common observation thus gives us a
certain familiarity with a few leading facts
regarding the ailments and influence of clothes,
no attempt has as yet been made to reduce our
knowledge to a systematic form. At the same
time the writer feels that a valuable addition
might be made to the science of medicine in
this direction. The numerous diseases which
are caused by this fatal influence should receive
a scientific analysis, and their treatment be in-
cluded among the principles of the healing
art. The diseases of the clothes may roughly
be divided into medical cases and surgical
cases, while these again fall into classes accord-
ing to the particular garment through which
the sufferer is attacked.
Probably no article of apparel is so liable to
a diseased condition as the trousers. It may
be well, therefore, to treat first those maladies
to which they are subject.
/. Contractio Pantaluna, or Shortening
of the Legs of the Trousers, an extremely
painful malady most frequently found in the
growing youth. The first symptom is the
appearance of a yawning space (lacuna) above
the boots, accompanied by an acute sense of
humiliation and a morbid anticipation of
mockery. The application of treacle to the
boots, although commonly recommended, may
rightly be condemned as too drastic a remedy.
The use of boots reaching to the knee, to be
removed only at night, wiU afford immediate
A New Pathology
relief. In connection with Contractio is often
//. Inflatio Genu, or Bagging of the Knees
of the Trousers, a disease whose symptoms are
similar to those above. The patient shows
an aversion to the standing posture, and,
in acute cases, if the patient be compelled to
stand, the head is bent and the eye fixed with
painful rigidity upon the projecting blade
formed at the knee of the trousers.
In both of the above diseases anything that
can be done to free the mind of the patient
from a morbid sense of his infirmity will do
much to improve the general tone of the
///. Oases, or Patches, are liable to break
out anywhere on the trousers, and range in
degree of gravity from those of a trifling
nature to those of a fatal character. The most
distressing cases are those where the patch
assumes a different colour from that of the
trousers (dissimilitas coloris). In this instance
the mind of the patient is found to be in a
sadly aberrated condition, A speedy improve-
ment may, however, be effected by cheerful
society, books, flowers, and, above all, by a
IV. The overcoat is attacked by no serious
disorders, except —
Phosphorescentia, or Glistening^ a malady
which indeed may often be observed to affect
the whole system. It is caused by decay of
tissue from old age and is generally aggra-
vated by repeated brushing. A peculiar
feature of the complaint is the lack of veracity
on the part of the patient in reference to* the
cause of his uneasiness. Another invariable
sjmiptom is his aversion to outdoor exercise;
under various pretexts, which it is the duty
of his medical adviser firmly to combat, he
will avoid even a gentle walk in the streets.
V. Of the waistcoat science recognises biit
one disease —
Porriggia, an affliction caused by repeated
spilling of porridge. It is generally harmless,
chiefly owing to the mental indifference of the
patient. It can be successfully treated by re-
peated fomentations of benzine.
VI. Mortificatio Tills, or Greenness of the
Hat, is a disease often found in connection
with Phosphorescentia (mentioned above), and
characterised by the same aversion to outdoor
VII. Sterilitas, or Loss of Fur, is another
A New Pathology
disease of the hat, especially prevalent in
winter. It is not accurately known whether
this is caused by a falling out of the fur or by
a cessation of growth. In all diseases of the
hat the mind of the patient is greatly de-
pressed and his countenance stamped with the
deepest gloom. He is particularly sensitive in
regard to questions as to the previous history
of the hat.
Waiit of space precludes the mention of
minor diseases, such as —
VIII. Odditus Soccorum, or oddness of the
socks, a thing in itself trifling, but of an
alarming nature if met in combination with
Contractio Pantalunae. Cases are found where
the patient, possibly on the public platform or
at a social gathering, is seized with a con-
sciousness of the malady so suddenly as to
render medical assistance futile.
It is impossible to mention more than a few
of the most typical cases of diseases of this
/. Explosio, or Loss of Buttons, is the com-
monest malady demanding surgical treatment.
It consists of a succession of minor fractures,
possibly internal, which at first excite no alarm.
A vague sense of uneasiness is presently felt,
which often leads the patient to seek relief in
the string habit — a habit which, if unduly in-
dulged in, may assume the proportions of a
ruling passion. The use of sealing-wax,
while admirable as a temporary remedy for
Explosio, should never be allowed to gain a
permanent hold upon the system. There is
no doubt that a persistent indulgence in the
string habit, or the constant use of sealing-
wax, will result in —
//. Fractura Suspendorum, or Snapping of
the Braces, which amounts to a general col-
lapse of the system. The patient is usually
seized with a severe attack of explosio, fol-
lowed by a sudden sinking feeling and sense of
loss. A sound constitution may rally from the
shock, but a system undermined by the string
habit invariably succumbs.
///. Sectura Pantaluna, or Ripping of the
Trousers, is generally caused by sitting upon
warm beeswax or leaning against a hook.
In the case of the very young it is not un-
frequently accompanied by a distressing sup-
puration of the shirt. This, however, is not
'A New Pathology
femarked in adults. The malady is rather
mental than bodily, the mind of the patient
being racked by a keen sense of indignity and
a feeling of unworthiness. The only treat-
ment is immediate isolation, with a careful
stitching of the affected part.
In conclusion, it may be stated that at the
first symptom of disease the patient should
not hesitate to put himself in the hands of a
professional tailor. In so brief a compass as
the present article the discussion has of neces-
sity been rather suggestive than exhaustive.
Much yet remains to be done, and the subject
opens wide to the inquiring eye. The writer
will, however, feel amply satisfied if this brief
outline may help to direct the attention of
medical men to what is yet an unexplored
The Poet Answered
In answer to your repeated ques-
tions and requests which have ap-
peared for some years past in the
columns of the rural press, I beg to submit
the following solutions of your chief diffi-
culties : —
Topic I. — ^You frequently ask, where are
the friends of your childhood, and urge that
they shall be brought back to you. As far
as I am able to l&arn, those of your friends
who are not in jail are still right there in
your native village. You point out that
they were wont to share your gambols. If
so, you are certainly entitled to have theirs
Topic H. — ^You have taken occasion to
"Give me not silk, nor rich attire,
Nor gold, nor jewels rare,"
But, my dear fellow, this is preposterous. Why,
these are the very things I had bought for
The Poet Answered
you. If you won't take any of these, I shall
have to give you factory cotton and cord-
Topic III. — ^You also ask, "How fares my
love across the sea ?" Intermediate, I presume.
She would hardly travel steerage.
Topic IV. — "Why was I born? Why should
I breathe?" Here I quite agree with you. I
don't think you ought to breathe.
Topic V. — ^You demand that I shall show
you the man whose soul is dead and then mark
him. I am awfully sorry; the man was around
here all day yesterday, and if I had only known
I could easily have marked him so that we
could pick him out again.
Topic VI. — I notice that you frequently
say, "Oh, for the sky of your native land."
Oh, for it, by all means, if you wish. But
remember that you already owe for a great
Topic VII. — On more than one occasion
you wish to be informed, "What boots it, that
you idly dream ?" Nothing boots it at present
— a fact, sir, which ought to afford you the
The Force of Statistics
THEY were sitting on a seat of the
car, immediately in iFront of me.
I was consequently able to hear all
that they were saying. They were
evidently strangers who had dropped into a
conversation. They both had the air of men
who considered themselves profoundly inter-
esting as minds. It was plain that each
laboured under the impression that he was a
One had just been reading a book which lay
in his lap.
"I've been reading some very interesting
statistics," he was saying to the other thinker.
"Ah, statistics!" said the other; "wonder-
ful things, sir, statistics; very fond of them
"I find, for instance," the first man went on,
"that a drop of water is filled with little
. . . with little ... I forget just what you
call them . . . little — er — things, every cubic
inch containing — er — containing ... let me
see . . . "
The Force of Statistics
"Say a million," said the other thinker, en-
"Yes, a million, or possibly a billion;. . .
but at any rate, ever so many of them."
"Is it possible?" said the other. "But
really, you know there are wonderful things
in the world. Now, coal . . . take coal. ..."
"Very good," said his friend, "let us take
coal," settling back in his seat with the air of
an intellect about to feed itself.
"Do you know that every ton of coal burnt
in an engine will drag a train of cars as long
as ... I forget the exact length, but say a
train of cars of such and such a length, and
weighing, say so much . . . from . . . from
. . . hum ! for the moment the exact distance
escapes me . . . drag it from ..."
"From here to the moon," suggested the
"Ah, very likely; yes, from here to the
moon. Wonderful, isn't it?"
"But the most stupendous calculation of all,
sir, Is in regard to the distance from the earth
to the sun. Positively, sir, a cannon-ball — er —
fired at the sun ..."
"Fired at Ae sun," nodded the othei;, ap-
provingly, as if he had often seen it done.
"And travelling at the rate of . . . of . . ."
"Of three cents a mile," hinted the listener.
"No, no, you misunderstand me, — ^but
travelling at a fearful rate, simply fearful, sir,
would take a hundred million — ^no, a hundred
billion — in short would take a scandalously
long time in getting there — ■. — "
At this point I Could stand no more. I in-
terrupted — "Provided it were fired from Phila-
delphia," I said, and passed into the smoking-
Men Who Have Shaved Me
A BARBER is by nature and inclina-
tion a sport. He can tell you at
what exact hour the ball game of
the day is to begin, can foretell its
issue without losing a stroke of the razor, and
can explain the points of inferiority of all the
players, as compared with better men that he
has personally seen elsewhere, with the nicety
of a professional. He can do all this, and then
stuff the customer's mouth with a soap-brush,
and leave him while he goes to the other end
of the shop to make a side bet with one of the
other barbers on the outcome of the Autumn
Handicap. In the barber-shops they knew the
result of the Jeffries-Johnson prize-fight long
before it happened. It is on information of
this kind that they make their living. The
performance of shaving is only incidental to it.
Their real vocation in life is imparting infor-
mation. To the barber the outside world is
made up of customers, who are to be thrown
into chairs, strapped, manacled, gagged with
soap, and then given such necessary informa-
tion on the athletic events of the moment as
will carry them through the business hours of
the day without open disgrace.
As soon as the barber has properly filled
up the customer with information of this sort,
he rapidly removes his whiskers as a sign that
the man is now fit to talk to, and lets him out
of the chair.
The public has grown to understand the
situation. Every reasonable business man is
willing to sit and wait half an hour for a shave
which he could give himself in three minutes,
because he knows that if he goes down town
without understanding exactly why Chicago
lost two games straight he will appear an
At times, of course, the barber prefers to
test his customer with a question or two. He
gets him pinned in the chair, with his head
well back, covers the customer's face with
soap, and then planting his knee on his chest
and holding his hand firmly across the custo-
mer's mouth, to prevent all utterance and to
force him to swallow the soap, he asks: "Well,
what did you think of the Detroit-St. Louis
game yesterday?" This is not really meant
for a question at all. It is only equivalent to
Men Who Have Shaved Me
saying: "Now, you poor fool, I'll bet you
don't know anything about the great events
of your country at all." There is a gurgle in
the customer's throat as if he were trying to
answer, and his eyes are seen to move side-
ways, but the barber merely thrusts the soap-
brush into each eye, and if any motion still
persists, he breathes gin and peppermint over
the face, till all sign of life is extinct. Then
he talks the game over in detail with the
barber at the next chair, each leaning across an
inanimate thing extended under steaming
towels that was once a man.
To know all these things barbers have to be
highly educated. It is true that some of the
greatest barbers that have ever lived have
begun as uneducated, illiterate men, and by
sheer energy and indomitable industry have
forced their way to the front. But these are
exceptions. To succeed nowadays it is practi-
cally necessary to be a college graduate. As
the courses at Harvard and Yale have been
found too superficial, there are now established
regular Barbers' Colleges, where a bright
young man can learn as much in three weeks as
he would be likely to know after three years at
Harvard. The courses at these colleges cover
such things as: (i) Physiology, including
Hair- and its Destruction, The Origin and
Growth of Whiskers, Soap in its Relation to
Eyesight; (2) Chemistry, including lectures
on Florida Water; and How to Make it out
of Sardine Oil; (3) PRACTICAL Anatomy, in-
cluding The Scalp and How to Lift it, The
Ears and How to Remove them, and, as the
Major Course for advanced students, The
Veins of the Face and how to open and close
them at will by the use of alum.
The education of the customer is, as I have
said, the chief part of the barber's vocation.
But it must be remembered that the incidental
function of removing his whiskers in order to
mark him as a well-informed man is also of
importance, and demands long practice and
great natural aptitude. In the barbers' shops
of modern cities shaving has been brought to
a high degree of perfection. A good barber
is not content to remove the whiskers of his
client directly and immediately. He prefers
to cook him first. He does this by immersing
the head in hot water and covering the victim's
face with steaming towels until he has him
boiled to a nice pink. From time to time the
barber removes the towels and looks at the
Men Who Have Shaved Me
face to see If It Is yet boiled pink enough for
his satisfaction. If It is not, he replaces the
towels again and jams them down firmly with
his hand until the cooking Is finished. The
final result, however, amply justifies this
trouble, and the well-boiled customer only
needs the addition of a few vegetables on the
side to present an extremely appetizing ap-
During the process of the shave. It is cus-
tomary for the barber to apply the particular
kind of mental torture known as the third de-
gree. This is done by terrorising the patient
as to the very evident and proximate loss of all
his hair and whiskers, which the barber is
enabled by his experience to foretell. "Your
hair," he says, very sadly and sympathetically,
"is all falling out. Better let me give you a
shampoo?" "No." "Let me singe your
hair to close up the follicles?" "No." "Let
me plug up the ends of your hair with
sealing-wax, it's the only thing that will
save It for you?" "No." "Let me rub an
egg on your scalp?" "No." "Let me squirt
a lemon on your eyebrows?" "No."
The barber seesj that he is dealing with a
man of determination, and he warms to his
task. He bends low and whispers into the
prostrate ear: "You've got a good many grey
hairs coming in; better let me give you an ap-
plication of Hairocene, only cost you half a
dollar?" "No." "Your face," he whispers
again, with a soft, caressing voice, "is all cov-
ered with wrinkles; better let me rub some of
this Rejuvenator into the face."
This process is continued until one of two
things happens. Either the customer is ob-
durate, and staggers to his , feet at last and
gropes his way out of the shop with the knowl-
edge that he is a wrinkled, prematurely senile
man, whose wicked life is stamped upon his
face, and whose unstopped hair-ends and
failing follicles menace him with the certainty
of complete baldness within twenty-four
hours — or else, as in nearly all instances, he
succumbs. In the latter case. Immediately on
his saying "yes" there is a shout of exultation
from the barber, a roar of steaming water,
and within a moment two barbers have grabbed
him by the feet and thrown him under the
tap, and, in spite of his struggles, are giving
him the Hydro-magnetic treatment. When he
emerges from their hands, he steps out
Men Who Have Shaved Me
of the shop looking as if he had been
But even the application of the Hydro-
magnetic and the Rejuvenator do not by any
means exhaust the resources of the up-to-date
barber. He prefers to perform on the cus-
tomer a whole variety of subsidiary services
not directly connected with shaving, but car-
ried on during the process of the shave.
In a good, up-to-date shop, while one man is
shaving the customer, others black his boots,
brush his clothes, darn his socks, point his
nails, enamel his teeth, polish his eyes, and
alter the shape of any of his joints which they
think unsightly. During this operation they
often stand seven or eight deep round a
customer, fighting for a chance to get at
All of these remarks apply to barber-shops
in the city, and not to country places. In the
country there is only one barber and one
customer at a time. The thing assumes the
aspect of a straight-out, rough-and-tumble,
catch-as-catch-can fight, with a few spectators
sitting round the shop to see fair play. In the
city they can shave a man without removing
any of his clothes. But in the country,
where the customer insists on getting the full
value for his money, they remove the collar
and necktie, the coat and the waistcoat, and,
for a really good shave and hair-cut, the
customer is stripped to the waist. The barber
can then take a rush at him from the other
side of the room, and drive the clippers up the
full length of the spine, so as to come at the
heavier hair on the back of the head with the
impact of a lawn-mower driven into long
Getting the Thread of It
HAVE you ever had a man try to
explain to you what happened in
a book as far as he has read? It
is a most instructive thing. Sin-
clair, the man who shares my rooms with me,
made such an attempt the other night. I had
come in cold and tired from a walk and found
him full of excitement, with a bulky magazine
in one hand and a paper-cutter gripped in the
"Say, here's a grand story," he burst out
as soon as I came in; "it's great 1 most
fascinating thing I ever read. Wait till I read
you some of it. I'll just tell you what has
happened up to where I am — you'll easily catch
the thread of it — and then we'll finish it to-
I wasn't feeling in a very responsive mood,
but I saw no way to stop him, so I merely
said, "All right, throw me your thread, I'll
"Well," Smclair began with great animation,
"this count gets this letter ..."
"Hold on," I interrupted, "what count gets
"Oh, the count it's about, you know. He
gets this letter from this Porphirio ..."
"From which Porphirio?"
"Why, Porphirio sent the letter, don't you
see, he sent it," Sinclair exclaimed a little im-
patiently — "sent it through Demonio and told
him to watch for him with him, and kill him
when he got him."
"Oh, see here 1" I broke in, "who is to meet
who, and who is to get stabbed?"
"They're going to stab Demonio."
"And who brought the letter?"
"Well, now, Demonio must be a clam I
What did he bring it for?"
"Oh, but he don't know what's in it,
that's just the slick part of it," and Sinclair
began to snigger to himself at the thought
of it. "You see, this Carlo Carlotti the
"Stop right there," I said. "What's a
"It's a sort of brigand. He, you under-
stand, was in league with this Fra Fralic-
Getting the Thread of It
A suspicion flashed across my mind. "Look
here," I said firmly, "if the scene of this story
is laid in the Highlands, I refuse to listen to
it. Call it off."
"No, no," Sinclair answered quickly, "that's
all right. It's laid in Italy . . . time of Pius
the something. He comes in — say, but he's
great! so darned crafty. It's him, you know,
that persuades this Franciscan ..."
"Pause," I said, "what Franciscan?"
"Fra Fraliccolo, of course," Sinclair said
snappishly. "You see, Pio tries to . . ."
"Whoa!" I said, "who is Pio?"
"Oh, hang it all, Pio is Italian, it's short
for Pius. He tries to get Fra Fraliccolo and
Carlo Carlotti the Condottiere to steal the
document from ... let me see, what was he
called?" . . . Oh, yes . . . from the Dog
of Venice, so that ... or ... no, hang it,
you put me out, that's all wrong. It's the
other way round. Pio wasn't clever at all;
he's a regular darned fool. It's the Dog that's
crafty. By Jove, he's fine," Sinclair went on,
warming up to enthusiasm again, "he just
does anything he wants. He makes this
Demonio (Demonio is one of those hirelings,
you know, he's the tool of the Dog) . . ,
makes him steal the document off Porphirio,
and . . ."
"But how does he get him to do that?" I
"Oh, the Dog has Demonio pretty well
under his thumb, so he makes Demonio scheme
round till he gets old Pio — er — gets him
under his thumb, and then, of course, Pio
thinks that Porphirio — I mean he thinks
that he has Porphirio — er — has him under his
"Half a minute, Sinclair," I said, "who did
you say was under the Dog's thumb?"
"Thanks. I was mixed in the thumbs. Go
"Well, just when things are like this ..."
"Like I said."
"Who should turn up and thwart the whole
scheme, but this Signorina Tarara in her
"HuUy Gee!" I said, "you make my head
ache. What the deuce does she come in her
"Why, to thwart it."
Getting the Thread of It
"To thwart what?"
"Thwart the whole darned thing," Sinclair
"But can't she thwart it without her
"I should think notl You see, if it hadn't
been for the domino, the Dog would have
spotted her quick as a wink. Only when he
sees her in the domino with this rose in het"
hair, he thinks she must be Lucia dell' Es-
"Say, he fools himself, doesn't he? Who's
this last girl?"
"Lucia? Oh, she's great 1" Sinclair said.
"She's one of those Southern natures, you
know, full of — er — full of . . ."
"Full of fun," I suggested.
"Oh, hang it all, don't make fun of it!
Well, anyhow, she's sister, you understand, to
the Contessa Carantarata, and that's why Fra
Fraliccolo, or . . . hold on, that's not it, no,
no, she's not sister to anybody. She's cousin,
that's it; or, anyway, she thinks she is cousin
to Fra Fraliccolo himself, and that's why Pio
tries to stab Fra Fraliccolo."
"Oh, yes," I assented, "naturally he
"Ah," 'Sinclair said hopefully, getting his
paper-cutter ready to cut the next pages, "you
begin to get the thread now, don't you?"
"Oh, fine!" I said. "The people in it
are the Dog and Pio, and Carlo Carlotti the
Condottiere, arid those others that we spoke
"That's right," Sinclair said. "Of course,
there are more still that I can tell you about
if . . ."
"Oh, never mind," I said, "I'll work along
with those, they're a pretty representative
crowd. Then Porphirio is under Pio's thumb,
and Pio is under Demonio's thumb, and the
Dog is crafty, and Lucia is full of something
all the time. Oh, I've got a mighty clear idea
of it," I concluded bitterly.
"Oh, you've got it," Sinclair said, "I knew
you'd like it. Now we'll go on. I'll just finish
to the bottom of rrjy page and then I'll go on
He ran his eyes rapidly over the lines till he
came to the bottom of the page, then he cut
the leaves and turned over. I saw his eye rest
on the half-dozen lines that confronted him
on the next page with an expression of utter
Getting the Thread of It
"Well, I will be cursed!" he said at length.
"What's the matter?" I said gently, with a
great joy at my heart.
"This infernal thing's a serial," he gasped,
as he pointed at the words, "To be continued,"
"and that's all there is in this number."
Telling His Faults
OH, do, Mr. Sapling," said the
beautiful girl at the summer hotel,
"do let me read the palm of
your hand! I can tell you all
Mr. Sapling gave an inarticulate gurgle and
a roseate flush swept over his countenance as
he surrendered his palm to the grasp of the
"Oh, you're just full of faults, just full of
them, Mr. Sapling 1" she cried.
Mr. Sapling looked it.
"To begin with," said the beautiful girl, slow-
ly and reflectingly, "you are dreadfully cyni-
cal: you haidly believe in anything at all, and
you've utterly no faith in us poor women."
The feeble smile that had hitherto kindled
the features of Mr. Sapling into a ray of chas-
tened imbecility, was distorted in an effort at
"Then your next fault is that you are too de-
termined; much too determined. When once
Telling His Faults
you have set your will on any object, you crush
every obstacle under your feet."
Mr. Sapling looked meekly down at his ten-
nis shoes, but began to feel calmer, more lifted
up. Perhaps he had been all these things with-
out knowing it.
"Then you are cold and sarcastic."
Mr. Sapling attempted to look cold and sar-
castic. He succeeded in a rude leer.
"And you're horribly world-weary, you care
for nothing. You have drained philosophy to
the dregs, and scoff at everything."
Mr. Sapling's inner feeling was that from
now on he would simply scoff and scoff and
"Your only redeeming quality is that you are
generous. You have tried to kill even this,
but cannot. Yes," concluded the beautiful girl,
"those are your faults, generous still, but cold,
cynical, and relentless. Good night, Mr. Sap-
And resisting all entreaties the beautiful girl
passed from the verandah of the hotel and van-
And when later in the evening the brother
of the beautiful girl borrowed Mr. Sapling's
tennis racket, and his bicycle for a fortnight,
and the father of the beautiful girl got Sapling
to endorse his note for a couple of hundreds,
and her uncle Zephas borrowed his bedroom
candle and used his razor to cut up a plug of
tobacco, Mr. Sapling felt proud to be acquainted
with the family.
IT IS in the depth of winter, when the
intense cold renders it desirable to stay
at home, that the really Pleasant Family
is wont to serve invitations upon a few
friends to spend a Quiet Evening.
It is at these gatherings that that gay thing,
the indoor winter game, becomes rampant. It
is there that the old euchre deck and the staring
domino become fair and beautiful things; that
the rattle of the Loto counter rejoices the heart,
that the old riddle feels the sap stirring in its
limbs again, and the amusing spilikin completes
the mental ruin of the jaded guest. Then does
the Jolly Maiden Aunt propound the query:
What is the difference between an elephant and
a silk hat? Or declare that her first is a vowel,
her second a preposition, and her third an archi-
pelago. It is to crown such a quiet evening,
and to give the finishing stroke to those of the
visitors who have not escaped early, with a
fierce purpose of getting at the saloons before
they have time to close, that the indoor game
or family reservoir of fun is dragged from
its long sleep. It is spread out upon the table.
Its paper of directions is unfolded. Its cards,
its counters, its pointers and its markers are
distributed around the table, and the visitor
forces a look of reckless pleasure upon his
face. Then the "few simple directions" are
read aloud by the Jolly Aunt, instructing each
player to challenge the player holding the
golden letter corresponding to the digit next in
order, to name a dead author beginning with
X, failing which the player must declare him-
self in fault, and pay the forfeit of handing
over to the Jolly Aunt his gold watch and all
his money, or having a hot plate put down his
With a view to bringing some relief to the
guests at entertainments of this kind, I have en-
deavoured to construct one or two little winter
pastimes of a novel character. They are quite
inexpensive, and as they need no background
of higher arithmetic or ancient history, they
are within reach of the humblest intellect.
Here is one of them. It is called Indoor Foot-
ball, or Football without a Ball.
In this game any number of players, from
fifteen to thirty, seat themselves in a heap on
any one player, usually the player next to the
dealer. They then challenge him to get up,
while one player stands with a stop-watch in
his hand and counts forty seconds. Should
the first player fail to rise before forty seconds
are counted, the player with the watch de-
clares him suffocated. This is called a "Down"
and counts one. The player who was the
Down is then leant against the wall; his
wind is supposed to be squeezed out. The
player called the referee then blows a whistle
and the players select another player and score
a down off him. While the player is supposed
to be down, all the rest must remain seated as
before, and not rise from him until the referee
by counting forty and blowing his whistle an-
nounces that in his opinion the other player is
stifled. He is then leant against the wall beside
the first player. When the whistle again blows
the player nearest the referee strikes him be-
hind the right ear. This is a "Touch," and
It is impossible, of course, to give all the
rules in detail. I might add, however, that
while it counts two to strike the referee, to
kick him counts three. To break his arm or
leg counts four, and to kill him outright Is
called Grand Slam and counts one game.
Here is another lltfle thing that I have
worked out, which is superior to parlour games
in that it combines their intense excitement with
sound out-of-door exercise.
It is easily comprehendedj and can be played
by any number of players, old and young. It
requires no other apparatus than a trolley car
of the ordinary type, a mile or two of track, and
a few thousand volts of electricity. It is
The Suburban Trolley Car
A Holiday Game for Old and Young.
The chief part in the game is taken by two
players who station themselves one at each end
of the car, and who adopt some distinctive cos-
tumes to indicate that they are "it." The
other players occupy the body of the car, or
take up their position at intervals along the
The object of each player should be to enter
the car as stealthily as possible in such a way
as to escape the notice of the players in dis-
tinctive dress. Should he fail to do this he
must pay the philopena or forfeit. Of these
there are two: philopena No. i, the payment
of five cents, and philopena No. 2, being
thrown off the car by the neck. Each player
may elect which philopena he will pay. Any
player who escapes paying the philopena scores
The players who are in the car may elect
to adopt a standing attitude, or to seat them-
selves, but no player may seat himself in the
lap of another without the second player's con-
sent. The object of those who elect to remain
standing is to place their feet upon the toes of
those who sit; when they do this they score.
The object of those who elect to sit is to elude
the feet of the standing players. Much merri-
ment is thus occasioned.
The player in distinctive costume at the front
of the car controls a crank, by means of which
he is enabled to bring the car to a sudden stop,
or to cause it to plunge violently forward. His
aim in so doing is to cause all the standing
players to fall over backward. Every time
he does this he scores. For this purpose he
is generally in collusion with the other player
in distinctive costume, whose business it is to
let him know by a series of bells and signals
when the players are not looking, and can be
easily thrown down. A sharp fall of this sort
gives rise to no end of banter and good-natured
drollery, directed against the two players who
Should a player who is thus thrown back-
ward save himself from falling by sitting down
in the lap of a female player, he scores one.
Any player who scores in this manner Is en-
titled to remain seated while he may count six,
after which he must remove himself or pay
philopena No. 2.
Should the player who controls the crank
perceive a player upon the street desirous of
joining in the game by entering the car, his
object should be: primo, to run over him and
kill him; secundo, to kill him by any other
means in his power; tertio, to let him into the
car, but to exact the usual philopena.
Should a player, in thus attempting to get
on the car from without, become entangled in
the machinery, the player controlling the crank ,
shouts "huff I" and the car is supposed to pass
over him. All within the car score one.
A fine spice of the ludicrous may be added
to the game by each player pretending that
he has a destination or stopping-place,
where he would wish to alight. It now be-
comes the aim of the two players who are
"it" to carry him past his point. A player
who is thus carried beyond his imaginary
stopping-place must feign a violent passion, and
imitate angry gesticulations. He may, in ad-
dition, feign a great age or a painful infirmity,
which will be found to occasion the most con-
vulsive fun for the other players in the
These are the main outlines of this most
amusing pastime. Many other agreeable fea-
tures may, of course, be readily introduced by
persons of humour and imagination.
WHAT I narrate was told me one
winter's evening by my friend
Ah- Yen in the little room behind
his laundry. Ah- Yen is a quiet
little celestial with a grave and thoughtful face,
and that melancholy contemplative disposition
so often noticed In his countrymen. Be-
tween myself and Ah-Yen there exists a
friendship of some years' standing, and we
spend many a long evening in the dimly lighted
room behind his shop, smoking a dreamy
pipe together and plunged in silent meditation.
I am chiefly attracted to my friend by the
highly imaginative cast of his mind, which is,
I believe, a trait of the Eastern character
and which enables him to forget to a great
extent the sordid cares of his calling in an
inner life of his own creation. Of the keen,
analytical side of his mind, I was in en-
tire ignorance until the evenlrig of which I
The room where we sat was small and dingy,
with but little furniture except our chairs and
the litde table at which we filled and arranged
our pipes, and was lighted only by a tallow
candle. Therd were a few pictures on the
walls, for the most part rude prints cut from
the columns of the daily press and pasted
up to hide the bareness of the room. Only
one picture was in any way noticeable, a por-
trait admirably executed in pen and ink. The
face was that of a young man, a very beau-
tiful face, but one of infinite sadness. I had
long been aware, although I know not liow,
that Ah-Yen had met with a great sorrow,
and had in some way connected the fact with
this portrait. I had always refrained, how-
ever, from asking him about it, and it was not
until the evening in question that I knew its
' We had been smoking in silence for some
time when Ah-Yen spoke. My friend is a man
of culture and wide reading, and his English
is consequently perfect in its construction; his
speech is, of course, marked by the lingering
liquid accent of his country which I will not
attempt to reproduce.
"I see," he said, "that you have been ex-
amining the portrait of my unhappy friend,
Fifty-Six. I have never yet told you of my
bereavement, but as to-night is the anniversary
of his death, I would fain speak of him for a
Ah-Yen paused; I lighted my pipe afresh,
and nodded to him to show that I was listening.
"I do not know," he went on, "at what pre-
cise time Fifty-Six came into my life. I could
indeed find it out by examining my books, but
I have never troubled to do so. Naturally
I took no more interest in him at first than
in any other of my customers — less, perhaps,
since he never in the course of our connection
brought his clothes to me himself but always
sent them by a boy. When I presently per-
ceived that he was becoming one of my regular
customers, I allotted to him his number, Fifty-
Six, and began to speculate as to who and
what he was. Before long I had reached sev-
eral conclusions in regard to my unknown client.
The quality of his linen showed me that, if
not rich, he was at any rate fairly well off. I
could see that he was a young man of regular
Christian life, who went out into society to
a certain extent; this I could tell from his
sending the same number of articles to the
laundry, from his washing always coming on
Saturday night, and from the fact that
he wore a dress shirt about once a week.
In disposition he was a modest, unassum-
ing fellow, for his collars were only two inches
I stared at Ah-Yen in some amazement, the
recent publications of a favourite novelist had
rendered me familiar with this process of an-
alytical reasoning, but I was prepared for no
such revelations from my Eastern friend.
"When I first knew him," Ah-Yen went on,
"Fifty-Six was a student at the university.
This, of course, I did not know for some time.
I inferred it, however, in the course of time,
from his absence from town during the four
summer months, and from the fact that during
the time of the university examinations the
cuffs of his shirts came to me covered with
dates, formulas, and propositions in geometry.
I followed him with no little interest through
his university career. During the four years
which it lasted, I washed for him every week;
my regular connection with him and the in-
sight which my observation gave me into the
lovable character of the man, deepened my
first esteem into a profound affection and I
became most anxious for his success. I
helped him at each succeeding examination, as
far as lay in my power, by starching his shirts
half-way to the elbow, so as to leave him as
much room as possible for annotations. My
anxiety during the strain of his final examina-
tion I will not attempt to describe. That
Fifty-Six was undergoing the great crisis of
his academic career, I could infer from the
state of his handkerchiefs which, in apparent
unconsciousness, he used as pen-wipers during
the final test. His conduct throughout the ex-
amination bore witness to the moral develop-
ment which had taken place in his character
during his career as an undergraduate ; for the
notes upon his cuffs which had been so copious
at his earlier examinations were limited now
to a few hints, and these upon topics so intri-
cate as to defy an ordinary memory. It was
with a thrill of joy that I at last received in
his laundry bundle one Saturday early in June,
a ruffled dress shirt, the bosom of which was
thickly spattered with the spillings of the wine-
cup, and realised that Fifty-Six had banqueted
as a Bachelor of Arts.
"In the following winter the habit of wip-
ing his pen upon his handkerchief, which I
had remarked during his final examination, be-
came chronic with him, and I knew that he
had entered upon the study of law. He worked
hard during that year, and dress shirts al-
most disappeared from his weekly bundle. It
was in the following winter, the second year
of his . legal studies, that the tragedy of his
life began. I became aware that a change had
come over his laundry, from one, or at most
two a week, his dress shirts rose to four, and
silk handkerchiefs began to replace his linen
ones. It dawned upon me that Fifty-Six was
abandoning the rigorous tenor of his student
life and was going into society. I presently
perceived something more,; Fifty-Six was in
love. It was soon impossible to doubt it. He
was wearing seven shirts a week; linen hand-
kerchiefs disappeared from his laundry; his
collars rose from two inches to two and a
quarter, and finally to two and a half. I have
in my possession one of his laundry lists of
that period ; a glance at it will show the scrup-
ulous care which he bestowed upon his per-
son. Well do I remember the dawning hopes
of those days, alternating with the gloomiest
despair. Each Saturday I opened his bundle
with a: trembling eagerness to catch the first
signs of a return of his love. I helped my
friend in every way that I could. His shirts
UL' ' . . i
and collars were masterpieces of my art,
though my hand often shook with agitation as
I applied the starch. She ,was a brave noble
girl, that I knew; her influenp was elevat-
ing the whole nature of Fifty^Six; until now
he had had in his possession/ a certain num-
ber of detached cuffs and false shirt-fronts.
These he discarded now, — at first the false
shirt-fronts, scorning the very idea of fraud,
and after a time, in his enthusiasm, abandon-
ing even the cuffs. I cannot look back upon
those bright happy days of courtship without
"The happmess ot Fifty-Six seemed to enter
into and fill my whole life. I lived but from
Saturday to Saturday. The appearance of
false shirt-fronts would cast me to the lowest
depths of despair; their absence raised me tp
a pinnacle of hope. It was not till winter soft-
ened into spring that Fifty-Six nerved himself
to learn his fate. One Saturday he sent me a
new white waistcoat, a garment which had
hitherto been shunned by his modest nature,
to prepare for his use. I bestowed upon it
all the resources of my art; I read his pur-
pose in it. On the Saturday following it was
returned to me and, with tears of joy, I marked
where a warm little hand had rested fondly
on the right shoulder, and knew that Fifty-
Six was the accepted lover of his sweet-
Ah-Yen paused and sat for some time silent;
his pipe had sputtered out and lay cold in the
hollow of his hand; his eye was fixed upon the
wall where the light and shadows shifted in
the dull flickering of the candle. At last he
"I will not dwell upon the happy days that
ensued — days of gaudy summer neckties and
white waistcoats, of spotless shirts and lofty
collars worn but a single day by the fastidious
lover. Our happiness seemed complete and
I asked no more from fate. Alas ! it was not
destined to continue! When the bright days
of summer were fading into autumn, I was
grieved to notice an occasional quarrel — only
four shirts instead of seven, or the reappear-
ance of the abandoned cuffs and shirt-fronts.
Reconciliations followed, with tears of peni-
tence upon the shoulder of the white waistcoat,
and the seven shirts came back. But the quar-
rels grew more frequent and there came at
times stormy scenes of passionate emotion that
left a track of broken buttons down the waist-
coat. The shirts went slowly down to three,
then fell to two, and the collars of my un-
happy friend subsided to an inch and three-
quarters. In vain I lavished my utmost care
upon Fifty-Six. It seemed to my tortured mind
that the gloss upon his shirts and collars would
have melted a heart of stone. Alas ! my every
effort at reconciliation seemed to fail. An
awful month passed; the false fronts and de-
tached cuffs were all back again; the unhappy
lover seemed to glory in their perfidy. At
last, one gloomy evening, I found on opening
his bundle that he had bought a stock of cellu-
loids, and my heart told me that she had aban-
doned him for ever. Of what my poor friend
suffered at this time, I can give you no idea;
suffice it to say that he passed from celluloid
to a blue flannel shirt and from blue to grey.
The sight of a red cotton handkerchief in his
wash at length warned me that his disappointed
love had unhinged his mind, and I feared the
worst. Then came an agonising interval of
three weeks during which he sent me noth-
ing, and after that came the last parcel that
I ever received from him — an enormous bundle
that seemed to contain all his effects. In this,
to my horror, I discovered one shirt the breast
of which was stained a deep crimson with his
blood, and pierced by a ragged hole that showed
where a bullet had singed through into his
"A fortnight before, I remembered having
heard the street boys crying the news of an
appalling suicide, and I know now that it must
have been he. After the first shock of my
grief had passed, I sought to keep him in my
memory by drawing the portrait which hangs
beside you. I have some skill in the art, and
I feel assured that I have caught the expression
of his face. The picture is, of course, an ideal
one, for, as you know, I never saw Fifty-Six."
The bell on the door of the outer shop
tinkled at the entrance of a customer. Ah-Yen
rose with that air of quiet resignation that
habitually marked his demeanour, and remained
for some time in the shop. When he returned
he seemed in no mood to continue speaking
of his lost friend. I left him soon after and
walked sorrowfully home to my lodgings. On
my way I mused much upon my little Eastern
friend and the sympathetic grasp of his im-
agination. But a burden lay heavy on my heart
— something I would fain have told him but
which I could not bear to mention. I could
not find It in my heart to shatter the airy
castle of his fancy. For my life has been Se-
cluded and lonely and I have known no love
like that of my ideal friend. Yet I have a
haunting recollection of a certain huge bundle
of washing that I sent to him about a year
ago. I had been absent from town for three
weeks and my laundry was much larger than
usual in consequence. And if I mistake not
there was in the bundle a tattered shirt tha;t
had been grievously stained by the breaking
of a bottle of red Ink in my portmanteau, and
burnt in one place where an ash fell from my
cigar as I made up the bundle. Of all this
I cannot feel absolutely certain, yet I know at
least that until a year ago, when I transferred
my custom to a more modern establishment,
my laundry number with Ah-Yen was Fifty-
HOUSE OF LORDS, Jan. 25, 1920.
— The House of Lords com-
menced to-day in Committee the
consideration of Clause No. 52,000
of the Education Bill, dealing with the teach-
ing of Geometry in the schools.
The Leader of the Government in present-
ing the clause urged upon their Lordships the
need of conciliation. The Bill, he said, had
now been before their Lordships for sixteen
years. The Government had made every con-
cession. They had accepted all the amend-
ments of their Lordships on the opposite side
in regard to the original provisions of the Bill.
They had consented also to insert in the Bill a
detailed programme of studies of which the
present clause, enunciating the fifth proposi-
tion of Euclid, was a part. He would there-
fore ask their Lordships to accept the clause
drafted as follows:
"The angles at the base of an isosceles
triangle are equal, and if the equal sides of the
triangle are produced, the exterior angles will
also be equal."
He would hasten to add that the Govern-
ment had no intention of producing the sides.
Contingencies might arise to render such a
course necessary, but in that case their Lord-
ships would receive an early intimation of the
The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke against
the clause. He considered it, in its present
form, too secular. He should wish to amend
the clause so as to make it read:
"The angles at the base of an isosceles tri-
angle are, in every Christian community, equal,
and if the sides be produced by a member of
a Christian congregation, the exterior angles
will be equal."
He was aware, he continued, that the angles
at the base of an isosceles triangle are ex-
tremely equal, but he must remind the Gov-
ernment that the Church had been aware of
this for several years past. He was willmg
also to admit that the opposite sides and ends
of a parallelogram are equal, but he thought
that such admission should be coupled with a
distinct recognition of the existence of a Su-
The Leader of the Government accepted
His Grace's amendment with pleasure. He
considered it the brightest amendment His
Grace had made that week. The Government,
he said, was aware of the intimate relation in
which His Grace stood to the bottom end of
a parallelogram and was prepared to respect
Lord Halifax rose to offer a further amend-
ment. He thought the present case was one
in which the "four-fifths" clause ought to apply:
he should wish it stated that the angles are
equal for two days every week, except in the
case of schools where four-fifths of the par-
ents are conscientiously opposed to the use of
the isosceles triangle.
The Leader of the Government thought the
amendment a singularly pleasing one. He ac-
cepted it and would like it understood that the
words isosceles triangle were not meant in any
Lord Rosebery spoke at some length. He
considered the clause unfair to Scotland where
the high state of morality rendered education
unnecessary. Unless an amendment in this
sense was accepted, it might be necessary to
reconsider the Act of Union of 1707.
The Leader of the Government said that
Lord Rosebery's amendment was the best he
had heard yet. The Government accepted it
at once. They were willing to make every con-
cession. They would, if need be, reconsider
the Norman Conquest.
The Duke of Devonshire took exception to
the part of the clause relating to the produc-
tion of the sides. He did not think the country
was prepared for it. It was unfair to the pro-
ducer. He would like the clause altered to
read, "if the sides be produced in the home
The Leader of the Government accepted with
pleasure His Grace's amendment. He consid-
ered it quite sensible. He would now, as it was
near the hour of rising, present the clause in its
revised form. He hoped, however, that their
Lordships would find time to think out some
further amendments for the evening sitting.
The clause was then read.
His Grace of Canterbury then moved that
the House, in all humility, adjourn for dinner.
The Conjurer's Revenge ^
NOW, ladies and gentlemen," said the
conjurer, "having shown you that
the cloth is absolutely empty, I will
proceed to take from it a bowl of
All around the hall people were saying,
"Oh, how wonderful! How does he do
But the Quick Man on the front seat said
in a big whisper to the people near him, "He — i
had — it — up — ^his— sleeve."
Then the people nodded brightly at the
Quick Man and said, "Oh, of course"; and
everybody whispered round the hall, "He —
had — it — up— his — sleeve."
"My next trick," said the conjurer, "is the
famous Hindostanee rings. You will notice
that the rings are apparently separate; at a
blow they all join (clang, clang, clang) —
There was a general buzz of stupefaction till
the Quick Man was heard to whisper, "He —
must — have — had — another — ^lot — up — his —
Again everybody nodded and whispered,
"The — rings — ^were — up — his — sleeve."
The brow of the conjurer was clouded with a
"I will now," he continued, "show you a
most amusing trick by which I am enabled to
take any number of eggs from a hat. Will
some gentleman kindly lend me his hat? Ah,
thank you — Presto I"
He extracted seventeen eggs, and for thirty-
five seconds the audience began to think that
he was wonderful. Then the Quick Man whis-
pered along the front bench, "He — has — a —
hen — ^up — ^his — sleeve," and all the people
whispered it on. "He — has — a — ^lot — of —
hens— up — ^his — sleeve."
The egg trick was ruined.
It went on like that all through. It tran-
spired from the whispers of the Quick Man
that the conjurer must have concealed up his
sleeve, in addition to the rings, hens, and fish,
several packs of cards, a loaf of bread, a doll's
cradle, a live guinea-pig, a fifty-cent piece, and
The reputation of the conjurer was rapidly
The Conjurer's Revenge
sinking below zero. At the close of the evening
he rallied for a final effort.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he said, "I will pre-
sent to you, in conclusion, the famous Japanese
trick recently invented by the natives of Tipper-
ary. Will you, sir," he continued, turning
toward the Quick Man, "will you kindly hand
me your gold watch?"
It was passed to him.
"Have I your permission to put it into this
mortar and pound it to pieces?" he asked sav-
The Quick Man nodded and smiled.
The conjurer threw the watch into the mor-
tar and grasped a sledge hammer from the
table. There was a sound of violent smashing.
"He's — slipped — ^it — ^up — ^his — sleeve," whis-
pered the Quick Man.
"Now, sir," continued the conjurer, "will
you allow me to take your handkerchief and
punch holes in it? Thank you. You see, ladies
and gentlemen, there is no deception, the holes
are visible to the eye."
The face of the Quick Man beamed. This
time the real mystery of the thing fascinated
"And now, sir, will you kindly pass me your
silk hat and allow me to dance on it? Thank
The conjurer made a few rapid passes with
his feet and exhibited the hat crushed beyond
"And will you now, sir, take off your cellu-
loid collar and permit me to burn it in the
candle? Thank you, sir. And will you allow
me to smash your spectacles for you with my
hammer? Thank you."
By this time the features of the Quick Man
were assuming a puzzled expression. "This
thing beats me," he whispered, "I don't see
through it a bit." i
There was a great hush upon the audience.
Then the conjurer drew himself up to his full
height and, with a withering look at the Quitk
Man, he concluded:
"Ladies and gentlemen, you will observe that
I have, with this gentlemen's permission, bro-
ken his watch, burnt his collar, smashed his spec-
tacles, and danced on his hat. If he will give
me the further permission to paint green
stripes on his overcoat, or to tie his sijspenders
in a knot, I shall be delighted to entertain
you. If not, the performance is at an
The Conjurer's Revenge
And amid a glorious burst of music from
the orchestra the curtain fell, and the audience
dispersed, convinced that there are some tricks,
at any rate, that are not done up the conjur-
Hints to Travellers
THE following hints and observations
have occurred to me during a recent
trip across the continent: they are
written in no spirit of complaint
against existing railroad methods, but merely
in the hope that they may prove useful to those
who travel, like myself, in a spirit of meek,
I. Sleeping in a Pullman car presents some
difficulties to the novice. Care should be taken
to allay all sense of danger. The frequent
whistling of the engine during the night is apt
to be a source of alarm. Find out, therefore,
before travelling, the meaning of the various
whistles. One means "station," two, "rail-
road crossing," and so on. Five whistles, short
and rapid, mean sudden danger. When you
hear whistles in the night, sit up smartly in your
bunk and count them. Should they reach five,
draw on your trousers over your pyjamas and
leave the train instantly. As a further pre-
caution against accident, sleep with the feet
towards the engine if you prefer to have the
Hints to Travellers
feet crushed, or with the head towards the
engine, if you think it best to have the head
crushed. In making this decision try to be
as unselfish as possible. If indifferent, sleep
crosswise with the head hanging over into the
2. I have devoted some thought to the
proper method of changing trains. The sys-
tem which I have observed to be the most popu-
lar with travellers of my own class, is some-
thing as follows : Suppose that you have been
told on leaving New York that you are to
change at Kansas City. The evening before
approaching Kansas City, stop the conductor
in the aisle of the car (you can do this best by
putting out your foot and tripping him), and
say politely, "Do I change at Kansas City?"
He says "Yes." Very good. Don't believe
him. On going into the dining-car for supper,
take a negro aside and put it to him as a per-
sonal matter between a white man and a black,
whether he thinks you ought to change at Kan-
sas City. Don't be satisfied with this. In the
course of the evening pass through the entire
train from time to time, and say to people casu-
ally, "Oh, can you tell me if I change at Kan-
sas City?" Ask the conductor about it a few
more times in the evening: a repetition of the
question will ensure pleasant relations with him.
Before falling asleep watch for his passage
and ask him through the curtains of your berth,
*fOh, by the way, did you say I changed at
Kansas City?" If he refuses to stop, hook
him by the neck with your walking-stick, and
draw him gently to your bedside. In the morn-
ing when the train stops and a man calls, "Kan-
sas City I All change!" approach the con-
ductor again and say, "Is this Kansas City?"
Don't be discouraged at his answer. Pick your-
self up and go to the other end of the car and
say to the brakesman, "Do you know, sir, if this
is Kansas City?" Don't be too easily con-
vinced. Remember that both brakesman
and conductor may be in collusion to deceive
you. Look around, therefore, for the name of
the station on the signboard. Having ft)und it,
alight and ask the first man you see if this
is Kansas City. He will answer, "Why,
where in blank are your blank eyes? Can't
you see it there, plain as blank?" When
you hear language of this sort, ask no more.
You are now in Kansas and this is Kansas
3. I have observed that it is now the prac-
Hints to Travellers
tice of the conductors to stick bits of paper
in the hats of the passengers. They do this,
I believe, to mark which ones they like best.
The device is pretty, and adds much to the
scenic appearance of the car. But I notice
with pain that the system is fraught with much
trouble for the conductors. The task of crush-
ing two or three passengers together, in order
to reach over them and stick a ticket into the
chinks of a silk skull cap is embarrassing for
a conductor of refined feelings. It would be
simpler if the conductor should carry a small
hammer and a packet of shingle nails and nail
the paid-up passenger to the back of the seat.
Or better still, let the conductor carry a small
pot of paint and a brush, and mark the pas-
sengers in such a way that he cannot easily
mistake them. In the case of bald-headed pas-
sengers, the hats might be politely removed
and red crosses painted on the craniums.
This will indicate that they are bald. Through
passengers might be distinguished by a com-
plete coat of paint. In the hands of a man
of taste, much might be effected by a little
grouping of painted passengers and the lei-
sure time of the conductor agreeably occu-
4. I have observed in travelling in the West
that the irregularity of railroad accidents is a
fruitful cause of complaint. The frequent dis-
appointment of the holders of accident policy
tickets on western roads is leading to wide-
spread protest. Certainly the conditions of
travel in the West are altering rapidly and ac-
cidents can no longer be relied upon. This is
deeply to be regretted, in so much as, apart
from accidents, the tickets may be said to be
A Manual of Education
THE few selections below are offered
as a specimen page of a little book
which I have in course of prepara-
Every man has somewhere in the back of
his head the wreck of a thing which he calls
his education. My book is intended to em-
body in concise form these remnants of early
Educations are divided into splendid educa-
tions, thorough classical educations, and aver-
age educations. All very old men have splendid
educations; all men who apparently know noth-
ing else have thorough classical educations; no-
body has an average education.
An education, when it is all written out on
foolscap, covers nearly ten sheets. It takes
about six years of severe college training to ac-
quire it. Even then a man often finds that he
somehow hasn't got his education just where
he can put his thumb on it. When my little book
of eight or ten pages has appeared, everybody
may carry his education in his hip pocket.
Those who have not had the advantage of
an early training will be enabled, by a few
hours of conscientious application, to put them-
selves on an equal footing with the most schoU
The selections are chosen entirely at ran-
I. — Remains of Astronomy
Astronomy teaches the correct use of the
sun and the planets. These may be put on a
frame of little sticks and turned round. This
causes the tides. Those at the ends of the
sticks are enormously far away. From time to
time a diligent searching of the sticks reveals
new planets. The orbit of a planet is the dis-
tance the stick goes round in going round. As-
tronomy is intensely interesting; it should be
done at night, in a high tower in Spitzbergen.
This is to avoid the astronomy being inter-
rupted. A really good astronomer can tell
when a comet is coming too near him by the
warning buzz of the revolving sticks.
II. — Remains of History
Aztecs : A ' fabulous race, half man, half
horse, half mound-builder. They flourished
A Manual of Education
at about the same time as the early Cali-
thumpians. They have left some awfully stu-
pendous monuments of themselves some-
Life of Caesar: A famous Roman general,
the last who ever landed in Britain without
being stopped at the custom house. On re-
turning to his Sabine farm (to fetch some-
thing) , he was stabbed by Brutus, and died with
the words "Veni, vidi, tekel, upharsim" in his
throat. The jury returned a verdict of strangu-
Life of Voltaire : A Frenchman ; very bitter.
Life of Schopenhauer: A German; very
deep; but it was not really noticeable when he
Life of Dante: An Italian; the first to in-
troduce the banana and the class of street orgaa
known as "Dante's Inferno."
Peter the Great,
Alfred the Great,
Frederick the Great,
John the Great,
Tom the Great,
Jim the Great,
Jo the Great, etc.,
It is impossible for a busy
man to keep these apart. They
sought a living as kings and
apostles and pugilists and so on.
III. — Remains of Botany
Botany is the art of plants. Plants are di-
vided into trees, flowers, and vegetables. The
true botanist knows a tree as soon as he sees
it. He learns to distinguish it from a vege-
table by merely putting his ear to it.
IV. — Remains of Natural Science
Natural Science treats of motion and force.
Many of its teachings remain as part of an edu-
cated man's permanent equipment in life.
(a) The harder you shovel a bicycle the
faster it will go. This is because of natural
(b) If you fall from a high tower, you fall
quicker and quicker and quicker; a judicious
selection of a tower will ensure any rate of
(c) If you put your thumb in between two
cogs it will go on and on, until the wheels are
arrested, by your suspenders. This is ma-
A Manual of Education
(d) Electricity is of two kinds, positive and
negative. The difference is, I presume, that
one kind comes a little more expensive, but is
more durable; the other is a cheaper thing, but
the moths get into it.
Hoodoo McFiggin's Christmas
THIS Santa Claus business is played
out. It's a sneaking, underhand
method, and the sooner it's exposed
For a parent to get up under cover of the
darkness of night and palm off a ten-cent neck-
tie on a boy who had been expecting a ten-dollar
watch, and then say that an angel sent it to
him, is low, undeniably low.
I had a good opportunity of observing how
the thing worked this Christmas, in the case
of young Hoodoo McFiggin, the son and
heir of the McFiggins, at whose house I
Hoodoo McFiggin is a good boy — a religious
boy. He had been given to understand that
Santa Claus would bring nothing to his father
and mother because grown-up people don't get
presents from the angels. So he saved up all
his pocket-money and bought a box of cigars
for his father and a seventy-five-cent diamond
brooch for his mother. His own fortunes
Hoodoo McFiggin's Christmas
he left in the hands of the angels. But he
prayed. He prayed every night for weeks
that Santa Claus would bring him a pair
of skates and a puppy-dog and an air-gun
and a bicycle and a Noah's ark and
a sleigh and a drum — altogether about
a hundred and fifty dollars' worth of
I went into Hoodoo's room quite early
Christmas morning. I had an idea that the
scene would be interesting. I woke him up
and he sat up in bed, his eyes glistening with
radiant expectation, and began hauling things
out of his stocking.
The first parcel was bulky; it was done up
quite loosely and had an odd look generally.
"Ha! hal" Hoodoo cried gleefully, as he
began undoing it. "I'll bet it's the puppy-
dog, all wrapped up in paper!"
And was it the puppy-dog? No, by no means,
It was a pair of nice, strong, number-four boots,
laces and all, labelled, "Hoodoo, from Santa
Claus," and underneath Santa Claus had writ-
ten, "95 net."
The boy's jaw fell with delight. "It's
boots," he said, and plunged in his hand
He began hauling away at another parcel
with renewed hope on his face.
This time the thing seemed like a little round
box. Hoodoo tore the paper off it with a fe-
verish hand. He shook it; something rattled
"It's a watch and chain I It's a watch and
chain!" he shouted. Then he pulled the lid
And was it a watch and chain ? No. It was
a box of nice, brand-new celluloid collars,
a dozen of them all alike and all his own
The boy was so pleased that you could see
his face crack up with pleasure.
He waited a few minutes until his intense
joy subsided. Then he tried again.
This time the packet was long and hard. It
resisted the touch and had a sort of funnel
"It's a toy pistol!" said the boy, trembling
with excitement. "Gee ! I hope there are lots
of caps with it ! I'll fire some off now and wake
No, my poor child, you will not wake your
father with that. It is a useful thing, but it
needs not caps and it fires no bullets, and you
Hoodoo McFiggin's Christmas
cannot wake a sleeping man with a tooth-brush.
Yes, it was a tooth-brush — a regular beauty,
pure bone all through, and ticketed with
a little paper, "Hoodoo, from Santa
Again the expression of intense joy passed
over the boy's face, and the tears of gratitude
started from his eyes. He wiped them away
with his tooth-brush and passed on.
The next packet was much larger and evi-
dently contained something soft and bulky. It
had been too long to go into the stocking and
was tied outside.
"I wonder what this is," Hoodoo mused,
half afraid to open it. Then his heart gave
a great leap, and he forgot all his other pres-
ents in the anticipation of this one. "It's the
drum !" he gasped. "It's the drum, all wrapped
Drum nothing! It was pants — a pair of
the nicest little short pants — ^yellowish-brown
short pants — with dear little stripes of colour
running across both ways, and here again
Santa Claus had written, "Hoodoo, from
Santa Claus, one fort net."
But there was something wrapped up in it.
Oh, yes I There was a pair of braces wrapped
up in it, braces with a little steel sliding thing
so that you could slide your pants up to your
neck, if you wanted to.
The boy gave a dry sob of satisfaction.
Then he took out his last present. "It's
a book," he said, as he unwrapped it. "I won-
der if it is fairy stories or adventures. Oh,
I hope it's adventures 1 I'll read it all morn-
No, Hoodoo, it was not precisely adventures.
It was a small family Bible. Hoodoo had now
seen all his presents, and he arose and dressed.
But he still had the fun of playing with his toys.
That is always the chief delight of Christmas
First he played with his tooth-brush. He
got a whole lot of water and brushed all his
teeth with it. This was huge.
Then he played with his collars. He had
no end of fun with them, taking them all out
one by one and swearing, at them, and then
putting them back and swearing at the whole
The next toy was his pants. He had im-
mense fun there, putting them on and taking
them off again, and then trying to guess which
side was which by merely looking at them.
Hoodoo McFiggm's 'Christmas
After that he took his book and read some
adventures called "Genesis" till breakfast-
Then he went downstairs and kissed his fath-
er and mother. His father was smoking a ci-
gar, and his mother had her new brooch on.
Hoodoo's face was thoughtful, and a light
seemed to have broken in upon his mind. In-
deed, I think it altogether likely that next
Christmas he will hang on to his own money and
take chances on what the angels bring.
The Life of John Smith
THE lives of great men occupy a large
section of our literature. The great
man is certainly a wonderful thing.
He walks across his century and
leaves the marks of his feet all over it, ripping
out the dates on his goloshes as he passes. It
is impossible to get up a revolution or a new
religion, or a national awakening of any sort,
without his turning up, putting himself at the
head of it and collaring all the gate-receipts
for himself. Even after his death he leaves a
long trail of second-rate relations spattered over
the front seats of fifty years of history.
Now the lives of great men are doubtless
infinitely interesting. But at times I must con-
fess to a sense of reaction and an idea that the
ordinary common man is entitled to have his
biography written too. It is to illustrate this
view that I write the life of John Smith, a man
neither good nor great, but just the/ usual,
everyday homo like you and me and the rest
From his earliest childhood John Smith was
The Life of John Smith
marked out from his comrades by nothing. The
marvellous precocity of the boy did not as-
tonish his preceptors. Books were not a pas-
sion for him from his youth, neither did any
old man put his hand on Smith's head and say,
mark his words, this boy would some day be-
come a man. Nor yet was it his father's wont
to gaze on him with a feeling amounting al-
most to awe. By no means! All his father
did was to wonder whether Smith was a darn
fool because he couldn't help it, or because
he thought it smart. In other words, he was
just like you and me and the rest of us.
In those athletic sports which were the orna-
ment of the youth of his day, Smith did not,
as great men do, excel his fellows. He couldn't
ride worth a darn. He couldn't skate worth
a darn. He couldn't swim worth a darn. He
couldn't shoot worth a darn. He couldn't
do anything worth a darn. He was just like
Nor did the bold cast of the boy's mind
offset his physical defects, as it invariably does
in the biographies. On the contrary. He was
afraid of his father. He was afraid of his
school-teacher. He was afraid of dogs. He
was afraid of guns. He was afraid of light-
ning. He was afraid of hell. He was afraid
In the boy's choice of a profession there
was not seen that keen longing for a life-work
that we find in the celebrities. He didn't want
to be a lawyer, because you have to know
law. He didn't want to be a doctor, because
you have to know medicine. He didn't want
to be a business-man, because you have to
know business; and he didn't want to be a
school-teacher, because he had seen too many
of them. As far as he had any choice, it lay
between being Robinson Crusoe and being the
Prince of Wales. His father refused him
both and put him into a dry goods establish-
Such was the childhood of Smith. At its
close there was nothing in his outward appear-
ance to mark the man of genius. The casual
observer could have seen no genius concealed
behind the wide face, the massive mouth, the
long slanting forehead, and the tall ear that
swept up to the close-cropped head. Certainly
he couldn't. There wasn't any concealed there.
It was shortly after his start in business life
that Smith was stricken with the first of those
distressing attacks, to which he afterwards be-
The Ldfe of John Smith
came subject. It seized him late one night as
he was returning home from a delightful even-
ing of song and praise with a few old school
chums. Its symptoms were a peculiar heaving
of the sidewalk, a dancing of the street lights,
and a crafty shifting to and fro of the houses,
requiring a very nice discrimination in selecting
his own. There was a strong desire not to
drink water throughout the entire attack, which
showed that the thing was evidently a form
of hydrophobia. From this time on, these
painful attacks became chronic with Smith.
They were liable to come on at any time, but
especially on Saturday nights, on the first of
the month, and on Thanksgiving Day. He
always had a very severe attack of hydropho-
bia on Christmas Eve, and after elections it was
There was one incident in Smith's career
which he did, perhaps, share with regret. He
had scarcely reached manhood when he met
the most beautiful girl in the world. She was
different from all other women. She had a
deeper nature than other people. Smith real-
ised it at once. She could feel and understand
things that ordinary people couldn't. She
could understand him. She had a great sense
of humour and an exquisite appreciation of a
joke. He told her the six that he knew one
night and she thought them great. Her mere
presence made Smith feel as if he had swal-
lowed a sunset: the first time that his finger
brushed against hers, he felt a thrill all through
him. He presently found that if he took a
firm hold of her hand with his, he could get a
fine thrill, and if he sat beside her on a sofa,
with his head against her ear and his arm about
once and a half round her, he could get what
you might call a first-class, A-i thrill. Smith
became filled with the idea that he would like
to have her always near him. He suggested
an arrangement to her, by which she should
come and live in the same house with him and
take personal charge of his clothes and his
meals. She was to receive in return her board
and' washing, about seventy-five cents a week
in ready money, and Smith was to be her
After Smith had been this woman's slave for
some time, baby fingers stole across his life,
then another set of them, and then more and
more till the house was full of them. The wo-
man's mother began to steal across his life,
too, and every time she came Smith had hydro-
The Life of John Smith
phobia frightfully. Strangely enough there was
no little prattler that was taken from his life
and became a saddened, hallowed memory to
him. Oh, no I The little Smiths were not that
kind of prattler. The whole nine grew up into
tall, lank boys wit;h massive mouths and great
sweeping ears like their father's, and no talent
The life of Smith never seemed to bring him
to any of those great turning-points that occur-
red in the lives of the great. True, the pass-
ing years brought some change of fortune. He
was moved up in his dry-goods establishment
from the ribbon counter to the collar counter,
from the collar counter to the gents' panting
counter, and from the gents' panting to the
gents' fancy shirting. Then, as he grew aged
and ineiEcient, they moved him down again
from the gents' fancy shirting to the gents'
panting, and so on to the ribbon counter. And
when he grew quite old they dismissed him and
got a boy with a four-inch mouth and sandy-
coloured hair, who did all Smith could do for
half the money. That was John Smith's mer-
cantile career: it won't stand comparison
with Mr. Gladstone's, but it's not unlike your
Smith lived for five years after this. His
sons kept him. They didn't want to, but they
had to. In his old age the brightness of his
mind and his fund of anecdote were not the
delight of all who dropped in to see him. He
told seven stories and he knew six jokes. The
stories were long things all about himself, and
the jokes were about a commercial traveller
and a Methodist minister. But nobody dropped
in to see him, anyway, so it didn't matter.
At sixty-five Smith was taken ill, and, re-
ceiving proper treatment, he died. There was
a tombstone put up over him, with a hand point-
But I doubt if he ever got there. He was
too like us.
On Collecting Things
LIKE most other men I have from time
to time been stricken with a desire
to make collections of things.
It began with postage stamps. I
had a letter from a friend of mine who had
gone out to South Africa. The letter had a
three-cornered stamp on it, and I thought as
soon as I looked at it, "That's the thing I Stamp
collecting I I'll devote my life to it."
I bought an album with accommodation for
the stamps of all nations, and began collecting
right off. For three days the collection made
wonderful progress. It contained:
One Cape of Good Hope stamp.
One one-cent stamp. United States of
One two-cent stamp. United States of
One five-cent stamp. United States of
One ten-cent stamp, United States of
After that the collection came to a dead stop.
For a while I used to talk about it rather airily
and say I had one or two rather valuable South
African stamps. But I presently grew tired
even of lying about it.
Collecting coins is a thing that I attempt at
intervals. Every time I am given an old half-
penny or a Mexican quarter, I get an idea that
if a fellow made a point of holding on to rari-
ties of that sort, he'd soon have quite a valu-
able collection. The first time that I tried it I
was full of enthusiasm, and before long my col-
lection numbered quite a few articles of vertu.
The items were as follows:
No. I. Ancient Roman coin. Time of Cali-
gula. This one of course was the gem of the
whole lot; it was given me by a friend, and
that was what started me collecting.
No. 2. Small copper coin. Value one cent.
United States of America. Apparently modern.
No. 3. Small nickel coin. Circular. United
States of America. Value five cents.
No. 4. Small silver coin. Value ten cents.
United States of America.
No. 5. Silver coin. Circular. Value twen-
ty-five cents. United States of America. Very
No. 6. Large silver coin. Circular. In-
On Collecting Things
scription, "One Dollar." United States of
America. Very valuable.
No. 7. Ancient British copper coin. Prob-
ably time of Caractacus. Very dim. Inscrip-
tion, "Victoria Dei gratia regina." Very valu-
No. 8. Silver coin. Evidently French. In-
scription, "Fiinf Mark. Kaiser Wilhelm."
No. 9. Circular silver coin. Very much de-
faced. Part of inscription, "E Pluribus
Unum." Probably a Russian rouble, but quite
as likely to be a Japanese yen or a Shanghai
That's as far as that collection got. It lasted
through most of the winter and I was getting
quite proud of it, but I took the coins down
town one evening to show to a friend and we
spent No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6, and No. 7,
in buying a little dinner for two. After dinner
I bought a yen's worth of cigars and traded
the relic of Caligula for as many hot Scotches
as they cared to advance on it. After that I
felt reckless and put No. 2 and No. 8 into a
Children's Hospital poor box.
I tried fossils next. I got two in ten years.
Then I quit.
A friend of mine once showed me a very
fine collection of ancient and curious weapons,
and for a time I was full of that idea. I gath-
ered several interesting specimens, such as:
No. I. Old flint-lock musket, used by my
grandfather. (He used it on the farm for
years as a crowbar.)
No, 2. Old raw-hide strap, used by my
No. 3. Ancient Indian arrowhead, found by
myself the very day after I began collecting.
It resembles a three-cornered stone.
No. 4. Ancient Indian bow, found by my-
self behind a sawmill on the second day of
collecting. It resembles a straight stick of elm
or oak. It is interesting to think that this very
weapon may have figuredHln some fierce scene
of savage warfare.
No. 5. Cannibal poniard or straight-handled
dagger of the South Sea Islands. It will give
the reader almost a thrill of horror to learn
that this atrocious weapon, which I bought
myself on the third day of collecting, was ac-
tually exposed in a second-hand store as a fam-
ily carving-knife. In gazing at it one cannot
refrain from conjuring up the awful scenes it
must have witnessed.
I kept this collection for quite a long while
On Collecting Things
until, in a moment of infatuation, I presented
it to a young lady as a betrothal present. The
gift proved too ostentatious and our relations
subsequently ceased to be cordial.
On the whole I am inclined to recommend
the beginner to confine himself to collecting
coins. At present I am myself making a col-
lection of American bills (time of Taft pre-
ferred) , a pursuit I find most absorbing.
AS IT SHOULD BE WRITTEN
I NOTICE that it is customary for the
daily papers to publish a column or so
of society gossip. They generally head
it "Chit-Chat," or "On Dit," or "Le
Boudoir," or something of the sort, and they
keep it pretty full of French terms to give it
the proper sort of swing. These columns may
be very interesting in their way, but it always
seems to me that they don't get hold of quite
the right things to tell us about. They are
very fond, for instance, of giving an account
of the delightful dance at Mrs. De Smythe's
— at which Mrs. De Smythe looked charming
in a gown of old tulle with a stomacher of
passementerie — or of the dinner-party at Mr.
Alonzo Robinson's residence, of the smart
pink tea given by Miss Carlotta Jones. No,
that's all right, but it's not the kind of thing we
want to get at; those are not the events which
happen in our neighbours' houses that we really
want to hear about. It is the quiet little fam-
ily scenes, the little traits of home-life that —
well, for example, take the case of that de-
lightful party at the De Smythes. I am cer-
tain that all those who were present would
much prefer a little paragraph like the follow-
ing, which would give them some idea of the
home-life of the De Smythes on the morning
after the party.
Dejeuner de Luxe at the De Smythe
On Wednesday morning last at 7.15 a.m.
a charming little breakfast was served at the
home of Mr. De Smythe. The dejeuner was
given in honour of Mr. De Smythe and his
two sons. Master Adolphus and Master Blinks
De Smythe, who were about to leave for their
daily travail at their wholesale Bureau de
Flour et de Feed. All the gentlemen were very
quietly dressed in their habits de work. Miss
Melinda De Smythe poured out tea, the
domestique having refuse to get up so early
after the partie of the night before. The menu
was very handsome, consisting of eggs and ba-
con, demi-froid, and ice-cream. The conver-
sation was sustained and lively. Mr. De
Smythe sustained it and made it lively for his
daughter and his gargons. In the course of the
talk Mr. De Smythe stated that the next time
he allowed the young people to turn his maison
topsy-turvy he would see them in enfer. He
wished to know if they were aware that some
ass of the evening before had broken a pane
of coloured glass in the hall that would cost
him four dollars. Did they think he was made
of argent. If so, they never made a bigger
mistaike in their vie. The meal closed with
general expressions of good-feeling. A little
bird has whispered to us that there will be no
more parties at the De Smythes' pour long-
Here is another little paragraph that would
be of general interest in society.
Diner de Fameel at the Boarding-House
Yesterday evening at half after sue a pleas-
ant little diner was given by Madame McFig-
gin of Rock Street, to her boarders. The salle
a manger was very prettily decorated with
texts, and the furniture upholstered with chev-
eux de horse, Louis Quinze. The boarders
were all very quietly dressed: Mrs. McFiggin
was daintily attired in some old clinging stuff
with a corsage de Whalebone underneath. The
ample board groaned under the bill of fare.
The boarders groaned also. Their groaning
was very noticeable. The piece de resistance
was a hunko de baeuf boile, flanked with some
old clinging stuff. The entrees were fate de
pumpkin, followed by fromage McFiggin,
served under glass. Towards the end of the
first course, speeches became the order of the
day. Mrs. McFiggin was the first speaker. In
commencing, she expressed her surprise that so
few of the gentlemen seemed to care for the
hunko de boeuf; her own mind, she said, had
hesitated between hunko de basuf boile and a
pair of roast chickens (sensation). She had
finally decided in favour of the hunko de bosuf
(no sensation). She referred at some length
to the late Mr. McFiggin, who had always
shown a marked preference for hunko de boeuf.
Several other speakers followed. All spoke
forcibly and to the point. The last to speak
was the Reverend Mr. Whiner. The reverend
gentleman, in rising, said that he confided him-
self and his fellow-boarders to the special inter-
ferenge of Providence. For what they had
eaten, he said, he hoped that Providence would
make them truly thankful. At the close of the
Repas several of the boarders expressed their
intention of going dow^n the street to a res-
tourong to get quelque chose a manger.
Here is another example. How interesting
it would be to get a detailed account of that
little affair at the Robinsons', of which the
neighbours only heard indirectly ! Thus :
Delightful Evening at the Residence of
Mr. Alonzo Robinson
Yesterday the family of Mr. Alonzo Robin-
son spent a very lively evening at their home
on ^th Avenue. The occasion was the
seventeenth birthday of Master Alonzo Robin-
son, junior. It was the original intention of
Master Alonzo Robinson to celebrate the day
at home and invite a few of les garcons. Mr.
Robinson, senior, however, having declared
that he would be damne first. Master Alonzo
spent the evening in visiting the salons of the
town, which he painted rouge. Mr. Robinson,
senior, spent the evening at home in quiet ex-
pectation of his son's return. He was very be-
comingly dressed in a pantalon quatre vingt
treize, and had his whippe de chien laid across
his knee. Madame Robinson and the Made-
moiselles Robinson wore black. The guest of
the evening arrived at a late hour. He wore
his habits de spri, and had about six pouces
of eau de vie in him. He was evidently full
up to his cou. For some time after his arrival
a very lively time was spent. Mr. Robinson
having at length broken the whippe de chien,
the family parted for the night with expres-
sions of cordial goodwill.
Insurance Up to Date
A MAN called on me the other day
with the idea of insuring my life.
Now, I detest life-insurance agents ;
they always argue that I shall some
day die, which is not so. I have been insured
a great many times, for about a month at a
time, but have had no luck with it at all.
So I made up my mind that I would outwit
this man at his own game. I let him talk
straight ahead and encouraged him all I could,
until he finally left me with a sheet of ques-
tions which I was to answer as an applicant.
Now this was what I was waiting for; I had
decided that, if that company wanted informa-
tion about me, they should have it, and have
the very best quality I could supply. So I
spread the sheet of questions before me, and
drew up a set of answers for them, which, I
hoped, would settle for ever all doubts as to
my eligibility for insurance.
Question. — ^What is your age?
Answer. — I can't think.
Insurance Up to Date
Q. — ^What is your chest measurement?
A. — Nineteen inches.
Q. — ^What is your chest expansion?
A. — Half an inch.
Q. — What is your height?
A. — Six feet five, if erect, but less when I
walk on all fours.
Q. — Is your grandfather dead?
A. — Practically.
Q. — Cause of death, if dead?
A. — Dipsomania, if dead.
Q. — Is your father dead?
A. — ^To the world.
Q. — Cause of death?
A. — Hydrophobia.
Q. — Place of father's residence?
A. — Kentucky.
Q. — ^What illness have you had?
A. — As a child, consumption, leprosy, and
water on the knee. As a man, whooping-
cough, stomach-ache, and water on the brain.
Q. — Have you any brothers?
A. — Thirteen; all nearly dead.
Q. — ^Are you aware of any habits or ten-
dencies which might be expected to shorten your
A. — I am aware. I drink, I smoke, I take
morphine and vaseline. I swallow grape seeds
and I hate exercise.
I thought when I had come to the end of
that list that I had made a dead sure thing of
it, and I posted the paper with a cheque for
three months' payment, feeling pretty confi-
dent of having the cheque sent back to
me. I was a good deal surprised a few days
later to receive the following letter from the
"Dear Sir, — We beg to acknowledge your
letter of application and cheque for fifteen dol-
lars. After a careful comparison of your case
with the average modern standard, we are
pleased to accept you as a first-class risk."
Borrowing a Match
YOU might think that borrowing a
match upon the street is a simple
thing. But any man who has ever
tried it will assure you that it is not,
and will be prepared to swear to the truth of
my experience of the other evening.
I was standing on the corner of the street
with a cigar that I wanted to light. I had no
match. I waited till a decent, ordinary-looking
man came along. Then I said:
"Excuse me, sir, but could you oblige me
with the loan of a match?"
"A match?" he said, "why certainly."
Then he unbuttoned his overcoat and put his
hand in the pocket of his waistcoat. "I know
I have one," he went on, "and I'd almost
swear it's in the bottom pocket — or, hold on,
though, I guess it may be in the top — ^just wait
till I put these parcels down on the sidewalk."
"Oh, don't trouble," I said, "it's really of
"Oh, it's no trou!)le, I'll have it in a minute ;
I know there must be one in here somewhere"
' — he was digging his fingers into his pockets
as he spoke — "but you see this isn't the waist-
coat I generally ..."
I saw that the man was getting excited about
it. "Well, never mind," I protested; "if that
isn't the waistcoat that you generally- — why, it
"Hold on, now, hold on!" the man said,
"I've got one of the cursed things in here
somewhere. I guess it must be in with my
watch. No, it's not there either. Wait till
I try my coat. If that confounded tailor only
knew enough to make a pocket so that a man
could get at it!"
He was getting pretty well worked up now.
He had thrown down his walking-stick and
was plunging at his pockets with his teeth set.
"It's that cursed young boy of mine," he
hissed; "this comes of his fooling in my
pockets. By Gad I perhaps I won't warm him
up when I get home. Say, I'll bet that it's in
my hip-pocket. You just hold up the tail of
my overcoat a second till I . . ,"
"No, no," I protested again, "please don't
take all this trouble, it really doesn't matter,
I'm sure you needn't take off your overcoat,
and oh, pray don't throw away your letters
Borrotmng a Match
and things in the snow like that, and tear out
your pockets by the roots ! Please, please don't
trample over your overcoat and put your feet
through the parcels. I do hate to hear you
swearing at your little boy, with that peculiar
whine in your voice. Don't — please don't tear
your clothes so savagely."
Suddenly the man gave a grunt of exulta-
tion, and drew his hand up from inside the
lining of his coat.
"I've got it," he cried. "Here you are!"
Then he brought it out under the light.
It was a toothpick.
Yielding to the impulse of the moment I
pushed him under the wheels of a trolley-car
A Lesson in Fiction
SUPPOSE that in the opening pages of
the modern melodramatic novel you
find some such situation as the follow-
ing, in which is depicted the terrific
combat between Gaspard de Vaux, the boy
lieutenant, and Hairy Hank, the chief of the
"The inequality of the contest was apparent.
With a mingled yell of rage and contempt, his
sword brandished above his head and his dirk
between his teeth, the enormous bandit rushed
upon his intrepid opponent. De Vaux seemed
scarce more than a stripling, but he stood his
ground and faced his hitherto invincible as-
sailant. *Mong Dieu,' cried De Smythe, 'he
Question. On which of the parties to the
above contest do you honestly feel inclined to
put your money?
Answer. On De Vaux. He'll win. Hairy
Hank will force him down to one knee and with
a brutal cry of "Harl harl" will be about to
dirk him, when De Vaux will make a sudden
A Lesson in Fiction
lunge (one he had learnt at home out of a
book of lunges) and
Very good. You have answered correctly.
Now, suppose you find, a little later in the
book, that the killing of Hairy Hank has com-
pelled De Vaux to flee from his native land
to the East. Are you not fearful for his safety
in the desert?
Answer. Frankly, I am not. De Vaux is
all right. His name is on the title page, ?nd
you can't kill him.
Question. Listen to this, then: "The sun
of Ethiopia beat fiercely upon the desert as
De Vaux, mounted upon his faithful elephant,
pursued his lonely way. Seated in his lofty
hoo-doo, his eye scoured the waste. Suddenly
a solitary horseman appeared on the horizon,
then another, and another, and then six. In
a few moments a whole crowd of solitary
horsemen swooped down upon him. There
was a fierce shout of 'Allah!' a rattle of fire-
arms. De Vaux sank from his hoo-doo on to
the sands, while the affrighted elephant dashed
off in all directions. The bullet had struck
him in the heart."
There now, what do you think of that? Isn't
De Vaux killed now?
Answer. I am sorry. De Vaux is not dead.
True, the ball had hit him, oh yes, it had hit
him, but it had glanced off against a family
Bible, which he carried in his waistcoat in case
of illness, struck some hymns that he had in
his hip-pocket, and, glancing off again,
had flattened itself against De Vaux's diary
of his life in the desert, which was in his
Question. But even if this doesn't kill him,
you must admit that he is near death when
he is bitten in the jungle by the deadly don-
Answer. That's all right. A kindly Arab
will take De Vaux to the Sheik's tent.
Question. What will De Vaux remind the
Answer. Too easy. Of his long-lost son,
who disappeared years ago.
Question. Was this son Hairy Hank?
Answer. Of course he was. Anyone could
see that, but the Sheik never suspects it, and
heals De Vaux, He heals him with an herb,
a thing called a simple, an amazingly simple,
known only to the Sheik. Since using this herb,
the Sheik has used no other.
Question. The Sheik will recognise an over-
A Lesson in Fiction
coat that De Vaux is wearing, and complica-
tions will arise in the matter of Hairy Hank
deceased. Will this result in the death of the
Answer. No. By this time De Vaux has
realised that the reader knows he won't die,
and resolves to quit the desert. The thought
of his mother keeps recurring to him, and of
his father, too, the grey, stooping old man —
does he stoop still or has he stopped stooping?
At times, too, there comes the thought of an-
other, a fairer than his father; she whose —
but enough, De Vaux returns to the old home-
stead in Piccadilly.
Question. When De Vaux returns to Eng-
land, what will happen?
Answer. This will happen: "He who left
England ten years before a raw boy, has re-
turned a sunburnt soldierly man. But who is
this that advances smilingly to meet him?
Can the mere girl, the bright child that shared
his hours of play, can she have grown into this
peerless, graceful girl, at whose feet half the
noble suitors of England are kneeling? 'Can
this be her?' he asks himself in amaze-
Question. Is it her?
' 'Answer. Oh, it's her all right. It is her,
and it is him, and it is them. That girl hasn't
waited fifty pages for nothing.
Question. You evidently guess that a love
affair will ensue between the boy lieutenant
and the peerless girl with the broad feet.
Do you imagine, however, that its course will
run smoothly and leave nothing to re-
Answer. Not at all. I feel certain that the
scene of the novel having edged itself around
to London, the writer will not feel satisfied
unless he introduces the following famous
"Stunned by the cruel revelation which he
had received, unconscious of whither his steps
were taking him, Gaspard de Vaux wandered
on in the darkness from street to street until
he found himself upon London Bridge. He
leaned over the parapet and looked down upon
the whirling stream below. There was some-
thing in the still, swift rush of it that seemed
to beckon, to allure him. After all, why
not ? What was life now that he should prize
it? For a moment De Vaux paused irreso-
Question. Will he throw himself in?
'A Lesson in Fiction
Answer. Well, say you don't know Gas-
pard. He will pause irresolute up to the limit,
then, with a fierce struggle, will recall his cour-
age and hasten from the Bridge.
Question. This struggle not to throw one-
self in must be dreadfully difficult?
Answer. Oh ! dreadfully ! Most of us are
so frail we should jump in at once. But Gas-
pard has the knack of it. Besides he still has
some of the Sheik's herb; he chews it.
Question. What has happened to De Vaux
anyway? Is it anything he has eaten?
Answer. No, it is nothing that he has eaten.
It's about her. The blow has come. She has
no use for sunburn, doesn't care for tan; she
is going to marry a duke and the boy lieuten-
ant is no longer in it. The real trouble is
that the modern novelist has got beyond the
happy-marriage mode of ending. He wants
tragedy and a blighted life to wind up
Question. How will the book conclude?
Answer. Oh, De Vaux will go back to the
desert, fall upon the Sheik's neck, and swear
to be a second Hairy Hank to him. There will
be a final panorama of the desert, the Sheik
and his newly found son at the door of the
tent, the sun setting behind a pyramid, and De
Vaux's faithful elephant crouched at his
feet and gazing up at him with dumb affec-
Helping the Armenians
THE financial affairs of tfie parish
cliurch up at Doogalville liave been
getting rather into a tangle in the
last six months. The people of the
church were specially anxious to do something
toward the general public subscription of the
town on behalf of the unhappy Armenians,
and to that purpose they determined to devote
the collections taken up at a series of special
evening services. To give the right sort of
swing to the services and to stimulate generous
giving, they put a new pipe organ into the
church. In order to make a preliminary pay-
ment on the organ, it was decided to raise a
mortgage on the parsonage.
To pay the interest on the mortgage, the
choir of the church got up a sacred concert in
the town hall.
To pay for the town hall, the Willing
Workers' Guild held a social in the Sunday
school. To pay the expenses of the social,
the rector delivered a public lecture on "Italy
and Her Past," illustrated by a magic lantern.
To pay for the magic lantern, the curate and
the ladies of the church got up some amateur
Finally,, to pay for the costumes for the the-
atricals, the rector felt it his duty to dispense
with the curate.
So that is where the church stands just at
present. What they chiefly want to do, is to
raise enough money to buy a suitable gold
watch as a testimonial to the curate. After
that they hope to be able to do something for
the Armenians. Meantime, of course, the Ar-
menians, the ones right there in the town, are
getting very troublesome. To begin with,
there is the Armenian who rented the costumes
for the theatricals : he has to be squared. Then
there is the Armenian organ dealer, and the
Armenian who owned the magic lantern. They
want relief badly.
The most urgent case is that of the Arme-
nian who holds the mortgage on the parson-
age; indeed it is generally felt in the congrega-
tion, when the rector makes his impassioned
appeals at the special services on behalf of the
suffering cause, that it is to this man that he
has special reference.
In the meanwhile the general public sub-
Helling the Armenians
scription is not getting along very fast ; but the
proprietor of the big saloon further down the
street and the man with the short cigar that
runs the Doogalville Midway Plaisance have
been most liberal in their contributions.
A Study in Still LAfe. — The Country Hotel
THE country hotel stands on the
sunny side of Main Street. It has
There is one in front which leads
into the Bar. There is one at the side called
the Ladies' Entrance which leads into the Bar
from the side. There is also the Main En-
trance which leads into the Bar through the
The Rotunda is the space between the door
of the bar-room and the cigar-case.
In it is a desk and a book. In the book are
written down the names of the guests, to-
gether with marks indicating the direction of
the wind and the height of the barometer. It
is here that the newly arrived guest waits un-
til he has time to open the door leading to the
The bar-room forms the largest part of the
hotel. It constitutes the hotel proper. To it
are attached a series of bedrooms on the floor
above, many of which contain beds.
A Study in Still Life
The walls of the bar-room are perforated in
all directions with trap-doors. Through one
of these drinks are passed into the back sit-
ting-room. Through others drinks are passed
into the passages. Drinks are also passed
through the floor and through the ceiling.
Drinks once passed never return. The Pro-
prietor stands in the doorway of the bar. He
weighs two hundred pounds. His face is im-
movable as putty. He is drunk. He has been
drunk for twelve years. It makes no difference
to him. Behind the bar stands the Bar-tender.
He wears wicker-sleeves, his hair is curled in
a hook, and his name is Charlie.
Attached to the bar is a pneumatic beer-
pump, by means of which the bar-tender can
flood the bar with beer. Afterwards he wipes
up the beer with a rag. By this means he pol-
ishes the bar. Some of the beer that is pumped
up spills into glasses and has to be sold.
Behind the bar-tender is a mechanism called
a cash-register, which, on being struck a power-
ful blow, rings a bell, sticks up a card marked
No Sale, and opens a till from which the bar-
tender distributes money.
There is printed a tariff of drinks and prices
on the wall.
It reads thus :
Whisky and Soda
Beer and Soda .
Whisky and Beer and Soda
Whisky and Eggs
Beer and Eggs .
Cigars, extra fine
All calculations are made on this baisis and
are worked out to three places of decimals.
Every seventh drink is on the house and is not
followed by a distribution of money.
The bar-room closes at midnight, provided
there are enough people in it. If there is not
a quorum the proprietor waits for a better
chance. A careful closing of the bar will often
catch as many as twenty-five people. The bar
is not opened again till seven o'clock in the
morning; after that the people may go home.
There are also, nowadays. Local Option Ho-
tels. These contain only one entrance, leading
directly into the bar.
An Experiment with Policeman Hog an
MR. SCALPER sits writing in the
reporters' room of The Daily
Eclipse. The paper has gone to
press and he is alone; a wayward
talented gentleman, this Mr. Scalper, and
employed by The Eclipse as a delineator of
character from handwriting. Any subscriber
who forwards a specimen of his handwriting
is treated to a prompt analysis of his character
from Mr. Scalper's facile pen. The literary
genius has a little pile of correspondence be-
side him, and is engaged in the practice of his
art. Outside the night is dark and rainy. The
clock on the City Hall marks the hour of two.
In front of the newspaper office Policeman
Hogan walks drearily up and down his beat.
The damp misery of Hogan is intense. A
belated gentleman in clerical attire, returning
home from a bed of sickness, gives him a side-
look of timid pity and shivers past. Hogan
follows the retreating figure with his eye;
then draws forth a notebook and sits down on
the steps of The Eclipse building to write in the
light of the gas lamp. Gentlemen of nocturnal
habits have often wondered what it is that
Policeman Hogan and his brethreu write in
their little books. Here are the words that are
fashioned by the big fist of the policenian :
"Two o'clock. AH is well. There is a light
in Mr. Scalper's room above. The night is
very wet and I am unhappy and cannot sleep —
my fourth night of insomnia. Suspicious-
looking individual just passed. Alas, how mel-
ancholy is my life ! Will the dawn never break I
Oh, moist, moist stone."
Mr. Scalper up above is writing too, writing
with the careless fluency of a man who draws
his pay by the column. He is delineating with
skill and rapidity. The reporters' room is
gloomy and desolate. Mr. Scalper is a man
of sensitive temperament and the dreariness
of his surroundings depresses him. He opens
the lettei* of a correspondent, examines the
handwriting narrowly, casts his eye around
the room for inspiration, and proceeds to
"G.H. You have an unhappy, despondent
nature; your circumstances oppress you, and
your life is filled with an infinite sadness. You
feel that you are without hope "
An Experiment with Policeman Hogan
Mr. Scalper pauses, takes another look
around the room, and finally lets his eye rest
for some time upon a tall black bottle that
stands on the shelf of an open cupboard. Then
he goes on:
" — and you have lost all belief in Christianity
and a future world and human virtue. You
are very weak against temptation, but there is
an ugly vein of determination In your character,
when you make up your mind that you are going
to have a thing "
Here Mr. Scalper stops abruptly, pushes
back his chair, and dashes across the room to
the cupboard. He takes the black bottle from
the shelf, applies It to his lips, and remains for
some time motionless. He then returns to
finish the delineation of G.H. with the hurried
"On the whole I recommend you to per-
severe; you are doing very well." Mr.
Scalper's next proceeding is peculiar. He takes
from the cupboard a roll of twine, about fifty
feet in length, and attaches one end of it to
the neck of the bottle. Going then to one of
the windows, he opens it, leans out, and whistles
softly. The alert ear of Policeman Hogan on
the pavement below catches the sound, and
he returns it. The bottle is lowered to the
end of the string, the guardian of the peace
applies it to his gullet, and for some time the
policeman and the man of letters remain
attached by a cord of sympathy. Gentlemen
who lead the variegated life of Mr. Scalper
find it well to propitiate the arm of the law,
and attachments of this sort are not uncommon.
Mr. Scalper hauls up the bottle, closes the
window, and returns to his task; the police-
man resumes his walk with a glow of internal
satisfaction. A glance at the City Hall clock
causes him to enter another note in his book.
"Half-past two. All is better. The weather
is milder with a feeling of young summer in the
air. Two lights in Mr. Scalper's room. Noth-
ing has occurred which need be brought to the
notice of the roundsman."
Things are going better upstairs too. The
delineator opens a second envelope, surveys
the writing of the correspondent with a critical
yet charitable eye, and writes with more com-
"William H. Your writing shows a dis-
position which, though naturally melancholy,
is capable of a temporary cheerfulness. You
have known misfortune but have made up
An Experiment mth Policeman Hogan
your mind to look on the bright side of things.
If you will allow me to say so, you indulge in
liquor but are quite moderate in your use of
it. Be assured that no harm ever comes of
this moderate use. It enlivens the intellect,
brightens the faculties, and stimulates the
dormant fancy into a pleasurable activity. It
is only when carried to excess "
At this point the feelings of Mr. Scalper,
who had been writing very rapidly, evidently
become too much for him. He starts up from,
his chair, rushes two or three times around
the room, and finally returns to finish the de-
lineation thus: "it is only when carried to
excess that this moderation becomes per-
Mr. Scalper succumbs to the train of thought
suggested and gives an illustration of how mod-
eration to excess may be avoided, after which
he lowers the bottle to Policeman Hogan with
a cheery exchange of greetings.
The half-hours pass on. The delineator is
writing busily and feels that he is writing well.
The characters of his correspondents lie bare
to his keen eye and flow from his facile pen.
From time to time he pauses and appeals to the
source of his inspiration ; his humanity prompts
him to extend the inspiration to Policeman Ho-
gan. - The minion of the law walks his beat with
a feeling of more than tranquillity. A solitary
Chinaman, returning home late from his mid-
night laundry, scuttles past. The literary in-
stinct has risen strong in Hogan from his con-
nection with the man of genius above him, and
the passage of the lone Chinee gives him oc-
casion to write in his book :
"Four-thirty. Everything is simply great.
There are four lights in Mr. Scalper's room.
Mild, balmy weather with prospects of an
earthquake, which may be held in check by
walking with extreme caution. Two Chinamen
have just passed — mandarins, I presume. Their
walk was unsteady, but their faces so benign
as to disarm suspicion."
Up in the office Mr. Scalper has reached the
letter of a correspondent which appears to give
him particrular pleasure, for he delineates the
character with a beaming smile of satisfaction.
To the unpractised eye the writing resembles the
priip, angular hand of an elderly spinster. Mr.
Scalper, however, seems to think otherwise, for
"Aunt Dorothea. You have a merry,
rollicking nature. At times you are seized
An Experiment with Policeman Hog an
with a wild, tumultuous hilarity to which you
give ample vent In shouting and song. "You
are much addicted to profanity, and you rightly
feel that this is part of your nature and you
must not check It. ' The world is a very bright
place to you. Aunt Dorothea. Write to me
again soon. Our minds seem cast In the same
Mr. Scalper seems to think that he has not
done full justice to the subject he is treating,
for he proceeds to write a long private letter
to Aunt Dorothea in addition to the printed
delineation. As he finishes the City Hall clock
points to five, and Policeman Hogan makes
the last entry in his chronicle. Hogan has seat-
ed himself upon the steps of The Eclipse build-
ing for greater comfort and writes with a slow,
"The other hand of the clock points north
and the second longest points south-east by
south. I Infer that It Is five o'clock. The
electric lights In Mr. Scalper's room defy the
eye. The roundsman has passed and examlijed
my notes of the night's occurrences. They
are entirely satisfactory, and he is pleased with
their literary form. The earthquake which I
apprehended was reduced to a few minor
oscillations which cannot reach me where I
The lowering of the bottle interrupts Police-
man Hogan. The long letter to Aunt Doro-
thea has cooled the ardour of Mr. Scalper.
The generous blush has passed from his mind
and he has been trying in vain to restore it.
To afford Hogan a similar opportunity, he
decides not to haul the bottle up immediately,
but to leave it in his custody while he delineates
a character. The writing of this correspondent
would seem to the inexperienced eye to be
that of a timid little maiden in her teens. Mr.
Scalper is not to be deceived by appearances.
He shakes his head mournfully at the letter and
"Little Emily. You have known great
happiness, but it has passed. Despondency
has driven you to seek forgetfulness in drink.
Your writing shows the worst phase of the
liquor habit. I apprehend that you will
shortly have delirium tremens. Poor little
Emily! Do not try to break off; it is too
Mr. Scalper is visibly affected by his cor-
respondent's unhappy condition. His eye be-
comes moist, and he decides to haul up the
An Experiment tmth Policeman Hogan
bottle while there is still time to save Police-
man Hogan from acquiring a taste for liquor.
He is surprised and alarmed to find the attempt
to haul it up ineffectual. The minion of the
law has fallen into a leaden slumber, and the
bottle remains tight in his grasp. The baffled
delineator lets fall the string and returns to
finish his task. Only a few lines are now
required to fill the column, but Mr. Scalper
finds on examining the correspondence that he
has exhausted the subjects. This, however, is
quite a common occurrence and occasions no
dilemma in the mind of the talented gentle-
man. It is his custom in such cases to fill up
the space with an imaginary character or two,
the analysis of which is a task most congenial
to his mind. He bows his head in thought
for a few moments, and then writes as
"Policeman H. Your hand shows great
firmness; when once set upon a thing you are
not easily moved. But you have a mean, grasp-
ing disposition and a tendency to want more
than your share. You have formed an attach-
ment which you hope will be continued through-
out life, but your selfishness threatens to sever
Having writteh which, Mr. Scalper arranges
his manuscript for the printer next day, dons
his hat and coat, and wends his way home in
the morning twilight, feeling that his pay is
The Passing of the Poet
STUDIES in what may be termed col-
lective psychology are essentially in
keeping with the spirit of the present
century. The examination of the men-
tal tendencies, the intellectual habits which
we display not as individuals, but as members
of a race, community, or crowd, is offering a
fruitful field of speculation as yet but little
exploited. One may, therefore, not without
profit, pass in review the relation of the poetic
instinct to the intellectual development of the
Not the least noticeable feature in the psy-
chological evolution of our time is the rapid
disappearance of poetry. The art of writing
poetry, or perhaps more fairly, the habit of
writing poetry, is passing from us. The poet
is destined to become extinct.
To a reader of trained intellect the initial
difficulty at once suggests itself as to what
is meant by poetry. But it is needless to
quibble at a definition of the term. It may
be designated, simply and fairly, as the art of
expressing a simple truth in a concealed form
of words, any number of which, at intervals
greater or less, may or may not rhyme.
The poet, it must be said, is as old as civilisa-
tion. The Greeks had him with them, stamp-
ing out his iambics with the sole of his foot.
The Romans, too, knew him — endlessly jug-
gling his syllables together, long and short,
short and long, to make hexameters. This can
now be done by electricity, but the Romans did
not know it.
But it is not my present purpose to speak
of the poets of an earlier and ruder time. For
the subject before us it is enough to set our
age in comparison with the era that preceded
it. We have but to contrast ourselves with
our early Victorian grandfathers to realise the
profound revolution that has taken place in
public feeling. It is only with an effort that
the practical common sense of the twentieth
century can realise the excessive sentimentality
of the earlier generation.
In those days poetry stood in high and
universal esteem. Parents read poetry to their
children. Children recited poetry to their
parents. And he was a dullard, indeed, who
did not at least profess, in his hours of idleness,
The Passing of the Poet
to pour spontaneous rhythm from his flowing
Should one gather statistics of the enormous
production of poetry some sixty or seventy
years ago, they would scarcely appear credible.
Journals and magazines teemed with it. Editors
openly countenanced it. Even the daily press
affected it. Love sighed in home-made stan-
zas. Patriotism rhapsodised on the hustings,
or cited rolling hexameters to an enraptured
legislature. Even melancholy death courted
his everlasting sleep in elegant elegiacs.
In that era, indeed, I know not how, polite
society was haunted by the obstinate fiction
that it was the duty of a man of parts to ex-
press himself from time to time in verse. Any
special occasion of expansion or exuberance,
of depression, torsion, or introspection, was
sufficient to call it forth. So we have poems
of dejection, of reflection, of deglutition, of
Any particular psychological disturbance
was enough to provoke an access of poetry.
The character and manner of the verse might
vary with the predisposing cause. A gentle-
man who had dined too freely might disexpand
himself in a short fit of lyric doggerel in which
"bowl" and "soul" were freely rhymed.
The morning's indigestion inspired a long-
drawn elegiac, with "bier" and "tear,"
"mortal" and "portal" linked in sonorous
sadness. The man of politics, from time to
time, grateful to an appreciative country, sang
back to it, "Ho, Albion, rising from the
brine 1" in verse whose intention at least was
And yet it was but a fiction, a purely ficti-
tious obligation, self-imposed by a sentimental
society. In plain truth, poetry came no more
easily or naturally to the early Victorian than
to you or me. The lover twanged his ob-
durate harp in vain for hours for the rhymes
that would not come, and the man of politics
hammered at his heavy hexameter long indeed
before his Albion was finally "hoed" into
shape; while the beer-besotted convivialist
cudgelled his poor wits cold sober in rhyming
the light little bottle-ditty that should have
sprung like Aphrodite from the froth of the
I have before me a pathetic witness of this
fact. It is the note-book once used for the
random jottings of a gentleman of the period.
In it I read: "Fair Lydia, if my earthly
The Passing of the Poet
harp." This is crossed out, and below it
appears, "Fair Lydia, could my earthly
harp." This again is erased, and under it
appears, "Fair Lydia, should my earthly harp."
This again is struck out with a despairing stroke,
and amended to read: "Fair Lydia, did my
earthly harp." So that finally, when the
lines appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine
(1845) in their ultimate shape — "Fair Edith,
when with fluent pen," etc., etc. — one can
realise from what a desperate congelation the
fluent pen had been so perseveringly rescued.
There can be little doubt of the deleterious
effect occasioned both to public and private
morals by this deliberate exaltation of mental
susceptibility on the part of the early Vic-
torian. In many cases we can detect the
evidences of incipient paresis. The undue
access of emotion frequently assumed a patho-
logical character. The sight of a daisy, of a
withered leaf or an upturned sod, seemed to
disturb the poet's mental equipoise. Spring
unnerved him. The lambs distressed him.
The flowers made him cry. The daffodils made
him laugh. Day dazzled him. Night fright-
This exalted mood, combined with the
man's culpable ignorance of the plainest prin-
ciples of physical science, made him see some-
thing out of the ordinary in the flight of a wa-
terfowl or the song of a skylark. He com-
plained that he could hear it, but not see it— a
phenomenon too familiar to the scientific ob-
server to occasion any comment.
In such a state of mind the most inconse-
quential inferences were drawn. One said that
the brightness of the dawn — a fact easily ex-
plained by the diurnal motion of the globe —
showed him that his soul was immortal. He
asserted further that he had, at an earlier pe-
riod of his life, trailed bright clouds behind
him. This was absurd.
With the disturbance thus set up in the
nervous system were coupled, in many in-
stances, mental aberrations, particularly in
regard to pecuniary matters. "Give me not
silk, nor rich attire," pleaded one poet of the
period to the British public, "nor gold nor"
jewels rare." Here was an evident hallucina-
tion that the writer was to become the re-
cipient of an enormous secret subscription.
Indeed, the earnest desire not to be given
gold was a recurrent characteristic of the
poetic temperament. The repugnance to
The Passing of the Poet
accept even a handful of gold was generally
accompanied by a desire for a draught of pure
water or a night's rest.
It is pleasing to turn from this excessive senti-
mentality of thought and speech to the practi-
cal and concise diction of our time. We have
learned to express ourselves with equal force,
but greater simplicity. To illustrate this I
have gathered from the poets of the earlier
generation and from the prose writers of to-
day parallel passages that may be fairly set in
contrast. Here, for example, is a passage from
the poet Grey, still familiar to scholars:
"Can storied um or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice invoke the silent dust
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?"
Precisely similar in thought, though different
in form, is the more modern presentation found
in Huxley's Physiology:
"Whether after the moment of death the
ventricles of the heart can be again set in move-
ment by the artificial stimulus of oxygen, is a
question to which we must impose a decided
How much simpler, and yet how far superior
to Grey's elaborate phraseology 1 Huxley has
here seized the central point of the poet's
thought, and expressed it with the dignity and
precision of exact science.
I cannot refrain, even at the risk of needless
iteration, from quoting a further example. It
is taken from the poet Burns. The original
dialect being written in inverted hiccoughs, is
rather difficult to reproduce. It describes the
scene attendant upon the return of a cottage
labourer to his home on Saturday night:
"The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face
They round the ingle form in a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,
The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride:
His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin an* bare:
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion wi' judeecious care."
Now I find almost the same scene described
in more apt phraseology in the police news of
the Dumfries Chronicle (October 3, 1909),
thus: "It appears that the prisoner had re-
turned to his domicile at the usual hour, and,
after partaking of a hearty meal, had seated
himself on his oaken settle, for the ostensible
purpose of reading the Bible. It was while
The Pasdng of the Poet
so occupied that his arrest was effected." With
the trifling exception that Bums omits all men-
tion of the arrest, for which, however, the
whole tenor of the poem gives ample warrant,
the two accounts are almost identical.
In all that I have thus said I do not wish to
be misunderstood. Believing, as I firmly do,
that the poet is destined to become extinct,
I am not one of those who would accelerate
his extinction. The time has not yet come for
remedial legislation, or the application of the
criminal law. Even in obstinate cases where
pronounced delusions in r.eference to plants,
animals, and natural phenomena are seen to
exist, it is better that we should do nothing
that might occasion a mistaken remorse. The
inevitable natural evolution which is thus shap-
ing the mould of human thought may safely be
left to its own course.
THEY were both what we commonly
call successful business men — ^men
with well-fed faces, heavy signet
rings on fingers like sausages, and
broad, comfortable waistcoats, a yard and a
half round the equator. Theyj were seated
opposite each other at a table of a first-class
restaurant, and had fallen into conversation
while waiting to give their order to the waiter.
Their talk had drifted back to their early days
and how each had made his start in life when
he first struck New York.
"I tell you what, Jones," one of them was
saying, "I shall never forget my first few
years in this town. By George, it was pretty
uphill work! Do you know, sir, when I first
struck this place, I hadn't more than fifteen
cents to my name, hadn't a rag except what I
stood up in, and all the place I had to sleep in
— ^you won't believe it, but it's a gospel fact
just the Same — was an empty tar barrel. No,
sir," he went on, leaning back and closing up his
eyes into an expression of infinite experience,
"no, sir, a fellow accustomed to luxury like
you has simply no idea what sleeping out in a
tar barrel and all that kind of thing is like."
"My dear Robinson," the other man re-
joined 'briskly, "if you imagine I've had no
experience of hardship of that sort, you never
made a bigger mistake in your life. Why,
when I first walked into this town I hadn't a
cent, sir, not a cent, and as for lodging, aU
the place I had for months and months was
an old piano box up a lane, behind a factory.
Talk about hardship, I guess I had it pretty
rough! You take a fellow that's used to a
good warm tar barrel and put him into a piano
box for a night or two, and you'll see mighty
"My dear fellow," Robinson broke in with
some irritation, "you merely show that you
don't know what a tar barrel's like. Why, on
winter nights, when you'd be shut in there in
your piano box just as snug as you please, I
used to lie awake shivering, with the draught
fairly running in at the bunghole at the back."
"Draught!" sneered the other man, with a
provoking laugh, "draught ! Don't talk to me
about draughts. This box I speak of had a
whole darned plank off it, right on the north side
too. I used to sit there studying in the even-
ings, and the snow would blow in a foot deep.
And yet, sir," he continued more quietly,
"though I know you'll not believe it, I don't
mind admitting that some of the happiest
days of my life were spent in that same old
box. Ah, those were good old times ! Bright,
innocent days, I can tell you. I'd wake up there
in the mornings and fairly shout with high
spirits. Of course, you may not be able to stand
that kind of life "
"Not stand it!" cried Robinson fiercely;
"me not stand it! By gad! I'm made for
it. I just wish I had a taste of the old life
again for a while. And as for innocence!
Well, I'll bet you you weren't one-tenth as
innocent as I was; no, nor one-fifth, nor one-
third ! What a grand old life It was ! You'll
swear this is a darned lie and refuse to believe
it — ^but I can remember evenings when I'd
have two or three fellows in, and we'd sit
round and play pedro by a candle half the
"Two or three!" laughed Jones; "why,
my dear fellow, I've known half a dozen of us
to sit down to supper in my piano box, and
have a game of pedro afterwards; yes, and
charades and forfeits, and every other darned
thing. Mighty good suppers they were tool
By Jove, Robinson, you fellows round this
town who have ruined your digestions with
high living, have no notion of the zest with
which a man can sit down to a few potato
peelings, or a bit of broken pie crust, or "
"Talk about hard food," interrupted the
other, "I guess I know all about that. Many's
the time I've breakfasted off a little cold
porridge that somebody was going to throw
away from a back-door, or that I've gone
round to a livery stable and begged a little
bran mash that they intended for the pigs.
I'll venture to say I've eaten more hog's
"Hog's food!" shouted Robinson, striking
his fist savagely on the table, "I tell you hog's
food suits me better than "
He stopped speaking with a sudden grunt
of surprise as the waiter appeared with the
"What may I bring you for dinner, gentle-
"Dinner!" said Jones, after a moment of
silence, "dinner! Oh,* anything, nothing — I
never care what I eat — give me a little cold
porridge, if you've got it, or a chunk of salt
pork — anything you like, it's all the same to
The waiter turned with an impassive face to
"You can bring me some of that cold por-
ridge too," he said, with a defiant look at
Jones; "yesterday's, if you have it, and a few
potato peelings and a glass of skim milk."
There was a pause. Jones sat back in his
chair and looked hard across at Robinson. For
some moments the two men gazed into each
other's eyes with a stern, defiant intensity.
Then Robinson turned slowly round in his
seat and beckoned to the waiter, who was
moving off with the muttered order on his
"Here, waiter," he said with a savage
scowl, "I guess I'll change that order a little.
Instead of that cold porridge I'll take — um,
yes — a little hot partridge. And you might as
well bring me an oyster or two on the half
shell, and a mouthful of soup (mock-turtle,
consomme, anything), and perhaps you might
fetch along a dab of fish, and a little peck of
Stilton, and a grape, or a walnut."
The waiter turned to Jones.
"I guess I'll take the same," he said simply,
and added, "and you might bring a quart of
champagne at the same time."
And nowadays, when Jones and Robinson
meet, the memory of the tar barrel and the
piano box is buried as far out of sight as a
home for the blind under a landslide.
A Model Dialogue
IN which is shown how the drawing-room
juggler may be permanently cured of his
The drawing-room juggler, iiaving sly-
ly got hold of the pack of cards at the end of
the game of whist, says :
"Ever see any card tricks? Here's rather
a good one; pick a card."
"Thank you, I don't want a card."
"No, but just pick one, any one you like,
and I'll tell which one you |)ick."
"You'll tell who?"
"No, no ; I mean, I'll know which it is, don't
you see ? Go on now, pick a card."
"Any one I like?"
"Any colour at all?"
"Oh, yes; do go on."
"Well, let me see, I'll — pick — the — ace of
A Model Dialogue
"Great Casar 1 I mean you are to pull a card
out of the pack."
"Oh, to pull it out of the pack! Now I un-
derstand. Hand me the pack. All right — I've
"Have you picked one?"
"Yes, it's the three of hearts. Did you know
"Hang it! Don't tell me like that. You
spoil the thing. Here, try again. Pick a card."
"All right, I've got it."
"Put it back in the pack. Thanks. (Shuffle,
shuffle, shuffle — flip) — There, is that it?" (tri-
"I don't know. I lost sight of it."
"Lost sight of it! Confound it, you have
to look at it and see what it is."
"Oh, you want me to look at the front of it !"
"Why, of course ! Now then, pick a card."
"All right. I've picked it. Go ahead."
(Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle— flip.)1
"Say, confound you, did you put that card
back in the pack?"
"Why, no. I kept it."
"Holy Moses! Listen. Pick — a — card-
just one — look at it — see what it is — ^then put
it back — do you understand?"
"Oh, perfectly. Only I don't see how you
are ever going to do it. You must be awfully
(Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle— flip.)
"There you are; that's your card, now, isn't
it?" (This is the suoreme moment.)
"NO. THAT is NOT MY CARD."
(This is a flat lie, but Heaven will pardon you
"Not that card ! 1 ! I Say — ^just hold
on a second. Here, now, watch what you're
at this time. I can do this cursed thing, mind
you, every time. I've done it on father, on
mother, and on every one that's ever come
round our place. Pick a card. (Shuffle, shuffle,
shuffle — flip, bang.) There, that's your
"NO. I AM SORRY. THAT IS NOT
MY CARD. But won't you try it again?
Please do. Perhaps you are a little excited —
I'm afraid I was rather stupid. Won't you
go and sit quietly by yourself da the back
verandah for half an hour and then try? You
have to go home? Oh, I'm so sorry. It must
be such an awfully clever little trick. Good
Back to the Bush
I HAVE a friend called Billy, who has
the Bush Mania. By trade he is a
doctor, but I do not think that he needsi
to sleep out of doors. In ordinary
things his mind appears sound. Over the tops
of his gold-rimmed spectacles, as he bends for-;
ward to speak to you, there gleams nothing but
amiability and kindliness. Like all the rest
of us he is, or was until he forgot it all, an
extremely well-educated man.
I am aware of no criminal strain in his blood.
Yet Billy is in reality hopelessly unbalanced
He has the Mania of the Open Woods.
Worse than that, he is haunted with the de-
sire to drag his friends with him into the depths
of the Bush.
Whenever we meet he starts to talk about
Not long ago I met him in the club.
"I wish," he said, "you'd let me take you
clear away up the Gatineau."
"Yes, I wish I would, I don't think," I
murmured to myself, but I humoured him and
"How do we go, Billy, in a motor-car or by
"No, we paddle."
"And is it up-stream all the way?"
"Oh, yes," Billy said enthusiastically.
"And how many days do we paddle all day
to get up?"
"Couldn't we do it in less?"
"Yes," Billy answered, feeling that I was
entering into the spirit of the thing, "if we
start each morning just before daylight and
paddle hard till moonlight, we could do it in
five days and a half."
"Glorious! and are there portages?"
"Lots of them."
"And at each of these do I carry two hun-
dred pounds of stuff up a hill on my back?"
"And will there be a guide, a genuine, dirty-
looking Indian guide?"
"And can I sleep next to him?"
"Oh, yes, if you want to."
"And when we get to the top, what is there?"
Back to the Bush
"Well, we go over the height of land."
"Oh, we do, do we? And is the height of
land all rock and about three hundred yards
up-hill? And do I carry a barrel of flour up
it? And does it roll down and crush me on
the other side? Look here, Billy, this trip
is a great thing, but it is too luxurious for me.
If you will have me paddled up the river in a
large iron canoe with an awning, carried over
the portages in a sedan-chair, taken across the
height of land in a palanquin or a howdah,
and lowered down the other side in a derrick,
I'll go. Short of that, the thing would be too
Billy was discouraged and left me. But he
has since returned repeatedly to the attack.
He offers to take me to the head-waters of
the Batiscan. I am content at the foot.
He wants us to go to the sources of the At-
tahwapiscat. I don't.
He says I ought to see the grand chutes of
the Kewakasis. Why should I?
I have made Billy a counter-proposition that
we strike through the Adirondack* (in the
train) to New York, from there portage to At-
lantic City, then to Washington, carrying our
own grub (in the dining-car), camp there a few
days (at the Willard), and then back, I to
return by train and Billy on foot with the out-
The thing is still unsettled.
Billy, of course, is only one of thousands that
have got this mania. And the autumn is the
time when it rages at its worst.
Every day there move northward trains,
packed full of lawyers, bankers, and brokers,
headed for the bush. They are dressed up to
look like pirates. They wear slouch hats,
flannel shirts, and leather breeches with belts.
They could afford much better clothes than
these, but they won't use them. I don't know
where they get these clothes. I think the raiU
road lends them out. They have guns between
their knees and big knives at their hips. They
smoke the worst tobacco they can find, and
they carry ten gallons of alcohol per man in the
baggage car. /
In the intervals of telling lies to one another
they read the railroad pamphlets about hunt-
ing. This kind of literature is deliberately
and fiendishly contrived to infuriate their
mania. I know all about these pamphlets
because I write them. I once, for instance,
wrote up, from imagination, a little place
Back to the Bush
called Dog Lake at the end of a branch line.
The place had failed as a settlement, and the
railroad had decided to turn it into a hunting
resort. I did the turning. I think I did it
rather well, rechristening the lake and stocking
the place with suitable varieties of game. The
pamphlet ran like this.
"The limpid waters of Lake Owatawetness
( the name, according to the old Indian legends
of the place, signifies. The Mirror of the
Almighty) abound with every known variety
of fish. Near to its surface, so close that the
angler may reach out his hand and stroke them,
schools of pike, pickerel, mackerel, doggerel,
and chickerel jostle one another in the water.
They rise instantaneously to the bait and swim
gratefully ashore holding it in their mouths.
In the middle depth of the waters of the lake,
the sardine, the lobster, the kippered herring,
the anchovy and other tinned varieties of fish
disport themselves with evident gratification,
while even lower in the pellucid depths the
dog-fish, the hog-fish, the log-fish, and the
sword-fish whirl about in never-ending
"Nor is Lake Owatawetness merely an
Angler's Paradise. Vast forests of primeval
pine slope to the very shores of the lake, to
which descend great droves of bears — ^brown,
green, and bear-coloured — while as the shades
of evening fall, the air is loud with the lowing
of moose, cariboo, antelope, cantelope, musk-
oxes, musk-rats, and other graminivorous mam-
malia of the forest. These enormous quad-
rumana generally move off about 10.30 p.m.,
from which hour until 11.45 P-f"- t^c whole
shore is reserved for bison and buffalo.
"After midnight hunters who so desire it cart
be chased through the woods, for any distance'
and at any speed they select, by jaguars,
panthers, cougars, tigers, and jackals whose
ferocity is reputed to be such that they will
tear the breeches off a man with their teeth
in their eagerness to sink their fangs in his
palpitating flesh. Hunters, attention I Do not
miss such attractions as these 1"
I have seen men — quiet, reputable, well-
shaved men — reading that pamphlet of mine
in the rotundas of hotels, with their eyes blaz-
ing with excitement. I think it is the jaguar
attraction that hits them the hardest, because
I notice them rub themselves sympathetically
with their hands while they read.
Of course, you can imagine the effect of this
Back to the Bush
sort of literature on the brains of men fresh
from their offices, and dressed out as pirates.
They just go crazy and stay crazy.
Just watch them when they get into the
Notice that well-to-do stockbroker crawling
about on his stomach in the underbrush, with
his spectacles shining like gig-lamps. What
is he doing? He is after a cariboo that isn't
there. He is "stalking" it. With his stomach.
Of course, away down in his heart he knows
that the cariboo isn't there and never was;
but that man read my pamphlet and went
crazy. He can't help it: he's got to stalk
something. Mark him as he crawls along;
see him crawl through a thimbleberry bush
(very quietly so that the cariboo won't hear
the noise of the prickles going into him) , then
through a bee's nest, gently and slowly, so that
the cariboo will not take fright when the bees
are stinging him. Sheer woodcraft! Yes,
mark him. Mark him any way you like. Go
up behind him and paint a blue cross on the
seat of his pants as he crawls. He'll never
notice. He thinks he's a hunting dog. Yet
this is the man who laughs at his little son of
ten for crawling round under the dining-room
table with a mat over his shoulders, and pre-
tending to be a bear.
Now see these other men in camp.
Someone has told them — I think I first
started the idea in my pamphlet — that the
thing is to sleep on a pile of hemlock branches.
I think I told them to listen to the wind sow-
ing (you know the word I mean), sowing and
crooning in the giant pines. So there they are
upside-down, doubled up on a couch of green
spikes that would have killed St. Sebastian,
They stare up at the sky with blood-shot, rest-
less eyes, waiting for the crooning to begin.
And there isn't a sow in sight.
Here is another man, ragged and with a
six days' growth of beard, frying a piece of
bacon on a stick over a little fite. Now what
does he think he is? The chef of the Waldorf
Astoria? Yes, he does, and what's more he
thinks that that miserable bit of bacon, cut
with a tobacco knife from a chunk of meat
that lay six days in the rain, is fit to eat. What's
more, he'll eat it. So will the rest. They're
all crazy together.
There's another man, the Lord help him,
who thinks he has the "knack" of being a
carpenter. He is hammering up shelves to a
Back to the Bush
tree. Till the shelves fall down he thinks he
is a wizard. Yet this is the same man who
swore at his wife for asking him to put up a
shelf in the back kitchen. "How the blazes,"
he asked, "could he nail the damn thing up?
Did she think he was a plumber?"
After all, never mind.
Provided they are happy up there, let them
Personally, I wouldn't mind if they didn't
come back and lie about it. They get back
to the city dead fagged for want of sleep,
sogged with alcohol, bitten brown by the bush-
flies, trampled on by the moose and chased
through the brush by bears and skunks — and
they have the nerve to say that they like it.
Sometimes I think they do.
Men are only animals anyway. They like to
get out into the woods and growl round at night
and feel something bite them.
Only why haven't they the Imagination to
be able to do the same thing with less fuss?
Why not take their coats and collars off in the
office and crawl round on the floor and growl at
one another. It would be just as good.
Reflections on Riding
THE writing of this paper has been
inspired by a debate recently held
at the literary society of my native
town on the question, "Resolved:
that the bicycle is a nobler animal than the
horse." In order to speak for the negative
with proper authority, I have spent some weeks
in completely addicting myself to the use of
the horse. I find that the difference between
the horse and the bicycle is greater than I had
The horse is entirely covered with hair; the
bicycle is not entirely covered with hair, except
the '89 model they are using in Idaho.
In riding a horse the performer finds that
the pedals in which he puts his feet will not
allow of a good circular stroke. He will ob-
serve, however, that there is a saddle in which
— especially while the horse is trotting — he is
expected to seat himself from time to time.
But it is simpler to ride standing up, with the
feet in the pedals.
There are no handles to a horse, but the
Reflections on Riding
19 lo model has a string to each side of its
face for turning its head when there is anything
you want it to see.
Coasting on a good horse is superb, but
should be under control. I have known a horse
to suddenly begin to coast with me about two
miles from home, coast down the main street
of my native town at a terrific rate, and finally
coast through a platoon of the Salvation Army
Into its livery stable.
I cannot honestly deny that it takes a good
deal of physical courage to ride a horse. This,
however, I have. I get it at about forty cents
a flask, and take it as required.
I find that in riding a horse up the long
street of a country town. It Is not well to
proceed at a trot. It excites unkindly comment.
It Is better to let the horse walk the whole dis-
tance. This may be made to seem natural by
turning half round in the saddle with the
hand on the horse's back, and gazing Intently
about two miles up the road. It then appears
that you are the first in of about fourteen
Since learning to ride, I have taken to
noticing the things that people do on horse-
back In books. Some of these I can manage,
but most of them are entii"ely beyond me.
Here, for instance, is a form of equestrian
performance that every reader will recognise
and for which I have onlv a despairing admira-
"With a hasty gesture of farewell, the rider
set spurs to his horse and disappeared in a cloud
With a little practice in the matter of ad-
justment, I think I could set spurs to any size
of horse, but I could never disappear in a cloud
of dust — at least, not with any guarantee of
remaining disappeared when the dust cleared
Here, however, is one that I certainly can do :
"The bridle-rein dropped 'from Lord Ever-
ard's listless hand, and, with his head bowed
upon his bosom, he suffered his horse to move
at a foot's pace up the sombre avenue. Deep
in thought, he heeded not the movement of the
steed which bore him."
That is, he looked as if he didn't; but in
my case Lord Everard has his eye on the steed
pretty closely, just the same.
This next I am doubtful about:
"To horse I to horse 1" cried the knight, and
leaped into the saddle.
Reflections on Riding
I think I could manage it if it read :
"To horse!" cried the knight, and, snatch-
ing a step-ladder from the hands of his trusty
attendant, he rushed into the saddle.
As a concluding remark, I may mention that
my experience of riding has thrown a very in-
teresting sidelight upon a rather puzzling point
in history. It is recorded of the famous Henry
the Second that he was "almost constantly in
the saddle, and of so restless a disposition that
he never sat down, even at meals." I had
hitherto been unable to understand Henry's idea
about his meals, but I think I can appreciate it
A STUDY IN SHAKESPEAREAN CRITICISM
THEY say that young men fresh from
college a,re pretty positive about
what they know. But from my
own experience of life, I should say
that if you take a comfortable, elderly man who
hasn't been near a college for about twenty
years, who has been pretty liberally fed and
dined ever since, who measures about fifty
Inches around the circumference, and has a
complexion like a cranberry by candlelight,
you will find that there is a degree of absoliite
certainty about what he thinks he knows that
will put any young man to shame. I am spe-
cially convinced of this from the case of my
friend Colonel Hogshead, a portly, choleric
gentleman who made a fortune in the cattle-
trade out in Wyoming, and who, in his later
days, has acquired a chronic idea that the plays
of Shakespeare are the one subject upon which
he is most qualified to speak personally.
He came across me the other evening as I
was sitting by the fire in the club sitting-room
looking over the leaves of The Merchant of
Venice, and began to hold forth to me about
"Merchant of Venice, eh? There's a play
for you, sir ! There's genius ! Wonderful, sir,
wonderful ! You take the characters in that play
and where will you find anything like
them? You take Antonio, take Sherlock, take
"Saloonio, Colonel?" I interposed mildly,
"aren't you making a mistake? There's a
Bassanio and a Salanio in the play, but I don't
think there's any Saloonio, is there?"
For a moment Colonel Hogshead's eye be-
came misty with doubt, but he was not the man
to admit himself in error :
"Tut, tut I young man," he said with a frown,
"don't skim through your books in that way.
No Saloonio? Why, of course there's a Sa-
"But I tell you. Colonel," I rejoined, "I've
just been reading the play and studying it, and
I know there's no such character "
"Nonsense, sir, nonsense 1" said the Colonel,
"why he comes in all through; don't tell me,
young man, I've read that play myself. Yes,
and seen it played, too, out in Wyoming,
before you were bom, by fellers, sir, that could
act. No Saloonio, indeed! why, who is it
that is Antonio's friend all through and won't
leave him when Bassoonio turns against him?
Who rescues Clarissa from Sherlock, and steals
the casket of flesh from the Prince of Aragon?
Who shouts at the Prince of Morocco, 'Out,
out, you damned candlestick'? Who loads
up the jury in the trial scene and fixes the
doge? No Saloonio! By gad! in my opin-
ion, he's the most important character in the
"Colonel Hogshead," I said very firmly,
"there isn't any Saloonio and you know it."
But the old man had got fairly started on
whatever dim recollection had given birth to
Saloonio; the character seemed to grow more
and more luminous in the Colonel's mind, and
he continued with increasing animation:
"I'll just tell you what Saloonio is^ he's a
type. Shakespeare means him to embody the
type of the perfect Italian gentleman. He's
an idea, that's what he is, he's a symbol, he's
a unit -^
Meanwhile I had been searching among the
leaves of the play. "Look here," I said,
"here's the list of the Dramatis Personae.
There's no Saloonio there."
But this didn't dismay the Colonel one
atom. "Why, of course there isn't," he said.
"You don't suppose you'd find Saloonio there!
That's the whole art of itl That's Shake-
speare I That's the whole gist of it I He's kept
clean out of the Personae — ogives him scope,
g^ves him a free hand, makes him more of
a type than ever. Oh, it's a subtle thing, sir,
the dramatic art!" continued the Colonel,
subsiding into quiet reflection; "it takes a
feller quite a time to get right into Shake-
speare's mind and see what he's at all the
I began to see that there was no use in
arguing any further with the old man. I left
him with the idea that the lapse of a little
time would soften his views on Saloonio. But
I had not reckoned on the way in which old
men hang on to a thing. Colonel Hogshead
quite took up Saloonio. From that time on
Saloonio became the theme of his constant
conversation. He was never tired of dis-
cussing the character of Saloonio, the wonder-
ful art of the dramatist in creating him,
Saloonio's relation to modern life, Saloonio's
attitude toward women, the ethical significance
of Saloonio, Saloonio as compared with Ham-
let, Hamlet as compared with Saloonio — and
so on, endlessly. And the more he looked into
Saloonio, the more he saw in him.
Saloonio seemed inexhaustible. There were
new sides to him — new phases at every turn.
The Colonel even read over the play, and find-
ing no mention of Saloonio's name in it, he
swore that the books were not the same books
they had had out in Wyoming; that the whole
part had been cut clean out to suit the book
to the infernal public schools, Saloonio's
language being — at any rate, as the Colonel
quoted it — ^undoubtedly a trifle free. Then
the Colonel took to annotating his book at the
side with such remarks as, "Enter Saloonio,"
or "A tucket sounds; enter Saloonio, on the
arm of the Prince of Morocco." When there
was no reasonable excuse for bringing Saloonio
on the stage the Colonel swore that he was
concealed behind the arras, or feasting within
with the doge.
But he got satisfaction at last. He had
found that there was nobody in our part of the
country who knew how to put a play of
Shakespeare on the stage, and took a trip to
New York to see Sir Henry Irving and Miss
Terry do the play. The Colonel sat and
listened all through with his face just beaming
with satisfaction, and when the curtain fell
at the close of Irving's grand presentation of
the play, he stood up in his seat and cheered
and yelled to his friends : "That's it ! That's
him! Didn't you see that man that came on
the stage all the time and sort of put the whole
play through, though you couldn't understand
a word he said? Well, that's him I That's
Half-hours with the Poets
I.— MR. WORDSWORTH AND THE LITTLE
"I met a little cottage girl,
She was eight years old she said,
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head."
THIS is what really happened.
Over the dreary downs of his
native Cumberland the aged laureate
was wandering with bowed head
and countenance of sorrow.
Times were bad with the old man.
In the south pocket of his trousers, as he
set his face to the north, jingled but a few
odd coins and a cheque for St. Leon
water. Apparently his cup of bitterness was
In the distance a child moved — a child in
form, yet the deep lines upon her face bespoke
a countenance prematurely old.
Half-hours with the Poets
The poet espied, pursued and overtook the
infant. He observed that apparently she drew
her breath lightly and felt her life in every
limb, and that presumably her acquaintance
with death was of the most superficial char-
"I must sit awhile and ponder on that child,"
murmured the poet. So he knocked her down
with his walking-stick and seating himself upon
her, he pondered.
Long he sat thus in thought. "His heart is
heavy," sighed the child.
At length he drew forth a note-book and
pencil and prepared to write upon his knee.
"Now then, my dear young friend," he
said, addressing the elfin creature, "I
want those lines upon your face. Are you
"Yes, we are seven," said the girl sadly,
and added, "I know what you want. You
are going to question me about my afflicted
family. You are Mr. Wordsworth, and you
are collecting mortuary statistics for the
Cottagers' Edition of the Penny Encyclo-
"You are eight years old?" asked the
"I suppose so," answered she. "I have been
eight year§ old for years and years."
"And you know nothing of death, of course?"
said the poet cheerfully.
"How can I?" answered the child.
"Now then," resumed the venerable Wil-
liam, "let us get to business. Name your
brothers and sisters."
"Let me see," began the child wearily;
"there was Rube and Ike, two I can't think of,
and John and Jane."
"You must not count John and Jane,"
interrupted the bard reprovingly; "they're
dead, you know, so that doesn't make
"I wasn't counting them, but perhaps
I added up wrongly," said the child; "and
will you please move your overshoe off my
"Pardon," said the old man. "A nervous
trick,"! have been absorbed; indeed, the exi-
gency of the metre almost demands my dou-
bling up my feet. To continue, however; which
"The first to go was little Jane," said the
"She lay moaning in bed, I presume?"
Half-hours with the Poets
"In bed she moaning lay." ,
"What killed her?"
"Insomnia," answered the girl. "The gaiety
of our cottage life, previous to the departure
of our elder brothers for Conway, and the con-
stant field-sports in which she indulged with
John, proved too much for a frame never too
"You express yourself well," said the poet.
"Now, in regard to your unfortunate brother,
what was the effect upon him in the fol-
lowing winter of the ground being white
with snow and your being able to run
"My brother John was forced to go," an-
swered she. "We have been at a loss to un-
derstand the cause of his death. We fear
that the dazzling glare of the newly fallen
snow, acting upon a restless brain, may have
led him to a fatal attempt to emulate my
own feats upon the ice. And, oh, sir," the
child went on, "speak gently of poor Jane.
You may rub it into John all you like; we
always let him slide."
"Very well," said the bard, "and allow me,
in conclusion, one rather delicate question : Do
you ever take your little porringer?"
"Oh, yes," answered the child frankly—
" 'Quite often after sunset,
When all is light and fair,.
I take my little porringer ' —
I can't quite remember what I do after that,
but I know that I like it."
"That is immaterial," said Wordsworth. "I
can say that you take your little porringer neat,
or with bitters, or in water after every meal.
As long as I can state that you take a little
porringer regularly, but never to excess, the
public is satisfied. And now," rising from
his seat, "I will not detain you any longer.
Here is sixpence — or stay," he added hastily,
"here is a cheque for St. Leon water. Your
information has been most valuable, and
I shall work it, for all I am Words-
worth." With these words the aged poet
bowed deferentially to the child and sauntered
off in the direction of the Duke of Cumber-
land's Arms, with his eyes on the ground, as
if looking for the meanest flower that blows
Half-hours with the Poets
II.— HOW TENNYSON KILLED THE
"If you're waking call me early, call me early, mother
As soon as the child's malady had declared
itself the afflicted parents of the May Queen
telegraphed to Tennyson, "Our child gone
crazy on subject of early rising, could you come
and write some poetry about her?"
Alfred, always prompt to fill orders in writ-
ing from the country, came down on the eve-
ning train. The old cottager greeted the poet
warmly, and began at once to speak of the
state of his unfortunate daughter.
"She was took queer in May," he said,
"along of a sort of bee that the young folks
had; she ain't been just right since; happen you
might do summat."
With these words he opened the door of an
The girl lay in feverish slumber. Beside
her bed was an alarm-clock set for half-past
three. Connected with the clock was an
ingenious arrangement of a falling brick with
a string attached to the child's toe.
At the entrance of the visitor she started up
in bed. "Whoop," she yelled, "I am to be
Queen of the May, mother, ye-e I"
Then perceiving Tennyson in the doorway,
"If that's a caller," she said, "tell him to call
The shock caused the brick to fall. In the
subsequent confusion Alfred modestly withdrew
to the sitting-room.
"At this rate," he chuckled, "I shall not have
long to wait. A few weeks of that strain will
Six months had passed.
It was now midrwinter.
And still the girl lived. Her vitality appeared
She got up earlier and earlier. She now rose
At intervals she seemed almost sane, and
spoke in a most pathetic manner of her grave
and the probability of the sun shining on
Half-hours with the Poets
it early in the morning, and her mother walking
on it later in the day. At other times her mal-
ady would seize her, and she would snatch the
brick off the string and throw it fiercely at Ten-
nyson, Once, in an uncontrollable fit of mad-
ness, she gave her sister Effie a half-share in
her garden tools and an interest in a box of
The poet stayed doggedly on. In the
chill of the morning twilight he broke the
ice in his water-basin and cursed the girl. But
he felt that he had broken the ice and he
On the whole, life at the cottage, though
rugged, was not cheerless. In the long
winter evenings they would gather around
a smoking fire of peat, while Tennyson read
aloud the Idylls of the King to the rude
old cottager. Not to show his rudeness,
the old man kept awake by sitting on a tin-
tack. This also kept his mind on the right
tack. The two found that they had much
in common, especially the old cottager. They
caUed each other "Alfred" and "Hezekiah"
Time moved on and spring came.
Still the girl baffled the poet.
"I thought to pass away before," she would
say with a mocking grin, "but yet alive I am,
Alfred, alive I am."
Tennyson was fast losing hope.
Worn out vnth early rising, they engaged
a retired Pullman-car porter to take up his
quarters, and being a negro his presence added
a touch of colour to their life.
The poet also engaged a neighbouring divine
at fifty cents an evening to read to the child
the best hundred books, with explanations. The
May Queen tolerated him, and used to like to
play with his silver hair, but protested that he
At the end of his resources the poet resolved
upon desperate measures.
He chose an evening when the cottager and
his wife were out at a dinner-party.
At nightfall Tennyson and his accomplices
entered the girl's room.
She defended herself savagely with her brick,
but was overpowered.
Half-hours with the Poets
The negro seated himself upon her chest,
while the clergyman hastily read a few verses
about the comfort of early rising at the last
As he concluded, the poet drove his pen into
"Last call!" cried the negro porter triumph-
III.— OLD MR. LONGFELLOW ON BOARD
"It was the schooner Hesperus that sailed the wintry
And the skipper had taken his little daughter to bear
him company." — Longfellow.
There were but three people in the cabin
party of the Hesperus: old Mr. Longfellow,
the skipper, and the skipper's daughter.
The skipper was much attached to the child,
owing to the singular whiteness of her skin and
the exceptionally limpid blue of her eyes;
she had hitherto remained on shore to
fill lucrative engagements as albino lady in a
This time, however, her father had taken
her with liim for company. The girl was
an endless source of amusement to the skipper
and the crew. She constantly got up games
of puss-in-the-comer, forfeits, and Dumb
Crambo with her father and Mr. Longfellow,
and made Scripture puzzles and geographical
acrostics for the men.
Old Mr. Longfellow was taking the voyage
to restore his shattered nerves. From the
first the captain disliked Henry. He was
utterly unused to the sea and was nervous
•and fidgety in the extreme. He complained
that at sea his genius had not a sufficient degree
of latitude. Which was unparalleled presump-
On the evening of the storm there had been
a little jar between Longfellow and the cap-
tain at dinner. The captain had emptied it
several times, and was consequently in a reck-
less, quarrelsome humour.
"I confess I feel somewhat apprehensive,"
said old H«nry nervously, "of the state of
the weather. I have had some conversation
about it with an old gentleman on deck who
professed to have sailed the Spanish main.
He says you ought to put into yonder
"I have," hiccoughed the skipper, eyeing
the bottle, and added with a brutal laugh that
Half -hours with the Poets
"he could weather the roughest gale that ever
wind did blow." A whole Gaelic society, he
said, wouldn't fizz on him.
Draining a final glass of grog, he rose from
his chair, said grace, and staggered on
All the time the wind blew colder and
The billows frothed like yeast. It was a yeast
The evening wore on.
Old Henry shufiled about the cabin in nervous
The skipper's daughter sat quietly at the
table selecting verses from a Biblical clock to
amuse the ship's bosun, who was suffering from
At about ten Longfellow went to his bunk,
requesting the girl to remain up in his
For half an hour all was quiet, save the roar-
ing of the winter wind.
Then the girl heard the old gentleman start
up in bed.
"What's that bell, what's that bell?" he
A minute later he emerged from his cabin
wearing a cork jacket and trousers over his
"Sissy," he said, "go up and ask your pop
who rang that bell."
The obedient child returned.
"Please, Mr. Longfellow," she said, "pa says
there weren't no bell."
The old man sank into a chair and remained
with his head buried in his hands.
"Say," he exclaimed presently, "some-
one's firing guns and there's a glimmering
light somewhere. You'd better go upstairs
Again the child returned.
"The crew are guessing at an acrostic,
and occasionally they get a glimmering of
Meantime the fury of the storm increased.
The skipper had the hatches battered
Presently Longfellow put his head out of a
porthole and called out, "Look here, you may
not care, but the cruel rocks are gor-
ing the sides of this boat like the horns of an
The brutal skipper heaved the log at him.
Half-hours with the Poets
A knot in it struck a plank and it glanced
Too frightened to remain below, the poet
raised one of the hatches by picking out the
cotton batting and made his way on deck. He
crawled to the wheel-house.
The skipper stood lashed to the helm all stiff
and stark. He bowed stiffly to the poet. The
lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow on
his fixed and glassy eyes. The man was hope-
All the crew had disappeared. When the
missile thrown by the captain had glanced off
into the sea, they glanced after it and were
At this moment the final crash came.
Something hit something. There was an
awful click followed by a peculiar grating
sound, and in less time than it takes to write
it (unfortunately), the whole wreck was
As the vessel sank, Longfellow's senses left
him. When he reopened his eyes he was in
his own bed at home, and the editor of his
local paper was bending over him.
"You have made a first-rate poem of it,
Mr. Longfellow," he was saying, unbending
somewhat as he spoke, "and I am very happy
to give you our cheque^ for a dollar and a quar-
ter for It."
"Your kindness checks my utterance," mur-
mured Henry feebly, very feebly.
A, B, and C
THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN MATHEMATICS
THE Student of arithmetic who has
mastered the first four rules of his
art, and successfully striven with
money sums and fractions, finds
himself confronted by an unbroken expanse of
questions known as problems. These are
short stories of adventure and industry with
the end omitted, and though betraying a. strong
family resemblance, are not without a certain
element of romance.
The characters in the plot of a problem are
three people called A, B, and C. The form
of the question is generally of this sort:
"A, B, and C do a certaih piece of work.
A can do as much work in one hour as B in
two, or C in four. Find how long they work
"A, B, and C are employed to dig a ditch.
A can dig as much in one hour as 6 can dig in
two, and B can dig twice as fast as C. Find
how long, etc., etc."
Or after this wise:
"A lays a wager that he can walk faster than
B or C. A can walk half as fast again as B,
and C is only an indifferent walker. Find how
far, and so forth."
The occupations of A, B, and C are many
and varied. In the older arithmetics they con-
tented themselves with doing "a certain piece
of work." This statement of the case, how-
ever, was found too sly and mysterious, or pos-
sibly lacking in romantic charm. It became
the fashion to define the job more clearly and
to set them at walking matches, ditch-digglng>
regattas, and piling cord wood. At times,
they became commercial and entered into part-
nership, having with their old mystery a "cer-
tain" capital. Above all they revel in motion.
When they tire of walking-matches — ^A rides
on horseback, or borrows a bicycle and com-
petes with his weaker-minded associates on
foot. Now they race on locomotives; now
they row ; or again they become historical and
engage stage-coaches; or at times they are
aquatic and swim. If their occupation is
actual work they prefer to pump water into
Aj B, and C
cisterns, two of which leak through holes in
the bottom and one of which is water-tight.
A, of course, has the good one; he also takes
the bicycle, and the best locomotive, and the
right of swimming with the current. What-
ever they do they put money on it, being all
three sports. A always wins.
In the early chapters of the arithmetic, their
identity is concealed under "the names John,
William, and Henry, and they wrangle over
the division of marbles. In algebra they are
often called X, Y, Z. But these are only their
Christian names, and they are really the same
', Now to one who has followed the history
of these men through countless pages of prob-
lems, watched them in their leisure hours dal-
lying with cord wood, and seen their panting
sides heave in the full frenzy of filling a cis-
tern with a leak in it, they become something
more than mere symbols. They appear as
creatures of flesh and blood, living men with
their own passions, ambitions, and aspirations
like the rest of us. Let us view them in turn.
A is a full-blooded blustering feUow, of ener-
getic temperament, hot-headed and strong-
willed. It is he who proposes everything,
challenges B to work, makes the bets, and
bends the others to his will. He is a man of
great physical strength and phenomenal en-
durance. He has been known to walk forty-
eight hours at a stretch, and to pump ninety-
six. His life is arduous and full of peril. A
mistake in the working of a sum may keep him
digging a fortnight without sleep. A repeat-
ing decimal in the answer might kill him.
B is a quiet, easy-going fellow, afraid of A
and bullied by him, but very gentle and
brotherly to little C, the weakling. He is
quite in A's power, having lost all his money
Poor C is an undersized, frail man, with a
plaintive face. Constant walking, digging, and
pumping has broken his health and ruined his
nervous system. His joyless life has driven
him to drink and smoke more than is good
for himj and his hand often shakes as he digs
ditches. , He has not the strength to work as
the others can, in fact, as Hamlin Smith has
said, "A can do more work in one hour than
C in four."
The first time that ever I saw these men
was one evening after a regatta. They had
all been rowing in it, and it had transpired
A, Bj and C
that A could row as much in one hour as B in
two, or C in four. B and C had come in dead
fagged and C was coughing badly. "Never
mind, old fellow," I heard B say, "I'll fix you
up on the sofa and get you some hot tea."
Just then A came blustering in and shouted,
"I say, you fellows, Hamlin Smith has shown
me three cisterns in his garden and he says
we can pump them until to-morrow night. I
bet I can beat you both. Come on. You can
pump in your rowing things, you know. Your
cistern leaks a little, I think, C." I heard B
growl that it was a dirty shame and that C was
used up now, but they went, and presently I
could tell from the sound of the water that A
was pumping four times as fast as C.
For years after that I used to see them con-
stantly about town and always busy. I never
heard of any of them eating or sleeping. Then
owing to a long absence from home, I lost
sight of them. On my return I was surprised
to no longer find A, B, and C at their accus-
tomed tasks; on inquiry I heard that work in
this line was now done by N, M, and O, and
that some people were employing for algebrai-
cal jobs four foreigners called Alpha, Beta,
Gamma, and Delta.
Now it chanced one day that I stumbled
upon old D, in the little garden in front of his
cottage, hoeing in the sun. D is an aged la-
bouring man who used occasionally to be called
in to help A, B, and C. "Did I know 'em,
sir?" he answered, "why, I knowed 'em ever
since they was little fellows in brackets. Mas-
ter A, he were a fine lad, sir, though I always
said, give me Master B for kind-heartedness-
like. Many's the job as we've been on to-
gether, sir, though I never did no racing nor
aught of that, but just the plain labour, as you
might say. I'm getting a bit too old arid stiff
for it nowadays, sir — ^just scratch about in the
garden here and grow a bit of a logarithm,
or raise a common denominator or two. But
Mr. Euclid he use me still for them proposi-
tions, he do."
From the garrulous old man I learned the
melancholy end of my" former acquaintances.
Soon after I left town, he told me, C had been
taken ill. It seems that A and B had been
rowing on the river for a wager, and C had
been running on the bank and then sat in a
draught. Of course the bank had refused the
draught and C was taken ill. A and B came
home and found C lying helpless in bed. A
A, B, and C
shook him roughly and said, "Get up, C, we're
going to pile wood." C looked so worn and
pitiful that B said, "Look here. A, I won't
stand this, he isn't fit to pile wood to-night."
C smiled feebly and said, "Perhaps I might
pile a little if I sat up in bed." Then B,
thoroughly alarmed, said, "See here. A, I'm
going to fetch a doctor; he's dying." A
flared up and answered, "You've no money
to fetch a doctor." "I'll reduce him to his
lowest terms," B said firmly, "that'll fetch
him." C's life might even then have been
saved but they made a mistake about the med-
icine. It stood at the head of the bed on a
bracket, and the nurse accidentally removed
it from the bracket without changing the sign.
After the fatal blunder C seems to have sunk
rapidly. On the evening of the next day, as
the shadows deepened in the little room, it was
clear to all that the end was near. I think
that even A was affected at the last as he stood
with bowed head, aimlessly offering to bet
with the doctor on C's laboured breathing.
"A," whispered C, "I think I'm going fast."
"How fast do you think you'll go, old man?"
murmured A. "I don't know," said C, "but
I'm going at any rate." — The end came soon
after that. C rallied for a moment and asked
for a certain piece of work that he had left
downstairs. A put it in his arms and he ex-
pired. As his soul sped heavenward A
watched its flight with melancholy admiration.
B burst into a passionate flood of tears and
sobbed, "Put away his little cistern and the
rowing clothes he used to wear, I feel as if I
could hardly ever dig again." — ^The funeral
was plain and unostentatious. It differed in
nothing from the ordinary, except that out of
deference to sporting men and mathematicians,
A engaged two hearses. Both vehicles started
at the same time, B driving the one which bore
the sable parallelopiped containing the last
remains of his ill-fated friend. A on the box
of the empty hearse generously consented to a
handicap of a hundred yards, but arrived first
at the cemetery by driving four times as fast
as B. (Find the distance to the cemetery.) As
the sarcophagus was lowered, the grave was
surrounded by the broken figures of the first
book of Euclid. — It was noticed that after the
death of C, A became a changed man. He
lost interest in racing with B, and dug but lan-
guidly. He finally gave up his work and set-
tled down to live on the interest of his bets.
■A, B, and C
— ^B never recovered from the shock of C's
death; his grief preyed upon, his intellect and
it became deranged. He grew moody and
spoke only in monosyllables. His disease be-
came rapidly aggravated, and he presently
spoke only in words whose spelling was regu-
lar and which presented no difficulty to the be-
ginner. Realising his precarious condition he
voluntarily submitted to be incarcerated in an
asylum, where he abjured mathematics and de-
voted himself to writing the History of the
Swiss Family Robinson in words of one
MANY of the sketches which form
the present volume have already
appeared in print. Others of
them are new. Of the re-
printed pieces, "Melpomenus Jones," "Police-
man Hogan," "A Lesson in Fiction," and
many others were contributions by the author
to the New York Truth. The "Boarding-
House Geometry" first appeared in Truth, and
was subsequently republished in the London
Punch, and in a great many other journals.
The sketches called the "Life of John Smith,"
"Society Chit-Chat," and "Aristocratic Educa-
tion" appeared in Puck. "The New Pathol-
ogy" was first printed in the Toronto Saturday
Night, and was subsequently republished by the
London Lancet, and by various German pe-
riodicals in the form of a translation. The
story called "Number Fifty-Six" is taken from
the Detroit Free Press. "My Financial Ca-
reer" was originally contributed to the New
York Life, and has been frequently reprinted.
The articles "How to Make a Million Dol-
lars" and "How to Avoid Getting Married,"
etc., are reproduced by permission of the Pub-
lishers' Press Syndicate. The wide circula-
tion which some of the above sketches have
enjoyed has encouraged the author to prepare
the present collection.
The author desires to express his sense of
obligation to the proprietors of the above jour-
nals who have kindly permitted him to repub-
lish the contributions which appeared in their